Tuesday, January 1, 2002

Open files on the fly with HandZipper


By Steve Niles

Most Palm OS applications can be downloaded off the Internet stored in WinZip (.ZIP) files. To install the application, you need to find the folder the file was downloaded to, unzip the file, find the Palm OS files (either .prc or .pdb), open Palm Install Tools, open the Palm OS files with Palm Install Tools, and then perform a HotSync operation. Then, suppose you need to re-install an application for some reason. You might have to search you entire hard drive to find the file, if you're not careful about where you save them.

January's Product of the Month is a clever little tool that might save you some of that trouble. HandZipper (at http://www.handwatch.com/handwatch/fetch.php3?form_sec_name=PalmHandZipper) is a utility that allows you to zip and unzip (compress and uncompress) WinZip files directly on memory cards. It's pictured in Figure A.


HandZipper allows you to zip and unzip WinZip files.

Once the WinZip files have been saved to the memory card using the card reader desktop application, HandZipper can then unzip and install the Palm OS files directly from the memory card to the Palm handheld.

In addition, many downloads come with a read-me file in text format. HandZipper includes a simple text viewer that allows you to view text files within the WinZip file without saving it to the memory card first.

HandZipper can also be used as an archiving and backup tool. By utilizing the compression algorithm, HandZipper can use less memory card storage space to back-up Palm OS files. That way, for example, you might be able to store up to 12MB of files on an 8MB memory card.

Most archiving utilities back up files by copying the files one-by-one to the memory card. This spreads the files out in folders and sub-folders. HandZipper, on the other hand, stores all the files in just one WinZip file. This can simplify the archiving process and make it easy for you to find the wanted backup file. Further, the files archived by HandZipper can be opened on the desktop by WinZip or other compatible compression utilities.

You should check out HandZipper at http://www.handwatch.com/handwatch/fetch.php3?form_sec_name=PalmHandZipper. It's a neat solution that can help you get even more out of memory cards for your Palm handheld.