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A Closer Look at the Palm Tungsten
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"Office" applications

Just as the Pocket PC has Pocket Word and Pocket Excel, the Tungsten T also comes with Documents To Go by DataViz. Documents To Go is an application that allows you to view, edit, and create Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents. The greatest strength of Documents To Go is perhaps its ability to preserve documents-formatting after synchronization. Using Documents To Go, I am able to copy my Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents onto the Tungsten T and make modifications to these documents on the device.

Documents To Go is included on the Bonus Software CD that comes with the Palm Tungsten. For more information, see Palm.com.

To add your documents to your Palm device, install the Documents To Go software and add them to your device using the Add Item button, as shown in Figure 10:

Adding documents to your Palm device using Documents To Go
Figure 10. Adding documents to your Palm device using Documents To Go

Files that are created on your Palm device will appear in the window, as shown in Figure 11, after the next synchronization.

Viewing Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents on the Tungsten T
Figure 11. Viewing Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents on the Tungsten T

I find Documents To Go a handy tool when you need to write something quickly (like on a plane) or you need to rehearse for an upcoming presentation when you are on the road. Coupled with a keyboard, the combination could possibly replace your notebook!

Palm Ultra-Thin Keyboard for Tungsten T
Figure 12. Palm Ultra-Thin Keyboard for Tungsten T

Capturing Screen Shots in Palm

One of the challenges I discovered when working on this article was capturing screen shots. Obviously, I could use a camera to take photos of the screen. But there should be an easier way. And there is. After some searching, I found the ScreenShot5 1.0 application from LinkeSOFT GmbH.

ScreenShot5 works with Palm 5 devices, including the Tungsten T. You can download a trial edition of ScreenShot5.

Upon installation, you should see the ScreenShot icon on your Palm device:

Using ScreenShot for capturing screen shots
Figure 13. Using ScreenShot5 for capturing screen shots

There are two main ways to capture screen shots using ScreenShot5; the first is to use the Silkscreen; the second is to use a key button or a delayed capture.

Using the Silkscreen method
Figure 14. Using the Silkscreen method

The Silkscreen function allows me to activate the capture when I perform a specified action in the graffiti area. For example, in Figure 15, I have configured my action to be "from Menu to Find." Therefore, I will use the stylus and tap a line from Menu to Find to capture a screenshot:

Capturing a screen using the Silkscreen method
Figure 15. Capturing a screen using the Silkscreen method

The second method allows me to capture a screen by using a key button. As shown in Figure 16, pressing the Calendar key will capture the screen, while pressing the Address button will activate a delayed screen capture (after three seconds).

Using key buttons to capture screen shot
Figure 16. Using key buttons to capture a screen shot

After capturing all the screen shots, you need to download the images onto your computer. If you are using Windows, you can download ScreenShot Conduit to automatically save the images onto your computer in the format that you want. After installing ScreenShot Conduit, you can right click on the HotSync button on the task tray and select Custom.... Change the settings for Screenshot and you will be able to set the directory and the format for the files to be saved in:

Using the ScreenShot Conduit to download images from the Palm device
Figure 17. Using the ScreenShot Conduit to download images from the Palm device

For Mac users, you need to use the Graphic Converter to view the captured images. After you have performed your screen capture, use HotSync to sync the images to your Mac. The images will be saved in a file named ScreenShotDB.pdb. Perform a search for this file (it is located deep within a folder called Backups).

Locating the ScreenShotDB.pdb file
Figure 18. Locating the ScreenShotDB.pdb file

Next, use Graphic Converter to open the ScreenShotDB.pdb file:

Viewing images using Graphic Converter
Figure 19. Viewing images using Graphic Converter

To view the next image, click on the bottom-left button, as shown in Figure 19, and select the next image. You can also save each image individually.

Verdict

Related Reading

Palm OS Programming
The Developer's Guide
By Neil Rhodes, Julie McKeehan

The Tungsten T has been my best Palm experience to date. With so many features packed into such a small footprint, and with the thousands of applications available for the platform, this is definitely a tempting consideration for users who want power, good looks, and versatility.

On the downside, the Tungsten is expensive. Its $499 USD asking price seems out of line compared with more powerful Pocket PCs in the same price range. A quick check on the Internet shows that you can buy a Tungsten T from reputable vendors for less than $400, which still seems a bit steep to us, but definitely more palatable.

Users, on the other hand don't seem to have a problem with the price, or much else for that matter. A quick check of CNet's user comments shows that 90 percent of Tungsten's owners (1,290 postings) give Palm's new, high-end PDA a resounding thumbs up. It's hard to argue with consumers who actually shell out the bucks and use the device every day.

So we're not going to. The Palm Tungsten T is an attractive, compact, capable multimedia PDA that should delight both the business professional and the techno hobbyist. Built-in Bluetooth and a powerful new processor just sweeten the pie.

Wei-Meng Lee (Microsoft MVP) http://weimenglee.blogspot.com is a technologist and founder of Developer Learning Solutions http://www.developerlearningsolutions.com, a technology company specializing in hands-on training on the latest Microsoft technologies.


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