Archive for Monday, July 10, 2000

Tech notes

July 10, 2000


Palming a keyboard

Most hand-held organizers are palm-size, convenient for carrying in a briefcase or purse but cumbersome for many who enter data directly.

They rely either on handwriting recognition or on tapping a stylus on a screen image of a keyboard for each letter. The solution is a real keyboard, but few manufacturers sell slightly larger, checkbook-size organizers that allow for limited touch-typing.

Hewlett-Packard's Jornada 690 offers a 133-megahertz processor, 32 megabytes of memory and a 56 kbps modem. At 7.4 inches by 3.7 inches and weighing 1.1 pounds, it tucks away easily, too. The device is pricey, listing for $999, but for that kind of money it has a solid feel, a keyboard, a bright screen and can run for as long as eight hours on a battery. Visit for more information.

Dial into wireless Net

Seattle-based Xypoint is turning digital cell phones with text messaging service into Internet devices at no charge.

Digital cell phone users in the United States can start getting wireless, text-based Internet service called WebWirelessNow at no charge. The on-demand service allows consumers to receive stock quotes, traffic updates and horoscopes, among other services, as pager messages on their phones.

Curious consumers can log onto and sign up for the service.

Who's at the door?

Wouldn't it be nice to see who's at the front door without having to get off the couch? Or to check on that noise in the back yard from the easy chair? The XCam2 might be what you need.

The XCam2 is a small video camera with a built-in transmitter that can be mounted about 12 feet from an AC outlet or farther away using an extension. A second component -- a 2.4-gigahertz receiver -- plugs into any TV or VCR using a coaxial cable or the included RCA jacks. This receiver can be placed as far as 100 feet away from the camera.

The camera captures video and sound, which are transmitted without wires to the receiver, which in turn plays them on the TV through the assigned channel. The Xcam2 costs about $80. Visit for more information.

Online site teaches how to attract renters, an online apartment listing site, has created an online training program for leasing professionals who are National Apartment Assn. members.

The online National Apartment Leasing Professional certification program is aimed at teaching leasing professionals how to attract residents using the Internet and get them to become renters.

The online program will address Internet advertising, online partnerships, portals, Web etiquette, generation of leads and follow-up, and new technology and services.

Currently, 1,200 apartment managers are members of the NALP program. is a Web apartment guide that has about 1 million apartment listings in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The service is owned by Chicago-based Classified Ventures, a network of about 130 newspapers.

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