Wednesday, July 1, 1998

Claris, Conduits, and QSync for your Mac


By Jim DeLaHunt

Fellow Macintosh enthusiasts, in this installment we continue our look at the downs and ups of using a Macintosh computer and PalmPilot organizer together. In the last two installments, we looked at the parched landscape of the PalmPilot Desktop software 1.0 for Macintosh, along with some really nifty utilities that no Mac-wielding PalmPilot jockey should be without. Like camels or Land-Rovers, they help you along your journey.

This time, we'll explore some lush oases of full-fledged Macintosh applications that integrate well with the PalmPilot. We'll also at evidence that the drought is coming to an end, that full-fledged Macintosh support may be on the way!

Rain clouds to end the drought

Before we go on, the good news is that Palm Computing is making improvements to its Mac desktop. It seems that every week, there is more promise of Mac-related support on their web site. The bad news is that this means this article is likely to be out of date by the time it is published.

Palm Computing has accumulated Mac-related press releases onto single web page. You'll find information there on Mac support, and links to several press releases. We'll summarize the present information here. Be sure to check back with Palm at for updated information between now and, say, October.

And remember, the news bodes well, but so far Palm has not actually released anything. Rain clouds promise the end of a drought, but you can't drink them. Similarly, press releases are just so much vapor.

Dry conduits

The software market teems with organizer software for personal computers. They generally keep your calendar, a list of contacts, a to-do list, and interesting links between the three.

You may have software such as Now Contact, Now Up-to-Date, Eudora Planner, or Microsoft Outlook Express 98. You may be wondering, "how can I synchronize these apps with my PalmPilot?" The answer is, you can't yet. Hopefully you will by the end of the summer. (There is a note about Now Synchronize, below.)

Why the delay? The answer lies in the conduit. A "conduit" is a special piece of software which allows data to transfer between software on your personal computer and the PalmPilot Desktop directory. The HotSync software carries the data the rest of the way down to applications in your PalmPilot. On Windows, Palm has provided kits which software developers can use to create conduits. As a result, there are many Windows organizers which can exchange data with PalmPilots.