I thought Apple might have sent a special, covert signal to my Treo 650 to kill it. It was quite suspicious that the phone function stopped working a few days before the launch of the iPhone. Conspiracy theories aside, everything worked fine on my Treo except for the phone. I could not make outgoing calls; incoming calls would ring through, but attempting to answer them would cause the phone to reboot.

Soft resets did nothing to remedy the problem. I contemplated calling Palm support, but I thought I would try a hard reset first. The short story is that the hard reset worked and restored my phone to working order. If you are interested in the long story, keep reading.

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My Jawbone headset arrived today. The Jawbone worked flawlessly with my Treo, but getting it to pair with my Mac and work with Skype was a bit more effort. This was somewhat frustrating since the primary reason for the purchase was to make Skype calls.

Before I get into what my solution was, I should mention that my Macintosh is slightly out of date. My Powerbook G4 runs OSX 10.3.9. It is possible that none of these problems exist on the latest version of OSX. Nevertheless, I know I’m not the only person out there still running 10.3, so I’ll post this with the hope that it saves at least one person a few minutes and some frustration.

The short answer was that two things needed to be done:

  1. Download and run the Bluetooth Firmware Updater 1.2 from Apple. I ended up restarting the computer before running the updater for it to work properly.
  2. Download and install the latest version of Skype (version at the time).

Now for the slightly longer answer…

The first problem was pairing the headset with the computer. The computer recognized the headset but stated the hardware did not support headsets. This sounds worse than it really is since it is easily remedied with a firmware update. After downloading and installing the Bluetooth Firmware Updater 1.2, I ran it with no success. Not only did it fail to update anything, it also disabled bluetooth on the laptop. Fortunately, rebooting brought back bluetooth. Running the updater again after a fresh reboot seemed to do the trick. So, if you are having problems with this updater, I recommend you reboot and try again.

After the bluetooth update, pairing the headset with the computer was no problem at all. On the other hand, Skype wasn’t working quite right. Changing the audio preferences to work with the Jawbone did not work at all, there was no sound coming out of the headset. I mucked around with the audio preferences on the system and Skype for quite some time but nothing really seemed to work. What did end up working was updating to the latest Skype release (version at the time).

Now, I’m happily Skyping with the Jawbone headset. Lesson learned: Use the latest version of software.

As I close in on a year of using Getting Things Done, I feel the need to impart some unsolicited wisdom. GTD does not require one to use any sort of electronic gewgaw, however, I decided to put the tools I had available to work. In my case, these tools are Outlook and a Treo. There is a free PDF available at davidco.com that describes how David Allen uses his Palm organizer. My use of the Treo mimics this. However, most of my organizational time is spent in Outlook, so I have refined my methods and setup over time.

As a rule, I generally try not to customize things too much. I just try to learn how to live with it the way it is. This makes it much easier to deal with the inevitable upgrade or new computer. Outlook, in its default configuration, needs a few tweaks to make it more effective though. In addition to these minor configuration changes, I highly, highly recommend learning a few shortcut keys for Outlook. The three I use most are CTRL + D to delete, ALT + S to save & close or send (email) and CTRL + K to open a new task from anywhere in Outlook. Print the list of shortcut keys from Outlook’s help file and keep them close at hand for a while. Learning a few of these will save a lot of time by keeping your fingers off the mouse.

Since these posts tend to be somewhat long, I’ll post them separately as I write them:

Good Luck!

Okay, I’m the last person on the planet to get a Treo but it’s new to me. The setup was fairly easy, although, I’ve had Palms before so I am used to the HotSync software and its idiosyncrasies. For example, the Outlook calendar conduit kept defaulting to “do nothing” today. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow. Anyway, here are a couple random thoughts about the 650:

  • The Versamail/Exchange active sync does not work with our server. No surprise there, we’ll probably need to do some work on the server end to get that working.
  • Versamail works well. The IMAP folder synchronization seems a bit flakey though. Perhaps it works well with providers specifically supported by Palm (e.g. Earthlink). I’m trying to use the mail server from my host and synchronization works sometimes but normally fails. Sending and recieving mail works fine though. I’ll need to keep searching for the answer to folder syncing so that I don’t get dupes on my desktop and webmail clients.
  • After less then 10 minutes, the blinking service light was driving me to distraction. Is it just me or is a blinking green service light on a wireless device akin to Homer’s “everything is OK” alarm? Why there is no built-in way to disable this is beyond me. Luckily, LEDOff, a freeware application, let’s one configure the light.
  • I could not perform the first HotSync using bluetooth. The setup instructions might actually tell one to use USB the first time around. Wether they to or not, the HotSync worked fine with USB (an later with Bluetooth).