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On the anniversary of September 11th, the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City, NY opened an exhibit titled "Yahrzeit: September 11 Observed". PilotYid.com was featured as part of the exhibit. You can see the pictures by clicking here.
To Whom it May Concern: It has come to our attention here at WIMP (The World International Society for Mobile 'Puting) that many users of handheld devices, such as Palm Pilots, are not using their devices in the proper manner. True, most of you are aware of a handheld's ability to store phone numbers and addresses, plan schedules, and list memos and to-do lists and remind you (via an alarm) when a task comes due or an anniversary or birthday is pending. But most handheld users underutilize their devices in one very important sphere. Although most consumers are convinced that using a handheld saves them time and effort and is overall a very efficient way to plan their schedules, we here at WIMP would like to emphasize the handheld's ability not to save time, but to pass time.
Now, we know that the concept of a Palm Pilot or Visor or Pocket PC as a time-waster will come as a surprise to many. Think about it for a moment, though: Is it more efficient to look at a tiny screen and poke on tiny letters in order to create a sentence, or is it more efficient to open up a real phone pad and physically write the name and phone number of your contact? Is it more efficient to use a convoluted writing system (Grafitti) in order to enter data in your handheld, or to use real writing in a notebook to list your expenses and schedule? Which system takes more time? That's right: Paper and pen were invented before Palm Pilots for a reason!
So why do we WIMPs even advocate using a handheld? Here's an example: You're at a boring meeting with an incessant speaker droning on about you don't even know what. It's getting more difficult to retain a mask of interest by the moment. You certainly don't want to look less professional than your (seemingly) erstwhile colleagues. In a word, you're feeling trapped. Here's where your handheld really can shine. Since everyone knows that a handheld device is a sign of efficiency, you can take out your handheld and pretend to enter data. Only you're not entering data; you're cleverly reading the latest sports news, or catching up on your favorite newsgroup, or playing another round of an addictive game. In this case, wasting time is really saving your sanity - and you can only pull it off with a handheld!
So, for the edification of our members and prospective members, we shall list a number of handheld programs and Web sites useful in abetting the pursuit of the useless. If you already own a handheld you will doubtless thank us at the next interdepartmental conference; if you do not, this list will hopefully convince you of the eficcacy of acquiring a handheld and becoming a WIMP.
Avantgo: Millions of handheld users know about Avantgo, but it seems that millions more do not. Which is surprising, given that Avantgo is perhaps the most useful handheld application around. Avantgo is like having a mini- Internet on your handheld device. You sign up for an account and select from more than 1,500 Web sites (known as channels) specially designed for handheld displays. You can select from news, sports, business, foreign-language, and dozens of other categories. You sign up for channels and after you've selected your channels, sync your device with your computer. The content will be downloaded to your device, and you'll be equipped with all the content you need to survive even the most boring meeting. Our own venerable institution, The Jerusalem Post, uses a similar service called Roundpoint to deliver content to your device.
Tomeraider: Far less known but no less valuable, Tomeraider has revolutionized the concept of text on handheld devices. One concern of all handheld users is running out of storage space for content - only the higher end (i.e., more expensive) devices have more than 8 MB of storage space - many users have to make do with that 8 MB or even less! Tomeraider uses special compression technology to squash down the amount of memory necessary to store even the largest documents (it can be used in place of and is far more effective than other document readers). And indexing and accessing bookmarks in even the largest documents is instantaneous. This means that documents even the size of encyclopedias or Roget's Thesaurus can be stored on almost any handheld. You, of course, will want to download the Internet Movie Database.
Yanoff: Newsgroups, according to many WIMPs, are the Comedy Central of the Internet. If you've ever perused some of the newsgroups in the alt.hierarchy, for example, you start to believe that computer usage should be licensed like driving. Where do all these weirdos come from? It's difficult to read the most interesting newsgroups when you're sitting at your desk because there is a strong possibility you will get so absorbed in the verbal parrying that you will not get any work done at all. But a conference call is the perfect opportunity to read the latest indignities broadcast by the shameless people who post these messages. Yanoff is a free newsgroup reader for Palm platform handhelds. You sign up using your newsgroup server and subscribe to groups, and you get the latest messages every time you sync with your PC.
Downloads: One of the things many WIMPs most enjoy about their handhelds is the ease of installing and deleting new programs. A great site for downloading new handheld applications is available at http://www.palmpilotarchives.com - there are dozens of categories with hundreds of applications, both shareware and freeware. More great downloads can be had at http://www.eurocool.com. And a treasure trove of Jewish Palm software is available at http://www.pilotyid.com.
Although we have not classified this missive "eyes only," the usual precautions should be taken when forwarding this communication to others. Please ensure that only like-minded practical people who want to use their time (i.e., including the time needed for wasting) efficiently see this. No bosses please, unless they're cool enough to be WIMPs too. Don't ruin it for the rest of us!
Dicono che troppa tecnologia rende soli. Quelli di PalmsTogether.com pensano esattamente il contrario e usano i Palm (che sono computer palmari molto alla moda) per consentire agli utenti di questa sofisticata tecnologia di scambiare preghiere e versetti della Bibbia. Basta scaricare un programma (si chiama Eternity Gospel Tract) e lo scambio puo avvenire avvicinando i due aggeggi. Presso il sito di Palmgear (www.palmgear.com) si puo scaricare un Bible Reader per trasformare il proprio pc palmare in una sorta di breviario per leggere salmi, preghiere e recitare rosari. Presso il sito di PilotYid (www.pilotyid.com) si possono scaricare brani dal Talmud, e agende di avvenimenti che possono essere sincronizzati con il calendario ebraico. L'elenco e pratcicamente infinito. la Torah la scaricate presso www. palmtorah.org. Amen.
(Originally from: http://www.espressonline.it/ESW_articolo/0,2393,31047,00.html)
See original here
On February 2, 2002, I was invited to the CNN studios in Manhattan to be interviewed for a news story they were doing on CNN Espanol regarding handheld computers and religion. You can see a clip of that show by clicking here. (The clip is in Windows Media format, and is in Spanish).
More and more members of the Orthodox community can be found using their trusty Palm Pilots for spiritual tasks, such as prayers, grace after meals, learning Torah, and more.
Rabbi Ephraim Zalmanovitz, the spiritual leader of Mazkeret Batia, has issued a halachic (Jewish law) ruling that one who has ‘holy’ software installed on one’s pilot, and drops it, one must kiss it as one does to a holy book such as a prayer book or Psalms.
Persons interested in downloading a Palm prayer book and/or much much more, may do so at the PilotYid site located at http://www.pilotyid.com. The comprehensive site offers prayers according to many customs, grace after meals, Hebrew calendar, Hebrew fonts and a great deal more.
www.PilotYid.com: From this site, one can download text files of the weekly Torah portion or find software to convert the PalmPilot calendar into a Jewish lunar one, track a yahrtzeit from year to year and calculate the time at which the Sabbath begins at a given location...
Yiddishkeit in the Palm:
...Another useful Jewish Palm organizer site is PilotYid, where you can find downloadable Daf Yomi calendar data, a directory of Kosher restaurants in New York, and other useful Jewish references, like the Perkei Avot and Mishle and Torah files in Hebrew and English...
One of the hottest new gadgets around is the small, hand-held computer, affectionately referred to by its owners as the Palm, or the Pilot. Through it's few short years of life, the Palm has gone through several incarnations. It began with the Pilot, then the PalmPilot, and the latest is the Palm III, by 3Com Corporation.
Among the reasons for its popularity are its size, portability, and the myriad applications and peripherals available to complement the built-ins. Besides the usual things: date book, phone book, calculator, notepad, games, and expense sheets, you will find some that are a bit out of the ordinary, and some that are actually geared for the Jewish market. And the beauty of most of these other applications is that they are available on the Internet, many as freeware (you don't have to pay a cent), shareware (you have to pay, but it's nominal), or regular software that you can download after charging it to your credit card. No lines in the stores, no waiting for an out-of-stock item to be replaced.
While surfing the net shortly after inaugurating my new Palm III, I happened on a site that surprised me. Browsing through the sites listed at www.palmgear.com, I saw a listing for PilotYid. Hm, sez I, it's either something offensive that snuck in there, or something Jewish for the Palm. I clicked on the hyperlink, which brought me to http://www.pilotyid.com.
What I found was an interesting compilation of Jewish software for "the Jewish Piloteer," as the site welcomes you. Among the applications available are Jewish calendars to overwrite the datebook in the Palm, the weekly Torah reading,
software that allows you to track the moon phases for Rosh Chodesh, candle
lighting times, and even the full Daf Yomi cycle. You can remember anniversaries of Hebrew dates, and so keep track of yahrtzeits, for example, and have all the Jewish holidays literally at your fingertips. Ok, in your palm, then.
Ari, a 21-year-old Yeshiva University junior, from Brooklyn, created the site. While he is majoring in - what else? -- computer science, he is also the webmaster for the BankBoston Foreign Exchange Department ("And I'm always looking for more work," he said.)
About two years ago, Ari purchased his own Pilot and watched "as all sorts of software trickled out." Shortly thereafter, a Jewish calendar program called Tamar (which translates to Date Palm in Hebrew…clever. Huh?) was introduced. According to Ari, "That's when I realized that there must be other Jewish Pilot users out there. Then very slowly, I saw that other Jewish software was coming out for the Pilot."
A few months later, he had the idea to somehow get the Birchat Hamazon and Tefillas HaDerech (which he always forgets to bring with him when he travels) into his Pilot. After all, his Pilot was always with him. After completing that task, he put both of the files that he had created for the prayers up on one of the PalmPilot websites so that other people could download and use them.
"I was actually quite surprised to see how may people were downloading them," he said. "The number was much higher than I thought it would be, and I was getting 'thank you' e-mails from Jewish people all over the globe." That's when he realized that there are many Jewish Pilot users in the world. "So I thought that, even though there are already many Pilot software archives on the World Wide Web it would be an interesting project and a learning experience if I could make things easier for these Jewish Piloteers by collecting any software that could be useful to them at one convenient website.
The site officially debuted on the web on November 2 and by the time I had contacted Ari around November 12 he had already received over 1800 hits (the number of times the site was visited) The site includes a mailing list you can join, not only to be alerted when new software is added, but also to put you in touch with other Jewish Palm users around the world. Many different texts are available, and Hebrew software is also listed. There are links to other items of Jewish interest, and links to other things you can use for your Palm that are not necessarily Jewish, but help you to use the Jewish software, such as viewers.
Ari, whose full name is Aaron Engel, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and welcomes comments from users who have visited his site.