[Techtalk] usb "palmpilot" "how do I ?"

Akkana akkana at shallowsky.com
Thu Oct 25 12:01:59 EST 2001

jfweber at eternal.net writes:
> okay , here's the situation , just got a Handspring Visor ( prism in
> case it matters ) but it comes w/ a USB connection . The problem is ,
> there seems no way to tell Suse linux (7.2) that it is on/in(?) any usb

It's definitely possible -- my husband has a Visor which he syncs from
SuSE (though I think he has 7.3, not 7.2, and he built a 2.4.9 kernel
on my advice since we have some other hardware that needs it.

First, Jen's correct that you need the usbserial and visor modules
in addition to basic usb.  Those may or may not be in the standard
SuSE distribution (probably are, SuSE is pretty good about things
like that) but the Visor driver is fairly new and might work better
if you build a newer kernel (if you have problems, it's something
to consider, anyway).

Second, you have to use /dev/usb/ttyUSB1, not 0 as you might expect.
The Visor driver uses both 0 and 1, but it uses 0 for some kind of
special purpose (and sometimes syncing to that line will work, I've
heard, but not reliably), while the main conduit goes on 1.

Third, the device /dev/usb/ttyUSB1 doesn't exist until you press the
hotsync button.  So you have to press hotsync *first*, then quickly
run pilot-xfer or whatever program you're using (which will then
tell you to press the hotsync button, but you don't need to press
it again).

Finally, some USB users have reported that the "coldsync" package
handles usb PDAs better than pilot-link (for instance, it handles
some PDAs for which there are no kernel drivers, like (I think) the
m500).  But Dave wasn't able to figure out how to get coldsync working,
and I'm a big fan of pilot-link and haven't had any problems with it
with my Palm IIIxe and a Keyspan PDA usb-serial adaptor, so I haven't
been motivated to try coldsync myself.  For a visor you shouldn't
need it.


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