2008/11/14

Palm TX Wi-Fi Hotsync

Bluetooth is not the only option to hotsync a Palm TX wirelessly; you can also hotsync via Wi-Fi in two scenarios:
  1. if your PC connects directly to the Internet and has a wireless network card or a USB dongle,
  2. or if it connects to the Internet through a wireless router/access point (in this last scenario it doesn't matter if the PC connects to the router wirelessly or via ethernet cable).
One important thing to consider is that Palm's Network Hotsync does not support domain names, so to recognize a PC within the local area network it needs to be told its local IP addresses; sometimes, after you hotsync to a PC, Palm's Network Hotsync will add an entry having that PC's host name, but if you select that entry the hotsync will fail, you need to select the entry having its local IP address.

In this scenario, it's obvious that assingning fixed local IP addresses to your networked devices makes things much easier. That's why you have to disable DHCP functionality in your network configuration (at the router and device level) and enter IPs, gateway and DNS servers manually.

For example, in your router disable DHCP and enter 192.168.1.1 as the local IP address (your router IP address); 255.255.255.0 as your subnet mask; 192.168.1.100 as the starting IP address; and 208.67.222.222 and 200.67.220.220 as the primary and secondary static DNS servers respectively (if you want to use OpenDNS service).

In your PC, if you have Windows Vista, go to the Network and Sharing Center, locate your active connection and click on View Status, then click on Properties; click on IPv4 and select Properties; there, enter 192.168.1.100 as your PC local IP address, the subnet mask, the default gateway (router IP address) and the IPs for the DNS servers. If you are using GNU/Linux with Gnome desktop, I recommend using the wicd network manager instead of the one that is preinstalled with that desktop; wicd is a network manager that makes it easier to setup parameters for a connection not relying in a DHCP server.

Of course, hotsynching to a GNU/Linux PC is almost useless; the most useful conduits gnome-pilot offers are for synching memos, backing up the internal databases and another supporting Avant-Go service; so no hotsync for pictures, todo, calendar and address book entries. At least there's a conduit for installing databases (PRC and PDB files).

Whatever, if you want the whole hotsync enchilada, just install Windows XP + Palm Desktop in a virtual machine via Virtualbox and hotsync from there.

But I digress, now you have to set up your palm to hotsync via Wi-Fi. Let me suppose that now you know enough to configure your Palm to connect to your PC or LAN using the fixed values given above; just enter a different local IP address for your Palm, like 192.168.1.103.

Then launch the HotSync program (in your Palm), select Network; tap on the drop down menu below the hotsync logo and click Select PC; when the "No PCs were found" dialog appears, click on Other and enter the local IP of the PC you want to hotsync to. Now go to the Hotsync menu, open Modem SyncPreferences and select Network; LANSync Preferences and select LANSync and finally, tapping on the Hotsync button will initiate your first Wi-Fi hotsync :)