Chicago ACT! USER GROUP
Meeting Date: October
NEWS YOU CAN USE: As reported last
month, the latest release of ACT! for Windows 95 is version 3.0.7
while the latest version of ACT! for the Macintosh is ACT!
2.8. The chief benefit of ACT! 3.0.7 is its ability to run on older
Windows 3.1 systems. This is in part possible due to a Microsoft-developed
emulation application which "fools" ACT! into believing it is
running on a 32 bit system even though it is actually running on an older
16 bit system. The best performance, though, will be achieved by running
ACT! 3 under the Windows 95 operating system. Moreover, unless you
are experiencing difficulties with system "lockups" or getting
synchronization errors, it is advisable to stick with version
MEETING FEATURE: 3COM
PALMPILOT™ PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSISTANT
Jamie Cutburth of 3Com demonstrated the
latest PalmPilot PDAs. 3Com calls the PalmPilot a "one touch organizer".
This portable electronic device measures 4.7" x 3.2" x 0.7". It’s small
enough to fit in a shirt pocket and runs on AAA batteries. The PalmPilot
comes in two different flavors: the Personal and Professional editions.
Both can synchronize with ACT! databases.
Both models perform four basic functions,
serving as a calendar, to-do list, address book, and memo pad. In the
calendar mode, the large, touch-sensitive LCD screen can display a day,
week, or month view—complete with scheduled activities. Using a stylus
included with the PalmPilot, Jamie demonstrated how a user can reschedule
activities by "dragging and dropping" them across the face of the
Data can be entered in one of three ways":
via "graffiti" (a built-in handwriting recognition system), a mini
typewriter-like touch screen "keyboard", and through data transfer from a
PC. Security is ensured through the use of passwords to gain access to
Special "connectivity" software is needed
in order to exchange information with a PC. Using packages such as
Intellisync (Symantec has a program too), the PalmPilot can exchange
information ("HotSync") with PCs running ACT! (as well as other
similar applications). The Symantec version of the linking software is
available free of charge at
http://www.symantec.com/act/fs_actpalm.html. Though the PalmPilot is
not capable of accommodating the information in every ACT! field, it
handles the basic name and address fields plus notes. Users not only
benefit by being able to take the names and addresses of contacts on the
road, but they can also schedule activities without a PC, synchronizing
them with the master database upon returning to the office..
The Personal edition can handle about 5000
ACT! contacts while the Professional edition can handle 10,000. (An
on-board memory monitoring function tells you how much storage you’ve got
Both models can help you track expenses.
Once expenses are recorded on the PalmPilot, they can be "HotSynced" to
your PC and automatically fed into an Excel or Quicken template. There’s
even a built-in calculator.
Finally the Professional edition boasts
e-mail capability. Microsoft Mail, Lotus cc:Mail, and Microsoft Exchange
are a few of the mail systems which are supported. In addition, the
Professional edition is "Internet ready". 3Com is working on enabling the
PalmPilot to be able to access the Internet. (Only text will be
The PalmPilot Personal edition sells for
$249 while the Professional edition goes for $349. An upgrade package
(Personal to Professional) sells for $129. For more information, check out
the web site for the PalmPilot at
Q: How much memory should I have to run
A: While 16MB might seem adequate, consider
the fact that Windows 95 requires about 14MB. This leaves very little left
for ACT! and means that your computer will be making use of the hard
drive for temporary storage while running ACT!. Translation: your PC
will run slower. You’ll be better off with 32MB (or more) especially if you
are running MS Word at the same time.
Q: I’m using ACT! 2.0.9 and getting an
"insufficient memory" error when I print a phone directory of my 900
contact database. Why is this?
A: This error is due to an internal
limitation related to how DOS allocates memory. It has nothing to do with
how much RAM you have in your system. You can get the same kind of errors
if you attempt to print 1000 letters at once. One way around this is to
break down a large print job into smaller chunks. For example, print all
the phone listings for the As, then the Bs, and so on..
Q: Why are there so many blank records
at the beginning of my database?
A: This is most likely due to accidentally
hitting the insert key on the keyboard while entering information
into a contact. (Each time the insert key is hit (either intentionally or
unintentionally), a new contact record is created. These blank records can
be safely deleted or used for other contacts. Just enter any information in
the appropriate fields in the blank record.
We will take our usual December break and
resume meeting in January. Our next meeting will be January 14, 1998. Note
that our meeting location has changed (as of this past September) to the
Schaumburg Prairie Center for the Arts Lecture Hall located at 201
Schaumburg Court (just off Schaumburg Road, between Plum Grove and Roselle
Roads. The ACT! User Group (a SIG of the C.C.S.) holds meetings on
the second Tuesday of the month eight months out of the year. User Group
meetings are free and open to all C.C.S. members. Call E Tech Systems at
847-352-4770 to get meeting notices or e-mail us via
E Tech Systems is an ACT! Certified
Consulting firm and Symantec Authorized Training Center. E Tech has
installed, configured, and customized ACT! for dozens of companies and
trained hundreds of ACT! users. Alan Lee can be reached at E Tech at
847-352-4770 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright 1997 by Symantec Corporation.
All rights reserved. Portions copyrighted by Alan M. Lee. Other nonprofit
computer user's groups may reprint this material providing credit is given
the author and C.C.S. Future rights for publication reserved by Alan M.
Lee. ACT! is a registered trademark of Symantec