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Missing Sync and the Garnet VM on Nokia n810

In the long and continuing saga to have a decent mobile Internet solution that is friendly to Free Software, I’ve been working out a porting strategy to get rid of my Treo 650, which, while it’s been useful, is now beyond the end of its useful life. The replacement for the Treo is a Nokia n810, which is not a phone, but can use a phone over Bluetooth to get Internet access. It’s a great little linux box, with a Mozilla-based browser with Flash and wealth of 3rd party apps via .deb repositories. Wifi, bluetooth, GPS, etc. Meanwhile, I want a phone with good phone audio quality (pretty much rules out smartphones – bummer), EVDO, Bluetooth, and 4+ hours talk time (so I can run it all day without charging). A flip-phone is really what I want, to avoid accidental dialing in my pocket (DAMHINT), not just for the Captain Kirk factor.

I have a decent workflow established with the Treo 650 and Missing Sync on Mac OS X that works pretty well for me. Access, the company which owns Palm OS, released, a while back, a PalmOS 5 emulator for the Nokia n810 which runs all the basic Palm applications. I tried getting this working earlier but wasn’t successful.

Now that’s changed. One unexpected checkbox later and I have full HotSync between n810/Garnet and Missing Sync 5.1 on Mac OS X 10.4.11. Here’s how to do it:

First, in the Sharing Pane of System Preferences, make a new firewall exception like this, to allow in Network HotSync preferences:

Now, add a new handheld in Missing Sync, and change the Preferences, to include these:

And set the various standard conduits to overwrite data on handheld with desktop (once only).

Now, on the Garnet VM, put in the IP address of your Mac (dns didn’t work for me), and click the HotSync button. You should get a successful sync. Do it again to make sure it does nothing, quickly, indicating successful sync. Change some data on both ends and make sure it syncs. OK, you’ve got sync.

Now, go back and uncheck the allow-all-handhelds-to-network-sync box to protect your data. Make sure ‘Network’ is set in ‘Edit Handhelds’, and it’ll continue to work. I’m not sure what happens the first time, but there must be some handheld negotiation that’s required without permissions. Minor inconvenience, just needs to be documented.

All the iCal stuff should sync just fine, but MemoPad apparently doesn’t allow a way for sharing Memos between handhelds. So, to get this you also need to copy the Memo data file; copy:




and sync again. You should have all your common Palm data on the n810 at this point.

Have fun. I ordered a new-in-box Motorola e815 radio from eBay for $90, which meets all my phone criteria. From here, I’d like to move to KDE PIM apps, and perhaps OpenSync. OpenSync to iSync is a non-starter, currently, but perhaps SyncML can bridge the gap.