Chapter 10. PalmPilot: The Electronic Book

In this book, you’ll read about turning your palmtop into a pager, a music synthesizer, and a graphics tablet. But one of its most popular impressions has nothing to do with interactivity or stylus-tapping: the PalmPilot can serve quite deftly as a book.

Thanks to tiny programs called Doc, AportisDoc, TealDoc, and so on, you can load up your palmtop with text to carry with you for reading en route (or en hotel room). As for what to read, your options are the same as they are at home: today’s newspaper, your favorite web pages, classic works from Shakespeare to Jane Austen, the Bible, your company’s latest white paper, or modern poetry and fiction. Any text sitting on your hard drive can be turned into a PalmPilot book, too.

About Doc

Programmer Rick Bram originally wrote the shareware program called Doc to get around the 4K-per-document limit of the PalmPilot’s built-in Memo Pad program, which put a damper on the prospects of reading longer documents. And, while he was at it, he added all kinds of other features designed exclusively to make reading easier:

  • A choice of type styles and sizes

  • Many different ways to “turn the page” (scroll down)

  • A pop-up menu of bookmarks to facilitate jumping directly to chapter or section beginnings

  • A Find command

  • A memory-saving compression scheme

Suddenly, the Palm world went Doc-crazy. Palm fans sat up late at night converting classic books (that is, old ones whose copyrights have expired) into Doc format. ...

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