Welcome to PalmZone.net PalmZone.net
...Your online Palm community
 Home · Login/Register · News · PDA's/Phones · How-To · Software · Forums · Links 
Site Menu

Search PalmZone

Site Index

Our Amazon.com Store

PalmZone Amazon Store

Google Ads

Memory & Storage Cards Tips

Home | Tips Home | Wireless | Wi-Fi | Bluetooth | General | Screen | Hotsync | Memory Cards | Security | Power Mgt | PIM | Graffiti 2

Palms with SD/MMC Slots

There is much debate about whether Secure Digital (SD) cards are faster than MultiMedia cards on a Palm or not. SD cards use a 4-bit interface and MMC cards only use 1-bit. Palm OS 4 only uses a 1-bit interface, so there is no difference. Palm OS 5, however, uses the 4-bit interface and thus SD will be much faster. Either way, SD cards are definitely faster when accessed from a PC and the prices are equivalent so we recommend going with SD.

There is also much debate about card speed of the various brands. Sandisk branded cards have reportedly slow file write times but decent read times. Panasonic cards (and most Lexar branded cards, which are manufactured by them) are faster on both accounts. For comparisons, check out Our benchmark tests on various cards.

You can price SD and MMC Cards online at Amazon.com and decide for yourself.

See this article at Digital World for a more in-depth review of the differences between SD and MMC cards.

Note: If you bought the Palm 16MB Backup Card recently, take it back because you paid way more than you would for a 64MB card! If it's too late to return it and you now wish that you could store other applications and data on the remaining 8MB, read this article.

Sony Memory Sticks

For Sony CLIE's, there are various Memory Stick formats with capacity all the way up to 1 GB. There are regular Memory sticks, Memory Stick PRO (which is faster and larger cards are possible), and then are MagicGate sticks (which allow the ATRAC music format). All PRO Memory Sticks are MagicGate compatible. Non-MagicGate Memory Sticks will still handle MP3's, pictures, movies and all other types of data.

Note that there is also a new, smaller format called Memory Stick DUO. There are regular and PRO versions of that format as well. You would need an adapter to use these in PDA's that have a regular MS or MSPRO slot.

You can Price Sony Memory Sticks at Amazon.com and decide for yourself.

How Much to Get

Regardless of which card type you get, we recommend getting at least a 256 MB card (or worst case 128 MB) - you'll be surprised how easy it is to fill with e-books, documents, pictures, backups, etc.

Preparing the Card

Once you get the card, put it in the Palm and make sure it works. If it doesn't, then you will need to format it using the Card Info application on your Palm. DO NOT do this with any 128MB (or higher) cards UNLESS you have Palm's OS 4.x File Manager Update (or are using a Palm OS 5 device). Formatting on OS 5 should work fine.

Then we recommend evaluating the software you use and choosing applications that are designed to work with your SD/MMC card. These applications are referred to as VFS-aware (Virtual File System). Start with the applications that came free with your Palm on the CD - DocsToGo, PhotoSuite, and PalmReader. Immediately go to the developer's sites and update these applications because they all have newer versions that the ones on the Palm CD. DocsToGo only gives you 30 days to update the program for free.

You can use the Palm Install program to install programs directly to the card. To do this, click on the applications you want to load. Then select "Change Destination" and select which programs you want on the card. Out of the box, you cannot place an applications data files on the card. More on this later. Your programs will then show in the default launcher under the Card category.

3rd Party Memory Card Applications

Hopefully, you are happy with the way the Palm supports the memory cards out of the box. If not, there are some programs that can enhance the basic Palm's functionality in several respects.

  • Launchers - Third-party launchers that are VFS-aware will let you categorize your applications however you like rather than forcing them to be in the Palm's Card category. They typically let you copy applications to/from the card as well. Launcher X is very popual and has a nice clean look to it. ZLauncher is another very popular one. Both those apps also take advantage of 320x480 screens. MegaLauncher and LaunchEm are two others. Sony users typically use the built-in launcher which can be customized with "skins" and some use the Yishow Explorer. Yishow is also available for Palm devices.
  • Backup Programs - We'd recommend backing your Palm up to your memory card because its easier to restore data from there than synchronizing with your PC. We use the free version of BackupBuddyVFSLite. They have a commercial version as well that adds more features. There are several other backup programs you can find in the Utilities section of our PalmZone.net Software Store. Sony users can use the included MS Backup program.
  • Mounting Programs (OS 4.x only) - These programs let you place both programs and data files in a certain directory on the card and trick the Palm into thinking they are in regular RAM. These utilities are generally only useful to getting older, non-VFS-aware applications to read data from the card. Both MSMount and PiDirect II VFS provide this functionality. MSMount is currently free, but the $30 PiDirectVFS is much quicker and somewhat more stable.
  • File Managers - If you use the mounting programs above, you definitely need a file manager to move files from the default Palm launcher directory to another directory on the card. If not, you may still want a file manager to move, view, and delete files on your card. We use FileZ because its free, but McFile is actually better. FilePoint is another interesting program that is a combination launcher/file manager that works with both RAM memory card files.
  • PowerRUN (both OS 4.x and OS 5) - This is a somewhat unique application in that it allows you to copy both programs and data to the memory card. Then when you go to run the application, it copies the application and the data into RAM. If the data has changed after you are done running the application, it copies the newer version onto the card. This gets around the issue of the mounting programs only using read-only data files, but it is slow on large programs/data because it has to copy all of it to RAM first.

For more information on using McFile, MSmount, and PowerRun, check out Romidar's page.

Home | Tips Home | Wireless | Wi-Fi | Bluetooth | General | Screen | Hotsync | Memory Cards | Security | Power Mgt | PIM | Graffiti 2

Content Home

Published on: 2006-07-04 (82410 reads)
Copyright © by PalmZone.net. All Right Reserved.

Buy PDA's, smartphones, accessories & software from
PalmZone.net Amazon.com Store Palm, Inc. Store Boxwave Accessories

Site powered by PHP-Nuke and monitored by SiteUptime