Magician Uses Zaurus

July 1997.

Dear Egbert:

Greetings from Indiana! My name is Greg Albright.
First, I want to say thank you very much for your articles in MOBILIS.
Many times I have read and re-read your articles to help me
understand my Zaurus, and its functions better.

You have (in the June 1997 issue) requested some interesting stories about the Zaurus and PDAs.
I have the privilege of being one of those fortunate souls you hear about.
I found my Zaurus 5800 in a local pawn shop for $150.00!

The unit is (and has been) in perfect working condition. The only thing that was
wrong with it were a few small scratches on the screen, and it came with no operations manuals.

The First (the scratches) I can live with they're not that bad;
the second (the manuals) wasn't too much of a problem because
of the "on screen helps". Eventually I located an operator's manual,
but I am still needing a communications manual.

Like you, my Zaurus is a constant companion. I am not an engineer,
I'm a self-employeed magician. I use my Zaurus not only for a PIM, but I can keep my
spreadsheets (under lock & key), performance contracts, and routines in the spreadsheets and documents.

Data files work well for show information. I even use the drawing programs for maps (I draw
these in a field set up in my shows data files,and at the time of the show, I transfer it to scrapbook
and can shrink it to view it with the other
data in that particular show file).

Data files also work for new ideas and misc. stuff I might want to remember. I am working on
several projects at the same time. These projects start in data files, then are moved to outline as I
find time to work with them. Finally, they are linked to their data file and if need be, transferred to
documents for building into the final routine.

The notes function makes a great memo pad for phone messages and such, and meetings with
other magicians (it helps me remember who and when a particular idea came from).

I also use my Z for drawings (I am an artist as well ) My Zaurus greets me with a cartoon drawing
of myself when I turn it on, and I can't wait to figure out how to put my photograph there, too. I'm
experimenting with faxing my photo into a desktop computer and then using a utliity exchange to
bring it into scrapbook and, finally into the startup display. Your article on the scrapbook started
me on this. It also helped me solve the dilemma of getting my company logo into the Zaurus
without having to draw it again.

With the drawing, I can draw pretty accurately on the Zaurus. I draw with the pen in gray for a
rough draft, and detail in black. Sometimes if the need arises, I will send the drawing over to our
Macintosh and expand it to sharpen up the detail, but usually this is not necessary do to the work I
have done in the past with technical (drafting) pens.

I use a 4mb flash disk to hold anything that I don't immediately need, and this frees up memory for

As you probably guessed, I'm pretty much sold on the Zaurus. I have purchased software,
cables, modem card, and I still don't think I hit the cost of a new unit. I know I was fortunate, but if
there was one out there, there may be more!

If you hear of anyone who would not mind selling their communications manual, please let me
know, there are a few things in it that would make my life easier (I assuming this).

From what I heard, there are a number of magicians out there that are using the Zaurus and other
PDAs, etc., for their work in the magic field. One thing I was taught as a young magician (advice
from the more experienced) is to keep active notes of your magic thoughts, your conversations
with other magicians, lectures, routines...(the list goes on). I think this is valuable for any type of
avocation, profession, etc. What better way to do this than with a Zaurus.

You have the notepad right there and as you have time you can change this over to type,
reinforcing your notes into your memory. Something happened to me about a month ago that
really helped me to understand this.

I was having lunch with a prominent magician who was in town for a few days on vacation. As he
told me of some really cool ideas, I didn't take notes, relying on my memory (although he did take
notes). It wasn't but a few hours later that I was trying to reconstruct what he tried to show me,
and I had already forgotten it! The next time we met, I had my Zaurus out and it was ready to get
to work. I am happy to report that the routines he shared are doing fine.

I would be delighted to have you use my e-mail, and you can leave my e-mail
address in too. I am a social creature and love to communicate with others. I would also be
interested to find some of the other magicians out there using the Z.

Thanks, again.


Greg would like to hear from you, especially if you are a magician using a PDA.

Last modified July 3, 1997