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On The Net - Issue 05

On The Net is a regular Internet column for handheld computing magazine Palmtop User. The column is put together by the FileSaveAs team, and we'd like to thank Palmtop User for allowing us to include back issues on our site.

Focus on... Brighthand

This issue, we take a look at Brighthand, the place where users get talking about their Palmtop. The site proclaims to support "nothing but handhelds", and does indeed cover just about every palmtop device on the planet. It's received several ‘net awards, and judging from the size of it's membership list, it's one very popular place to get together with others.

Brighthand's biggest attraction is its rather busy discussion area. There are sections for talking about all types of devices, with larger platforms such as Palm and Pocket PC having subcategories for the major brands, for example, under ‘Palm', the Sony Clie section has over 1,200 threads and over 5000 messages. The forums also extend to Windows, Palm and Symbian powered smartphones, and have some general discussion forums for talking about the industry, news and new products.

At the bottom of the homepage, there's a real-time indication of the number of users currently logged on (as I type, 156 users), and visitors can register for free to keep a track of new messages, and get an email notification of updates to threads that they're active in. This really is the place to try to get an answer to that niggling question, or to find help in a crisis. The speed of getting a reply to a message is pretty impressive, and even if you haven't got a question to ask now, keep a note of the site's address handy, as you'll never know when you'll need a fast response from other users of your machine.

Unusually for a PDA site, Brighthand doesn't concern itself with software downloads and shareware reviews. It sticks to what it does best... letting users talk about mobile computing. The site has a useful news section that members can contribute to, and the ‘views' section also makes interesting reading, for instance, one recent article, ‘What's in a name', discusses the fact that Palm may have to change it's name in the not too distant future, and not ruling out 'PalmSpring' or 'Veld' as potential new corporate identities. A fairly recent addition to the site is the new Learning Centre - the first two lessons being on screen technology and data storage.

In its own words, Brighthand is more than a website, it's a community, and with the number of registered users increasing every day, it's one of the largest PDA communities online, and well worth a look.

Recent sightings

Just launched, is a new site aiming to become the first port of call for gamers, Pocket Games. Catering for Palm, Symbian, and Pocket PC, as well as Java games for mobile phones, the selection of games is growing all the time, and games developers are encouraged to use this site, which can be found at, to promote sales of their wares.

On the subject of games, the similarly named Pocket Gamer is a great place to look for news on the latest Pocket PC games, with screenshots, votes and reviews of new releases.

Hollywood on your handheld? That's the aim of new website Domain of the Infinite. The site's owners believe that the Pocket PC is the ideal platform for movies, and they're in the process of making a selection of movies viewing on handhelds. Devoid of real actors, take a look at digital filmmaking in action, with their first film, Ryak 7, at More sci-fi, horror and comedy films are promised soon.

RevoWorld users had a shock recently - the webmaster of this discussion area for Revo owners announced that he's fallen in love with Sony Ericsson's P800, and will be working on a site dedicated to this new smartphone. Revo users will be relieved to know that is set to continue, and a site revamp is on the cards soon. With many other Psion discussion groups closing down or growing more and more quiet, RevoWorld remains an excellent resource, and also covers other Psion hardware.

And finally...

Finland, home of the Nokia mobile phone, have just held their annual event for frustrated handset users. When you've finally had enough of your smartphone, seek some stress relief at



Article from Palmtop User Issue 05. Click here for Issue 6's article


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