June 09, 2003

Tungsten C Day 6 -- Trick for Fixing Repeated Crashes

Well, the application that killed my Tungsten C last week turned out to be the Mille Bornes game clone Rally 1000, at least when installed from my old IIIxe backup file. When I downloaded and installed a clean copy of Rally 1000, it worked just fine. Go figure.

In struggling with rebuilding my work environment, I ran into a very tricky problem: although I could reboot the Tungsten to the Prefs screen (using the Reset/Down button combination), every attempt I made to launch the Applications menu crashed the T|C and forced me to reset. In working around it, I came across a technique that should allow me to avoid having to reset and rebuild my environment just to pull out problematic apps. The first thing you need to do is install the free file utility FileZ, downloadable from PalmGear. Once you've done that, if you are able to reboot to Prefs rather than the Applications launcher, you can use the Buttons utility to remap one of the hardware buttons to the FileZ utility. That way, even if you can't get to FileZ via the Applications screen, you can still start Filez and delete the suspect app., then reboot. Additionally, even if you don't have the FileZ utility loaded, you can use the Reset to Prefs-->remap Buttons trick to get to your mission critical, non-problematic apps until you can properly fix your Palm.

Now to my impressions of the Tungsten C after a long weekend using it:

This machine is awesome. Everything I've read in reviews about the quality of the screen (particularly notable using Wordsmith or Documents To Go, or the Web browser) and the speed of the processor has been borne out by my experience. E-books click through pages without noticeable delay, and even the painful Acrobat Reader has become a useable application.

While on the subject, while I'm blown away by the Excel and PowerPoint functionality in Documents To Go, I'm sticking to Wordsmith for editing MS Word documents, both because of the integration with MS Word and, more importantly, because Documents To Go stripped out the footnotes of the article I was writing, while Wordsmith kept them. Important stuff to a lawyer!

Surprisingly enough, while I love the Wi-Fi functionality, it actually causes a bit more frustration than enjoyment, because Wi-Fi access isn't ubiquitous. I keep finding myself trying to log on where there are no access points, and being upset about it. I know that a cellular-based data network would offer better coverage, but it would not help me at home, where what I really want is high-speed Internet access to my Palm. That said, everywhere I have access, the Wi-Fi connectivity works very well, and I've even done a bit of wardriving using the T|C and a beta of the Wi-Finder application from Bits 'n Bolts Software. The included VersaMail app (which is really MultiMail, a fact made clear when "MultiMail" shows up in Filez and some other file access applications!).

A few other random thoughts:

  • The metallic silver case of the T|C is attractive, but a bit slippery in my hand. I keep worrying about dropping it.

  • Kinoma Player is a great app for keeping small children occupied. I put the Stuart Little II trailer on my T|C, and my 18-month old daughter keeps asking me to show it.

  • I haven't yet been able to test the voice memo feature, because as has been reported elsewhere, not every 2.5mm headset for cellphones works with the T|C. I have tried the Jabra EarWrap, as well as a generic Radio Shack headset, without success. I don't have Palm's to test.

  • I understand the appeal of the built-in thumbboard, but for me Graffiti 2 is still faster, even with the occasional glitch when my fingers try to do the old Graffiti symbol for letters such as T.

More later. {Jonathan}

Posted by jezor at June 9, 2003 02:34 PM

Nokia makes a headset the works nicely with the T|C. It came free with my 8390.

Posted by: Angus at July 14, 2003 12:18 PM

Hi. I've just bought the tungsten c, twice now. And neither time have I been able to start it up after charging it for more than the two hours I've charged it. I've done a slow reset and a hard reset and zip--it won't start. I find it hard to believe they would sell me two Palms that don't work. It was from the real company.

Any help appreciated. Tommy (PS I'm not a man)

Posted by: Tommy McDonell at August 8, 2003 12:08 PM

At any given moment, an arrow must be either where it is or where it is
not. But obviously it cannot be where it is not. And if it is where
it is, that is equivalent to saying that it is at rest.
-- Zeno's paradox of the moving (still?) arrow

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