Handspring and springboard practical uses in 2016

Discussion in 'Palm' started by greenshoe, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta General Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    welcome to Brighthand, greenshoe

    yes, you can selectively sync by choosing the conduit/app, as well as choosing if it is a true sync, or one overwrites the other (either way, handheld overwrites desktop or vice-versa).

    As for making due with Bluetooth, it will likely be much slower....
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
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  2. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Not to sound insistent, but power-wise the TX is very efficient. It does have a faster and more power-hungry processor compared to any Handspring, but it has a huge advantage: its storage is non-volatile, meaning it does not need power to keep its contents, and it will not be erased in the event of power failure. The Visors have RAM-based storage, which requires constant power to mantain its contents, and in the event of power failure the entire storage is lost. This means the Visor is consuming battery even if powered off, else it will suffer a spontaneous hard reset. A Palm TX can sit years without power and its contents will be preserved. My TX was lost for almost 3 years and when I found it I just had to charge it and return to my games at the exact same spot they were years before.

    How much of a hardware tinkerer are you? There are ways to increase battery capacity of a device, either by replacing its batteries with a larger one, or by adding extra batteries. I've done this to several Palm devices, and my latest mod was a Palm TX with 4500 mAH capacity (more than three times the original capacity), with an endurance of about a week of normal use.

    Agree... especially on the wilderness part. I spend lots of times in the field, and this was a major motivation for increasing my Palm device's battery capacity.

    There's a resource for Palm spares and accesories no one has mentioned so far in this thread: PalmDR. Chris Short operates this company, and he has stocks of devices, spares, accesories, and he also refurbishes or repairs devices. He can sell you a new or refurbished device of your choice. Contact him, he may even have some modules for your Visor.
     
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  3. Hook

    Hook Have keyboard, will travel

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    Hi, Greenshoe. I wanted to add my two cents on syncimg PIMS to Android. I have used Companion Link and DejaOffice for several years now and, especially if you are not trying to use Google Calendar in the mix (I do not), it has proved very reliable. However, as you are familiar with an older version of CESD's Datebook, you might want to look at his program for desktop and Android called Pimlical.

    http://www.pimlicosoftware.com/

    There's a bit more of a learning curve with Pimlical but, like Datebk, that is because it has so much power and flexibility in it's settings. You will need both the desktop version and the Android version, but it will keep Palm Desktop in sync. I honestly never used Palm Desktop for my PIMs even when I had Palms, I always used Outllook. I now use both Pimlico and Companion Link in paralell because there are things I do in both desktops (Outlook and Pimlical). Pimlical, for instance, has the daily journal feature you like. Pimlical is, for all intents and purposes, Datebk for Android. There is a link at the web site to a listserv type help forum on Yahoo for Pimlical and a *lot* of online documentation.

    Both solutions work very well for me, However, since I paid for both way back when I use both because Pimlical is a little better than Outlook at the Calendar stuff and Outlook is a little better (in my opinion) with the Contacts. Both have free trials you can try out. Pimlical's direct sync over wifi is wonderful. I use all local databases only, no google. Dropped Google about 5 minutes after I got my first Android phone back in 2010.

    That's my experience. YMMV. :vbwink:
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
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  4. greenshoe

    greenshoe Mobile Enthusiast

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    This is very convincing, and thanks for the resources. My handspring arrived and I have my keyboard, so I'm going to use what I have for now. Do you use the Palm TX with a keyboard and if so which one do you use? I realize this is off topic for a Handspring forum, but not that far off.
     
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  5. greenshoe

    greenshoe Mobile Enthusiast

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    How do you do backups/restore? is Outlook cloud based for you?

    Also, how do you share appointments both to send and receive? Any hangups here sharing with others?

    Thanks!
     
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  6. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    You're welcome, greenshoe.

    I used my TX with a Palm Universal Wireless Keyboard. It's a foldable model and can hold the Palm in portrait or landscape mode. It's very compact and light, but somewhat fragile: the keyboard has a flat ribbon cable that spans the hinge, and this usually breaks with use. I had two keyboards and both broke, and it's impossible to solder because it's a plastic ribbon.

    There are also several BT keyboards that work with a PalmOS device, but I've tried none. I have an Apple Bluetooth keyboard that I use with my Xperia Z1, but it doesn't work with the TX as far as I know. I haven't really looked into using it, so there may be a way.

    It's your own thread. Also, Brighthand is not very strict regarding staying on topic. So long as we're talking Palm devices we're fine. In fact, we could start talking about kites or bicycles, and the worst that would happen is that we would get kicked into the Off-Topic forum. :)
     
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  7. Hook

    Hook Have keyboard, will travel

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    Outlook itself is easy to back up-- just export the pst file. Pimlical Windows desktop has several local backup functions.

    I don't use the cloud based Outlook.com, which is not really the same as desktop Outlook but is the old hotmail calendar redressed. Outlook.com and Google are useful for people who want cloud-based PIMs and I'm sure sharing is much easier with a cloud based PIM, but that's not what I want.

    To tell you the truth, I'm not the one to ask about sharing. I don't share anything. :vbtongue: :vbwink: I know Outlook can share appointments with contacts, essentially set up a meeting. I don't know what sharing capabilities Pimlical has.
     
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  8. SyncRaven

    SyncRaven Mobile Deity

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    Hey Greenshoe and welcome :),

    Just out of curiosity which visor are you using? The Visor Neo was my baby for years.. really loved that device.
    In my opinion it had the best screen of any other monochrome palm - really great for ereading. The Platinum & Pro also had excellent screens, although I believe Neo was slightly better.
    Both the Visors and the Palm III/IIIxe series are tanks - one point of failure that can happen is the memory capacitor can die which makes the batteries drain too fast and can cause instability.
    I have a fairly significant stock of new capacitors in a bag and I have a pile broken visors/iiixe i've been meaning to refurbish but have been too busy with other things. But if you ever have a capacitor related issue feel free to contact me for some tips on fixing it.

    Regarding syncing - probably the previously mentioned software options would be best but I did have a novel idea for you to consider:
    There is a free android palm emulator called "Phem" in the google play store for $99 cents - you would just download a handspring rom and load it into the emulator to run palm on your android device.
    The awesome thing about phem is it supports network based palm desktop syncing. I haven't tried yet personally, but in theory you could load phem on your android phone, and then sync both your handspring visor and your phem phone, to share data on both.
    Pim Apps run great on phem. Games run too fast since the android cpu operates too fast compared to native palms, but pim apps run like a dream since they wait for your input.
    If you did that your contact data, notes etc would then remain inside phem and your handspring - wouldn't need extra software to work with android. Of course it wouldn't be as flawlessly integrated with your phone either as it would with the other software mentioned by hook - although I believe you can copy and paste from phem to any android app so it might work for you.

    Don't waste your time with the omnisky module since the service is defunct.
    Next I know you said you were giving up on the visorphone and cellular but I have some experience with it so I figured I would share:
    The visorphone, if you can find one, is a GSM based phone that only works on the 1900 MHz Band (which I believe includes all at&t networks but not sure about tmobile).
    The problem in the US is that at&t uses both the 800 and 1900 bands.
    So if you live in an area with great 1900 coverage it might work fine for you - but in my area, the last time I tested (4-5 years ago) it didn't work at all since my area required 800 band coverage.
    The only other problem with the visorphone is no one is making replacement batteries for it, so if the original ones dies then your going to have a hard time finding replacements. The last time I tested a visorphone the battery was still working good with it though, so who knows how long you could get out of one.
    Also there are services out there that you can hire to repack batteries cells - so that might be an option as well if the visorphone batteries dies.

    The other big option you could consider is to use the handspring serial port to tether to a phone that has a data plan.. although I think carriers are not allowing tethering as much anymore.
    Back in the day I tethered my visor neo to a nextel i205 using a gomadic cable and was able to browse the web, check email etc. The data on nextel was slow, but it was great because they allowed you to use it for free if you had a nextel plan. But unfortunately Nextel is dead now otherwise I would offer you my tethering cable.
    I miss those days!
    If you could find some modern phone with a serial port you, and if the plan allows tethering, then it might be possible.
    This company seems to make palm data cables (although I don't see handspring but if you contact them they might be able to help you):
    http://www.pcables.com/cat2.html

    Then you would just need to a data cable for your phone - and then use a null serial adapter to connect them together into a single cable.

    Lastly - it sounds like your pretty committed to the Visor but you also, in the future could consider playing with a Centro.
    They are pretty modern phones (2009), very cheap on ebay, work on most networks and have user replaceable batteries and a good battery life.
    So on the road you could have a couple of extra batteries waiting to swap out to keep the centro going.

    Well, hope some of that might help and enjoy the visor!
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
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  9. greenshoe

    greenshoe Mobile Enthusiast

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    @SyncRaven,

    VisorPhone might work with T-Mobile who is my carrier, but 1900MHz (2G) is getting replaced with their 4G. So soon, VisorPhone would be unusable.

    I have 1 Visor Deluxe and 2 Visor Neos. They are so inexpensive, that I can afford to have some redundancy.

    Good call on OmniSky and nothing lost really. It was only $5.
     
  10. greenshoe

    greenshoe Mobile Enthusiast

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    @raspabalsa After thinking about it, the Palm TX idea isn't really workable for me because 1. I'm not wanting to have a dependency on hardware tinkering to be able to keep using it. Though the non-volatile memory is attractive, I decided it was more important to be able to power it up. My process will be to dump data from it periodically, so that's acceptable. I'm not willing to trust the device to be my storage. 2. non-fragile keyboard is important to me...

    But what about the springboard modules that will take an SD card? I understand I can install and uninstall applications from these. Can't I also copy palm databases? If so, this may be the ideal way for me to use the Handspring the way I want to.. Which at this point is down to:

    1. journal keeping
    2. reading

    So on an SD card, I'd keep:
    - The targus keyboard application on the SD card
    - ereader application
    - books
    - Datebook database.

    Whenever I am ready to dump journals, I just copy the datebook database over. I can just rotate them out from Palm Desktop to have backups to go back to in the case that it ever becomes corrupt.

    IS this workable? I've not used springboard storage before. This meets all my requirements by reducing all the dependencies I can: 1. No chasing options to hotsync with newer platforms, because sd card storage can "just work", and I've abandoned the need to "sync" as datebook, tasks and contacts will require manual intervention and strict adherence to a process which again is dependent on external and evolving platforms. 2. batteries are standard. 3. memory volatility becomes less of a problem because a backup exists on the springboard module which I would store with it, and anyway, I need to be dumping the journals and other writing (in memodb) up to a NAS and a cloud based storage. Yay.

    Also thanks for the PalmDR resource. This is a good one to know about.

    Incidentally, I stumbled up on these posts which were as Windows 7 and hotsync can be problematic:

    - 64 bit drivers: http://forum.brighthand.com/threads/how-to-install-the-new-aceeca-64bit-drivers-on-a-tx.281989/
    - Palm desktop 4.14 and Handspring: http://www.idscanner.us/general-support/installing-palm-desktop-software/
     

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