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Introduction

Introduction

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • How This Book Is Structured

  • What You'll Need

When I first started tinkering with Treo devices a few years ago, I had some reservations because of mixed feelings about handheld device convergence. I'm referring to the notion that many devices used regularly (phones, PDAs, music players, video games, and so forth) should be merged into a single all-purpose mobile computing device. This concept is important because it underlies the very design of the Treo line of devices. Treo devices represent one of the first mobile devices that truly serve as an all-in-one mobile computing solution.

So what brought on the mixed feelings? Well, the truth is that I kind of liked having a separate mobile phone and a separate gadget to check email, play music, and so on. I tend to carry my mobile phone in my pocket and I also tend to drop it a lot, so I like that most phones are small and often more rugged than their more full-featured counterparts. The idea of a larger, more fragile device has always been a turn-off to me—that is, until the latest generation of devices, including the Treo 650. The Treo 650 truly changed my perceptions of all-in-one mobile devices because I realized how nifty it can be having everything in one compact package.

Granted, the Treo 650 is still a bit chunkier than the tiny little Nokia phone I had been using, and I'm certain that it's more fragile, but the benefits proved to far outweigh my perceived negatives. I underestimated the significance of a larger screen that can be used to view full-blown HTML web pages, a dedicated MP3 player, and a digital camera and camcorder, all combined with a mobile phone. I have to be a little more careful with my Treo in terms of not dropping it or running over it with a bicycle or skateboard (I've done both in the past), but as I said, the tradeoff has been well worth it.

So this brings me to this book, which is intended to be an all-encompassing guide to your Treo. By all-encompassing, I mean that I've searched far and wide to include coverage of tricks, tips, and gotchas that you won't find in the manual for your device. I've read my share of books on computers and mobile devices, and I know when an author has taken the path of least resistance and created just a more user-friendly version of the manual. This book is user-friendly, but it's far from a rehashing of the manual. I like to tell people that anyone could write one of these books if given a device, Google access, and a few thousand hours!

If you're entirely new to the Treo family of devices, particularly the Treo 650, this book has plenty of introductory coverage to get you going. And if you've already spent some time getting to know your device, you'll also find loads of valuable information to help maximize the Treo experience. What's important is that I've tried to consider the practical issues that Treo users face, and when I stumbled across an interesting solution to a problem I encountered, I documented it. I hope you'll find that I've unearthed and addressed most, if not all, of the problems you've had while using your device.

It's important for me to share that I'm a Treo user just like you. I think sometimes people have a misconception that writers have hundreds of devices moving across their desks regularly. Although I have used several different handheld devices and own a handful of devices for testing mobile games that I develop, I use my Treo just like anyone else. I take pictures while on vacation, I get on the Web to track eBay auctions, I text-message friends late in the night, I listen to MP3 music, and I download and play games. My point is that I have a good idea of what kind of Treo book I'd want if I had the luxury of going out and buying one. I ended up having the luxury of getting to write a book instead. I hope you find the book to be as practical and informative as I set out to make it.

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