Here’s another one of those public service announcements for a very specific problem. Skip it if you haven’t had problems not being able to synchronize your Treo with a PC. In some cases an error message will appear “USB device not recognized” or somesuch. Here’s what worked for my Treo 650, after lots of messing about with more complicated solutions that didn’t (thanks to Palm for some of these, as well as some forums here and here):
- First off, try removing the USB cable and sticking it back in again.
- Try sticking the cable in a different port.
- Try a different cable. The cable that comes with the Treo is notoriously unreliable.
- Soft reset the Treo and try again. (Worked for me.)
- Take battery out of Treo and leave for a few minutes.
- Try synchronizing via Infrared. If this works, at least you’ve got a backup and you know the problem is not terminal.
- Reboot your PC and try again.
- Try cleaning the connector on your Treo. This can get dirty. Be careful. Use an eraser or a soft cloth. Or lick it.
- Reinstall your Palm Deskop (rebooting after uninstalling before reinstalling.)
- Hard reset the Treo.
My rule of thumb with fixing things like this. Try the simplest first. Don’t follow radical advice of people on forums (reinstalling Windows XP, drivers for your motherboard, replacing parents) unless you’ve tried every possible simpler solution first. Remember the simplest answer is probably the right one.
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A few weeks back on my WSJ.com column (subscription only; I’ll update you when it’s out on the BBC World Service) I explored the world of bling cellphones, including the Vertu range, the Kathrine Baumann “Wireless Wardrobe” Collection (inexplicably that collection is now password-protected since I last visited), the fancy wooden Mobiado range, and the diamond-encrusted, gold-set Samsung. I guess it was inevitable that headsets would start getting the bling treatment, and here’s the first: the Dimante Pink Bluetooth Headset (via Red Ferret:
The Pama P7008 Bluetooth headset comes with the usual Bluetooth Version 1.2 compliancy, with Headset & Handsfree Profiles, One Button action, up to 5 hours talk time and 200 hours standby, weighs “just 12.7g”, and is the Ideal Bluetooth Hands Free Kit Gift for the Woman in your Life! (it says here).
Frankly I feel insulted. Why can’t us fellas have one? The only problem I can see is that with all that bling on your ear, aren’t you becoming a walking mugging invitation?
Of course you might be asking yourself why a diamond-encrusted handsfree weighs the same as an ordinary headset and costs about the same (£47.95, or $84) as an ordinary headset. That’s because of the $17 Crystal Bling Design Kit which lets you jazz up your accessories — from cellphones to iPods — with little bits of shiny crap, sorry, Crystal Diamante. I think I’m going to bling up my Treo 650.
Further to my earlier post about GPRS traveling woes, I asked Syd Low of AlienCamel to offer his thoughts on the subject. He’s something of an old hand at the game.
For the last two years I’ve gone “on the road” to the Alps. My journey goes through Asia, then Switzerland and finally Austria. In 2004 I had a Treo 600 and this year a Treo 650. I’ve used GPRS with prepaid SIM cards in five countries will almost perfect success to stay in touch with friends and colleagues using IM and Email.
In Europe, I usually look for a mobile shop at the airport or train terminal. Zurich airport is great – all three carriers are there -Swisscom, Sunrise and Vodafone. Just wander in, buy a card and you’re on your way in less than 20 minutes. When you return the following year, you just need to get a recharge card and you’re away in 5 minutes. In Asia and Italy, I found that all carriers have shops in the main street. Venice and Verona for example have Vodafone shops conveniently located among the shops and resellers everywhere. Same deal – quick and fast transactions. In Austria where there’s not much competition, the most convenient place is the post office where you can get A1 prepaid cards. Recharge cards are available at supermarkets.
The Treo 650 auto configures to all of these networks and there’s no need to manually make any setting changes. Just put the sim card in and everything just works. I’ve only had a minor glitch with A1. For a few days I couldn’t get GPRS coverage – not sure if it was my phone or the network high in the Alps.
Life would be a lot simpler if there was a carrier that did global roaming with fair rates, but I think it’ll be a blue moon when that happens. Until then, get yourself a little case to get a sim card for each country.
Thanks, Syd. Oh and here’s a picture of his SIM-card stash: