Warm up to handheld computing with genealogy software that lets you access and organize your family history.
Ron Chenier never travels alone. Wherever he goes, tucked inside his shirt pocket are 22,500 of his ancestors, all stored on a handheld computer the size of an index card. Whether he's researching in the Ottowa, Canada, archives or walking local cemeteries, his genealogy records are all in the palm of his hand.
Chenier's Palm Pilot <www.palm.com> and its rival Handspring Visor <www.handspring.com/products/vindex.asp> are pint-sized powerhouses that weigh in at about 6 ounces and come with up to 8 MB of memory. Their 22 ½×2 ½-inch screens display text and graphics in 16 shades of gray, with the Palm 111c boasting a 256-color screen. Although you can add a keyboard, most data entry is done with a stylus (electronic "pen") or by tapping an on-screen keyboard.
These handheld computers include a date book, calculator, to-do list, address book, expense and memo programs. Both the Palm Pilot and Visor use the Palm operating system. You connect to your PC or Mac via USB or serial port; just pop your Palm into its docking cradle to transfer ("hot sync") information or download additional software.