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Mobile Life Tips: PALMCasting

Ok, I'm coining a term: Palmcasting. I've written about podcasting; this is similar. Imagine: being able to designate any website, document, or RSS feed to take with you to read on your Palm, complete with links, illustrations, pictures. Now, imagine you can have it, every day, update while you sleep, so the latest content is delivered automatically to your Palm. Pretty cool, eh?

Here's what you'll need:
  • A Palm-powered handheld with some good free space (or an SD card)
  • Plucker, an offline document and HTML reader for the Palm
  • Sunrise, for designating what sites to pull from, and when
  • EZSync, for scheduling HotSyncs

Now, of the above, the only thing that costs anything is EZSync; it's $14.95, but you can try before you buy. The rest are FREE.

Here's what you do:

  1. Install all of the above.
  2. Start up the desktop application for Sunrise.
  3. First, create a new Document List by pressing on the icon in the top left of the application. Follow the wizard.
  4. Next, in a web browser, find a site or RSS feed you want to put on your Palm. Copy the URL.
  5. Go back to Sunrise, and create a new Document. Follow the wizard, and paste in the URL you copied from the web browser.
  6. Choose the category you want to put the site in (optional), and how many links deep should be pulled in to your Palm.
    • If you wanted to read the SFGate's RSS feed, for instance, you'd set a link depth of 1, since you wanted to be able to just click and read a single article at a time.
    • Some sites like to break the articles up into multiple pieces, like the New York Times, so you'd set a higher link depth, like 3 or 4.
  7. Click on More Settings.
  8. In Scheduling, you can set what schedule you’d like Sunrise to update the content. For me, I have it update each "feed" at 6am.
  9. In the Output tab, you can specify the size and amount of color you want to capture, as well as if you want the content put on your Palm's main memory, or in an SD card.
    • If you've ever used AvantGo for similar things, don’t worry: while AvantGo is so slow, especially in reading from the SD card, Sunrise and Plucker are very fast.
    • If you are putting the content on your SD card, you will need to access the SD card on your computer and create the following directory: PALM/Programs/Plucker
  10. Repeat steps 4-9 for as many sites as you want.
  11. On your Palm, start up EZSync, and choose what days and what times you want the Palm to schedule a HotSync.

You are done! Leave the Palm in the cradle attached to the computer. At the designated time, it will "wake up," and HotSync. Your Sunrise content will be pulled down, and transferred to your Palm. When you pick up your Palm in the morning, it will be loaded with content from your favorite sites for you to read on your commute. Every major newspaper, any blogs, any sites you want, even documents on your hard drive, ready for you, complete with images and links.

Welcome to Palmcasting!

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