This announcement from Pimlico Software could be of interest for people owning older Palm OS handhelds, as the folks at Palm have dropped support for these devices from the latest version of Palm Desktop:

Palm’s V-6.2 “Access” Desktop syncs with the newer Palm PIM databases (Calendar, Contacts, Memos, Tasks), but not with the traditional/legacy PIM app databases (Address, Datebook, Memo, ToDo).

It turns out though that a number of changes to the windows registry FIXES this issue and allows a traditional/legacy Palm device to sync nicely with the V-6.2 Access Desktop.

I have written a small freeware application which makes all the requisite changes to the registry and also allows you to reverse the procedure should that be necessary.

You can download this application from:
http://www.PimlicoSoftware.com/palmhotsyncsetup.exe
or as a zip file, from:
http://www.PimlicoSoftware.com/palmhotsyncsetup.zip

Just launch the application and select the appropriate database set and click the Setup button. Then hotsync and you should now see your data in the Palm Desktop application.

Palm’s Card Info application has always served new Palm owners well: they used it to check the free space on their memory card until they got their first file manager (or directly switched to Resco Explorer).
0 On the Card Info app

Unfortunately, the release of PowerSDHC marks the end of its useful life. The program is heavily flawed and does not work well with cards that are over 4GB in size. Inserting a 8GB card into a Palm OS device running PowerSDHC and running Card Info leads to borked-up display – the program displays a maximum card size of 4GB.

Even though this is completely insignificant (the handheld can use the full space), it could give some of you a start – which is why I post this here…

P.S: An updated Card Info application is available from Dmitry Grinberg!

Andrew Craig from South Africa is a true time freak – here’s his first article. it takes a detailed look at recycling old handhelds as alarm clocks… . BTW: Andrew is new here – so please let us know how he can improve!
Tam Hanna

I tried using my Treo 650 as an alarm clock but I kept on leaving the ringer switch off or even sometimes leaving the phone elsewhere. I managed to get an old Zire21 from a friend and I found it makes the best alarm clock ever! Most of this is basic Palm stuff but I found it all so easy to setup.

Varying wake ups?
Create a repeat schedule for Monday to Fridays. Delete the public holidays! Never get woken up on a public holiday again. Change tomorrows wake-up without changing the entire schedule.
 Using vintage handhelds as alarm clocks

Accurate time
Install TimeCopy and sync once a month to set the time. My zire21 loses a second every 20 hours which is about 40s a month which is not bad. Palm also takes care of daylight saving issues.
 Using vintage handhelds as alarm clocks

Battery powered
A zire21 will run for weeks on a single charge if it is being used an a alarm clock. Leave it plugged in and never worry about power issues again. Use Profeo SystemAlarms to warn if the battery is getting low way before the dreaded battery warning in case it get unplugged.
 Using vintage handhelds as alarm clocks

Funky alarms
Install geeksounds (http://mytreo.net/downloads/geeksounds,7.html) to wake up to the Star Wars theme…..
 Using vintage handhelds as alarm clocks

Keeping the data safe
Use SyncAll – Backs up the entire memory including preferences. Any issues, just reset and hotsync.

Set this all up on a desktop in a couple of minutes and never worry about waking up late again.

Dialer scams were very popular a few years ago. Cutting a long story short, a dialer is a program that calls special premium-rate numbers without your consent and generates income for the ‘scammer’. These were effectively banned in Austria and Germany a few weeks ago…and the Mafia now strikes back with premium SMS.

A premium SMS is an SMS or MMS that you are charged for by the carrier – and a part of the money goes to the sender. Now, premium SMS scammers send out SMS like the one shown below(translated: have fun, you already wasted 10€):
0 Public service announcement: SMS scam running rampage in Austria

This serves two purposes: first of all, outraged user could potentially call back, causing income for the operator. But the scammer even earns money without you calling back -the carrier charges for delivery.

In my case, the price of the SMS was 3Euros(appox 5 UsD)…a sum that many people will not notice on their bill. Given a few thousand ‘sheep’, the scammer can make a nice living.

Defending yourself against scammers is easy, however:

Check your bills
in Austria, there is an old saying that goes along the lines of: vigilance is the mother of the crate full of china. Checking your bills for weird charges as they arrive will protect you from scams – if someone tries to rip you off, just call your carrier. Every somewhat cooperative carrier will then book the charge back…if he doesn’t, swapping carriers is a very good idea.

Consider a premium rate number lock
If you don’t need premium rate numbers(call proxies,…), why not block them all. Your carrier will offer this service for almost nothing – the peace of mind gained by this could well be worth the tiny fee(T-Mobile does it for free after a scam has occurred).

I am currently pursuing an interview with T-Mobile’s on the matter – stay tuned!

The Treo 680 ships with a CD that contains Palm Desktop(among other things). Insert the CD into your computer’s drive, and Autostart automatically begins to install Palm Desktop in the language of your Windows installation.

However, if your Windows is German but all the rest of the apps are English, an English version of the desktop probably will be more useful. But the Autostart menu doesn’t give you a choice.

The trick needed to install a language of your choice is easy. Instead of using the Autostart window, right-click on the CD-ROM drive ion My Computer. Then, navigate to H:Language_Selector and run LanguageSelector…

You can now choose the language of choice!

When I originally got my Treo 680, its Blazer browser refused to open many web sites and instead showed a window like the one below:
0a How to fix .php page download problems with Blazer

Most pages which were dynamically generated via php and thus ended in .php were impossible to render on my Treo 680…this severely limited usability.

If this happens, a fix is easy and readily available. Download Resco Explorer(trial is enough), and open Control Panel -> Associations. Look for an association to .php(like the one shown below) and delete it:
1a How to fix .php page download problems with Blazer

Blazer now no longer feels the urge to ‘pass on’ the file to another application as there is no handler available in the Palm Os’ses registry. Instead, it proceeds to render and show the page normally…

In Austria, retailers are starting to press 2GB memory cards into the market with force(stay tuned for a review of the ‘volksspeicherkarte’). While walking past one of the stacks, I decided to gobble one up….and test it on all handhelds I own. Here we go:

Palm m500 vs 2GB card
The m500 had no problems reading a small PRC file from the card. However, writing data onto the card failed with an error message.

Palm Tungsten T3 vs 2GB card
The T3 read data from the card easily, but could not write data to it.

Palm Tungsten E2 vs 2GB card
The Tungsten E2 failed to see the memory card. Total failure.

Palm TX vs 2GB card
No problems, read/write works.

Palm Treo 600 vs 2GB card
No problems, read/write works.

Palm Treo 680 vs 2GB card
No problems, read/write works.

To cut a long story short, here’s a little table of the results:

Device Sees card Execute PRC(read) Save PRC(write)
m500 y y n
Tungsten E2 n n n
Tungsten T3 y y n
TX y y y
Palm Treo 600 y y y
Palm Treo 680 y y y

What about sharing your handheld experiences? Share some data and it’ll get posted here for your fellow readers!

The following question is a hot runner on Palm OS forums like 1src:

Where should I put foo Palm OS app? Into RAM, or onto SD card/MMC card/MemoryStick/CF.

This post is my attempt to finally clear out the mess, feel free to link to it as needed.

To get started, we need to define what we are actually talking about. Internal RAM is the memory area that the Palm OS has used since version 1.0. It sits in NVFS or a traditional RAM chip and usually cannot be removed from the device easily. A few classic Palm OS handhelds allowed you to expand their RAM with proprietary expansion cards – but these times are long gone. The CPU can more-less directly run programs from this memory area.

VFS, on the other hand, is external memory much like the hard disk of a PC. It comes in SD, MMC, CF, MeoryStick and other shapes and can even be included into the device. VFS is intended to store large amounts of non-executable data like MP3 songs, movies or documents.

In order to run a program from VFS; it needs to be copied to RAM first. This takes time, and if there isn’t enough RAM free, the app cant start.

Now, a regular Palm OS program that you launch via the launcher, run it and then kick out of the execution space can reside on VFS easily. It gets copied to RAM when started(you can actually take the card out once started), resides there and gets kicked out when you leave it.

However, problems arise when some kind of “background action” is needed. Background action means that the program gets active when another program is beeing displayed. Here are a few examples of background action, and popular examples:

  • Notifications, like hardware docked for AutoSync
  • Alarms, like Wakeup for Binary Clock or background email check for VersaMail
  • Net Lib activity/callbacks, like for VeriChat
  • Find support, like in Address Book
  • ….

Now, if your application does any of the things said above, it cant work from the SD card as it can’t be executed when the notification comes(no copying).

For you as end user, the simplest way to find out if your app can work from VFS is asking the developer. Just send him an email, and he will probably respond very fast. Many programs also contain information about VFS compatibility in their manuals.

Or, just try it out. Copy the app over, and see if it still works ok after you delete the resident RAM copy…

We covered M-Router here quite some time ago; it basically is a freeware replacement for Softick PPP.

Now, TamsPalm and PalmInfoCenter have cooperated to bring you a more detailled step-by-step tutorial to using M-Router. You can find it online at PalmInfoCenter’s here:

http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/8567/howto-bluetooth-internet-with-windows-xp/

Brighthand brought this interesting tutorial on defragmenting a LifeDrive’s VFS partition using a Windows XP computer:

http://www.brighthand.com/default.asp?newsID=8849

We all love internet for handheld computers. However, sometimes Bluetoth network access just doesnt work-then you need to do it the old way, with a serial port and a bluetoth router software that usually costs $$$. But we at TamsPalm found a better-and free-way!

The first thing that you need is M-Router, a software thast most of us will already know from their Symbian smartphones. You can get the developer edition for free here:
http://developer.intuwave.com/Downloads/m-Router

Install the program onto your Windows box and plug in the bluetooth dongle. This review was written on a Acer Aspire 5620 running Windows XP SP2 with a Epox BT-DG02A managed by the Microsoft bluetooth stack. After that, restart the box with the dongle plugged in, so that M-Router identifies it.

You can access M-Routers settings by clicking its icon in the taskbar. The settings are extremely easy to understand, so no screenshots until requested! In case m-router cannot identify your bluetooth dongle, you forgot to plug it in BEFORE m-router starts. Then, simply end m-router and restart it again…

Configuring the PalmOS side of life is very easy, basically you have a PC via Bluetoth connection like you already know it from Softick. After that, have fun!

In case any of this is not clear, please post a comment-you will be answered promptly.

PalmOne has announced that each Treo 650 buyer is eligible for one(1) free 128Mb SD Card. This card should help reduce the memory loss from flash memory segmentation-PalmONE announces that it is about 30%, but practically, it can be way more, if the individual chunks are much smaller than 512 bytes. Even though 128MB may not be that much when you look at it today, this is definitely a step in the right direction. In times where Palm’s arrogance knew no limits, users were left alone with problems like cases falling apart(IIIc), power buttons not working(V series),.. . Now, PalmONE at least says that there is a problem and offers some recompensation in hardware form. Before, the only recompensation action ever made was with the m130′s color display lie(!!yes, I am writing lie!!)-and it was a measly game that nobody seemed to quite want.. . Tungsten T5 users are still excluded-but well, when they buy at PalmDirects, they get a free one anyway as with most other handhelds(C,E,Z72)!

Now, many users will not have used an SD Card before and may now ask themselves what will happen. Will the handheld’s RAM get extended to 128MB, like we had it with the old memory cards for the Pilot? Or will the card be treated as secondary storage, from where data cannot be run?
I am sorry about having to tell you that the second is the truth. Any program is copied to RAM BEFORE being run, then is run from RAM, and then deleted from memory again! Non-VFS-aware apps are even worse, as they keep all their data in the handhelds RAM. VFS-aware apps can at least store data on the card! Now, when there isn’t enough free RAM on the handheld for the app-tough luck, the app won’t run. Preferences are always stored on the handheld, and only apps resident in main memory can act as so-called viewers for incoming files!
Thus, this is my advice:
Keep your RAM free! Apps that don’t need to synchronize or act as viewers and where delays at start-up can be accepted(e.g. games, web browsers, stuff you don’t need permanently)-shouldn’t be left in main memory. Copy them out to your SD card-they survive a hard reset there, too!!!

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