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  1.    #1  
    I have just posted this to a thread in the "Treo 650 Hardware" forum, but now I think about it maybe it is better here, and this is annoying enough that I think it deserves its own thread until resolved.

    Summary: In the standard Treo 650 calendar application, location information is shown but disappears from the screen when selected, meaning you cannot cut/paste it, and although available in the Details screen, this is only in a fixed-width field so you cannot reach what you want if the location information is long - which is typically is in a business. This makes the standard calendar highly unusable in many business settings. I am looking for an alternative calendar that does it right, but have not found one yet.

    Details:

    It is essential in my work to get proper access to calendar locations on the Treo 650, and my research so far shows it to be a long and sordid topic. Anyone living in a mid-to-large Outlook-driven business receives many many meeting invitations, most of which come with long location information including rooms, phone numbers and bridge codes that you obviously want to pick up and dial. I have done this for years and years on my previous Samsung I300, and it is distressing to find today's PalmOne software designers failing to keep up with yesterday's non-Palm innovators.

    Here's the deal as I understand it.

    In days gone by on other Palms, Pocketmirror synchronization would merge the Outlook Location field into the Description field and you would see it in the Calendar and be able to manipulate it. I never thought about it, but PocketMirror must have been smart in some way about synchonizing changes back to Outlook. In the latest Palm OS on Treo 650, they have added a number of new fields to the Calendar database, including a location field. You would hve thought this would be a good thing! The new Outlook conduit you get with the 650 synchronizes the Outlook location straight into this new location field. In the Calendar user interface you can then see the location in parentheses at the end of a calendar description, however if you click on it it disappears, so you cannot select any of the text. This would appear to be a stroke of programming stupidity-genius by someone who couldn't work out how to keep things straight if they let you edit it. This makes quickly cutting and pasting phone numbers in long locations from the Calendar screen impossible. However, there is another opportunity - if you click on the Details button for a Calendar entry then the details screen also shows you the location information. Alas, with another stroke of programming stupidity-genius Palm has made this field fixed-width with no right scrolling capability. So if the location field has any text then the rest of the phone number and/or the bridge number you need cannot be selected this way either. So, you are back to writing down numbers on pieces of paper and reentering them in the phone app by hand! I thought I gave that up years ago......

    So the obvious next step is to start replacing all this badly designed PalmOne software with better third-party stuff. However, I have not yet found any other Calendar program that properly handles the new Location fields. I have installed DateBk5 and it does not, and I have read the Agendus manual (but not yet installed it) and found no reference to this there either. I am still looking and would like any pointers! I would like to believe that Pimlico/CESD, being someone of excellent design skills, will take this on and improve DateBk5. His latest DateBk5 release for the Treo 650 has moved to direct access of the new format databases, so this is a first step. Various posts I have seen, though, suggest that he sees these new PalmOne fields as "proprietary extras that aren't compatible with other devices" and is against acknowledging them. CESD - please relent and allow DateBk5 to become the first Treo 650 Calendar program to do the right thing with locations!!

    I have seen suggestions in some places that one should move back to the old (not XT) PocketMirror if one wants the old behaviour of Outlook locations being merged into Calendar descriptions. HOWEVER, there is a fly in this ointment too. The old conduit writes to the old DatebookDB and not to the new CalendarDB-PDat database. Another amazing Palm OS feature is that if you have an application that tries to use the old format databases, then it magically recreates them with pointers through to the new database (or something like this). Then, due to the new expensive file system format, these "pointer" files end up as large, or nearly as large, as the base database and tremendous amounts of memory get wasted - which as we all know is at a premium on the Treo 650. So I don't want to do this, and I don't really want to use old conduits either. By the way, if you discover you have the older DatebookDB database on your Treo 650 (and his siblings AddressDB, ToDoDB and MemoDB) then you should consider deleting these with FileZ to reclaim the space (see threads elsewhere on this topic, and note you need something like FileZ to do this safely).

    So, I am still searching for a decent Calendar tool - Location, location location.

    TreoLawrence
  2. #2  
    I use Key Suite ( www.palmgear.com/?xyz=50164 )
    It does show the location and when you tap on the appointment then 'Details' it has an actual 'Locations' field. It also provides linking to other items such as Contacts, multiple categories, etc.
  3. #3  
    I downloaded Datebk5 for evaluation. It has lots of capability and a cult-like following in it's Yahoo Groups support BBS, including active participation by the developer (always a big plus).

    http://www.pimlicosoftware.com/datebk5.htm
    http://www.pimlicosoftware.com/datebk5-v54a-r1.zip
    http://www.pimlicosoftware.com/datebk5-v51b-manual.zip

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pimlicodatebk/

    Aloke
  4.    #4  
    Thanks, I will look at Key Suite. The standard calendar does also have a Details->Location field, it just isn't big enough to proide access to long numbers.

    I too am impressed by the following for DateBk5, the involvement of the developer (CESD), and the design and functionality of the application. However, it does not currently handle the location field at all. Maybe in a future Pimlico release....
    :menu:TreoLawrence
    Samsung I300 -> Treo 650 (Cin)
  5.    #5  
    I have been running a trial version of KeySuite and unfortunately it has the same dumb behavior as the standard Palm Calendar app - it shows location information in the normal day view, but you cannot select any text to use the phone number (it confusingly disappears). And then the location field under Details is size restricted again and you cannot reach long numbers off to the right of the field.

    So the main advantage of KeySuite remains that you get all the Outlook fields, categories etc. However, the cost for this is high - it is a $70 program and also is a big jump since it uses all its own databases and not the standard ones (so things like the one line "what's next" view on the Phone app stop working, and you need to do more file cleanup and be careful of conduit use to avoid duplication and wasted memory).

    My trial use of DateBk5 showed it to be a much richer calendar application, however it fails to handle the new location field at all at present (V5.4a). I am hoping that might get fixed some day.

    I remain suprised that this thread is so light and noone else much is complaining about the way location fields are handled on the Treo650. I work in a large company where I am flooded with meetings created in Outlook/Echange by other people, all of which come with long and essential phone numbers, bridge numbers and room numbers in the location field. I cannot function without seeing these, and it is a great accelerator to be able to cut and paste the phone/bridge numbers (which I could do quite happily on my old Samsung I300).
    :menu:TreoLawrence
    Samsung I300 -> Treo 650 (Cin)
  6. #6  
    Yeah.. this is a big problem for me. Currently my only resolution is to not use the location field. Or manually copy and paste info from the location field into the notes of the meeting.
  7.    #7  
    This seems almost to be my own personal thread , although I am encouraged that there are readers. Calendar locations are just so important to me (and I believe will be to other business-heavy Outlook users), and maybe I had higher expectations for a new Treo650 coming from my Samsung I300 - I found the bug-like treatment of locations in the Palm Calendar to be shocking! If reading this, note that this issue is mainly one for business users in larger companies driven by Exchange/Outlook where lots and lots of meetings are created by other people and contain critical location numbers and codes that you want to copy/paste. If you are a more a personal user, creating your own meetngs for yourself, then my gripes about Locations is not really an issue (you can write the information elsewhere).

    OK, so here's an update.

    I am now trialing Agendus and I am pleased to report that Locations are better handled in Agendus. Agendus 9.03 seems little slow, I switched down to the Standard version which is faster, and the reports of instability on the Treo650 discussed on the Agendus support forums are a little alarming! But it is working fine so far. Agendus shows the full location data in the normal day view and when you tap on this you drop into a Meeting display/edit screen where the Options tab shows you the Location again. Location is only given one line (a shame) but you can scroll right in this entry to get to the entire Location field. Unfortunately, there is a problem that I cannot seem to select and copy more than a single "word" in the text - so it is tough to pick up a 10 digit phone number with spaces/dashes without editing it. I usually am copying conference call bridge numbers which are typically one sequence, so this is working. I will ask the Agendus folks why this should be. Agendus is a big and complex application, so now I am trying to see if I can grow to love-all-this: next step, reading the 100 page manual...

    For DateBk5, which does not support the new Location field at all (does not even show it anywhere), I have been nudging this issue on the Pimlico/DateBk5 Yahoo discussion forum, however that is a tough group to get positive acknowledgement from, so I still don't know whether Location support will make it into any near term DateBk5 update. I do believe that DateBk5 may be the best calendar out there so will keep watching.

    I have deinstalled Chapura KeySuite. It seemed to me to be a mediocre application with none of the frills of Agendus or DateBk5, and handles locations in the same stupid way as the default Palm Calendar. $70 just for a few extra fields did not seem worth it to me.

    Meanwhile, the default Palm Calendar does to least show you Locations, and you can select them in the Details screen if they are short enough, so if you think my quest here for Location handling where it is easy to select/copy/use/dial to be Quixotic, then perhaps you should stay with the standard app - just keep a pen and paper handy for long Location phone numers and codes .
    :menu:TreoLawrence
    Samsung I300 -> Treo 650 (Cin)
  8. #8  
    TreoLawrence, I too work at a big corporation with tons of conf calls and bridge numbers and when I switched from PPC to my Treo 650 I noticed the same problem with the location field. I was absolutely shocked that Palm overlooked this simple feature. They tout the Treo 650 as a business tool yet it lacks this basic feature.

    By the way, have you noticed that the Contact application lacks a field for a middle name? Yet another glaring omission in my opinion.
    Last edited by Qwab1967; 03/30/2005 at 02:59 PM.
    KFU, the restaurant that gives you the bird!
  9.    #9  
    I have been using Palms and Palm-based phones for a long time and have got used to the fact that the Palm databases are a subset of Outlook, middle names and all (but I do want locations to work which they have for me in earlier systems ). If you want much closer fidelity to the Outlook data-set, categories, multiple folders etc., then try KeySuite from Chapura that uses its own database and not the standard one (which you should then delete). However, it's $70, doesn't have really compelling new productivity features (mainly just the extra fields), and has the same location treatment as the standard Calendar app.

    Thanks for the vote! on this
    :menu:TreoLawrence
    Samsung I300 -> Treo 650 (Cin)
  10.    #10  
    Time to update this blog ! I am continuing to use Agendus and although it takes too many taps and 5-way hits, it remains the only calendar application that lets me copy and paste any part of a calendar location field for using in dialing. So I am now gearing up to pay the money- even though I don't think it's the most stable or well supported application out there, it does have a lot of features.

    Biggest news: I have now installed TAKEphONE from http://www.shsh.com and it is a stunningly better phone application than the standard Palm Phone (although it takes a bit of work to understand and tune to your preferences). Those with a "location fetish", as you see in this thread, are most likely Outlook/large-business users also driven by conference bridge codes, voicemail access choices, calling cards for International calls, and international travel joys. TAKEphONE has all sorts of options for handling all of these situations. Most importantly: it supports long DTMF calling sequences with both hard and timed stops along the way (that I was missing since moving from my Samsung). Bonus features: You can dial any number you can tap and select in the calendar or a note, and it is easy to get Agendus to use TAKEphONE as its helper app.

    See the thread TAKEphONE and others here at TreoCentral for more.
    :menu:TreoLawrence
    Samsung I300 -> Treo 650 (Cin)
  11. #11  
    TreoLawrence:

    TMP was relesed today by Lil Red Spider. It's only $16.95, has the best appearance of any calendar replacement I have seen and it allows you to "copy" location info like you want. Try it out for a few days. Version 1.0 so its not otherwise feature rich but having exchanged e-mail and telephone conversations with the developer, a lot of stuff is in the planning stages. For simplicity, ease of use and real nice clean, uncluttered, customizable interface, to my mind it has no equal. Perhaps a bit pricey at $16.95, considering the feature set, but I thought it worth the investment. I have PowerUp set to display it every time I turn my screen on and a simple glance gives me the info I need to know w/o a bunch of clutter.

    http://lilredspider.com/TMP/index.html
  12.    #12  
    Thanks Jack. Do you have TMP running on a Treo 650? After install it does not run for me - when I tap the application icon or attach it to a button there is a pause and a blink but nothing comes up. There is no mention of "650" on their website or in the readme.txt.
    :menu:TreoLawrence
    Samsung I300 -> Treo 650 (Cin)
  13. DocGo's Avatar
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    #13  
    TreoLawrence, I did that too and realized that since it needed the "old" kind of ToDo database to work, I just did a soft reset (which restores, datebook db, todo db, memo db) and it is working now. I just deleted the datebook db and memo db to save precious RAM but kept the todo db so that TMP will work. I am using a GSM-unlocked TReo 650, btw.
    The Doctor is IN!
    Gadget: Rogers Treo 680 (unlocked) GSM
    Cases: Still deciding
  14.    #14  
    Thanks Doc. I thought that might be the issue but wasn't sure how to get the old DB's back - you, and my Treo, showed me! I now have TMP working and it is very nice, but for this thread's purpose it does not handle Locations properly. It only shows the first 20 characters in the Details screen and does not scroll this field so you can see more. Agendus remains the only app so far that does this (although it is clumsy to use to do this).

    More to follow on using the awesome TAKEphONE, that I now have dialing phone numbers from locations straight out of Agendus, and I also have a rule (using it's calling card mechanism) that allows me to select a six-digit conference bridge code and then dial the whole thing by just hitting the Phone button (asumes the conference phone number is known and fixed). More later......
    :menu:TreoLawrence
    Samsung I300 -> Treo 650 (Cin)
  15. #15  
    Hi all,

    Thanks to the input and help from TreoLawrence, 2day will soon be supporting longer location fields (up to 255).

    It will be posted at www.shsh.com/beta within a day or two.

    Thanks.
    Shimon Shnitzer
    Maker of TAKEphONE, 2day, 4cast, 2dial & CallCards -
    "Take telephony into your Palm"
    Web: http://www.shsh.com/products
    Blog: http://www.shsh.com/wordpress
    eMail: contact@shsh.com
  16. #16  
    Hello, TreoLawrence, nice blog you've got here.

    Yes, I also work for a giant company where people put 200 characters into the Location field of their meeting requests, including phone numbers and access codes that I need to dial. Palm Calendar's treatment of the Location field is REALLY annoying.

    Please consider this moral support for your quest. I will be watching this thread to see if you remain happy with Agendus. I went through a phase with earlier Palms of replacing all the default apps, but for the last few years I have not wanted to do this anymore. However, this Location bug might be enough to drive me to an alternative calendar.
  17.    #17  
    I am expecting that an updated 2day app from ShSh software (TAKEphONE message below) will become the simplest solution to the calendar Location challenge. You would add this as an additional "Today" application while keeping on using the Palm calendar as your main tool. The Palm app allows you to see location information, just not select/edit them, which is fine for most calendar use. When you actually want to dial one, you would use 2day (and you are usually dialing into today's meetings ), which can even be a "cycle" on the same calendar button, and dial it straight from there. 2day has a nice big Details field to show location and description information, but does not currently drop all the Location field in there - that is what Shimon (aka TAKEphONE) has said he will fix shortly.

    I would strongly recommend taking a look at TAKEphONE as well. If you are getting 200 chacater locations in a big company setting, then you probably also have conference bridge phone numbers in your Contacts database with "," or "t" short-delay and "x" or "p" stop-delay breaks in them. The standard Palm apps/phone cannot dial these (follow-on digits are only in SpeedDials, not Contacts). TakephONE can - plus with the searching, calling card support and everything else - it's a great productivity enhancer. Plus - great trick I will document shortly - I am using TAKEphONE to dial using the 6-digit conference codes directly with no extra work!!

    This is my first time replacing all the standard Palm apps , so maybe I am not tired yet! Never did it before on previous Palm-phones...... Never even went on message boards.....
    :menu:TreoLawrence
    Samsung I300 -> Treo 650 (Cin)
  18.    #18  
    Here is the promised description of how to use TAKEphONE to quickly jump onto conference calls from your calendar (providing you can access the Location field ).

    The Location field saga starts with the fact that other people in large businesses are constantly sending you Outlook/Exchange meeting "requests" with locations like the following (numbers changed, but this is real):

    New Jersey, Conference Room 3X123 bridge 720-555-1111/toll free 800-555-2222, h. 987654; p. 123456

    If you are a remote employee in such a place, then your mission is to jump onto the conference call at the designated time, probably seconds after leaving the last one. In this case the really important number is 123456, the participant code for the conference bridge for that particular call. Within your company, you either have a Telco service for conference calls or (much cheaper) you run your own, and the 720 or 800 number is generally always the same for internal conference calls (but would be different if it is some other company's conference call you are joining). So you want to be able to just select the 123456 and be on the call!

    To do this you install TAKEphONE (TP), set the many preferences to your liking, and then go into Menu->Options->Telephony preferences. Here you can set properties for 5 different TP-phone-locations. Leave Mobility alone, because you want that for normal calls, select one of the other ones and rename it to "CONF" or something as a name for your standard conference number. Make sure SmartPhone/App is checked and set to Treo and then check Use calling-cards and tap on Configure. Then tap New to get a form. I use the name "CONF" here too and then a Script like 720 555 1111 , N # which says to dial the number and drop in the code (N) after a pause/pickup. Rule 1 needs to be ALL to always apply this. If you are running a recent beta release (I have 6.50 build 042) then you have an extra Active in selection where you can select that this rule only applies to this conference case - which allows you to have other rules for other different things (like real calling cards).

    Now you are set to go. You can change your TP-phone-location by tapping at the top in the middle of the TAKEphONE screen, or you can get a quick prompt to change it every time you dial if you want (Check the Allow location swap setting back in the Prefs). The final step is to install the TkPhOS5Hk.prc helper that came with TAKEphONE, and run it and enable it. Now whenever you select a number in an application and hit the Phone button, this number gets picked up and passed (with an intervening dialog with choices) to TAKEphONE to dial. If you are dialing normal numbers, then stay in the Mobile TP-phone-location. If you are dialing conference bridge codes, then move to your CONF TP-phone-location first. If you don't decide until you see the number, then either have the location swap Preference set, or select Save in the dialog which takes you to a TAKEphONE screen where you can change to "CONF" before dialing. When it dials, it dials the whole number set in the rule above, and drops the specific bridge code in when the call connects. Success!

    This works from all applications - I have used it from the Palm Calendar (when Location field is very short) and Agendus (any length Location). The challenge always is - can you access the number if it is in a long Location field ? Hence this thread.

    I am pleased to report that I am testing the latest 2day beta and it is showing me the entire Location field and even has extra selection features to make selecting and dialing the number a one-hand 5-way operation. Heaven!
    :menu:TreoLawrence
    Samsung I300 -> Treo 650 (Cin)
  19. #19  
    TMP is, in my eyes, the best looking calendar overview application out there. I have tried Simon's beta version that automatically puts the location into the display (within parenthesis) and it works and looks great.

  20. #20  
    For what it's worth, I agree with you that this is a problem. But I've also found a workaround for those that don't want to add another application. If you select the Location field from the details screen, then Select All (Menu S) and Copy (Menu C) you can get all of the data from the location field. You'd probably have to paste it somewhere else to send to the phone app, but it's better than nothing.
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