The Brighthand.com Palm 10th Anniversary LifeDrive Giveaway contest has come to a close, and the votes are in our contest winners!
“I own(ed) a Palm ____ and it really saved me this one time when I used it to _____.”
We got a ton of great responses and chose 9 of our favorites. Site visitors then voted on the best from that group of 9 and the final results yielded Royce Fontenot of Alaska as our first place winner with his story on the Palm m105 and how it helped during the Hurricane Katrina relief effort to collect weather data at the airport. Our second place winner was Rick McGuirt of Louisiana who used his Tungsten E to help organize, and practically run, his small business during another hurricane in the southeast last year. As the hurricane season approaches in the U.S. once again, we wonder if more coastal dwellers would be wise to make sure they have a Palm device in hand to store data and keep organized in the event of more evacuations this year. The full stories from our contest winners are below.
Royce wins a LifeDrive and Rick wiill get a Tungsten E2. All other runners up get a cool Palm t-shirt.
Winner, Royce Fontenot (Barrow, AK)
I used to have a Palm Zire 72 and an M105 when I was working for Louisiana State University running their weather station network (I now work for the federal government). I would constantly use both handhelds to visually document the sites (loved the 72’s camera!), keep technical manuals in PDF format, check e-mail and reprogram the dataloggers that ran the weather stations. They were life savers and most of the time I did not have to lug a laptop all over Louisiana!
Then we had Katrina.
My office got a request a few days after Katrina to setup a portable weather station at the New Orleans International Airport during the massive airlift and evacuation. The absence of weather data was becoming a critical issue to running the airport safely with so much traffic. Within 3 hours we were on our way to the airport. The station we brought with us was a prototype and was not programmed to be used for aviation weather. Normally, we would have used the laptop to re-write the code for the weather station. However, due to the heat, the laptop wouldn’t start. Luckily, I did bring the older m105, which was frankly a lifesaver! With it I was able to do the reprogramming required to get the weather station up and running, allowing the control tower folks at the airport to finally get some much needed weather data to safely manage the chaos that the New Orleans airport had quickly become.
I have always had a Palm since the Vx came out. I used them for class…work…games. I never in my wildest dreams think that something so small would become the saver of the day! It worked when nothing else would. How much of a contribution to the overall effort in the Katrina aftermath we made, I don’t know. I do know if I hadn’t had the m105 with me that day, we wouldn’t have made one at all!
To see about what we did:
Runner Up, Rick McGuirt (Lake Charles, LA)
I own a Tungsten E and it really saved me when I used it to prepare for Hurricane Rita in the summer of 2005. After Katrina hit Southeast Louisiana, it raised my awareness of keeping track of vital information for home and business. I am self employed with 15 employees and 3 locations.
Between home and business there is equipment, phone numbers, account numbers, insurance contacts, VIN numbers, spreadsheets, reports, etc. that make up my life.
If you have to produce a spread sheet of serial numbers, makes and models to satisfy an insurance company for reimbursement, collecting the information once the equipment is gone is like properly refolding the worlds largest road map.
Haveing ALL of your employees, family, and friends phone contacts when everyone is dispersed in 100 different directions lets you remain connected and able to coordinate a timely return, knowing who will be available and who would be lost.
As a last resort the Tungsten E held vital reports that were housed on the main computer.
During a natural disaster, with phone calls, text messages, and ideas flying around, your head wants to rupture trying to keep the flurry of minutiae in order. The note pad with on screen writing captured every snippet.
During the 7 days of evacuation my partner and I developed a plan of return. The details were many. Compiling a check list of “must do” prevented the big or the little tasks from getting lost to middle age memory. Some other important tasks carrying the Tungsten E did for me during this evancuation were:
- A SD card held photos of the pre storm buildings.
- Trivia games and solitare made the 10 hour, 110 mile evacuation trip to Baton Rouge palatable.
- I measured my miserable gas mileage with AutoMobil.
- I timed it with my StopWatch 1.2
- I read my Handmark Bible at night.
- It woke me up in the morning.
- I had an AC and DC charger.
- All my important data was backed up on a SD card with Backup Buddy.
Did my Tungsten E save me? You bet your sweet… Is the Pope a … Does a Bear….
“Let your yes be yes” YES, my Palm saved the day(s) in the summer of 2005. I am a sold out, confirmed, handheld Palm believer.