The Holiday Buyer's Guide II - December, 2002 Vol. 1, No. 4
IS Newswire
The Latest Technology News from the
Long & Foster Information Services Department

Contents - December 2002

Note: Clicking the links below will open the newsletter in your Web browser.

Hot in Tech: Bluetooth

Message From Michael Koval

Register Now for 'An Evening with Mike'!

It's All USB: How to Upload Pictures to Your Dell 240/260GX Desktop

Resizing Pictures on the Fly

Camera Review - Olympus C-3020

Holiday Buyer's Guide: PDAs!

Palm m515

Palm Tungsten T

Blackberry 6710

Handspring Treo 300

Dell Axim X5

Compaq iPaq 38/39 Series

Tell us what you think of the Newswire! Contact us!

By the Numbers

77 lbs. - The weight of the first IBM portable computer.

10 years - The recent anniversary for the first IBM laptop.

3.06 - Intel's recent clock speed in gigahertz.

200 - Currently the largest hard drive capacity in gigabytes.

1 Terabyte - The projected size of the average PC hard drive in 2005.

6,000 - the number of MP3's an Aple iPod can store, and yes, it weighs just 6.5 oz.

2004 - The year that LCD panels will overtake the standard CRT monitor.

Tuesday - Mike's favorite day of the week to watch TV.

 
Holiday Buyer's Guide - PDAs!

Thinking about a PDA for the holidays? Join the crowd! Personal digital assistants, or PDAs, have found their way into the hands of an estimated one out of six Americans in recent years. PDAs can store years of appointments, thousands of addresses and phone numbers, and to-do lists that would keep you busy for decades. And they can synchronize with your computer so that the same data will be in your pocket and on your desktop.

One key decision is which of the two leading PDA types you prefer: a Palm-based unit or a Pocket PC. Here's what each offers:

Palm: The Palm operating system (OS) now powers PDAs sold by HandEra, Handspring, and Sony as well as Palm. Priced from about $100 to $500, these models all offer easy access to an address book, memo pad, appointment calendar, and to-do list. You'll find smaller, lighter, and less expensive models than in the rival Pocket PC camp. Palm-based PDAs are easy to use, and their OS is lean, consuming minimal memory and offering speedy access to data. Software applications for everything from currency conversion to tip calculators are widely available, sometimes as free downloads.

Pocket PC: Pocket PC handhelds run a mini version of Windows and come with scaled-down versions of Word, Excel, Outlook (for calendars, contacts, and e-mail), and more. All can play video clips and MP3 music, and some include software for showing photos. Less add-on software is available than for Palm-based units, however. On the whole, Pocket PC units are more powerful and have more memory than Palm models, but they cost more (about $350 to $600) and are a bit larger and heavier.

Here are our top picks for Palms!

Palm m515

The Palm m515 has a lot to offer for $300.

Like other Palms of its generation, the m515 has a 33MHz DragonBall VZ processor at its core. It also comes with the Palm 4.1 OS, which supports USB connectivity. In addition, the OS sports several enhancements, including vibrate and flash alerts and the ability to write Graffiti simultaneously while using the virtual keyboard.

Read the full review at cnet.com!

Read about the m515 at palm.com!

Palm Tungsten T

The Tungsten T hits a high note, with a fast processor and built-in Bluetooth for $499.

Palm's Tungsten T is the company's first unit to run Palm OS 5.0. It's also the company's first model to feature a convertible design, built-in Bluetooth, and stereo sound. The Tungsten is a sleek, elegantly designed handheld that's a bit of a status symbol.

Read the full review at zdnet.com!

Read about the Tungsten T at palm.com!

Blackberry 6710

The Blackberry 6710 - the integrated handheld that lets you manage all of your important business communications and information for $499.

BlackBerry is the one-stop, no-compromise, wireless solution that allows you to manage your important information and communications from a single, integrated wireless handheld.

Read more about the Blackberry 6710 now!

Handspring Treo 300

The Treo offers excellent wireless service through Sprint. $449 with $50 rebate at handspring.com.

Handspring's Treo 300 for Sprint PCS service is the fourth wireless Treo to hit the market, and it's arguably the most appealing to date. Though it's almost identical to the GSM/GPRS Treo 270 from a design perspective, the 300 offers a slightly slicker user interface and superior Internet performance that comes courtesy of Sprint's nationwide 3G network.

Read the full review at zdnet.com!

Read more about the Treo now!

Here are our top picks for Pocket PCs!

Dell Axim X5

The new Dell Axim X5 handhelds are packed with built-in features at a great price - $349.

Until recently, one of the main criticisms of Pocket PCs was their high price. But this is not the case with the Dell Axim X5, which is available in a $349, 400MHz flavor and an even more palatable 300MHz version that retails for just $249.

Read the full review at cnet.com!

Read about this product at dell.com!

Compaq iPaq 38/39 Series

The iPaq 38 and 39 series are serious performers for $300-$600.

 

Note: There are a number of 38/39 series iPaqs that are excellent choices. The 39 series features a faster processor, more RAM, and a few more fancy features. The 38s retail in the $300-$400 range, while the 39s are in the $500-$600 range. The review below is for the iPaq H3835.

With its organic curves and silvery styling, the iPaq H3835 feels smooth and solid in the hand and slips easily into a shirt pocket. The unit measures 5.3 by 3.3 by 0.6 inches and weighs in at a trim 6.5 ounces. Even with its modest size, this iPaq has enough room for a 2.3-by-3.0-inch reflective color screen.

Compared to the original iPaq, the most noticeable cosmetic change is the fact that the device's built-in speaker is now housed above the screen as opposed to in the directional pad below the screen. This is a much better place for the speaker; when you're playing games, sound isn't muffled by your thumb on the directional pad. Clustered around the speaker are the power button and an ambient-light sensor , which triggers the screen to change brightness as lighting conditions change.

Read the full review at zdnet.com!

Read more about the iPaq now!
 

Register Now for 'An Evening with Mike'!

CIO Michael Koval loves to talk technology with new and aspiring Sales Associates. That's why he holds his interactive "An Evening With Mike" presentations each month with new and aspiring Sales Associates. Mike talks about the latest technology, how to use technology in a real estate sales career, and of course, Long & Foster's leading role in the real estate industry in the delivery of technology and information services.

Upcoming 'An Evening With Mike' seminars are on:

  • Wednesday, January 22, 2003, from 10 am to 12 pm at the Bellona Sales Office.
  • Wednesday, February 12, 2003, from 6-9 pm at the Calverton Training Center.

Registration is required, but the seminar is free. To register, contact Alyssa London at (703) 359-1650 or email her.

Hot in Tech: Bluetooth™

Bluetooth™ Technology: setting the standard for wireless.

How many times have you been irritated by those pesky cords that connect your keyboard and mouse to your desktop computer? Millions of people feel the same way and Bluetooth™ wireless technology is the answer. Bluetooth wireless technology is an industry-standard protocol that provides short-range wireless connections between Bluetooth devices, such as keyboards, mouse products, cellular phones, printers, and computers. Bluetooth operates using the Microsoft Wireless Transceiver for Bluetooth (included), which plugs into the USB port on your PC.

Because Bluetooth wireless technology uses radio transmission, data is transmitted quickly. Bluetooth wireless technology ensures that interference is minimal and that data transmission is secure.

Bluetooth wireless technology provides a number of benefits, including:

  • Wireless freedom and reduced desktop clutter - no more cords to worry about.
  • Safe, reliable wireless connectivity
  • Longer range than other wireless products.
  • Industry-supported, standardized wireless protocol.

Microsoft Wireless Transceiver for Bluetooth is supported for use with your Microsoft Bluetooth devices. Because Bluetooth wireless technology follows a standardized specification, you may be able to use other devices with the Microsoft Wireless Transceiver.

To read more about these great products take a look at these links at the Microsoft site:

Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop for Bluetooth

Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse® Explorer for Bluetooth

Also, be sure to review the system requirements for the Bluetooth mouse and keyboard.
 

A Message From Michael Koval

We in IS know that our Sales Associates are always on the go showing properties, doing paperwork, talking with clients, etc. With your hectic schedules, most of you may not have the time to search for the latest news from IS or in the world of technology. That's why the IS Department has initiated a new, integrated communications program that gives our Sales Associates the lastest IS and tech news through several channels in rapid fashion.

  • Personal - I speak every day with sales managers and agents about all the latest news, and also communicate through my "Evening with Mike" free technology seminars.
  • Print - The IS Newswire comes out monthly with the latest technology news and recommendations. We have recently added the IS Blast, a weekly text-only email of departmental news, and the IS Breaking News, a very short, periodical text-only email of urgent departmental news, such as Web site updates, outages, etc. Please check your email regularly!
  • Telephone - The IS management team will soon be able to leave voicemail messages to ALL Long & Foster employees and agents with one call. These calls will cover urgent departmental news.

We hope that the seamless use of these three channels of communication will keep all of you updated on everything that is going on in IS and technology.

Enjoy this issue of the Newswire and keep on the lookout for those weekly Blasts and periodical Breaking News emails! Happy Holidays!

Sincerely,

Michael Koval, CIO
 

It's All USB: How to Upload Pictures to Your Dell 240/260GX Desktop

 

 

The USB plug makes connecting peripheral components to your computer (like a digital camera) quick and simple.

If you have been unsure how to get those pictures on your digital camera loaded into your computer, don't dispair! With the new Dell 240/260GX desktop computers in most Long & Foster sales offices, it's simple! These excellent Dell units feature the standard USB port (Universal Serial Bus) to make connecting digital cameras, speakers, scanners, etc. much simpler than in the days of confusing serial and parallel ports.

The USB symbol on the front of your Dell 240/260GX looks like this.

You just need to take your digital camera and USB cable that came with it and plug it into the USB port on the front of your 240/260GX. The USB port is under the gray flap at the front bottom of the computer console. Look for the USB symbol above. When you plug in, Windows XP will recognize that you have attached a digital camera to your computer and will ask you if you want to upload your pictures. Just follow the prompts. It really is simple!

For more information about USB, go to usb.org now!
 

Resizing Pictures on the Fly

By Stephen M. Canale - CRB, CRS, GRI, RAM

If you're a Windows XP user, then you'll love the "Image Resizer" PowerToy from Microsoft that almost seems to have been designed with real estate agents in mind. After all, what profession takes more digital photographs, and then needs to resize them for a variety of needs, than real estate?

Once installed, Image Resizer efficiently adds a "Resize Pictures" option to the right-mouse button drop-down menu whenever a standard graphic (JPG, GIF, TIF, etc.) is selected. Not only can you select images for resizing from Windows Explorer, but also from most other programs as well. The result of this handy integration is that you can quickly and easily resize images from within most email software programs, just prior to attaching the pictures to an outgoing email.

Read the rest of the article here!
 

Camera Review - Olympus C-3020

A L&F agent raved to the Newswire about this camera. A great value for about $400.

Holding out for an affordable yet robust 3-megapixel digital camera? Try the 3.2-megapixel Camedia C-3020 Zoom, an update to the older C-3000 and an inexpensive alternative to the pricey, feature-laden 3.3-megapixel C-3040 Zoom that costs less yet boasts many of the more expensive model's features.

Read the full review at zdnet.com!