Palmtop PCs and birding

To: "'Tony Crittenden'" <>, <>, <>, <>
Subject: Palmtop PCs and birding
From: "Tim Frawley" <>
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 19:02:09 +1000
The "Wildlife recorder" looks like a great software package.
How good are the Australian lists? how do you down load them? and do you
need to have all the Northern hemisphere information on your PDA or can
you keep that on your PC? 

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Tony Crittenden
Sent: Monday, 10 July 2006 9:48 AM
To: ; ;

Subject: Palmtop PCs and birding


Wildlife recorder and pocket bird recorder are available from
I use pocket bird recorder on my Palm Vx to record sightings - you can 
downoald the checklist for a specific area ( single site - group of
state, country or faunal zone) and a comparison list (year list,
list etc).  at the end of the day it them uploads and updates all of the

relevant lists

Unfortunately the Palm OS version is no longer supported, but the
Windows CE 
version is - I guess I'll have to change to Windows CE when my Palm


>From: "Alastair Smith" <>
>To: "'Simon Mustoe'" 
>Subject: RE: [Birding-Aus] Palmtop PCs and birding
>Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2006 15:10:10 +1000
>Simon et al,
>Simon Bennett has built and is testing a version of his 'Birdinfo' 
>birding database software for PDA. I have seen it in action on his PDA 
>- it also has with full GPS compatibility and functionality. Soon we 
>will be able to record bird sightings on a PDA, but when will we get an

>Australian field guide for PDA?
>-----Original Message-----
> On Behalf Of Simon Mustoe
>Sent: Friday, 7 July 2006 9:53 PM
>To: Birding-aus
>Subject: [Birding-Aus] Palmtop PCs and birding
>I've just become a convert to the world of Palmtop PCs / PDAs (Personal

>Digital Assistants) for birding. Actually, it happened last year whilst

>birding in South Africa. Robert's fieldguide is published in a format 
>that can be used on PDAs and many South African birders use it.
>I bought a factory seconds HP Ipaq, one of the new series with a built 
>in GPS for about $550. I've installed Oziexplorer CE. I already have a 
>copy of Oziexplorer and the two pieces of software are needed. They 
>cost about $130 all up and you need a separate PC / laptop to run 
>Oziexplorer as the files have to be converted to place on the Ipaq. I 
>also bought the CSIRO basic Natraster map series, which is the whole of

>Australia at 1:250000 scale and costs $100. With this system, I can 
>navigate anywhere in the country. The GPS drains the battery faster 
>than normal so a car charger is necessary four long-distance route work

>and you'd want to keep it topped up between walks. But you don't have 
>to have it on continually as it gets a fix very fast if you 
>periodically download the latest satellite position data (the unit does

>this automatically, either synchronising it to a file downloaded by 
>your PC or connecting to the internet itself). This is one drawback: 
>the Ipaq seems to want to connect to the internet at every available 
>opportunity and the cost of bandwidth is quite high. I have found 
>myself setting up a 'false' connection setting so it doesn't connect 
>without me knowing. If I need to access the internet, it is pretty easy

>to set it back and I don't really want to become the sort of person 
>dependent on the internet whilst in the bush! Nonetheless, it could 
>prove useful.
>Over the last few years, I've also been gradually taking extracts from 
>bird call CDs and tapes and saving them to MP3 to use on another system

>and I now have them on the Ipaq. I don't know if I should be saying too

>much about this but it's pretty handy to drop them across for trips and

>have everything
>neatly indexed - beats the old dozen volume tape set. I don't tend to
>for call playback because the speaker is pretty useless on the Ipaq
>for about $100 you can buy a bluetooth speaker with about 5h play time
>hour standby) which would be an option. Again, bluetooth connectivity
>the Ipaq draws quite a bit of battery power but would prove a workable
>device and the sound quality / volume would be very good.
>For a trip I have coming up shortly, I've compiled waypoints from Frank

>O'Connors website, which is a very useful navigation aid saving me from

>constantly having to stop and start looking at maps. You can save new 
>waypoints and routes on the way, so it is possible to backtrack or 
>simply keep positions and notes as you go. For the grey-headed lapwing,

>we sat and planned the route on the way in the aircraft and set 
>waypoints as regional towns. We also used it semi-successfully to 
>navigate backroads through Wee Waa and take the shortcut to Burren 
>Junction. Unfortunately, since these maps were produced, new roads have

>been added and others removed. Neither does it show dead-ends so you 
>have to use a bit of judgment. At least it's useful to know if you're 
>heading in the right direction though.
>It saves having to tediously write down GPS references in one's 
>I will start keeping a list of waypoints from trips for future use.
>also the scope to create or import text from word and excel files,
>webpages (I have a couple of Frank O'Connors web pages stored in my
>for access later). Oh, and of course, the device also doubles as your 
>phone, you can check your emails on it etc etc etc.
>Dare I further mention, for fear of a copyright lawsuit, that scans of 
>the odd page from bird books that are otherwise too large to carry in 
>the field are quite useful. You can save images as full size JPGs and 
>zoom in to view them. Memory space is a good as you want it. I have a 
>2GB flash card which is more than ample.
>If these systems become more popular, it would be extremely simple to
>a PDA version of something like HANZAB, including bird calls and sell
>The elements are already there for someone to create their own
>version but I would prefer to see something like this put together
>officially. For information, the Victorian Dragonflies website
>( is all but PDA-ready and

>we've got the site better produced, I would intend creating a
>PDA version for field use. It is remakably simple to modify.
>I'd be interested to know if anyone else is enjoying the same benefits 
>of these systems and has any other software that they know about or 
>could recommend.
>All the best,
>Simon Mustoe.
>Simon Mustoe, Director
>AES Applied Ecology Solutions Pty. Ltd
>39 The Crescent
>Belgrave Heights
>Victoria 3160
>Tel +61 (0)3 9752 6398
>Fax +61 (0)3 9754 6083
>Mob 0405 220830
>This e-mail, including attachments if any, have originated from AES 
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