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PalmPilot: The Ultimate Guide, Second Edition by David Pogue

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Chapter 6. HotSync, Step by Step

The PalmPilot’s wonders would be only half as wonderful if they were confined to the tiny gadget in your pocket. What really makes the gadget spectacular is the conversations it can have with your desktop computer.

A transfer of data between PC and PalmPilot is called a HotSync. Officially, it’s an adjective: “The HotSync process was successful.” But these days, you hear people use it as every part of speech: “I performed a HotSync,” “I’d better get home and HotSync this thing,” “Don’t interrupt the PalmPilot while HotSyncing,” and so on. (As the PalmPilot’s popularity has increased, the term has begun cropping up in conversations unrelated to computers: “We need to bring each other up to date on the downsizing empowerment. Let’s HotSync at two o’clock.”)

The concept of backing up a palmtop’s data onto a PC isn’t new, of course. Every kind of personal-organizer gadget—Sharp Wizard, Casio Boss, Psion, Newton, and so on—can do it to some extent. The difference is simplicity and flexibility—first, a single button press is all that’s required to begin the transfer on a PalmPilot; and second, the transferred information on your PC isn’t just a backup. It’s “live” data, which you can work with just as you do while it’s on the palmtop. The program called Pilot Desktop or Palm Desktop, included with the PalmPilot or the MacPac, can be your everyday calendar, address book, and so on. (See Chapter 8, and Chapter 9, for more on Palm Desktop.)

Moreover, the ...

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