A Treo 650 / Palm TX comparison

Discussion in 'Palm' started by r0k, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Two resets in two days.

    Many months of reset-free Treo 650 usage and then two resets in two days. It reminds me of my TX days when I got so tired of resets and I began to think about what I was doing on my TX that made it less stable than my Treo 650 has been. It was the expensive data plan on the Treo that prevented me from using Blazer and Versamail for many months. That was the difference. I used them all the time on my TX and the frequent resets were always blamed on me by people in the forums and by Palm support. I didn't do this or I didn't do that but it couldn't be a built in app that shipped with my device. Could it?

    I went camping this weekend. Now that I've enabled Verizon's data plan, I decided to pop over to weather.com and find out what kind of trouble I'd gotten myself (and a dozen scouts) into by picking such a late weekend in November for a campout. From inside my tent, I pulled up weather maps and forecasts. To my great relief the weather would be warm during the day and wouldn't even fall below freezing at night. Balmy conditions compared to what we've seen in the past. And yes, our troop camps in February.

    Then I went back to the main applications screen, turned off the phone, rolled over and went to sleep. The next morning, I tried turning on the phone and it was dead. None of the buttons worked, so I pulled out the stylus and poked the reset hole.

    Must have been blazer.

    Next night, I went to BH forums and posted from my phone. Then went back to applications, turned it off and went to sleep. Sunday morning rolled around and once again my phone was stoopid. That's two soft resets in two days and the only new usage pattern was blazer.

    In criminal law, this is what is referred to is prima facie evidence. Incontrovertible evidence that blazer is a piece of crap. Many months of no resets and then two potholes in two days.

    Argh! My entire reset experience can be boiled down to two issues since I got my Treo 650: There was a conflict with my car kit that caused a reset loop and when I opted to try a ROM update there were quite a few resets. The rest of the time there were NO RESETS EVER until I decided to start using blazer. I remember back in my TX days, I got my wrist slapped by know-it-alls who accused me of newbie pitfalls like bad 3rd party apps and carried forward preferences. The problem back then was BLAZER and VERSAMAIL.

    Blazer and Versafail are the achilles heel of palmos right now. I love my Treo 650 but even with the very latest ROM update (1.05) I can get into a reset situation by surfing the net or checking my email. It's not enough to send me running to Windows Mobile, but it's enough to make me think twice about another Palmos device the next time I upgrade. I wonder if the 700p or 680 would be any better? I doubt it. These blazer and versamail issues, first on my TX and now on my Treo 650 make it very easy for me to understand why there are so many people ranting at Palm about lack of stability right now. One thing I need to do is evaluate snappermail. A deterrent is the Treo 650's microscopic memory. I have only a few meg left and that's not enough to start playing around with different browser and email solutions, so perhaps a 700p with snappermail and eudoraweb would suit my needs. But when I paid for a device with a browser and email solution, I shouldn't need to devote all this energy to finding workarounds. I guess it's time for me to start reading all those fixup threads about different nvfs band aids to better manage memory. No wait. Wasn't that one of the fixes ROM update 1.05 was supposed to include? Argh!!
     
  2. holvoetn

    holvoetn Still a moderator ...

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    r0k, Blazer as such is not the issue, the lack of dbcache on your device is.

    My T3 also started to reset unexpectedly once I started to use Wifi on it (once every 2 or 3 days ...). Solved that by giving it a daily morning wake-up reset ;)
    ZERO unexpected resets since then :newpalm:
     
  3. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    So if I'm trying to avoid resets, I do a daily planned reset and I won't see the untimely resets? I suppose that could work. How about all those add-on pieces like sharkcache and other memory fixers? Are they worth consideration or not? Do you use Blazer all the time? I wonder if I could simply do the reset just before using Blazer on any given day, then skip the reset until the next time I use it. Perhaps not. I bet Blazer leaves dbcache in such disarray that a reset soon (within one day) after using it is also needed. I do notice that the first time I launch Blazer, I get a white screen for what feels to me like a very long time.

    Anyway, to summarize my rambling questions...

    1 - Should I consider sharkcache, udmh or some other software fix?

    2 - What's more important, resetting before or after Blazer?
     
  4. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Well it had to happen sooner or later, but with the 700 series and now the 680 out, the 650 is a gonner.

    When you compare the 680 and the 650, you get more for less on the 680. GSM is still somewhat of a joke in the Detroit area and my employer is partnered with Verizon so my next phone will probably be a Treo 700p, but for now my "obsolete" Treo 650 will do just fine.
     
  5. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Time for another installment. I've been bellyaching in the forums ever since I got my Treo: Not enough internal memory. Today I broke down and downloaded DataViz's tech tool AND Powerrun. Both in one day. I went from just under 5 meg free to almost 10 meg free. And this was by only moving two apps! First, I ran the dataviz tech tool from sd card. It worked just fine. I picked "move apps to card" and they were moved to the card. Free space bumped up to 8 meg. Then I tried running powerrun from card. No dice. I copied it internally (whoa a whopping 65k) and it worked fine. I moved google maps over to card and now I'm up to 10 meg free.

    I haven't touched apps that are on card that I want to make internal shortcuts. This would require copying them to internal, then using filez to delete the sd card copy then I would run powerrun. I'm not sure I'm ready to do all this, but I really hate switching applications to card as my 2 gig sandisk card is painfully slow. Maybe a better investment would be a faster 2 gig card rather than shelling out $15 for powerrun. O well, I've got some time to decide.

    I got motivated to do all this when I stopped by the Verizon store and they informed me there is not a "cameraless" Treo 700p available at this time. Drat. I was so ready to upgrade so I could start installing new apps again rather than tiptoing around with a mere 4 meg free. Keep in mind that to run apps from sd card, you need enough free memory for the apps to get copied internal (behind your back) and then run. With powerrun, the copying time is saved as powerrun makes an internal "shortcut" to the app on card which appears to get around this copying. I would consider a 680 on cingular but from what I have heard "least dropped calls" really means "least calls to drop".
     
  6. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Wow, it's already time for another update. I installed Powerrun and moved a few apps from internal Treo 650 memory to sd card. First, I used filez to back them up to a directory called /palm/keep on sd card so I could reinstall them if I wanted to. I liked the way it works so much I went ahead and moved some previously exiled apps back into internal memory and used Powerrun to move them to card.

    This is sweet.

    Then I used dataviz tech tool to move docs 2 go back into internal memory. Why? So I could upgrade to dtg 9. It turns out I have several hundred docs in office format for my new job and I want to be able to view them quickly. Docs 2 go 7 took F-o-r-e-v-e-r to populate the file list (this might be due to a slow sd card, so I bought a faster one on ebay but it will take about a week to arrive).

    Now with dtg 9, there is a built in file browser and I can point it to the directory containing files I care about and I don't have to sit there while dtg scans 2 gigabytes of directories of files I don't care about. I haven't tried the native pdf thing yet, but I will soon. The best news is that with powerrun and dtg 9 running internally I still have 9 megs of internal memory free. So it turns out the file browser was the killer app that made me shell out money for dtg 9. Palmpdf allowed me to avoid crossing the dtg upgrade bridge for over a year. Thanks, Henk!

    With Powerrun and dtg 9 and 9 meg still free, I guess I really can wait for the Treo 700p to be available without a camera!!

    :):):):) yes r0k is happy :):):):)
     
  7. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Ok, I've had my Treo 650 for close to a year and now I find out about some hidden feature to find out what app caused a reset. palm kb talks about dialing #*#377 and a dialog comes up saying what app was running at the time of the last reset. I try it and get the message "your phone isn't authorized for access, please call customer service" then I realize that verizon uses a different code than some of the others who simply use #377, and when I dial #*#377 I get a quick popup saying <unknown application> crashed on 12/13/06. Ok, I think I poked the reset hole myself that time so maybe it was just sitting in applications and I wanted to reset after using blazer. I will have to try this should my phone reset with the 3 or 4 new programs I just installed: zlauncher, phone technician, powerrun and docs 2 go 9. I'm probably going to drop zlauncher as I can't get it to hide apps on sd card. Well, maybe I'll just move the ones I don't want to see out of /palm/launcher. I wish ZL had a feature to hide apps I don't want to see, like quicktour, etc. Maybe I will find a way to make it work...

    Anyway, I'm glad I found another tool to track down resets, even though they have been extremely rare for me. On a phone I'd rather there were never any resets. I do remember a couple of instances where my Treo 650 phone was resetting when I needed to talk or answer a call. I seem to remember both of these were blazer related. Somebody suggested I reset after every blazer use. That seemed to defeat the purpose... Reset to avoid a reset... anyway, if I should decide to enter the brave world of frequent blazer and versamail use, it will be very nice to have #*#377 available.
     
  8. holvoetn

    holvoetn Still a moderator ...

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    Menu - Options - ZL Preferences - Tab General -> Untick 'Show Hidden Items'
    Next, for the apps you want to hide: tap-n-hold - select info ... -> tap attributes, check Hidden, Done, SAVE

    That should do it (at least on my device it does) ;)
     
  9. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Thanks! That wasn't what I was asking, but it helped me solve my next problem: hiding Quick Tour and Card Info. The main problem I had at the time I asked this question was that I had old apps along from old pda's sitting in /palm/launcher on my sd card and I did NOT want them showing up in ZL. I made powerrun shortcuts for the things I really want to run from sd all the time and I don't mind switching to sd for those very few times I want to run something from there. I found out I sould "refresh applications" with the sd card pulled out and then I could shove it back in and voila: no long lag while palmos scans everything to see if anything has changed. At this point I have made ZL my default launcher. Then I found out how to make everything semi-transparent so I can see my kids on my apps screen. Cool. I will may post some of these goodies over in the zl for dummies thread...

    In summary:

    Want some 700p features? jpg on the desktop. more memory. Well, for a lot less than the hardware upgrade, you can use powerrun to move things out of nvfs and onto sd card. Then you can use ZL to set a desktop wallpaper (and it does a heck of a lot more). Then there's phone technician to tame some quirks of the phone, like the call volume always defaulting back to 70 percent when I get calls on the factory floor it needs to be 110 percent. Lastly, I finally broke down and bought the docs 2 go 9 upgrade. Total cost for these upgrades: $29 for dtg, $16 for ZL (discount 'till 1/1/7-ish), $15 for phone technician, $15 (I think) for powerrun. A LOT cheaper than upgrading my phone but it feels like I have a new phone.

    New capabilities:
    phone technician:
    1 - better control of call volume
    2 - mp3 ringtone, who cares I have mine set to vibrate
    3 - highlight text anywhere to dial - this is a biggie and should have been part of palmos

    docs 2 go 9 (versus dtg 7):
    4 - view pdf's with reflow: doesn't work too well with images or equations but works "good enough"
    5 - file browser - a HUGE difference - only scans one folder not entire card at launch
    6 - better native formatting support - still I mostly use it to view

    ZL
    7 - background image
    8 - transparent items on desktop
    9 - hide apps
    10 - run apps from sd card
    11 - excellent file manager - best I've seen

    Powerrun
    12 - run from sd card via shortcut, less lag involved - ZZTECH sells a competing product but they don't bundle or discount it with ZL. I had already paid for Powerrun before going to ZL site.
    13 - shortcuts work in standard palm launcher or in ZL or (i imagine) even in silverscreen, which I no longer use
    14 - Using powerrun freed up 4 meg of internal memory which is HUGE and allowed me enough room to install ZL and its associated themes and backgrounds. I was also able to move dtg back to internal memory and leave it there.

    The above enhancements give my Treo 650 a new lease on life and make it a lot easier for me to wait for the release of a 700p without a camera.
     
  10. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Resco apps
    Time for another installment. I splurged on Resco apps this week. Freeing up internal memory using powerrun allowed me to try some apps I've been wanting to look into but never found the time.

    Resco Viewer - an absolute must for me to get around the slow load times of the built in Media application.

    Resco Backup - continues to be my main backup solution - I'm just mentioning it here to show it helps to have good experience with one app and it makes me want to go back to Resco and see what else they've got.

    Resco Soduko - great. Loads fast. I was beginning to suspect astraware sudoku might be causing resets since my resets are now up to a half dozen a month since I started using it again so it's deleted in favor of the clean and fast loading resco sudoku.

    Resco Explorer - I've been wanting a zip solution and the bloated app I had on my TX would never make it onto my Treo. For a mere 350 K commitment, I have an excellent file browser with built in viewers for images and the ability to zip and unzip things. yes, the file manager that comes with ZL is great, but it doesn't zip and since I moved all my viewers to sd card using powerrun, it can't find them.

    Resco is offering 30 percent off all it's titles until 1/10/07 so I decided now was the time to invest in these apps I have been watching for some time now. These, along with ZL and powerrun have given my tired old Treo 650 a new lease on life and I still manage to squeak out almost 4 meg free with all this stuff loaded either internal or external.

    Resco Neews is a new beta / freeware app that I like but might decide to delete. I like it and it works well but it won't allow me to move the thing and it's 600 k memory requirement to sd card using powerrun. I need to think about this some more.

    ZL / FS updates

    I found a good ZL skin that looks good with my greyscale kid picture background but all of it's icons work (unlike brushed metal which fails to reliably show my phone signal strength). I'm now using ZLT_GrayHideT650_OS5 which looks even better than brushed metal and everything works properly.

    Fontsmoother continues to work well for me. I like Trebuchet for the system default but I can go back and put in individual fonts for specific apps if I decide they look better or are more readable.

    700p can wait, for now

    All of this tweaking allows me to put off dealing with getting a 700p for the forseeable future. This means I can actually hang in there until there is a "no camera" version available and I can get everything done with dtg9 and my launcher/font/utility setup. Versamail no longer works now that I've moved it to sd card with powerrun. I will need to decide whether to try and keep it or take a look at snappermail.

    Yes, my positive Resco, ZL and FS experiences are beginning to bring me around to the idea that it's worth shelling out a few bucks for an app that works well, makes my phone more usable, and doesn't cause resets.
     
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