Pirated Upgrade Brings OS 4.1 to N710C

A few days ago, a set of instructions for upgrading the Sony PEG-N710C from Palm OS 3.5 to 4.1 were posted on various message boards. Essentially, this involved using a modified version of JackSprat to load a copy of OS 4.1 from the N760C into the N710C's flashable ROM.

Not surprisingly, Sony strongly advises people against doing this. A company spokesperson made it clear that doing so is a violation of the handheld's warranty.

The Sony spokesperson went on to say that the complete upgrade to OS 4.1 involves more than just upgrading the ROM. He did not elaborate on what else was involved.

Judging from the comments posted onto various message boards, most people who performed the upgrade did so successfully. However, there have been a few comments from people who ran into problems and ended up with ruined handhelds.

Sony has already announced that an authorized program to upgrade the N700C in Japan would begin next month. While there has been no explicit statement that an equivalent program would be available in the U.S., there have been strong hints. When news of the Japanese program surfaced, the over $80 cost caused complaints that it was simply too expensive among U.S. users of the N710C. It is not yet known whether Sony will charge U.S. users the same amount.

Brad Kish from Brayder Systems, creator of JackSprat, sent an email to the Clie Users Group which read, "We were dismayed to discover yesterday that our product has been widely distributed in a modified form. We are concerned on two fronts: a) our product is being given away, and b) it is being used for doing an unauthorized upgrade."

The email goes on to request that everyone who used JackSprat to perform this upgrade, buy it. It costs $9.

Thanks to nXt for the tips. Before anyone asks, I won't post the instructions for doing this because I don't think it's a good idea to violate your warranty. -Ed

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OS4.1 Upgrade

polymath @ 10/8/2001 8:55:03 AM #
I could understand why Sony would be upset, but why wouldn't they release any information about the future upgrade in US so that we can make an informed choice rather than keeping us in the dark.

Palm has made the annoucement for OS4 upgrade for other handhelds long time ago for November.

I for one think Sony is partially to blame for this event.

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 9:01:23 AM #
So, a user decides to follow non-authorized instructions to flash a ROM from another handheld, wiping out the one that was installed by Sony and it's Sony's fault?

Yes it is, unless Sony had the foresight to put warning labels that said "Don't do something stupid and erase the ROM of this handheld unless you are using a Sony authorized procedure."

Personally, I don't think manufacturers are going to be offering upgrades to the preinstalled ROM's anymore. Handhelds are getting too cheap and it's easy to screw up the procedure and turn your handheld into a paperweight. Plus, everyone complains about the price of the upgrade.

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 9:02:14 AM #
Sony is to blame . . .

If they would be forthcoming with this information, this type of scenario would never occur.

Think about it. Why should all of the 710c owners who spent a considerable amount of money for their units be subjected to an additional $80.00 fee.

Wake up Sony - start treating your customers right . .

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
polymath @ 10/8/2001 9:06:35 AM #
Additional update needed (According to Sony)?

I don't see any from OS perspective. Of course, you need to update your PC software to run it, but those are available as well (Palm desktop and Hotsync 4.01; Picturegear Lite 4.4, etc.)

There is OS4.1 bug for keyboard activation (a and 1), but now there is a hack out to correct it also.

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
polymath @ 10/8/2001 9:13:33 AM #
It's only true for Handspring since they don't have Flash ROM. Are you a Handspring owner by chance?

Palm has been offering upgrade to OS for some time. I've upgradeded my IIIx and Vx twice so far.

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 9:33:19 AM #
> There is OS4.1 bug for keyboard activation (a and 1), but now there is a hack out to correct it also.

SilkScreen Fix for CLIE 710 & 760 1.0 

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 9:50:54 AM #
> Personally, I don't think manufacturers are going to be offering
> upgrades to the preinstalled ROM's anymore. Handhelds are getting
> too cheap [ ... ]

I don't think $400-$500 is "too cheap". Do you have a HandSpring by any chance? If an OS upgrade option isn't there, I'll dump Palm and move elsewhere.

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 10:47:15 AM #
I found the 760 ROM and upgraded my Clie 710. It works great! The 710 is much faster especially with screen redraws. Sony is just playing scare tactics with their comments. The specs on the 710 & 760 are exactly the same.

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 11:30:10 AM #


RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 1:34:10 PM #
Please Don't Yell...Thank you

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 5:19:17 PM #
I know how everyone feels. I have the same problem with Ford. They refuse to upgrade my 2000 Tarus to a 2001. Can you believe how wrong and evil they're being. After paying $15,000 for a new car, you'd think they would give me at least one upgrade for free. I don't know what's wrong with companies these days. I can't even get Dell to upgrade my Windows 98 SE to Windows XP. They expect me to pay for the upgrade!!!!! I'm outraged. Guess this gives me the right to steal a new Ford and a new Dell.


RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 5:29:38 PM #
A little over the top - don't you think? Idiot.

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 5:43:11 PM #
Who's an idiot? Are you saying that you don't know that stealing software is illegal?

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 6:14:52 PM #
Here's the solution... don't get a ford

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 6:45:31 PM #
You cannot compare the Ford car scenario with the Palm OS computers like the N710C. Let me ask you something - why did Palm release the OS 3.3 update for existing OS 3.1 users and again why did Palm also provide the OS 3.5 upgrade for existing Palm Vx users with OS 3.3, free of cost? Unlike the scene with cars and laptops, it is the norm to release a OS upgrade for PalmOS computers when a similar unit is released to the market with the newer version of the OS (so that current users of the same unit do not miss out on the features of the newer OS). All that 710C users are asking for, is that Sony should be doing the same thing - giving the 710C users a free upgrade to OS 4.1. So please don't post stupid comparisons between Palm computers and Ford cars in the future.

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
Kaitou @ 10/8/2001 7:30:35 PM #
This isn't quite like changing cars or PC OS's. Not only did the 760 come out only a few months afterwards, but problems like no Win XP hotsync, and the fact that the unit was hampered by an older model. This is more akin to your ford's onboard computer was unable to lower the windows all the way down, and they created a 2000 Tarus^2 which had the updated capabilities. I would assume you'd want your onboard computer updated if it was possible...

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 7:38:19 PM #
What Sony should do, and what they are doing is two different things, which is not surprising. That still doesn't make it legal to steal software. In this case twofold, since it's both Sony's OS upgrade and JackSprat that you're stealing.

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 8:32:43 PM #
Not necessarily. We are only using the ROM from a 760. Shouled we decide to void our warranties in the process, Sony is redeemed. Understand?

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 9:15:58 PM #
My point is that everyone who bought a 710 knew it used OS 3.5.2, they knew that it displayed 256 colors. If everyone was having all these problems syncing and using the 710, then why didn't they return it. Why buy something, then bitch about it not being what you wanted. No one forced you to buy a Sony product. Look at all the Dell and Gateway computers that shipped with Windows 95 OEM2, and USB. Most USB devices didn't work right under it, but Dell and Gateway didn't give everyone free upgrades to Win 98. Win 98 was required for the USB hardware work correctly. This is the same thing. I also don't see Palm OS4 over at Palm, but I do see the 3.5 upgrade for $30, I thought it was a free upgrade. Also did I miss it somewhere that Sony promised to make upgrades avaiable? I've looked all over their web page, found the info about the 710 using OS 3.5.2, and displayed 256 colors, but nothing about upgrade promises. Personaly I think it would be good business sence to make the new OS avaiable, but I don't nessarly think it should be free. Sony doesn't own the OS, Palm does. Why should Sony have to pay for your upgrade?

Idiot - call me what you will, I expect nothing less. It's always best to call names when people disagree with your opinion.


RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
polymath @ 10/8/2001 10:30:32 PM #
Please try to get your facts straight.

Palm OS 4 Upgrade was announced right after M500 and M505 were released.

OS3.5 upgrade wasn't free except for early Vx owners who got OS3.3.

Many Clie 710C owners are similar to early Vx owners, and they feel they deserve a free upgrade. Clie 710C was announced in May 1 and shipped in June. Only 3 months have elasped and Sony came out with 760C. Identical hardware except OS difference.

Dell and Gateway are offering free XP upgrade if you purchase their computers a few month before 10/25 as well.

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 1:43:04 AM #
To be fair. Sony should do what Palm does - OS 3.5 free upgrade for Palm Vx owners. As a consumer, who like to buy an "old" goods for 3 months then a newer one is released. Like the N710C, only 1 month+ after its released, N610C announced with OS4.0. By the time frame, Sony should able to put OS v4.0 on N710C or bundle the OS v4.0 CD-ROM for users to upgrade by themself, but she didn't. 1 more month later, N760C with OS v4.1 released. Now, Sony want to charge the N710C users for OS upgrade. What the point??

It is really unfair to N710C owners to pay an extra $80 (??) for the upgrade for this new goods (please note that N710C has only 3 months+ old).

Those people who compares PC & Clie. Please wake up, PC manufacturer will offer free BIOS to upgrade the flash for their PC. Why not the PDA? Although the flash ROM on PDA contains also OS & certain software, the PDA manufaturer can split the OS & applications into different upgrade path. Again, as N710C is really very "young", the upgrade should be free or follow Palm who charges around $30 instead of $80?!?!

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 7:21:47 AM #
To "Idiot,"

Maybe if Sony would wake up and even OFFER the upgrade in a timely fashion things would be different. Fact is, at this point, there is no choice.

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 7:23:35 AM #
So this all makes it OK to steal it?

Help me with my facts;

1) Even though there is a chance Sony will have an upgrade avaiable not long after Palm, they are in the wrong for not anouncing it in advance.

2) Since the Clie 300 is older than the 710, it's OK for 300 users to have to pay for an upgrade, but not 710, or should they all get it free.

3) 710 users should complain about the Japanese price of $80 for an upgrade that hasn't been anounced yet, and have no idea of the US price.

I understand your gripes about not having the latest OS, and that's all fine and good, but I still don't understand buying something that doesn't meet your needs, because it might get better. Most places give 30 days for returns or exchanges, if there are so many problems with the 710, why not return it and be done with it? Palm offers good support, then go with one of the meny Palm units, they are all tested and mretty much proven. Then you can complain that the Palm m505 doesn't have MP3, and Hi-Res. I didn't go with the Color Clie units because of reports of dust getting under the screens, which would have bothered me. So I skipped on color because it didn't offer ehat I needed. I went with the 320 becaues it offered more than the m500 (I really hate the m10x and m50x style) for a better price. And Handspring was out because the HS modules are too over priced in my opinion. Guess I should complain that I only have OS 4.0 and not 4.1, which came out only 1 month after my Clie.


RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 12:46:50 PM #
Hey TC, stop trying to reason with the nuts on this thread. For some reason, some geeks seem to believe that they are exceptions to normal society rules and laws, just like the geeks who still refuse to believe that Naptster was stealing recording artist's revenue. Look, you got exactly what Sony advertised, nothing more or less. Sorry, but sometimes there is a cost (literally) associated with being an early adopter.

RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 11:26:55 PM #
Thanks for the support. Sad when a tech board has to result to name-calling when they don't agree.

As it goes, I like my 320, I spent a couple weeks deciding what I wanted, and researched it. When the new clie monochrome comes along, most likely with 16 megs ram, I'll come over here and bitch about it.


RE: OS4.1 Upgrade
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/10/2001 2:14:41 AM #
I just read about the $50 send in sony upgrade, and I have to, tell you I am disappointed with it. I still don't think it's right to steal the upgrade, but $50 and having to send the unit in to Sony is just wrong. It's not the price that really bothers me, but having a Flash ROM on the palm, it should be a DL, and a self upgrade. I have to agree with everyone who thinks this is a wrong way to handle it.


JackSprat Modification

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 9:17:31 AM #
What has been made on JackSprat.prc is only disabled OS version checking which has been set to 4.0. I bet Brayder already knew that JackSprat could be used for easy upgrade 710 to OS 4.1.

Brayder listen it's time to release the bestseller software - new generation of EditROM. Would be nice to make windows desktop version too. Listen users not Sony. It's bussines, it's money...

RE: JackSprat Modification
Ed @ 10/8/2001 9:27:26 AM #
I left it out of the article because it was a bit off topic but Brayder will soon be releasing a new version of JackSprat that will allow Clié users to remove the Demo app and pictures from their ROM. Not the complete functionality of EditROM but it will help.

News Editor
RE: JackSprat Modification
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 6:12:21 PM #
Ed, that's GREAT news!!! I hate that dumb demo program that's burned into my 610... I can "delete it" from the launcher but it still takes up space!!! Ditto with the pictures, and that AWFUL movie player- You didn't mention that though... will the new JackSprat allow me to delete that too???

-Palm Man

Sony's poor treatment of 710 owners

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 9:25:08 AM #
I am concerned by Sony's treatment of N710C owners: it seems to have abandoned them. For instance I went to the Sony Site to look for some support information for my 710 and found that the only information Sony provided was that the 710 had been discontinued. I could not find any other reference to the 710 and when I tried to send an email to support the site would not let me do so because it did not list the 710 as a supported product. As a result I am concerned that my early investment in a fine product may be at risk because Sony only gives attention to the owners of its new line of products (e.g., 610 & 760).

RE: Sony's poor treatment of 710 owners
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 9:46:45 AM #
Here's Sony's Clie support URL which includes the 710:


RE: Sony's poor treatment of 710 owners
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 2:06:11 PM #
Sorry if this is offtopic, but Sony has lousy support PERIOD. Try getting support on any of the VAIO lines of PC's and you'll know what I'm talking about (especially laptops/notebooks).

RE: Sony's poor treatment of 710 owners
Hed @ 10/8/2001 4:55:27 PM #
I have had several sony products go awry. Their support was horrible. Instead of issuing an RMA, I had to send the product to a service center with a letter explaining what was wrong, and hope and pray that it would come back fixed. I had no way of tracking its progress. I try not to buy Sony products whenever possible because of this.

I'm confused?

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 2:20:39 PM #
What is it that makes upgrading the OS worth all the risk? What is it that one can do now, that one couldn't do before (after and upgrade)?

Honestly, this is not ment to be an insulting question. I was just wondering what it's all about.

RE: I'm confused?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 2:38:32 PM #
The main thing is color depth. OS 4.1 supports 65,000 colors while 3.5.2 supports only 256. Since the 710 hardware is capable of supporting 65,000 colors the only limiting factor is the OS - which the device supports, but Sony refuses to do.

RE: I'm confused?
rldunn @ 10/8/2001 3:12:43 PM #
Plus, there's the ability to sync with WinXP, no need for USB Switcher, and faster running of apps.

RE: I'm confused?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 3:30:46 PM #
Plus Graffit keyboard combination, Attention Manager for alarms, More RAM space (I gained close to 700K of space)

RE: I'm confused?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 4:54:31 PM #
Plus you can install program into your Memory Stick w/o any other 3rd party program.

RE: I'm confused?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 5:10:02 PM #
Apps runs DIRECTLY from Memory Sticks with Palm OS 4.1 upgrade? Thanks

RE: I'm confused?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 5:31:10 PM #
No, applications do not run -directly- off the Memory Stick; the application is copied to internal memory first. OS 4.x make the process more transparent, however.

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