How can I turn my Sony Clie into a simple word processor/ebook reader?
December 24, 2007 8:48 PM   Subscribe

How can I turn my Sony Clie into a simple word processor/ebook reader?

I have an old Sony Clie PEG-NX60 (with swivel-out keyboard, no wifi) and I want to turn it into something useful if possible. Specifically, I would like to be able to read and edit text files on the device and use it as an ebook reader, and sync or at least transfer those files to my desktop (I run Ubuntu linux), but how? I haven't been able to get the desktop to recognize the PDA, even with jpilot sw installed. (Note that I'm willing to hack it to death if necessary as I paid nothing for it and have no interest in using the PIM utilities.)
posted by sallyann to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here's a pretty good bluetooth keyboard for cheap (assuming you have bluetooth):

Then, you might consider Documents2go for editing docs, or pedit for something more text like. Both can be found on
posted by bumper314 at 9:23 PM on December 24, 2007

On my palm I read ebooks with eReader (mostly), plucker, palmpdf and adobe reader.

You may have luck putting texts on a memory stick and reading them from there if you can't get the device to sync.

I believe on the mac you couldn't use the standard palm desktop, but instead had to use a 3rd party program named "Missing Sync", this makes me think you may not have easy luck on linux unless their is explicit clie support in jpilot.

Here's a link from someone who got an older? clie working with red hat

ho ho ho
posted by bottlebrushtree at 10:03 PM on December 24, 2007

I'm not on a linux but I've run across pages where people have managed to get Clie's to synch up with linux via USB (which doesn't work 'out of the box').

This might help. Searching for Clie USB and your particular distro might help.


I've got an NX70 (and an older Peg before that) and love the scrollwheel/jogdial.

Word2Doc is a Word plugin (I haven't been able to get it to work with Office 2007, but it works with all the older versions) that converts anything that Word can open into a prc that Mobipocket can display. Mobisoft also offers conversion software but I'm not sure that linux is supported; perhaps run it under WINE?

Word2Doc is shareware, but there's no timeout. Mobipocket is professional software that's free-as-in-beer.

Project Gutenberg/Usenet for cost-less ebooks (binsearch is an Usenet search engine that will generate nzb files for free - and NZB-o-Matic Plus is a fantastic nzb downloader).

Also, Mobisoft has a pretty good selection of ebooks in their Mobipocket reader format.

When you hotsynch ebooks in prc format, just tell the synch program to move them into your memory stick - the speed difference from main memory isn't too big of a deal.
posted by porpoise at 11:08 PM on December 24, 2007

I want to turn it into something useful if possible.
I'd put it on eBay for somebody who desperately wants one. (They seem to go from $75+ to $35 depending on condition and accessories).
This thing suffers from the Sony 'We can't make ANYTHING compatable' curse worse than most of their stuff - Sell it, and spend thirty or forty bucks more to buy yourself something that's not deliberately incompatable.
posted by Orb2069 at 12:01 AM on December 25, 2007

I have QuickOffice on my Palm PDA; as the name implies, it includes a word processor and spreadsheet. VersionTracker's PalmOS downloads are also worth checking for other odds and ends.

Regarding Orb2069's opinion: there's plenty of devices out there which still run Garnet (Palm OS 5.x). Apart from being limited to the mobile version of Flash 5, the Clié can still import and export files compatible with Windows and *NIX variants.

Though I don't have any connectivity suggestions for resolving the jpilot sw conflict, you could consider a card reader and transfer files via MemoryStick.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:05 AM on December 25, 2007

I have a Clie NR70 that has served daily as my alarm clock and ebook reader across multiple continents for something like 6-7 years now. Ever since they first came out. I've read dozens and dozens of ebooks using the free PalmFiction software which has LOTS of options, including the ability to convert and use truetype fonts directly off a PC running Windows. I absolutely swear by this program. Can't help you with the editing stuff though.

· PalmFiction site, in Russian but the links (and program itself) are in English
· SourceForge main page for PalmFiction, including tools like font converter, skins etc.
posted by tra at 2:57 PM on December 25, 2007

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and the amazing links!

I'm going to try to get it to synch via jpilot if possible, and barring that hot-swap the memory stick to load ebooks onto the device and, if this turns out to be too big a hassle, follow Orb2069's suggestion and put it on Ebay or Craigslist.
posted by sallyann at 12:26 AM on January 1, 2008

« Older One little mouse...   |   food and cooking podcasts Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.