About Me

My photo
By day I'm a propeller-head geek. I design software for electronic components for a major automotive supplier. When I'm not earning a paycheck, I enjoy playing music -- primarily jazz and classical but I dabble in other genres as well. I also compose, arrange, and play with electronic gadgets and toys. My other hobbies include photography, colored pencil drawing, genealogy, model railroading, and crosswords.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Palm Disaster

My aging Palm Pilot IIIxe recently got wiped clean. That can happen if the alkaline batteries aren't replaced shortly after they're completely drained. I'm very faithful about replacing the batteries and this is the first time since I started using a Palm (about five years ago) I've experienced a complete memory erasure.

The mysterious amnesic event occured on Saturday. I had just referenced the address book on Friday and noted that the battery meter indicated about 50% (is that half full or half empty?). Saturday, while driving my wife's car to a family event, I placed the Palm on the center console. When I later accessed the device to check my schedule, I thought it odd that the digitizer calibration screen was active. And after re-calibrating the touch screen, I discovered that everything was gone. Hard reset.

I suspect the culprit was an EMF (electro-magnetic field) strike. My wife's car is a Saab with the ignition switch in the center console, only centimeters away from where I placed the Palm. The vehicle's key is not a normal mechanical one but rather a plastic fob with RF-tag technology. It's quite possible that a sizeable EMF could be generated when the ignition switch "reads" the key's information. Some of my colleagues who work with key fobs concur.

I've recovered most of the data (addresses, appointments, notes) from a six-month-old backup but all of the 3rd party applications I used to have are lost. Since I first loaded those applications onto the Palm, I've restaged the computer I sync with and I forgot to save the PC copies of those applications. So I'm now on a quest for useful free applications.

One neat thing I found was a compact Bible (with a special reader) from Olive Tree Bible Software, Inc. (www.OliveTree.com). The entire King James Version consumes only 1.4M. Other versions are available, some free and some for sale. The reader features a word search (no need for concordance!) as well as the ability to store your own notes attached to verses. If you want to fill up memory, multiple bible versions can be loaded simultaneously and can even be viewed side-by-side (one over the other, actually) in a split screen mode.

No comments: