RunPDA 32MB RAM Upgrade for my T665C

There I was, fighting to hold 2MB free out of 16MB on my Sony T665C. Barely limping along, I'd pulled out all the stops. I gained about 2MB of Flash with JackFlash, which bought me some time. However, time rushed through my fingers like water through a sewer drain. Then, suddenly, there on the horizon, the promise of 32MB of RAM. Like the sun rising in the east, RunPDA brightened my landscape.

OK, maybe that was a bit melodramatic. But I was getting cramped. ZLauncher delayed the inevitable with its excellent implementation of shortcuts. Then about a month ago, I was cruising on ClieSource and ran across a thread about RunPDA. I was especially intrigued by billtaiwan's early post. He was actually in Taiwan, visited the company for an upgrade, and gave them a very good recommendation. I exchanged a few emails with Don Lee of RunPDA on the upgrade itself, JackFlash compatibility, and getting a new battery.

The folks at RunPDA really have a great upgrade strategy. Although the VZ and SuperVZ CPUs can handle 32MB RAM (according to Motorola's spec sheets), Palm OS 4.x is hard coded with a 16 MB RAM limit. Before you laugh, remember that 8MB was the high end when OS 4 was released. RunPDA found a way to patch the Palm OS directly to support 32MB--the maximum that the SuperVZ CPU can handle. The beauty of this approach is that it requires no special drivers to recognize or use all the memory. Compatibility is 100% since all memory calls are standard. RunPDA simply replaces the memory chip, then reflashes the device with the patched OS and tests it. Simple and beautiful. The upgrade doesn't affect JackSprat/Flash compatibility.

So, feeling very comfortable after the ClieSource thread and my exchanges with Don at RunPDA, I backed up my device to both the memory stick using BackupBuddyVFS 2.04 and my PC using BackupBuddy, hard reset then boxed up my T665C and shipped it to Taiwan via Express Mail. The shipping time to Taiwan was about three days. RunPDA installed the goods, tested the upgrade, and shipped it back in the same day. Five more days (including the Labor Day holiday which held up customs) and I had my baby back. Total downtime without a holiday is about seven or eight days.

RunPDA is a class act. They returned my device, along with my original battery, safely packed in a nice plastic box . Other than their small adhesive dot over the Jog Dial housing, you can't tell any work was done on the T665C. The dot verifies no tampering, and preserved the 90-day warranty. Plus, they fully charged the new battery! Turning it on and tapping right to the info screen revealed a most satisfying statistic--30MB of 31MB Free!

I promptly restored my data from the memory stick (thank you BBVFS!), including those programs formerly in Flash using JackSprat/Flash. I then started moving files from the card to my new RAM. I also decided to move the main, synonym, and English Phrases dictionary files for MS Dict to RAM for increased speed as I use these a great deal. I'm now sitting with 5.8MB free RAM out of 31MB total. Sweet.

I've run the upgrade through the ringer. All of my 13 hacks, 15 DAs, PiDirect II 2.0, SwitchDash 0.44, JackSprat 2.0b12, JackFlash 2.7b1, Crash 2.2, WordComplete 3.0, ClockFix 2.1, BeamOff 1.0, and ZLauncher 3.60 work perfectly. All my other major apps work perfectly as well. MS Dict 3.0 is virtually instantaneous now. I have way too much stuff to load everything even into 32MB of RAM, so have left 5.8MB free for now. I'm sure I'll think of something.

RunPDA commented in an email that the new RAM was faster than the factory memory. To test this, I pulled out my copy of the dreaded FastCPU 3.0a. Before the upgrade, my T665C would lock up at and above 75MHz. Now, it will run all the way up to 92MHz, though with the attendant instabilities inherent in FastCPU and overclocking in general. So, it looks like the replacement chip preforms well at much higher speeds. 99MHz locked me up tight for a hard reset (thank you again, BBVFS!).

This upgrade went as smooth as silk. The RunPDA folks, especially Don, were very helpful and answered all my questions spread over several emails before I shipped. They packed the T665C in a nice plastic box for the return, and did an top quality job on the upgrade itself. They worked hard, because they don't speak much English. Their website even states that they write better than speak English, which is common for second languages. They even emailed me with the tracking number when they shipped my device back.

Pricing is really dominated by the shipping if you live in the US. The 32MB upgrade runs just $69 plus $25 for return shipping. Given the steep round-trip shipping, I elected to also replace the battery for another $53, as it was slowly getting weaker. Add in the 3% PayPal fee, and the net damage came to $147.29 via PayPal. For just the memory upgrade, it would have been $96.82. Plus, it cost $20.50 to ship it to Taiwan, so the total cost for memory and battery was $167.79.

I am a very satisfied RunPDA customer--a genuinely happy camper. I highly recommend their services, and not just memory upgrades. Thanks, RunPDA!

Overall rating: 10/10 (It doesn't get any better or easier than this.)