tealscan07.jpgTealpoint is developing a diagnostic tool which they have named TealScan. It is currently in Alpha (according to their website), although the tool itself is functional and has a lot to recommend it and it is already possible to purchase it.

The main categories are set out in tabs at the top of the screen. They are Status, Scan, Maintain and Tools.

Status Tab:

The status tab displays 4 graduated bars and 3 buttons. The bars measure battery (volts and percent charge left) , Memory (used/total (amount free)), NVFS (% full, % locked), Signal strength (phone, bluetooth, or wifi).
The system button displays information on your device. The storage button displays information on, you got it, storage! it is handy to see what exactly is going on. The BG Proc button displays Background processes, some of which you may care about others you probably wish were masked (although Tealpoint has no plans to filter this at this point). A major drawback to this screen, in my opinion, is that there is no scrollbar to indicate that it is a very long list. On my device 17 entries show up on the screen while in reality there are 247. To see the rest you must either use the 5-way nav button in the center of the device (on my TX), or scroll down by highlighting with your stylus.

tealscan19.jpgScan Tab:

There are 6 items to choose from on this tab:

  • Corrupted Contacts
  • Empty PIM records
  • Duplicate PIM records
  • Unarchived PIM records
  • Unprotected Background apps
  • Unlocked background apps

I have found the first 2 items to work fairly well, but the Duplicate PIM item although finding duplicates and supposedly fixing them, seems to find the same duplicates again if you do a soft reset after exiting the app.The Unprotected background apps and Unlocked background resources items work well enough but will find Alex Pruss’s software as a possible problem, because it is my understanding that Alex write’s his apps slightly differently. So my list contains 4 Pruss related apps:

Showbattery (yes mine is the Pruss version)
T3sk-noti (a myKbd component)

tealscan20.jpgMaintain Tab:

There are 6 items in this tab as well:

  • Clean Temporary Files
  • Clean cache file
  • Clean a68k shadow files
  • Find Orphan preferences
  • Find orphan data files
  • Find shared data files

The first 3 items are fairly self explanatory are work well. The orphan preferences and orphan data items find items and identifies them based on Creator IDs. This can be a problem if an app doesn’t use creator IDs properly. These items are not a problem to run, but should be used carefully to delete items. The tealscan help file says, “Entries should generally only be deleted if Tealscan can identify them as belonging to an app you know you no longer run.” I just used these to do some cleaning and found many entries that did need to be deleted and were identified as belonging to apps I had deleted, but there were many more that belonged to unidentified apps. The last item, Shared data file, is interesting, but generally useless. That may be a little harsh. The files this tool finds should generally not be deleted, but if you identify all the apps that use the file and decide you are no longer using it then this tool will let you delete files.

On the bottom of this tab is a checkbox labeled: Monitor and auto-restore ‘Saved Preferences’ database. This is good to leave checked. It would also be nice if the unsaved preferences file were included (especially since many apps keep their reg info there).

tealscan21.jpgTools Tab:

The list of tools keeps growing. As of this writing and this version (0.75) there are 11 tools:

  • Check for software updates
  • check for system version updates
  • lock/unlock apps in memory
  • replace contact area codes
  • selectively delete appointments
  • selectively delete contacts
  • selectively delete memos
  • selectively delete tasks
  • set application stack space
  • write new apps info to CSV
  • write heap info to memo

The first 2 item use the resident TealScan database (you should download a new version before running the tools – there is an Update TealScan Database button at the bottom of the screen) to check for updates to either your currently installed software or the ROM of your device. The lock option still has some quirks. It says in the help that it uses TealLock to lock apps. I noticed that if you lock an app using this tool you can’t unlock it using Resco Locker. Also the list doesn’t really tell you whether it is already locked. This should be addressed before the release. The selective delete tools are useful and seem to work well. They make the task of deleting old or select information much easier. The set application stack space tool needs a better help file, the current one contains no warnings, such as “Don’t use this tool unless you know what you are doing”. Using this could have adverse affects if done improperly. The the CSV tool lets you write pertinent information about apps not in the current TealScan database to your card in a form that will let them be included in the next release of the database (assuming you send the file to Tealpoint – it would be nice if they automated this process by renaming the tool “Send new apps info to TealPoint” and then have it connect and send the file after writing it). The last tool is used for internal debugging purposes.

At the bottom of the screen are 2 buttons. The Run Tool button is just that – select a tool then tap the button. The Update Tealscan Database is as I described previously a way to update your database. Note that this button scans your apps then connects to tealpoint using you default browser. There is an option in preferences to “Use alternate download link to work around buggy web browsers”, so if you find that you are getting an incomplete link in the browser, check this box and it should work. Note that you can also designate what folders you wish TealScan to search on your card with the Custom Card Folders preference. The trackerdog approach of designating which folders not to search may have been an easier solution here, but it works none the less. It has a nice feature in that tapping the add button brings up a file browser allowing you to select the directory.

tealscan16.jpg tealscan17.jpg tealscan18.jpg

There are many tools available to help troubleshoot your palm. If you are the type of person who uses these tools, I recommend TealScan be in your arsenal. They are still developing it. there is a possibility that they will put in some crash logging tools, although that is unlikely at the moment.

Related posts:

  1. TealScan – system info and diagnostics application
  2. How to delete files which don’t want to be deleted
  3. TreoWeather review – a weather forecast tool for your Treo
  4. PowerDigi – a calibration tool for OS5 devices
  5. The new PIMs on old Palms – part 3

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