How to restore a missing memo window in Palm Desktop ver. 6.2.2 on Windows 7

This entry is off-topic for my blog, but I’m compelled to offer a solution to a problem related to Palm Desktop ver 6.2.2 that I couldn’t find in any other Palm-related threads online.

I’m one of those old-school PDA folks who began building an electronic address book and reams of memos a couple of decades ago. For years, I used Palm devices until I eventually had to migrate to an Android device. (How to manage that move is whole other story.)

As it turns out, you can still use Palm Desktop to sync with other devices. I use CompanionLink to sync my address book and memos. Palm Desktop has been a sturdy no-frills platform, and I expect I’ll keep using it as long as I can.


However, I’ve run into a recurring, pernicious, and mysterious problem. Every once in a while, I try to edit a memo in Palm Desktop, the editing window does not appear. It seems as if the software locks up. When I try to click on another memo or do anything in the main Desktop window, I get an error beep.

I realized a while back that the software has NOT locked up. The problem is that the memo editing window HAS opened, but it is somewhere off-screen. If one hits the Esc key, the missing edit window is closed and the main Palm software is accessible again (no error beeps).

When a window is missing, many folks suggest right-clicking on the clock/date display in the task-bar in Windows 7 and selecting “Cascade windows”. This can be helpful in other lost-window situations, but for some reason it does not seem to work for a missing Palm window.

BUT, I just discovered a solution at that does work for Palm Desktop. They write:

“Bring the troubled window to focus by clicking on it in the taskbar (or Alt+Tab) [ = make Palm Desktop active]. Now you can simply hold the Windows key on your keyboard and tap the arrow keys. With any luck, your missing window will snap back into view.”

I hope this post may help others who come across the same annoying problem.  It is MUCH easier than uninstalling and re-installing, which is often advised.


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Gun violence and data for public health

Last year, the “Peace Studies and Action” class I teach at Swarthmore College adopted gun violence prevention as the semester’s topic for study. It seemed appropriate to learn more about a problem of violence that is prominent in our region. In 2012, 284 out of 331 homicides in Philadelphia were committed with guns.

Police examining shooting scene

Photograph for the Gun Crisis Reporting Project by Joseph Kaczmarek.

I was inspired to pursue the topic by my former colleague at Swarthmore, the Pulitzer prize winning photojournalist, Jim MacMillan, who founded to bring the tools of professional journalists to bear on the gun violence epidemic in Philadelphia.

My students this semester are writing weekly blog posts on our internal class website. I hope to join them (as often as I can) and also place my posts here on my public blog.

This week we are reading David Hemenway’s Private Guns, Public Health, which summarizes the public health approach to gun injuries and deaths. As Hemenway explains, “[P]ublic health focuses directly on prevention–eliminating the problem before something bad happens” (p. 9).

That includes careful data collection in the service of figuring out how to make environments more safe.

Philadelphia County has made crime data publicly available, and a Weapons Related Incident Survey System (WRISS) was established in 2002 to compile data about all shooting incidents in the county.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has established its own online interactive mapped database that featured in an informational video developed by Jim MacMillan. has recently used its own reporting to track gun deaths in January 2014.

The service project we are undertaking as a class this semester follows a public health approach as we are seeking to build a simple database like the Philadelphia Inquirer’s database for Delaware County. (I anticipate that our attempts to find the data may be as educational as any other dimension of the course.)

We hope a database will help inform a wide range of efforts, both governmental and non- governmental because, as I also learned this week, public health is not just about the science but about organizing stakeholders for change.

Follow our class hashtag #swatgvp on Twitter or via Storify where our tweets will be bundled.


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A moment for nonviolent empowerment in Northern Ireland

In this piece by Sean Brennan, he proposes that the recent flag protests and the violent disturbances at Woodvale / Ardoyne in Belfast potentially mark a turning point for loyalism.  If these events can indeed be used to illustrate the futility of violence (subsequent demonstrations have been better organized), and if Brennan is right that a “Socially motivated ‘grassroots’ Loyalism” with “a new inclusive non-violent community action element” is emerging, then we might well anticipate a new lease on the prospect of thoroughgoing conflict transformation. 

I would like to highlight Brennan’s mention of “non-violent community action.” I still believe that an important dimension of conflict transformation is the nonviolent empowerment of all parties, through political engagement, and when necessary, nonviolent civil resistance.  Unfortunately, there has not been a historical tradition of strategic nonviolent action within PUL communities.  Now would be a wonderfully appropriate time for influential local leaders to become familiar with the extensive knowledge that has been developed about effective nonviolent action.  

Those who are interested might visit the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, the Albert Einstein Institution, and the Global Nonviolent Action Database.   

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How to Start a Revolution

There are two local opportunities this week to screen and discuss the documentary “How to Start a Revolution” about Gene Sharp’s long career and groundbreaking work in developing the theory of nonviolent strategic action.

Pendle Hill will show the film on July 1, 7:30-9:00 p.m. as part of its First Mondays series.  I will have the privilege of facilitating a discussion about the film. Download a flyer.

Envision Peace Museum will show the film on July 3, 6:30-9:00 p.m. with a panel discussion afterwards including Arzu Geybulla in Turkey, Stephanie Ambar in Brazil, and myself Download a flyer.

Swarthmore College is privileged to be the home of the papers of the Albert Einstein Institution.

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Identity Formation in Nonviolent Struggles

book cover

I’m happy to share that I had the opportunity to contribute a chapter on “Identity Formation in Nonviolent Struggle” to a new book edited by Maciej BartkowskiRecovering Nonviolent History: Civil Resistance in Liberation Struggles. (Lynne Rienner Publishers)

My chapter serves as a theoretical primer on the social movement literature on collective identities and the under-explored connections with strategic action.  My fellow contributors cover a range of global, and often forgotten, cases of nonviolent liberation struggles where national identities have played important roles.  Here is what I’ve written about my chapter:

As other chapters in this volume illustrate, nonviolent resistance has often played an important role in nationalist movements for independence. These cases offer important opportunities to study the power potentials of strategic nonviolent action, and the prominence of nationalism in them compels us to ask how identity and tactical choice influence one another. This chapter draws on the sociological study of social movements to theorize ways of thinking about relationships between the nonviolent tactics that many nationalist movements have employed in conflict and their collective national identities. The relationships are probably much closer and more important than either sociologists or scholars of nonviolent resistance have realized. Identities can be publicly displayed for strategic ends. Tactical repertoires, including nonviolent ones, reflect collective identities or resisters’ cultural predispositions. Conversely, choosing certain tactics can influence the construction of collective identities as people adapt their national identity to incorporate new tactical rationales and justifications.

Here is the book description:

This unique book brings to light the little-known, but powerful roles that civil resistance has played in national liberation struggles throughout history. Ranging from the American Revolution to Kosovo in the 1990s, from Egypt under colonial rule to present-day West Papua and Palestine, the authors of Recovering Nonviolent History consider several key questions: What kinds of civilian-based nonviolent strategy and tactics have been used in liberation struggles? What accounts for their successes and failures? Not least, how did nonviolent resistance influence national identities and socioeconomic and political institutions both prior to and after liberation, and why has this history been so often ignored? The story that emerges is a compelling one of the agency of thousands and even millions of ordinary people as they used nonviolent force in the course of struggles against foreign subjugation.

For those interested in exploring the intersection of nationalism and nonviolence further, you might be interested in exploring Manfred Steger’s book, Gandhi’s Dilemma: Nonviolent Principles and Nationalist Power in which Steger examines the tension between Gandhi’s deployment of Indian nationalism and his universal philosophy of nonviolence.

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First maps for the Mural Mapping Project

I’m pleased to announce that we are beginning to generate the first maps from the Mural Mapping Project. Josh Satre ’13, a Swarthmore College student, has given the project a boost by using results from the second survey (2009-2010) in developing a class project this semester.  We will build on this preliminary work in developing a first conference paper that we hope to submit for presentation in the coming months. Stay tuned!

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What sociology fancies

I’m working on some comments for the beginning of the course I am co-teaching titled “Exemplary Studies in Sociology and Anthropology.” Here’s a quick word cloud from that depicts the words in the names of the sections of the American Sociological Association.

Wordle: Sections of the American Sociological Association

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