Beaming an Item from Your Palm

Beaming is a Palm Computing feature that enables you to send information from one Palm device to another by directly pointing the two units at one another. As long as the units are within about three feet of one another, the process is quick and simple. Two Palm devices lose sight of each other when they're about four feet apart, and they also have some trouble communicating at less than three inches or so. At a typical meeting table, you should have no trouble beaming information to a Palm device across from you.

The Palm beaming feature uses infrared (or IR) light, which is what a TV remote control uses. Computer manufacturers have begun to include IR communications on laptops and printers. You also can find IR capability on certain pagers and cellular telephones.

Not all applications can use the beaming feature. Even the built-in programs, such as Palm Mail and Expense, can't beam items. But more and more Palm add-on programs include a beaming feature as time goes on, so you can start to plan on beaming things that you create from your Palm to another.

Whenever you beam information between a pair of Palm devices, the data you send remains on your unit and is duplicated on the second unit. Think of the process as sending a fax. Before you send a fax, only you have a copy of the information, and after you're done, you and the receiver both have a copy (and a week later neither of you can find either copy).

Here's how to send an item:

1. Make sure that both Palm devices are turned on and pointed at one another.

Keep the two Palm devices within three feet of one another.

2. Select the item you want to beam.

The item appears on your screen. You can send a memo, an address, a To Do item, or an appointment.

3. Tap the Menu soft button at the bottom-left corner of the Palm screen.

The menu bar appears.

4. From the menu bar, choose Record --> Beam.

The menu shows Beam Event for a Date Book appointment (as shown in Figure 1), Beam Address for an Address Book entry, and so on.

The Beam dialog box opens for a short time, first telling you that it's preparing to beam and then that it's searching for another Palm device. After your Palm device finishes beaming the item, the dialog box closes.

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Figure 1: This event will move through the air.

If all goes well, both Palm devices beep to let you know that the item reached its destination. Your recipient actually knows more about the transfer than you do because dialog boxes pop up on her Palm device that say what the device has received. If the transfer fails, your Palm device displays a message saying that something's wrong and that you should try again.

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If you enter your own address in your Palm Address Book and mark it as your business card, all you need to do when you want to beam your business card is hold down the Address Book button for about two seconds until the beaming process starts.

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