Saturday, July 30, 2005

The story of Palm advance exchanging a T3

Most of you wil know that I have had problems with PalmOne's quality control for a long time now. It may be that I am unlucky or that I stress the devices way to much (4h of operation a day is usual), new programs beeing synced once a week or so,... . Up to now, the former PalmOne always gladly exchanged my devices-until the third exchange of ym T3, when thy resorted to a different way of handling the black-haired problem. They just closed the case... . Eventually, I gave up. That was about a month or so ago.
Now, somehow, Palm decided to do something about the problem. A customer care rep called Gemma sent me an email containing lots of spelling errors stating that my T3 would be advance exchanged. Funnily, this email contained lots of spelling checks, etc- it didn't look like a template.
Now, the new device is here. It came in a huge box delivered with DPD, and to my astonishment, it contained a full T3 box. It still hums a tiny bit, but I will be able to live with this. The digitizer drifts way less. Palm still didnt include the orange screen for which I asked in all the emails before, but the days of the orange screen seem to be gone. Here are a few photos of the stuff:


If you carefully look at the third image, you can see that the box looks as it it was opened before. It also was full of scratches altough the box was filed with packaging fluff. Interestingly, the last T3's shipped had a sticker attached to the front of their boxes advertising the intel processor, microsoft office compatibility and email programs(click images for bigger vesions).

The box really contained all the stuff. Cradles, CD's(nice-I lost mine anyhow), Licence agreements,..



This is the evidence that really convined me of this beeing a gung-ho action. The things you see above are the return kit. Interestingly, the paper looked like a cheap copy made on a Xerox-and not like a thing PalmOne sends out hundreds of times a day.



Last but not least, the screens. My old one is the one with the brighter display.
I just wonder why Palm decided to act now... . And why they chose to send me a new parcel and a probably hand-selected device... . Is the customer care really getting better? Or are they just trying to silence me by giving an extra good device? The future and your comments will show!

A cell phone form factor poll

CNET currently runs a nice poll on which form factor users prefer. Is it slider phone, candy bar phone or clamshell?
The TamsPalm authors have taken a look into the census box for you! This link takes you directly to the survey results-without voting, email adress giving,....

nl.com.com/poll.sc?mc=mcrs&pollId=178

And, please be so kind to inform us about your choice!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Identifying network applications by their access profiles

This may be a bit off-topic, but intersting neverthelss. Did you ever wonder how one can identify applications that are running on a box in your network? Of course, you an analyze each packet, but that takes time and resources. Scanning ports is not really helpful either, as one can easily reconfigure most products.
Yiming Gong has found a new way for identifying P2P apps just on their communication behaviour(what packets they send).
Read the full scoop here:
http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1843

Virtual keyboard for hires devices

For Pocket PCs there are some programs, but not so many for Palms. But now Palm owners can use their high-resolution screens (320x480 px) as a keyboard. The member "Scott" from the Tapland forums wrote the small program for Zodiacs. They work on Palms too (T|T5 simulator), but not with Sonys (UX50 simulator).

Now write how fast you can write!

http://www.tapland.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5255

Thursday, July 28, 2005

CodeWarror for Palm OS: the dead is back, or is he alive

This is just a followup to the Codewarrior 9 return rumour. TamsPalm further investigated the story, sind here a 1:1 copy of the email communication as displayed in GMX:

Hi,

This will probably be our last version. Nothing is wrote in stone but
Palm has moved on to other chips that we don't support so there isn't
much sense in continuing to update an obsoleted system.

Ron

--
Ron Liechty (MW Ron)
Ombudsman, Manager FOCUS team
ron.liechty@freescale.com

From: Tam Hanna [mailto:Tamog@gmx.at]
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2005 3:33 PM
To: Liechty Ronald-RAT109
Subject: RE: CodeWarrior 9 sold once again?

Hi,
and how does it look about updates? Will development continue?
Best regards
Tam Hanna

Hi

It was supposed to be in the store yesterday. I'll check on it, it
probably is a delay in setting up the fulfillment house.

Ron

--
Ron Liechty (MW Ron)
Ombudsman, Manager FOCUS team
ron.liechty@freescale.com

From: Tam Hanna [mailto:Tamog@gmx.at]
To: Liechty Ronald-RAT109
Subject: CodeWarrior 9 sold once again?

Dear Mr. Liechty,
please accept my apologies if I am the thousandst person emailing you
about the program.
Recently, rumours surfaced on the UseNet that CodeW. 9 for PalmOS was
back on sale. Is this true?

Best regards
Tam Hanna

So, lets save you the analysis. MetroWerks does not support ARM Cores (Freescale does have this core in its portfolio though AFAIK). So, if they create a CodeWarrior 10, it would still only be compatible with the Dragonball breed and PACE. So, anyone buying CodeWarrior essentially is buying a zombie product...
However, this theory also has leaks. CW9 supports ARMlets, so it can essentially generate code for ARM procesors as it contains an assembler et al. As stated above, nothing is chiseled into stone yet though, so there may be a change of policies...

Anybody feels reminded of a popular arcade shooter here? House of the Dead, anyone? Or do you think CodeWarrior will return?

Rumor: CodeWarrior for PalmOS is back

This unconfirmed rumor has just hit the codewarrior.palm group andn also the developer mailing list:

Hi all,


Just to let you know that we will again be selling CodeWarrior for Palm
v9 at Meterwerks store


http://store.metrowerks.com/


It should be available on the 27th or shortly thereafter.


Ron


--
CodeWarrior Community Forum is a free online resource for developers
to discuss CodeWarrior topics with other users and our staff
-- http://www.codewarrior.com/community --


Ron Liechty - MWRon@metrowerks.com - http://www.codewarrior.com

You can visit the post at Google groups-I unblocked the email address display captcha for you, thats the reason for the odd link:
http://groups.google.co.uk/group/codewarrior.palm/browse_thread/thread/bae2121cbe186545/4227c5398a18ea94?utoken=vBw4RjMAAADHWOsGnFmUqK1wwR3zH8AZBhUiGtW56ymerDuzHvZb6YEMdOK-qyrYDCVC4IC4q5r0p1BWZQ_UEzLESgc7N0Zt
This is still uncofirmed, as it is very easy to fake email adresses and signatures nowadays. However, I beleive that it may be genuine for a few reasons:

  1. The person writes Meterwerks instead of MetroWerks-no con man would deliberately post in such a mistake, it looks like company slang
  2. Google displays a CodeWarror for PalmOS ad below which looks like a paid one. Why advertise for a dead program?

The TamsPalm redaction has just emailed the email address given at the bottom of the post. We will keep you updated.
Looks as if PODS finally gets some competition. A product with a resource editor thats doesnt support the selected attribute of a push button really doesnt deserve ########(censored in consideration of a hardworking PalmSource employee, you know who you are)...
What do you think? Is that good news? Or is it just a hoax?

Looks like it would make a nice PDA :)

Well, PDALive is reporting the specs for the new video iPod, and in my humble opinion, this would make a nice pda. It has killer hardware for a video device, and both IRDA and USB 2.0 connectivity. If only it ran a real OS? What do you think?



All images are taken from iPod Lounge.

Tapwave shutdown!

a quote from thier site. "We are sorry to inform you that the Zodiac business was discontinued and service and support are no longer available as of July 25th 2005. Resources that may still be helpful to you can be found at http://www.tapwave.com/resources and http://www.tapwave.com/support. This includes links to websites where you can find a variety of useful tips and information as well as purchase e-books, Audible books and magazines, Palm OS applications, Zodiac skins, and third party Tapwave Certified games. Additional products, acessories, and game cards may still be available from COMPUSA, Fry's, and J&R while supplies last. We thank you for your past interest and support and apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused. If you have an outstanding claim with the company, Ueker and Associates will be contacting you shortly. Sincerely, The Tapwave Team"

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Review: Creative Zen Micro, the music player that thinks its a PDA

I have the privelege to be the proud owner of a brand new Creative Zen Micro music player. Here you can see it still on life support (being charged for the first time), but using its ninja stealth to blend in with the Mac (Silver finish). I personally like the silver with the blue backlight, which by the way is one of the coolest backlights aside from the dual blue/green backlights on my Nomad Jukebox 3. Creative has a new player that does 7 colors, but I wont get into that.


But maybe you would all rather hear about the player itself? I can do that. Here is a link to the full specs page, but basically it is a 5GB hard disc player with all the fixins. It plays WMA, MP3, and WAV, not to mention protected WMA types (more info two paragraphs down). The screen looks fairly dense as far as the resolution is concerned, certainly good enough for an MP3 player. It uses a touch sensitive scrollbar for navigation, which is pretty easy to use. The removable Li-Ion battery should get about 10 hours of life.

Interesting to some may be the fact that it has no hardbuttons, but only touch sensitive backlit areas on the front. The computer interface is a high speed USB 2.0 port that can both transfer data and provide power to the device through its plug adapter or through a regular (powered) USB port.

The interface is the same as other mainstream players. It has different levels, with the top level giving access to all of the different features. One click and you could be in the music library, the FM radio, the system settings, the PIM apps (more on that later), the playback settings, and actually whatever you want, because, believe it or not, the menu is completely configurable.

The Zen Micro supports Microsofts "Play for Sure" specification. It can handle both protected WMA and WMA based subscription services. The firmware upgrade for Play for Sure makes it completely compatable with Windows Media Player 10 without extra drivers. Syncing is effortless with Windows Media Player 10 and a Play for Sure device.

The player has all of the standard playback options, including repeat and shuffle options. Like many modern players, it also includes different equalizer settings, but not EAX options like its larger siblings. It does have a volume normalizing setting. It sounds really great. Another neat feature is that if you turn it off when playing a song, it begins playback nearly instantaneously, in about half a second, before it even gets to the splash screen.

Now, to get to a point. I said it had PIM apps. It can sync with Outlook for your calender, your tasks, and your contacts. It even has a "Drive Mode" similar to newer Palm handhelds. You can set an amount of storage to designate as drive storage from 128mb to 2gb. You dont even need to reformat the HDD. It works with Windows and OSX.

All in all, its a really great player, and I think I am going to enjoy it for quite a while. My music collection is realtively small (about 2-3GBs of compressed audio), so if you have a small collection, this just may be the player to consider. If you have a larger collection, you may want to consider a Zen Xtra, Zen Touch, or a regular Zen in the Creative arsenal. iRiver makes some great players too, and there are a couple Gateways that arent half bad. Check the 1src forums for some info on why I dont want an iPod. I have some problems with their methodology, but I wouldnt want to discourage anyone from researching them. Here is another picture just for a different view. Please post any questions about this device or comments you may have about the article in the comments section.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

CD4069 and the T5's 3.3V output

Recently, a member of the german community Nexave wanted to connect an external peripheral to his T5. He beleived that the T5 would be easy to interface with as it used TTL levels, but no. It used 3.3V, which is starting to become increasingly common in logic circuits(TI discontinued sampling of all 5V logic lines a few weeks ago). Now, I decided to test how his circuit would react to 3.3V as the input using the breadboard I took with me on vacation. Read on for results.
First of all, here is the schematic. Click on it for a bigger version. It can also be downloaded in pdraft format for viewing on the Palm.


As you can see, the cicuit is straightforward. Most of the intelligence is comnained in the CD4069 IC which is a fairly common HEX Inverter IC(Datasheet). The image below shows the truth table of a hex inverter:

The 5k potentiometer works as an adjustable "voltage" source. Two Hex inverters were cascaded to create a buffer that mirrors on its output what it sees at its input. These two hex inverters drive a LED over a transistor as they are not strong enough alone. A test showed that the IC switched states at about 2.2V. So, it would be a safe way to convert data coming from the T5....
To finish it off, here is a possible way to build it with a breadboard(click to enlarge):

What do you think? Do you like breadboarding?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Bluetooth "spam" attack in cinemas

When you go to a US cinema next time, better turn off the bluetooth receivers on your Palm OS handhelds and phones. Recently, so-called bluetooth promotional kiosks have been deployed in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles for testing purposes. The perpetual task in the life of these machines is to distribute a free ringtone, a wallpaper or a movie trailer among movie-goers.
It is interesting how the company wants to handle the ringtone problem-if a phone receives a message via bluetooth, it usually rings. Now imagine an armada of cellphones beeping and jingling while the movie plays. Definitely not a nice thing.
Also, think about all the unexperienced users. Help desk cals will surely raise up. I dont know how my father would react of his phone shuddenly starts to ring and displays some techie message.
A few people will definitely get rich with this stuff. But it may just lead to another wave of spam like in the email sctor... What do you think?

-via Aunty Spam.

Nokia 6230, SMS and Tungsten T3

These instuctions could not be tested due to the lack of a Nokia 6230! You are alone here-and as always: no responsability for damages!
Many times before, users have complained about how it is impossible to use a Tungsten T3 handheld together with a Tungsten T3 from PalmOne. But the phone worked fine with a T5 right from the beginning, so conspiracy theories flooded immediately. And they were true!
http://micke.hallendal.net/archives/2004/11/on_nokia_6230_a_1.html
This page contains further information on how to get a Nokia 6230 to work together with a T3-and also why it didnt work right from the start. To cut a long story short-the reason is corporate greed.

The bluetooth system used in the Tungsten T3 does not address the Nokia phone in the correct way as it lacks a required profile. The T5 had an updated stack that addressed the problem-but PalmOne refused to make it available for the T3 for some unknown reason!
Now, a reader posted a link to the file as a comment-and some readers already report success with the updated stack! So, try it out-you have little to lose...
Did it work for you?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

BrightnessFix by Dmitry Greenberg stops working today

There now is an updated version available! Please visit www.palmpowerups.com for further information
This is just a quick public service announcement. German forum users at nexave's report that Dmitry Greenbergs brightnessfix2 application has stopped working today. Setting the date backwards restores functionality.
TamsPalm's authors are not yet informed about what is happening here. However, this post is just here to protect you form a useless hardreset/attempting to send your device in to Palm's.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Mobisystems OfficeSuite 7 released!!

A new version of MobileSystems office has been released. You can view the original 1src story, or head over to MobiSystems to view whats new in the 7.0 release.

The Tungsten T5 - your camera companion!

Imagine - you are on holiday with a digital camera. You shot lots of photos, but sometime your flash card is full! If this happens often to you, you need the Life Drive, your camera companion with lot of memory - thinks PalmOne. I think it's enough even if you have a Tungsten T5. It has 160 MB of internal memory; that's enough for 100 - 150 photos and a few documents. But it's file manager can only select one file - so you would have to select every picture and copy it into your palm.

The Life Drive has a file manager (FileBrowser 2.0) that can select lots of files and copy them AND has a comfortable programme that does that for you - the Camera Companion, the new tool which copies pictures and starts the "Media"- and the "Drive Mode"-application on the Life Drive. So I installed it onto a T5 and it worked! It copied all files from an external card (SD/MMC) from the directory /DCIM into the internal flash drive, so the programme doesn't care if the internal drive is a hard drive (like in the Life Drive) or a flash memory (like in the Tungsten T5, Tungsten X???).

There is unfortuanely a problem: this programme should even start the "Media" application to show the copied pictures. But it doesn't. The application on the T5 has probably another CreatorID or something. But the main purpose works and of course you can start the media application from the launcher. I have the idea to run it on a Tungsten C or T3, too. Now don't I say I'm crazy as those devices don't have an internal drive or 2 card slots. My idea was to install a ram disk application that emulates a card. But it doesn't run. The 160 MB in the T5 are probably such a ram drive, too, but seems to be specially marked as a ram drive. Other ram drives are shown as a card to the palm - and the "Camera Companion"-application doesn't recognize them. But it doesn't make sense: The T3 and C have only 50 MB free space, and then think of your programs. There isn't much space yet for photos.

To copy it, you'll have to have a Life Drive (or the device-specific simulator, get it at http://pluggedin.palmone.com). Now install FileZ, the famous file manager and start it. You have to mark the "CameraCompanion-ccmP" and the localizations (_deDE, _enUS, ...) and beam them to your T5 or copy them on a SD or MMC card and then in your T5. If you use the simulator, copy it to POSESlot1. Then you find the files in the directory /Card0. That's it!

You ask why not to take an ordinary file manager like FileZ?
1) this is more comfortable and
2) you are up-to-date!

Linux can now display stuff on Tungsten E display

TamsPalm reported about Linux quite some time ago. However, Romain Goiyet now received a contribution from another user which enabled them to get the Tungsten E's LCD to display some stuff. Here is a screenshot, click it to see it in a bigger form:

As it looks nopw, Linux really is feasible for the Tungsten E. We may have it working in a very short time. Meanwhile, visit Mr. Goyets page:
http://palmtelinux.sourceforge.net/
Or, visit some TamsPalm articles about Linux:
Linux on tungsten E-original annnouncement
Linux for I-Pods
PalmOS-Licencees, Linux hackers are your friends

What do you think?

via Romain Goyet, thank you for the hint

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Device ID's of different Palm OS handhelds

Sometimes you need to identify what kind of device your program is running on. The PalmOS provides a simple way to accomplish this by reading a few locations in feature memory(more on that another time, it really is a NIFTY thing to use). However, different devices store the data in different features, and eaxch one has a different ID. Also, eaxch machine has had an internal codename which sometimes can be interesting to know(ever knew that the LifeDrive was called Brahma and uses a device ID fo TunX?? Makes nice Trivia)
There are a few nice pages about this topic-please look below for a linklist:
http://homepage.mac.com/alvinmok/palm/codenames.html-nice list of codes
http://www.mobilegeographics.com/dev/devices.php-Further information, but database currently broken
Got something to add?

New Game, Super Miners



SUPER MINERS is addictive arcade puzzle game.With 100 Levels, multiplayer, online highscore sytem, incredible music and sound you can have countless hours of fun! You can get it here It is available for Symbian S60/S90, Symbian UIQ, Pocket PC, Palm OS, and Smartphone.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A hilarious pencil sharpener

Sometimes it can be enlightening to look around your cellar. Today, I uncovered such a funky device that I immediately had to think about sharing it with you. See for yourself:


This machine actually is a pencil sharpener and it works very well, beleive it or not. Altough I cannot recall how this machine came into my possession(it reads FaberCastell on its back side, which uis a german pencil manufacturer), it definitely is a new solution.
What do you think? Should I stop posting such stuff? Or did you find it funny?

Cut the cord!

There is a growing trend in the Palm PDA world. Its not wireless syncing, as some would think, but a lack of syncing. I, for one, have not synced my TH-55 for a long time, at least since my PC died and I started using a Mac. I realized that you dont actually have to sync Palm PDAs anymore if you dont use the desktop applications for anything.

Some programs that have desktop components are iSilo, DTG (Docs To Go), the basic PIM apps, and many others. I dont use the basic PIM apps, but I do use DTG. For most editing, I use native .doc files, as these are easiest to transfer. If there is a doc I need to get onto my PDA, I can email it to myself, and open the attachment with Snappermail. The opposite works for transferring in the other direction. If you think about it, the benefit is clear, because you are no longer limited to transferring files with your main syncing pc, but with many other PCs too. Some people worry about having their handheld backed up. While the desktop does do a fairly good job of this, there are many alternatives, such as TealBackup, RescoBackup, and even some like MSBackup, which is found in most Clies.

When you disconnect yourself from the desktop, you use your Palm in a different way. I am at the point where I could do a hard reset with no backup, and still be up and running within 15 minutes, as I keep all of my applications backed up on my expansion card in different directories. Having this mindset frees you from needing a computer with you all the time.

When you think about the Palm OS, you have to look at its purpose. How can it be a "mobile" OS, when it needs to be constantly connected with a computer?

This may seem like a radical idea, but as handhelds become more and more like their PC counterparts, it begins to make more sense. I dont expect everyone to stop syncing their PDAs after reading this article, because there are few PDAs that can truly live without a PC. The TH-55 has WiFi, which is really a requirement for this, and so the true "Road Warriors" as they are called are limited to a few devices, mainly the TH-55, the LifeDrive, Tungsten C/W, and Tungsten T5 (depending on your setup).

It is possible to live without syncing, and after you have tried it for a while, you may find that it is actually alot easier. Tell us what you think?

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Official thynctank-certified list of Palm/Zod apps

Thynctank, (a writer on ZodAttack) has posted a list of great apps for Palm Handhelds. You can see this list on http://zodattack.blogspot.com

If your looking for some good apps, go take a look.

Thanks, Mitch

Sunday, July 17, 2005

T-Mobile's web'n'walk service-and what it really is

People who live in austria/Germany or watch finance sites will recently have heard of a T-Mobile service that will bring the web to the mobile people. Its click'n'boom technology(not joking!! heard it on n-tv!!!) is said to make mobile web brwosing instantaneously fast. Sounds like something we may want for our (netfront-enabled) Palm handhelds.
A call to the T-Mobile help center usually is senseless, but it really helped out this time. The clerk was happy to tell me more about the servgice-so read on.

Web'n'walk essentially is just a new name for our already existing GPRS internet services. If you have Web'n'alk enabled, you can send email and do everything with your PalmOs handheld as if it were connected to a landline.

The essence of Web'n'walk is our new DATA25 billing model. You get 25 Megabytes of wireless internet and pay nine euros, which is about 14 US dollars.

Not very interesting if you ask me...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Review of T-Mobile Sidekick




You know when you're a gadget geek when you have more than one gadget that does the same thing. I have been a Palm owner for 9 years now starting from a Palm III and now owning a Zire 72. About a month ago, I experimented with owing a Pocket PC. I decided to try an older unit and get it off eBay. This way if I was dissatisfied, no big loss. So I got a IPAQ 3630 running Pocket PC 2000. It set me back $50.00. I started filling my Pocket PC up with everything ranging from different Today views to games to voice recognition. I concluded that the Pocket PC may have the edge over the Palm with games such as Street Duel: Underground Racing out there. However, my Zire 72's high resolution screen was no match for the resolution the 3630 had. I then decided to upgrade my Pocket PC 2000 to Pocket PC 2002. There was a glitch, though. My Pocket PC was not able to sync with my PC running Windows XP. I learned a Bootloading process normally reserved for running Linux on a Pocket PC. It somewhat worked but I was not able to finish to the end due to another communications glitch. Being somewhat annoyed now, I gave up and happily went back to using my Zire.

Then just last week, I read an article about a gadget called The T-Mobile Sidekick (also being marketed as the Danger Hiptop). Reviews were good. So I decided I MUST try this as well. Besides I was paying $60 a month using my prepaid phone and a basic phone plan with T-Mobile would cost me $30 a month (giving me the same minutes I was using with the prepaid). I went back to eBay and ordered the Sidekick with the camera attachment for $120.00. There is a newer model out there, The Sidekick 2. I am reviewing the original model as the 2 was more expensive (runs about $200). The Sidekick is a fun loving device. In my humble opinion, it is more useable and clever in certain ways than I hear the PalmOne Treo is. The Sidekick is best termed as a converged device, some might call it a Smart Phone, but in general that term is reserved for a business type of tool. The Sidekick is a converged device that provides the following built-in functionality:

Cell Phone (GSM, uses a SIM card)
E-mail device, send and retrieve email wirelessly.
Web surfing device, browse anywhere on the web using the built-in GPRS radio
Instant Messenger device using built-in AOL IM software
Optional attachable camera allows you to snap photos and then email them to yourself and friends.
Basic Personal Information Management (PIM) device. Not half as robust as PDA software on the Palm OS or Pocket PC platform, but built-in Calendar, Address Book, Notes and To Do list provides the basics.
Gaming device, you can play a basic space shoot 'em up or purchase other games by downloading them wirelessly.

The Sidekick is an uniquely designed device. The flip up screen rotates clockwise after giving a little lift at the bottom. I still get a kick out of flipping the screen, the geek in me is tickled each time I do this, if you like attention it'll also get people looking at you and asking questions too. By rotating around, the screen is able to take on a form factor of being somewhat external to the device as you type on the built-in keyboard while browsing the web or instant messaging friends.Overall the device looks somewhat like a cross between a digital camera and a handheld gaming device.The web browser on this device is decent and has nearly all the basic functions you'd need. It offers bookmarks, favorites, forward and back browsing of course. It does not offer JavaScript support, but since most of the sites you'll visit will need to be optimized for mobile devices anyway, this isn't a big drawback. Using the built-in AOL IM application you can sign on using an existing screen name and see all the buddies you have on your normal PC based AOL IM application. Since this is a GSM based device it uses a SIM card so you can import contacts from your old phone simply by dropping the SIM card into the Sidekick and then importing them using a procedure outlined in the instruction manual. What's really nifty and made me decide to keep the Sidekick is it's ability to wirelessly sync with your PC's Microsoft Outlook. This feature is not included and would have to be separately purchased for $20.00. It's worth every cent. Syncing takes a second and is hassle free with no cable connection. Sweet!!! You might be wondering what about the phone? Yes, it also has a great phone with voice mail. The other party's voice comes out crisp and clear and the volume control is sufficient enough for people who have a slight hearing problem (like me). For people who are deaf, the phone comes with an optional (free) relay feature and TTY. The jog wheel even lights up and is customizable in every way. In fact, every caller can have it's own sequence of multi-colored lights. And if lights don't grab you, what till you see what variety of alarms and ringtones are offered. Today I purchased a dolphin ringtone for only a buck and a half. The Sidekick comes with many ringtones. I just happened to stumble upon the dolphin one in the catalogue. In conclusion, The Sidekick is a fun converged device with a lot to like. It's easy to use, has a great keyboard, the form factor is innovative and can keep you connected in various ways to your friends and family.

Just when I thought the waters were safe, good ol' Tam introduced me to the Fossil Abacus Wrist PDA. That review is next. Be a geek and stay tuned!

The GMAIL invite spooler is offline

GMAIL logo from google's homepageThis is just a short post to mtell you all that the GMAIL spooler is now off-line! Ian had to take it offline a few days ago-lets quote him:

I have gotten the word from Gmail's Product Manager that my service is no longer tolerable. At midnight PDT June 7th, 2005, this service was disabled. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all who contributed to this service. Your generosity helped out a vast number of people and for that you should be proud.

The gmail spooler email account is now deactivated and any mail sent to it will bounce. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop me a line: email@isnoop.net

Did you know there was more to this site than just a Gmail invite spooler? Check out some of the other fancy tools and toys I've whipped up.
--Ian "isnoop" Anthony

Now this makes us wonder why they did it. Are they planning to go completely public after all? Or was the spooler becoming too obvious to Joe Schmoe?
BTW; if you have GMAIL invites and wish to share, post your email address below. And if you want an account, just email me at tam.hanna@gmail.com!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Many Faces Of Palm.


Over the years, palm has changed there look several Times. The Image far Left, known as the original palm logo was created about 10 years ago. Then back in 2003, palm (after splitting up from US Robotics) Changed their name to palmOne. They did this because they bought Handspring(a company that made palm PDA's) and the hardware company split up from the software company, forming palmOne and PalmSource. Many people were sad about this and never got used to saying palmone.

Now pa1m0ne (notice the the number 10 in there?) has bought the wrtites to the "palm" name for $30 million, and have changed their name. But instead of going with the old logo, they went with a brand New, more "hip" logo.

So there you go, a short, brief history lesson of palm err, pa1m0ne err, palm. What logo Do you like the best? All I hope is that they don't stamp a big orange logo on their devices.

-Mitch

Apple announces quartal sales

Apple recently announced its quarterly balance sheet for Q3. Apple's stock immediately rose by 4.5%,
The main source of income was the ipod. Its sales increased from 860000 pcs to 6200000. Of course, PC sales also were stable. They sold 1.2 million pcs, compare that to 0,876 before.
Apple's net profit rose by 425% compared to last year.

Palm Again!


Well, it's official, palm.com

do you like the New logo?

I don't think it looks all that great. Would you like to carry a device around with this big orange thing on it?

(photo from 1src.com)

Monday, July 11, 2005

FileZ updated to version 6.8

FileZ, my favourite free file manager for everyday use has just been updated to version 6.8. This version includes/introduces the following fixes:

Version 6.8 (7/9/05)

  • added support for the 5-way navigation button
  • fixed a bug in scrolling on some of the new handhelds
  • fixed a bug that prevented the use of certain characters in file/folder names
  • fixed a display bug in the hex file editor
  • updated user manual


While McFile still is the choice for copying our ROM hacks, FileZ is the everyday tool that one can use for all kinds of editing, housekeeping, cleaning up...! The current verson already was tested on my T3 and worked really well!

Get the current version by visiting the PalmGear page:
http://www.palmgear.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=software.showsoftware&PartnerREF=&siteid=1&prodID=9992
Or, download the archived version on Tamoggemon OnLine!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Odd address fatal alert-SelectOneTime killed by an int

Did you ever get a fatal alert with a message about how you supplied an odd address? You may now wonder what I am talking about-but please look at this bit of code:

TimeType t;
SelectOneTime(&t.hours, &t.minutes, "Text")


Looks innocent, doesn't it? But it crashes-at least on my T3! The fatal alert message can be misleading and point you in the direction of the Systrap-but actally, the adress of one of the parameters is wrong!

When you look at the definiton of the TimeType, you will see that minutes and hours are both int8's. The function-however-requires pointers to INT16 values! NBow, what happens can be described as follows. The first parameter would work as it is aligned on a 16bit border. But the second adress cannot be divided modulo 16 with 0 remainder-and thus the ARM processor cannot handle the operation and crashes!
The fixed version looks like this:

TimeType t;
int hours=t.hours;
int minutes=t.minutes;
SelectOneTime(&hours, &minutes, "Text")
t.hours=hours;
t.minutes=minutes;


Now, the function works with regular int's that have the processor's register length(an int is said to always have the host processors length(16 or 32bit)). There is no crash andmore, and the values still are preserved!

So, the next time coding, really be careful with your pointer types. Having an INT16 function return its value into an INT8 is ok if you know that the value will never exceed 255, but pointers are different. So, if you code a program that needs an int pointer next time, better check out its length.....
Ever had INT problems?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

PUG Vienna met on Thursday

The vienniese Palm user Group met on the 7.7.2005. Here are a few impressions of the meeting, made with an SX1. Click on the thumbnaiuls for bigger images-and apologize the image quality, but an SX1 gets horrible in the dark...

This is Alex, outr organisator. He recently got himself a Zodiac which he proudly displayed. Impressive thing!

Here is a size comparison of the Zodiac with a Tungsten T3 and a Palm V

Here is a closeup of the Zodiac's Bluetooth LED!

By the way, the zodiac's digitizer calibratuion is implemented better IMHO as it calibrates over the whole screen! The T3 only calibrates the top part, leading to terrible digitizer drift like on mine!

Boris got himself an Ipod-here is a contrast compariosn between Palm V and Ipod. Actually, the ipod wins...

Alex Numer two came with his dog

and motivated Herwig to this stunt...

Alex 2 got himself a Treo 650-it is on the right side(left=Treo 600)

BTW, the Treo 650 now has dedicated Menu and Home keys!

Of course, we tried to get TomTom running on OMAP devices-and failed. It started on a Treo 600, but that was it...

Did you notice that Zodiac and T3 fit together exactly while beaming?

Sabine got herself a new phone-damn, look how small it is

A Treo looks like a brick if you compare them, but well, a color screen is worth it IMHO

And the final picture for today-Boris freaking out as he waits for my 4MB compilation of PalmOS SDK's in Plucker format...
Is there a Palm User Meeting in your area? BTW, our next meet is scheduled for the 4.08.2005.

Friday, July 08, 2005

TCPMP version .66

Anyone who has been closely following TCPMP knows that version .65 has lasted a long time. There have probably been more test versions made with that prefix than any other in the development of betaplayer and TCPMP.

TCPMP version .66 is a compilation of all of these releases in a more stabile package, and was just released today.

For those who do not know, TCPMP is one of the premier media players for the PalmOS, and the only of the major ones that is free and open source. You can see a comparison of players in a fairly recent TamsPalm editorial here.

Version .66 is available here, and you can get the changelog off of the corresponding thread in the CoreCodec forums.

Podcast update!

This weeks 1src and PalmAddict podcasts are up now.

You can find the 1src podcast here, and the PalmAddict podcast here.

Both of these are very good, and I have listened to them, enjoy!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Zodiac Files


Well, I recieved my Tapwave Zodiac 2 Today. My first impressions are It's Small! it's thinner than my Tungsten T5, and definatly thinner than my Dell Axim x50v. The metel case is very nice too.

I will use it for a couple days, then review it. Expect a review by next Wendesday.

Thanks, Mitch

LG is the new PalmSource Licensee, and PalmSource moves their focus to Linux

After much speculation, it was revealed today that LG is in fact the new licensee. This is good news for Palm users, as it provides more assurance that this OS is going nowhere in the near future. Also, LG has alot of nices phones currently on the market, and I believe their phone technology coupled with the PalmOS is a great combination.

The original MobileRead article can be found here.

PalmSource moves focus to Linux
PIC (Palm Info Center) is reporting that PalmSource's CEO has announced that all development is being focused towards Linux now. For consumers this means that Cobalt will be a very short lived OS, and POS on Linux will probably be a rewrite of the PalmOS that contains many tools from both OS5 and OS6.

Regrets...
Lastly, an apology for an error in an earlier post. In the Media Players article, I said MMPlayer had WMA and WMV support. I had heard it did, but I could not verify this due to a lack of documentation about supported codecs. The developers are adding these codecs currently, and hope to have a release soon that includes them.

What do you think? All feedback is appreciated.

Backlighting LCD TV's

Dallas Maxim has a nice application note that covers backlighting LCD TV screens. It could be interesting for you as it covers driver circuits and their specific advantages and disadvantages. You can really "look behind" the screens of your handheld now and even try to understand where the buzzing comes from!
Definitely a worthwile read for everyone who likes electronics.
http://www.maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/appnote_number/3513

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Arvale, Ocean of Time

PDArcade is reporting that screenshots of the new Arvale are up on the PDAMill forums. You can find the PDArcade article here, and the PDAMill forums thread here.

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Core Pocket Media Player

TCPMP has been updated. The MAJOR improvement is, It now uses the ATI card inside the Tapwave Zodiac to Decode the Video! What Does this mean? Well, All Zodiac users will get better battery life, and and benchmarking shows that this makes TCPMP 2+times as fast as the old version. You can get the new version here

Linux is coming for mobile phones

PalmSource bought a mobile Linux company some time ago-and many of us wondered why and how this should work-Linux still is a server OS after all. However, Linux really seems to take off now! Motorola is planning to iuse LINUX as the core of most of its new phones. But lets quote Cherlyn Chin, vice president for Motorola mobile phone marketing:
More than half of Motorola's mobile phones will use Linux within 18 to 24 months

And-Motorola seems to take a similar approach to Palmsource when applications are concerned! Motorola has Linux provide the kernel tasks like power management, memory management et cetera. However, most of the applications are realized in Java-and the VM is running on top of the kernel. So, there is still no need for Motorola developers to learn how to program for Linux-they just go on using Java!

Also, a device has already been announced. It is called E895, and will have the following features:

  • Clamshell form factor(see CNET)
  • Bluetooth
  • MP3 player
  • Up to 512MB of TransFlash
  • 1.3 MP camera

However, neither prices nor availability dates are yet available!
What do you think? Is Linux for PalmOS and other mobile devices a good thing-or should Linux stay where it is good(in the server rack)?

Data coming from CNET news.

Media Players on the PalmOS

In the realm of media players on the Palm OS, there are not many titles. For audio, you may find PocketTunes, Busker Player, Aeroplayer, and many more. As for video players, you are limited to about 3 players. These are Kinoma, MMPlayer, and TCPMP.

The first two of these are commercial programs. Kinoma is a full media player, and can handle MPEG-4, AAC, JPEG, and 3GP. It generally requires conversion for playback except with low bitrate files. One notable aspect of this player is that it has the ability to stream files from sites that conform to the Kinoma standard. There are a few sites now that have compatable media, so it can be a useful feature.

MMPlayer is a different type of player. It is a product of one developer. He has either written his own codecs, or liscensed them for use. It has a larger number of codecs than Kinoma, including "MPEG-1,2,4, H263, DivX, XviD and MJPeg video". Its noticable feature is that it supports WMA and WMV codecs because the developer liscensed these.

The third player is dramatically different. TCPMP (The Core Pocket Media Player) is completely open sourced (that means its free too). TCPMP is the work of a programmer named Gabor Kovacs (Picard is his forum name). It supports almost every codec, with the exception of WMA. Picard has also made an effort to optimize the player, and even add support for hardware acceleration on the Zodiac and HHE Clies.

Of these three major players, MMPlayer has the most features, but TCPMP is the fastest, and is being constantly updated. I believe it will gain the features that it currently lacks, and will turn out to be the premier player for PalmOS and PPC devices, if it isn't already.

This is a roundup article. An actual comparative review of the programs may follow, we will have to see.