Thank goodness for paper and some questions about Apple computers

After long thought about combining digital and paper, whether to try to load my cell phone (with Pocket PC) with all my old palm stuff (lots of lists in various apps, Quicken, etc.), music, and so on to reduce the number of things I carry, I had come to a mildly working system. I say only mildly because I still don't have regular access to many things I would like (many of the palm databases). I use the cell phone (synced to Outlook on desktop) for appointments and contacts, use my paper planner for note taking and appointment jotting during meetings or on the road (entries to be added to Outlook later), and ditched carrying music and my Palm databases and aps for now.

On Saturday the motherboard on my laptop died. Thank goodness for paper backup so I know what I am supposed to be doing. It also opens up the possibilities of moving to a Mac. I've never owned nor used an Apple computer before although I don't think the learning curve would be that bad. I have been burned so many times by Windows products in the past though that I am ready and willing for a change.

I know many people here have Macs so I am hoping you will have patience with some basic questions as I go through this decision making process.

1. Can you sync a Palm device to a Mac?
2. Can you sync a Pocket PC device to the Mac ilife calendar feature?

I know that Macs can run both platforms now but I would rather not have to have as few Windows operations as possible. I also will be exploring ways to export my Palm databases to other formats if needed that I can carry on my cell phone/Pocket PC.

And no, I don't want to switch to an iphone - too expensive and different carrier.

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Yes.

1. Can you sync a Palm device to a Mac?
2. Can you sync a Pocket PC device to the Mac ilife calendar feature?

Yes to both. However, a couple thoughts. First of all, the Palm hotsync conduits and the Palm software don't integrate with the built-in Apple apps of Address Book and iCal. If you want to do this, you have two choices--either Apple's own, rather lame iSync conduits, or third-party--which I will get to in answering your second question. Actually, the iCal sync isn't bad. I use it, but the Address Book sync is BAD. It only syncs home addresses, and everything else rots like 3-day old road kill. In fact, I don't use it. Instead, I sync to my Now Contact database, and use the Now software to sync to my Address Book. It's convoluted, and I don't recommend it. Instead...

Mark/Sync has some awesome software, called "Missing Sync" that comes both in a Palm version and PocketPC/WinMo versions. It is quite powerful, flexible, and can use Palm Hotsync conduits as well. It's not the cheapest, but is quite powerful, and does much more than what the Palm software does, including syncing programs that the Mac Palm software doesn't (like audio, pictures, expenses, among others) If you really want a better Palm experience, or _any_ kind of PocketPC or Windows Mobile, you want/need the Missing Sync. $40 or $50 (I forget) will get it for you--now, it's not perfect, and may be a tiny bit buggy, from some things I've read, but it really is a great product.

I know that Macs can run both platforms now but I would rather not have to have as few Windows operations as possible.

Totally agreed. If you can avoid bringing over any Windows headaches, you will be much better off. Try starting out with Apple and Mac software first. However, I might recommend at least setting up your new Mac so that you can later install Windows. Launch Bootcamp, and at least set up the partition or whatever it does, and maybe install your Windows, but leave it there, and try not using it. But setting it up before you start filling your hard drive will cause you fewer headaches later--and if you decide you don't need it, I believe it's easier to undo than do. ;-)

-Jon

Thank you

for the excellent comments. That kind of first hand experience is exactly what I was hoping for. I don't mind paying for good software that gets the job done, I certainly have paid plenty for software that doesn't lol.

If I read you correctly, using Missing Sync will allow a more complete sync between either the palm or the pocket pc and the address book that comes with the Mac. Is that right?

Why do you sync using Now Contacts if Missing Sync would work better? Is it just because you had that system already in place before finding Missing Sync?

more answers

If I read you correctly, using Missing Sync will allow a more complete sync between either the palm or the pocket pc and the address book that comes with the Mac. Is that right?

Yes. More complete, and, IIRC, more flexible.

Why do you sync using Now Contacts if Missing Sync would work better? Is it just because you had that system already in place before finding Missing Sync?

Sort of. I still use Now Contact for my serious work, mainly using Address book with Mail and iCal. And, since I already need to keep the two in sync, and have been since upgrading to X, it was easier to just use the built-in software--inertia. At the moment, I'm also unsure about the future as to what hardware I'm going to get, so I'm in a limbo.

-Jon

PM me

I would be more than happy to help you transition to a Mac. I am in the Washington DC area and used to belong to a huge user group (Washington Apple Pi) before they went all petty and political.
We can have a nice, long technical discussion offline. No sense cluttering up the forum.
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)