July 2002

PDA market shrinks
A new IDC report indicates trouble in the PDA market. Global second quarter 2002 shipments were down to 2.6 million, below 2001 levels. Palm's worldwide share dipped to 32.4% from 40.6% last year. After swallowing Compaq, HP is now second with 19%, or 485,000 units in Q2. Sony's share is 10% and Handspring slipped to 6.5%. [see report] -- Posted Monday, July 29, 2002 by chb

Dell to get into PDA market?
CBS Market Watch reports that Dell may have signed a large deal with Taiwanese OEM Compal for 1.5 million PDAs. [see report] -- Posted Monday, July 29, 2002 by chb

Palm proposes reverse stock split to shareholders
Palm, Inc. in an SEC filing posted today, announced its intention to propose a reverse stock split at the next shareholder's meeting. The reverse split would effectively combine stocks, giving current holders of 10 shares one share, for example. The range of possibility is between 10 and 20 shares combining into one, to be decided by the shareholders. The change could take effect anywhere between October 1, 2002 and April 1, 2003. Palm, Inc. is proposing the measure to prepare for the upcoming split of the two companies. Palm, the hardware division, would split from PalmSource, responsible for developing and licensing the Palm OS to licensees like Handspring, Sony, Kyocera, Samsung, and HandEra. -- Posted Friday, July 26, 2002 by sab

Microsoft pulls Entourage X Palm Sync
Microsoft today has pulled the Entourage X HotSync conduit for Palm OS devices, according to a report from c|net's news.com. The link we put in our previously posted story now says: "Microsoft Handheld Synchronization for Entourage X is temporarily unavailable as we investigate some technical issues that have been reported to us by customers." In my tests with a Palm m515, I found that the Address Book data file became exceedingly large, filling the Palm's RAM completely. After overcoming that with the help of Backup Buddy VFS, the file size increased by 10K for each record added, very unusual. Ultimately, the Address Book did not sync with the Windows 2000 machine I also use, crashing the Outlook conduit. Microsoft is expected to release a fixed version soon. -- Posted Tuesday, July 23, 2002 by sab

Sony announces low-price CLIE for students
Back to school talk is already here, and Sony's right on top of it with the announcement of their new low-end monochrome CLIE SL10. Retailing for US$149.99, the new device has a 320 x 320 monochrome screen, four times the resolution of its cousin, the S360. It has 8MB RAM, a Jog Dial, and offers Memory Stick expansion. "We packed the new CLIE PEG-SL10 with features typically found in higher-end models to offer entry-level users a stylish and flexible device that will grow to fit their lifestyles," said Russell Paik, Sony Electronics' vice president for handheld marketing. The SL10 also includes DataViz's Documents to Go, allowing users to edit and sync Word and Excel documents. PictureGear Pocket is also included. The release says that the backlight is enhanced for greater readability. Expected to be at retailers in August, the SL10 can be pre-ordered today at http://www.sonystyle.com/clie -- Posted Monday, July 22, 2002 by sab

Microsoft releases Entourage X conduit for Palm
Many Mac OS X users will be happy to hear that the long awaited Entourage X conduit for Palm devices has been released by Microsoft. The conduit promises to sync the Address Book, Date Book, ToDo, and Memo Pad. However, there may be a few problems for some users.

I have been unable to sync the Address Book reliably, for example. The program has taken my address DB of 1,035 contacts (139K) and messed them up quite well. When choosing "Handheld Overwrites Desktop" (necessary because a lot has changed since I switched to OS X) I end up with 197 contacts in Entourage and 1035 on the Palm... only now the data file on the Palm measures over 2MB and fills up the remaining RAM on my m515. My testing is not complete, but two attempts have produced the exact same result.

Be warned before downloading and installing the new conduit, and be sure to have good backups of your valuable data. Also prepare to have many long since expired appointments pop up as "Overdue" when the Date Book begins to sync. If you have external storage, now's a good time to invest in Backup Buddy VFS before you experiment with this new conduit.

Addendum: Changing the Identity name from Main Identity to the Palm device's user name allows all entries to sync reliably to Entourage, yet the file size reported by the Palm device is now 7252K, with only 92.9K available on the device. The conduit must be writing files in an unconventional manner.

Addendum 2: After doing the above and overwriting the Palm with the files on my SD card, the pair sync just fine. But when I add a name to the Palm and HotSync it, the file size on the Palm goes up by 10K. Add another name and the same happens, up by 10K. Before HotSync the value doesn't change, because a single entry seldom has a large effect (139K stores 1035 records on my device).

If you're experiencing similar problems, or if you find a solution, please email me at sab@pencomputing.com. -Shawn Barnett
-- Posted Tuesday, July 16, 2002 by sab

Pen Search Engine
Use the search button on our site to search through over 1,250 Pen Computing reviews, columns, and features. -- Posted Thursday, July 4, 2002 by chb

AcidImage 2.0 released by Red Mercury
Red Mercury's AcidImage image viewer for the Palm OS has been upgraded to version 2.0. The software allows users to view all the images on their device and expansion cards on one screen, a significant benefit. Users can also zoom in or out dramatically, for quite an interesting viewing experience. Zoom is fast as is opening most files. Support for higher resolution devices, like the Sony CLIE, is also included. Perhaps its greatest feature is that it needs no image converter. Just HotSync JPEG, GIF, or BMP images, either onto a card or directly into RAM, and they're available for viewing. The program also works with PictureGear Pocket and PhotoSuite images. Users of PDAs with cards also supported by a digital camera would have to ability to instantly view their photos without using a PC at all. US$19.95, 15 day free demo available for download from http://www.red-mercury.com -- Posted Wednesday, July 3, 2002 by sab

Bachmann's Palm OS Bluetooth printing solution
Bachmann Software and Anycom, Inc. have announced the availability of PrintBoy Anywhere, software that will allow Palm OS users to print via a Bluetooth connection. Up to know, PrintBoy worked via IrDA, but with Anycom's Bluetooth printer module, and a Palm Bluetooth SD card, wireless has gotten easier. A free trial version of PrintBoy Anywhere will be bundled with each of Anycom's Bluetooth printer modules for US$39.99. Current users of PrintBoy Deluxe can upgrade to PrintBoy Anywhere for US$14.99 at Bachmann's site. Available at http://www.anycom.com or http://www.backmannsoftware.com -- Posted Wednesday, July 3, 2002 by sab

Bitstream upgrades Thunderhawk
ThunderHawk, the full-featured wireless web browser for Pocket PCs, has been upgraded to version 1.02. New features include a favorites folder, a history folder that holds up to 64 URLs, a more readable keypad, greater performance, and support for more devices including Toshiba PPCs. http://www.bitstream.com/wireless/index.com -- Posted Wednesday, July 3, 2002 by sab

Intermec upgrades 1800 and 1802 barcode scanners
Intermec Technologies Corp is offering a Flash upgrade for it's ScanPlus 1800 line of scanners. The free upgrade will allow the scanners to support RSS, or Reduced Space Symbology bar codes. The new codes, developed by EAN International and the Uniform Code Council, include seven variations, of which the upgraded and new scanners will support the Linear versions. Composite versions will be supported later this year. The software upgrade can be downloaded from http://www.intermec.com -- Posted Wednesday, July 3, 2002 by sab

Portsmith announces modem/cradle combo
Portsmith and Palm have worked together to create a modem cradle that also charges the Palm. Compatible with all of Palm's Universal connector devices, the modem cradle will list for US$149 and is generally intended to enable distributed workforce personel. "Working with leading mobile computing accessory companies like Portsmith enables us to deliver cutting-edge solutions that not only simplify the lives of our customers, but also enable uninterrupted access to critical information wherever they go," said Paul Leeper, director of Market Development, Solutions Marketing, at Palm, Inc. The cradle should be available soon at http://www.igo.com -- Posted Tuesday, July 2, 2002 by sab

Treo 270 arrives in Australia
Handspring's Treo 270 is now available in Australia, according to the company. The color, keyboard-driven, Palm OS cell phone hybrid will sell for AUD$1,599 GST without a service contract; pricing may vary. The Treo 270 allows up to three hours talk time and 150 hours standby, plus Web access and SMS. -- Posted Tuesday, July 2, 2002 by sab