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  1. akula34's Avatar
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       #1  
    Iím a daily visitor yet an infrequent poster but after finally upgrading (story to follow) to a Treo 650 from my trusty 600, I decided it was about time to share my story. For those of you who donít like long posts, this one is going to be HUGEÖ.

    Background

    Iím a long time Palm user. VERY LONG TIME!! I started out with a Palm IIIx when I went to college over six years ago. Iíve upgraded over the years to a Palm m515, then a Tungsten T to a Treo 600 back when Handspring was still making them. I had one touchscreen stop working on my original model after about a month, but Iíve had the same Handspring (not Palm branded!!) Treo 600 for the last 26 months. Iíve used it as designed. No protective case. I used a Covertec side pouch (GREAT CASE) and a G2 Screen protector, but naked when in my hand. Itís been dropped down a hatch on a submarine and survived just fine. Iíd replaced the battery on my Treo 600 about five months ago when I started to see significant decrease in battery life. Iím a heavy user. I use this phone for everything. Not as much when I go to sea. (Iím a submarine officer. Turns out the phone doesnít work underwater in a steel tube. Imagine that!!) Iíve seen programs evolve from beta tests to mature programs years ago. I get teary eyed sometimes when I think about the good old days. AnywayÖ so much for reminiscing.

    Upgrading
    So there are threads everywhere on Treocentral about upgrading experiences. Iíve read most of them. (My wife can attest to that!!) Yet Iím going to add one more. AnywayÖ my upgrade story. When the Treo 650 was originally released, I dragged my wife to Boston to attend the Palm Roadshow. They actually let my wife register at the door and we both attended the seminar and at the end received the discount coupons to allow us to buy the 650 for $349 back when it had just been released. After reading so many comments and complaints about the original release, I decided not to be a trail blazer and to stick with my rock solid Treo 600. I ordered two phones and once received, they immediately went up on eBay. Fast forward a little over a year and two moves later (Gotta love the military. From San Diego to Portsmouth is quite a weather change.) Technically I shouldnít have had a camera on my cell phone due to security regulations, but since they didnít have the camera-less ones when I originally bought my 600, thatís what I had. I only used my phone as an alarm clock at sea so the security manager let me use it. Now that Iím up in the shipyard in Portsmouth, NH I decided it was time to either have my trusty 600 replaced with a refurbished phone without a camera by Sprint or try to finagle an upgrade to a refurbished 650 without camera. My wife was skeptical that I could pull it off, but I had some very good luck with Customer Service and had an unusual situation. About 10 phone calls later between Lock-Line and Sprint and two hours of charm and being nice on the phone (itís amazing how far remembering the name of the Customer Service rep when they say hello and using it will go) I was put on hold one final time. Lock-Line said that they wouldnít replace the 600 with one without a camera even though Sprint had authorized a ďmodel-exchangeĒ for me. Janet (my CS rep) came back on the phone and told me that sheíd spoken to her supervisor and they were going to replace my 26 month old Treo 600 with a BRAND NEW, no camera version Treo 650 as a ďwarranty replacementĒ even though my warranty expired 14 months ago. I was ecstatic!! Not only did I not have to pay the $50 deductible, Sprint paid for the shipping too!! Two days later, my new baby arrived. After reading all the threads about trying to get an upgrade from Sprint and the difficulty most people encounter, I consider myself VERY lucky.

    The Transition
    My phone arrived two days after my phone call when I had 24 hour duty and couldnít play with my new phone. My wife was very kind to put it on the charger so I could take start working as soon as I got home.

    I had prepared by downloading all of the software Iíd already registered and some programs specifically designed for the 650. I was READY to go. Problem was, my computer didnít want to play nice. Iíd backed up the entire laptop to my external hard drive and decided to remove ALL traces of Palm and Handspring software. I uninstalled EVERYTHING!! And I mean everything. I then restarted the computer to clear out the RAM and .dllís. The computer decided to not play nice. My ThinkPad had always been solid until the day I decided to upgrade. Some two hours later, I got the computer working again and I was ready to go. Iíd saved the Palm backup folder to reinstall if the 650 didnít work out. I recommend this to anyone upgrading. A completely fresh install of all software worked AWESOME for me!! I decided to do the Sprint 1.13a ROM update and immediately install a custom ROM without even installing any testing. Took a risk, but Iíve been using Palms for years and I felt comfortable. I removed the following programs according to Shadowmites instructions:

    1. VersaMail
    2. Non-English Default connection files.
    3. Get Business Connection
    4. Handango Launcher
    5. RealPlayer
    6. Quick Tour
    7. Several random files Shadowmite designated as removable.

    I then installed the following programs to ROM:
    1. Ultrasoft Money
    2. Datebk6 beta (This one obviously will eventually be removed and replaced.)

    Installed the ROM, crossed my fingers, and hard reset!! PERFECT ON THE FIRST TRY!!! Then began the slow and painful process of installing the files individually. I wanted to eliminate conflicts before they started. Below is my current configuration, which seems to be working fairly stable. Iím still tweaking settings trying to get some programs to play nice, but so far so good. Iíve included links and descriptions of all programs installed to help those that may not know of these programs. TreoCentral is designed to help those who havenít been around all too long. Hopefully this will expose someone to a new program or two!! (Free Programs are listed with an *)

    Software
    BackupMan: My backup solution of choice for now. Efficient and reliable. Iíve heard RescoBackup is an alternative, but I havenít tried it out since I already owned BackupMan from my 600.
    Butler: Utility program. Only useful features to me are the voicemail indication, key launch, and remote wipe ability.
    ChatterMail: Iím currently on my 30 day trial. AWESOME email program!!! I donít use push email, but itís probably the top pick in the email category. I love the interface and the program overall. Iím still determining stability. Iím a registered SnapperMail user, so I can always revert back if need be!!
    ChemTable*: Free, well designed Periodic Table. Useful for students. Tons of data.
    Cleanup: (Part of the NeatFreak Plus pack) Cleans up leftover files from deleted programs. Removes orphaned preferences as well. Essential if youíre not willing to do a hard reset and clear out junk by reinstalling all programs individually.
    Converter*: Simple, free unit converter. Ever wonder how many grams in a pound?? Litres in a gallon?
    Directory Assistant (DA) *: ESSENTIAL!!! Allows you to look up a phone number, address, or do a reverse lookup on the internet. Copy addresses from the lookup function and get MapQuest directions from an address book entry! I cannot tell you how many times this program has saved us in a new place. Want to figure out where the closest Target is when youíre driving!? Use this program!!
    DateDiff*: Simple date counting program. Impress your wife with how many days itís been since your wedding!!
    DateBk6 (Beta): ESSENTIAL!!! Iíve used this program from when it was DateBk3. *wipes away tear* My babyís all grown up!! Calendar program. Try it. Two choices. This or Agendus. I travel quite a bit and there one HUGE feature that is missing from Agendus. Time zones!!! For any traveler that uses a Treo for business, itís a must!!
    DayNotez: Awesome journaling app. Mimics the right hand column from paper day planners. Allows me to record events or take notes as they happen. I used to carry a paper wheel book to jot notes on, now I can use this and use the built in find function to find exactly what Iím looking for.
    Documents to Go Premium: Came with Treo. Used for years. Allows user to edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, and more!! Attachments are now useful on my Treo!!!
    eWallet: ESSENTIAL!!! Password Manager. Iíve tried the others. SplashID, PasswordPlus, and some free options and have always come back to this one. It was just updated to include a password generator. I use this on my Treo and my desktop to keep track of all my passwords, accounts, and sensitive information. Encrypted. Protect your personal information.
    FileZ*: Free file manager. Manage apps in RAM and on your SD card.
    FieldsPlus*: Allows you to select text by word. Freeware version similar to TreoSelecText.
    FlightStatus*: Lookup flight status simply. Written by a 16 year old. I have the airline mobile sites bookmarked just in case. I never trust online flight info anyway. Always get to the airport early!!!
    Handmark Express 2.0: I LOVE THIS PROGRAM!!! Mostly for the sports info. I use my $5 monthly credit to make this $1.99 a month. Provides News, Sports, Weather, Movie Info, Dictionary, Thesaurus, Directions, 411, and More. Useful, but requires a monthly fee. You get what you pay for in life though.
    HandZipperLite*: Open zip files on your handheld and extract those pesky .prcís!! Free.
    Intelligolf: I own the birdie edition. Might upgrade to the Eagle for GPS if I can convince my wife I need one!! AnywayÖ if you golf, you want this program. I love it. Allows me to track how I do on the course. Provides extremely detailed statistics about your game. Track multiple players. Check it out!! GREAT PROGRAM!!!
    IconManager*: Customize those icon sets!! I create icons as I need them. Used to cost money (I paid) now itís freeware!
    KeyCaps600*: Quickly capitalize or get the alternate character. Some people swear by this program. Iím still tweaking my settings. I still get wW.yahO.com because I type too fast. Iíll get my settings correct sometime.
    Keyshades*: Keyboard light control. Simple program. Uses the side button to toggle the keyboard lights. GENIUS!!!
    LauncherX: Launcher program. Iíve been using this since it was Launcher III. This program is no longer in development due to the tragic death of itís developer in an automobile accident. I believe the rights were bought by someone else, but I havenít seen any upgrades other than the center button hotfix. Iím going to try ZLauncher this weekend to see what all the fuss is about. Maybe Iíll be a believer!! Simple interface. No junk.
    LifeBalance: Alternate ToDo application. Uses fuzzy math to determine priority based on inputs you provide. Also uses places to eliminate certain items you are unable to accomplish based on location. Expensive, but very useful one itís set up properly. Use it for my personal todos. Work uses ShadowPlan (see below).
    LightWav Pro: MP3 ringtones. Current version is rock solid. Love the area code addition! May look at CallFilter because of the integration with ProfileCare but worried about stability. (Already bought LightWav, so it would have to blow me away to change.)
    MinutesPlus*: Track your cellphone usage. Counts minutes. Highly customizable.
    Treonauts*: Mobile software store from www.treonauts.com. Easy trial downloads.
    OnGuard Backup: (Part of NeatFreak Plus from NorthGlide) I love the concept of this program. Backs up selected programs when you exit them. No more lost data because you worked all day and your backup was from the previous day when you had to hard reset!!
    PalmVNC*: Free Virtual Private Network program. Control your home computer from work!! Ever forget something at home?? Need a file? Email it to yourself using your Treo!! Freaks my wife out though when I take control of the laptop when sheís using it!!
    PalmaSutra*: EducationalÖ. *wink, wink*
    pTunes Deluxe: MP3 player. I use it mostly for ringtones, but can be used for steaming audio feeds and as a dedicated MP3 Player. I have an IPod video for that.
    PocketTV Browser*: GREAT PROGRAM!!! Customizable TV Guide program that allows you to carry up to 14 days worth of TV listings on your phone. Uses XMLTV to download listings from Zap2It Labs.
    PocketMirror Pro XT: Synchronize your Outlook Contacts, Notes, Calendar, and Tasks with your Treo. Indispensable program. Much better than provided Outlook Conduit.
    Power48*: For those of you out there that remember the good olí days of HP calculators will love this program. It allows you to emulate your beloved 48SX, 48GX, or 49G. Only works on the 650. Requires HiRes.
    ProfileCare & ScheduleCare: ESSENTIAL!!! Profiles for the 650. Change settings easily. Very responsive developer.
    SmartListToGo: Database program. Syncs with Microsoft Access. I planned my entire wedding using this program. I created a guest list with all the fields I needed (names, RSVP, number invited, number confirmed, etc.) It allowed my wife and I to have updated wedding plans with us at all times. Very, very useful program. I track movies watched, books read, places Iíve lived (required for my security clearance), etc. Canít wait until the next release. I expect forms!! HanDBase is the other option.
    ShadowPlan: Project manager. I use this for work. Iím a submarine officer in the US Navy. I used this to track all non-classified information. (Canít put classified material on PDAs) Allows me to effectively track tasks. Good program with a desktop component.
    TCPMP*: Downloaded yesterday. Havenít used it yet. Plays videos and various file formats. Many threads about this program. I have high expectations.
    TealAuto: Gas mileage tracker and automobile maintenance program. Expensive. Worth it if you want to have detailed information about your car with you at all times.
    Tides*: Ocean tides program. Useful to get a ballpark tide. Iím still required to use the publications to get the exact tides and currents, but close enough for your average sailor!! Includes tides and currents all over the world.
    TrackerDog*: Software version tracker. Allows you to see which programs installed on your Treo are out of date over the air (OTA).
    Tome Raider 3 (TR3)*: Ebook reader. There are many EBook readers out there and the reason I like this one is the files. You can download a version of the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) to your Treo!! Best partÖ itís free. Tons of other interesting downloads. Get them here.
    TreoGuard: I hate this program but itís a necessary evil. Prevents keys from answering phone calls accidentally but does nothing to keep the screen off. I hate that my hard buttons wake my Treo. KeepOff below used to prevent ANY button from waking my Treo 600 except the top power button. Iím trying to find a developer who can modify the code for KeepOff for the 650. Any takers??? See this thread for details!! I have the source code but lack the necessary programming skills.
    Quizzler Pro*: Quiz program. Helps you learn things. Make your own quizzes.
    Ultrasoft Money: ESSENTIAL!!! MY MOST USED PROGRAM!!! If you use Microsoft Money, this is the companion. I track EVERY SINGLE PENNY I spend!! I can tell you for the last six years what Iíve spent money on. I track my investments, bank accounts, credit cardsÖ EVERYTHING!! This program makes it easy. (Doesnít really stop me from spending, just tells me where my money goes) My wife spends the money, I enter the transaction into my phone as she pays (or as I pay if Iím alone). Awesome interface, easy entry. It then syncs with Microsoft Money when I get home. Even does budgeting!!! Tells you when youíre getting close to your monthly spending limits! I LOVE THIS PROGRAM!!! WellÖ except when my wife wonders why I spent so much on alcoholÖ. *looking guilty* Best program on my Treo. Developer is constantly updating the program. Used this program for YEARS.
    VolumeCare: Volume assist for wimpy Treo 650. Makes the Treo 650 usable.
    Xiino: Alternate browser. Used this on my 600, but donít like the fact that it doesnít have small fonts. Undecided if Iím going to keep it.

    Programs I used on my 600 that I no longer use:
    DateMate: Track birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
    KeepOff: Simple but most used program on my 600. See TreoGuard above for explanation.
    PdaNet: Will eventually upgrade from the 600 version, but havenít gotten around to it yet. Lets you use your Treo as a modem without using minutes or being charged for DUN!!! Essential when I traveled cross country in the car!!!
    Profeo Lite: Great profile program for the 600. Wish there was a 650 version.

    After listing all those programs, I would hate to add up how much money Iíve spent over the years for software for my Palms!!

    Two Week Impression
    Iíve had my Palm for two weeks now and feel that Iíve had enough time to feel out my new phone. Here are my likes and dislikes. Reception seems to be the same on my 600 as my 650.

    LIKES:
    1. Screen: How could you not. I lived with my 600 for two years. Now I canít imagine why.
    2. No camera. I have the camera-less version. Why do I want a useless camera anyway, not to mention the security implications with my job.
    3. Keyboard and buttons. Much easier to type on!!
    4. Dedicated answer and hang-up buttons. Easy to answer or ignore!!
    5. Bluetooth. Still waiting on my Motorola Razr H3 and Sony HBH-662 to arrive. Should be Friday!! Canít wait to try them out!! The Razr looks sexy and the 662 was highly recommended!!

    DISLIKES:
    1. The antenna. Why did they change it!! Leave it square!!! I used to use it to pull my 600 out of my Covertec horizontal case all the time. Now because itís round, I feel like itís going to slip out of my hands. Iíll probably have to add some type of material to make it non-slip.
    2. Speaking of slipping. The body material on my Treo feels different than my 600. Itís not as tacky, so I donít feel as secure holding it. I know about eGrips, but I use a ProClip holder in my car and that would make it impossible to slide the Treo in.
    3. Color!! Bring back Black!! Black is beautiful!!
    4. No top power button. That was the only button that turned my Treo on. Now Iím forced to use that *expletive deleted* keyguard.
    5. Replaceable battery. I have mixed feelings about this. I rarely drained my battery on my 600 all the way and never required an extra battery. I even replaced my ďnon-user replaceableĒ battery on my 600 with no problems. Only gripe about this is how sturdy the Treo feels. My 600 feels much more solid than my 650.
    6. Thickness. My 650 is fatter than my 600. Could be from the Bluetooth radio or the removable battery.
    7. Reset hole. Someone should be fired for this one!!!
    8. Underpowered infrared. Címon now. I have 5 dollar remotes with more powerful infrared.
    9. Button placement. You took away my home button!!!
    10. Universal connector. All my retractable charging cables, accessories, and portable keyboard are now useless. eBay here they come!!
    11. Underpowered vibrate. They could have fixed this after the 600. Unacceptable.
    12. Volume. Are you kidding me? Quality assuranceÖ. Field testing??
    13. NVFS. I donít like the delays caused by it. I know their much improved, but I still think their implementation and lack of memory is a farce. And thatís from an engineer.

    Overall and Conclusion
    Overall, Iím satisfied with the 650. Iím very glad I didnít pay one red cent for it though. I probably would have never upgraded until the 700p (or whatever itís going to be called) comes out. Iím still tweaking her and putting her through her paces. Iíll post my reviews of the Motorola Razr H3 and Sony HBH-662 heasets in the Bluetooth section once they arrive and I test them out. I apologize for the length, but I wrote this over several days time. Iím excited to be back in the mix of things though!! I felt sort of left behind in these forums!! The 600 forum died off considerably when everyone upgraded. All I have to say isÖ. IíM BACK!!!!
    "Only the dead have seen the end of war" - Plato
  2. #2  
    Another Treo 600 antenna lover!

    - mvk
  3. #3  
    Very nice post and even with links. For KeyCaps, set your Click to Lower:e and hold to L>U>O. Won't be able to double click but you found the problem with double clicking.
  4. #4  
    Be sure to use Resco Locker (RLOCK) to lock any of those applications that run in the background or are frequently used. This will not only make the phone more stable (with respect to dbCache) but will also make locked applications launch faster (by avoiding the NVFS->DBCache copy).
  5. #5  
    Thanks for sharing. Your wife sounds very cool. Mine often views my Treo as competition for her affection.
    Visor-->Visor Phone-->Treo 180-->Treo 270-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700P-->Treo 755P-->Centro-->Pre+-->Pre 2
  6. #6  
    Good comprehensive review. What a change going to NH. I used to go to high school there in Exeter. Welcome!!!

    Man, I love the universal connector. All phones should have one standard. I am going to try some of the programs you are using, and maybe the custom ROM. Volume and bluetooth 1.1 are my only major complaints. Hopefully an update will take care of those.
  7. webdave's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Apanther
    Good comprehensive review. What a change going to NH. I used to go to high school there in Exeter. Welcome!!!

    Man, I love the universal connector. All phones should have one standard. I am going to try some of the programs you are using, and maybe the custom ROM. Volume and bluetooth 1.1 are my only major complaints. Hopefully an update will take care of those.
    To me the real universal connector is USB or mini usb. I don't understand why more companies user their own connectors when usb is available. I went from a 650 to a 6700. I did not have to waste money on power cables. I already had a few mini usb cables lying around.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by cesium1024
    Be sure to use Resco Locker (RLOCK) to lock any of those applications that run in the background or are frequently used. This will not only make the phone more stable (with respect to dbCache) but will also make locked applications launch faster (by avoiding the NVFS->DBCache copy).

    dont need it any more if you have the latest official rom. this issue has been taken care of via the firmware itself.
  9. akula34's Avatar
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       #9  
    Does that include Sprint 1.13a???
    "Only the dead have seen the end of war" - Plato
  10. iramike's Avatar
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    #10  
    From reading alot of post here on TC it seems like it sometimes takes several months or more depending on the user to get their particular Treo up, running and stable the way they like it. Personally it took me almost four months to get to where I know where everything is at and its easy to use and stable. Stable being what concerns me most. I enjoyed reading through akula34's post and how all the steps are listed and each program is explained. I think most of us will agree that there are alot of people out there that have no problem with the 650 and take great pride and care in setting it up and making it a huge part of our life!
  11. one918's Avatar
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    #11  
    dont need it any more if you have the latest official rom. this issue has been taken care of via the firmware itself.
    Had RLock and Db Cache Tool and my Sprint 650 was still unstable, so finally hard reset again (sigh). Will see if I need to exchange my Treo . Still running Sprint 1.12a. Maybe a custom rom to make it more stable, or maybe no Verichat or Butler. I suspect one of those programs is the cause of my crashes. Thought I finally found a stable Verichat version (2.89b). Even with Rlock and Db Cache tool, I still get 1-2 resets a day. Maybe a swicth to 1.13 wouldn't be that bad after all!
  12. Hanuman's Avatar
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    #12  
    Very nice post! I am still on my Treo 600 and am very jealous! Enjoy your new 650!
    Palm IIIe -> Visor Deluxe -> Palm 505 -> Clie tj37 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 700P
  13. #13  
    Excellent post. 5 stars for you.
    ē Treo knowledge base (FAQs)

    ē Treo Hater's Club

    Treo 600 (GSM)--> MDA Vario (HTC Wizard)
  14. #14  
    Comments / Suggestions / Questions:

    1. Noticed you bought NeatFreakPak2 but didn't lst what I think of as the 1st program installed on any Treo....Uninstall Manager.

    2. As you start using your SD card more and more, Softick Card Export II will be your friend. They also have a new utility that lets you use stereo BT headphones.

    3. Crash / CrashPro - If you have software conflicts which crash ya Treo, Crash will end reset loops, save battery if it happens in mddle of noight and Pro version will keep log of what did what.

    4. Wanna have fun with your military buddies....download "Thumbscan", it makes belive it scans your thumb and sends print to FBI to check if they are security risk....peeps only get PASS if you hit certain key b4 scanning.....otherwise FAIL and warning sound ensues. Stand on gangplank with this as your men return from weekend pass and have great fun

    5. mReset and MemInfo - useful for viewing status freeing up memory via soft reset. I use mReset before/after using EDGE or TomTom to keep system from getting cranky. It soft resets device va sceen tap....no need to remove cover.

    6. I also was an avid Launcher III user but gave it (LauncherX) up with the 650 as I like the clean interface of the 650's default launcher. PowerRUn handles moving proigram back and forth to the card if you find ZLauncher too much.

    7. STOIC lets Treo STay On In Cradle

    8. TideTool is a very good alternate to the one you mentioned.....helps me nail the tides when striper fishing.

    9. TreoAlarm manages 8 repeating alarms for me which wake me up and fiffeern times (weekday vs weekenm), turn phone radio on off at avrious time sof day (again weekday and weekend schedules) and d/l weather forecasts.

    10. My favorite Treo App is Time Manger Pad a Treo Calendar replacement. Lowe cost alternative to the big fancy programs whose features I don't need.

    11. Gona try your calendar diff program....one I sued always crashed the Treo and wehn I reinstalled ROM, said it wasn't compatable.

    12. No SoundRecorder or Vocepad ?

    13. PalmPuke seems to work best for me as a SD card popout warning.

    14. In addition to Daynotez, Natara has a fine scheduling rogram which you might compare to the one you use....ina ddition to a Project Outline (Bonsai) and a Call logger (Comet)

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