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  1.    #1  
    I'm on a visit to Paris and 30 minutes after my arrival a horrible thing happened. I was the victim of a pickpocket, and the stolen object was my Treo! 270!!! I had used the Treo throughout the day up to that point. Made phone calls, looked up the train reservation number from SnapperMail to pick up my e-ticket, read and sent email while on the train, played games, sent SMS's, used a lovely English-French dictionary I downloaded the night before, used the wonderful MetrO program to guide me to the station where I was to change subway lines. That was the last time I saw my beloved Treo before I put it in my pocket. The next time I reached for it to double-check a station name (less than 5 minutes later), it was GONE!!

    I can not begin to describe how lost I felt. For starters, my hotel name and reservation confirmation (among MANY other tings) were only in an email on the Treo. I spent 2 hours until I was able to locate my hotel and check in. The magnitude of the loss I feel is indescribable, but I think many here will understand. I also feel that my privacy has been violently violated. My Treo had TONS of information on it, personal and business -- it only had ~500k left out of the 16M. I've been using a Palm since 1996 and generally delete nothing. Moving from model to model all I did was hotsync and I was in business. So you can imagine how much info is on that device. The ironic thing is that 30 minutes prior to the incident I tried to hide private records, but the Security app was giving me a fatal exception. After trying 3 times I gave up. In addition to all the stuff that was already on it, SnapperMail is setup to retrieve email from two of my accounts (passwords are saved!!)... TopGun SSH is setup to login to my home machine... I could go on and on. No clear passwords were stored anywhere (I never do that). I am at an internet cafe and I have changed all the passwords that the Treo knows.

    I know... it was VERY stupid not to have it locked, but please don't remind me. I had tried a few locking apps and I didn't like any of them... then I forgot about it.

    I called Vodafone whose SIM card was in the phone, and they said they put a block on the SIM and the phone itself (using the IMEI number that they know was being used with the SIM card). So it should be as good as a door nail as a phone. They told me they can't track the phone. My best hope is that for it to run out of batteries before the perpetrators find a charger and for all that info to be lost.

    Ahhh... I have to cool down for a few days before I can think of what I'm going to do. Another 270 from Amazon at $70 (or whatever they are selling it for these days) sounds like the thing to do. But I have to think through the year's commitment with the upcoming 600.
    Last edited by silverado; 07/04/2003 at 02:22 PM.
  2. #2  
    You have my sincerest sympathies. This is a story we can all relate to, and one we can learn from. I have PDA Defense, but have kept it unactivated. No more.
  3. #3  
    Oye ... I feel for ya. I shuddered as I read your post. Thanks for telling us, however, as we all need to be given a "heads-up" on this possibility. I, for one, am totally dependent on mine and perhaps now I will seriously consider some security app.

    Get something [cheap] to tide you over ... then get a 600 this Fall.


    On another note ... perhaps we should start a lost/stolen Treo support group? And I am only half joking ...

  4. #4  
    What *IS* the best/most recommended security app. for the Palm/Treo??

    Anybody have any suggestions?
  5. #5  
    Silverado, sorry to hear about that buddy. I must admit that I've never bothered to lock down my PDAs, partially because I'm too lazy to bother, partially because they're always near me.

    Where was your Treo? In one of your front pockets or a back pocket? I always keep mine in my front left pocket (nearly always by itself) and even when I wear a baggier pair of pants (and knowing how good some of these pockets supposedly are) I can't imagine anyone could ever reach in there without me knowing it.

    Too bad there isn't some way the cell providers could remotely access your device and essentially perform a hard reset. I'd hate to think of the implications of them having this capability, but it would be nice in situations like this for you to be able to call them, provide verification that you are who you say you are, and give them authorization to wipe your PDA clean.

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  6. #6  
    There is a program called "Locker" which basically locks your Treo when it is run. I am trying to get the author of TreoHelper to support it so you can send a SMS to your phone and have it lock itself. Unfortunately he hasn't done so, and I don't think he will. If we all bad together and make a polite request, perhaps he will. He doesn't have to support much, simply the launching of the application. The SMS filtering is already set up and the program doesn't need to be launched in any particular way.
  7. #7  
    Wow this really makes you think!!!

    Since reading this I've been playing around with the Security app that comes on the 300. If you lock it immediately it seems to work great. You can still receive calls but for anything else you have to enter your password. The only draw back is once you unlock it you have to go though the steps to lock again. No auto lock.

    Is this not a good or secure app? No one has mentioned it.
  8. #8  
    I feel your pain and sadness. Perhaps the two lessons to be learned from your experience are to back up (synchronize) your information routinely, and secure the information you have on your PDA either by encryption, or a password. I'd wait for the T600 at this point... Good luck!
    m00se
    I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
    -Mark Twain
  9. #9  
    my sympathies. i have had a similar experience, but not as bad as yours - my treo got smashed in bicycle accident - so i had to do without a treo for over 2 months and those two months were hell for me. i just wasn't able to function fully on nearly all walks of life. just like you, i have information from 1996 (it was a palmIII then) onwards synced into my treo.
    i just hope that your thief runs out of battery soon and isn't able to charge the device.
  10. #10  
    I am new to my treo, picked up a 180 last week of off fleabay;
    migrated from a m105. This situation has stirred some insecurities.
    Not so much someone could run off with all my business contacts
    or my calendar, but more of how much time I have spent getting
    the apps and preferences that work for me. On my pc I ghost
    image my drives every week, recovery is all of 10 minutes. Is
    there an app that images both rom/flash and would restore ?
  11. ocs
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    #11  
    Originally posted by KRamsauer
    I am trying to get the author of TreoHelper to support it so you can send a SMS to your phone and have it lock itself. Unfortunately he hasn't done so, and I don't think he will. If we all bad together and make a polite request, perhaps he will.
    TreoHelper is open source, isn't it?

    http://rallypilot.sourceforge.net/treohelper.html

    So the nice thing about that is that the original author doesn't have to do it him(?)self, and you don't have to rely on the original author to get this feature.

    And you're right, in looking at the app (for the first time) it seems like a very simple change, compared to what it does already.

    Oliver
  12.    #12  
    Originally posted by Scott R

    Where was your Treo? In one of your front pockets or a back pocket? I always keep mine in my front left pocket (nearly always by itself) and even when I wear a baggier pair of pants (and knowing how good some of these pockets supposedly are) I can't imagine anyone could ever reach in there without me knowing it.
    My Treo usually sat in my front pant pocket, but because I was wearing a wind breaker type jacket and my hands were tied with luggage (and I was going to be looking at it frequently for a while) I put it in my jacket side pocket That was my fatal mistake.
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by ocs


    TreoHelper is open source, isn't it?

    http://rallypilot.sourceforge.net/treohelper.html

    So the nice thing about that is that the original author doesn't have to do it him(?)self, and you don't have to rely on the original author to get this feature.

    And you're right, in looking at the app (for the first time) it seems like a very simple change, compared to what it does already.

    Oliver
    It is open source? I didn't realize that. Anyhoo, I don't have the knowledge to do it, nor the time to gain the knowledge, or else I would. Anyone want to be more effective than I?
  14.    #14  
    Originally posted by KRamsauer
    There is a program called "Locker" which basically locks your Treo when it is run. I am trying to get the author of TreoHelper to support it so you can send a SMS to your phone and have it lock itself. Unfortunately he hasn't done so, and I don't think he will. If we all bad together and make a polite request, perhaps he will. He doesn't have to support much, simply the launching of the application. The SMS filtering is already set up and the program doesn't need to be launched in any particular way.
    Though this is an interesting idea, I don't think it would help with most real phone thieves since they would immediately turn the phone off. I tried calling my phone as soon as I was able to, and it was turned off. It should not be a huge development effort, so it may be benefitial in some cases.
    Last edited by silverado; 07/06/2003 at 03:04 PM.
  15. #15  
    Originally posted by silverado

    Though this is an interesting idea, I don't think it would help with most real phone thieves would immediately turn the phone off. I tried calling my phone as soon as I was able to, and it was turned off. It should not be a huge development effort, so it may be benefitial in some cases.
    While that is definitely a possibility, the beauty of an SMS is that it will be sent to the phone as soon as it's turned on, so if the thief every gets curious, it'll kill the phone. We agree on my main point though, and that is all the pieces are in place except for one, and that doesn't seem too hard.
  16.    #16  
    Can someone think of anything wrong with getting a 270 (with a new phone number) from Amazon at $70? I would then upgrade to a 600 when it comes out. Sounds like a great deal. I guess I can get a free phone from T-Mobile with a year contract, but at this price, why bother?

    Please let me know what you think.

    Anyone knows when this offer expires?
  17. #17  
    You have to sign a contract, no?
  18. #18  
    Silverado, via Amazon you'd have to sign a year contract with T-Mobile (using Treo 270). The Treo 600 will run on the CDMA networks (Sprint) so you won't be able to use it with T-Mobile. Breaking the contract with T-Mobile is costly to boot. I had good luck buying my T270 on eBay and I now use it without a contract, with T-Mobile . Still, if I'd be in your situation, I'd wait for the T600 because a GSM T600 (or rather T570) in the US isn't coming soon enough.
    m00se
    I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
    -Mark Twain
  19. #19  
    Originally posted by KRamsauer
    While that is definitely a possibility, the beauty of an SMS is that it will be sent to the phone as soon as it's turned on, so if the thief every gets curious, it'll kill the phone. We agree on my main point though, and that is all the pieces are in place except for one, and that doesn't seem too hard.
    I recall reading that Handspring has already or has planned to integrate such features in the future:

    Mobile database software developer iAnywhere Solutions Inc. will update its SQL Anywhere Studio to Version 9 in the third quarter, making it simpler to develop Web services that link back-office applications with mobile devices, the company said yesterday

    <snip>

    Other changes will make life easier for developers, Kleisath said. These changes include the ability to make dynamic SQL queries in the mobile application and to initiate synchronization of the mobile database from the server, either over a mobile Internet connection or by sending a Short Message Service message to a phone-based device, causing it to dial the server, he said. This technique can be used with Handspring Inc.'s Treo, a combination phone/handheld device from Kyocera Wireless Corp. or a Hewlett-Packard Co. iPaq handheld with cellular wireless capability, he said...
    There were some other articles I remember reading where they specifically talked about a way to delete info on a treo remotely from a server! I try to find that later... In any case, I think its soemthing that is actively being worked on.

    However, if you guys can get this done via open-source, then even better!! This certainly is a cool idea...
  20. #20  
    I had heard that a GSM (and GPRS) version would be introduced as well, so you would not have to cancel your T-Mobile contract.
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