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When I first started tinkering with Treo devices a few years ago, I had some reservations because of mixed feelings about handheld device convergence. I'm referring to the notion that many devices used regularly (phones, PDAs, music players, video games, and so forth) should be merged into a single all-purpose mobile computing device. This concept is important because it underlies the very design of the Treo line of devices. Treo devices represent one of the first mobile devices that truly serve as an all-in-one mobile computing solution.
So what brought on the mixed feelings? Well, the truth is that I kind of liked having a separate mobile phone and a separate gadget to check email, play music, and so on. I tend to carry my mobile phone in my pocket and I also tend to drop it a lot, so I like that most phones are small and often more rugged than their more full-featured counterparts. The idea of a larger, more fragile device has always been a turn-off to methat is, until the latest generation of devices, including the Treo 650. The Treo 650 truly changed my perceptions of all-in-one mobile devices because I realized how nifty it can be having everything in one compact package.
Granted, the Treo 650 is still a bit chunkier than the tiny little Nokia phone I had been using, and I'm certain that it's more fragile, but the benefits proved to far outweigh my perceived negatives. I underestimated the significance of a larger screen that can be used to view full-blown HTML web pages, a dedicated MP3 player, and a digital camera and camcorder, all combined with a mobile phone. I have to be a little more careful with my Treo interms of not dropping it or running over it with a bicycle or skateboard (I've done both in the past), but as I said, the tradeoff has been well worth it.
So this brings me to this book, which is intended to be an all-encompassing guide to your Treo. By all-encompassing, I mean that I've searched far and wide to include coverage of tricks, tips, and gotchas that you won't find in the manual for your device. I've read my share of books on computers and mobile devices, and I know when an author has taken the path of least resistance and created just a more user-friendly version of the manual. This book is user-friendly, but it's far from a rehashing of the manual. I like to tell people that anyone could write one of these books if given a device, Google access, and a few thousand hours!
If you're entirely new to the Treo family of devices, particularly the Treo 650, this book has plenty of introductory coverage to get you going. And if you've already spent some time getting to know your device, you'll also find loads of valuable information to help maximize the Treo experience. What's important is that I've tried to consider the practical issues that Treo users face, and when I stumbled across an interesting solution to a problem I encountered, I documented it. I hope you'll find that I've unearthed and addressed most, if not all, of the problems you've had while using your device.
It's important for me to share that I'm a Treo user just like you. I think sometimes people have a misconception that writers have hundreds of devices moving across their desks regularly. Although I have used several different handheld devices and own a handful of devices for testing mobile games that I develop, I use my Treo just like anyone else. I take pictures while on vacation, I get on the Web to track eBay auctions, I text-message friends late in the night, I listen to MP3 music, and I download and play games. My point is that I have a good idea of what kind of Treo book I'd want if I had the luxury of going out and buying one. I ended up having the luxury of getting to write a book instead. I hope you find the book to be as practical and informative as I set out to make it.How This Book Is Structured
This book is organized into four parts, each of which explores a different facet of Treo devices:
Part I, "Getting Started with Your Treo"In this part, you get to know the Treo device platform and how it came to be. You install the Treo desktop software and learn how to perform all the essential tasks that make the Treo such an exciting device. You also find out how to customize and personalize your Treo to suit your own tastes.
Part II, "Managing Personal Information with Your Treo"In this part, you learn how to synchronize your Treo with a desktop or notebook computer as well as how to install new applications on your Treo. You also explore the details of some core Treo applications that work with personal information manager (PIM) data, such as contacts, appointments, tasks, and memos.
Part III, "Staying Connected with Your Treo"In this part, you explore your Treo's mobile phone features, including interesting features such as picture caller ID. You also learn how to set up email accounts on your device as well as send and receive text and multimedia messages. This part ends by taking a close look at the Treo Web browser and what is has to offer in browsing the wireless Web.
Part IV, "Your Treo as a Portable Entertainment Device"In this part, you experiment with your Treo as a portable entertainment device by first learning how to shoot and manage digital pictures and video. You then learn how to use your device as a portable MP3 music player. From there, you move on to exploring some popular Treo games, including a few multiplayer games that allow you to play networked via infrared, Bluetooth, or the wireless Internet. This part of the book also introduces you to global positioning system (GPS) navigation with your Treo and covers some handy third-party applications you might want to consider installing.
All you really need for this book is a Treo device, preferably a Treo 650, and the desire to learn and explore. As with just about anything, you learn only by practice. So think of this book as laying the groundwork on which you build lasting knowledge by using and tinkering with your device. If you run into any problems along the way, I have a forum for this book on my Web site at http://www.michaelmorrison.com/. There you'll find other Treo users who are eager to discuss the book and share ideas. I regularly read and post in the forum, so it serves as a great way to interact with me if you have a question or suggestion. See you online!
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