I own a Zire, the low-end PDA from Palm. I’m very happy with it, but my last PDA (a Visor Edge from Handspring) had a synching cradle for my work computer and my home computer. I found this very convenient for managing my data at home in the evening as well at work. So I wanted to get a Zire synch cable for home. Most PDAs use a special custom cradle for synching, but the Zire uses only a simple cable with a USB jack on one side. The other side fits into the Zire. Was the other jack customized for the Zire? I wasn’t sure. This seemed like a good task for Froogle.
I started by searching Froogle with “zire hotsync cable“. I found a kit that included the cable and a charger for $25, but since I only wanted the cable, I was sure I could find something lower, so I went to Google and typed in the same query. From a review on one of the linked sites, I discovered that what I needed was a USB-to-Mini-USB cable. Once you have the right search words, you’re home free. Froogle found me the cable I wanted, and once I narrowed the category to Connectors & Cables and the price to less than $5, I quickly converged on a $3.25 cable
(not including shipping) at PCTek Online. Radio Shack wants $15 for the same thing. Radio Shack did a clever thing, though: they showed that the product was available in stores near me. Given that shipping brought my online purchase to $10, I might conceivably be willing to pay a “have it now” premium of $5 and just drive to Radio Shack.
Before placing my order with PCTek Online, I wanted to see if they were a credible operation. So I went (where else?) to Google searching for ratings of PCTek Online. I found this site which gave me enough confidence to place the order. I’ll let you know if it all works.