Pocket PCs and OSX: Hard Times

I’ve got a Dell Axim PDA that’s heavily used; it’s the system of record for my to-dos and calendar items as well as little notes. For the last 5 months it’s existed as a stand-alone device–it never synced to a computer, and I’d periodically backup to a SD card in case of an outage. The problem with that is since the device sat in my bag, if I’d set up a reminder for a chore I wouldn’t see or hear it go off and it’s handy to view a calendar entry while on the phone.

So, I bought PocketMac Lite to sync the Axim to my Mac. It’s been anything but a bliss ride. The first problem–just getting PocketMac to see the Axim–was quickly resolved with a tech support ticket with PocketMac. It turns out there’s a bug in the Device Locator App and there’s a fix. I merrily started syncing away and noticed that after about six or seven syncs it would time out on the tasks a lot. A quick look at the Task app on the Axim showed I had a whopping 1300 tasks. There is no way I had that many tasks, and a little research showed there were six or seven copies of every task, including completed ones. A check of iCal aslo showed many duplicates. So, I deleted all of them on the Mac, did a sync which then deleted them off the Axim. I blamed it on the Entourage-to-iCal Sync Services and disabled that.

Now tasks from the Axim are showing up on the Mac, but Mac tasks are not getting to the Axim. I’ve still got the duplication issue, and I can’t figure out any rhyme or reason behind it; I can do five syncs in a row with no duplicate, but the sixth might be the one that duplicates everything. This is far from an ideal situation.

So, I opened up another ticket with PocketMac this morning that’s gone unanswered. Until I get it resolved, I’ve got two options: I can use a different task program on the Axim doesn’t sync with iCal, or I can break out my Handspring Visor which syncs well with OSX. Neither of these are ideal options. I won’t be syncing tasks with iCal, so I can’t view them on the Mac, and the Handspring is seven-year-old technology with a grayscale display (however, it does take AAA batteries so I can always keep a few around). I’ve got the extended battery for the Axim and it has a nice color display. While the Axim is my main choice, I think tonight I’ll be syncing with the Handspring to test that out, again.

Hopefully, I’ll get the PocketMac issue solved. I’m not hopeful, since a quick Google search yielded a post on MacUpdate by a person with the exact same problem and he hasn’t heard back from PocketMac yet.