The Clie is Sony's version of Palm's
well known PDA family. As every Palm-compatible
model, the Clie runs under PalmOS, and
is compatible with almost any program
written for PalmOS.
The main differences between the other Palm models and the Clie are the MemoryStick slot and the jogdial (which can be found on other Sony brand devices like phones or computers). The new PEG-N700C also features the first 320x320 color screen on a PalmOS device, and a new separate DSP to handle music while the Dragonball processor cares about the other tasks.
A longer, more complete description of the Clie can be found on the comparison page, and you can also have a look at my personal point of view about the PEG-S300, PEG-S500C and PEG-N700C.
At this time, the Clie is available in the following countries:
|Model||Country||Public Price(1)||Best Price(1)|
|PEG S300||Japan||29800 ¥|
|USA||399 US$||250 US$|
(1) Prices do not include the taxes (5% in Japan). Best price in USA requires sending a US$50 rebate coupon to Sony with proof of purchase (USA resident only) and probably spending some time to find the best online store!
(2) The "D" models (PEG-S300D and PEG-S500CD) are strictly identical to their counterparts without "D" (respectively PEG-S300 and PEG-S500C) except that they are sold with less accessories (no 8 Mb MemoryStick, no mobile phone adapter...)
Recent release in the United Kingdom
(march 2001), no official Sony announcement
about a release in other countries.
PEG-S500C: No official Sony announcement about a release outside of Japan.
PEG-N700C: Release expected in the USA (No official date, rumors about May 2001), no official Sony announcement about a release in other countries.
Unfortunately, you can't. The PEG-S500C
(aka color Clie) is equipped with a
reflective color screen, which is technologically
less bright than the Palm IIIc screen,
because it's the ambient light that
gets reflected by the screen. If you're
in a dark / unlighted place, there's
not much light to reflect, and the screen
will appear dull, hard to read, with
a poor contrast. On the other hand,
if you're in a well lighted place (outside
in the sunshine, indoor just under a
bright light), this kind of screen is
far more readable than a IIIc screen!
Summary: the only solution to improve the screen readability is to find the appropriate contrast setting (the half black / half white round icon at the bottom left under the menu touch button) and ensure you hare in a decently lighted place... The backlight of course does not hurt, but it's really effective only in very dark places or in complete darkness... :-(
I personally opened my Clie to try to improve the screen readability by adjusting a knob inside, near the screen. This has proven useless as it just shifts the reference setting of the contrast function, and since the screen is readable only in the middle contrast positions, there's no real point in modifying this setting... ;-)
Short answer: It's possible... but
you can't do it (yet!)
Long answer: Theoretically, it's possible. Practically, you need to reflash the ROM with a ROM image in the appropriate language. At this time, the PEG-S500C and PEG-N700C ROM is available in Japanese only, while the PEG-S300 ROM is available in English and Japanese.
Additional note: some ROM require more memory than others. The Japanese ROM indeed include some supplementary files (dictionary, word lists, Japanese fonts) and require 4 Mb (PEG-S300 and PEG-S500C) or 8 Mb (PEG-N700C) whereas their English equivalents (PEG-S300) only require 2 Mb. This explains why the Clie sold in Japan are equipped with 4 or 8 Mb flashROM, and those sold in USA / UK are equipped with 2 Mb flashROM. As a consequence, you can flash an English 2 Mb ROM image on a Japanese (4 Mb equipped) device, but not the opposite.
By the way, let me warn you that you probably don't want to flash an English PEG-S300 ROM on a Japanese PEG-S500C (in case you'd like a color Clie with an English interface). I know this might seem a good idea, but the PEG-S500C color screen might not be handled correctly by the monochrome PEG-S300 ROM. On the emulator, at least, this doesn't work (the emulator, when configured as a PEG-S500C and when fitted with an English PEG-S300 ROM, won't even boot up...)
Whatever the available ROM images, you'll need a flashing tool anyway if you intend to reflash the Clie ROM. Sony most probably has written such a program, but it has not been released to the public or even to the registered developers. No one, to my knowledge, has tried to flash the Clie ROM with Palm's flashing tools, but chances are that it will not work, the Clie flashROM chips being different from those used by Palm (see question about FlashPro / JackFlash).
Last note: using a Japanese Clie doesn't prevent you from using non-Japanese software that will display its menus / interface in its own language. For more details see the page about using non Japanese programs on a Japanese Clie.
Short answer: Yes but... you can't
do it (yet)!
Long answer: Theoretically, yes. Practically, you must wait for Sony to release its Clie optimized PalmOS 4.0 ROM images, as well as some flashing tools. Flashing a Palm IIIc (or m505, or any other non Sony color device) 4.0 ROM won't work as the hardware is different and requires some tweaking by Sony to support things like MemoryStick and jogdial.
Now the next question is to know whether the PalmOS 4.0 Clie ROM images, if they ever get released, will fit in the 2 / 4 Mb flashROM of the Clie! The answer will come in a few weeks / months, when both Palm then Sony will have officially released 4.0 updates!
No. Authors of FlashPro and JackFlash do not include the Clie in the list of the supported devices, because the Clie ROM seems t be incompatible with other Palm devices ROM.
Short answer: you can't... but read
Long answer: It's not possible with PalmOS 3.5.2 to execute a program directly from the MemoryStick, as the program must first be copied to RAM before it is executed. That being said, applications like PowerRun or Rondo Anesso automate the copying process of the application and its databases from MemoryStick to RAM, launch the application and copy back to the MemoryStick any database that has been modified (while deleting the unmodified databases and the program itself) to store the database changes when exiting the applications. The user has the feeling (except for a slight wait while the files are copied) that the programs is run directly from the MemoryStick.
This can of course be done.
That being said, here's the alternative:
Images and videos are just a particular
type of databases, so refer to the previous
question according to the MemoryStick
support (or lack thereof) of the program
With PictureGear Pocket you can store pictures in the /Palm/Programs/picturegear directory on the MemoryStick, but keep in mind that pictures stored on the MemoryStick cannot be displayed in the Address Book. Storing gMedia videos on the MemoryStick is also possible provided they are copied in the /Palm/Programs/gMedia directory.
It's possible to create directories on the MemoryStick although this implies using additional tools not provided by Sony with the Clie. The most expensive (but sometime very useful) way is to use a MemoryStick reader to create the directories and copy the files directly from PC or Mac computer. The less expensive and easiest method is to download the freeware McFile and use this great program to deal with the directories / files. First launch McFile. On the main screen, tap on the directory name, at the bottom of the screen just above the buttons (for example: /PALM/PROGRAMS/MSFILES) You then switch to the directory tree screen where you can create ("New" button), change to or rename a directory.
It's possible (and very useful) to backup onto the MemoryStick the information that reside in the Clie RAM. You can do this either manually or automatically, with or without additional programs. I recommend using JackBack or McFile.
By default, the jogdial sends specific system signals which require that the application be written using the MemoryStick functions to handle them. Programs like PowerJog or JogEverything will intercept the jogdial signals emitted upon jogdial use, and emit fake "button up" or "button down" signals so that the user can use the jogdial in any application even if not specifically designed for that.
USB sync is the Holy Grail of many
Clie users. While it works perfectly
for most users without them having to
care about anything special, some people
give up and either sell their Clie or
buy a serial cradle after spending hours
and hours of useless attempts... On
PC computers, Sony uses the standard
Palm Desktop. The fact that it doesn't
recognize USB devices is handled by
an additional program (USBSwitcher)
that deals with the USB part and make
the desktop believe that it's talking
to a serial device. The good news is
that everything work as if you were
using a serial link (except the speed
is higher thanks to USB). The bad news
is that it's not the most elegant or
efficient method, and in many cases
it doesn't work at all... (hardware
conflict? software bug?)
Some finally got it to work after multiple hard resets and / or Windows / Palm Desktop uninstall / install...
Although most users are globally satisfied, a lot of people are still waiting for the miracle solution (other than buying a serial cradle)...
Barash indicates that some hotsync
problems can be solved by deleting the
connectionDB.pdb file from the Clie
and trying again to HotSync.
Also, Sony recomends that the "Local" HotSync setting be unchecked for USBSwitcher to work correctly.
Leong Leow gives us the following procedure in case you encounter the (in)famous "SERIAL PORT ALREADY IN USE" error message:
To display pictures in the Address Book you need to store in RAM (not on the MemoryStick) both the PictureGear Pocket program and the pictures you want to use.
Unfortunately, Sony dosn't sell one, so you'll have to build it yourself! Follow the guide...
The new Clie has the same connector as the old models, so some of the accessories will be compatible (example: the travel kit cable). On the other hand, the new Clie case design has changed, and all the accessories that fit tightly to the case will not be compatible, essentially the cradle and the PHS/PDC mobile phone adapter. The cradle can still be used, but since the new Clie will rock in the cradle this is not a preactical solution in the long term.
The most probable answer is that you
used an application that "overclocks"
your Clie (i.e. accelerate the device
by increasing the processor clock frequency).
Such a tool improves speed at the cost of troubles with anything that requires a precise timing, like communications via IR or serial, or file transfert to/from the Memory Stick. To solve the problem, get back to the default clock frequency (20 MHz for the PEG-S300 andPEG-S500C, 33 MHz for the PEG-N700C and PEG-N710C).