View any kind of document on your Treo

Here’s a clever way that I think you can view just about any type of document format on your Treo.

  1. Use PDFCreator on your Windows PC to create a virtual printer that generates PDF files (I have heard that Mac OS X has built-in capability to do this?). Use Print in your application to generate a PDF file.
  2. Use Adobe Reader for Palm OS to sync the .pdf file over to your Treo.

Also posted at Treo Addicts.

Cingular Wireless Xpress Mail Personal Edition

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Since I’ve gotten my Treo 650, I’ve wondered how I could read my work email (not because I absolutely need to, but because it could come in handy on occasion). Reading my personal Yahoo! Mail with VersaMail was easy, but my work email IMAP server lies behind a firewall. On my desktop, I can use either VPN or ssh with port forwarding, but on the Palm there are few ssh clients (TuSSH and pssh are the only ones I know of) and neither of them support port forwarding and there are few VPN clients (Mergic and anthaVPN) and they cost money (although these let you do more than just email).

And then I stumbled upon Cingular Xpress Mail Personal Edition. Based on technology from SEVEN Networks, this product allows you to access corporate email (including Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, Novell GroupWise, POP3 /IMAP4, corporate directories and calendars) . Cingular offers Xpress Mail Personal Edition for free. Sprint offers the SEVEN technology as Sprint PCS Business Connection.

This software works through a clever trick. The way it works is that you download and install a Windows client program that run on a PC that is behind the firewall or that has access to your network through VPN or ssh port forward (I installed the program on a home PC that has access to my IMAP server through an ssh port forward). This program pulls email from Exchange, Domino, GroupWise, POP, IMAP, etc… and then sends it, encrypted, to a Cingular server (note that if you’re paranoid about the security of your data, you might want to investigate a bit more and find out about the quality of the encryption). Now your phone can easily get at it through the Xpress Mail Palm program (as far as I can tell, you must use this program – I don’t think you can use another program like VersaMail, Snapper, or Chatter). Another feature gives you Web access to all of the above at The beauty of this trick is that you don’t even need to get your IS department involved, although they themselves might get involved if they notice that you are sending your data outside of the firewall and that is against corporate policy. 🙂 If that is the case, then your IS department may be interested in a more centrally controlled method of access and there is in fact an Enterprise Edition of this software, although I haven’t tried it. And another common solution is GoodLink.

I have Xpress Mail setup right now to fetch my corporate email as well as email from Yahoo! Mail and it also is giving me access to my D:\My Documents directory on my home PC, a feature which could also be handy in a pinch. I just looked at a few text files, but presumably you could download a Word or Excel document and view it with Documents To Go.

I also posted this at Treo Addicts.

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treo Addicts

treo Addicts (tA) is a great new site for all things Treo – reviews, discussion boards, etc…. In particular, I like the Freeware of the Day and Mobile Site of the Day, which help you discover new stuff that you haven’t heard about before.

Just as I began adding treo Addicts to my favorites, chief Treo addict cyberhomie IM’d me this morning and asked if I would be interested in contributing.

So I’ll probably do a post or two on there before I leave for Europe on Tuesday and then there will be nothing on there or here until mid June.

P.S.: cyberhomie mentioned that Apple Addicts will be going live soon for those of you Mac fans. I myself am contemplating a PowerBook and thus this site might be destined to become one of my favorites.

Ruby Resources

I’ve been trying to learn a bit more about the Ruby programming language. It’s been going very slowly since I don’t have a lot of time to devote to it, but here are some of the resources that were given to me by a colleage who is into Ruby:

I normally refer to the Pragmatic Programmer’s Guide — The online one is the 1st edition; there’s a 2nd edition, which I don’t think is available online. Also, if you’re kinda fine with spending too much time, the Poignant Guide is kinda fun —

Also, I have a few Ruby presentations online:

As for Rails, I’d recommend a tutorial like the one on onlamp: