The problems with Sync

Not sure exactly why keeping device information synchronized with a computer becomes so difficult but in my years of working with Palm devices it seems to present an issue when you stray from the built in apps. In fact, Palm’s answer to almost any issue you call tech support about is to disable third party conduits and then usually a hard reset. The hard reset erases everything from your device which requires a restore/rebuild of everything.

My current set-up is the Palm Tungsten C connecting to my Powerbook G4. My company uses Meeting Maker as the group-ware calendar and Meeting Maker offers a conduit to sync so you would think that all would be well… but it is not. It seems that my Palm can only receive information from Meeting Maker, but can not send things back reliably without causing the conduit manager to crash (predictably) unexpectedly.

You see duplicates happen. I don’t know what causes this to happen, it just does. I have tried erasing the dupes on my Palm and re-syncing with MM, sending info back up, but in every case, the conduit manager crashes. It seems to have a problem with the number of things that get duplicated (usually holidays, though repeating weekly meetings are an issue as well). If I delete things in MM, I can sync back to the Palm with no problem.

So what is my issue? As a mobile person, I’d like to use my Palm to initiate events as I should be able to. Those should be able to go back up to the computer and all should be dandy. Instead, I have the current info ONLY on my Palm which makes it look like I am potentially available in our work system which auto accepts meeting invitations if my schedule seems to allow it. I set this as a preference, btw to make things easier since the speed in which meetings tend to schedule is pretty brutal.

One final point on Syncing, unrelated to Meeting Maker. iSync needs a serious upgrade in my opinion. It takes FOREVER to sync contacts (I have over 1200) and even longer if you are daring enough to sync with iCal as well. I would say that adding iSync to my sync schedule adds about 10-15 MINUTES my computer has to sit and think about what data to move where. For me, it is no longer worth the pain and suffering. I like the Apple Address Book, but am beginning to migrate back to Now Contact, an App I have not used since 1996. Not sure why I stopped, maybe it was Palm Desktop… but it is very nice so far and syncs well with Palm. I can also use the recently released update to sync (in my case overwrite) my Apple Address Book, if and when I feel that needs to be updated.

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