A heads up--

Palm recently updated the Windows version of the Palm Desktop 4.0 on the web site. A "silent slipstream" as some industry insiders call it-- no fanfare, no other announcement (as far as I can determine).

The version number hasn't changed, it's still 4.0. However, the setup CAB files have a newer 30-Jan-2001 date. And there is one marked difference for Visor users:


Unlike the original 4.0 release, if you attempt to install this newer 4.0 Desktop over your existing Handspring 3.01/3.1 or an "older" 4.0 Desktop release (dated prior to 30-Jan-2001) with the Handspring USB HotSync Manager custom installed, the InstallShield setup routine will halt with an error notification, telling you that:

"This version of Palm Desktop software is not compatible with the version of HotSync Manager software installed on the system. Please contact the manufacture of your handheld for more information.

"Installation will exit, leaving your original files unchanged."

There are a number of workarounds that came to mind but the one that seems to work the easiest for us Visor owners is:

Prior to running the 4.0 setup, rename the HOTSYNC.EXE file. It appears the InstallShield script is going out of its way in checking the version number of the HotSync executable. Fortunately, who ever wrote the script didn't also check for the non-existance in that same section

The corollary workaround to that would be to stick in the original Palm version of a HOTSYNC.EXE. But I don't think most of us would keep that file around.

Of course, if you need to copy out the PALM.CNT and/or the PALMCMN.DLL, do that, too.

Another workaround would be to uninstall the Palm Desktop first; but I don't see that as being necessary. YMMV.

There are other differences. The following files have a newer date stamp than the "original" 4.0 release:


But upon a file comparison, there appears to be no operational/programmatic changes, according to a WinDiff scan. IOW-- nothing was fixed in this newer version.
It looks like Palm just refreshed the date stamp-- except for the desktopreadme.txt file.

The "original" one has a written date of December 1, 2000. The newer one has a "February 1, 2001" written date (with a date stamp of Jan 30-- Opps).

Minor rewrites are in the newer text version, including a removal of the statement that the software "is also compatible with handhelds from other licensees that use the Palm OS software". It is now replaced with this statement:

"For information about using Palm Desktop software v4.0 with Palm OS handhelds from Palm's licensees or OEM partners, please contact the manufacturer directly."

And, there's an addition to the configuring of e-mail clients section (namely, if you only have Outlook Express, you need to have Outlook or Office installed).

My guess is that Palm was getting quite a few support calls from non-Palm branded device owners over Palm Desktop 4.0. And they're trying to shove the burdon elsewhere (and to gently lean on other PalmOS licensees to come out with their branded 4.0 version).