Thursday, September 09, 2004

Veo Camera

Through a rather silly mistake (long story ...) I have ended up with a Veo camera off eBay. Trouble is that it is very unclear whether it works with the T|E or not (if you look hard enough on the Veo website you find the comment that it should work if you have the SDIO update installed), so I don't know if I have been sold a pup or not.

Anyone out there with one of the officially supported devices who wants to give it a try? This is what the website says:
# Palm OS systems: 4.0, 4.1, 5.0
# Works with Palm m125, m130, m500, m505, m515, i705, Tungsten-T, Tungsten-T2, Tungsten-W, Treo 90, Kyocera 7135. (Not compatible with Tungsten-T3)

There is a Mac conduit available and I know Sammy from Palm Addicts uses one with a T|C. Any offers of help?

XDA2 - first impressions

I have had the XDA2 for a couple of days now and I am quite impressed by both the hardware and the software.

I am not sure why, but the screen appears much nicer. One factor might be the colour scheme that the OS uses - some seriously good graphic design work has gone into it. Realizing this lead me to play with the colour themes on my Palm, and it is quite obvious that the way the PalmOS GUI is designed makes it look soft and fuzzy, even though the screen is capable of much greater crispness. This becomes obvious if you look at the icons for third party apps - some just stand out as crisper and sharper than others (including the built-in apps).

The camera and phone work well and it is surprisingly easy to find your way around the system if you are used to the Windows Start menu. There is no equivalent of the Desktop to hold program icons, and while there is a version of Windows Explorer, that is clearly intended to be a file manager rather than a launcher (unlike Finder in OSX, which has both functions). This also means that there is not an equivalent of the 'Home' button which takes you to a screen where you can browse what is available for you to do with the device. Instead one taps through the nested menu system of the Start menu. This is incredibly hard to do with a finger, or even a fingernail, rather than a stylus. In general I think icons are more suited to PDAs than menus (and I note that PPC uses them for the 'Settings' interface), and nested menus are very unwise. But as the marketing men keep telling us, they are familiar.

PRO: the Start menu is accessible from everywhere over the top of what you are currently doing.
CON: the Start menu is fiddly and makes applications surprisingly hard to find.

For the record, the Qtopia suite for Linux on a PDA combines the best of both worlds: a Palm-style categorized (and tabbed) launcher and a Windows-style start menu.

I have not tried getting the XDA2 to talk to a Mac yet. I decided that for the first week I would use it fresh out of the box as if I was a new user coming to this sort of device for the first time. When I have had a week of getting to know it like that, I will start installing third-party software and trying to get data across.

Missing Sync Beta 5

Mark/Space have released beta 5 of the next release of Missing Sync 4.0 (it appears betas 3 and 4 were never released).

Reading the release notes, they have not addressed my problems. Most of the changes are device specific, but this looks like an much needed application of common sense:
If a conduit is set for a fast sync and the last computer the user synced with isn't the computer computer, we now set the sync type to slow sync.

To be honest, most of my problems have arisen with my home machine - the release version of 4.0 seems to work OK on my office Mac. But that is just because it has less to do. At home I regularly have to 'Force Quit' when something goes wrong during a Hotsync.