Developers Address Tungsten T3 Quirks

Two developers have released applications that address a few bugs and quirks with the palmOne Tungsten T3 handheld. The apps fix an unconfirmed processor speed bug that causes the T3 to run slightly slower than it should, beating palmOne to the punch with an unofficial fix.

The Problem
The developers have reported a problem with the processor speed on the Tungsten T3. After the first time that you power off and then powers on the T3 after a soft reset, the performance of the T3 is changed and everything runs about 25% slower than before the initial power off/power on.

According to developer Robert Hildinger, it appears that the cause is not related to any deliberate attempt by palmOne to slow the processor or by any OS overhead. Instead, it is caused by the Audio hardware being left in some sort of weird state after a power cycle such that it generates around 30,000 interrupts per second. Developers are beginning to suspect that this bug could also be related to the SD card corruption issue.

palmOne support...?
Two separate developers have already released unofficial patches to correct the issue. Representatives from palmOne would not comment on or even acknowledge the issue. It is unknown whether or when palmOne will release a specific patch for this or the other SD card problems users have been experiencing.

T3 Optimizer and T3 Bug Fix
T3 Optimizer is freeware that corrects the speed issue. The software will correct the processor speed problem after every power cycle, and it will retain its settings after a soft reset. The T3 Optimizer resides in the prefs panel and will show you whether or not your T3 is currently running in the slow processing mode.

Another free app that corrects the issue is called T3 Bug Fix from the clievideo developers. The groups also makes a Palm OS 5 XScale overclocking utility that allows you to modify and overclock XScale chip settings.

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are you reading this, palmOne?

gbbles @ 10/30/2003 12:44:43 PM #
i hope an official fix will be out soon. many thanks to the vigilance of some of our developers out there. kudos to you!
RE: are you reading this, palmOne?
jca666us @ 10/30/2003 2:05:10 PM #
Forget the underclocking bug...and the SD Card issue...

PalmOne needs to take a better look at QC.

I've traded in three different T3's

#1 fried my SD card

#2 had a broken slider

#3 has a dim yellow display

UGH!!!! If #4's a lemon, I'll wait for the zodiac to be released.

RE: are you reading this, palmOne?
JonathanChoo @ 10/31/2003 9:30:17 AM #
so far no problem with mine. i have been betatesting lightspeed for 2 weeks and knew about this problem (it runs at 330Mhz). But I guess it just depends. Just like any products there would be bugs to be ironed out like the original T610 was full of bugs as was my NR70V which loves to corrupt my memorysticks.

Psion 5 -> Palm Vx -> Palm m505 -> Sony N770C -> Sony T625C -> Sony NR70V -> Toshiba e310 -> Palm Tungsten T -> HP h2210 -> Palm Tungsten T3

Motorola StarTAC -> Ericsson T28m -> Ericsson T39m -> Ericsson T68m -> Ericsson T610

Where's the "Don't turn my SD card into a McNugget" Fix?

Gekko @ 10/30/2003 12:48:30 PM #

RE: Where's the
Altema @ 10/30/2003 1:01:25 PM #
That option is under prefs, card info, then pick light medium or dark.

Underclocking intentional?

Altema @ 10/30/2003 1:05:39 PM #
Wasn't the T3 underclocking intentional to extend battery life? Thought I read a thread somewhere on the subject...

RE: Underclocking intentional?
Altema @ 10/30/2003 1:07:38 PM #
Come to think of it, my T1 and M515 also benchmarked their fastest times immediately after a reset. I'll have to check this app out, but will keep an eye on battery life.

RE: Underclocking intentional?
Altema @ 10/30/2003 1:19:40 PM #
Looks like this particular slowdown on the T3 is NOT intentional. The app author goes pretty deep in the readme file... worth reading even if you don't plan on using the T3 optimizer.

This is not underclocking
Patrick @ 10/30/2003 5:33:11 PM #
The CPU is still running at full speed, it is simply being given a bazillion bogus interrupts to deal with, making it appear externally that it has slowed down.

RE: Underclocking intentional?
Ronin @ 10/30/2003 6:48:30 PM #
If I understand this issue correctly, I think the fix improves battery life.

As I understand it the interrupts being generated are constant once they start thus the CPU is constantly working instead of slowing down when you are not actually doing anything with the PDA. The constant CPU activity reduces battery life.

In the Spirit of Umoja,

RE: Underclocking intentional?
Edward Green @ 10/30/2003 6:56:51 PM #
The Treo 600 slows down too. A reset can add 10% to benchmark scores.

Edward Green
RE: Underclocking intentional?
Altema @ 10/30/2003 10:04:03 PM #
"The constant CPU activity reduces battery life."

That would be logical, and seems to be shown in the battery life after the optimizer is installed. I've had two hours of runtime including email and web surfing with the keyboard driver active, and it's still at 74%. I take care of my batteries and usually get a bit better than average life, but this is appears to be a good improvement.

That's more like it :)

Service Pack

flevy @ 10/30/2003 2:37:55 PM #
It looks like there is enough problems here for Palm to issue a MS-like service pack before quality issues undermine sales.

Sales have been undermined
Patrick @ 10/30/2003 5:17:22 PM #
I can confirm unequivocally that these bugs have undermined sales in at least one small way: I had originally intended to replace my T1 with a T3 but not anymore.

I can accept bugs in new products, that is not the issue. You would be hard pressed to name very many (or any?) leading edge products like this with no bugs. For me, the telling issue is that there is, and it seems never will be, any offical acknowledgement of the T3 issues by Palm. All the information the general public has is through third parties. That is unacceptable, at least to this potential buyer.

RE: Service Pack
mikecane @ 10/30/2003 6:04:23 PM #
I'm waiting to buy a T3 as well. Won't touch it until palmOne address the Frying SD Card issue.

Are you listening, Bradley, et al?

RE: Service Pack
Altema @ 10/30/2003 10:12:13 PM #
"That is unacceptable, at least to this potential buyer."

Have to agree. The only major issue for me was having to keep a 128MB card in my wallet for backups until the issue is formally resolved (which this patch does NOT fix, BTW). But having a problem with a bleeding edge device is nothing compared to the perception of turning your back on the users.

RE: Service Pack - Backups to Card OK?
nzjss @ 11/3/2003 2:05:39 AM #
If your Backups to Card are OK then your T3 is OK - with the SD problem (old T|T files in Ram?) it fails every time.

Don't forget the lingering, *VERY* annoying voice memo bug!

hkklife @ 10/30/2003 2:40:29 PM #
I'm on my 2nd T|T2 now after having 2 T|T1s. All units have exhibited the intermittent lockup/freezing/inability to record voice memos. The problem seems to be exacerbated when trying to record directly to the SD card instead of to internal memory.

I've corresponded with several other users experiencing similar problems and we all feel it's somehow tied into Aeroplayer/Real/Pocket Tunes when they access the sound hardware, but usually solved with a reset. I used to think Aeroplayer's background playback was the culprit but I still have to reset my T2 after every mp3 playback to ensure I can record a voice memo.

Just this morning, I tried to record a long-winded reading of some very important information and missed all of it! I double checked that I was recording to ram instead of my Sandisk SD but I forgot to reset my T2 before hitting record. The screen said "recording" and the LED flashed but nothing was actually captured. I almost throw my T2 down in disgust after being foiled again. Looks like I'm off to buy an Olympus microcassette recorder today...

For the record, that puts two, possibly three problems (voice memo, CPU slowdown, SD corruption)all stemming from sound hardware functions. I'm not even going to begin to get into the TT1/TT2/Z71 audio playback woes from a year ago. Palm had better get their act together PRONTO and start addressing these issues!

RE: Don't forget the lingering, *VERY* annoying voice memo bug!
framecatcher @ 10/30/2003 8:24:54 PM #
Now I know why sometimes I can record voice memo and sometimes I can't!

Also I found that the sound quality for playing back MP3 on my T2 is not so good. At high pitch levels the voices appear to crack. I have been wondering if that's the problem with AeroPlayer's "volume overdrive" function. I don't find the same problem listening to the same songs on Sony NX70V or even my cheap Acer PocketPC. So can't help wondering if that's due to the slower processing capability of the TI chip used on T2.

Too many unknowns ...

RE: Don't forget the lingering, *VERY* annoying voice memo bug!
Altema @ 10/30/2003 9:54:49 PM #
Guys, this thread is for the T3. However, you may be dealing with a third party software problem. I've had two T1's and two T3's (one for me one for the wife), and they have never failed to to record in any circumstance. I did notice some odd behavior back when I had AeroPlayer, but it was not affecting the recording function.

RE: Don't forget the lingering, *VERY* annoying voice memo bug!
hkklife @ 10/31/2003 12:29:53 AM #
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the T3 and the T2 both use v. 1.1 of the voice memo app. I've also spoken to at least one T3 owner who claims to experience the exact same problems as I've had on my T1 and T2.

He was scared to use an SD card to record his voice memos to, so he's had extensive use of recording to main RAM and still has the lock-ups...

If this insanely aggravating little bug had been fixed, I'd have seriously considered getting a T3 but the SD corruption combined with the other two smaller bugs are just too many for comfort.

RE: Don't forget the lingering, *VERY* annoying voice memo bug!
Altema @ 10/31/2003 11:02:52 AM #
The T3 uses Voice Pad version 1.2 with a create date of 8/25/03 and a file size of 127k. Not sure if the new version was just to accomodate the VG, or if they included a bug fix. I'm also not sure what the issue is with the failures on your device, but I certainly would have raised a stink if mine did not work!

RE: Don't forget the lingering, *VERY* annoying voice memo bug!
hkklife @ 10/31/2003 3:41:52 PM #
Altema, here are but a few links to the pertinent recent threads on Brighthand regarding the inability to record voice memos/audio corruptions.

There are many, many more threads on this if you search for them in the T|T forums. It was a big discussion around the time of the T2's release.

RE: Don't forget the lingering, *VERY* annoying voice memo bug!
Altema @ 10/31/2003 9:01:01 PM #
Thanks for the links. I did not pay much attention to the T2 or related info because I was planning on skipping from the T to the T3.

RE: Don't forget the lingering, *VERY* annoying voice memo bug!
Bruno33 @ 11/1/2003 7:02:59 AM #
Real quick on this....if you have a T2 and are having problems recording voice memos.

If you have the Palm issued Security patch update installed, delete it and see if that solves your problem. It did for me.


RE: Don't forget the lingering, *VERY* annoying voice memo bug!
hkklife @ 11/2/2003 11:56:43 AM #
Tried it....symptoms still same as before.

I've got to think it's a caused by Aeroplayer/Real Player accessing the T's audio hardware. The odd thing is that Aerodrome Software's usually responsive technical support is rather silent on the issue, as is Palm. The only way I can be guaranteed to get a stable voice memo recording session is to reset my Palm right before I begin recording and to avoid audio-playing apps/games as much as possible.

RE: Don't forget the lingering, *VERY* annoying voice memo bug!
nzjss @ 11/4/2003 8:30:33 PM #
If it is OK after a Reset then it may be the T3 SlowBug which results from an Audio related fault

See here for more details & the cure:

RE: Don't forget the lingering, *VERY* annoying voice memo bug!
hkklife @ 11/6/2003 10:54:06 AM #
No, I'm referring to the T|T and T|T2, as far as the voice memo lockup bug is concerned. I suppose it may be a bit off topic to be posting here, but I was wondering out loud if any T3 owners were experiencing this issue yet.

It's the one lingering issue I've been experiencing with both T's so far...I'd really like to see the updated Voice Memo app found on the T3 released for the older units, as it appears that the bugs have been squashed (at least for voice memo recording) on the T3.

RE: Don't forget the lingering, *VERY* annoying voice memo bug!
rolandbejj @ 3/10/2004 4:51:14 AM #
Since i first bought my T2,everything is working perfectly except the voice

memo!! when i press RECORD form the side button or from the screen, it doesnt record!! but

it showns on the screen the red dot button as if it is recording , but the seconds which

shows the time recorded stays on zero!! i tried to pause, in fact i tried al the

possibilities, but still doesnt record! the only way i could record again is to RESET the

T2!! after a reset, it records few times , then the problem appears again! So i have to

reset again!! what could be the problem!!?? So Now I did the following: uninstalled, then

reinstalled Realone.I did a hard Reset.But the problem still occur!Sometimes when the

problem is present, I try to change any files category in voice Memo, then if I try to

record , it will work sometime!!This is strange!Could it be a problem in the voice Memo

itself?Can you send me a newer version of Voice Memo by Email?
Note: I happen to be aware now that this problem exist with many users of T2!!!!(note:when

i reset. it deletes the reminders ( the snoozed alarms) !!! is this normal ) Waiting for

your feedback!

Bad PR

acorntree @ 10/30/2003 2:56:28 PM #
If this is how Palm1/PalmSource treats its community then I'm going to think twice about buying one of their products. At the very least they should give the developers credit for finding the problem.

I expect an "official" press release w/i a month. Otherwise the nokia communicator is starting to look very promising.

RE: Bad PR
Admin @ 10/30/2003 3:05:42 PM #
for the record palmone does a great job answering my questions for the most part, however they have been ignoring most of my T3 requests and the issues are mounting.
RE: Bad PR
acorntree @ 10/30/2003 3:16:48 PM #
Thats good to know, but its still fishy when they flat out refuse to comment. I mean at least say they'll look into it. Again, I'm giving them to a month to "look into it." I think its generous considering that someone *else* already found the problem.

Just to be more clear, maybe the current solution to the problem is not perfect. They can say that, but since there are other more fatal issues to deal w/ this is a good tmp solution. Again they should give the develops credit for a quick patch so pple can use their pda at normal speed.

Think about all the money they dump trying to grow a strong community... praise is FREE. Give it where it's due.

RE: Bad PR
BimBoy @ 10/30/2003 3:32:10 PM #
You wouldn't happen to think that they might be opening themselves up to a pricey ownership situation? If they come out and say "Yes, we acknowledge that we fried 25000 500Mb sd cards, due to our shoddy coding." that they are opening themselve up to (no questions asked) replacing all those fried McNuggets (I liked that correllation). I'll bet they are close to releasing a fix, but are not sure how to phrase it so they are no held liable. Either that, or they are waiting to hear back from Corporate if they are going to own the replacement of all those sd cards before commenting. After all, the next question from those effected would be "Are you replacing these cards?".

RE: Bad PR
hkklife @ 10/30/2003 4:29:14 PM #
Question for Ryan/admin:

Do you email Palm saying "Hi this is Ryan from PIC and I have a question" or do you use a personal e-mail addy and act like you're a regular Joe end-user?

I'd be curious to see if they escalate someone like you who could potentially make a bigger stink out of a problem than the average Joe could/would want to.

RE: Bad PR
Patrick @ 10/30/2003 5:27:59 PM #
Also to Ryan/Admin

What I would like the next question you ask of Palm to be is why nothing, absolutely nothing, appears on their web site concerning any of these issues?

RE: Bad PR
twocents @ 10/30/2003 6:01:06 PM #
This whole situation is such a buzz kill. I was sooo ready to buy one. Now I am waiting to see what palm does to address the situation.

Random question: Would palm issue a software fix and then try to correct the hardware on future devices? If so, could anyone speculate, based on time to develop a fix and inventory of existing units, how long it would take for the fixed units to hit the street?

RE: Bad PR
mikecane @ 10/30/2003 6:06:31 PM #
Issues where end-user damage occurs generally goes beyond Customer Service and into the Legal Department. While I would think there are palmOne execs who want to do the Right Thing (if they have yet even uncovered the source of this problem!), there's always some weasel lawyer who puts the kibosh on that sort of thing. The end result? Ill will is generated. And that, I think, costs *more* than any monetary damages that might threaten.

I mean, hell, even if you send people a free 32MB SD card, that'd be *something*. In Japan, top-level execs visit the homes of people who have been damaged (even where, say, a plane has crashed and killed a family member!) and prostate themselves in abject apology. Far fewer lawsuits. People understand that These Things Happen and appreciate contrition.

What they *don't* appreciate, palmOne Legal Department, is silence and stonewalling!

RE: Bad PR
Admin @ 10/30/2003 6:57:18 PM #
if I ask palm a question it is on the behalf of PalmInfocenter. No idea why they don't acknowledge anything on their support pages, you'd have to ask them. The support personnel seem to be quite familiar with it.

Legal issues are probably one factor keeping this situation under wraps. It's one thing to say that they may replace SD cards, but what about all the damage done to people's data? How do you put a price on that?

RE: Bad PR - Just a Thought
maven @ 10/30/2003 10:04:45 PM #
Another issue for Palm/PalmOne is the merger/spinoff which just completed. Due to the regulations involved during a merger, companies are required to enter a "quiet period" where news is censored.

This may (or may not) be a possible reason for Palm's lack of response lately.

RE: Bad PR
hkklife @ 10/30/2003 11:16:42 PM #
This just hit me......I've posted both here and on Brighthand (as have others) about seemingly low inventory levels of the T|T3 in certain areas of the country.

The following is an outlandish, but still within the realm of possibility:

What *IF* Palm's trying to retool/fix things on the fly and is going to release a "fixed" T3 in the next month or two that is identical in every way to the current one OTHER than:

1. Having the bug(s) squashed (at least the SD one, which seems more deadly and hardware-related than the patchable CPU/voice memo ones)
2. Having the new PalmOne logo instead of the old classic blue Palm logo. It may have revised box artwork as well.

Palm would then issue a statement at the same time the refreshed T3 is announced and offer either a trade-in/swap for all of the existing T3s (for a small fee) or a downloadable/flashable update for those that don't want to send their T3s in....with a free copy of SimCity thrown in to placate everyone ;-)

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