Chronos LC, the folks behind the
StickBrain product for Mac OS X, has unveiled a new product tailored to Apple’s new operating system: Personal Organizer 4.0, which integrates a calendar, address book, word processor, memo taker, personal journal, phone dialer and alarm clock into a single application.
“Personal Organizer 4.0 is a modern organizer with modern underpinnings, not decade old legacy code,” Jerry Halls, vice president of sales at Chronos, said in announcing the product. “This allows it to integrate all the above features in a single application which incorporates technologies like the Internet, speech, e-mail, Aqua, English translation and Mac OS X. Users only have to learn one application, not two or more.”
He added that when Chronos engineers set about developing version 4.0, everything they did had to conform to a specific philosophy: make it feature-rich, make it fast, make it easy to use and make it beautiful.
The latest version of Personal Organizer 4.0 adds new features such as a built-in customizable spell checker that will spell check word processing documents, journal entries, memos and notes; a new and completely resizable Button Bar sports drag and drop customization; favorite applications can be dragged to it from the Finder; the Button Bar may be oriented horizontally or vertically; and users can place an unlimited number of Button Bars on the screen at once using different orientations, sizes and buttons.
Other new features include a new Administration dialog, an auto-open account feature, new Account Bars, new Palm Sync Setup, HTML online help, adjustable mini-calendars in the Day View, default account options, a Switch Primary Account dialog and more. Note that Palm’s syncing software hasn’t been Carbonized yet (that’s due in the next couple of months) so synchronization will require firing up the Classic environment in Mac OS X.
“Like Mac OS X, a Personal Organizer file can contain multiple user accounts,” Halls said. “A custom picture can now be assigned to each user account in a file including public accounts. Account pictures make it easy to distinguish who an activity or contact belongs to whether it be mom, dad or the family. A new progress dialog now prominently displays which account is being opened and the file it belongs to.”
He added that the speed of nearly every aspect of Personal Organizer 4.0 has been dramatically improved. Depending on the computer, files open and close 200 percent to 1000 percent faster than the previous version. Files import 300 percent faster. Modifying the attributes of record batches occurs 300 percent faster. Mirror files and backups save 500 percent faster. Personal Organizer now synchronizes with Palm connected organizers 400 percent faster.
A new Account Administration Wizard makes it easy to create private and public accounts complete with account pictures, Halls said. The wizard steps users through assigning access privileges and include a new feature for specifying which accounts should automatically be opened for each user.
The new Palm Sync Setup Wizard solves category synchronization issues by actually asking the Palm handheld which categories are being used. The user can then select the categories to synchronize, eliminating the all or nothing problem most PIMs face, Halls said. Personal Organizer can even synchronize memos, a common deficiency in other PIM products, he added.
A new Account Bar displays which file is open as well as the account(s) being accessed. Users can open additional accounts via a new dialog that doesn’t require the user to enter a name or password since Personal Organizer 4.0 uses a new security mechanism based on access privileges rather than passwords, according to Halls.
Personal Organizer 4.0 requires Mac OS 8.6 or above, including Mac OS X. The application takes 13MB of disk space and runs in as little as 5000K RAM. A 30-day trial version can be downloaded from
Chronos’ Web site. The cost is US$59.99.
Current Personal Organizer users may upgrade to version 4.0 for $39.99. For an additional $10 they can get StickyBrain. By the way, Group Organizer 4.0 will be released next week.