Setting up the Palm conduit programming environment

To start developing your own conduits, first you will probably want to get the Conduit Development Kit, which gives you the libraries to interact relatively easily with your Palm. It is freely available from here PalmSource's Palm OS Developer Program, although you will need to register on that site (for free) first. There are currently two versions of the program for Windows (and one for Macs), 4.03 and 6.01. I went for 6.01.

Download and install. Also get any updates / bug fixes from that page, and install as appropriate.

Then navigate to whatever folder you installed the CDK to find the Common/Bin folder (e.g. C:\Program Files\PalmSource\Palm OS CDK\Common\Bin). Here you will see another copy of Hotsync manager (hotsync.exe) and a Conduit Configurer program called CondCfg.exe. If you already have any Hotsync software running, even in the background, make sure it is closed now and run CondCfg.exe. You get a list of installed user conduits, with various tabs to look as system conduits, notifiers etc. This is the program you will use to register your newly developed conduits with so the Palm can hotsync using them.

Finally, you can try starting the hotsync.exe file that is in your newly installed CDK folder. Ideally it should load as per normal. However you may get messages about missing notifiers and dlls. In this case, locate the files in your original hotsync directory (by default c:\program files\palmone\) and copy them to the CDK common\bin directory. This rather laborious process of guessing what files you might need was taking too long, so I just copied all the dll files from the original location into the CDK folder and all seemed OK at first.

Once Hotsync manager loads properly, now try getting your Palm to sync with it.

At first, my USB sync did not work, even though wifi sync did. USB just did nothing on the PC and timed out on the Palm. A while later it started displaying messages like "Please wait while windows configures palm one" when trying to hotsync, even via Wifi. Mid-hotsync it would display "Setup was unable to close HotSync Manager. Please close these applications manually and run setup again. Setup will now exit" in a particularly annoying never-ending loop so no conduit development could be done.

The only solution to this in my case seemed to be to uninstall all Palm software on my PC, and reinstall it backwards - e.g. install the CDK first, and then the software that came with your Palm, and then everything else.

You then need to choose what language you wish to develop in and get that installed. Suitable candidates for CDK include COM based programs like Visual Basic 6 or .NET and Visual C++ 6/ .NET. I went with VB 6, being the most familiar to me, working OK on a less-than-cutting-edge computer and, not least, some useful code examples exist for it in the CDK.


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