Memory Issue or usage Issue?

By now you might have heard of the potential memory issue for Treo users moving from a 600 or even just another Palm device. The hitch is that the Treo 650 like the Tungsten T5 uses a type of memory called Non-Volatile File System, which enables your Treo or T5 to keep everything you have if the battery runs out or if you switch batteries on your Treo. This is a great new security addition and something I certainly welcome. While I honestly can’t recall the last time any of my Palm devices ran out of juice completely — perhaps not since my m505 or even Vx. I’ve had few since then (TC, T3 and Treo 600) all of which were always safely turned off if I reached the danger point without a cradle or charge cable in sight.

Because of the new file system / memory, the new Treo and T5 maintain a constant backup and as a result write large block sizes (512kb to be exact) so programs and data from previous palms will get rounded up to 512 and eat more space that you had previously thought. For now you have to pay to play… hopefully there will be a fix for some of the more widely used applications to maintain a more trim file if possible.

In the meantime, I’d suggest a good look at what you run on your device and consider how your usage might even change as you migrate to something better. T5 users probably don’t have to worry much since you’ll be enjoying close to 256MB of space, but the 32MB (actually less…) on the Treo might be less than you were hoping to work with…

I’ve found a few things have changed as I’ve moved to a Treo and as I’ve thought about the potential issues with the Treo 650, I’ve already changed what apps I use and think you might as well as you make the adjustment to a new way of working with a Treo. First… Since you’ve got a Treo, consider using it the way it was intended… without a stylus whenever possible. This enable the power and ease of one-handed operation through the 5-way and will really (at least for me) highlight the value of certain apps.

I’ve been a longtime Agendus user.. but have been continually frustrated by the lack of full support on the Treo. I love the professional look and icons, but have actually found myself using it less as I’ve toyed with other options and today actually made the move and deleted (over 1MB of stuff) it from my Treo. Instead, I am using 2Day, by ShSh, which provides a simple 1 screen glance at what’s on my calendar, the day’s weather (from 4Cast also from ShSh) items in my todo list, the number of messages in my inbox (from ChatterEmail as well as other apps), SMS indications and many more features. Its’ fully customizable like all good applications and very easy to use. I can just as easily view today as I can add events. There’s terrific integration with TakePhone another ShSh application I’ve been playing with which enhances your contact and phone applications by making it easy to make calls, view call lists, as well as add or change contact info.

The other major switch I’ve made recently leading to a nice space savings was removing Silver Screen and switching to Initiate, formerly Arrow Launcher from Hobbyist Software. Initiate lets you simply tap the keypad to hit the application, contact, music file or even bookmark on your Treo or SD card. Since it can read the memory card, you can easily move things to the /Palm/Programs directory and have access from there beyond the normal device limits. No need for PowerRun, or any other helper to get to the card. BTW — Butler is another great utility for the Treo… it can handle quite a few tasks including enhacing the reminders on your unit as well as keyboard shortcuts and travel alarms.

I have also taken a serious look at what else I’ve just let sit around without being used and actually was able to easily save a few MBs of space by just being diligent. I don’t use AvantGo – gone. Have not been traveling – killed SF from my Vindigo list and just kept NYC. Games I had not played – gone.

The thing about the Treo I’ve found is that it’s a powerful and unique device. My usage has been primarily communications (email, IM, browsing some RSS), with a twist of entertainment (ebooks, photos etc) and some information management (Life Balance and SplashID) on the side. It suits what I’ve needed and I fully expect the new one to easily handle my needs as well.

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