Tuesday, September 1, 1998

Installing the Palm 2MB upgrade card


By David Gewirtz

Welcome to the September issue of PalmPower. We've got some really interesting material for you this month, including reviews of two fascinating Graffiti-replacement products: Jot and TealScript. And next month, we're fixing to look at some additional keyboard replacement tools including something called T9, which is something like a predictive keypad for the PalmPilot organizer.

One of the neat things about running a publication is that you get to play with the cool toys. But these Graffiti-replacement products seem to take a lot of memory and my poor PalmPilot Professional device was beginning to burst at the seams. It was time to bite the bullet. It was time to do the upgrade. I got in my trusty Subaru Forester, galloped down to Computer City, plunked down $129 of my hard earned bucks, and bought the Palm 2MB Upgrade.

We covered the Palm III organizer in considerable depth in March. And we've talked about the 2MB upgrade card. But a scan through our back issues showed we never really discussed the "how tos" of upgrading from a PalmPilot device to a pseudo-Palm III device using the Palm 2MB Upgrade. And so it came to pass that this column would discuss just that.

I had a rough time doing my upgrade. This column will tell you all about it. Most important, at the end of the column are two procedures for performing the upgrade, including a detailed, step-by-step procedure for reinstalling applications if everything goes to crap on your first upgrade attempt.

What's in the box

For a little tiny memory card and an ABS plastic door, the box was rather heavy. It turns out you get a completely new set of Palm manuals (for the Palm III), a new installation CD (diskettes available on request), a software resources catalog, and, of course, the memory card and new memory door.

The memory door's just slightly thicker than its predecessor and contains a small, rectangular red "eye" where the IR beam can pass through.

Before I go further, I should also note that it's been somewhat difficult getting one of these upgrades. Palm's own site lists the 2MB Upgrade as being backordered (through the end of August, which is still a few weeks away, as I write this), and many of the mail order houses and retail resellers don't stock it.

Installing Palm Desktop 3.0

The Palm 2MB upgrade also comes with Palm Desktop 3.0, which adds a few new, nice features like file linking and a built-in Palm Install tool. The first step in upgrading to the 2MB Upgrade card, according to Palm's documentation, is installing the new Palm Desktop 3.0.