Friday, February 08, 2002

Report from Bill Drew, "The Wireless Librarian" on the Library and the Pocket PC

Bill Drew, the "Wireless Librarian" sent in this report on The Library and the Pocket PC. Thanks, Bill!
"The Library and the Pocket PC

I went into this project with great expectations of being able to test
the
use of the Pocket PC in accessing various library provided resources
such as
our vast array of databases, e-books, library catalog and the Internet
in
general. Because of the decision by Raylink not to provide drivers for
wireless access, I was unable to test use of these resources directly.
I
will now summarize what I was able to test and do with the IPAQ.

I found that by using the Avantgo Internet service, I was able to view
and
use many webpages effectively. Especially useful were those such as
news
and weather services that change frequently. I set up my laptop and
the
IPAQ to synchronize the webpages. I synchronized them frequently,
which
allowed me to access the web offline via the IPAQ.

I experimented with using the IPAQ to read e-books. The Microsoft
E-book
reader is easy to use and I found it quite satisfactory. I am sure
such
uses for textbooks and reference material via e-books will make the use
of
the IPAQ as a reading device ever more important.

The IPAQ has potential as a presentation tool because of new programs
that
allow you to display PowerPoint presentations on it. All that would be
needed is the proper interface between the IPAQ and the projector. I
successfully converted several of my presentations and they worked well
on
it including animations and sound.

The IPAQ has huge potential as a tool in the library. Combined with a
barcode reader/scanner it could be used to do book inventory. Used
with a
wireless connection, it could provide a reference librarian with a tool
to
access the library catalog and other resources while helping patrons
around
the library. I have used my laptop with wireless in this way.

Personally, I used the IPAQ as a PIM (personal information manager)
much in
the way I use my laptop. I kept it docked to my laptop when I was in
my
office so I could keep -email, calendar, and tasks synchronized. I
used it
frequently to read and write e-mail, which was later, sent when I
docked the
IPAQ to my laptop.

Overall, my experience with the IPAQ was very positive. Wish I could
keep
it! Bill's email address is:drewwe@morrisville.edu, and click here to go to
Wireless Librarian
Bill also has a great yahoo groups going on this topic! Thanks again, Bill!

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