Solutions to common questions about the Palm CowCalf.
The Palm CowCalf Software program is designed
to be exceptionally easy to use, yet a powerful tool for collecting
field data, and the data can be easily downloaded into CowCalf5
on the PC.
What are the steps to get data to the
Palm and back again?
Once the CowCalf5 and CowCalf5 Palm software
has been installed on both the PC and PDA, you are ready to
download your herd data to the Palm device. Start up CowCalf5
on the PC and open the herd you wish to download to the PDA.
Select the production year that you wish to download to the
PDA from the Year drop down menu. Click on the PDA drop down
menu and select Export to PDA. A screen will be displayed identifying
the number of records to be exported. While this screen is still
up, press the Hot Sync button on the Palm to sync (download)
data. Once the sync is completed, click on the button "Click
when Hot Sync is Complete" to close the export window.
Your herd data should now be on the Palm. You are now ready
to use the Palm to collect data, which means you will make changes
as necessary to the data on the Palm.
It is recommended that you Hot Sync the Palm
with your computer periodically, (even nightly if you are making
a lot of updates) to download your changes to the PC. Each time
that you Hot Sync, all the data on your hand held PDA will be
automatically backed up to the PC. So if the Palm loses its
memory, everything can be restored from the PC by simply Hot
After each Hot Sync, you should go to CowCalf5 and import the
changes into the database. The updates to CowCalf5 from the
PDA are made when you import the changes to CowCalf5. When you
start CowCalf5 up, you will receive a message that informs you
of any Palm records that need to be updated. If there are records
to be updated, click on the Update Records button.
Note only the records that have been changed
on the Palm will be updated.
NOTE: It is not necessary to export the records to the Palm
after importing the records to the PC, as the records should
be the same. If you sync each night, the number of records that
the PC will say need importing will increase, as all the updated
records on the Palm will be dumped each time. This is not a
problem, and shouldn't cause any problems unless you are also
modifying the same records on the computer. If you are making
modifications on the PC as well as on the Palm, then you would
need to export the data to the Palm after you finish modifications
on the PC to get the latest revisions on the Palm.
Can I use the CowCalf5 Palm software without CowCalf5?
The CowCalf5 Palm software is designed to work
exclusively as a data collection program for the CowCalf5 Computerized
Herd Record and Analysis System. In order to utilize the Palm
software you must first have your herd inventory entered on
the desktop CowCalf5 software. Then you download the records
to the Palm to download the yearly production data. The CowCalf5
Palm software does not currently give you the ability to add
new cow records, but you can add new calving (calf) records.
A stand-alone program called Cow
& Calf Records for the Palm is available for user who
wish to collect cow production data, but do not wish to purchase
the CowCalf5 Computerized Herd Record and Analysis System.
Can I have more than one Palm collecting
data on a single herd?
It is possible to have multiple PDA's collecting
data for one herd. When you are finished exporting the production
year records to one Palm, simply sync the other Palm prior to
closing the Export to PDA window.
After making the changes on the Palms, come back
and sync the first device with the computer. After syncing the
first device, start up CowCalf5 and import that data into CowCalf5.
Then, after shutting down CowCalf5, sync the second PDA. When
finished syncing the second Palm, go to CowCalf5 and import
that data into CowCalf5. If you want both (or all) PDA's to
have updated records, then you must export the database from
the PC back to all PDAs after importing the last PDA's data.
Can I have multiple Palms collecting
data on different herds that are in the same computer?
Yes. Each herd in CowCalf5 is identified by a
herd number. That herd number is retained in the Palm software.
So, as long as the herd number doesn't change, the identity
of the individual records will be retained. It is not recommended
that one Palm synchronize with more that one computer.
What kind of Palm do I need to utilize
What are the hardware requirements for
Any PDA that is running Palm 3.5 or higher operating
system, with at least 8 Meg RAM. This would include almost all
Palm devices. We have had great luck running the software on
the Palm I705, M125 and M130’s, which is an older model
Palms with 8 Meg RAM. Though the software utilizes less than
1 Meg total memory, we have encountered some memory problems
running the software on Palms with 2 Meg RAM. We have not tested
it on PDA's with 4 Meg RAM. CowCalf5 Palm doesn't require any
of the advanced features found in the higher priced Palms, which
includes features like wireless internet and email, although
CowCalf5 Palm Software will run properly on these machines also.
NOTE: The term Palm and PDA in this document
refers not only to Palm brand PDA's but also any other brand
PDA that is running the Palm 3.5 or later operating system.
Can I use the CowCalf5 Palm software
on a Windows CE device?
There is a seperate Windows CE CowCalf software
program that has the same capabilities as the Palm software
called Pocket CowCalf. To install Pocket CowCalf, download the
file WinCE.EXE from the CowCalf5 downloads page. You will need
to know which processor your pocket pc uses, in order to install
the appropriate software. In order to run the Pocket CowCalf
software on your Win CE device, you will also need a program
call Appforge Booster, which you can purchase from www.Appforge.com
for a fee of around $25.
How much does the CowCalf5 Palm Software
There is no charge for the CowCalf5 Palm software
for current CowCalf5 owners. The cost of the CowCalf5 program
is US $500.
Can I customize the fields that show
up on the palm?
To limit the amount of data that is transported
between and stored on the PDA, only a limited number of fields
are exported. As such, only the fields that are visible on the
Palm are utilized. Future versions of the program may address
What can I do if I wish to collect data
on fields that are not on the Palm?
There is no way to add more fields to the PDA
software, but the Comments section can be used to store any
additional information that you would like to collect about
an individual animal. The comments on the Palm are added to
the comments on the individual animal in CowCalf5. If an individual
has comments, the Add Comments button in CowCalf5 will change
to View Comments. The information stored in the comments field
can then be manually transferred to other fields.
How often should I synchronize my Palm
with the computer?
Since information stored on the Palm is in memory,
and not on a permanent storage media like hard drive, this data
may be lost if the Palm's batteries die or the Palm loses power
for more than a couple of minutes. It is extremely simple and
quick to back up the Palm and all the data stored on it. It
is suggested that the Palm be synchronized each evening with
the PC. Synchronize more often if there are significant changes
made to the Palm data that you do not want to lose.
When I sync the Palm and PC, the herd data doesn't get
copied to the Palm?
What can I do? When synchronizing with the Palm,
the CowCalf5 database will automatically start up allowing for
data to flow. If this is not happening, then most likely, the
CowCalf5 Palm software is not full installed on the PC. To correct
this problem, follow the instructions below.
How do I configure the Palm software
to utilize an EID reader?
The Palm CowCalf software currently supports
the connection to three different EID readers, the TekInd EID
Sled, the Y-Tex Bluetooth EID Reader, and a .Destron (Digital
Angle) EID Reader. To enable an EID reader, simply start up
the Palm CowCalf application, and on the main menu, click on
the Menu Button (located below the Home button is the Graffiti
Area of the screen). This will display the Main Screen Menus.
Click EID, and choose the appropriate EID Reader. The palm will
automatically initialize the reader for use. Then within the
CowCalf program, simply click on the label or menu that specifies
the EID reader or Second ID to read a tag.
How can I find a cow or calf without scrolling through
all the ID’s?
When you are on the list of Cows or Calfs, you
can write the first letter/number of the animal in the graffiti
area, to get the list to automatically scroll to the first animal
with that number, write additional letter/numbers of the ID
will further scroll to the animal in question. When the animal
ID is displayed, simply click on it to Edit that animals record.
How do I handle Twins?
If a cow has twins, then enter the first calf
in the original calf’s sheet. Then Click on the Menu Button
(below the House button). This brings up the menu on the Calving
Sheet. Under the Edit Menu, click on the Create Twin button
to create an additional twin record to enter the second calf.
You will notice that when either calves are displayed on the
screen, there is a Twin button in the upper right hand corner
of the screen. Clicking on it toggles between the two twin calves.