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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
DataViz Documents to Go 10.002 Premium Edition
Article Type: Computer currency From: Journal of Consumer Marketing, Volume 25, Issue 5
Edited by Dennis A. PittaUniversity of Baltimore
For those of us who started using PCs when WordStar was the premier word processing program then reluctantly changed to WordPerfect, the final change to Microsoft Word presented us with a learning/unlearning challenge. Most readers probably are young enough to have started with Word in the first place and will not feel my pain. Similarly, users of simple personal digital assistants (PDAs) and more complicated, connected devices like the Blackberry, will not know the joy of shedding a 6lb printed personal organizer notebook. As the expression states, “back in the day,” before computer-based organizer programs, people actually wrote in their personal organizers. They entered dates and telephone numbers, and at the end of the year bought another and started the re-entry process again.
When Lotus Organizer and Microsoft Outlook appeared on the scene, users could maintain their schedules and contacts on the PC and print the contents on paper for their organizer notebooks. For years I printed calendar pages, used a paper cutter to trim them to 5″×7″ size, and punched three holes so that I could insert them into my loose-leaf binder. I might add that printing was more than a chore. My program of choice, Lotus Organizer, never polished its printing module. To print a series of dates on both sides of a page required printing the odd pages only, manual sorting to reverse their order, and then re-feeding them into the printer and printing the even numbered pages. Getting it right was more luck than skill. PDA’s changed all that.
We first looked at DataViz Documents to Go several years ago when it was in its eighth release. At that time, it offered a wonderful way to use files, real files, on my PDA.
Many of us who adopted a PDA have inched along learning its functionality and enjoying its benefits incrementally. Personally, I had some difficulty adapting to my Palm Tungsten E®. It came with bundled software like Documents to Go as well as the Palm Desktop program for managing files and data synchronization.
The Palm operating system saved the hassle of needing to print a calendar to have a portable record. Using the Palm Pilot, I could view any calendar data electronically and make changes anywhere. In the old system, I would manually note an appointment and then have to enter it into Organizer. Using the Palm Tungsten E®, I could make the change and it would transfer back to my computer during synchronization. Similarly, my contact data flowed back and forth and was continually refreshed.
Given this level of satisfaction, I did not explore any of the other functionality that the PDA might provide. For example, I did not get a wireless internet ready model. Mine was restricted to connecting to a host computer and being useful as a stand-alone. For about a year, my PDA use was restricted to dates and contacts with an occasional look at notes that transferred from Organizer. I had a PDA expansion card that was perpetually empty and was basically stuck using only a portion of the device’s functionality.
On a business trip, I met another traveler who showed me his PDA. I had an epiphany. He used his PDA so effectively, he prompted me to reconsider how I used mine. I learned the value of Documents to Go to load and modify a variety of files. Frankly, a PDA is no personal computer. However, one can use it to read, reflect on, and even edit stored content. Documents To Go was an answer to a nagging problem I faced: the physical strain of travel. Do I take a laptop or just a thumb drive and hope to be productive after I get to a destination?
That fellow traveler convinced me of the value of being able to do work on a light PDA. Being without a laptop no longer means being away from critical work files. Now it is possible to work, save time and be more productive by using files right on your PDA while on the road. DataViz originally designed Documents to Go to have support for native Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF and TXT files as well as native JPEG and BMP graphics. “Native” indicates that the file is in its original desktop format, specifically Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe PDF, JPEG, BMP or TXT. Native document support conveys several benefits. Before native document support, files had to be converted by the desktop application to a format that Documents To Go could open. Only then could the files be synchronized to the handheld. With native document support, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, JPEG, BMP and TXT files can be used directly, avoiding the time-wasting conversion and the potential for errors. Some of the benefits of native document support include the ability to open and work with documents no matter where you are. In addition, one could open files sent to a handheld via e-mail, on an expansion card, or via Bluetooth.
It is easy to share files in a so-called “mixed” environment, namely between a handheld and other device. For example, the Palm Pilot uses a Secure Digital (SD) card as a memory expansion. It can act like a floppy disk to exchange files between a Palm handheld and another device such as a PocketPC, which also uses SD memory. One can simply swap SD cards loaded with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, JPEG, BMP, and TXT files and transfer them. Modern PC’s come equipped with a variety of interfaces. If a computer has an SD interface, one can use the same SD card to upload handheld files to that computer directly. There is no need to have Documents to Go installed on that desktop computer. The native format means that there is no conversion obstacle between different equipment, a boost to productivity.
I really liked Documents to Go 8. Then Microsoft introduced Office 2007 and changed file formats to complicate things. I was able to continue with Office 2003 but finally bowed to the inevitable and upgraded to 2007. That meant that I needed an upgrade to Documents to Go. The upgrade was Documents to Go 10 for Palm OS. It is valuable to know that the third-party companies are supplying worthy upgrades to their Palm-oriented products.
Upgrading my old version of Documents to Go to Documents to Go 10.002 Premium Edition was simple. I downloaded a trial version of the program and the rest was automatic.
I learned about the program’s ability to use native format and the benefits that brought. They include a built in spell checker, password protection feature and “Pics to Go”. Pics to Go is the module that allows a user to store and view photos and graphics without the need for a program like Adobe Photoshop®. Since one picture is worth a thousand words, I was attracted to the SmartChart™ Technology built into the premium edition. SmartChart™allows one to open, edit or create “Excel-like charts and really see results on the fly.” While my Palm Pilot does not have wireless capability, the Inbox to Go™ feature, which allows synchronizing Outlook e-mail has obvious value.
Documents to Go 10.002’s ability to handle Adobe Acrobat format (PDF) is very useful. I was especially interested in its ability to handle native PDF. Dataviz states that “Documents to Go is the only product on the market today with support for native Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF and TXT files as well as native JPEG and BMP graphics. You can even use files saved to expansion cards or sent as e-mail attachments directly on your smartphone or PDA without synchronization.” Also users can be sure that original desktop documents will never lose formatting when they make edits on their device.
Users of previous versions will find a host of new features in this release. They include:
InTact Technology for Word, Excel and PowerPoint files maintains your documents’ original formatting but without the need of synchronization.
Integrated file explorer now lets you easily browse to files on your device or expansion card.
View and edit footnotes and endnotes in word processing files.
View and edit comments in word processing files.
View and edit text boxes in word processing files.
Additional bullets and numbering support in word processing files.
Hyperlinks within Table of Contents now supported.
View, edit and create XY scatter plot charts in spreadsheets.
True Type font support in spreadsheets.
Edit PowerPoint presentation natively-available for the first time for our Mac users!
New look user interface.
Additional zoom levels added for viewing presentations and pictures.
Speed improvements when viewing PDF files.
In addition, the new release provides support for users with Microsoft Vista as their operating system. Documents To Go version 10.001 and 10.002 work with the Palm Desktop 6.2 software that was recently released. Dataviz reports that this software includes the following fixes:
A Windows Vista compatible Install Tool, which will allow you to properly install Documents to Go under Vista.
HotSync Manager 7.0 which will allow Documents To Go to properly synchronize your files under Vista.
Personal information applications
One handy personal application seems to be storing the numerous account names and passwords we collect throughout our lives. Some of us use Excel spreadsheets to store the data. Excel has the advantage of allowing careful data sorting to insure that the accounts are in alphabetical order. That Excel spreadsheet can be stored on the PDA. Back when I printed my organizer files on paper, those account numbers and passwords were visible to anyone who looked. On the PDA, using Documents to Go, files can be password protected, reducing the memory problem to remembering only one password.
The personal information storage possibilities include family and other photos. For example, an acquaintance planning a bathroom remodeling found sample displays in home improvement stores as well as hotels and public places. By taking a picture with his Smartphone, he was able to transfer them to his PDA. As a result, he had a catalogue of possibilities that aided in planning his final project.
How to buy the program
There are several ways to purchase DataViz Documents to Go 10.002 Premium Edition. One can find a retailer that carries it. Alternatively, the Dataviz web site allows easy purchase in two modes. One can purchase an electronic, downloadable version or a CD based version for the same price, $49.99. Versions of each are available for both MACs and PCs. Shipping and Handling charges do not apply to Download Only versions. Users who wish to have a CD, face charges starting at $9.99 for one item.
Upgrade pricing of $29.99 is available for previous DocsToGo customers.
DataViz Documents to Go 10.002 Premium Edition is perhaps the best PDA piece of software. Arguably, it is as valuable as the calendar and contact modules in the Palm OS. However, it expands the basic functionality of PDA’s to a remarkable extent. Once a user installs and tries the program once, a whole world will open, freeing the road warrior from some of the burdens of the job.
Available from: Dataviz (www.dataviz.com). Manufacturer suggested list price: US$49.99.