January 09, 2004
Great Date Calculator For Your Palm
In my many presentations and articles on using Palm-powered PDAs in legal practice, I often highly recommend that attorneys try the incredibly useful Dates! v2.11 program by Marty Wilber. However, over the past year this freeware program has all but disappeared from the web. The programmer's original site has disappeared into the ether with no forwarding address. Many palm software sites like Palmgear.com and FreewarePalm.com have also pulled it from their listings, which of course made it difficult to continue its recommendation.
Why is this date calculator worth the search? This tiny program (only 17K in size) nicely calculates the number of days, weekdays, and weeks between two specified dates. Or, you can choose a beginning (or ending) date, and specify the number of days to have it give you the other date. This is handy for motion practice, or anything else where you need to quickly determine deadlines working forward or backward -- scheduling conferences, statutes of limitations, how many days left until your vacation or significant other's birthday, etc.
While there are other Palm date calculators available, Dates! has the most features yet is still very easy to use. One of its distinguishing features is the DateBook button at the bottom of the screen. Once you've calculated your due date, a single tap on this screen button will instantly take you to that day in your built-in Palm Datebook (or a compatible calendar program such as DateBk). This makes it easy and fast to enter the item in your Palm calendar and then set any reminder alarms. Naturally, it syncs over to your PC's calendar during the next HotSync. While a number of PC-based programs include some or all of these features, I like Dates! because it's available anywhere I have my PDA handy -- so I'm not tied down to my PC or have to fire up a laptop just for this.
Two caveats: First, this program was written in back in 2000 for the Palm OS up through version 3.5. If you have a newer Palm-powered PDA running Palm OS 4.x or 5.x, I fully recommend that you perform a full backup of your PDA via a HotSync (preferably with a good backup program like BackupBuddy) before installing it, just to be on the safe side. In fact, that's my recommendation to follow before you install any new Palm program. Many Palm OS 3.5 programs run just fine on Palm OS 4.x and 5.x without any modifications, but it never hurts to be careful. If nothing else, it's probably time for you to backup your PDA anyway.
Second, as I didn't write this program, I make no representations, warranties, or any other kinds of assurances whatsoever that any date calculator is free from bugs or mistakes. So I always tell people to try it out with some test date calculations to make sure it passes muster. Now with that said, I've recommended this to many attorneys I've worked with and have received nothing but great feedback. For free, the price is certainly right.
A parting tip: Given the rate at which this fantastic little program has been pulled from the web, I strongly recommend downloading it today so you have it, even if you don't have time to install or use it yet.
[P.S. In the giving-credit-where-due dept: Thanks goes to Bruce Dorner who first beamed this program to my Visor several years ago when we served on the ABA Techshow Board together. Just in case you thought those planning meetings were dull -- you can imagine what happens when you put a group of fun-loving tech-savvy legal professionals together in a conference room for extended periods. ;^) ]
Topic(s): Mobile Tech & Gadgets
Posted by Jeff Beard