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ScoutPalDB returns somewhat more basic results than ScoutPal - Amazon prices and rankings only - but if you're in a coverage area, you can quickly switch to ScoutPal for real-time results with more comprehensive information.

Hardware requirements

More information on features

Note that ScoutPalDB is presently a relatively early beta version, but Dave reports that - and this will come as no surprise to long-time ScoutPal subscribers - continuous improvements will be made over time. Dave has a long history of introducing new features and products, forever tweaking them to make them better, and offering some of the best support anywhere.

At the time of writing, there are a few other vendors who offer a similar service, but what makes ScoutPalDB important enough to feature in an article is the part I like best and will do booksellers the most good - price. Or, rather, the absence of a price. That's right - it's included at no additional charge in the basic ScoutPal subscription of $9.99 a month.

Now, getting back to the original premise - taking your office into the field with you. If you have a Pocket PC with an internet connection, you already have your office with you, and as long as there's coverage, you can perform even deeper research than ScoutPal delivers. As deep as it takes. For example, if you subscribe to eBay's Marketplace Research, you can search eBay closed auctions back 90 days. Think of the mistakes this will eliminate, especially on high-dollar books.

If you've never seen a Pocket PC with Windows Mobile in action, I think you'll be highly impressed. They can bring up virtually any website - usually graphically unmodified from its full-screen form - and navigate from page to page, site to site, as quickly as most desktop computers with broadband connections can. And how's this for a backup during power outages? You can tether your Pocket PC to a laptop, use it as a modem to run the internet on the laptop. I pay only $15 a month for unlimited data transfer; this is a major bargain and a lifesaver during hurricanes! There are several Pocket PCs capable of running Windows Mobile. Mine is a Sprint PPC-6700 with touch screen capability and an optional pull-out keyboard that's surprisingly easy to type on.

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