View Full Version : Handheld computers

15-01-2006, 1:11 PM
I'm looking to buy a handheld computer some time this year, and was wondering what other posters' experiences of them were, with regards to price, usability and compatability with home PC's.

I'm on Windows XP at home, and use Legacy for my family tree, though I may be looking to change that as well this year (I got a promotion in work! :D)

Many thanks,


Ed Bradford
15-01-2006, 7:32 PM
I guess the first questions are what all do you intend to do with it and what do you expect to get out of it? ................Ed

15-01-2006, 7:44 PM
Hi Ed,

It's a replacement for sribbling down on paper the info I find in libraries and records offices and then get back home and can't read!

I'm hoping to transcribe information as either text which can then be transcribed onto my tree software, or directly onto my tree software which can then be exported onto my pc.

And also so that I can take my data with me in a handy form. I store data on my tree software and also on index cards. I used to take the index cards around with me, but they total more than 700 now, so are a bit cumbersome.

On a personal level, I have had electronic personal organisers in the past, but they just don't last. The one I have at the moment is losing definition on the LCD, so anything that I can hold my diary and personal data in is good.

Neil Wilson
15-01-2006, 9:25 PM
You could try looking at a 'Blackberry'. It is a mobile phone as well and can be linked to PC's to receive e-mails on the move. Not sure what software is on it, but the models nowadays can read Word documents, spreadsheets etc. Not sure if it will read Legacy data but it depends what format it can be stored in.
I haven't got one personally, but my employers use them for upper management, so they must be good.
You could always ask for a 'test drive' if you took some data on a CD with you whilst shopping.
P.S. I have no connection with this product, and Santa didn't bring me one either.

15-01-2006, 10:01 PM
Aah, poor you!|hug|

Neil Wilson
15-01-2006, 10:16 PM
Aah, poor you!|hug|Not really, it is bad enough being on call 24/7 and having access through the web.

Ed Bradford
15-01-2006, 10:50 PM
Sharron, the way I went was a laptop to take to the research centers. That way I have everything with me and the keyboard is a size that isn't frustrating to use. I use Word to take notes while I'm there looking things up. I transfer the information to my database later when I'm less pressured but I take my database with me as reference. Some research centers in the States charge a fee to get in or I may have traveled a great distance to get there, so I try to maximize my time.

Several research centers have computers to look up information. I carry a USB flash drive so I can copy information. You can also use the USB flash drive to transfer information between your laptop and desktop computers if you donít have a network at home.

I carry floppy disks as well because some research centers have older computers and the USB port is either difficult to get to or nonexistent. My laptop doesnít have a floppy drive so I have to use my desktop computer to get the data off of the disk.

I belong to several organizations and I also use the laptop a note taker in meetings. I use it for presentations and video clips at the meetings as well.

I also have an inexpensive PDA that I use to store appointments, addresses and the like. Itís small and light and I carry it with me most places, whereas, I only carry the laptop when needed.

Iím very satisfied with the equipment that I have. It suits my needs. You should think through your needs and determine just what equipment is required to serve you the best. Then you can start looking at manufacturerís products to see which one provides all of the bells and whistles that you want at the price youíre willing to pay.