In case anyone ends here, the letters are actually a "wrap" for the numbers, they do the same thing.
1 = +x = execute
2 = +w = write
4 = +r = read
3 = 1 + 2 = +xw = execute + write
5 = 1 + 4 = +xr = execute + read
6 = 4 + 2 = +wr = write + read
7 = 1 + 2 + 4 = +xwr = execute + write + read
I guess you get the point
And if you are not on the subjects of permission, you may wonder why a 6 three times?
The first number belongs to the user owning the file, the second to the group the file belongs to, and the third to other users.
So with chmod 666 /dev/ttyUSB0 you gave that file read and write permissions to everyone, the owner, the group and other users.
What you did, was to give that file write and read permissions which is what the program needs to be able to sync with your Palm.