Tuesday, September 1, 1998

Stylin’ with the right stylus

Although the button sticks up a little, the Throttle is about the same height as a PalmPilot, and it rests comfortably in the hollow between your thumb and forefinger as you use it. The design is truly inspired--the Throttle's clip fits perfectly in both the PalmPilot and Palm III silos. In the PalmPilot silo, the Throttle's body hangs to the right side; in the Palm III silo, it hangs behind. This could present problems with different cases, although it does not interfere with the Palm III flip lid.

Obviously, the Throttle doesn't fit in a case like the Pilot Angel, although it almost works with a PalmPilot or Palm III in a JetPac. If you're using the JetPac, I recommend carrying the Throttle separately. You run the risk of losing the Throttle if you press the PalmPilot firmly into place, because the edge of the JetPac case will push it up out of the silo. Since I don't have quite as good a selection of cases as Fredlet, I could not perform more comprehensive tests.

If you're not careful, you could break the Throttle's clip off in the silo. I hope ttools has torture tested this and selected a durable plastic to prevent this possibility. I would like to see a slightly heavier metal version of the Throttle that could accept a capless rollerball refill--that would be high on my list of PalmPilot must-have accessories.

Style at your fingertip

The Fingertip Stylus, as shown in Figure B, is a beautifully-crafted, solid sterling silver ornament with a purely practical PalmPilot purpose. If you've ever read Frank Herbert's Dune series of science fiction novels, you too may be reminded of the "gom jabbar".

FIGURE B

Style is at your fingertip with the Concept Kitchen Fingertip Stylus.

The Fingertip Stylus is worn on your index finger, and takes a little getting used to. Obviously, you're not going to want to rub your eye when using this product! I found that recalibrating my digitizer while wearing the Fingertip Stylus helped improve my Graffiti recognition. Even so, I had to slow down a little and exaggerate my Graffiti strokes for best results. You really can wear the Fingertip Stylus and do other things, such as typing, although you may want to slide it around your finger so that the stylus tip rests on top of your fingernail.

The thing that took me the longest to adjust to was how to hold my hand when using the Fingertip Stylus. With a conventional stylus, I curl my other four fingers under and rest my little finger on the bottom right corner of my PalmPilot next to the Memo Pad button. At first, I found I had a hard time seeing through my hand when writing, and finally settled on resting my ring finger on the edge of my PalmPilot between the Calculator and Find silkscreen buttons.

All in all, the Fingertip Stylus is the most practical piece of jewelry I own.

[We really like the Fingertip Stylus as well. We only wish Concept Kitchen had provided a case or carrying soution so we didn't lose or crush it while going mobile. --DG]

Four things in one

No matter how much I use my PalmPilot, I still find that I need to carry a regular pen. Rotring's Quattro-Pen Data provides a black ballpoint, mechanical pencil, highlighter, and stylus in a sleek, black matte metal pen. Hold the pen with the appropriate icon facing up to select the point you'd like to use, then press the button. Retract the point by pressing the button on the Quattro-Pen's clip. The Quattro-Pen Data lists for $60, but can be bought online for $48, the same price I paid at my favorite local fine pen dealer.