PDA Problems

So I’m having this problem with my Sony Clie (PDA).

The other day, I was trying to turn on the backlight, when suddenly I got this error message, some kind of “fatal” thing. In order to turn it off, I had to pop the batteries out. So I did that, then rebooted. When it came back on, it had lost everything in internal memory, but the memory stick was fine. This is no big deal — I don’t keep important information on there, just ebooks — so I just synched up when I got home. After synching, it looked like everything was fine (it successfully reloaded all the files I had on it), but today when I took it out to use it, I see that the stuff I synched the other day is now missing again, though I didn’t run into any further fatal errors. I even had to go through the start-up rigamarole where you have to use the stylus to point on the targets and set the time, etc. So I used it about an hour ago and that happened. Since then, I haven’t tried synching it again, so the main memory remains blank, but I just tried turning it on again now, and it seems to be fine otherwise (didn’t make me re-initialize, and it saved my place in the story I was reading [which was on the memory stick]).

For the record, I subscribe to and read Analog and Asimov’s via Fictionwise. Normally, I would prefer the dead-tree editions, but I originally started reading Asimov’s on there because I find the typeface, layout, and overall page density gives me a headache. I lated added Analog to my Fictionwise subscriptions just because I found myself never getting around to reading it, and I figured if I carried it with me in my PDA, I might get to it more often.

I read SCI FICTION on there as well. Unfortunately, there’s no simple way to download the stories. So what I do is just hit CTRL + A, then copy the text and paste it into Notepad. Notepad removes all the HTML junk (thus removing the images etc. on the SCI FICTION page), leaving a pristine text file. When you paste the text into Notepad, those story quotes in the left margin of SCI FICTION show up at the beginning, right before the story begins. So they’re easy enough to delete before saving the file (or you could just ignore them). The only problem I’ve come across is that in removing all the HTML junk, it also removes the boldface text and/or italics, so that can be an issue at times.

Note: this only works exactly as described with Windows XP. When I had Windows 98, it worked the same way, except Notepad could only make very small files, so most SCI FICTION stories were too long. In Windows XP, however, there don’t appear to be any file size limits, and you can post whole novellas (probably even novels) into Notepad and still save them as txt files. This is also convenient, BTW, since txt files are pretty small, compared to Word files.