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Using iSync and Bluetooth
Pages: 1, 2

Adding the Palm m515

The Palm that I use for this article is a m515. It comes with a Secure Digital (SD) slot for SD cards.

I use the SD Bluetooth card (made by Toshiba) with the m515 for Bluetooth connectivity:

Photo of Palm m515.
The Palm m515 with the SD Bluetooth card.

Adding Palm devices to iSync is not as straightforward as adding a phone. First, you still need HotSync Manager (I use version 4.0) to be installed on your Mac. For synching Palm devices via Bluetooth, you first need to pair up your Mac and the Palm device (as shown in an earlier figure). Next, you need to inform HotSync Manager that you want to use the Bluetooth connection as a serial port for syncing purposes (in additional to using the cradle).

Screen shot.
Enabling the Bluetooth serial port for syncing.

Once this step is done, you need to open the Conduit Setting from the HotSync menu and perform the following settings:

  • Set the action for Address book to Do Nothing.
  • Set the action for Date Book to Do Nothing.
  • Set the action for To Do List to Do Nothing.

Screen shot.
Configuring the conduit settings.

Finally, configure the setting for iSync Configuration so that iSync knows what items to synchronize with your Palm device:

Screen shot.
Selecting the items to synchronize using iSync.

These steps are required so that when you perform a HotSync, all the items in Address Book, Date Book, and To Do List are synchronized with iSync, and not with the Palm Desktop.

You should now see the Palm device in iSync:

Screen shot.
The newly added Palm 515.

When you've completed all the steps above, the next time you use HotSync to synchronize your Palm device the Address Book, Date Book, and To Do List will be synchronized with the Mac's Address Book and iCal respectively.

To test this out, I set my calendar information in iCal and used iSync to sync it with my Palm m515:

Screen shot.
My calendar in iCal.

As a precaution, you will be alerted to any changes you make to your devices, so that you can decide to proceed or to cancel the operation.

Screen shot.
Confirming the changes to be made.

Note that there are two ways to sync your Palm devices. You can either use the Bluetooth connection (in which case you have to use the HotSync icon on the device) or you can use the cradle. If you are using the cradle, you need to press the HotSync button on the cradle. Clicking on the syncing button on iSync does not synchronize Palm devices.

iSync will synchronize the Address Book, Date Book, and To Do List on Palm devices.


My initial impression with iSync was good. Setting up the phone was easy, but the Palm devices required some digging into the help files. My wish list for iSync is future support for my Pocket PC. But because iSync uses SyncML, the onus is now on Microsoft to support SyncML on Pocket PCs.

iSync is a beta release so it has its share of bugs and glitches. Be sure to back up your valuable information and read the release notes by Apple. In addition, Apple hosts an iSync discussion forum. Be sure to check out the errors reported by other users and some possible remedies.

Wei-Meng Lee (Microsoft MVP) is a technologist and founder of Developer Learning Solutions, a technology company specializing in hands-on training on the latest Microsoft technologies.

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