using my PDA

I have found a use for my Toshiba e355 beyond games of Solitare and a portable digital calendar.

Despite having my Toshiba e355 for over five months, I haven’t found many uses for it beyond the portable digital calendar that syncs with my desktop calendar. I have occasionally used AvantGo to download driving directions, and I’ve played many rounds of Solitaire, but neither of these things was enhanced by the electronic experience.

Recently, I began playing with my new Magellan SporTrack GPSr (thanks Anna!). It didn’t take long for me to become a geocaching addict. Now I’m spending the precious minutes after work on sunny days hunting around the area for hidden treasures. When I first started geocaching, I printed out the cache information on the backs of scrap paper. Then I read about different ways to go paperless. I was excited! Finally, I had found a use for my Toshiba that actually enhanced my experience. I downloaded GPXSonar to my Toshiba, grabbed some gpx files of local geocaches, and off I went.

Last Saturday, I started my day of cache hunting by picking one from the list I had downloaded and going from there. Everything I needed to find the cache was right there in my Toshiba — no wasting paper printing out a stack of cache details. I found three out of the four I went looking for and returned home satisfied with my hunt. I was able to use the program to make field notes right when I found the cache, which came in handy later when I went online to log my finds.

I still haven’t found many library-related uses for my PDA, but I suspect that they will emerge with time. Probably, I will get more use out of my Toshiba when I get a Bluetooth card and/or additional memory storage.

digital Christie

80 of Agatha Christie’s books are being released in digital format this year

I just read in the Powell’s newsletter that 80 of Agatha Christie’s books are being released in digital format this year. They will all be available for download in the Palm Reader, Adobe Reader, and Microsoft Reader formats, and the first five are available now for under $5 each (not bad considering paperback prices these days). Here are the titles currently available:

The Mysterious Affair at Styleshaven’t read it yet
The Murder of Roger Ackroydread it
The Murder at the Vicarageread it
The Body in the Libraryread it
They Came to Baghdadhaven’t read it yet

handheld librarian

Now that I’ve joined the ranks of PDA-toting librarians, I want to learn more about how to make use of this tool in the library (besides the obvious schedule organization uses). Since my job is shifting from serials & database cataloger to serials & electronic resources librarian, I thought it would be good to become more aware of emerging end-user technologies. I went searching around to see if I could find a relevant weblog or other online source, and I imediately came upon the Handheld Librarian! I was thrilled until I noticed the blog had not been updated since the end of July, and it appears that the editor has become too busy to maintain it and is looking for someone else to take over. The Shifted Librarian has a PDA category, as well as a related eBook category, but neither look like they are frequently updated. After a bit of digging around in Google, I discovered a YahooGroup for handheld librarians, which might offer some information, if not leads to other sources. If anyone has any suggestions of other places to look for information and dialog, please let me know.

Continue reading “handheld librarian”

pda

I had a lovely birthday (thanks for asking) with family and friends over the weekend, and I took off work for most of this week. It’s been a nice vacation at home, but I think I’m actually ready to go back to work.

Dad & I went hunting for the PalmPilot on Saturday. CompUSA had it on sale for $199, but they were out of stock. The woman at the counter said she has been having trouble getting it re-stocked. A trip to Best Buy enlightened us as to why that might be. Apparently, Palm discontinued the m505 and m515 last year when they came out with the Tungsten models. While at Best Buy, we took a look at the other PDAs they had in stock, and that is where I discovered the Toshiba e355. It’s priced the same as the m515, which was what first caught my eye. I also like the styling, and it fit nicely in my hand. The other good features all add up to a much more robust PDA than what I had originally been looking for, but all for the same amount of money that my Dad was willing to spend on me. So, we went for it. I haven’t had time to really play with it (other than a few rounds of Jawbreaker and Solitare), but I’ll be sure to comment on it as I get more familiar with it. So far, I’m very pleased. Thanks Dad!