The 1998 PalmPilot model, the Palm III, introduced an ingenious and useful new feature: an infrared transmitter/receiver. Now you can point your palmtop (Palm III or later) at somebody else’s—and beam programs or data through the air, from one palmtop into the other. (Previous models equipped with the Palm III upgrade—officially called the “Palm Computing 2MB Upgrade Card,” as described in Chapter 18—are invited to the party, too.)
Right out of the box, the infrared feature means that you can share programs with friends, exchange complete electronic business cards in seconds, send the minutes of the last meeting to everyone present, share your outline for the next presentation, or conveniently back up your painstakingly input data to another PalmPilot. As the Palm III and its descendants become the majority players, beaming will become a standard feature in every piece of Palm software.
You can’t beam just anything from one PalmPilot to another. For example, you can’t beam any of the programs that are built into the ROMs, such as the Address Book or Memo Pad. (Then again, why would you want to?) Nor can you beam data from your Expense or Mail programs.
But you can beam any programs you’ve installed, as well as data from the other standard Palm programs, as follows. (See “The Beaming Process, Step by Step,” later in this chapter, for specific instructions.)
Here’s one of the most exciting possibilities. From now on, the clusters of excited PalmPilot ...