I have been using Plucker to read books, and various web-site articles for a while, now, and I find it very useful. However, it does not have the most user-friendly interface for adding new sites, books, etc. So, here’s a short guide, that will hopefully be useful to some.
- Update MacOS X to the latest version. Just use Software Update from the Menu. This is big, so you’ll want to be on a fast network, e.g. on campus.
- Install Palm Desktop software. You can download it from here. This takes a few steps: you have to wait for an email that they send to you that will tell you where the download actually is.
- Set up your Palm device following the prompts that the Palm Desktop installer puts up.
- Install iSync: download it here.
- Set up your Palm device in iSync: put your Palm in the dock, connected to the computer; then, in the Devices menu of iSync, select Add Device... It should find your Palm. Follow all the prompts to the end.
- Check HotsSync Manager’s setup: Launch HotSync Manager; it is in the Applications->Palm folder. In the HotSync menu, select Conduit Settings... You should see something like this:
The important bit here is that the iSync Conduit and the Install conduit are there, and that everything else is set to “Do Nothing.” You can set Memo Pad, Memos, and Note Pad to Synchronize but they are not useful unless you actually use the Palm Desktop software. Here, I assume you don’t (nor do I), and that you use iCal and AddressBook, instead.
- Download Plucker Desktop for Apple OSX from this page. Install it: it will go into the Applications folder. Launch it.
- Add your first document. We will add an electronic book, first, because it’s a simple task. The Plucker site has some samples, so download one, say Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It is just a PDB file. Double-click on the downloaded file’s icon in Safari’s Downloads window, and you are done. That should launch HotSync Manager’s Install Handheld Files window:
You can change the Destination if you want the file to go into the Memory Stick (if you use a Sony Clié), or some other memory expansion. Now, hit the Sync button on your Palm dock, and when the sync is done, run Plucker Reader on your Palm. You should be able to see Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in the listing of documents. If the reader is open to a document already, click on the folder icon at the top.
- To add a website, things are a bit more complicated, but not much so. Let’s add the New York Times main page. Launch Plucker Desktop:
- Click on the Add New Channel... button, which is the first one in the toolbar, enter the name you want, and hit OK.
- Enter the site’s address in the Configure Channel window, but don’t hit OK, yet:
- Next, click on the Limits tab. We will want to follow links from the front page so that we download the articles, as well. Here, you should be careful: if your Palm has only a small amount of memory, you probably don’t want to download links, and just set the limit to 1.
- Now, in the Images tab, we specify if we want to download images. We shall not, to conserve space. Click on the Images tab, and uncheck the Include Images box:
- Now, we select where on the Palm we want the downloaded page to go. I will send mine to the Memory Stick. Select the Destination tab:
- Select the Scheduling tab, and set this channel to automatically update every morning, at 7 am:
- Finally, we click OK to save this channel.
- At any time, if you wish to change the configuration of a channel, just select it in the Plucker Desktop, and click on the Configure Selected Channel... button, which is the third from the left.
- Sync up your Palm device, and you should be set.
For free books, I download Plucker formatted stuff from pluckerbooks.com.