Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It Shouldn't Be This Hard

I have used Palm devices since the very first Pilot. I love the Palm OS. I love my Treo 650. I'm trying really hard to stay in love, but the BlackBerry Pearl keeps singing that siren song, pulling my thoughts again and again toward going CrackBerry.

Today didn't help.

One of brilliant successes of the Palm OS, in my opinion, has always been the ease and simplicity of HotSync. From the very start, it was brilliant and it just plain worked. Pop your Palm device into its cradle, press the HotSync button, and magic happens. It's always been wonderful magic. And it seamlessly updated my data from the Pilot, to the Palm III, to the Palm V (oh how I loved the sleek design of the Palm V - IDEO design really shined on that one), to the Treo 300, to my current Treo 650. That's 11 years of data transfer across 5 devices.

But lately Hotsync has been a nightmare for me. I sync at work on my work laptop. We use Outlook, and I could never get the Palm Outlook conduit to work, so I have been using the Intellisync conduit with a completely acceptable level of success. Well, at least until I started getting that cryptic error message every time Hotsync started. And then there were the syncs that never ended (until I used Task Manager to kill the process). Oh, and the random Hotsync crashes too.

I never lost any data, but each and every sync was turning into a "hold your breath" moment.

So today I had enough. It took nearly two hours (with the normal office interruptions) to:

  • Stop both Intellisync and Hotsync, uninstall them, delete their folders from the disk, and manually remove all traces of them in the registry.
  • Download and install Hotsync (Palm Desktop Manager, really).
  • Download and install Intellisync.
  • Call Intellisync tech support and get them to reactivate my serial number, as it seems the uninstall didn't correctly notify their license tracking system.
  • Finish activating Intellisync.
  • Download and install the latest Intellisync patch updates (at the suggestion of the very helpful tech support person).
  • Uninstall and remove all traces of Hotsync and Palm Desktop again, as I was once again getting some mysterious DLL error, and my address book and memos were certainly not syncing correctly.
  • Reinstall Palm Desktop again.
  • Install the Intellisync patch update again, partly out of superstitious behavior, but also to get the Hotsync software to know about the Intellisync conduit.

And now finally I am able to sync seamlessly and painlessly again. Ugh. It shouldn't be this hard.

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