Jirka's
(web&gopher)
Notes



Saturday

A long walk (~30 km) around Kruzberk water reservoir (Czech Republic) today. There were just a few people. But a lot of animals (~20 deers, a fox and so). It was a trip so I used Logout's pseudo-Citizen (they are combined from various parts, probably only the face is original - but even the face is modified, too) automatic watches.

Now I'm siting in front of the 1600SW screen om my SGI O2. I didn't turned it on for more than week...

I have been moving my data from the Palm IIIxe to the TRG Pro. Not to new one (it's too new and intact to be frequently used) but to my old one. I have had the CF card with backups installed. Last backup file was from February 2016. So I restored the programs and data. Now I am installing some new bits (the PalmPix, the Progect, some keyboard drivers and so). The TRG Pro is actually a Palm IIIxe (the same RAM, CPU) but it has a CF card slot and some rudimentary sound support. And it has normal gray color and old good metal stylus (the IIIxe is black and has a cheap plastic stylus).

P.S. It is interesting that I never saw broken battery doors on a Palm III* The only exception are the TRG Pros. Both my devices have them broken.

(February 22, 2020 at 10:00 PM CET)


Even newer keyboard

In hunt for an adequate input device for my Aceeca I have got the (as far as I know) latest and greatest Stowaway product - the 4-row iGo keyboard. I think I had one in the past but sold it when I was in mood to reduce my PDA collection.

This tiny keyboard has some advantages: - it less or more matches the color of my Acceeca - it has more pleasant tactile feedback than older Stowaway products - it has a stand which can accommodate the Aceeca less or more securely (it does not fit Nokia internet tablets, though) - it actually works, including the Fn modifiers

And it can use the Bluetooth keyboard driver which I have linked in my previous post.

The only problem of my particular is that it was meant for PocketPC so some labels are a bit misleading (I have no "Word" on my Palm; and the "Excel" key launches the Palm Calculator which is funny).

Written on that keyboard...

(February 21, 2020 at 10:00 PM CET)


Palm OS + Bluetooth Keyboard

I have the Aceeca PDA32 portable computer, you know. It has its advantages. For example, it has Bluetooth, a miniUSB connector and it has Palm OS 5.4.0.

But it has also some problems: it was built to order so many common features may be unavailable. My particular device has no sound, no infrared and no WiFi. It only has the Bluetooth chip.

The device has huge RAM (32MB) and fairly fast ARM CPU (much slower that the CPU in T|X anyway - and it sometimes felt SLOWER than my T|W with its m68k CPU!) so I decided to try to develop some stuff here. I Have bought a PockeC license, also downloaded the OnBoardC, the SmallBASIC and the Tcl interpreter.

But I hate the default input method: it uses the Graffiti2 and it has thin, uncomfortable stylus on relatively small screen (the screen is physically smaller that that of the T|X) and screen surface is also far from ideal. So I do not want to write C codes with stylus.

But what to do? There is none of "standard" Palm connectors so I cannot use keyboard designed for, say, Palm m50x/m70x. There is no infrared sensor so I cannot use the Palm Univarsal Wireless Keyboard.

So the only way is to use Bluetooth. But the Palm OS have and no build-in Bluetooth drivers. There was a Bluetooth keyboard driver (and it WAS freely available at PALM.com) but it is gone and it is not archived at Archive.org... I tried to find it elsewhere but failed.

So I asked on Mastodon: @jynx and @logout tried to find the driver but also find nothing.

Fortunately I have remembered that at some point I have got a "brand new" Stowaway ThinkOutside Sierra keyboard. As the company name suggest it was probably designed for Palm. And it was. My keyboard came in an original packaging, if I am not mistaken. So, I thought, there should be a driver CD. SO I searched for it at home, at office, just elsewhere... and I found nothing.

Today I needed to find some documents. I didn't found them (of course) but I found the Stowaway CD instead!

And yes, the CD includes a *.prc file named Stwy40Plm.prc 1. So I connected my Aceeca, installed the file and tried to connect my Nokia SU-4W Keyboard. I thought that there is zero chance to mke it work, Well, ic connected and worked. Except the "Fn" key. If you know how the SU-4W work then you know that the Fn is necessary to use numbers among others..

So I have found my poor Stowaway Sierra keyboard. It is mechanically damaged (didn't I told you that it was declared as "brand new" and unused?). Except its issues it work as expected.

I wrote this text on this keyboard.

References:

1 http://jirka.sdf.org/Stwy40Plm.prc

So I think that it is a success, finally...

(February 19, 2020 at 10:00 PM CET)


Tungsten W + PalmPix

As you may know I do have a Palm Tungsten W. And I als othave the KODAK PalmPix for m5xx devices. So I have almost modern smarphone (jsut 17 years old!) with the (detachable camera).

The problem was that the camera required software. I have had a palmpix.prc driver version 1.x which worker perfectly with the early PalmPix device and the Palm III. The old driver failed on the Tungsten. Even worse, it caused device to hand.

Now Logout 1 sent me the newer driver. The file is also named "palmpix.prc" but it was accompanied by a "PalmPixLib.prc" file and wuth a README file where it was stated that the Palm OS 4.1 requires both files. So I have installed them both.

And it helped. It is not perfect - the application is obviously written for 160x160 screen and Tungsten W's 320x320 made it crazy. In the preview window there are two tiny, deformed and wrongly placed live preview instead of the big one. But it takes pictures just fine.

The TungPix 2 program should be much better but it is available as a shareware with 30-day testing time and the author does not react to my attempts to register it (I assume that he is no longer alive).

So I am really happy now.

References:

1 http://vivapowerpc.eu

2 http://www.handheldshell.com/oldsoftware/TungPix.php

(February 14, 2020 at 10:00 PM CET)


Aceeca + Software

I'm in the process of installing of software to my brand new Aceeca PDA32. It synchronises well with my Fedora/ppc64le workstation ("modprobe visor", "pilot-xfer -p /dev/ttyUSB0 -i XXX" ; the "pilot-xfer.." must be sometimes repeated).

By the way, the Palm III (with an USB-serial converter) synchronises as well. It's just more reliable...

It seems that some older programs can render it unbootable (hardware reset was needed - all applications are erased in this case).

I have installed these tools which work here:

  • Progect
  • DiddleBug
  • Metro
  • TiBR
  • Converter
  • EasyCalc
  • KeyRing
  • CacheMate (of course there is no GPS!)
  • DopeWars
  • FileZ
  • Freegrid (a table editor without calcualtions)
  • SpMat (a matrix calculator)
  • SmallBASIC
  • PtCon (a Tcl interpreter - I'm going to test it)

The CSpotRun also works but the TiBR seems to be more polished. I am going to install some development stuff, too. I have the Pocket C licence, after all...

Software-wise, this device is interesting. It has Palm OS (Garnet OS?) 5.4.0 with old, good, traditional launcher (I never got the thing which T|X uses by default). The problem is that the device has no configurable hardware buttons and the "Home" and the "Meny" are represented by tiny icons in the left bottom edge of the screen. They are somewhat hard to press.

(February 4, 2020 at 10:00 PM CET)


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