Sunrise is used in conjunction with Plucker, a Palm OS offline reader, and Vade Mecum, a Pocket PC equivalent. These programs are similar to a web browser (like the one in which you are reading this piece) except that they are meant for offline viewing—in other words, you download the entire content first and later read the content on your PDA without an internet connection. Those of you who use AvantGo are already familiar with the concept (though I believe AvantGo also lets you surf online as well). If you don’t have either of the readers on your PDA yet, don’t bother reading any further and get yourself a copy of them first:
For Palm folks, all you need from the Plucker website is the “Plucker Viewer” in whatever language you use. As of this writing, I suggest you use version 1.8, the last stable version. I am going to avoid getting into detail about how Plucker works, since that could be a totally separate piece, but the Plucker website http://plkr.org
has pretty extensive documentation, as does MobileRead itself.
Since I don’t have Wi-fi on my Tungsten E2, Sunrise/Plucker is a great way to provide myself with my favorite web pages, e-books, etc. I run Sunrise nightly with a HotSync, and when I wake up in the morning, I have the day’s newspaper, weather, movie listings, favorite blogs, etc. right there for me to view during that day. There are also pre-formatted e-books available in Plucker format as well. I also have some reference websites in my PDA that permanently stay there for future use. Pretty much anything you can find by surfing online in your browser can be (with a few limitations) parsed with Sunrise XP and viewed later in Plucker.
I have had only exclusive experience with Plucker and no exposure at all to Vade Mecum, so this tutorial will primarily talk only about Plucker/Palm use, but I presume that most of this content applies to either application. (I would appreciate if any Vade Mecum users out there could chime in if there is a notable difference in how it works, or, even better, modify a copy of this tutorial for the benefit of Vade Mecum users.)
Please also note that there have been earlier java-based versions of Sunrise (called “Sunrise Desktop”, which were java-based. The old Sunrise (and JPluckX, an even earlier creation of Laurens’) function similarly, but for most users, Sunrise XP will be the most user-friendly and versatile one.