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By Chris De Herrera 
Copyright 1998-2007
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Synchronizing with the Macintosh
By Gary Kantz Copyright 2000, All Rights Reserved
Revised 7/17/2000

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Getting Started

Requirements

Virtual PC 3.0
Mac Serial Adapter
Keyspan SX Pro
Serial PCI Adapter
For newer Macs

If you have an older, beige G3, all you really need is a Mac Serial Adapter cable from PDA Concepts (about $20 if memory serves me). If you have a newer blue G3 or a graphite G4, it gets a bit expensive. In addition to the aforementioned adapter cable, get a Keyspan SX Pro Serial PCI Card (about $159). The card is not cheap but if you have any older Mac peripherals you can use them with this card as well.  There's another option now to sync directly to a newer Mac using USB.  Check out Pocket Mac which allows a user to transfer files, install programs and synchronize directly.

Installing the Keyspan SX Pro

After installing the card, Virtual PC 3.0 will recognize your 4 new serial ports. Connect the Mac serial adapter cable to port #1 on the card, and your Pocket PC cradle or cable to the other end of the adapter cable. Then open the Keyspan control panel under your Mac OS (I use MacOS 9.0.4 - don't know about older versions but I assume it will work with 8.0 and above). Select Port #1, and make sure the "double baud rate" and "emulate printer port" boxes are checked. The port speed will then be set to 38400, which is slow but actually quite acceptable. Now, go into Virtual PC and change the COM1 setting, selecting port #1 of the newly recognized card. Then install ActiveSync 3.1.

Using Virtual PC

From this point forward everything worked seamlessly as if I was on any old Windows 98 PC with no problems whatsoever. Outlook sync works perfectly. Installing apps on my Jornada 548 works fine. I can even link to AvantGo with no problems. One additional suggestion: Disable your serial port under ActiveSync when you are done syncing, and only enable the port while your Pocket PC is in the cradle when you want to sync again. Otherwise you will wait forever for ActiveSync to realize you have removed your device from the cradle.

Other Issues

Until Connectix upgrades its USB capabilities for VPC, iMac, iBook and Powerbook users are out of luck. If Microsoft was smart, they would develop a Mac ActiveSync client that would work with Outlook Express for Mac or better yet the new Mac Office 2001 PIM they are developing. They are making that PIM Palm compatible (ugh!!), NOT Pocket PC compatible!!

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