Comments on: palmOne Opens Treo Store, Airs New TV Ads

palmOne today is kicking off a new TV advertising campaign. Commercials highlighting the Treo line and Tungsten E are now airing in select US regions. The company has also announced today the opening of the first Treo smartphone store in the Valley Fair mall in San Jose, California.
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How about FIXING the T5 and Treo 650 first?

The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/22/2004 5:39:10 AM #

CESD (the well-respected author of DateBk 5) reportedly said this about the Tungsten 5:

Ok, I have now confirmed that yes, the reason the T5 is so slow is that their revised DM Patch DOES put the PalmSource database in Flash Rom. It is cached into Ram, but when the database is opened or closed, everything has to be copied into the much slower Flash Rom - hence the performance hit. And even simple requests for records end up going to Flash Rom - thereby
impacting performance. It also explains the bug that I have seen whereby you can get a:

VFSDBCache.c, Line:6761, DeleteRecord() called on invalid record

I was puzzled as to who was calling VFS since the DatebookDB database appears to be in RAM, but it apparently ends up calling VFS routines that access the internal flash drive, and there's obviously some bug whereby the DM Patch gets confused and messes up the record number for deletion.

At this point, it looks like the T5 may not be a good choice for those Palm Users who have an interest in running any third party software that accesses the standard PalmSource databases.

If you like the general form factor, you would probably be much better off with a Sony Th-55 and a 1gb Memory stick for around the same price.

I am of course revisiting the whole issue of supporting these undocumented, proprietary databases that PalmOne now seems determined on using, but this is not a trivial undertaking as it would require that support be added for all four proprietary databases - something that would require a parallel development effort and separate versions of the software. I have ordered a
T5 (another $400 only to look at device bugs) and will know more when I see this device in person.

I am disappointed that PalmOne is not only going against the philosophy of the Palm OS being an open platform by using proprietary databases, but that they also seem to think that providing support for third party applications (at least as good as older devices provided ) in this "compatibility mode" is no longer much of a priority either...

CESD, Pimlico Software, Inc.

> Anyone having a problem with their T5.

You and everyone who has bought one

> I had to get the update for the T5 because it would have Fatal Errors each time I would use DateBk5. But after the update I still have a problem with it locking-up after I put an appointment down in the calendar.

That's because the update does nothing to fix any of the bugs in the PalmOne DataManager patch. Just hold on some 24 hours or so as I will be posting a maintenance release VERY SHORTLY that talks directly to the proprietary calendar and memo databases thereby sidestepping their DataManager patch (several people have been testing this for me and all of them indicate it
eliminates all these problems on the T5 and also provides far better performance on the Tungsten T3, E, and Zire72/31).

With the T5, the Datamanager patch has moved IMHO from a designation of "kludge" to "worthless kludge" - it's basically unusable - not only because the performance is so bad, but because it was inadequately tested and has too many bugs to be considered a usable piece of software.

Among the very obvious problems when you try and use DateBk5 on a Tungsten T5 (or forthcoming Treo650) are:

1) Slow exit out of DateBk5 (One time, I clocked it at over 35 seconds!!).
2) Details dialog can take several seconds to appear
3) strange clicking noises and delays when executing simple functions
4) Unexpected crashes including ones with the message:

VFSBCache.c,line:6761 DeleteRecord()called and invalid record

The T5 is a nice looking device and has some nice features, but the testing was poor and this is by far the buggiest device that we've ever seen from a Palm licensee. I suspect there is a VERY good reason why PalmOne has announced the Treo650 (which uses the same architecture) but no carriers have started to make it available for sale(!).

I have to say that in ten minutes of testing after I got this device, I noted FOUR very obvious bugs, which leaves me at a loss to explain how a device like this could be released with such obvious errors - it does make you wonder if anyone even looked at this device before it was put up for sale...

Finally, while I may "Fix" DateBk5, this will not "fix" any other third party apps that use the built-in, standard Palmsource databases. So if you depend upon a third party addressbook app or memo app, or something like ToDO+, etc. you may well want to forgo the T5 (and the forthcoming Treo650)
as your experience will no doubt leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

RE: How about FIXING the T5 and Treo 650 first?
ardiri @ 11/22/2004 1:15:38 PM #
NAND flash.

at the developer conference in munich i discussed the new devices with some engineers and they specifically told me that the memory management will be changing for the T5 and Treo 650. specifically, any developer that depends on keeping a record locked in ram will have to rework their code.

first of all, locking a record and using it forever was a side effect from the old memory management systems on the 68k devices - some developers (including myself) took advantage of this "feature" to avoid having to dynamically allocate memory (which, was very scarce as well).

since everything is stored in a "rom" area (to avoid hard resets), using the VFS API's to import the data into ram is understandable, and, there is only a certain amount of space in this "cache", which is why its a problem to keep things locked up. for datebook 5, CESD may have to make some requirements to his applications (these issues are documented in the pluggedin program) to avoid these problems.

it isn't a bug.

Aaron Ardiri
PalmOS Certified Developer

RE: How about FIXING the T5 and Treo 650 first?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/22/2004 2:16:10 PM #
it isn't a bug.



Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

Translation: We don't expect them to be economically viable

SeldomVisitor @ 11/22/2004 5:58:24 AM #
== "...palmOne retail stores are measured beyond their sales volume..."

RE: Translation: We don't expect them to be economically viable
Token User @ 11/22/2004 9:05:10 AM #
Not so sure about that ... Apple stores aren't entirely "profit driven" either, and the "Dell Kiosks" are just a front for their website.

Palm want people to go in and try the devices out, and then buy one. They don't care WHERE the device is bought, just that they are. You might get a better deal at Staples, Fry's, or even Sears, but noone there really knows anything about the devices, batteries are often flat, sylii missing, etc. The Palm stores are a place for people to go and kick the tires ... and maybe walk out with a nice new shiny piece of plastic.

~ "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed." - DV ~

RE: Translation: We don't expect them to be economically viable
Admin @ 11/22/2004 11:33:29 AM #
Part of the stores mission is to build branding and awareness among consumers and professionals, that goes beyond just selling handhelds on location.
RE: Translation: We don't expect them to be economically via
SeldomVisitor @ 11/23/2004 5:59:59 AM #
Neither response contradicted, both reinforced, the first post in this thread.

Free with TE: Hearing Test!

mikecane @ 11/22/2004 11:28:56 AM #
Turn it on.

Hold it up to your right ear.

Hear that high-pitched screech?

Hold it up to your left ear?

DON'T hear that high-pitched screech?

Get to an audiologist. Stat!

RE: Free with TE: Hearing Test!
Admin @ 11/22/2004 12:20:54 PM #
Mike, almost every PDA I've ever used has had some buzzing on the LCD... and of course you are going to hear it when its right next to your ear. Some models are more audible than others but this seems to be a common trait of all PDA LCDs, I remember noticing it on my Palm III with the backlight on.
RE: Free with TE: Hearing Test!
Be_True @ 11/22/2004 12:50:19 PM #
A friend had a Tungsten T that I could hear across the room.

If any of mine made half that much noice,
I would have thrown it within a day!


Tungsten C, Palm IIIxe, Wizard OZ-9520

"Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati"

RE: Free with TE: Hearing Test!
ardiri @ 11/22/2004 1:19:24 PM #
the LCD buzzing can actually be fixed with overclocking utilities like lightspeed from jonathan fernstad. the issue is the cpu clock is running faster than the refresh rate of the LCD - hence the buzz. probably varies between hardware, and hence why there is not a "proper" fix for the issue.

Aaron Ardiri
PalmOS Certified Developer
RE: Free with TE: Hearing Test!
statik @ 11/22/2004 1:49:55 PM #
It really depends on your hearing as well. A lot of people with screeching PDAs don't realize their screen is screeching.

I remember playing with a demo T3 that had the loudest high pitch buzzing I ever heard come from a PDA. When I asked my wife if the sound was givng her a headache too, she said "What sound?" To this day she thinks I was pulling her leg.

RE: Free with TE: Hearing Test!
Altema @ 11/22/2004 2:33:55 PM #
There is a huge variation in noise levels from device to device, as well as variations in hearing, as has already been mentioned. Just a side effect of the technology. My first T3 could be heard if I held it up to my ear, my current T3 is silent at 400MHz, makes a very slight whine at 472MHz, and goes silent again at 532MHz. When my wife and I had a pair of M505's and I could tell which was which by holding them up to my ear; mine had a lower pitch than hers when turned off. Even my first IIIe made a whine when the backlight was turned on. I think the loudest I had was the IIIc. Regardless, my rule of thumb is this: Almost all handhelds produce some type of noise, and if your's is loud enough to be a distraction or irritation, then change devices or adjust the clock frequency.

RE: Free with TE: Hearing Test!
Strider_mt2k @ 11/22/2004 7:27:10 PM #
I don't recall ANY of my handhelds having a noticable LCD whine or buzz.

You don't suppose that means, omygod... nooooo!


RE: Free with TE: Hearing Test!
mikecane @ 11/23/2004 8:09:09 AM #
This TE has developed a screech that I can hear just holding it at regular arm's length. It seems to get worse daily. I heard it initially by accident.

In CCity, a salesperson was actually persuading people *not* to buy a TE because of the screen whine. He said he had people *return* them because the noise was upsetting their *pets*.

My PIII and S320 do NOT whine.

palmOne went with cheeeeeep components to better line their pockets -- and their *customers* suffer for it.

RE: Free with TE: Hearing Test!
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/23/2004 10:44:23 AM #
You were already warned that this would happen. And it was predicted you'd whine about it here in PIC. So predictable.

Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

RE: Free with TE: Hearing Test!
Strider_mt2k @ 11/23/2004 10:50:44 AM #

Just take your TE camping with you! Maybe you've stumbled onto another hidden P1 feature:

Electronic Insect/Pest Repellant!

RE: Free with TE: Hearing Test!
mikecane @ 11/23/2004 5:19:33 PM #
Too bad it's not a Voice of Alan Alda repellent!

At least Mike's not hearing voices anymore...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 11/23/2004 9:58:21 PM #

Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

RE: Free with TE: Hearing Test!
mikecane @ 11/24/2004 9:18:21 AM #
There's ONE "Voice" ALL of us would like NOT to hear anymore!

Gekko @ 11/22/2004 8:50:37 PM #

New link:

I saw 2 Treo commercials during the "O'Reilly Factor" tonight.

Simply amazing is right!
Strider_mt2k @ 11/22/2004 8:58:12 PM #
Amazing how P1 can live in an apparent dream world, disconnected from developments in a field they pioneered, to produce overpriced, underfeatured products that neither satify consumer demands, nor hit the mark in technical advancement or even outright daily usage consistency.

Simply amazing.

hkklife @ 11/23/2004 1:37:07 PM #
What a tragic marketing blunder (again!). All of this $ being poured into trying to push a year+-old PDA with a featureset that's beginning to look very dated for $200 MSRP...and has had its share of quality woes. Perhaps the saddest thing of all is that the old blue "Palm" logo is being displayed prominently on the unit in those screen caps and on their website. Come on guys, at least give the T|E a facelift and stick "PalmOne" on it!!! It'd be like Nissan still selling Datsun-badged cars!

I am so sick of airport kiosks, mall retail stores, TV ads, "designer" cases, limited editions, gold-plated styli, referral bonus bucks etc etc etc etc.

I (as well as the rest of the teeming PIC masses) simply want NEW PRODUCTS THAT WORK RELIABLY!! Is that too much to ask for?

mikecane @ 11/24/2004 4:48:19 PM #
>>>I (as well as the rest of the teeming PIC masses) simply want NEW PRODUCTS THAT WORK RELIABLY!! Is that too much to ask for?

No, it's not. We just can't have it from palmOne!

Positivity, does it still exist here?

Admin @ 11/23/2004 1:50:44 PM #
This really cracked me up when I noticed there is not a single positive comment on this story. I know we are an over-critical bunch sometimes, but this is quite funny.

Doesn't anyone think its a great thing that they are even doing TV commercials? As far as I know, palmOne is the only manufacturer actually promoting PDAs on TV now (not including store ads or carriers), as hasn't since 2001.

And what about the new Treo store? Apparently there are two palmOne stores in the same mall in San Jose, the handheld one, and now this new Treo Smartphone store. I have visited the philly store, which is small but cool for an airport terminal.

Anyone in silicon valley visited the new Treo store yet?

RE: Positivity, does it still exist here?
Strider_mt2k @ 11/23/2004 2:26:23 PM #
Ryan, if they were making the killer products to deserve our appreciation they would be getting it!

I'm thrilled they have TV ads out there, it's great, but any other company doing the same thing would probably be received the same way!

BOTH of P1s "flagship" pieces have been discovered to have some SERIOUS flaws -not features- but FLAWS.
P1s corporate antics are ALSO public record!

Sorry about all the shouting, but take a look at the story on that Asian smart phone. -The hardware looks good, and the company hasn't worn our patience thin (yet).
Plenty of positives there!

RE: Positivity, does it still exist here?
Admin @ 11/23/2004 2:34:37 PM #
I'm not trying to complain by any means, just pointing it out. I think 2005 will be a good year for palm os smartphones...
RE: Positivity, does it still exist here?
Strider_mt2k @ 11/23/2004 2:38:16 PM #
I agree!
I've said before that the PDA as we know it is an endangered species.
Palm OS smartphones make sense, and I hope we see LOTS more players in this game.

However, to get back to your original point, P1 ISN'T going to be the one setting the world on fire.

-If it does it'll be by accident, trying to put out the ones they've set in their own house!

RE: Positivity, does it still exist here?
Gekko @ 11/23/2004 3:26:29 PM #

Give me something to be positive about. The T5 and T650 are pigs.

RE: Positivity, does it still exist here?
Gekko @ 11/23/2004 3:43:56 PM #

>"I think 2005 will be a good year for palm os smartphones..."

"The belief in miracles that all men cherish is born of immoderate indulgence in hope. There are people who go on hope sprees periodically and we all know the chronic hope drunkard that is held up before us as an exemplary optimist." - Jesse Livermore

RE: Positivity, does it still exist here?
hkklife @ 11/23/2004 4:16:36 PM #
I'd personally be glad to see P1 put all of their eggs in the Treo and <$200 Zire basket and let someone who CARES about the power users make a serious go at the higher-end POS stuff. Look at all of the boutique "gaming" PC makers thriving---Alienware, VoodooPC, Falcon NW, ABS etc. If Tapwave could somehow manage to support two models--a gaming unit and a high-end "business/productivity" model, all would be well. They could basically cater to the power users that HandEra used to have, only with the additional revenue streams coming in from selling a mobile game machine. Having played extensively with a Nintendo DS (several major design flawd but still a powerful unit) and read a great deal about the PSP, the Zod's days as a serious gaming platform are numbered--not like it was ever a serious competitor. Tapwave would be well-advised to shift gears, pursue a T3 type model for power users and still retain as much of the gaming functionality as possible for "after hours" applications. What a combo that'd be! I wonder if P1'd license the UC for cheap to Tapwave? Hmmmm...

RE: Positivity, does it still exist here?
Gekko @ 11/23/2004 4:53:50 PM #




VGA? NO!!!


RE: Positivity, does it still exist here?
mikecane @ 11/23/2004 5:20:32 PM #
I don't give a live/dead/flying/staionary eff if next year will be great for PalmOS *smartphones*. I want a great PalmOS *PDA*. And it looks like the T3 is the last one they've produced.

My only hope now is for OQO to get better or for Sony to churn out their U-series at a CLIE-like clip and also shrink it and its price.

Oh: Here's at least *something* postive: PPC still sucks!

RE: Positivity, does it still exist here?
svrontis @ 11/23/2004 8:10:53 PM #
Note to readers of Gekko's quote above. Jesse Livermore was an amazingly successful stock market speculator in the 1920s and 30s(eg, he reputedly made $100m on the Great Crash, by shorting the market). He committed suicide in late 1930s - so the quote about optimism is particularly poignant.


superdork @ 11/23/2004 7:12:05 PM #
My Two Cents :)

So, Mr. Admin :)
Got a quick question for you. I know you know more than the rest of us about Palm's forward looking strategy and PERHAPS even their upcoming devices.
Will 2005 be of any use to the standard PDA user? Your anwser will determine if I keep this X50V or not. :)
Of course you don't have to give any details, but a simple yes would suffice.

mikecane @ 11/23/2004 7:47:22 PM #
p1's smartphone efforts aren't the brightest in the world, either. But that's not to say MS Smurfphone will win. I'd bet on Symbian -- or, especially, DoCoMo.

That TE TV ad: Huh?

mikecane @ 11/24/2004 1:43:16 PM #
>>>. "Voice Mail" shows through voice mail messages all the tasks someone can complete on a Tungsten E, such as looking up a restaurant online,

Huh?! How is *that* being done on a TE?!



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