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Entries in Palm (128)


PalmGear's New Download Policy

Just today I've come across a tidbit on CliePlanet about PalmGear now requiring visitors to become "members" via a free sign-in screen, in order to download software from their website. I suspect as this new policy becomes widely known in the Palm community there are going to be many unhappy campers.

I suspect some of the reasons behind this policy change at PalmGear may be related to high bandwidth costs (related to all the downloads they serve), a desire to pinpoint who is downloading software and as a way to build up an opt-in email database for promotional mailings.

I think this is a mistake. I believe the all-or-nothing membership requirement is not the right way to go about managing bandwidth, tracking downloads, building mailing lists or whatever PalmGear is aiming for. Requiring visitors to become a member is a hassle, and one that many will avoid unless it is shown to be truly beneficial to them, especially since downloads did not require membership last week.

I would have rather seen PalmGear use a positive approach. Why not make membership an option that's so attractive, frequent visitors would immediately want to join? Attractions might include chances to win cool software or hardware, access to members-only promotions and discounts, and access to a MyPalmGear feature with custom app lists and other exclusive features. Make membership a special privilege rather an obstacle for your visitors to overcome.

In fact, Handango, PalmGear's rival software site, already tried this approach a few years ago, only to make membership an option a short time later. I guess we will see how things go for PalmGear.

Meanwhile, if you want to get software from PalmGear but do not want to become a member to do so, I've found a nice workaround posted at CliePlanet by a reader named Brian:

"You can still download items from without having to register with the site. If the item you want to download can be StreamLync'ed, just right click on the StreamLync icon, select 'Save Target As...' (In IE), and change the file extension from *.pgz to *.zip in the resulting dialog box before pressing enter. It will download without requiring you to register, and the resulting file is a valid *.zip archive. Enjoy."

Be aware that this workaround might soon disappear.

Here are some alternate Palm software sites: VersionTracker, EuroCool and FreewarePalm. I also like to use Google once I know what an app's name is. I just enter the criteria "app name+palm" in the Google search field to locate the developer's website directly. Works great.


Modular PDA Sync and Charger

HotSync Cable & ChargerI really like modular design solutions, so this HotSync and charger cable suite caught my eye. At the center of the system is a small, light USB HotSync cable for traveling. However, when you add the optional AC wall and DC car charger adapters (which connect directly to the USB end of the HotSync cable) you can also charge your PDA at home, in the office or in a car. This makes for a perfect travel system, since it's much smaller, lighter and more flexible than my OEM cradle and charger cable... and it works in the car.

I found the cable, AC wall and DC car adapters that work with my Clie N610C at Proporta, however my father located a similar suite for his N710C at CompUSA, so I suspect these can be found in many places if you look for them.


The Elusive Dick Tracy Watch

Wrist PDAIf you're at all interested in Fossil, the popular fashion watch company who's also preparing the release of the Wrist PDA, have a look at this Wired Magazine article Wrist Top Revolution by Josh McHugh. The article covers Fossil's roots, the Palm OS Wrist PDA and Microsoft SPOT watch (which uses FM radio channels to receive wireless data).

What I found most intriguing was the background history of Fossil and their attention to design. Here's a great quote about Fossil's commitment to design details:

"A few of the design guys we met at Fossil had come in on a couple of weekends and varnished that stairway themselves," he says. "Just because they wanted that look."

As a designer, it's always great to hear of companies which feel the design of their products is of high importance. It's also interesting to learn of the many obstacles Fossil has overcome to get a handheld device equal to the Palm Zire, squashed into a watch body.

It should be interesting to see just how the Wrist PDAs do in the marketplace. I have a good friend who just loves his Casio calculator watch -- I can easily see him picking up one of these Wrist PDAs -- for the right price. We'll see what happens this summer...

Have a great weekend all!


Life Changing Stories Contest at PalmSource

PalmSource, the company discussed in Tuesday's post, has started a contest for Palm handheld users, asking How Has Palm OS Improved Your Life? Here's the gist of the contest:

Tell us how your Palm Powered™ device has made your company more successful, your business life more productive, or your personal life more enjoyable. We're looking for true stories about problems you've solved and things you can do thanks to your handheld or smartphone.

The winner with the most compelling story about how the Palm OS has helped improve their life, will win a Palm OS smartphone or handheld of their choice -- not bad! So stop on by to make your story known and to take a chance at winning a cool new Palm handheld.


iSiloX Beta Adds Scheduling!

iSiloX AutomatedExcellent news! I received an announcement last night that iSiloX is getting automated scheduling added to the desktop tool. The beta preview of iSiloX 3.35b is available for Mac OS X and Windows.

I've only briefly experimented with the new feature in the beta, and so far it looks good. However, each channel must be set up for a schedule individually. While that's great for flexibility, I'd really love to see a feature that would let me apply a schedule globally to all channels as well as individual channels, so I don't have to manually fiddle with every channel if I want to make a global change.

Still, even this fist step is welcomed. Even better would be an iSilo conduit that would work much like AvantGo's conduit, but I suspect that's either a long way off or wishful thinking on my part. Still, here's to hoping. :-)