Although the Palm HotSync technology is great for keeping information between your Mac and Palm up to date, and for installing new software, it isn't very visual. Wouldn't it be nice if you could view and install files via a Finder-like window on your Desktop?
Palm Buddy allows you to interact your files in such a fashion. Once you install the Palm portion of the package, you can then run the Palm Buddy application. It will communicate with your Palm (make sure to disable HotSync first) and display a Finder-like window. This window will contain several folders, including System, Preference Panels, Built-In Applications, and possibly others.
If you expand a folder, it will show your files, with an appropriate icon, the file name, the file size, the number of records or resources in the file, and the backup and read-only status. Double-clicking on a file will reveal a Get Info type of window, with more detailed information such as file type and creator (sound familiar?), creation and modification dates, and more.
You can perform a backup of individual files by dragging them from the Palm Buddy window to your Desktop. You can also perform a full or incremental backup, with the file structure of the Palm Buddy window duplicated on your Mac. For the curious, you could examine the contents of files that aren't normally transferred during a HotSync operation. Not that we're suggesting you peek around in the ROM files to see if there are any secret messages...
You can also install applications, or transfer data documents to your Palm, by dragging the documents to the Palm Buddy window. A plug-in translation architecture is supported. There are several plug-ins that will convert Mac documents to common Palm document types, or you can build your own plug-in with the available SDK. For conversion of Word and Excel documents, be sure to check out Documents to Go.
The Palm borrows heavily from the Mac in terms of ease-of-use and elegance, and Palm Buddy helps complete the experience by making the Palm seem like an integrated part of your Mac Desktop.
Have any other Mac-specific Palm gadgets you'd like us to look at? Let John know via email, or share it with the rest of us on the Mac Gadget Forum.
Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.
John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at