This section covers some hardware difficulties you may occasionally encounter and their solutions.
The completely black or completely white syndrome strikes many a Piloteer. In most cases, the problem is simple: while jostling around in your pocket or briefcase, the contrast knob at the edge of the unit got turned all the way to black or white. (That’s probably why, on the redesigned Palm III and all later models, the contrast knob is much harder to turn accidentally.)
If the contrast knob isn’t the problem, it’s conceivable that your memory card has come loose inside the palmtop (after being dropped or swapped, for example).
If you checked the memory card, tried a soft reset (described earlier in this chapter), and checked the contrast knob, but the screen is still empty, your PalmPilot probably needs to be repaired.
Finally, hold the palmtop up to your ear and listen for the faint buzz. If you don’t hear it, your batteries, or your palmtop, may be dead. If you hear the buzz, the screen’s connector cable may have come loose inside. Contact 3Com.
If you’ve never heard this hummy, hissy sound, try it right now: Hold the PalmPilot right up to your ear and turn it on. (Turn the backlighting on for a much louder hum.)
The sound is perfectly normal, and there’s nothing you can do about it; it’s made by the gadget’s electronics. (As 3Com explains it: “The humming is caused ...