The Aceeca is here.

Discussion in 'General Palm OS' started by LandSurveyor, Nov 23, 2010.

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  1. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    Thanks to our friends at Aceeca, I am just today in receipt of a PDA32. It arrived with charger, but that's pretty much it.
    This wouldn't constitute a problem but I passed my Zire on to a friend and don't have a disc with HotSync anywhere except for the ones that came with my Palm IIIs. I guess I'll work it with Outlook this time. Never did that before. When I went from Palm to WM, I went from Palm Desktop to ActiveSync. Never used the conduit.
    I am very out of touch with PalmOS software-wise nowadays. I still get emails from PalmGear but that's about it. Don't know where I'd find stuff like the freeware replacements for the little apps I used to use with the IIIs. I believe my last ebook readers were the Palm app and something I downloaded from MemoWare.
    Can I get some help from the surviving Palm cognoscenti?
     
  2. Hook

    Hook Hookette's edgy lately

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    Even if it Syncs with Outlook, you will need Palm Desktop installed to get the hotsync conduits. What Windows OS do you have?

    You can download Palm Desktop from Palm. Probably version 6.X will work ok, or you can try whatever version of 4.x they have for download. Hopefully the Outlook Conduits are built in. I have no idea.

    I'm assuming you might be ok assuming it is like a TX, but I'd avoid anything esoteric like a security update. However, the basic stuff should work, I would think.

    Good luck.
     
  3. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    Can't see any reason to go back to Palm Desktop, even if I liked it better. I knew about the conduit thing because I remember going through the steps loading up years ago. I will probably install it on my work PC to make sure I get my complete contact list. I thought maybe Palm might have dropped that stuff by now. Thanks for the info. I'm clinging to XP on all my machines for as long as I can. Trying to stave off moving from my old AutoCad to a new system.
     
  4. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    If you have a Linux box handy, most distros (used to?) ship with built in support to sync with Palm devices. I'm afraid Palm Desktop is a necessary evil to sync a PalmOS device on a pee cee. You have to install it for the pc to recognize the Palm and start to sync. You can then divert the sync so it happens with outlook, but this is after you installed Palm Desktop so you could get the sync software "hotsync manager".

    I have an old DOS copy of autocad R12 lying around somewhere. I've decided if I ever need it badly enough, I'll bite the bullet and buy some newer CAD software. At around $200 TurboCAD seems like the most likely candidate as I'm not about to send several thousand bucks to AutoDesk so I can dabble in Autocad every now and again.
     
  5. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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  6. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    Autodesk wants several thousands per seat nowadays plus a hefty yearly fee as well. They've priced themselves out of the market, for surveyors anyway. It's more common now to get a dedicated survey/CAD package. Ours (my brother's already started) is Carlson Survey. It's not as flexible but works well with their field software, etc.

    Some might find the Aceeca a bit chunky but it seems OK to me. Not as heavy as its size might suggest but substantial. For comparison, I just handled a relative's Motorola i1 and that thing hefts like a similarly-sized piece of ceramic tile.
     
  7. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    OK, I've got the Aceeca at the office, installed Hotsync. I chose the TX as the nearest version, as far as I can tell. Clicked the button install to sync with Outlook and Hotsynced. Nothing. Not one single contact. What did I do wrong?
     
  8. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Above: Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    click on the HS icon in the taskbar (left or right, no difference), and click on Custom; in the popup you can then verify your HS settings.
     
  9. Hook

    Hook Hookette's edgy lately

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  10. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    Rick, you are the man. I clicked the icon, then Applications and guess what wasn't checked. I'm back in (Palm) business.
    Life's easier when you find the right buttons to push.

    Oh, and Hook, it's Outlook 2007.
     
  11. wminner

    wminner Mobile Evangelist

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    Landman, as a cave dweller, I look forward to your continued thoughts and experiences with the Aceeca.
    Regards,
    Bill
     
  12. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    Will try to pass some stuff on but I'm out of my depth writing a review. I would like to do this because there's Palm/Garnet interested persons here such as yourself. Thought about comparing to my old TRG Pro since there are some similiarities.

    This one is the base model, sans bluetooth or wifi. Although I would suggest anyone buying one spring for both, this is pretty much what I was used to before so not really a problem. The charger/cable combination is just that: a USB to mini (not micro) USB cable which is plugged into the computer to sync in the usual manner. You can charge this way or plug the big end of the USB into the charger plug. There is no Hotsync button on the cable. It looks to be generic which is just fine because I think the button on the cable was really a gimmick since I just do it from the screen anyway.

    The device has only 3 "holes" not counting the speaker grille: atop under the centrally located IRDA port is an SD slot. Since there is no manual, I don't know if it will use SDHC or not. If not, I don't know if I'm limited to 1 or 2 GB. There may be more info on Aceeca's site but I haven't found it yet. At the bottom is the mini USB port. The other hole is a tiny one to accept a small pin or maybe the tip of a straightened paper clip. This is the reset button. It is labelled but the letters are so tiny that I had to read them with a magnifying glass. I found the same sort of lettering on my Creative Zen MP3 player. I hope this kind of tiny lettering isn't some sort of trend as even younger eyes would find it difficult to read. The reset hole is on the rear, bottom left corner. The back is held on with six evenly-spaced screws. These are regular phillips heads. The 3.6 volt lithium ion battery does not have a removable cover. There is no headphone jack or microphone. If you wanted to use this device as an MP3 player, you're out of luck. As I recall, my Zire 72 worked quite well for this but it was a consumer device whereas the Aceeca was targeted at commercial users.

    I guess that bears mentioning again. Aceeca, to my knowledge, did not envision general consumer use for the PDA32 so I will just have to live with its limitations. If one needs the other capabilities, more ports, etc., one would be better off searching around online for a TX or LifeDrive.

    The stylus is located on the back; on the (your) left hand side rather than right as is more usual with PDAs. It snaps in pretty solidly but is the same sort of plastic as the casing and rather thin. I expect it could get broken fairly easily so I will probably keep it as a spare and use another stylus, like the kind found on certain pen tips, probably. The main icons actually respond well to a blunt finger tip like mine (I liken my hands to dog paws) but the home icon and such in the corners are difficult to reach without a stylus.

    Since the device has no screen cover like the older Palms, I dug out my old screensavers and cut one to fit. Didn't seem to adversely affect the touchscreen response and the screen is plenty bright.

    It has a funny little thing it does. After you turn the device off, it will pop back on for a couple of seconds with a dialog saying "Updating System Backup, Please wait.....". A little odd but not really a problem.

    Physically, the device is about 1-1/8" thick. For comparison, my TRG Pro is about 5/8" in the middle, pretty much typical of Palm III devices. This extra thickness is in keeping with its industrial nature. Although that seems excessive from a carry standpoint, it's mitigated somewhat by rounded corners and edges that make it easier to slip into a pocket. I say pocket because I carried it about in the pocket of my henley shirt and it was pretty secure and wasn't heavy enough to pull on my shirt. in fact, it feels about the same weight as the TRG Pro in the hand. I don't think shirt pocket carry is very safe but it does speak to the device's carryability.

    The only software onboard is the basic Garnet stuff. No add-ons like RealPlayer. Since I'm an ebook fan, I cast about for the best currently available free ereader. In the past, I used Palm Reader and even had it on my WM5 device but this time I chose MobiPocket. MobiPocket reads several popular formats and their site has a lot of news feeds. I like this because I can sync and carry about a lot of reading matter independent of internet access. It's pretty convenient to have out in the woods since I can read a few pages while the GPS locks. If the ereader is any indication, battery life is good. I read a couple of hours last night and the battery meter hasn't budged. Like the Garnet Palms, the brightness is still a bit too much for reading in the dark but much better than the lowest setting on my Axim. It's been too cloudy out to test its daytime readability.

    I will probably load a few simple freebie games just to see how they work. Tetris and things like that. I'm not much of a gamer.

    I guess I've bored you enough by now. Will try to add some more stuff and will attempt in future to be more brief. I'm technically limited but if you have questions, ask away.
     
  13. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    Since there's no WiFi or BT, there's not much need for a browser, but I wonder if Blazer did come installed. I wonder if Blazer would be on the WiFi/BT models. It'd be interesting to know which version, too. What version of Palm OS does it have?
     
  14. Hook

    Hook Hookette's edgy lately

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    Aside from missing a space between paragraphs for readability ;), you really shouldn't be so concerned about your skill as a reviewer. You are doing fine. Quite nicely done.

    It sounds pretty much as I expected. A non-consumer device being made available to consumers. Nothing wrong with that, but it is likely that there will need to be a lot of DIY configuration to get what you want. I still suspect that BT and wifi won't be available until they get a commercial order for it, which is what would make providing them for $10 affordable. Who knows.

    Must be kind of exciting playing with this critter. Please keep updating us.
     
  15. reb1

    reb1 Mobile Deity

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    LandSurveyor: Thanks for the info. The aceeca site has some info. It uses garnet 5.4. Stereo and voice record are options in addition to the bluetooth and wifi. If you post on there forum I am sure they will answer some questions. They have mentioned sending a unit to softick so they can make card export an option. I would also like to see audio gateway available for it to. I use mobipocket on my tx in addition to plucker, eReader and isilo. All are free with the exception of isilo. Guterberg has ebooks in plucker. Manybooks has over 20 reader formats of there free ebooks. Both manybooks and guterberg have mobile download sites. I hope sometime in the near future aceeca will have a unit with everything on it available for purchase.
     
  16. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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  17. Hook

    Hook Hookette's edgy lately

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    Reb, I'd love to be wrong, but I do believe you have a tendency to over-interpret their speculations. They do a lot of speculating about what they could do that doesn't seem to translate into what they are doing. This is the actual exchange from the forum:

    Notice they didn't say they are doing either thing. Don't you think they would if they were? By the way, 2-3 weeks of work probably falls into the category of "we need a big order to justify."

    Yes, from 2004. My guess would be, it is the same as what one would download from Palm.

    I would love to see a new Palm OS device with customer support for those who want it and I think the folks at Aceeca are good folks who mean well. However, after so long, I just don't see how their business model will let them support consumer retail.

    And I still don't see an order button.

    I think a refurbed TX or Lifedrive is a better consumer bet. I will be happy to be proved wrong however. I hope I am.
     
  18. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    OK, from the top:
    Nope, no Blazer. Sez ROM Version Garnet_Base_enUS_20101221343.

    Thanks. Yes, I coulda formatted it more readably. Was thinking BT & Wifi were already available but simply optional. If they see a lot of consumer demand, they will probably be more willing to cater to it. Awfully nice of them to communicate with us, seeing we aren't really their target market.

    When I went looking for ereaders, it was a "blind dog in a meathouse" situation. Was familiar with several but some read some formats and not others. I used to go to Memoware a lot and get a lot of the free stuff. Some of it's the really old boring stuff that interests me. Tacitus, etc. Just started with Mobipocket because it was mentioned a lot and covered several formats. Project Guttenburg is great. Don't know about the Adobe stuff. I tried one of those a long time ago and it reallly bogged the device down.

    I did finally load Aceeca's own version, thinking, wrongly as it turned out, that might have been my sync problem. The conduit was new to me. When I went from Palm to WM, I went straight from Palm Desktop to Outlook. As I recall, I beamed my contact directly from my Zire to the Axim. IRDA really is useful and seems less "jinky" that bluetooth in some ways, in spite of its limitations. In fact, when I revived my TRG, I updated its contacts from the Aceeca. Quick and simple. Loved the TRG because it has the compact flash slot and some really good backup software.

    I see myself returning to a dumbphone/PDA combo again. It's not that bad since I can talk on the phone while looking up stuff on the PDA. Since I sync both to Outlook, should be able to keep up with my appointments with no trouble. Being cloudless is not that big of a deal since I spend time working in places without any cell signal. Sometimes if feels like going to the moon. Funny how we get so used to being connected.
     
  19. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    Re: the Lifedrive, I seem to recall reading somewhere online that it had been possible to replace the hard drive with a compact flash. Don't know if it was bigger than 4GB but it should have at least saved some battery.
    Can almost see the Lifedrive as anticipating the smaller tablets available nowadays. Can you imagine PalmOS optimized for tablets?
     
  20. wminner

    wminner Mobile Evangelist

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    Landman, thank you for the interesting and informative observations & comments. I also appreciate the resulting group discussion. Two questions - do you think that memory will be an issue for you, given the 64mB base memory, vs 128mB Tx? (Or, was the Zire smaller than this? My Tx is on the full side, with a 7-year collection of various tools & collections of information.) And, as a Pimlical user, would the Access Desktop 6.2.2 would also be acceptable? (I presume that it would be). Thanks again.
     
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