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  1.    #1  
    I have just entered the PDA market, and have done my best to become educated over the web. (So bear with this naive user! )

    I am interested in a small PDA that I can synch to my Macintosh Powerbook (serial port). I prefer a PDA whose operating system can be updated (flash ROM = Palm Vx), and that has expandable memory (Visor). The Clie seems really to be my ideal option, as I understand it has Flash ROM as well as expandable memory via the memory stick. I understand the visor is upgradable, but that this requires filling the springboard module (ie, it cannot be used for other functions). However, I am incredibly frustrated to hear that the Clie is not compatible with Macintosh.

    Why is this? I'm guessing it's a hardware issue? And why is it apparently so difficult to fix? Do you know of Sony having plans to come out with a Macintosh-compatible PDA? Is there a developer out there who offers hardware/software to make the current Clie macintosh-compatible? I'd rather not wait to buy a PDA... maybe my best bet is to go with the $$-friendly Visor Deluxe or m100 for now, and in 6-12 months make a more permanent purchase?

    (I know, I should be a PC user... but I'm a student, and the academic world still runs on Mac!! :-\ )
  2. #2  
    There's a reason the academic world is still on Mac! Doesn't Sony have a way to sinc with Mac? I would think using the Mac Pac from Handspring/Palm would do the trick, but this is just an uneducated guess. I would talk to a Sony rep to find out for sure.
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  3. #3  
    I've heard that the MacPac works, but the reason they tell you it's incompatible is because the software for converting video files isn't Mac compatible.

    I haven't been able to check though.
  4. #4  
    Provided the cradle can be plugged into a Mac, there shouldn't be any reason why most default Palm Apps wouldn't sync properly with the Mac. It's the Palm OS, after all.

    Perhaps a few programs unique to the Clie have yet to be mac-compatible, but you certainly should be able to use the device.

    Worst case scenario? Throw Virtual PC on your laptop until they fix it.

    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  5. #5  
    Originally posted by IceClimber
    I am interested in a small PDA that I can synch to my Macintosh Powerbook (serial port). I prefer a PDA whose operating system can be updated (flash ROM = Palm Vx), and that has expandable memory (Visor).
    You might want to consider a TRG Pro, which is essentially a Palm IIIx with a CF slot and improved speaker. I don't know how compatable they are with Macs, I'm afraid.
  6. #6  
    You might want to give the Visor family another look...
    OK, it does not have flash, so you won't be able to upgrade the OS...But do you really need to? The latest models are allready running PalmOS 3.5.?

    Any bugs can be fixed by a patch (in RAM so that will leave your sprinboard unused)...

    The Handspring models are still very good value for money...
    Just give it another thought and think how badly you want/need FlashRom....
    <IMG WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="50" SRC=> (ex)VisorCentral Discussion Moderator
    Do files get embarrassed when they get unzipped?
  7. #7  
    this guy obviously wants a small pda, not a large one like you are suggesting. i think the CLIE is at least as cool as the palm vx in that respect. the visors, palm3s and trgs are too big!
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by california boyhead
    this guy obviously wants a small pda, not a large one like you are suggesting. i think the CLIE is at least as cool as the palm vx in that respect. the visors, palm3s and trgs are too big!
    He never said that, but if size is a big factor, the Clie is probably the way to go....
    I was just trying to avoid him getting tunnelvision, but hey maybe I'm too baised to Handspring anyway
    <IMG WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="50" SRC=> (ex)VisorCentral Discussion Moderator
    Do files get embarrassed when they get unzipped?
  9. #9  
    I wouldn't look to Sony for improved Mac support -- it's a market they tend to ignor.

    Since you have and older PowerBook (sans USB), I think a Palm device with a MacPac is probably the path of least resistance because of the serial interface.

    Personally, I like the Visors because they are Mac-friendly right out of the box. I haven't had one problem syncing my Visor with my iMac and PowerBook 2000. The USB connectivity is sweet.

    Generally speaking, I lean toward products that have native Mac support. Life is too short to waste on unreliable work-arounds. Handspring provides the best Mac support among the current PDA vendors. Hats off to them. They have my business.

  10. #10  
    but the CLIE is so cooooooool
  11.    #11  
    Thanks to all of your responses. FYI, I decided to go for the Clie. CA Boyhead, I have to admit I agree with you--the Clie is just too cool. I *finally* got ahold of someone at Sony (not an easy feat--and someone who actually knew that the Clie exists, at that!), and she told me that the Mac hardware/software is in production, that it is available in Japan and that she has seen it in demo stage at Sony. So hopefully this information means that the Clie will soon be Mac compatible. I *do* have my doubts, though (yes, DexStory, too many companies just don't make the effort to reach out to Mac users!)--I'm just hoping they come out with it!

    So, I bought the Clie a few days ago to try out all these Mac backup possibilities myself (no one at the store or anywhere seems to know anything about this!). I tried the MacPac, and it at first recognizes the Clie as a Handspring device, but when it actually tries to sync, it asks for proper drivers. So it's almost Mac compatible, but not quite. I have not tried IR syncing to my powerbook, as I'm sure the driver problem will still exist. But I've heard from others that the Palms are actually not even able to IR sync to Macs (does anyone know about this?).

    I may consider Virtual PC. Has anyone used this?

    There is a PC nearby at work, so I've been backing up onto that. Not ideal to have to enter all things into the Clie via graffiti (although I was surprised at how easy graffiti is!)--and to not have my calendar in front of me on my laptop!--but hopefully this is a temporary situation until the Sony MacPac comes out. I still stubbornly want to have the option of upgrading memory, and definitely want to be able to use the newest software as it is released (ie, FlashROM is an important feature to me). Really my best bet is probably to wait until sometime next year when the memory-upgradeable Palms come out. But I need some organization in my life now... so I've decided to place my bets on Sony and hope they pull through for me!! I'd rather stay in the Palm world, but they don't have what I want right now, so Sony wins this girl over (that's right... best to refrain from assuming all PDA buyers/bulletin posters are of the male gender! ).

    BTW, yep, small *is* important to me! But thanks anyway for reminding me of the other options!

  12. #12  
    for u trg freaks, mac connection is selling them for $299. this is even in their print catalog

    sorry i called u a guy ice climber. i am glad that u are female and like macs and palms. i am in love with you. come to so cal to love me forever.

    oh let me know when it works with mac for you, id rather have that than my visor.

    [Edited by california boyhead on 11-07-2000 at 04:15 AM]
  13. #13

    check out this japanese link... seems to show mac usb drivers for the thing
  14. #14  
    yes, they can ir sync to macs, and it works great. no extra drivers or anything needed. and sony has some wierd mac support. my aunt had a new digital camera, so for fun i tried to hook it up to my wallstreet, and to my suprise sony included mac drivers on the cd, when it didnt say anythign on the box.
  15.    #15  
    I tried to post this reply a few days ago, but the server was down... anyhow...

    CB, thanks!! I checked out the link ( ), and with a Japanese friend of mine, we navigated the site and downloaded the drivers. I simply copied them into my Extensions folder, and IR sync-ing worked no prob! (I used the Mac Palm Desktop software from

    Yipee!! It's a good thing, cause I was falling for this baby, and didn't want to have to give it up. (I mean the Clie, of course ;-) ).

    I haven't tried IR sync'ing without the drivers--does it really work? Should've tried that first!

    Anyhow, if anyone needs help getting through that Japanese site, let me know.
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by IceClimber
    I may consider Virtual PC. Has anyone used this?
    I have heard a rumor that one of the tests Connectix runs on each version of Virtual PC is to synchronize with a Palm OS device, so I'd be surprised if it didn't work...and if it doesn't, could I trouble you to let me know?
  17. #17  
    If the Clie is a USB device rather than serial, it should work with VPC 3.0 with a few caveats; 1) You are running Mac OS 9.0 or higher on your Mac, and 2) You are using Windows 98 or 2000 for your OS within VPC. Of course, you will have to make sure that you enable the proper USB device in VPC's preferences first.

    However, Connectix has not tested this device specifically, so I can not guarantee that it does or does not operate within VPC.

    Now, if this is a serial device, it still may work within VPC, but the odds are not as good due to the differences between the PC's RS-232 and the Mac's RS-422.

    In your Virtual PC preferences you will find settings for COM1 and COM2. Assign one of these com ports to your device, and then select the 'Non-Modem Device' checkbox as this is not a modem.
  18. #18  
    Perhaps you could be so kind as to post the link to where one could download the software you found? I'm sure most Mac users are not interested in slugging through all the Japanese text! Anyway, I'm very happy that this all worked out for you. Most of these threads are left as hypothosis and questions rather than concrete answers!
  19. Brin's Avatar
    1 Posts
    Wih the help of Jim Breen's WWWJDIC Server (, I've discovered that the Japanese CLIE User Club is SELLING the CLIE Mac USB driver for 2,980 yen ($25.50). Where's that free download?
  20.    #20  
    Sorry I haven't posted instructions yet for the free download! My resident Japanese translator has been out for a bit, and unfortunately I have no notes as to how I downloaded it the first time!

    I'll try to get ahold of him, and let you know!

    (BTW, I haven't actually used the drivers. I don't have a USB port unfortunately, and IR-ing does not require drivers. So I don't know if they work or not. But, regardless, I'll get you this information! )
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