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Real Estate Today

Flash: Palmtop Upgrade
by Robert S. Griswold, CRE, CPM, ARM

Palmtop PC technology keeps improving! Recently I have come across word of a new offering from Hewlett Packard: the HP 200LX, an upgraded version of the Palmtop PC. (Editor's note: See article in the January/ February 1995 issue.) It contains all the features of the HP 100LX with additional functions that significantly increase its overall value to property managers in the field.

What's more, even with the introduction of sophisticated built-in software, the 200LX still weighs in at less than one pound.

First let's talk about power. The 200LX comes equipped with three megabytes of ROM and two versions of RAM (one and two megabytes). Built-in printer drives support a variety of serial printers (HP LaserJet, Epson FX-80, and IBM Pro-Printer). Optional equipment allows you to transfer files between the 200LX and your DOS-compatible at the office.

What else does the built-in software have to offer? The 200LX starts with all the 100LX's features, such as Lotus 1-2-3, and its complete personal planner capacity (telephone and appointment books, memo editor, and notetaker) and expands what can be done for the property manager with some new functions:

  • Data communications. You can transfer messages of files via modem, and with "file capture capability," you can save data from various information services.
  • Database templates. This functions gives you the ability to create or modify templates for your specific needs.
  • On-line contact. Advanced communications software connects the palmtop user to on-line services at the office or elsewhere.

Perhaps the most innovative feature of the 200LX is "Pocket Quicken," a valuable and easy-to use financial software tool for nearly all aspects of real estate property management. Speaking for myself, I find its assistance most valuable in managing personal finances while at home or out in the field.

Consider, for example, the tangle of your business expense accounts. Wouldn't it be nice to have one computerized method of entering and editing transactions in checking, savings, credit card, and cash accounts? Quicken does it all, greatly simplifying you financial recordkeeping. You can use the software for reviewing account balances and register, for tax planning and reporting, and for creating and printing financial reports. If I transact business while in the field, I can later download the information to my desktop PC, so I am always up to date and have an accurate record of expenditures.

Into the ACT!

The Palmtop also allows me to use the ACT! program by simply sliding a flash disk memory card into the side slot of the machine. (Note that ACT! will also run on the HP 100LX).

Among the specialized features I find particularly useful are:

Contact database. This database enables you to access information on the client's business and financial background, details of your contact history, and any progress notes you have entered into the Palmtop. That way you can walk into a meeting fully prepared; you can even ask about the outcome of Billy's Little League championship game.

Integrated activity scheduler. Forget the clumsy person calendar. Here is a way to remember appointments, follow-up contacts, and stay on top of weekly schedules. There is no limit to the detailed notes you can keep just for yourself - "to do" lists, personal reminders, and more. Just as with the HP 100LX, you now have the capacity to focus your attention on management.

Data sharing. Being mobile does not mean being out-of-touch, of course. This software is designed to allow you and other ACT! users to share data, secure within a record-locking system and password-protection system.

The HP 200LXdoes cost more than the 100LX model, and its innovations may not be necessary for everyone's real estate management needs. But isn't it good to know it's out there?

From the Journal of Property Management, March/April 1995, p. 10
1995 Institute of Real Estate Management

Robert Griswold and the Real Estate Today! radio show strongly support the intent and the letter of all federal and state fair housing laws.  As a reminder to all owners and managers of real estate, note that all real estate advertised is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise "any preference, limitation, discrimination because of race, color, national origin or ancestry, religion, sex, physical disability, or familial status, or  intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination." Additional state and/or local fair housing laws may also apply.  Be sure to inform all persons that all dwellings offered or advertised are on an equal opportunity basis.

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Revised and Updated - Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Robert S. Griswold, CRE, CPM, CCIM, PCAM, GRI, ARM
Griswold Corporate Center
Griswold Real Estate Management, Inc.
5703 Oberlin Drive, Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92121-1743
Phone: (858) 597-6100
Fax: (858) 597-6161

Email: rgriswold.ret@retodayradio.com

2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996 Robert S. Griswold.  All Rights Reserved.
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