Re: Any advice on moving from older Palm device to curre

Subject: Re: Any advice on moving from older Palm device to curre
From: "Dana Worley" <dana -at- campbellsci -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 2004 09:53:34 -0700

We provide Palm (and CE) software for communication with our
dataloggers. I am project manager of the software and end up
providing technical support on most of the PDA questions. Here are
a few random thoughts.

Some of the newer Palms (and CE devices) do not provide support
for serial (i.e., RS232 9-pin) communication. This can be an issue if
you need to connect a GPS module or some other serial I/O
peripheral (or communicate with our dataloggers ;) This can also be
a problem if you are running an NT-based OS (NT, 2000, or XP),
because these OSs have issues with hot syncing over USB. The
good news is that all the older Palms *do* provide serial
communication support.

Someone made a comment about applications running on OS3 vs
OS5. At least with our software (which runs on OS3.3 or greater),
there has been no problem -- maybe we have a good programmer :)

Most of the older Palm devices do not come with a cradle. I also
have a couple of Compaq/iPaqs, and I appreciate having a cradle to
drop them in to when not in use. My Palms tend to sit on my desk
and eat batteries at times (what an odd sentence if it were taken out
of context ;) The Palms do have a lithium backup battery, but it can
be drained fairly quickly trying to maintain the memory if the main
batteries drain (then, there goes all your data and the programs
stored -- hmm... when was the last time I did a hot sync?).

Purchasing any new PDA is like purchasing a new car (or any
electronic device for that matter) -- the minute you drive it off the lot
it has been replaced with a newer model. has some pretty good prices on new (but obsolete or
blemished) & used PDAs.

I have three Palm M100 series devices and they have been reliable.
We have an IIIxe floating around here, and there have been no
problems. There is also a Handspring Visor, which has proved to be
a bit problematic at times, but it is likely the application in which we
are using it (if the power is on when you remove the device from the
cradle, the serial port can be held open and not available for other
devices -- e.g., our datalogger communication software...).

Palms occasionally have a problem with memory scramble and you
have to reset the device (Fatal Alert messages). Not a huge
problem if you hot sync regularly, and if you are not doing a lot of
storing/deleting/storing/deleting of large files, but the devices will
become unstable at some point (seems to be more of a problem
with Palms than with CE devices). Maybe the newer OSs have
addressed these issues.

Peruse the PalmOne site; particularly the support section
( Read through the faqs for
any device you are considering.

Hmm... that's all I can think of right now.

Dana W.

On Monday, November 08, 2004, Guy K. Haas wrote:

> Can anyone in the Techwrl-L community share THEIR experiences with
> either the Palm IIIxe OR with making the generational jump from
> PalmIII to Palm's latest OS 5.



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