After trying to diagnose the problem remotely over ssh, going through several dozen tests of kernel changes, userland software changes, and other configuration changes, it was decided that the best course of action was to ship me the phone, and have me work on it directly on my own hardware. Debugging things remotely can be tedious and frustrating at times.
After I received the phone, I unpacked it and charged it up for a few hours. My normal production Debian system is configured to talk to dozens of Palm devices, so I plugged it into that first, and tried to sync.
It worked first try!
So now I had to figure out why this phone wouldn’t work on SuSE 9.1 Professional. After a long and tedious installation on a test drive in my laptop, I was up and running with SuSE, replicating the exact same environment that the owner of this phone was running.
Another quick test with my standard tools on SuSE, and it worked straight away too. Odd. So now I had to figure out what was broken at the upper levels..
More testing revealed that the culpret in at least one large piece of the puzzle, was a broken version of gnome-pilot, the “glue” behind the PIM Evolution. Upgrading the gnome-pilot package to the latest version (from source, compiled on SuSE), fixed the issue, and I was able to sync.
Lets hope that when the owner gets his phone back, we can make it work on HIS end as well.. I took dozens of pictures of the phone, and lots of screenshots. I’ll put those up in a gallery of some sort later on.