Friday, 8 December 2006


As I will be quite a few days at a time with no Wi-Fi hotspots I will have to write the diary up on the PDA in a Word document and then paste it onto the blog when I have a connection.

This is trickier than I thought - Never had one of these PDA's before, the help you get is virtually non-existant - you are expected to know what to do or at the least know of someone who can help you! (a bit like Anquet maps, I think!)

So to try and find out how to do this I registered with Palm to get my 'free' telephone support, rang them and then waited for a full ten minutes after I was connected to a chap while he dug out a Palm TX PDA.

Now I am not in any way trying to make a comment on outsourcing call cantres to places abroard for cost reasons, but the chap I spoke to - "Prince" - could barely speak English and we spent the majority of our conversation asking each other to repeat what the other had just said, just so we could understand each other.

Eventually he explained where I could find a Word (- all preceding red writing was written on the PDA and copied onto the blog but it cut off the second half of the entry. So the stuff in black is written from the Laptop...) document so at least I could type on an electric piece of paper. Prince then abandoned me as he could 1) either not understand me or 2) had given up the will to live, and he firmly moved onto his next customer, surely to give him the same short shrift and half an hour of total frustration.
I eventually figured out for myself how to copy and paste to the blog from the Word document in the PDA, but as you can see, it only pasted less than half of what I wrote. This is very disturbing as I could have at least a week's worth of typing done on the walk and it only ends up publishing half a day's worth!
So - I reckon it will come down to another plea for help! As Palm have singularly failed to help me, is there anyone out there willing to spend an hour or so on this problem with me so that I can copy & paste my Word documents so they appear in their entirety on the blog?
This technology is getting me down! One step forward and then a Great Leap Backwards!


  1. Can't you just email you entries Alan?

    This might be a good method for some of the simpler messages - problematic with photos though I guess.

  2. sounds like a quick post on Outdoor Magic. I can think of at least 1 guru on there who should be able to help.

  3. Ta Andy, ta John - You are right Andy - the problem is with the pictures - I bought a camera especially as it has the same memory card as the Palm so I could use the pictures - What I think I might do if I cannot sort this is to post the pictures every two weeks or so when I have the laptop on my days off and just post by email from the PDA in the meantime - Of course the ideal will be to do pictures and text at the same time.
    I will see what I can do in the next few weeks - my importnat stuff for the next three weeks is to complete the route and print it out!

    Thanks again for trying to help - I will try to ask the boys on OM John - Good idea.

  4. Hi Alan,

    I am not sure that this will help you at all, because I don't have a Palm and I am not overly computer-savvy. But I do have a Windows Mobile machine and have overcome some challenges.

    First off, for some reason that's beyond me, it seems best to create a Word document on your desktop computer even if it's got nothing in it, and then copy that to your PDA - rather than start the document on the PDA. The particular problem that this overcomes is that when you migrate the document back to your desktop after writing to it on your PDA, then it has all the attributes of a Word document rather than the stripped down wordpro that the PDA has inbuilt. Again, this might not be valid for a Palm. Anyway, my PDA now have a hundred empty Word douments prepared on my desktop, all ready for PDA inputs.

    The other thought I have here is to use a flash memory card to store the docs, and then you'll be able more easily to move the doc to a desktop computer enroute (e.g., at an internet cafe) for uploading to your blog.

    I have an added difficulty with my Windows-based PDA that it can't handle attachments in email, and that's required a special browser. I won't elaborate unless you have a similar problem.

    I share your pain in doing route-planning for 1000 miles (in my case) one mile at a time. The Landranger OS memory maps (2004 edition) are working pretty well, though, so it's mostly a large job for me rather than a problem-plagued one. Of course, to select 10 good miles, you've probably looked at 50 miles of other alternatives.

    Your blog reads wonderfully. You have the gift of writing spontaneously and well!



  5. Alan, could you tell us more about the ease/difficulty of finding wifi hotspots? Thanks!

  6. Alan,

    My thoughts about starting with a Word doc on your dektop (or laptop) . . . they wouldn't logically solve the problem of being unable to cut-and-paste extensively from your PDA to the blog . . . but I thought they were worth mentioning just in case ILLOGIC prevails, and it solves your problem. It amazes one how often a computer snafu is solved by something that makes no direct sense. Since the Palm programs are probably less well-developed than the desktop ones, it seemed worth a shot.


  7. Daryl - You are a shiny star - I will try that later this evening & let you know how I get on.
    Many thanks


  8. Alan,

    It looks like you are uploading to your blog fluently now. And I know you are using a Palm and not a Windows Pocket PC op system. Nevertheless I want to somewhat correct the info I offered earlier on file transfer problems from a PDA.

    If I start with a Word document on my desktop, and sync it to my PDA, it appears in the PDA as a Word doc but is immediately converted to a psw file when I edit it. If I create it on the PDA it is also a psw file. That's no problem when I sync back to the desktop (which process converts it to a Word file). But it's a huge problem if I try to email the file from the PDA (or upload it to a blog?). The problem is the receiving computer can't open a psw file.

    The solution is to consciously save it on the PDA as a Word doc. That doesn't happen through the normal automatic save process that the PDA uses. After saving it as a Word doc, I then have to delete the psw file to avoid confusing myself.

    I imagine there could be an analogous problems with picture files.

    This may all be history for you now. Here's a test: Are you able to email your files directly from your PDA (e.g., with wifi) and open them upon receipt on your desktop? I would have emailed my wife all sorts of trip reports on the hike that she could not open if I had not learned this. Oddly, there does not seem to be any way to open the offending-format file on a desktop.




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