Palm@Hand User’s Guide

Version: 1.0

 

  1. 1 Introduction *
  2. 2 System Requirements *

    3 Installation *

    4 Using Palm@Hand *

    4.1 Defining Buttons *

    Defining Contact Buttons *

    Notes/Files *

    Other Buttons *

    4.2 Sending Information *

    4.3 Re-Defining Buttons *

    4.4 Modifying Buttons *

    4.5 Receiving Information from a Palm Device *

    4.6 Exiting Palm@Hand *

    4.7 Error Messages *

    5 Known Issues *

  3. Introduction
  4. Welcome to the Palm@Hand User’s Guide. Palm@Hand is an application that allows users of Windows CE Palm-PC (PPC, and soon to be PocketPC) devices to exchange information with Palm devices (i.e. Palm IIIx, Palm V, etc.) without requiring any special software to be running on the Palm device. It works with the capabilities built-in all Infrared-equipped Palm devices to exchange information via an Infrared (IR) link.

    Palm@Hand is freeware. I wrote it to fill a big hole I found while using my Palm-size PC on a daily basis, and decided that others may benefit from it as well. I’ll probably keep working on it, and I’ll try to help out with any problems you may encounter, but I can’t promise rapid response to any problem.

    If you have any question, comments, suggestion or anything, please e-mail me at techathand@ix.netcom.com.

  5. System Requirements
  6. Palm@Hand will only run on a Palmsize-PC (PPC) running Windows CE 2.11 or higher (i.e. Casio Cassiopeia E-100/105, HP Jornada 420/430, Compaq Aero 2100, etc.).

    Communicating with Palm devices requires that the Palm device have an IR interface, and the Enhanced IR patch from Palm installed (or PalmOS 3.0.1 or higher, which includes the Enhanced IR patch). If you’re having trouble with a Palm device not recognizing your Windows CE device (the Palm just sits there saying ‘Searching…’), you may want to suggest that the user upgrade to the latest version of PalmOS for their device.

  7. Installation
  8. Installation of Palm@Hand is pretty straightforward. The Zip file you have should contain two files – this manual and a self-extracting executable file (Palm@Hand.exe). To install the program, just run the .exe file and follow the normal prompts for installing a Windows CE application.

    When asked if you want to install the application in the default directory, please answer ‘Yes’. Installation procedures under Windows CE are kind of goofy, and I haven’t fully figured out how to support non-default installations yet. Maybe in a future release…

    After you’ve installed Palm@Hand, two files will be created on your PPC – the executable itself will end up in \Program Files\techAtHand\PalmAtHand.exe, and a link file will be created in \Program Files\Menu\PalmAtHand.lnk. The link file allows the program to show up in your ‘Start\Programs’ menu.

  9. Using Palm@Hand
  10. When you first start up Palm@Hand, you will see a screen with 3 rows of three buttons (Note: if you see an error message about ‘Unable to open IR port…’ when you start the program, it means that another program is using either the IR port or the built-in serial port on your device).

    The top row of three buttons allows you to pre-define 3 contact records to send, the second row of three buttons allow you to pre-define 3 notes/text files to send, and the bottom three buttons allow you to send other schedule items, tasks, contacts, etc.

    I figured that the most common items that users will need to exchange with Palm devices are contact information and notes. If you feel differently, please let me know.

    1. Defining Buttons
    2. When you first run Palm@Hand, the top 2 rows of buttons contain the text ‘Not Defined’. When you press one of the buttons, you will be asked if you want to define the button. If you say yes, what happens next depends on whether you pressed a Contact button or a Note button.

      Defining Contact Buttons

      If you pressed an undefined Contact button and select ‘yes’ to define it, you will be prompted to enter the name of the contact to use as a basis for this pre-defined contact. You can enter any name that is in your built-in Contacts database, or you can enter a partial name. In either case, you will be presented with a list of names to select from. You can enter a partial name (i.e. Pat S), and a list of names that match the partial name will be displayed. You can then select the name from the list.

      Once you’ve selected a name, you will be asked if you want to send all of the fields that you have entered for the contact in the built-in Contacts application, or if you want to select specific fields. Selecting specific fields can be very useful. For example, you can create a single entry for yourself using the built-in Contacts application that contains all of the information about you, including work address, work phone, work e-mail, cell phone, home address, home phone, etc. You can then use the three Contact buttons to define different groups of information to send. For example, one button can have your work info without your cell number (for those people who you don’t want calling you on your cell phone), a second button with all of your work info plus your cell number (for co-workers and special customers), and a third button with your home information (for that special someone you meet on vacation).

      Note: There are several limitations on the Contacts application built into Palm devices. A contact can only have a single address, 5 phone numbers, etc. If you need to send a lot of info to a Palm user, you’re better off breaking it up into separate contact buttons.

      If you chose to select specific fields to send, you will next be presented with a window that allows you to select what fields to send when you press this button. There are three tabs on the top of the window that allow you to move between the different categories of information. Some of the tabbed pages describe some of the limitations of a Palm device, so be sure to read all of the on-screen direction before selecting the fields. For example, the Palm only supports 5 phone numbers, so you can only send 5 numbers for a given contact. However, since the palm device treats an e-mail address as a phone number, you can only send 4 phone numbers if you elect to send an e-mail address.

      Once you have selected all of the fields you want, press the ‘OK’ button on the upper-right part of the window.

      After you pressed ‘OK’, or if you originally selected to send all defined fields for the contact, you will be presented with a window that allows you to enter a label for this button. Try to keep the label short, or use groups of short words. For example, use a label of ‘Work’ for your work info without a cell number, ‘Work with Cell’ for your work info with a cell number, and ‘Home’ for your personal information.

      After you have entered a label, the button on the main window will be updated with the new label.

      Note: Palm@Hand does not store any contact information itself, it uses what you have defined using the built-in Contacts application. If you change some information for a contact that you have defined a button to use, the next time you use that button to send the contact the new information will be sent. Also, if you delete a contact that you have defined a button to use, that button will no longer work and will have to be re-defined.

      Notes/Files

      If you pressed an undefined Notes/Files button, you will first be prompted to select what type of note/file you want to send. There are initially two choices – a note you created using the built-in Notetaker application, or a text file. Regardless of which one you select, you will be presented with a list of files on your device for that type. If you selected ‘Notetaker Note’, you will be presented with a list of all ‘.pwi’ files on your system. If you selected text file, you will be presented with a list of all ‘.txt’ files on your system. Select whichever file you want to send when you press that button. For example, if you find yourself giving people directions to your office frequently, you can create a note that gives the directions, then define a button to send that note to Palm users.

      There is also a third type of note supported by Palm@Hand – Phatware’s HPC Note notes. If you have installed Phatware’s HPC Notes application on your system, instead of a list of files, you will be presented with a list of notes. Simply select the note to use from the list, and that note will be sent when you press that button.

      Once you have selected a file or note, you will be prompted for a label for this button. Enter the label and press the ‘Finish’ button. The button’s new label will be then be displayed on the button.

      Other Buttons

      The bottom row of button, labeled ‘Other’ cannot be re-defined. They are hard-coded in the application. The left one allows you to select a Schedule item to send, the middle one allows you to select a Task to send, and the right one allows to send anything on your system.

       

    3. Sending Information
    4. Sending information to a Palm device using Palm@Hand is as simple as pressing a button. Just line up the IR port on your PPC with the IR port on the Palm device and press the button that defines the information you want to send (if you haven’t defined your buttons yet, please refer to Section 3.1 for information on how to do that). Once you press a button, Palm@Hand will begin looking for a Palm device to talk to. When it finds one, it will establish a connection over the IR port and transmit the data.

      So what if you want to send some information that isn’t defined by a button? Well, if it’s schedule information, simply press the ‘Schedule’ button in the bottom row of buttons, and you will be presented with a calendar window. Select the day of the appointment, and a list of appointments for that day will be displayed.

      Note: Palm@Hand does not currently handle either sending or receiving recurring appointments.

      If you want to send some task information, press the button labeled ‘Task’ in the bottom row. You will be presented with a list of tasks that you have defined using the built-in Task application. Simply select a task and it will be sent to the Palm device.

      If you want to send any other information, press the button labeled ‘Other’ in the bottom row. This will display a window with one button for each type of information Palm@Hand supports (i.e. Contacts, Notes, Schedule, etc.). Press the button for what you want to send.

      If you select ‘Contact’, you will be presented with the same windows as you would if you were defining a Contact button. The only difference is that, once the data is sent, Palm@Hand does not ‘remember’ what was sent – no button is defined for what you send. This is a ‘one shot’ type of send. If you need to send some contact info on a regular basis, you should define a button for it.

      If you select ‘Note’ you will be presented with the same options as if you were defining a ‘Note’ button. The only difference is that, once the data is sent, Palm@Hand does not ‘remember’ what was sent – no button is defined for what you send. This is a ‘one shot’ type of send. If you need to send a note on a regular basis, you should define a button for it.

      If you select ‘Schedule’, you will be presented with the same windows as if you had selected the ‘Schedule’ button on the main window.

      If you select ‘Task’, you will be presented with the same windows as if you had selected the ‘Task’ button on the main window.

      If you select ‘File’, nothing will happen. That’s there for future enhancements.

    5. Re-Defining Buttons
    6. If you need to re-define a ‘Contact’ or ‘Note’ button you’ve previously defined, select the ‘Redefine’ option from the ‘Button’ pull-down menu. A window will appear asking you to press the button you want to re-define (note the window covers the bottom row of buttons, since you can’t define those). Press the button you want to re-define, and you will be taken trough the same steps as if you were defining that button for the first time (see Section 3.1 for details).

       

       

    7. Modifying Buttons
    8. If you want to modify the configuration of a pre-defined button, select ‘Modify’ from the ‘Button’ pull-down menu. A window will appear asking you to press the button you want modify (note the window covers the bottom row of buttons, since you can’t modify those). Press the button you want to modify. If you pressed a Contact button, you will be able to change the fields that are sent when that button is pushed, and the label for that button. You previous selections will be displayed as the defaults.

      If you select to modify a Note button, you will be prompted for the same information as if you were defining the button, with the current configuration displayed as the default.

    9. Receiving Information from a Palm Device
    10. Receiving information requires you to do – nothing (well, almost nothing). Simply start up the Palm@Hand program, line up the IR interfaces, and have the Palm person send their info. Palm@Hand will automatically negotiate with the Palm, receive the information, then ask you to verify that you want to accept the information. If you say ‘Yes’ Palm@Hand will automatically save contact information into your built-in Contacts database, task information into you built-in Tasks database, and Schedule information into your built-in Schedule database. If you receive a note from a Palm device, you will be prompted for a location to save the note to.

      Note: Palm@Hand can handle the receipt of multiple contacts via the Palm’s ‘Send Category’ option. You will be prompted if you want to automatically accept them all. If you say no, you will be prompted to accept each contact individually.

    11. Exiting Palm@Hand
    12. To exit Palm@Hand, either press the little ‘X’ in the upper right-hand corner of the main window, or select the ‘Exit’ option from the ‘File’ pull-down menu.

    13. Error Messages

    Despite my best efforts, errors may happen occasionally. If you get an error message, please write down the message and what your were trying to do at the time, and e-mail me the information at techathand@ix.netcom.com.

     

  11. Known Issues

Since this is Version 1.0 of Palm@Hand, there are (of course) a couple of known problems/shortcomings that I am working on. These are: