Battery Park Software has released a beta version of GedWise for Palm handhelds. It requires Palm operating system (OS) version 3.3 or higher and at least 512 kilobytes of memory. GedWise provides a fast and easy way to carry your entire genealogy database with you on any handheld device running the Palm OS. You can quickly access your genealogy data on the Palm device at any time; there is no need to wait for the operating system to boot up. Simply turn the Palm device on, and start using it immediately.
While GedWise is a Palm application, it requires a Windows, Macintosh or Linux computer as well. Confused? Read on.
All of today's handheld computers are designed to work with a desktop or laptop computer of some sort. You must remember that handheld computers typically have no floppy disk drives or CD-ROM disk drives. As a result, it is impossible to directly load software or even data via any form of disk. In order to load applications and data, software is installed first onto a desktop or laptop computer and then transferred via a cable to the handheld. Depending upon the application, data may also be handled in the same manner. For instance, most genealogy programs for handhelds will read a data file on your desktop and then transfer all data across the cable to the handheld computer.
Almost all of the Palm applications work with either Windows or Macintosh systems. Some Palm applications will also use Linux for program and data loading.
The earlier versions of GedWise only worked with Windows and Linux desktop and laptop systems. However, the new beta version 6.3 adds the capability to work with Macintosh OS X systems.
GedWise software consists of two components:
- a program that installs in your Windows, Macintosh or Linux computer and processes a GEDCOM 5.5 file. (All modern genealogy programs can create GEDCOM files so it is easy to move your data from any desktop genealogy program to your handheld.) The data within the GEDCOM file is converted to a GedWise-format database and transferred to the Palm handheld.
- a program that resides on your handheld device that allows you to view your GedWise database.
GedWise is limited to viewing your genealogy data on a handheld device. You cannot input data into your genealogy database through your handheld device. All data entry must be done through your desktop-based genealogy software. GedWise does offer a Memo Export feature that automatically transfers birth, marriage and death data for a selected individual to a Palm Memo that you can then edit and add to.
GedWise reads the GEDCOM file you created and then displays all of the following on your Palm handheld:
- All GEDCOM supported Event and Individual Attribute tags, including LDS Ordinance tags. You can also have multiple entries of event/attribute tags (i.e. primary and non-primary data). For example, if you have recorded multiple births, deaths, occupations, etc. for an individual, the GedWise database will include all of them.
- Multiple name variations (aliases). You can even view a list of all alias names for a selected individual.
- All citation, source, source-repository citation, and repository information.
- All note text data. GedWise supports multiple notes for each individual, as well as a separate note for every data item, including every name, alias, event, family structure record, child-to-family link, citation, source-repository citation, and repository.
- All family data for each individual, including all spouses, children and family events.
- Up to 65,000 individuals per database with unlimited events, notes, citations, sources and repositories. Up to 100 GedWise databases can be stored on your handheld device at a time.
- Ancestry and Descendancy Charts.
- Relationship Calculator and Date Calculator utilities.
- "On This Day" tool that lists all primary birth, marriage and death events that occurred on the current day and month. You can also select a different day and month to search.
- A built-in Soundex code tool. Enter a surname and GedWise will provide the Soundex code.
- A Place Search function for finding a place name in primary birth, marriage and death events.
- A Memo Export feature that lets you easily take notes on the road.
- Support for Expansion Card enabled devices.
- ANSEL character set support.
GedWise requires any one of the following:
- Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 or XP.
- Linux (Red Hat 9 or higher, Fedora Core 3 or higher, SUSE 9.1 or higher) on an i386 computer running X11. Other RPM based Linux distributions may work provided you have Linux Kernel Version 2.6 or higher and X11.
- OS X on a Macintosh computer.
GedWise also requires a genealogy program that is capable of creating a GEDCOM 5.5 file. Almost all modern genealogy programs will do that.
GedWise sells for $19.99. You can first download a fully functional evaluation version of GedWise. You can use this version for up to 30 days at no charge. After 30 days, the software will stop working on your handheld device. During the evaluation period, GedWise will display popup messages reminding you to register, as well as a delayed splash screen when you start up the program. You can eliminate the splash screen and popup reminder messages by purchasinga nd registering GedWise.
For more information or to purchase GedWise for Palm handhelds, go to http://www.batteryparksoftware.com