September 2002

Microsoft releases Entourage X conduit for Palm
Many Mac OS X users will be happy to hear that the long awaited Entourage X conduit for Palm devices has been released by Microsoft. The conduit promises to sync the Address Book, Date Book, ToDo, and Memo Pad. However, there may be a few problems for some users.

I have been unable to sync the Address Book reliably, for example. The program has taken my address DB of 1,035 contacts (139K) and messed them up quite well. When choosing "Handheld Overwrites Desktop" (necessary because a lot has changed since I switched to OS X) I end up with 197 contacts in Entourage and 1035 on the Palm... only now the data file on the Palm measures over 2MB and fills up the remaining RAM on my m515. My testing is not complete, but two attempts have produced the exact same result.

Be warned before downloading and installing the new conduit, and be sure to have good backups of your valuable data. Also prepare to have many long since expired appointments pop up as "Overdue" when the Date Book begins to sync. If you have external storage, now's a good time to invest in Backup Buddy VFS before you experiment with this new conduit.

Addendum: Changing the Identity name from Main Identity to the Palm device's user name allows all entries to sync reliably to Entourage, yet the file size reported by the Palm device is now 7252K, with only 92.9K available on the device. The conduit must be writing files in an unconventional manner.

Addendum 2: After doing the above and overwriting the Palm with the files on my SD card, the pair sync just fine. But when I add a name to the Palm and HotSync it, the file size on the Palm goes up by 10K. Add another name and the same happens, up by 10K. Before HotSync the value doesn't change, because a single entry seldom has a large effect (139K stores 1035 records on my device).

If you're experiencing similar problems, or if you find a solution, please email me at -Shawn Barnett
-- Posted Wednesday, September 25, 2002 by sab