bignoseduglyguy

Two into one – well, almost

After a troubled relationship lasting a few months too many, this weekend sees me saying goodbye to the damnable SPV E200 smartphone and saying hello to a Handspring Treo 600 thanks to my boss, who was just as sick of my phone crapping out during calls as I was.

As a long time Palm user, the Treo is a phone I can get to grips with easily and so far the indications are good. However, with my own Tungsten T3 and a company Treo – the former with all the data and apps I need/want and the latter without – I faced a quandary. If was to use the Treo as anything other than an over-specified phone, how was I going to migrate or copy the masses of contact numbers, memos, tasks and calendar data from my T3 to the Treo? Even leaving aside third party applications, simply syncing the Treo with my existing T3 Palm Desktop setup was not possible because whilst the T3 and the Treo share a similar heritage, they are different beasts under the skin. The Treo uses the old style core PIM applications (Date Book; Address Book; To Do List; Memo Pad) while the T3 uses the newer incarnations (Calendar; Contacts; Tasks; Memos) and,whilst each flavour can read the same underlying database, the synchronisation conduits are different. What is more, I use two computers pretty much daily – the home PC and work laptop – so I need to ensure that I can use both the T3 & Treo with both.

Treo

So, for the gadget geeks amongst the readership, here’s the line up of the kit involved and how I have set up the core PIM applications so far (after a day’s trial and error with a few backups and reloads):

  • Work laptop running W2000 Pro & Palm Desktop 4.1.4*
  • Home PC running W XP & Palm Desktop 4.1.4*
  • Tungsten T3 + cradle
  • Treo 600 + cable

After an abortive attempt to load the Orange/Handspring-supplied Palm Desktop over the existing 4.1.4 version, I backed up my T3 user profile files and uninstalled all Palm-related apps and folders and then reinstalled the latest 4.1.4 version of the desktop from Palm Source. Once I had restored the relevant files and had everything back to normal, I did the following:

On work laptop:

  1. Hotsync’d T3 to Palm Desktop 4.1.4.
  2. Backed up T3 to SD card and Palm folder to my second hard drive.
  3. Updated all my contacts, correcting mistakes in all the data fields that the Treo would use for its phone contacts and added international prefixes to all numbers (an irksome task but I’ll be travelling soon so worthwhile).
  4. Reviewed and tidied all my memos.
  5. Reviewed and tidied my calendar.
  6. Reviewed and tidied my tasks.
  7. Created new user profile for the Treo in Palm Desktop, so I now have two Palm profiles:
    (a) Bignoseduglyguy
    (b) Bignoseduglyguy Treo
  8. Replicated all (a) tasks categories/colour coding in (b).
  9. Replicated all (a) memo categories/colour coding in (b).
  10. Replicated all (a) contact categories/colour coding in (b).
  11. Replicated all (a) calendar categories/colour coding in (b).
  12. Saved memos, contacts, tasks and calendar data.
  13. Exported memos (.mpa), contact (.aba) and calendar (.dba) data from profile (a) to Windows desktop using the Palm Desktop ‘File | Export…’ option – taking care to ensure all private records were visible and that ‘All records’ was selected for memos and contacts.
  14. Imported memos (.mpa), contact (.aba) and calendar (.dba) data to profile (b) from Windows desktop using the Palm Desktop ‘File | Import…’ option.
  15. Opened HotSync Manager’s Custom function and altered the conduit actions for the (b) profile to ensure that the correct ones for the
    Treo (Date Book; Address Book; To Do List; Memo Pad) were enabled and, more importantly, the OS 5 conduits (Calendar; Contacts; Tasks;
    Memos) were set to ‘Do Nothing’. (In my case, I also set all my other applications like Life Balance, Bonsai etc to ‘Do Nothing’).
  16. Conducted HotSync with all relevant conduits set to ‘Desktop Overwrites Handheld’ to upload all the imported data in profile (b) to the Treo.
  17. Conducted a second HotSync with the T3 to check profile (a) still syncs OK.

On home PC:

  1. Created new user profile for the Treo in Palm Desktop, so I now have two Palm profiles:
    (a) Bignoseduglyguy
    (b) Bignoseduglyguy Treo
  2. Replicated all (a) tasks categories/colour coding in (b).
  3. Replicated all (a) memo categories/colour coding in (b).
  4. Replicated all (a) contact categories/colour coding in (b).
  5. Replicated all (a) calendar categories/colour coding in (b).
  6. Opened HotSync Manager’s Custom function and altered the conduit actions for the (b) profile to ensure that the correct ones for the
    Treo (Date Book; Address Book; To Do List; Memo Pad) were enabled and, more importantly, the OS 5 conduits (Calendar; Contacts; Tasks;
    Memos) were set to ‘Do Nothing’. (In my case, I also set all my other applications like Life Balance, Bonsai etc to ‘Do Nothing’).
  7. Conducted HotSync with all relevant conduits set to ‘Handheld Overwrites Desktop’ to upload all the imported data in profile (b) from the Treo.
  8. Conducted a second HotSync with the T3 to check profile (a) still syncs OK.

As for actual use in the very near future, the T3 will be the main PDA and the Treo will primarily be a phone but will have a second copy of all my basic PIM data. In time, I will move across as many of my favoured applications as the Treo’s memory and my SD cards will allow, to allow me to use the Treo in much the same way as I use my T3. Although I would like to move to one device, I’m not buying a new set of peripherals just yet. Who knows, if I like using an integrated solution enough, I might just migrate to my own 650, but that’s one for the future.

*Latest version downloaded from PalmSource as used with my T3 and NOT the bundled one supplied by Orange, my corporate service provider. This is because the bundled desktop i) has Treo specific add-ons and ii) it ‘moves’ Treo-incompatible T3 OS5 specific apps to a folder on the desktop when it ‘up(down)grades’ your setup. Caveat Emptor.

my lo-fi ears are listening to Luka/Suzanne Vega


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