New Buyer Question on Application install and restore

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 I am about to buy my first PDA and I have a question about program installs
on the Palm OS, do I need a computer to run installations of new
applications and also if I have to hard reset the palm, do I need a desktop
to restore my data or can it be done via a SD card?
All views welcome

Re: New Buyer Question on Application install and restore

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Generally a computer (PC, Mac, Linux with some work on your part) is
used to run the desktop software that will sync with your PDA and in the
process also install new applications and other stuff.  It is much more
difficult without it, but it is possible.

If you have a PDA that has the ability to connect to the network (via
built-in WiFi, BlueTooth to a cell phone to the internet, infrared to a
cell phone to the internet), then it might be possible to download a new
application directly to your PDA via the net.  But you will most likely
need a utility to uncompress zip files (some PDAs include this, some do
not; my Sony CLIE TH55 does have it as part of its "CLIE Files" utility.

If your PDA includes a removable storage card, you can sometimes (but
not often) buy applications on storage cards (mostly I've seen game
packs).  I would not count on this as different Palm OS PDA makers used
different removable storage card formats and software makers find it
much easier to just send a CD or have you download the program off the

If you have a way to get applications copied onto an external storage
card (a friend or via a computer with a multi-card capable card reader),
then you can use that method to get applications loaded on your PDA.

If you have a friend with the application loaded on their PDA, then they
can "Beam" it to you (assuming it is freeware, or you are going to pay
the shareware fee, or you have purchased the licensed software and the
friend is just providing you a transfer service)

Some licensed and shareware software requires a license registration
code and to get one you need to have a HotSync name.  This is generally
assigned during HotSync with your computer, but you can get a utility
called "palmname.prc" that can set the HotSync name on your Palm device
without needing to HotSync with a computer.

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A desktop where you have HotSync'ed recently to your Palm can restore
your data.

But it is often times much easier to have a backup on a removal storage
card.  BackupMan, BackupBuddyVFS, FlyBackup are some of the utilities
that can maintain a backup on a storage card for you.

Note:  If you are not loading lots of new applications on your PDA, then
for the most part it will tend to remain stable and you will not find
that you need to do a hard (or even a soft) reset.  Once I figured out
all the applications and utilities I wanted on my old Handspring Visor
Edge, I maybe had a soft reset once a year, and no hard resets.  But in
the first few months after I got it, I was downloaded anything and
everything experimenting to see what I could do with my new toy.  And
during that time, I found some stinker programs that did nasty things to
my PDA.  Then having a backup on my Mac was very useful.  I just
recently upgraded to a Sony CLIE TH55 and I'm going thought the download
everything and anything to see what a color PDA can do.  I run a
scheduled backup utility every night at 1AM to make sure that the next
stinker program does not loose my stuff.  I figure that sometime around
September/October, I'll have settled down and will no longer be in the
experimental mode.

                                        Bob Harris

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