BugMe! v4.3 & BugMe!
Pocket, Ltd., go
to the web site
3.1 or higher (OS 4.x or higher for screenshots); works
on standard res or hi-res displays; wireless Bluetooth
or WiFi-enabled PDA, network access for e-mail
(BugMe!), $29.95 (BugMe! Messenger)
BugMe! enables PDA and smartphone users to hand
write notes or sketches directly on the screens of
their Palm Powered handhelds and set reminder alarms.
Versions are available for Palm OS and Pocket PC
PDAs, as well as Nokia Series 60 and Sony Ericsson
P800 smartphones. You can beam BugMe! notes to other
BugMe! users, exchange ideas and add depth to meetings,
workgroups and personal schedules. We reviewed Bug
Me! and BugMe! Messenger on a Palm Zire 71 (PalmOS
5.2.1) and a Palm M515 (PalmOS 4.1).
BugMe! Messenger adds another dimension. Like BugMe!,
it also lets you take notes in your own handwriting
or with Graffiti text and captures what you draw
on your Palm PDA screen (sketches, drawings, maps,
doodles). Messenger however lets you send notes wirelessly
from your handheld to any Internet e-mail address.
You can also import a photograph and annotate it
with your own handwriting or add text with Graffiti.
The content in your notes is automatically shown
by desktop and web-based e-mail programs. If you
send a BugMe! note with an alarm, the recipient gets
the alarm in vCalendar format, making it possible
to add the information to compatible diaries and
schedulers. If you beam a BugMe! note to another
Palm Powered handheld, your alarm goes with the note.
BugMe! Messenger is fully integrated with IDEO's
eyemodule and Kodak's PalmPix cameras. When we wrote
this review (early October 2003), Messenger did not
yet work automatically with the Palm Zire 71 built-in
BugMe! Messenger comes with a free bugme.net e-mail
address. Once you install the software, the registration
process helps you set up your bugme.net e-mail account.
BugMe! Messenger scans this address and delivers
messages to your handheld.
The core of BugMe! is its note-based reminders
and alarms. BugMe! lets you use your digital notes as
Choose from pre-defined intervals such as "Bug me
in an hour" or set an alarm for any time in the future
using the date selector. There are dozens of different
note templates which can be used to personalize everything.
In daily use for a little over 4 weeks, BugMe! proved
very handy and provided a break from the mundane DateBook
alarms and reminders (there's nothing like a little color
or stationery to perk things up - I'm serious - especially
when, on some days, you're almost literally living inside
DateBook). We used BugMe! on a Palm Zire 71 and BugMe!
Messenger on a Palm M515 equipped with a Palm Bluetooth
card. We encountered no problems outside of a bit of crankiness
with POP3 settings, which was traced to a mistake in the
spelling of the incoming server name (mea culpa).
Cons: Some alarms locked the system, forcing a reset.
The problem was traced to an incompatibility with Linkesoft's
Screenshot and Beiks' BDicty Reader. Note that the problem
only occurred when either Screenshot or BDicty was running
and a BugMe! alarm popped up. Outlook (Microsoft Office
XP version) is not known for its supreme friendliness to
other e-mail applications and Microsoft's flagship e-mail
program stayed true to form by periodically interfering
with BugMe! Messenger's Internet. We solved that problem
by changing Outlook's automatic e-mail check to 30 minute
intervals. We don't know why that made a difference, but
Outlook and BugMe! Messenger worked perfectly together
afterward. Messenger only works with POP3 e-mail accounts
- no help here for AOL and Hotmail users yet.
Pros: BugMe! and BugMe! Messenger are both very handy.
We know that conventional e-mail works well, but if you're
already in the midst of using your wireless equipped PDA
(connected to a network via Bluetooth or WiFi), BugMe!
can be very handy. Its integrated screenshot utility is
useful not just for adding detail to BugMe! notes but also
for projects and other work (you need to be using PalmOS
4 or higher). Graphic files sent to your bugme.net address
are automatically formatted for your PDA. The ability to
use drawings, photos and graphics as well as text is very
Letters to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public. Send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org