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Setting up a Palm Pilot to run in Evolution

This document is written to help a new user set up a Palm Pilot in Evolution. It has been tested with my Zire 71, but should work with most Palm Pilot devices.

Additions for anyone using different devices are appreciated.

Setting up Arch Linux

I am assuming that you have already installed Arch Linux, updated it, and have a 'working' Gnome system.

Installing Evolution

Arch's Gnome metapackage does not install evolution by default. If you haven't installed it, open a terminal, get into the super-user mode (type su) and type

pacman -S evolution

You can then run Evolution from the Applications/Office Gnome menu. When you start it for the first time, it will ask for your email settings using a "wizard". When this is complete the main Evolution display will appear.

Installing the Gnome packages

You now need to install the required Gnome component. Open a terminal and get into the super-user mode (type su) and type

pacman -S gnome-pilot gnome-pilot-conduits

Assuming you haven't done this previously, this will install three packages ; gnome-pilot, gnome-pilot-conduits and pilot-link

Setting up the Hardware

Now plug in your Palm Pilot link. There are basic ways of connecting the Palm Pilot to the computer

Serial Port

The older Palm Pilots (like my now broken Palm m100) connect using the serial ports on the back of the computer.

USB Port

The newer "low end" Palm Pilots (including my Zire 71) plug into the USB ports.

Wireless Networking

The newer and more expensive Palm Pilots have Wireless Networking and can communicate with your computer either using a USB Link or over a Wireless network, if you have one.

Checking the Hardware

If you have a USB connection you can test it by typing


into a terminal, which lists all the devices connected to the ports. If your device is missing it may be one of those Palm Pilots (like the Zire 71) that only 'appears' on the system when it is actually transferring. In this case, press the transfer button on the cradle or "Hotsync" from the Palm Menus and you should get a display which resembles this.

[paulr@myhost aux]$ lsusb
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
Bus 003 Device 003: ID 055f:0006 Mustek Systems, Inc. ScanExpress 1200 UB
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 04e8:3242 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd 
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 0830:0060 Palm, Inc. Palm Tungsten T / Zire 71
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 06d6:0025 Aashima Technology B.V. 
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  

If you have a Serial Zire, it should be possible to test it by going into hotsync and typing

cat </dev/ttyS0

which should display reams of gobbledegook. untested