Monday, May 05, 2003

HandBase for Mac

Yeeeeuck! That is not a desktop app! They want me to pay money for that? All it does is convert between standard database formats, such as csv, and the HandBase format. Compared to what Windows users get, this is a nonsense. 10 years ago a Psion could save its databases in csv and tab-delimited, so how is this meant to be cutting-edge?

Ooops - signs of low blood-sugar in last paragraph - I had better go eat now.


Here is a question I have just been asked: how do you get an addressbook with lots and lots of custom fields (i.e. Home Address 1, Home Address 2, Work Address, Home URL, Work Url, etc etc), which you can use on the desktop without Outlook/Entourage. And the answer is simple: HandBase.

Now, I use HandBase at work to keep track of all our IT hardware, and I also have my Bird List and Wine Cellar on it, but the fact that it was paid for by work means I only have the Windows desktop version. Anyway, I think I will go check out the Mac desktop right now.


If you wanted to sit down and write a utility for your PDA, one of the first things to come to mind would be a battery monitor. These were much more interesting when we used disposables, or re-chargeable AAAs, but they still have a place now. A good battery monitor will also monitor usage and give you some idea of your personal patterns of power consumption, so that you can get a good estimate of how much you are going to get out of your PDA before it dies.

To cut a long story short, BatteryGraph is the top banana when it comes to battery monitors. It has a graphical display showing voltage, charging patterns and uptime, utilizes colour and hi-res intelligently, and it is freeware. Best of all, it only takes 27kb of RAM - with all this OS5 bloatware about I was beginning to despair of finding this sort of tightly written, highly functional programming ever again.