How to Sync Time & Chaos with the Palm Pre via Exchange & ChaosHost

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So I bit the bullet this weekend and bought the new Palm Pre without knowing first if I would be able to sync my beloved PIM program, Time & Chaos, which has all of my contacts, to do items and appointments for the past 15 years or so.

Being the early adopter that I am, I like living on the edge.  The worst part about it was having to wait until Monday for ChaosSoftware to set up my ChaosHost account.  After a few hours of 2 steps forward, 2 steps back and some help from the very helpful Bill at Chaos Software here's how to make it all work the right way (the first time).  TIP:  To capture screenshots on the Palm Pre, hold down the ORANGE Function key, SYM key and press the letter P.  You don't get any feedback that it's capturing the shot.  Go to Photos and you will see a separate folder for screencaptures.

1. Sign up for a Chaos Host account. You will need this in order to make the online sync work via Exchange.  You can call them at (972)759-1121 and request a 30-day trial if you want to try it out first but I just dove headfirst into the 2-year plan for $149.  1-year is $99.

2. Synchronize your desktop copy of Time & Chaos with your ChaosHost and then login to your ChaosHost account.

3.  Go to the Options menu and under Administrator Options find the link to Change Over-The-Air Mobile Sync Preferences.  Make sure that you enable over the air sync and set your time zone.  You leave the other settings as their defaults.  Here's a snapshot of my settings.

4. Create a Palm Profile account for your shiny new Pre.

5.  Enable WiFi on the Palm Pre and connect (hopefully) to your fast WiFi network.  This will make it all work much faster instead of spending hours asking yourself why it isn't working.

6.  Tap on the Contacts icon and you should get this screen or something like it.  Note:  If you forged ahead and set up your Palm Pre before doing any of this, you will need to tap the Contacts icon, tap the drop down (upper-left-hand corner) for Contacts, select Preferences & Accounts and then Add an Account.  It's much easier if you just do this first when you take the Palm Pre out of the box...:-)

Add an Account

 7.  Tap on the Microsoft Exchange option which takes you to the next screen.

8. Do not enter anything here. Instead, tap the Contacts drop down in the upper-left-hand corner of the screen and select Manual Setup which brings up the next screen.


9. Now...the account setup requires that you type in an email address.  I don't know if it checks that it's a valid email address or if just the form of the email address is correct but I set up a new email account to use just for this account.  Note you will not be syncing your email via ChaosHost so this email address will not be used.

10.  Type in an email address. Do not use your regular email address that you will want to be checking on the Palm Pre.  Either set up a new email account or you can try typing in a dummy email address and seeing if that works.


11.  In the incoming mail server, type exactly what is listed above (  Leave the domain empty.  Type in your username and password for your ChaosHost account. Scroll down and tap the Sign In button onscreen.

12.  You should see it trying to sign-in.  If successful, you will see a little sync icon show up in the bottom right-corner of your screen (in the same location as that little envelope is now) and it should say it's started to sync.  Depending upon how many years of data it may take awhile.  I started to see data come into the Contacts section fairly fast and within a half-hour or so all of my data was there.

13.  Lastly, go to the Calendar and you will get a prompt to Add an Account.  I didn't get a chance to capture this screen but I think the answer is No or Done to the question.  Go to your Calendar and in the upper-right- hand corner it should say ALL.  When you drop this menu down, you should see your Exchange account (which is ChaosHost) and Palm Profile.

14.  Now you can go about setting up all of your email accounts and other settings.

15.  You will be able to sync: contacts, appointments and tasks from ChaosHost to your Palm Pre.  You will not be able to sync memos via this method.

Hope this is helpful.  Let me know if anyone has any trouble with this.  I will probably do my own un-scientific review of the Palm Pre after I've had a week to put it through its paces.  Now that I have my data, I am much happier with the Pre.

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