The Missing Sync

I’ve been using a Palm PDA, an IIIxe with all of 8 megs of memory, since 2000. Mostly I used it to read e-books., though I did use it to sync with Outlook at work. The Palm is very convenient when I’m traveling since even my “ancient” Palm could easily hold eight or nine books. In the last year though the IIIxe stopped being practical since it began draining batteries very very quickly.

Last week my spouse bought me a new PDA, a Palm TX. It has a larger, brighter, color screen, is slightly thinner, and uses flash memory in addition to the built-in 100MB of user-accessable memory. It also has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and supports sound, images and video.

I love my new Palm. It’s already been useful at the library for keeping track of the books and articles I need, and I haven’t even installed FileMakerPro Mobile yet. I love reading e-books on it; the backlighting is lovely, the text is crisp and easy to read. This Palm going to make plane trips much more pleasant.
I’ll be giving it a real workout tomorrow, as I expect to have a day of “hurry-up-and-wait” as a potential jury member.

Because of what I’d read in Take Control of Syncing in TigerI decided right from the start that I wasn’t going to even try to use the Mac OS Palm Desktop for syncing, or iSync, which depends on the Palm software, and so inherits some of its annoying qualities. Instead, I’m using The Missing Sync from Mark/Space. I’ve never had such an easy time with syncing my Palm, ever. I can sync iCal data, iTunes, (in mp3 format), iPhoto, and even Microsoft Word and .RTF files. I can easily make different profiles to sync for different purposes, and indicate whether I want to install something on the Palm or on a flash card. I don’t believe in “intuitive” interfaces, but this is a Mac OS X interface that works; it’s easy to figure out how to do what I want, and the software behaves beautifully. It’s transparent, in that the GUI is so similar to other OS X applications that it looked familiar right from the start.