Re: Ipaq 5550 software
I operate a small Home Inspection business and don't like any of the pda
report software available for this task, and so am considering seeking help
in converting my 20 page MS Word inspection report into a template for use
on my pda.
My report is a combination check-list, with fields for entering comments,
with extensive use of tables. My interest is to keep the original
formatting and simply tap check marks into the appropriate boxes and import
boiler-plate comments where needed, then basically hit the print key and
have that page printing off in my van (wireless) while I work on the next
area of concern.
Does that sound workable, or are pda's not quite there yet ?
Are there any software conversion programs that'll convert my report to
something the pda can handle without screwing up current formatting, or
would my current report need to be recreated as some sort of 'forms'
Re: Ipaq 5550 software
On Mon, 01 Dec 2003 07:48:44 GMT, "Joe" <joewho?@where?.com>
>My report is a combination check-list, with fields for entering comments,
>with extensive use of tables. My interest is to keep the original
>formatting and simply tap check marks into the appropriate boxes and import
>boiler-plate comments where needed, then basically hit the print key and
>have that page printing off in my van (wireless) while I work on the next
>area of concern.
>Does that sound workable, or are pda's not quite there yet ?[/color]
PDAs have been there for years, at least for handling business
forms in the field.
If doing something along those lines, I'd set up a template for
the general word processing layout, by converting across the most
simplified version of my MS Word document. I always found you
could write a MS Word document that wouldn't convert if you used
all the bells and whistles, hence doing a simplified version.
I'd make a separate boilerplate word processing document for cut
and paste boilerplate. A bunch of macros for selecting and
moving the appropriate boilerplate would probably be easier than
just keeping both documents open and manually cutting and
pasting. If I were doing it manually I'd think about using a
If there were a lot of boilerplate possibilities, instead of a
word processor document, I'd more likely use the database, to
take advantage of its search facilities. I'd have each database
record contain, as its final field, an embedded word processing
file of the boilerplate selection for that record. I guess if
your boilerplate text is reasonably small you could use you could
use an unlimited length field. However then when you paste, the
text would just flow according to the template label for that
area. If you use embedded word processing files, you can
incorporate any custom formatting special to each piece of
I'd do all the tables with embedded spreadsheets in the word
processing document. I'd try to keep each spreadsheet fairly
small, rather than trying to do a giant one that handles
everything, because I figure that is asking for trouble. This
would let you easily tap the check mark boxes.
If you had a lot of different potential tables, I'd again make
use of a boilerplate database. This time I'd make the last field
of each record a embedded spreadsheet. That way you could select
and paste specific tables throughout your template as you worked.
Can we assume that you don't need custom graphics? Well, maybe
except for a logo and letterhead graphics, and a signature. I've
never been enormously impressed with the results of embedded
graphics, even when converted from very nice PC graphics. Just
lost too much definition in moving to the PDA.
You may however want some of the spreadsheet material presented
as graphs. I guess that depends on the sort of presentation you
Printing was always the weak point when I was originally doing
business using a PDA. If you are travelling, then you either use
a battery powered portable printer, or you run it off a car
battery (possibly via an inverter if packing an office style
printer). I used a Canon BJC80, with the optional battery pack.
The printer drivers had to be replaced with third party ones
before I had reasonable results. You could always get better
results if you printed via a Windows PC. But that rather
defeated the idea of PDA portability.
Not sure how you go about the wireless connection unless you are
also packing a PC. I don't know of a printer with a long range
wireless connection. I always just used the IrDA link to the
One trick that may work for you, if the other party is at an
office style situation, is to use the PDA fax facility. Just
send your completed report as a fax via your cell phone to their
computer or fax number. That makes an end run around the need
for carrying a printer.
My stuff was done 1998-1999 using a Psion 5. The macro package
was a freeware add-on, as was the revised printer driver. The
rest of the stuff was built in, although some of the built-in
stuff had patches.
I get the impression that with an Ipaq you may be looking for a
few more third party products, but I'm sure there are lots
Eric Lindsay [url]http://www.ericlindsay.com/guff[/url]
Airlie Beach Qld Australia - Great Barrier Reef entry
Psion & Epoc site [url]http://www.ericlindsay.com/epoc[/url]
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