(if you don’t have a Treo 650 with GoodLink software installed, you probably want to skip this post entirely)
When I left InfoWorld recently, I got a very nice send-off and an utterly amazing cake, but as much as I wish the company-issued Treo 650 I had grown to love (after some serious hate) could have been a parting gift, it wasn’t meant to be. The telcom folks there were nice enough to give me an old phone they had in a drawer for a good deal, and I was able to transfer the account into my name and keep the SIM card, thereby keeping the number I have had for a long time. I got my Yahoo! Treo last week, and despite some porting issues, I carried the same number over to it and it’s all working now — except for one thing that was driving me crazy and was a bit delicate to fix (instructions are below). The GoodLink software that hooks the Treo into the company Exchange server links up to the contacts database stored on the Exchange server, and makes it the default contacts app on the Treo.
This matters to me because:
- I already had hundreds of contacts in my vanilla Palm contacts database and didn’t really want to sync those up to the Yahoo! Exchange server (stuff like aunts and uncles numbers, my favorite local Chinese take-out place, my friends’ numbers, and bars in SF with good jukeboxes)
- The Treo uses caller ID to display a contact’s name on an incoming call if there’s a match in your contact database. I love this feature, but if the GoodLink Address Book is the default, it looks there for a match, and if you don’t have all your contacts on the corporate Exchange server, you get nothing but the number on an incoming call.
- All the shortcuts to “Contacts” on the Treo go to the default app, which makes it more difficult to make phone calls easily (since you have to work a bit more to get to the old Contacts app)
On the other hand, the GoodLink Address Book includes a lookup facility for everyone at Yahoo!, including e-mail address, desk phone, and cell phone in some cases, so I didn’t want to wipe that out completely either. I just didn’t want it as the default. After some research, I found a way (and the whole process made me a bit nervous — kind of that same feeling you get when you login as root on a unix box to do something delicate).
First, I recommend that you run a GoodLink backup to your SD card. Open the GoodLink app, go to Preferences in the bottom pane (all the way to the right), select it, choose Backup, then run the backup (you’ll need to know your handheld passcode — ask your administrator. But don’t tell your administrator what you’re doing or you’ll probably get your hand smacked.)
Then, if you don’t already have it, you need to download and install FileZ on your Treo. All this does is give you access to all the files on the Palm OS filesystem. This is a tool that must be used very carefully, since you can move, copy, and delete any files on the Treo, even ones you didn’t know were there.
Next, use FileZ to find the file
GoodAddressBookApp.prc on your Treo and select it. Look at the filename you have selected, count to ten, then look at it again to make sure it’s the right one. Then delete it.
After I did this, the built-in Contacts database on my Palm became the default, and I was back to managing my contacts on Palm Desktop and using HotSync as I did before. Even better, the GoodLink contacts database still works, but I have to get to it by going to the GoodLink app, then navigating to it in the bottom pane. No big deal. For some reason, though, the caller ID didn’t seem to work properly until I did a soft reset on the Treo 650. Now incoming calls once again display the name of the caller if they are in my personal contacts database.
Of course, I’m putting this out there because it worked for me, but if you blow up your Treo doing what I described, I won’t really be able to help you. Do this at your own risk.
One last thing: my decision to do this is no knock on GoodLink. It’s an awesome product, and I’m loving it so far. E-mail is pushed to the Treo Blackberry-style, and I can manage my calendar and meeting requests just as easily as I can using Outlook on the desktop. I highly recommend it.
(Some credit: one of the posts by dennisl on TreoCentral got me on the right track.)