Comments on: Palm Desktop 4.1 Panther Problems

updated If you're having trouble hotsyncing with Panther, the newly released Apple OS, you're not alone. Palm Support has confirmed that Palm Desktop v4.1 is is currently incompatible with Mac OS X 10.3 and is working on an update.
Return to Story - Permalink

Article Comments


The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.


Second class citizen (again)

rory @ 10/28/2003 2:05:26 PM #
Come on Palm, you should have sorted this out already... :(

Still the incompatibility is probably nothing too serious, so as long as they can poke their monkeys *cough* I mean engineers hard enough hopefully we can see an update before 10.4 is released.

Visor Deluxe > iPod > Clie SJ33 > Zire 71 > ?

Another hassle-free install
morituri @ 11/4/2003 1:03:04 AM #
I did an Archive and Install with Panther. Then I uninstalled and re-installed Palm Desktop. No problems at all. My T3 syncs as usual.

Why does this always happen?

rmcalister @ 10/28/2003 2:11:13 PM #
Almost every time a new major OS update occurs, Palm Desktop stops working. I'm starting to get annoyed.

I can't wait to see what happens when the next Windows OS is released. Mass mayhem.

RE: Why does this always happen?
helf @ 10/28/2003 3:35:05 PM #
that doesnt happen everytime. Least not with the windows version. I've used palm desktop 3 with 95,98,me,2kpro and xp with no probs.

RE: Why does this always happen?
jack @ 10/29/2003 11:34:51 AM #
Well... Palm has had (I'm sure) the developer versions forever, as most developers have. Even Microsoft is compatible, as well as Adobe, Quark and other high-end apps. The question is, why can't Palm get on the friggin' ball?

RE: Why does this always happen?
Coyote67 @ 10/29/2003 12:47:03 PM #
Quark? Are you crazy? It took forever to get quarkexpress to come out for OSX. It took so long it became a running gag. "You got Quark on your OSX box? Nah, I'm waiting for hell to freeze over. According to Quark that will be any day now."

BACK OFF! I'll make you fun size!

If it's not one problem, it's another

jca666us @ 10/28/2003 2:31:28 PM #
add this one to the back of the list. I'm still waiting for Palm to fix the T3 SD card problem.
RE: If it's not one problem, it's another
chybinj @ 10/28/2003 3:41:37 PM #
I'm not experencing any sync issues either with Panther and 4.1 - everything is OK, including 3rd party conduits likeQuicken sync and Documents to Go. But now that I posted never know what Gremlins will pop-up :o)

Unlike Smartmoose, I actually did the "upgrade" install over 10.2.8 - so there might be something more to this problem than meets the eye.


RE: If it's not one problem, it's another
Wollombi @ 10/28/2003 6:31:16 PM #
>"In my opinion, the blame can go two ways: (1) to Stuffit for creating problems with their new 8.0 version (again, some of these problems plagued the expansion of other programs), and (2) to Palm for not doing the compression/installation settings correctly so that it would work with higher versions of Stuffit."<

Or (3) to Apple for changing the underlying workings of their OS with EVERY SINGLE POINT UPGRADE...


"They're smoking crack."
-Linus Torvalds on SCO group's copyright claims against Linux-

Zen is Then, Mac = too small of a potato!!!

palmstory @ 10/28/2003 2:38:08 PM #
Back in 1999, when I bought my IIIx, it seemed like Palm's whole "vibe" was "we are for the people!!! Everyone should have Palm! All aboard!!!" They even bragged at Macworld in NYC, 1999) that Palm with Mac was hipper and more powerful than Windows PD! I naively bought into all that PR stuff, I even bought their stock later on, which is now about 90% down!

On 10/2/03, I bought Tungsten T3, only to find out that it was not supported above 10.2.6 See my Post at
but it WORKS!

Now, on 10/28/03 I am holding Panther Box in my hand, and I am afraid to to install it, since my Palm Desktop is the heart of my Digital Lifestyle:)!!!

I was considering switching to Entourage, but it doesn't dial phone like Palm Desktop! Actually, PD 4.1 only dials through Speaker Phone and S L O W L Y, unlike PD 2.6.3 on my old OS 9.0.4 Mac through Printer Port and Global Village External 56K Modem! Is THAT what Palm considers progress?

When I say "Zen is Then, Mac = too small of a potato!!!" I mean that the days of ALTRUISM seem to be over! Now Palm is hunting for BIG Corporate buck$$$, and they don't care about PEOPLE using their PDA daily, and they couldn't care less about Mac OS!!! Here is another example -- on Mac, if I want to upload a full screen shot to my T3(480 x 320), I need to upload it to SD Card 1st, then Copy it to PDA. Uploading it directly to PDA via Droplet resizes the picture to 320x320, thus no full screen!!! Window folks don't have this problem, but Mac OS CUSTOMERS do!!!

Let's hope Palm catches up with Apple SOON, and they start LISTENING to their USERS, including Mac OS CUSTOMERS!!!


Thank you Palm Infocenter for Spotlighting this Topic!!! I am a huge fan of this site, and this is why!

RE: Zen is Then, Mac = too small of a potato!!!
Wollombi @ 10/28/2003 6:35:08 PM #
Why is it Mac fanatics never seem to be able to find fault with Apple, even when it is deserved? This isn't Palm's lack of progress, this is Apples obsession with changing the underlying processes of the OS with every point upgrade, and not updating programs that are suppoesed to work with the Palm desktop.

Hey, while we're at it, let's look at the fact that you are using an OS that is only about 15% or the entire market. Of course companies are going to develop for the largest installed base first (in this case Windows). It's just good business sense. As another example, when I bought my Handera330, their unique API's for their unique (in the Palm world) meant that not every application that I used to use were supported on the unit. Do I blame the software developer? No, they didn't have advanced notice (although it seems Palm did in this case), and Handera's presence in the PDA market was miniscule by comparison. The HE330 was one of the most innovative Palm PDA's ever made, and still is in some respects, but the new API's and resolution were the tradeoff for having such an innovative machine. It's the same with Mac.

I'm not knocking MacOS, it's a great piece of software. I am saying that perhaps you should be realistic and realize that Macintosh is not the priority of the vast majority of developers (especially if they are contantly changing the way software has to interact with it), so it will take longer to get what you want. It's just the tradeoff for using an innovative operating system.


"They're smoking crack."
-Linus Torvalds on SCO group's copyright claims against Linux-

RE: Zen is Then, Mac = too small of a potato!!!
orca @ 10/28/2003 7:18:38 PM #
The problem really isn't Apple's. The issue here is a broken installer package. The Stuffit format (.sit) does not store permission information. File permissions are quite an important thing for any unix-based operating system, but Stuffit has had a newer file format (.sitx) available for quite some time that properly handles permissions. Stuffit Expander just blindly gave executable permissions to every file extracted from a .sit archive. This is a security risk, so they removed that capability. So, problem solution one is to use .sitx rather than .sit (even better would be .dmg).

The second issue is one of authentication. Older versions of the OS did not ask for authentication to install files into the Library folder. That was an omission, yet another security risk. The Library folder stores custom libraries and frameworks (the OS X equivalent of /usr/local), so only properly-authenticated processes should store files into that location. The Palm Installer just assumes that the user can install into that folder. The installer just needs to ask for authentication (or it can be run as root).

I did an archive and install, but I noticed that the 10.3 installer didn't copy some Hotsync library files. I manually copied those myself. Everything works perfectly fine with my Palm V and my USB adapter connected to my PowerBook.

So the fixes are really relatively trivial. Palm just needs to make the changes to their installer instead of making assumptions about (1) archive executable permissions and (2) being allowed to install into a restricted folder.

RE: Zen is Then, Mac = too small of a potato!!!
elo @ 10/28/2003 8:08:54 PM #
Wollombi, Apple did not, in fact, change "the underlying processes" of its operating system with the Panther release. Also, it is not a "point release" in any way that would have meaning beyond Apple's own naming convention. A major release of OS X, designated by a new cat name, is equivalent to the move from, say, Windows 95 to Windows 98. With regard to the issue at hand, Palm had access to the developer's releases as early as anyone else, and plenty early to detect a compatibility problem. Finally, Mac users comprise a significantly larger percentage of Palm's overall user base than the percentage of Macs in use globally. Those users certainly have the right to expect their new Palm devices to work with their computers.

RE: Zen is Then, Mac = too small of a potato!!!
tthiel @ 10/29/2003 1:50:27 PM #
Wollombi you have no idea what your talking about. Just get over being jealous and buy a Mac already. Then you won't this insecue need to bash Apple.

RE: Zen is Then, Mac = too small of a potato!!!
mikecane @ 10/29/2003 7:24:30 PM #
>>>Finally, Mac users comprise a significantly larger percentage of Palm's overall user base than the percentage of Macs in use globally. Those users certainly have the right to expect their new Palm devices to work with their computers.

How ironic it would be if PPCs synced with Macs via PocketMac better than PalmOS PDAs could via Palm Desktop (or is that now PalmOne Desktop?)!

Method of install or Stuffit?

Smartmoose @ 10/28/2003 2:50:33 PM #
I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm running Palm Desktop 4.1 and Panther without any issues. Of course, the problems may be resulting from Stuffit and/or upgrade issues.

I went for the "nuke & pave" method of installing Panther... erasing the hard drive and doint a clean install (backing up my Home folder first, of course). The installation was fine, and Programs worked as they should. Before installing Palm Desktop, I made sure that my old Palm directory was not restored to Home folder, and simply made sure that the conduits were set to "Handheld overwrites Macintosh" on the first synch. I've had nary a problem. It could be that some of those seeing problems performed a straight upgrade or an "archive & install" upgrade, and the past data on the hard drive may be creating the problem.

The other issue that may be causing it comes from Stuffit Expander. I know that Stuffit 8.0 was causing problems for me - very similar to the ones Panther users are experiencing (where Hotsync fails to install) - but I was using MacOS 10.2.6. After downgrading to a lower version of Stuffit had it work fine (As a side note, Panther comes with Stuffit 7.0.2 - the older version). Stuffit knew that 8.0 was causing problems expanding some software (including Palm Desktop), and released a fix that should have taken care of it (but didn't - at least for Palm Desktop) As I understand it, Palm is somewhat to blame in that they didn't properly implement the compression/installation routine, so Stuffit (8.0 and up) fails to install Palm Desktop properly.

In my opinion, the blame can go two ways: (1) to Stuffit for creating problems with their new 8.0 version (again, some of these problems plagued the expansion of other programs), and (2) to Palm for not doing the compression/installation settings correctly so that it would work with higher versions of Stuffit.

So a clean install might do the trick for those having problems, since it worked for me. However, that does not relieve Palm from needing to get Palm Desktop 4.1 installation to work (and hey, how about adding the expanded Contacts fields in OS 5.2 for synchronization with Entourage - as is currently able with Outlook for Windows - while you're at it!)

RE: Method of install or Stuffit?
palmstory @ 10/28/2003 11:00:09 PM #
OK. If am understanding you correctly, it's a matter of files ending up in the wrong locations because of the installers not directing them properly, or not installing them at all, i.e., the PD 4.1. Installer not working properly?!...

In my case, I got my new Powerbook 17 around the 10/3/03, and I didn't go through with PD 4.1 Installation until a few weeks later. I installed it from the CD that came with Tungsten T3. Prior to that, I have installed Stuffit 8, BUT I am not sure if I installed it BEFORE or AFTER installing PD 4.1. from the CD that came with Tungsten T3? THAT version of Stuffit Expander might be the reason I haven't had problems with this PD 4.1 install. AGAIN, Palm's site states 10.2.6, and I was on 10.2.7 at the time of the Install, and then upgraded to 10.2.8.

I am not as brave as you are to do reformat my HD and do Panther Install. Given that I am running PD 4.1 under 10.2.8, if I do "archive & install", as you say --

> It could be that some of those seeing problems performed a straight upgrade or
> an "archive & install" upgrade, and the past data on the hard drive may be
> creating the problem.

On other hand, are you talking about the folks who don't have PD 4.1 running under 10.2.8 or earlier, in which case the Installer won't install correctly, or are you talking about folks like me who already have PD 4.1 running under 10.2.8 or earlier?

My hope is that, since I am already running PD 4.1 under 10.2.8, the "archive & install" upgrade won't touch my Palm.

On unrelated note, although Quicken 2004

Says 10.2.6, it is running JUST FINE under 10.2.8. , as is Office X.


RE: Method of install or Stuffit?
Smartmoose @ 10/29/2003 2:04:09 AM #
Orca's post (a couple up the chain), that pretty much accurately describes the experience I had with Stuffit 8.0 and Palm Desktop 4.1. The problems don't appear to stem from anything to do with Panther. Again, the failures in Palm Desktop installation that I was experiencing was under 10.2.6 (not Panther) while using Stuffit 8.0. Any time that I've expanded the Palm Desktop 4.1 .sit file using a lower version of Stuffit, it's *always* worked, no matter whether I was using 10.2.6 or 10.3. So, from my experience, it's not the version of MacOS X that matters - it's the version of Stuffit your using to expand the Palm Desktop 4.1 .sit file that matters. I had reinstalled 10.2.6 a couple times before I found out that Stuffit 8.0 was the culprit (thanks to a mention of the problem on the internet radio show "Your Mac Life" at ). And I agree with Orca, if Palm just moved to using .dmg files, this problem wouldn't even exist.

Palmstory, though you've got Palm Desktop working now, it won't necessarily be functional after doing an Archive and Install upgrade. Some have had it work... others haven't. Not exactly what you'd want to hear, but there's no sense beating around the bush. Before you do the upgrade, I would suggest picking up the ebook "Taking Control of Upgrading to Panther" from the folks at Tidbits (at ). It was a big help for me in going through the upgrade process. If you do need to reinstall Palm Desktop, I would just make sure that you're using Stuffit 7.0.2 (which is installed with Panther) to unstuff the file.

[quote]Why is it Mac fanatics never seem to be able to find fault with Apple, even when it is deserved?[/quote] Wollombi - Yeah, there are a few Mac apologists out there (just as there are those for Microsoft), but I think a fair number of Mac users are harsh toward Apple when it's rightly deserved (visit any Mac fan site, and you'll see). The bug-riddled original 10.2.8 OS update is a fine example of this (they later released a patched version). Trust me, lots of Mac folks were pretty ticked off about that one. But in this case of Palm Desktop, as Orca mentioned, this really wasn't Apple's fault - it was Palm's implementation of the Stuffit Compression Scheme.

(offtopic) Also for Palmstory, since you made mention of Quicken 2004 and Office X... I have both, and they run very smoothly under Panther. Even the conduits to Pocket Quicken and WordSmith work like a charm. But as always, back up your data before upgrading.

RE: Method of install or Stuffit?
Searcher @ 12/2/2003 3:56:39 PM #
Actually it is a combination if your using Stuffit 8 as there was an oops in that version, best to upgrade to 8.01.

I also decided before the install to be sure my palm was updated before I Installed 4.1, had the installer do a remove and fresh install. then synced the palm everything is fine other than the normal loosing colors for events in calender etc.

Be sure also to use Disk Utility, to fix OS permisions also, best before one upgrades to 10.3, but if not at least after.

Some of my primary pet peaves with Palm and 4.1 is that:
1. they only allow the minimum colors and shades, no option for colors other than what they hardcoded in that i can find.
2. the instant palm is no longer available for quick vew from menu bar as in older versions. (this was very handy). Now we have to open palm and have it running all the time full bore.
email extract:
From: Web Support <>


Palm(tm) Desktop 4.1 does not install an Instant Palm(tm) Desktop icon
under Mac OS X. For easy access to the Desktop, it is possible to drag
both the Palm Desktop and HotSync(r) Manager to the dock. To do so: 1)
Locate the Palm Desktop installation folder. 2) Drag the Palm Desktop
and HotSync Manager icons to the Dock.

Thank you,
Palm.Net Technical Support Specialist.

3. They have no real plans for supporting anything further to my knowledge for the MAC!

I think it's time to find another PDA!

As for those who say it's Apple and their OS changes, I say NO!, Its the Management at Palm plain and simple as they are looking at their current deals with their partners and not considering the end user who bought their product and helped make them who they are today!

Management Is usually the problem!

no excuses

SaabCaptain @ 10/29/2003 7:39:58 AM #
there is no excuse... Panther has been in beta for more than half a year. At launch PalmSource should have the desktop working. Period.

owned: Pilot 5000, PalmPilot Pro, Palm V, Casio E-11, IIIc, m505, Sony T615, Tungsten T, iPaq 1945, Tungsten E.

Mac OS X 10.3 Panther is a fairly major upgrade, so...

anthonysjennings @ 10/29/2003 12:31:51 PM #
... anyone who installed Panther should have done a clean install. I have had no problems with any of the softwares that previously worked just fine on Jaguar, including Palm HotSync. Admittedly, I don't use Palm Desktop, only HotSync, but from what I could see, users are finding it hard to sync. If you use Entourage or iCal/Address Book w/iSync, all you need is the HotSync software anyway.

Let this be a lesson :: don't convince yourselves you're saving any time by installing any major OS as an upgrade. Install it as (in the case of OS X Panther) a clean install. Back up or old data files and databases, of course.

RE: Mac OS X 10.3 Panther is a fairly major upgrade, so...
tthiel @ 10/29/2003 1:51:47 PM #
Oh B.S. there is no need for a clean install. Make sure you back up first that's all.

RE: Mac OS X 10.3 Panther is a fairly major upgrade, so...
JarJar @ 11/6/2003 10:19:58 PM #
A clean installation is usually a good idea, but in this particular case there are people who have done the clean install and gotten the Panther/Palm problems.

There are also those (like myself) who didn't clean install and had it work the way it should.


banjoman @ 10/29/2003 2:33:12 PM #
Can someone tell me if the problem with Panther involves the Hotsync Manager or is it just Palm Desktop? I am trying to sync with Entourage, using the Entourage conduit but I cannot access the conduit settings in Hotsync Manager.

RE: Hotsyn
TooMuch @ 10/29/2003 5:29:08 PM #

I cannot remember at the moment how to adjust those settings but I recall that they are in a Library file somewhere. Read the helps on this either on your Mac or at the Entourage segment of the Mactopia site at Microsoft. Seems that I recall that is how I discovered an answer to the same.

(Sorry, my Mac is at home and I am stuck with my office PC right now or I would give you more details.)

RE: Hotsync
banjoman @ 10/30/2003 4:08:46 PM #
I found the problem...user error.

I had lost my hard drive and had to rebuild from scratch, including a fresh install of Entourage. My problem was I was behind a couple of versions of Entourage.

Hotsync seems to work fine with Panther but much slower than before.

I do not use Desktop.

Blame it on Apple, not Palm

PalmBabe @ 10/29/2003 7:26:44 PM #
OK. Let's be rational about this. Why does everyone insist on beating up Palm when HotSync doesn't work with a new build of Mac OS X. Have you ever considered that it might be Apple's problem and that perhaps Apple is not helping Palm enough by providing Palm builds in advance and by helping to troubleshoot.

RE: Blame it on Apple, not Palm
lally @ 10/30/2003 4:50:08 PM #
I'm a grad student on their $99/year student dev plan & I've had betas coming to me for 5-6 months now.

Apple's been providing new betas on their developer website for download (full .isos). That's pretty decent forward notice, IMHO.

Palm Desktop or Hot Sync Manager?

uncle bob @ 10/30/2003 2:00:35 AM #
is the problem with just one of these or both? what if you don't use palm desktop and just use the Hot Sync Manager with iSync to sync the Palm with iCal and OS X Address Book?

Works fine, smooth upgrade!

TooMuch @ 11/1/2003 1:09:37 AM #
I read these article threads with great interest on the day it was published because my new Panther box was in the mail. I feared I may need to wait to actually upgrade until the noted problem was fixed.

It turns out that the problem is not much of one. In a few instances Panther installations does not auto-install some of the Palm Desktop files with Stuffit; this can be overcome by manually copying the files. If you are one of the troubled, go to the forums at for help. Users there have identified the problem as a Stuffit 8.0 issue for those not doing an "upgrade from Jaguar." It seems that "upgrades" are more reliable with this than "clean" installations.

...As for me, upgrading from Jaguar to Panther was no problem...smooth as silk:)

BTW. Panther is just what I was looking for in OS X. The new Finder is as good a filing system as Windows Explorer/My Computer, and even better in a few ways. Expose is a dream! These two improvements alone are worth the upgrade price and make OS X an absolutely fun & awesome operating system. I bought my first Mac ten months ago. I am now convinced that I can leave Windows completely (except for a Virtual PC copy to test webpages on and run my favorite Bible software program, Libronix.).

RE: Works fine, smooth upgrade!
Bartholamew @ 11/30/2003 9:17:50 PM #
I am unable to source the site within Apple indicating what you stated. Would it be possible to obtain the URL? Also, may you list the software which is loaded on your machine. I have noted several loading errors with Palm which is due to FaxSTF X Pro. Please advise.

HotSync via Direct Serial

Floris @ 11/29/2003 11:38:32 AM #
I've been syncing my Palm IIIxe with my iMac using DirectSerial and a Serial-to-USB adapter. I loaded Panther on Tuesday and have not been able to sync my handheld since then. I just unloaded and re-loaded Palm OS 4.0 (which is what I've been using) and unstuffed the installer with Stuffit 7.0, as suggested. Still doesn't work. One problem is that the options under HotSync/Setup/Connection settings no longer includes an option for using Serial via the Keyspan adapter. That was there before I loaded Panther using the Archive and Install procedure. I'd be grateful for any suggestions.

RE: HotSync via Direct Serial
Bartholamew @ 11/30/2003 9:15:21 PM #
Keyspan has recently posted new drivers for the USB/Serial Adapter for OSX 10.3. The loss of connection between the iMac and PDA is probably due to the driver being non compatible.



Register Register | Login Log in