A Case for my Palm Zire 71

Since I got this new Palm Zire 71, I have regretted not getting a proper case for it when I bought it. The one that shipped with the Zire was a sturdy, but impractical slip-in case that I hated, and that made me look silly when I pulled my PDA out during business meetings.

I could not reuse the (expensive) CaseLogic leather case from my late and lamented Palm Vx because of the design changes in the Zire – there was no way to use the Vx-specific mounting method with the Zire.

And of course I can’t get third party Zire cases here in India – at least not yet.

The other thing that bugged me was the really lousy plastic stylus that comes with the Zire. It is short, thin, light and didn’t have the useful reset pin I was accustomed to having at hand with my previous Palm III and Palm Vx.

Sadly, neither the Palm III or Vx stylus would fit into the stylus silo at the back of the Zire.

While in Delhi recently, Kishore and I discussed this, and he suggested that I modify my Vx case using a trick from the Palm III days – a piece of Velcro(tm) at the back of the PDA, with a matching piece in the leather case.

That sounded do-able. Except for one hitch.

On my return to Bangalore, I managed to identify and fix the problem with my Vx, bringing it back to life. No way I was going to cannibalize its case now!

Then I remembered my old Palm III.

I still have it – complete with case and collection of great stylii, one of which was always slotted into the inner spine of the case. The whole set has been sleeping peacefully in my “graveyard” for the past four years (I never throw anything away).

I unearthed the whole set, carefully pulled off the Velcro piece affixed to the back of the PDA, stuck some new double sided tape on it, and mounted it on the back of the Zire. Then I opened the vintage leather diary case of the Palm III, and pushed the Zire into place.

It held!

I now have a nice, appropriately corporate leather diary case for my Zire 71, which immediately raises its visible status from “flashy toy” to “corporate tool”. It has pockets for my visiting cards and even SD cards, and the Zire is easily removable for charging and hotsyncing.

And the case gave me one additional bonus that no Zire-specific case could have given me:

Remember that great Palm III stylus? The one slotted into the old Palm III case? The one I couldn’t use because it wouldn’t fit into the Zire’s stylus silo?

Well, four years after my Palm III died and I last used the case or the stylus, both were back in action! The terrible Zire stylus is in its silo at the back of the PDA, ready for use in emergencies.

This is so cool! Multiple issues solved with one elegant solution, and it all works so well.

In fact I am sitting here on my balcony, writing this piece, with the Zire snugly nested in its “new” case, while the good old Palm III stylus scribbles out these words.

Yay! Old is indeed gold!

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