About iSilo

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With the advent of WiFi, access to the web has become commonplace at home or at work for many of us. There are situations, however, especially in rural areas, when there is no reliable internet access, and it becomes desirable to have access to medical information stored in device memory. This requires an application which can interpret source material – in this case a collection of web pages – and store them in memory without loss of the hyperlinks and bookmarks so necessary for navigation on a small screen.

The text reader which has been used for all the topics in these pages is iSilo™. It is available now for most handheld device platforms. iSilo™ has been popular as a platform for medical applications for many years. Collections of topics for this platform can be found on the web at the elegant Meistermed site link Medical iSilo Depot, among others. This is a program capable of capturing web pages from a computer or from the internet and putting them into PDA format without loss of hyperlinks and bookmarks. It is capable of reading hyperlinks to several layers on web pages. It can handle tables and graphics, but you need to be mindful of the limitations of size of screen on your handheld device. Tables and graphics which are too large will require a lot of scrolling for adequate navigation. Some detailed graphics do not resolve well on a small screen. Documents formatted for iSilo carry the .pdb extension. The program is also capable of reading .txt files, but only displays them as plain text without hyperlinks, making information retrieval almost impossible.

iSilo™ is available for 30 days as freeware, however if you wish to continue to use the hyperlink, bookmark, table and graphics capabilities, you then have to register for the sum of approximately $10.00 US. There is a companion Graphical User Interface (GUI) for Windows® and Macintosh® desktop, which can be downloaded free of charge. This interface is iSiloX, which can be used to convert any web page and associated links to a .pdb file, which can be read by iSilo once it has been installed as a handheld app. The latest version of the program for the PDA and the GUI for the host computer can be downloaded from theMeistermed site. It is now in version 6.x. This program is highly recommended if you are planning to store information on a handheld device.

Transferring .pdb files once they have been created in iSiloX to the iSilo app on your handheld device is quite device specific, and various tutorials may be found on the web. A tutorial for the iPhone or iPad can be found on the Meistermed website here.

Other text readers are available for PDA’s. Files are not interchangeable, as formats are proprietary, thus you will have to use the zipped web page files, rather than the .pdb files, as a source if you wish to use another platform.