Glutton for Punishment or A Fool and His Money

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blackberry
So as soon as I heard about Information Appliance Associates BlackBerry Sync I went over and purchased it. I had already been completely burned by their PocketMac PocketPC sync a few years ago– It didn’t sync right and removing it caused my Mac to not be able to login (it messed up something in the login sequence), I had to eventually re-install to get back to where I wanted to be. But I got this, cause I love my BB. But I’m sorry I did. These people are bad programmers. It screwed up my Address Book on the Mac (It removed all entries after ‘D’). It duplicated all the addresses on my BB. It doesn’t log a thing. Its difficult to stop or remove. Basically, it sucks. IAA support is spotty and while they do eventually get back to you, it will take a while. Plus, like I said, their de-install methods are horrible. I’m sorry I got it and I won’t let their software get anywhere near my Mac ever again. The only cool thing about it was that it allows you to use it on two macs. BTW, here is a proper removal procedure that for some reason they can’t even publish. Stay away from this if you value you data. Luckily, my Address Book data was also on my ibook, and by using .Mac I was able to recover it all. IAA had no explanation for the data-loss.

Here is more at the BlackBerry Developer forum:

Re: Blackberry for mac

Posted: Aug 23, 2004 10:16 AM

Reply

It has nothing to do with the instructions.

The problem with all PocketMac products is that they hack into iSync, and do so incorrectly. Here’s the technical skinny:

iSync maintans a “Backup Conduit”, which saves the state of the databases for all the applications it supports, so-called “Application Conduits”. Such conduits are available for Safari, iCal, AddressBook, Exchange, etc. When it starts, it checks the consistency of this database. It then:

1) goes through each device conduit, sending it an “openSync” message. Normally, a device conduit will open a connection to it’s device, and return control to iSync.

2) it then asks each device conduit which data classes it can support (ie. contacts, calendar events, tasks, etc.) and each device responds.

3) It then asks each device conduit to read from it’s device, and report any changes back to iSync.

4) iSync merges all the changes, then sends a series of messages back to each device, telling it to add, remove, or update a record as necessary.

5) iSync tells each conduit to commit it’s changes to it’s respective device.

6) iSync updates the effected applications and the backup conduit database

PocketMac only responds to the message in 1). It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that ignoring all the other messages , and moreover, directly updating applications that iSync isn’t expecting is going to have a disasterous effect. The PocketMac documentation mentions having to sync several times for the changes to take effect. Now you (and they) know why. Disasterous? Eventually, the backup conduit gets so corrupted that iSync resets (ie. WIPES it out), and you know what that means.

Further, iSync is only a GUI to Apple System Sync Services, which launches several distinct threads of execution on all conduits. PocketMac does NOT handle this!

In short, this is virusware. Don’t touch it with a 1000-ft pole. Wait for something better if you value your data. These guys need to go back to hacking school.

If it “Works for you”, you probably aren’t using Address Book or iCal, or trying to sync with another device a well (ie. an iPod) . Regardless, it will however crash (badly) at some point. I’d get a refund.

I’d wait for something else. Also, use MissingSync for your Mac to PocketPC needs.