Display Photos On Your Palm

I don't have pictures of children and grandchildren to inflict on my friends and co-workers, but I do have some photos I like to show - such as the one where I have my arm around supermodel Elle McPherson or where I'm snuggling up to Gloria Estefan.

Since I can never convince anyone that I actually got that close to Elle, I end up having to admit that these photos were taken at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in Las Vegas.

Still, some of my photos are real - like the one where I met two of the astronauts who have worked on the Hubble Space Telescope. And they're all fun to show off.

Naturally, I've found a way to show off these pictures using my Palm computer. There are several programs for displaying images on the Palm - I've chosen SplashPhoto, from SplashData.

SplashPhoto comes with a desktop program that allows you to open graphics files in JPG, GIF and BMP format. Once the image is loaded, you can do minimal editing (rotate, zoom, crop, brightness and contrast). You can also set the location to store the file (internal RAM or on the memory card), how to store the file (JPG is smaller but slower, Palm PDB format is faster but larger), and the resolution, from Low Res (160x160) 4-bit grayscale to High Res (320x480) 16-bit color.

You can add any number of pictures, and they will be transferred to your Palm the next time you HotSync.

However, you don't have to use SplashPhoto Desktop to get pictures onto your Palm. You can use a card reader to copy JPGs directly onto the memory card, and SplashPhoto can display those.

The pictures looked really good on my old Palm m515 with its 160x160 display, and they look great on my Tungsten with a resolution of 320x320. SplashPhoto also supports the 320x480 display of the newer Sony Clies.

In addition to viewing the pictures on the handheld, you can also see hi-res thumbnails, or a listing of file names with the size and categories. Each image can have a category, can be set to private, and can have attached notes. Pictures can also be beamed to other Palms.

The images can be displayed in a slideshow, in standard or random order. You can set the amount of time that images are to be displayed in slideshow mode, and there's an option to leave the program running while charging in the cradle.

SplashPhoto displays images instantly on my Tungsten, and is fast even on slower Palms. The handheld and desktop components are easy to use, and you can store hundreds - or thousands - of photos on a memory card. It's a great way to carry around those photos that you love to show off.

SplashData, Inc.
Shareware, $19.95 registration

© 2003 by Charles M. Olsen