Solutions At Hand

Handhelds, smartphones, mobile technology and the digital lifestyle.

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    Michael is a trainer and consultant specializing in making mobility technology work in people's everyday lives.
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Archive for the ‘Paperless Office’ Category

Palm OS, freedom of choice is the cornerstone

Posted by Michael Brown on August 9, 2007

The Palm OS platform has long been about the freedom of choice. If you don’t like the built-in applications, you can either replace them totally, or you can use another application that works with the existing databases. If you don’t want to use Palm Desktop, you can use Outlook, or Lotus Notes, or Act, or any of dozens of other Personal Information Management applications. If you don’t like the Palm conduits, you can use PocketMirror or Intellisync or any one of several other sync conduits.

Don’t use Windows as your desktop OS? No problem! You can Sync to Macs, Linux PC’s, Solaris, and even the Amiga! Your data is available to you on the desktop platform of your choice, using the conduits of your choice, in the applications you want to use. And it’s like that with the majority of applications on the Palm OS, with one notable exception. Most of the major “mobile office” suites insist on using Microsoft Office formats as their data format. So, that makes it more difficult for people using platforms other than Windows, or those who can’t afford MS Office, to access mobile documents.

If your data is important to you, and you want the freedom of choice to use other formats like the OpenDocument format, then it’s time to remind the manufacturers of those office suites that choice is the cornerstone of the Palm Platform. If they don’t choose to support Open standards, or at least support software like OpenOffice writing to MS formats, then we as users may choose to take our business to those who will support our choices.

Originally posted to Palm Addicts here.

Now, if you want to be able to work with Open and inter-operable document formats on you Palm or Treo, you need to let the manufacturers know. Write them an e-mail, or use the forms I’ve linked to below to tell them you’d like support for the OpenDocument format (ODF) built into their product. DataViz, the makers of the Documents to Go suite bundled with many Palm and Treo devices, are building in support for Microsoft Office 2007 formats, known as OO-XML. Since it has some of the same technologies (XML) that are used in ODF, it should be straight forward to add support for ODF into the Docs to Go suite. Feel free to tell them you’d like to see them do it!

The DataViz general feedback page can be found here. Let them know you want to see ODF support on mobile devices.

If you use QuickOffice, their feedback site is here.

For users of the MobiSystems OfficeSuite, their contact page is here.


Posted in Inter-operability, ODF, Open Source Software, Open Standards, Palm, PalmAddicts, Paperless Office, Productivity, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Sharing information and documents in the portable office (updated)

Posted by Michael Brown on February 19, 2007

Yup, another PalmAddicts post, one to add to the Paperless Office series. When you can keep digital stuff in the digital domain, it can help cut down on needless printing just for viewing. On average, things are printed to view just once, and more often then not are simply thrown into the recycle bin (or worse, the garbage). With the right tools, and a good strategy for managing digital information, it can make you more productive as well as being more environmentally friendly.

With today’s advances in portable technology, the portable office is more of a reality than ever before. To make it possible to share documents between a Palm Handheld or Treo and your desktop and laptop computer, you merely need to buy an SD card that also has a USB port on it, such as those made by Sandisk or OCZ, or use a standard SD card with a small card reader. When you combine that with the Portable Apps suite, available from, you can truly have a portable office suite. The only “gotcha” with using the Portable Apps suite is ensuring you save your work in a file format compatible with the software you use on your PDA. At the very least, you can also share music, pictures, HTML pages and text files: Music can go in /Audio, pictures in /DCIM, and for most handhelds with Documents to go, you can put text files (which can be edited by any computer or software including DocsToGo) in /PALM/Programs/DXTG. HTML pages can be accessed from anywhere on the card using file:///path/on/card in the Blazer address bar. Blazer puts things it’s downloaded in /PALM/Blazer/Download/, so you know where to look for those files. The portable office can be a real productivity enhancer in today’s digital lifestyle. was the original post.

2007-03-06 Update:
Here’s what my “portable office” configuration consists of right now.

OCZ Dual USB SD card

USB Mini Kart

The Mini-Kart 1G stick has my Windows Portable Apps suite on it (and an installation of Damn Small Linux that I’m playing with). I store my other data, documents, photos, music and videos on the SD Dual card, which allows me to pull it out of the Treo, pop off the cap, and stick it into a USB port.

Posted in Eco-friendly, PalmAddicts, Paperless Office, Treo | Leave a Comment »

The Treo can make the Paperless office more of a Reality

Posted by Michael Brown on February 19, 2007

Here’s another PalmAddicts post, one that I’ll probably turn into a series here at some point (hence the new Paperless Office category).

In the early 80’s people were saying that computers would make offices paperless by the year 2000. Well, that prediction didn’t hold true, mostly because those making the predictions failed to take into account we don’t spend our whole lives in front of the computer. Fortunately, that’s where my Treo and a sizable memory card comes in. With Docs To Go and PalmPDF, I don’t have to print documents in order to have them handy. Meeting minutes get logged right into my Calendar’s event notes or Docs To Go, and after HotSyncing to the desktop, can be saved to PDF on a network drive. Many of the documents and reference information I work with now never has to be printed. I don’t even buy newspapers; Plucker and the Blazer browser keeps me informed, wherever I may be. So, before you hit ‘print’ next time, maybe you could help save a tree by finding ways to go paperless, and make the 80’s prediction come true for 2007. was the original post.

Posted in Eco-friendly, PalmAddicts, Paperless Office, Productivity | Leave a Comment »