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> Ann: Zmacsync-1.5 Available, First in series of final releases
dhns
post Nov 30 2004, 12:22 PM
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Dear all,

after running the beta test phase and fixing about 50 bugs, the (first) final release is out. I hope that you are happy about the progress we have made. And we hope we can help to make the Zaurus - Macintosh combination much more popular by closing that missing link! Please spread out this news.

This release has now become shareware. This means you can fully test the program without any restrictions. But you will get a reminder message every time you want to sync until you register the software...

The fee of 10$ (plus EU VAT if applicable) is low so that we think everybody can afford it. But you are invited to add a voluntary donation. And be assured that we won't get rich from that unsure.gif

If you find a bug (and statistics says there are at least one or two left over) or want to propose new features, please send a mail to mailto:zmacsync@dsitri.de or use the special ZMacSync forum at http://www.dsitri.de/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=18.

Development will continue and the areas we want to address in upcoming versions are:
* find the remaining bugs
* make Calendar sync really working (so that dates and recurrences are displayed properly)
* make Sync of Calendar, ToDo, Notes work from Zaurus to the Mac
* add an Autosync mode - just start ZMacSync, plug in the Zaurus and let it sit there and track all changes to the Mac addresses and calendars in the background until you need and unplug it
* Tiger support biggrin.gif - We expect that ZMacSync will run on Tiger. But integration with the new iSync frameworks is a different story.
* add a real "Manual"

Thanks again to all participants of the beta tests!

-- hns
Download: http://www.dsitri.de/wiki.php?page=ZMacSync
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ArchiMark
post Nov 30 2004, 08:48 PM
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Great news, dhns!

Went and purchased ZMacSync 1.5 and tried it.

Works great so far!! tongue.gif

It feels great to finally be able to sync with my Mac!

All you Macsters out there should check this out and purchase it if you want to sync...small price to pay to have a way to do this.

Look forward to continued improvements/refinements....

You've been extremely responsive to user input, which is also appreciated.

Thanks SO much for providing this sync solution to the Mac/Z community!

Mark
SL-C3000
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ralphrmartin
post Dec 1 2004, 05:17 AM
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I'm afraid this program is not yet ready for real use - even ignoring that some of the sync features are not yet available.

Here are some of the problems I have had:


ZMacSync hung while syncing my address book of about 700 entries (or maybe it just was taking a very long time - but there's no progress bar or other report so you can tell the difference).

On first sync, *identical* entries on the Zaurus and the Mac were copied across to the Mac (they were put on the Zaurus from the Mac in the first place using ZMacSync 1.0a3), resulting in hundreds of duplicate entries in my Mac's address book.

Could not connect to a Zaurus which has a passcode set (which is necessary if your Zaurus has a static IP address!)
[The documentation does say this might not work, I admit. However, I have no trouble using Fugu (sftp) to connect to the Zaurus with a passcode set.]


On another point, the installation document assumes the user is using a USB cable for syncing, rather than WiFi, and it could say what is necessary in the latter case.


So, while the program holds promise, and I wish the author well in getting it all going, it seems a little premature to be expecting us to pay for it given that it is both incomplete and buggy.
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dhns
post Dec 1 2004, 07:22 AM
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QUOTE(ralphrmartin @ Dec 1 2004, 02:17 PM)
I'm afraid this program is not yet ready for real use - even ignoring that some of the sync features are not yet available.

Hi,
sorry that you have these problems with ZMacSync. We will try to solve them if they can be repeated. Other users have reported that it now works for them without issues.
QUOTE
ZMacSync hung while syncing my address book of about 700 entries (or maybe it just was taking a very long time - but there's no progress bar or other report so you can tell the difference).

There are reports from the author of AJZaurusUSB that the USB hardware of the SL5500 devices is not stable and might stop communication. So ZMacSync will sit there and wait. To test, you could try to start a parallel ssh session to the Zaurus to find out if IP over USB is hanging.
QUOTE
On first sync, *identical* entries on the Zaurus and the Mac were copied across to the Mac (they were put on the Zaurus from the Mac in the first place using ZMacSync 1.0a3), resulting in hundreds of duplicate entries in my Mac's address book.

This is a result of the way syncing works. ZMacSync has no idea / makes no assumptions about the content of the records. So, entries are identified by an "unique-ID" tag. If there are initially entries on both machines which look the same, they are still processed as two different entries having different "unique-ID". So, records apparently identical are therefore copied to the peer. In normal operation, this allows to reliably detect deletions, additions and modifications and allows to sync only what really has been changed. And to limit the data loss by conversion from one machine to the other. It is basically the same mechanism as Apple uses for iSync.

The solution for your problem is to start with a fresh and empty Zaurus address book (the 1.0a3 release did not yet have the unique-ID mechanism!). Sync will then copy all entries from the Mac to the Zaurus.
QUOTE
Could not connect to a Zaurus which has a passcode set (which is necessary if your Zaurus has a static IP address!)
[The documentation does say this might not work, I admit. However, I have no trouble using Fugu (sftp) to connect to the Zaurus with a passcode set.]

Yes, ssh and sftp can handle passcodes/passwords properly, but we have not yet found a mechanism to make a wrapper around the ssh command that can pass in the passcode. If you or somebody else knows of a solution we will be happy to integrate this feature.
QUOTE
On another point, the installation document assumes the user is using a USB cable for syncing, rather than WiFi, and it could say what is necessary in the latter case.

Nothing special or different. Just set the IP address of the Zaurus in the "i" popup. But nevertheless a good point for adding to the upcoming "Manual".
QUOTE
So, while the program holds promise, and I wish the author well in getting it all going, it seems a little premature to be expecting us to pay for it given that it is both incomplete and buggy.

Well, this is a matter of personal valuation - I think ZMacSync can already save a lot of time worth 10$. But in the shareware model that we have choosen, you are invited to download, evaluate and pay only if you are personally happy with it.

So, thank you very much for the hints for further improvement.

-- hns
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ralphrmartin
post Dec 1 2004, 08:33 AM
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Nikolaus, thanks for the reply.

Here are a few further points of information, which I hope will help Nikolaus track down the problems.

(1) I was trying to sync using a WiFi connection to the Zaurus, not USB.

(2) ssh is working reliable to it from my Mac - I use Fugu to do sftp to copy files to and from my Zaurus all the time. I even copied the 200Mb Wikipedia using it...

(3) My Zaurus is a c860 with Sharp 1.30J ROM.

Also, a few further comments.

To be really useful, syncing should at least not try to copy absolutely identical records. In the longer run, some idea like the address book has of allowing the user to merge similar records would be the best solution to similar but different records, but I accept that this would need the program to become much more sophisticated.

Unfortunately, the current approach also makes it difficult to sync with two different Macs (desktop and laptop). Starting with a fresh and empty Zaurus address book is not compatible with the 2 Mac case. The stuff in Sync Services in Tiger is quite sophisticated, and may provide an answer in the longer term.

Anyway, a progress bar or similar while syncing would be useful feedback to users.

Regards

Ralph
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ralphrmartin
post Dec 1 2004, 08:57 AM
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Nikolaus said: I think ZMacSync can already save a lot of time worth 10$.

And he is right. Even if it is still not working quite right, I did use an earlier version to get all my address data into my Zaurus, and doing that as a one-shot operation must have saved me much more than $10 of time.

So, I have just paid up!
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zmike
post Dec 3 2004, 05:35 PM
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This has so much promise but falls short for me. It is worth mentioning that only Addressbook is bidirectional. I was looking for a way to sync my substantial calendar (which at work syncs with Exchange) - with my home IMac.

Unfortunately its seems there is no way to do this with this software. I'm probably not alone in that professionally I have to sync with Exchange (and do with Intellisync), but want to sync with my Mac as well. Any suggestions or is this coming in a future release?
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dhns
post Dec 4 2004, 06:33 AM
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QUOTE(zmike @ Dec 4 2004, 02:35 AM)
I was looking for a way to sync my substantial calendar ... Any suggestions or is this coming in a future release?

Hi,
it is being worked on. The reason why it takes a little longer is that there is no calendar framework installed on the Mac (contrary to the AddressBook framework). So we have to write our own to read and write iCalendar (.ics) files. Reading mostly works (besides not yet handling recurrent events and their exceptions). This needs a lot of testing before we dare to write to your calendar files.

But it is on high priority. Hope you can wait for that...

-- hns
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jamesannan
post Dec 5 2004, 05:42 PM
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Excellent!

Just got round to trying this out, and now I have a mobile copy of my calendar. Of course bidirectionality would be nice too...but it is already worth the $10 and I'll gget round to paying soon.

A couple of bugs on the syncing:

all-day events seem to start a day early, ie my birthday runs from 0:00 on the _previous_ day, to 23:59 on the correct day (multi-day events also start a day early). It missed several events completely, and did not use the due date info on iCal to-do items.

James
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twocargar
post Dec 7 2004, 07:55 PM
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Wow! Finally! Great work. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this sync solution. I will be sending my registration fee soon.

All I ever wanted was a way to sync OS X to my Z and this is the BEST way yet.

Thanks again for the effort!

TCG
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eji
post Dec 10 2004, 11:17 AM
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Is there any way users might have the option of synching with Entourage?

This isn't too much of a problem for me because I use a set of AppleScripts to sync my data from Entourage to the respective Apple apps. But the Entourage option might make it easier for some who use M$ Office suite exlusively, and it might also make some sync choices (calendar, notes, e-mail) on ZMacSync easier to enable.

This is one of the first apps I'll buy after I pick up my Z SL-6000 at Christmas!
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dhns
post Dec 15 2004, 02:50 AM
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QUOTE(eji @ Dec 10 2004, 08:17 PM)
Is there any way users might have the option of synching with Entourage?

We have no experience with Entourage and its data formats/programming interfaces. But we have recently seen on VersionTracker that someone is working on an iSync plugin for Entourage. So if you sync Entourage with iSync, it will update the MacOS address, calendar, stickies databases. And then, you can sync with the Zaurus.

This might even become smoother when Tiger comes with new standardized iSync interfaces as promised in the WWDC reports.

For those interested in what is going on with ZMacSync:

Currently, we are rewriting the iCalendar access framework for the third time... The data format itself is not really complex (RFC2445) but making it useful for larger and multiple calendars and properly interwork with iCal is a little more complex. And it should support the optimal translation from/to the Zaurus calendar (which has its own limitations).

This framework will also become the heart of the Calendar application for myPDA-Zaurus-Edition, the "MacROM for the Zaurus".

We have also found a solution to use the Passcode, so that you can synchronize with a protected Zaurus (if e.g. connected to the Internet via WLAN). It needs some more testing and will then be published.

-- hns
http://www.dsitri.de/wiki.php?page=ZMacSync
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tg
post Dec 15 2004, 03:28 AM
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What type of Z rom does Zmacsync work with - is it only Sharp and its pim db
or will this eventually also work with pdaXrom and/or oz? I am also guessing
that this will never sync directly with kopi/kapi? I guess once you have mac rom stable and
with its own PIM it won't matter cause you will have everything you need as far
as PIM and sync goes. But will we then have to give up access to all the other
apps from other roms (or is this going to be based on sharp so all of those apps
will still work). I hope this is not all in some faq - I do appologize in advance if it is.
No matter what, thanks for pushing mac stuff - it is great to see.
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dhns
post Dec 15 2004, 04:18 AM
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QUOTE(tg @ Dec 15 2004, 12:28 PM)
What type of Z rom does Zmacsync work with - is it only Sharp and its pim db
or will this eventually also work with pdaXrom and/or oz? I am also guessing
that this will never sync directly with kopi/kapi?

Currently it works with original Sharp ROMs and it has been reported by users to work on Cacko.
At the moment our goal is to provide a working solution "right out of the box" for those who have just purchased their Zaurus. So, we have closely tied the ZMacSync architecture to the Sharp DTM database which is not available on pdaXrom or OZ.
For kapi/kopi there is at least an import/export function for doing manual sync as it understands the iCalendar, vCard data formats.
QUOTE
... But will we then have to give up access to all the other
apps from other roms (or is this going to be based on sharp so all of those apps
will still work).

Good point.
Currently, myPDA is just an application ipk that switches off Qtopia when being launched and itself launches an X-Server, a Window Manager, the System Menu Server, and the "Finder". So, X-based applications will work in this environment (but only if they find the required libraries). But Qt-based applications can't coexist.
QUOTE
No matter what, thanks for pushing mac stuff - it is great to see.

We love the Macintosh and the Zaurus - both have great concepts and superior hardware and industrial design. So we want to help to bring them much closer together (which got much more tailwind by the introduction of the C3000).

-- hns
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ganoe
post Dec 17 2004, 06:25 PM
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Well, I finally got around to trying the latest 1.5.1 version. I started from scratch. I wanted to get addresses from my PC in Outlook to my Mac Address Book. I started with an empty Zaurus, synced from my PC to my Zaurus, then from my Zaurus to my Mac.

All the addresses that were previously in the Mac Address Book are now gone. ohmy.gif

Time to restore from the backup. sad.gif

I think this software still needs a lot of work.
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