Tip #16-Take it with you!

(3 minute read)

My name is Jim Barr and I am a Mobile Information Addict. OK. There. I said it. I am a Mobile Information Junkie, and I’m not ashamed, in fact, I’m excited about it!

The Sony Clie NX70V has given me the ability to have all sorts of information with me at all times. From Dictionaries, to clipped Web Sites, to pictures of family & friends, to multiple translations of the Bible, to maps of my surroundings, my Clie provides the information I need and the information I want. There are a many tools out there to enable carrying mobile information, but I am going to focus on one: HandStory.

HandStory (found at HandStory.com) is an information tool that lets you manage and view various types of information. It manages “Memos”, “DOC” files (the most common Palm ebook format), “eBook” (a handStory proprietary format), Web Clips, and images. Organizing and viewing are done through one simple interface.

HandStory includes two main components: a Desktop component and a Palm component. The Desltop component is where all the fun begins. Copy any text or image to your Windows Clipboard, and then click on the HandStory icon that sits in your System Tray. Up pops a dialog box that lets you name the file, determine where to install it (RAM or Memory Stick), categorize it, and in the case of Images, determine the color depth and size of the image. Clicking “OK” quickly converts the copied text or image into a HandStory file that gets queued up to install the next time you HotSync.

Further, HandStory integrates with Internet Explorer adding “Save to Palm” and “Clip to Palm” to IE’s right-click context menu. “Save to Palm” lets you instantly save pictures or selected text. “Clip to Palm” renders the HTML page you are currently viewing (with graphics, if you choose) to a format that is readable on the Clie. I have been told that there are other offline viewers for the Palm that do a better job of rendering the pages (for example, handStory doesn’t do tables) but for most things, HandStory works well.

To me, the important thing isn’t so much how HandStory works, but that it works. Web Surfing no longer is limited to sitting at a PC. If I see something of interest that I would like to look at later, I just Clip it using HandStory, HotSync, and take it with me. This makes standing in line or waiting at a long train crossing much more interesting. And it’s not limited to Web information. Just about any text or graphic image (.jpg, .bmp, .gif, etc.) can be instantly converted to a format that is fully portable.

To use an annoying TV cliche, “But wait…there’s more!” HandStory offers a “Web Clipping” service similar to AvantGo and the HandStory Desktop component can automatically update Web clips for you daily. For example, I have mine set up to provide the latest weather, news, movie listings, etc. daily. I always have fresh, interesting content to take with me. And you can also create your own web clips to auto-update. Admittedly, not all sites work. Sites that use java or other “funky” programming may not render. HandStory (like almost all other Palm-based offline readers) work best with sites that don’t bombard you with eye-candy. Just about any site that works with AvantGo, Plucker, or iSilo should work just fine with HandStory.

For more discussions on HandStory, check out the forums at ClieSource.com and do a search for “HandStory” or “Web Clip”

The tools are at hand, so why not take it with you?!

Note: I am not affiliated with HandStory other than being a very happy and satisfied customer.

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