February 12, 2006

Using a Clié TH-55 with Palm Desktop on the Mac

Q: Sony does not officially support the Clié PEG TH-55 for the Mac which means no software out of the box for it. I know Palm Desktop for the Mac does synchronize with some Cliés. Is there anyway to get it to work with the TH-55 or do I need to use The Missing Sync?

A: With some careful work with a text editor, it is possible to convince Palm Desktop to synchronize with a Sony Clié PEG TH-55. Read on to discover how and why you might want to consider investing in the Missing Sync anyway.

Your PEG TH-55 doesn't work out of the box with the Palm Desktop because the model didn't exist the last time the Palm Desktop software was updated. As Palm has stated its intentions to not continue supporting the Palm Desktop, my recommendation is to switch to using MarkSpace's Missing Sync as it is supported and adds functionality not present in the original Palm Desktop synching mechanism, including synching profiles, Bluetooth and WiFi synching, and multimedia support for photos.

If you can't use the Missing Sync and still want to use Palm Desktop with its HotSync Manager, you'll need to get down and dirty with some of the configuration files for the Palm Desktop. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Locate the Palm Desktop folder.

  2. Make a backup of the HotSync Manager file in that folder by using the Finder's Cmd-D to duplicate the file. Store this backup in a safe place.

  3. Right-click on the HotSync Manager file and choose show package contents.

  4. Open the Contents folder and then open the Plug-Ins folder.

  5. Once in the Plug-Ins folder, show package contents of the USBNotifier file, then open Contents.

  6. Open Info.plst in a text editor. You can use TextEdit, BBEdit, or any other text editor that can save plain text files. I don't recommend Microsoft Word. TextEdit came with your Mac and is in your Applications folder.

  7. Go to the bottom of the Info.plist file and look for the last "dict" entry. A "dict" entry looks something like this:

    <dict> <key>USBVendor</key> <string>1356</string> <key>USBProduct</key> <string>218</string> </dict>

    Copy the last dict entry block and paste it above the "</array>" line close to the bottom of the file.

  8. In your copied block, change the USBVendor ID to 1356. Then, change the USBProduct ID to 324.

  9. Go through the same editing steps with the Transport Manager, including making a backup first! It's also in the same folder as your Palm Desktop HotSync Manager.

  10. Go through the same editing steps with the file USB, which you'll find in /Library/Application Support/Palm HotSync/Transports.

  11. Restart your Mac and then try to sync. With luck, you should be good to go.

    Basically, what all this editing does, is add the unique device information to the HotSync Manager (which does the synching) and the system which monitors the USB ports for known PDAs.

    If you ever update Palm Desktop or reinstall it, you'll need to go through the same sequence. It's tedious. I still recommend a href="http://www.markspace.com/missingsync_palmos.php" class="extlink">MarkSpace's Missing Sync. It's a lot easier and you can still use the Palm Desktop's calendaring application on your Mac.

    Posted by Eingang at 04:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 28, 2004

Finding the MAC address of your Clié TH-55

Q: I have a Sony Clié PEG TH-55 that I'm trying to connect to a wireless network restricted to known devices. Before I can connect, I need to register my handheld with the service, which requires the MAC address. Where can I find the MAC address of my PEG TH-55?

A: Many portable devices list the MAC addresses for their ethernet and wireless cards on a sticker on the reverse of the device. On a Sony Clié PEG TH-55, you'll need to look a little harder.

A MAC address is a unique address associated with your wireless communication card for your handheld. Any communications card installed in a device which can connect to a wide area network has a unique address. If you have both a wireless connection and an ethernet connection on your computer, the ethernet card would have a MAC address and the wireless card would have a different MAC address. These addresses are assigned when the cards are manufactured. It is possible to get your PEG TH-55 to tell you its own MAC address by stepping through the following:

  1. Launch the Palm "Prefs" application.

  2. From the top right drop-down menu, choose "Network". You'll be shown a page which says "Service" and has "Details" and "Connect" buttons at the bottom.

  3. Click on the "Service" drop-down menu and choose "Wireless LAN".

  4. Click on the "Details" button at the bottom of the screen. This takes you to the "Wireless LAN Setup" page.

  5. Click in the upper left corner of the screen, where the title bar is, to bring up the "options" or click on the "options" icon (2nd from the bottom left) on the bottom of the screen. The title bar will be replaced with a menu which says "Information" and has the choice of "ConnectionStatus".

  6. Choose the "ConnectionStatus" menu option. The very first thing listed is your 12-character MAC address.

You now have your MAC address.

Note that if you're registering this with a service, sometimes they don't want any spaces or colons in the address, or may want it in lowercase.

Have fun!

Posted by Eingang at 04:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 10, 2004

eBook/document readers for Palm OS Devices

Q: What app do I need to read ebooks and text files on my Treo 600?

A: You'll need a document reader for the Palm that can read Palm doc files as well as a converter program for your Macintosh to change RTF or text files into Palm doc files prior to transferring them via a hot sync.

Now that my beloved Handera is 3 years old and still running Palm OS 3.x, I haven't looked at reading software in ages, but here's some general commentary on programs I know about or use regularly.

For e-books/text, I primarily still use a version of TealPoint's TealDoc software. TealDoc can read plain text and .doc files, and supports landscape mode and scrollwheels on devices which have those. It also can deal with documents stored on cards rather than in RAM. It does not render HTML; however, version 6 can strip out HTML tags. TealDoc is $19.95 US. I've read hundreds of books on my handheld with my trusty copy of TealDoc. Good investment for me.

If you need a reader which renders HTML, people used to suggest MobiPocket Reader. I haven't used it in ages, so I can't really comment on it. Baen Books' online subscription service recommends using MobiPocket as they distribute their books in HTML (but it's really basically just paragraph tags, which are easy enough to visually ignore for me in TealDoc). This is also $19.95 US.

Palm also offers eReader (used to be Palm Reader) for both your Palm and for your Mac, so you can read Palm .doc files on your Mac. It supports some kind of digital rights management. It is possible to buy DRM books from somewhere for it, but it will also handle just regular text files converted to Palm doc format. While I don't use this on my handheld that often, I do use it on my Mac. It has a nice visual page display. The desktop and Palm versions are available in a free version.

Most of these programs would go quite handily with PorDiBle for your OS X box. PorDiBle converts RTF and text files to Palm doc files (.pdb) which can be read with most document readers for the Palm.

Posted by Eingang at 11:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack