Welcome to InterconnectNow - Interconnected Technologies' blog about technology and other items of interest to small businesses and individuals.

The topics here will usually deal with productivity-enhancing technologies of interest to small businesses and individuals, but are often of broader interest.  Productivity is the goal of all of this technology that we use. Enabling productivity through refining or adding technology-based capabilities is what we're obsessed with at Interconnected Technologies, and so this blog is dedicated to discussions of all things related to that.

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Entries in Music player (2)

Tuesday
Jul142009

Managing a Palm Pre - documents, pictures, and, maybe music

Palm's historical affiliation with desktop computers was (rightly) thrown out the window with the Palm Pre.  The Pre is designed, as a PDA, to be affiliated (and sync'd) with either Gmail / Google Apps or Exchange (or both, as in my case).

This raises a question, and poses a problem:  how do I get "computer" stuff to the Pre?

Computer Stuff:

Documents, Pictures, and, maybe, Music:  Until or unless someone comes up with a robust (read: supported) wifi connection between the Pre and a computer, you need a microUSB cable to connect the two devices.  Once that's done, you choose (for the purposes of this and the next paragraph) to connect as a USB device.  Your Pre's internal memory shows up as a drive on the computer. 

To designate what should be sync'd between the two devices, and since I don't want ALL of my documents or pictures sync'd, I created a folder called Presync in my Documents folder, in which I put documents (Word, Excel, PDF) I want sync'd.  I have a folder called Contact Pictures and another called Photo Album in my Pictures folder that I want on the Pre.   I use a utility (have for years) called Second Copy, and I set up a profile in Second Copy to sync these two folders with the Pre.  I could also add a folder or folders in Music to this, but I chose not to.  More later.  Now, I hook up the Pre, select USB mode, double click the Presync profile in Second Copy, and in a few seconds the devices are in sync.  Easy!  It will be easier when/if someone comes up with a wifi connection that would serve in place of the USB cable.  Then, the Pre could sit on the Touchstone charger, and I could run the Second Copy profile automatically every so often, or manually whenever I want, without having to mess with the microUSB cable.

For music, I chose to use the other mode of connection the Pre offers:  Media Sync.  Right now, this causes the Pre to look like an iPod - pretty cool, actually, and I think Apple is NUTS not to support this, but in their usual style, Apple is bristling at this intrusion into their proprietary world.  I chose to use this method of syncing for one primary reason:  playlists.  I know iTunes isn't the best or most stable or functional Windows application - never has been - but it's easy to use, and so I choose to use it for its simplicity, and the fact that it can sync with the Pre.   iTunes also causes album art to be included with songs, and I like that on the Pre.  I know there are other ways to manage music (I've used them all) and all will work.  But I like the simplicity of this solution.

So there you have it!  Until something better comes along, this works pretty well.

Addendum: 

I found a solution to the problem of not being able to access, and therefore back up, .prc and .pdb files from Classic (PalmOS) applications on the Pre.  My need was to have a backup of my HandyShopper backup.  This is my solution (with help from the folks on the Treo Yahoo group):

Following the advice here:

http://forums.precentral.net/official-classic/187716-get-data-out-classic.html

Download and install RFBackup from here:

http://www.dt002.titandsl.co.uk/software/rfbackup.html

When you run that tool, it puts the backup files (including my precious HandyShopper database) in a folder where Second Copy can get at it.

So, now I have two profiles in Second Copy: one to update things as described above, and another to copy the backup to my Pre folder on my laptop.  Not as easy as HotSync, but then again I don't HAVE to hotsync, and this works just fine.

Friday
Dec262008

BlackBerry as a music device

Ah, Christmas has come and gone and with it the flurry of new iPod sales going on all around me.  Seems like everyone I know now has at least one iPod.

I have resisted this trend for two primary reasons:

1. I don't want to carry around another device.

2. I don't really spend a lot of time with headphones plugged into my ears.

The former is a practial matter.  One more device; one more cord or power adapter.  The latter is perhaps a generational thing, or maybe it's just tht I don't want to feel THAT cut off from the world!

Enter some relatively new capabilities/devices that turn my trusty BlackBerry Curve into a reasonable substitute:

Research in Motion quietly released a tool called BlackBerry Media Sync which syncs iTunes with the BlackBerry.  Combine that with a 16gb microSD card from Samsung and you have a viable (if a bit underpowered) portable media device, and no need to carry around an iPod.  The Media Sync program is here:  http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/media/mediasync.jsp.  I'm just testing it now, and will update this with any issues.  The Sandisk 16gb card can be purchased in many places.  Search on Amazon.com for a starting point. 

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