Treo 650/Cingular: atrocious GPRS speeds lately

Has anyone else noticed their web browsing speeds on Cingular GPRS (MEdia Net) have gotten *ridiculously* slow lately? It’s driving me batty. As far as I can tell, the download speed is reasonable, but the upload latency has gotten ridiculously bad. It’s not uncommon for Blazer to be stuck in the “Sending…” stage for 5 minutes. I don’t think I’m being too harsh when I insist that sending 20 or 30 bytes for an HTTP GET request should take less than 5 minutes.

MotivAider® substitute?

The other day I was browsing through the O’Reilly book “Mind Performance Hacks” and it was talking about changing your habits through the use of a simple device called the MotivAider®. Basically it’s a pager-like thing that vibrates at a chose interval in order to remind you to do things. Sounds simple, huh? Unfortunately, the device costs $60! Seems pretty steep for a vibrating alarm clock.

I’m thinking that there must be some simple program that I can install on my Treo 650 that would do the same thing. In fact, I have a few timer programs such as TikTok and 1TouchTimer, but I don’t think either can set recurring timers.

Anybody know some Palm software that would fit the bill?

Mind Performance Hacks : Tips & Tools for Overclocking Your Brain (Hacks)

Upgraded my Treo 650 firmware to 1.20

Referring to the nice guide at Treonauts, I finally upgraded my Treo 650’s firmware to the 1.20 firmware for unlocked GSM devices. As is typical with Treo firmware upgrades, it was frightening and anything but uneventful.

I had gotten tired of waiting for Palm to release a firmware updater for Mac OS X, so I finally decided to just do it on Windows, even though it’s not the primary machine that I sync with these days. I grabbed the wife’s laptop and attempted to sync with that, but I could not get it to sync. My wife recently installed Palm Desktop for Clie so she could sync her Clie – perhaps that somehow killed my Treo syncing or maybe it’s weirdness from trying to get Hotsync to work with Windows XP’s fast-user switching feature. Eventually I tired of trying to get it to work and thought maybe I’d do it on Virtual PC on my PowerBook. After many attempts, I could get the Virtual PC to see the Palm USB device but not to Hotsync with it. Many people complained about this on the Web but no one had a good solution beyond doing a Bluetooth sync instead. So I went with the Bluetooth sync, which of course is much slower, but also seemed to be very error-prone for me. It took maybe 5 attempts before I got it to send the entire update to the Treo – before that it kept losing the Bluetooth connection or something and ending up in a weird state. On said fifth attempt, it sent everything over and a reset or two later I had 1.20 and then just had to flip over to the Mac and Hotsync to restore my data.

So now it says 1.20 in Phone Info, though I haven’t played with it enough to have any opinion on whether it has helped or hurt speed, battery life, Bluetooth range, or sound quality. I guess time will tell…

Palm and Treo Hacks : Tips & Tools for Mastering Your Handheld (Hacks)

Treo 650 Updater 1.20 for Unlocked GSM phones

  • Improved memory handling for opening larger web pages
  • Optimized Bluetooth performance and added support for additional headset or carkits*
  • Improved voice quality
  • Improved device performance for heavy data usage such as email or web downloads.
  • Includes Versamail 3.1E, the latest version for the Treo 650 smartphone
    including an updated Mail Service (ISP) list which includes Gmail support
  • Added support for Gmail attachment downloads via web browser
  • Improved performance and increased stability with third-party email solutions
    that are offered directly from carrier partners.
  • Added support for wired carkits
  • Updated carrier settings for data connections and MMS or when roaming internationally
  • Masked password entry in browser to increase privacy
  • Improved customizable voice or sound recordings for specific callers
  • Sounds like a nice update – I haven’t taken the plunge yet though as I want to do it when I have a good block of free time in case something goes wrong.

Seidio Treo 650 Hotsync cable – with a Hotsync button!

Great accessory. My Boxwave miniSync seemed to be acting flakey (couldn’t get Hotsyncs to work, I suspect it takes too much abuse in my pocket) and I had long wanted the Seidio retractable sync charge cable after reading the review of it at treoAddicts . It’s just really convenient to have a Hotsync button on the cable. No more futzing around with the Treo itself and keyguard, etc. Just reach over and press the button. Simple and easy.

I smile every time I push the button. It’s funny how such a simple product can be so satisfying.