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How to sync your Palm via IrDA Apps
The Palm website gives instructions on how to sync via IrDA but they are woefully incomplete. After spending a few hours tinkering with different configurations I finally got it to work.

You must first make sure that you have Palm OS 3.5.3 installed. Otherwise the hotsync will begin and then quit as it will try to install the 3.5.3 update and then die. I had to install the update from a PC, since I couldn't sync on my powerbook. It is probably possible to install it with Palm HotSync for OS 9 but I never tried this. Palm has a web page that talks about not being able to hotsync pdb's or prc's via IrDA.

Read the rest of the article for the step-by-step to sync via IrDA in OS X...

Here are the steps to enable IrDA hot syncs:

On your Mac:
  1. Make sure that OS X 10.1.3 and Palm Desktop 4.0 are installed.
  2. Open Palm Hotsync Manager
  3. Under the HotSync Controls tab make sure HotSync is enabled
  4. Under the Connection Settings tab make sure the checkbox next to 'IR Port' is checked. Select IR Port and click on Settings. Select Serial as the Connection and select 'As fast as possible'.
On your Palm:
  1. Open the HotSync application.
  2. On the main screen make sure 'Local' is selected and 'IR to a PC/Handheld' as the connection type.
  3. Select 'Connection Setup...' from the 'Options' menu.
  4. Select 'Direct Serial' and click 'Done'.
Make sure that IrDA is on. This should happen automatically if HotSync is enabled. I noticed that I wasn't able to turn IrDA off unless I disabled HotSync (or killed the Transport process).

Now line up your palm IrDA port with the one on your powerbook. Open the Hotsync app on your Palm and click on the big hotsync button. If all is well at this point you should see an intermittent communication happening between the palm and your Powerbook. You may have to wait for the 'Waiting for Sender' window to clear on your palm before you can click on the Sync button. Good Luck.

[Editor's note: I have not personally tested this procedure...]
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Palm OS 4.0
Authored by: Terbor on Apr 03, '02 04:10:43PM

I haven't tried installing any of the Palm applications on OS X yet. Just used my work PC (yeah, I know) for synchronizing. But I've seen notes like this one that mention having 3.5.3 installed on the Palm. Does anyone have experience using a Palm with OS 4.0 on it? Any problems? Or does it work fine?

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Bit by the install bug
Authored by: sjonke on Apr 03, '02 05:11:47PM

It works, but I was just bit by the sync timeout problem and see here that this is due to installing prc and pdb files via IR not being supported by palm. Lame. Or is there are reason for it? This limitation makes IR syncing largely pointless.

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A couple of other hints
Authored by: Mark A. Matthews on Apr 04, '02 11:57:11AM

Go to Apple Menu:System Preferences:Network and click on the Show: tab to select "Active Network Ports". Make sure that IrDA Modem port is turned off. If it is on, you'll get an instant kernel panic when you go to hot sync from the Palm.

I found that I could only get a hot sync to complete when downloading a large database (500K) to the Palm when I turned off flow control over the connection. On the Palm, go to Hot Sync Menu:Connection Setup, edit the "IR to PC/Handheld" configuration, IrCOMM to PC method details, and set the speed to 115200 and the flow control to "automatic" or "off".

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