AncestorNews: PDAs

AncestorNews: PDAs

As AncestorNews readers know, I'm a great fan of using personal digital assistants (PDAs) as genealogy tools. PDAs (also known as handheld computers) include the variety of machines that run on the Palm operating system or a version of Windows. PalmOS machines include the Palm, Handspring Visor, Sony Clie...

As AncestorNews readers know, I’m a great fan of using personal digital assistants (PDAs) as genealogy tools. PDAs (also known as handheld computers) include the variety of machines that run on the Palm operating system or a version of Windows. PalmOS machines include the Palm, Handspring Visor, Sony Clie and HandEra. Popular Pocket PCs are Compaq IPAQ, HP Jornada, NEC MobilePro and the Casio.

I’m currently running several genealogy programs on my Handspring Visor Prism, including Personal Ancestral File, GedStar and GedVisor. They all have slightly different features, but in general allow you to carry your genealogy database (with notes and sources) in your hip pocket. If you’re doing major research at the library and need to take a lot of notes, these machines may not be the best for you. However, for the zillion and one times I’ve had to quickly refresh my memory about so-and-so’s siblings or a birth date, it’s great.

I’m also running Album to Go and Splash Photo. Both are photo album programs that are used in conjunction with desktop software to convert photos to a handheld format. Think “family reunion,” then start loading up your handheld! For more info on photo albums for your PDA, read my article in the upcoming June issue of Family Tree Magazine (on sale April 23).

Interested in a PDA for your family tree work? Check out these Web sites.

GedStar Genealogy Viewer for PalmOS Hardware
www.ghcssoftware.com/gedstar.htm

GedWise Genealogy Viewer for Palmtops
www.batteryparksoftware.com

Personal Ancestral File (PAF)
www.familysearch.org
To locate this file, click on Order/Download Products, then Software Downloads—Free, then Personal Ancestral File 5.1. Proceed through the next screens, as though you are downloading PAF 5.1. Finally, when you reach the actual download page, toward the bottom of the page will be an option to download the PAF data viewer for handhelds.

A Tombstone in Your Palm
www.interment.net/column/records/palmpilot/index.htm
Great article by Steve Johnson on using a Palm to record tombstone info.

My Roots: The Genealogist’s Notepad
tapperware.com/MyRoots

HandyTree Genealogy Database
http://www.geocities.com/arkansoft/page11.html
Requires thinkDB.

Pocket Genealogist (for Pocket PCs)
www.northernhillssoftware.com/pgenie.htm

Pocket Family Researcher (Pocket PCs)
www.davesroom.co.uk/PFR.asp

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