Book Review: Lose The Laptop by Larry Becker
#1  Bob Russell 09-22-2004, 12:03 AM
Bottom Line Rating: 8/10
This is a fun and informative book worth reading. It achieves its mission simply and admirably. A great introduction to things you can do with a Palm PDA.

Detailed Book Description:
Lose The Laptop is a guide to mobile computing on a PDA. In very simple terms, he points the reader in the right direction to do many of the things that a laptop can do -- work with MS Office documents, read eBooks, do presentations, listen to music, etc.

As he points out, most users of PDAs never load any software other than what comes with the PDA. This book will really open the eyes of some PDA owners to the kinds of things that are possible, and will give them what they need to pursue it further. For the most part, there is not a lot of dry step-by-step instructions, and where detail is provided it is not intrusive to the flow of the book.

He is very careful to organize the book in a fashion that allows the reader to easily jump into just the part that is relevant for his or her skill level and interests.

The book includes a lot of information helpful to a beginner with PDAs in addition to the main focus, which is doing basic laptop-like activities on a PDA. There was an impressive amount of material covered even though it all came across as simple and clear.

As a relatively experienced PDA user myself, I can't say I learned a lot from the book (and Larry suggested that this would be the case as it's not aimed at PDA-pros), but I still had fun reading it! I think that every Palm fanatic is always thinking about how they use their Palm and trying to figure out better ways to use it. This was a nice way to kind of kick start some ideas in my head.

The eReader version I was reading from can give a small delay when turning pages on my older and slower Sony Clie SJ33, but it didn't really hamper my reading. The pdf version would be good if you have a larger display because it would help you see more context as you read and allows you to more easily skip around based on your interests.

I'm thrilled to see Larry writing this book. I hope that he continues to devote himself to helping Palm users and smartphone users to better understand the capabilities of their handhelds. The more he can educate, the larger our hobbyist community will grow, and the more business users we'll see in the Palm world. I'd have to say that PalmOne/PalmSource are not exactly the best at marketing the potential uses, so it's really up to people like Larry and us fanatics to spread the word. Larry certainly has my best wishes for continued success with his work.

Larry Becker is an author and speaker with impressive credentials. He appears as the trainer in Sony’s Clié companion DVD. At Palm Inc.'s request, he developed a training program for new Palm employees. He does training worldwide, writes for tech publications and teaches at University of South Florida in Tampa. More complete information about the author is available on the web site given below.

Web Site:

eReader and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)

Purchase Cost:
Sneak Preview Electronic Edition $9.98
(available now for a limited time)
Upcoming Paper Version will be $19.95.

This review was based on a complimentary review copy of the book provided by the author. This review reflects the opinions of this reviewer, not an official position of

#2  Brian 09-22-2004, 08:22 AM
Great article and review Bob! I've been considering this book for a while even though I'm already aware of or do many of the things he covers in the book, but it's always nice to get someone else's take, especially if it's well written. I'll probably get it in a traditional paper version so I can let other people borrow it more easily.

I agree with you whole heartedly: The more education for the masses from books like this, the better the future will be for all PDA users. Hopefully we'll see more books like this.

IMO it's also our job as technology enthusiasts, early adopters and seasoned PDA users to be vocal advocates for our favorite personal technology. Hopefully, dedicated user websites will help get the message out and educate the masses, providing a medium to discuss the pros and cons of technology, as well as unofficial customer support and a collective voice that must be listened to by manufacturers.


#3  Colin Dunstan 09-23-2004, 06:11 AM
Great review, Bob!! Love to see more of this

Small tip:
Quote BobR
The eReader version I was reading from can give a small delay when turning pages on my older and slower Sony Clie SJ33, but it didn't really hamper my reading.
You can go to the Options/Screen Preferences menu and switch to Display quality: Low. On 4.x devices, a low quality setting will speed up the display of each page, but also cause eReader to switch black and white or 8 bit color, so color options may not be available.

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