For all those who are organized enough to have an itinerary planned out for SFN next week using the online Neuroscience Meeting Planner (a rather archaic tool that is only marginally useful, linked from the meeting homepage above), you may be interested in how you can use your mobile device (like iPhone, blackberry, etc) to explore your schedule. I’ve been looking all afternoon for a way to automatically export the OASIS itinerary to outlook or Google Calendar, but nothing seems to work (though if you like using Excel to plan your events, they’ve got that covered). An ambitious student with more time than appropriate on his or her hands could cook up some Applescript to generate iCal events from the rows of the .xls file, but I unfortunately won’t be much help there.
Once you’ve signed in to the OASIS meeting planner and have picked out a reasonably nice itinerary, you can view it on your mobile device in two ways:
1) create a pdf of the printable version of the itinerary and put this in your Dropbox folder or Evernote notebook (if you don’t use Dropbox or Evernote, drop what you’re doing and sign up – these are fantastic, infinitely useful services). If you use a smartphone, this should be quite easy to access on-the-go (via the iPhone app for Dropbox or Evernote or the web interface for either). UPDATE: Carl Wonders on Twitter reminded me that Air Sharing is a fantastic iPhone app that can be used to transfer files to the iPhone so that there won’t be any reliance on network connectivity (a safe bet considering there won’t be wifi on the conference floor). You can just transfer the pdf of your itinerary to your phone and not worry about spontaneous 3G outages or slow network traffic. Thanks, Carl!
To create the pdf, first click on the “printable itinerary” button on the left, just underneath where it says “My Itinerary”
2) You could view the meeting planner on your mobile device (on the web) – here’s how:
Navigate, on your mobile device’s web browser, to the meeting planner and log in. Select “My Itinerary” to get to the screen shown below, then click on “Mobile Itinerary”
This will provide you with a decent, though hardly good, way to explore your planned events during the meeting. That is, of course, if we have any data coverage whatsoever. I was really hoping there would be some kind of OASIS iPhone app for this year (I’d pay $10 easy), but unfortunately we weren’t so lucky.
If I by any chance come up with a way to import the itinerary into Google Calendar, I’ll write up a walkthrough. Of course, if you know of anything that makes planning the meeting any less stressful, please share in the comments. Once I have things nailed down, I’ll post a preliminary version of my itinerary here as a pdf. If there’s anything you think I should check out, please let me know – I’m always looking to meet interesting people doing interesting research.
UPDATE: According to a new story posted recently on the SFN Annual Meeting site, the abstract and daily books are available for download to your Kindle. I don’t know how useful this will be to everyone (an interactive itinerary would be better…), but I’m sure some people will find this quite handy. I’ll try downloading the Kindle versions later this week and see if there’s any additional utility there. It would certainly be nice not to carry all 5 books around every day, but I can imagine pressing “next page” over and over again will be quite inconvenient. If you’ve used these on your Kindle, feel free to post impressions in the comments.
Tags: SFN 2009