Installing Missing Sync on a Hackintosh

I am a registered user of Missing Sync for PalmOS, but it wouldn’t install on my Dell running OS X. Easy to fix: copy the installer package somewhere writable, and then open the package, find the file Contents/Resources/InstallationCheck. Edit this file in a text editor (luckily, they made it a bash script!), and before the final line (exit $RETVAL), insert: exit 0 Crude hack, but it gets it installed. Now to reboot and see if it will actually run!

Google Calendars and SMS Reminders

I’m yet to find a suitable method of syncing my Palm Zire with my Google Calendars, at least one that allows syncing both ways. I’m not really ready to start having my Zire with me until I can do this - I’d also like to be able to sync my PalmOS contacts with the GMail contacts, but that might never occur. I did discover something cool today, however. Google Calendar supports SMS reminders. Including to Australian phones. Now, this might not seem like much, but in Australia, we don’t pay to receive SMS messages, only to send them. Thus, I can set up Google SMS reminders at no cost to myself. Whoops, there goes a reminder. It’s lunch time, according to that message…

Shared Calendars

I’ve just started playing around with Google Calendars, and think there is a lot of potential here. I also use iCal, and sync my calendars with my Palm Pilot, which is better in a lot of cases for me accessing the data than having to go to a website. And it means I can update stuff when I am away from the computer. However, there is one problem, and Google Calendar may have a solution. Shared Calendars. In particular with my Touch Club, I’m one of several people who might need to update a calendar. It would be great to be able to have one calendar file, that I can update either on my Mac, Palm Pilot, or online, and have other people update this as well. However, you can subscribe to a Google Calendar in iCal, and subscribe to a published iCal calendar in Google Calendar, but not have one calendar that is editable in both programs. I might be happy with a solution that bypasses iCal - if I can edit a calendar on my Palm Pilot, and then sync it with Google Calendar, that might do. I’m already hardly using Mail.app anymore, and doing everything with Gmail. Especially since I got ADSL.

Missing Sync Lists

I bought Missing Sync for PalmOS - probably a bad decision as it’s not really that much better than the standard Palm Syncing software. Oh, it claims to be heaps better, but there are just too many things that don’t quite work right. For instance, it makes duplicate entries on my Palm of Read-Only calendars. I use but one of these, that has all of the Australian Public Holidays in it. However, I’ve stopped syncing, as by the end of a month I have 30 copies of each holiday in the database. Not cool. So, surely there’s a way (a-la iTunes/iPod syncing) to only choose some of the items. As it turns out, there is. If you select the Conduit (Events) and then Choose Settings…, you can choose to only sync selected calendars. Except you can’t get at anything other than the first 4 calendars. The scroll bar in this window is broken. Makes it pretty hard to deselect the ones you don’t want. I got around this by renaming my Holidays calendar to Aus Holidays, but I shouldn’t have to do this.

PalmOS: Empty field being added

I came across an interesting bug in iCal/Missing Sync/PalmOS the other day. It seems that PalmOS does not like the first character of a field to be the null character (\0). Having such a character in a field is okay if you are just viewing a record, but if you edit such a record you will get a nasty crash. It actually took me quite some time to figure out what was going on, but more importantly, how to fix it. I was lucky in a sense, as the records I was having issues with were all Contacts (Address Book entries). To begin with I thought it was a problem with Agendus, and I tried reinstalling all of my data and applications. No good. Eventually I figured out what was actually going on. As far as I can tell, it all came from the import of data I did a week or so ago. Except that at least one record other than these was also affected. To solve it was simple. Drag the affected records out of Address Book and then drag the generated file back in. Apparently Address Book’s Export As vCard has better data checking than the import. Come to think of it, it may have been the ABImporter I used.

Don't Break My Data!

I was excited about the update to Missing Sync for Palm OS. Finally, it promised to link up Palm and iCal categories. This to me was a big reason to upgrade, since I seem to spend lots of time manually updating calendar items to be in the right category. It also promised better Address Book support. Including multiple addresses, birthdays, and support for Address Book groups. And that’s where it falls down. Multiple addresses are fine, as are birthdays. And groups work, kind of. The big issue is that it’s possible in Address Book for a contact to belong to multiple groups. In fact, I have contacts that are in about 6 groups. When one of these contacts is synched to the Palm, it chooses one of the groups, and assigns it to this. That’s okay, I have no issues with that. What shits me is that when it is brought back into Address Book, it now only belongs to this group. All of my hard work making sure all contacts are in the right groups is wasted. There’s a large difference between a one-to-one and a one-to-many or many-to-one correspondence. And contact vs. groups can clearly be a one-to-many. Obviously, in iCal, the behaviour is simpler, as an event can only belong to one calendar. And another thing. When I have an email address on iCal, I want it to be an email address on the Palm. Otherwise, when I try to IR it to my phone, it only takes the number part of the email address. ie: luser88@hotmail.com -> 88 in the phone. I think I understand why Mark/Space have set this up: PalmOS doesn’t distinguish between phone numbers and email addresses (other than email addresses get E-mail as their field name), so the simplest way to match up Work email and Home email is to just classify them as work and home, and parse the data on the reverse sync looking for the @ sign. Of course, this doesn’t help me a helluva lot.

Updated iSync loses devices

I bought a new phone yesterday, and was partway through the process of sending all of my contacts from my Palm Zire through to the new phone (a Nokia 6101), when I noticed that the contact details were not current. I’d just imported a whole lot more contacts into Address Book, and modified a fair chunk of the rest of them, and these changes weren’t reflected on the Zire. As it turned out, one of the System updates I’d done recently had updated iSync, and in doing this it removed the Zire from the synching devices list. Because Missing Sync doesn’t run iSync unless there are devices there it needs to sync with, and with Missing Sync/Palm Desktop you don’t explicitly run iSync either, I had no idea this had happened. Running iSync manually fixed the problem - it ran a little helper that re-added the Zire to the devices list. Of course, now I have to re-copy all of the contact I’d already transferred. Grr.

Restarting on Install

Click Restart to finish installing the software.

Why the hell do installers still insist on me restarting my computer after I install some software. I want to shut down, as it’s 11:30 at night, and I don’t want to have to wait for it to start up. Yet, when I installed the latest update to Missing Sync, it tried to force me to restart. Doesn’t it realise that at shut down is like a restart with a rest in between? Fuck crappy installer software… I’m going to bed. Thank god for Force Quit. • Oh, and while I’m ranting: Fuck Opera for thinking that having a custom menu appear when you double-click on some text is a good idea. Nothing ever did that before. How is a user supposed to know that? How am I supposed to be able to override this so I can have my own action happening on a double-click? It makes little sense for me to limit a user to my auto-select on a single-click, as they may not want all of my code at once. However, the only way for me (other than to implement a link or button that can be clicked on) to allow for auto-select is by double-click. Which doesn’t work on Opera. I hope they go out of business. Just for this. Bastards. Which reminds me of the old “Bastards Incorporated.” sketches on the Comedy Company. Ahh, funny 1980s Aussie Sketch Comedy. “Guddayandhowareyoutoday?” • Oh, and OmniWeb doesn’t play like the other browsers, it won’t run all of my nice toolbox scripts. Yet. Oh, yes it does - I just hadn’t logged in. Fuck being tired.

PalmOS Library

Since I now carry my Zire everywhere, I’d like to be able to keep a database of my iTunes Library, and if I get around to it, my physical books as well. Perhaps a reading list too…

Coding on Palm

I don’t write too many blog entries on my Zire (thanks to Jason, I’m not game to call it my Palm), and I just remembered why. It takes ages to enter data, and the error rate is too high. I was just trying to write a program in python (to run at home - I need to reinstall it on my Zire) and writing commas in particular is quite difficult. I might get around to buying a keyboard, or maybe just a laptop! I kind of like graffiti, but I wonder what the Palms with a keyboard are like. Using a retractable pen with the tip up is more comfy than the stylus.