Q&A: Enhancing Your Clie Experience

In a new Q&A column at PIC, forum regular Alex Bosco tackles a few questions on how to get the most out of your Sony Clie Handheld. Read on for a bit of software titles and tips that will help you get more done with your device and learn a bit of Clie history.

Q:† What does CLIE mean and what is its history?

A:† Well, Iím not about to get into the vast history of Sony and their product past, so Iíll see if I can refer you to somewhere else for a detailed explanation.† Dan Royea maintains a great site called PalmEvolution that gives a timeline, description, and a visual family tree of nearly every Palm OS based product on the market.† Also, another point of interest is the book that has won high acclaims from many people in the Palm community, Piloting Palm.

CLIE stands for Communications Link to Information and Entertainment.† Sometimes, itís just better not to ask how they come up with these names.† But donít worry; Zire, Tungsten, and Cobalt are quickly raking in points for the ďoddest product nameĒ contest, so nobody will make fun of you for buying a ďCLIEĒ.

Q:† I just bought a new TJ/TH/UX.† What are some must-have software titles?

A:† Very good question - we get this a lot in the PalmInfocenter forums.† In order to keep this organized and neat, Iíll break it up into smaller sections.

For Office:† While there are plenty of choices for this category of software you can use, the one I recommend the most is Documents To Go 6.† For $29.99, you get a word processor and spreadsheet program that can read and write to native Microsoft Office formats in addition to smaller-sized PDB format.† Shell out some extra cash, and you can get the Premium Edition, which contains extra tools like spell checkers, charts, PowerPoint and PDF support, as well as a few Outlook functions. Some of the latest Clies, like the TJ27, 37 and TH55 now come with a free code for Docs2Go when you register the product.† And if Textmaker ever gets out of beta, I recommend upgrading to that as your primary word processor.† But until then, D2G6 is your ideal solution.

For Internet:† The most recent Clies come with a suite of applications that can handle such tasks for the internet, ranging from Clie Mail for fetching email on the fly or syncing with your desktop, to NetFront 3.1 for great web browsing.† The only thing that you may need extra is another email client if you plan on receiving a multitude of HTML in your mailbox, plus an SMS program if youíre into that.† SnapperMail or VersaMail should work, but they cost extra, and sometimes itís a pretty penny.† And if you ever get stuck trying to make your hopeless PDA to cell phone internet connection work, head over and check out Connection Manager (CoMa).

For Games:† What the point of having a digital organizer with a brilliant color display and gobs of processing power if you canít have some fun?† Fortunately, many games have debuted that take advantage of the new speeds and offer great graphics in addition to awesome playability - enough to keep you entertained for weeks at a time (and donít worry - this list will break the mold and WONíT contain Bejeweled).† Hereís a quick chart of games that may interest you, haphazardly assorted by type:






GTS Racing

Toy Races

Shoot-em up:

Interstellar Flames

Shattered Worlds




Aldonís Crossing


Warfare Inc

Lemonade Inc


Master Thief 3D



TableTennis 3D


Of course, there are also a vast multitude of puzzle, strategy, card, and board games (yes, including Bejeweled), but I contained this short list to the newest and most entertaining games as coming from somebody with a very short attention span.† Download trials of games that may interest you and see if theyíre worth your dollar.† A lot of them are pricey and worth it, like Warfare Inc for $30, and others are cheap and very well worth it, such as Interstellar Flames at under $10.

For Entertainment:† If youíve owned your Clie for more than five minutes, then youíve already found out just how well Sony has incorporated multimedia seamlessly into each unit that supports it.† Of course there are always ways to improve it, but the arrangement of different applications for MP3 and AT3 audio, MPEG1, MPEG4, and QuickTime formats for video (and sometimes recording), plus other features like a picture viewer, voice recorder, and great integration with peripherals and other software such as Bluetooth or Clie Mail make for another impressive suite.† The only after-market things you may be interested in are a faster picture viewer (I recommend Acid Image) and another video player that supports Divx, such as MMPlayer beta. †

Finally, while Sony includes a launcher with intuitive jog dial navigation, I simply cannot recommend enough that you download ZLauncher and see if you like its features better.† Silverscreen, LauncherX, Megalauncher, and YiShow are also a nice bunch of launchers, but ZLauncher has proven to be the most frequently updated, supported, and all-around best application that is worth your money.† Many agree, and many disagree.† Remember, this is coming from one user, so check out the forums and gather some information.† And donít forget to download trials for yourself and give them a shot.

Any of the mentioned software titles, and over 25,000 others, can be found on PalmGear.

Odds and Ends:† While Sony includes a good amount of extra software in ROM (Clie Memo, Sound Utility, Clie Files, MSBackup, Data Import, etc), there are other things you may want to download to get the most out of your handheld - some free, some costly.

PalmReader Pro - a favorite e-book reader among the community, with supports for anti-aliased fonts, different color backgrounds and themes, auto-scrolling speeds, and landscape support. †

Worldmate Pro - a great application to make traveling a lot easier, including conversions, time zones with atomic clock syncing support, packing lists, downloadable weather conditions, and more.

JackFlash - not satisfied with the amount of RAM in your device?† If your CLIE supports Flash ROM, this app can take advantage of it and let you store extra programs in non-volatile ROM space that would otherwise go unoccupied.† Sometimes, the advantage is so extreme as to double the storage space on the NX80v with an extra 16 MB usable ROM.

Mapopolis - Never lose your way with on-the-fly instructions and directions from anywhere to anywhere as long as you have the detailed map of your location.† And with near-flawless GPS navigation support, itís perfect enough to build a second cradle and mount your CLIE on the dashboard for use as a navigator.

These are merely four of over twenty thousand applications available for your device.† To try to explain almost all of those applications in detail would require such an undertaking as for PalmSource themselves to do the project.

Q:† What are some must-have accessories for my device?

A:† For the basic things, youíre going to want to buy some screen protectors, a few extra styli, a leather or aluminum case, and definitely some memory expansion for all the apps youíre going to want to buy.† I suggest buying the largest-sized Memory Stick available to you that you feel comfortable purchasing so you donít turn out like one of us who are constantly popping out one small card with music for another small card with games.† Oops, your card with data from work just went down the storm sewer...† Iíd say go for a 256 MB Memory Stick Pro. †

Some other things worth looking at are wired or wireless keyboard or thumbboard, the Sony GC-10 game pad, the Sony MSB1 Bluetooth Memory Stick, and even some outrageous things such as an expensive Bluetooth GPS receiver to hookup to your Clie and Mapopolis, or a portable printer.† And letís not forget the VR100k video recorder!† The possibilities are endless with all the sockets, expansion slots, and wireless options bleeding out the sides of the newest devices.† Leave no stone unturned in your hunt for the perfect CLIE bundle.

Q:† Where can I get a good deal on a new or used Clie?

A: Sony sells directly though their SonyStyle website, and thats where you'll have to pre-order most of the new models, they also have the broadest range of Sony specific add ons and accessories. If you're looking for the lowest price around on a handheld or accessory the PalmInfocenter PriceGrabber searches hundreds of online merchants to locate the lowest prices and best deals on the net.

Q:† Where can I get more information on [arbitrary item]?

A:†The PalmInfocenter Forums are a great place to ask a question, even if it gets a little overloaded at times.† There are plenty of people out there willing to help you out if you ever have a technical problem or question with your new handheld.†

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sub_tex @ 2/25/2004 5:40:58 PM #
I wish there were more user contributed articles on PIC. Nice job bosco.

* there's a typo in the title though "Enhandcing" should not have the "d" in there. ;)

RE: Nice
abosco @ 2/25/2004 6:29:08 PM #
Thanks, and I agree. It'd be cool to see more users writing up some columns. Ryan was flexible throughout publishing it, and it was a joy to write.

NX80v + Wifi + BT + T616
RE: Nice
Hal2000 @ 2/25/2004 6:50:07 PM #
Good job Alex, Thanks for saying what Non-Sony owners will never know. I'm about to pass my TG off to my daughter, but until then, as it sits on the end table charging, it begs to be used: the little sreen and processor just screams.

1.128 gigs under the hood.
RE: Nice
mikecane @ 2/26/2004 4:06:58 AM #
My God! I've created a monster! And no agent's commission, either...

.. and where the hell is the info on fonts?!

And when's the next column?

Mapopolis is dead

just_little_me @ 2/26/2004 5:59:31 AM #
Once you have tried the new Navman Smart St software with a Sony Car Cradle - wow.


RE: Mapopolis is dead
Hal2000 @ 2/27/2004 9:46:52 PM #
Is the NAVMAN 4460 even out yet? Will it work on the Z as well as on the t3 in landscape? Anybody?

1.128 gigs under the hood.
RE: Mapopolis is dead
just_little_me @ 3/9/2004 4:35:39 PM #
Yup, the 4460 software works in landscape on the Z, the T3 and the UX40/50 devices.


What happened to Sony Car Cradle?
CLIEMike @ 5/16/2004 6:23:46 PM #
Does anyone know where the Sony Car Cradle disappeared to? It has been completely removed from Sony's web site and I haven't been able to find it on any online vendors' catalog. Was it discontinued? I was hoping to grab one eventually if the price came down some.

Warfare Incorporated

scottlu @ 3/2/2004 1:06:07 PM #
Thought I'd drop in and let Clie users know that Warfare Incorporated v1.1 is about to be released. If you have a Palm OS 5 Clie, v1.1 is now optimized for Palm OS 5 as a native ARM application, resulting in a very significant speed boost. Also in v1.1 is landscape support for hi-res+ devices, user-authored mission support, and a full blown mission editor that runs on a desktop PC.

Any new CLIE's withOUT cameras coming?

rookon @ 3/3/2004 12:05:14 PM #
Sony does not seem to grasp that most large-enterprise users operate under security policies that forbid onsite camera possession (mostly to prevent industrial espionage I believe). If they want their PDA's to be bought by business users (who know and care about the policies ;-), they need to provide models without cameras (and probly with BlueTooth and WiFi as long as they can be turned off at will, and be upgradeable with the inevitable security fixes).




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