Vintage Palmtops Tips & Tricks


Setting up the Palm

You guessed. I've bought a Palm IIIe and, from now on, you'll find here informations about Palm OS powered devices. This time a few "beginner-to-beginner" tips:

You can easily synchronize the Palm with a Linux PC. There are a few - ancient but fully functional - utilities available. J-Pilot provides something like the original Palm Desktop interface, a simple PIM capable of synchronizing all data with a Palm and installing applications on it. Gnome-pilot is much more integrated into Gnome. You get an applet where you can set up the connection and... that's all. There are several plugins supporting so called conduits: PIM (including mail) synchronization with Evolution, uploading apps from Nautilus, downloading Expense reports and so on. (You may need to associate gnome-install-file command with Palm files.) I guess that KPilot does the same (for KDE) but I wasn't able to check it. There is also PilotManager, which seems interesting since till 2010 it was still developed.

When using a Palm, sometimes an emulator may come in handy (for example to test unknown applications before installing them on the palmtop). You may find several emulators, mainly based on an old Copilot. There is a version of POSE (Palm OS Emulator) for Ubuntu, but I couldn't get it to work, so I installed a Windows version. It works well. You need to download Palm's ROM image or transfer it from your device using a tool that comes with the emulator.

This will be useful only to Polish users: There are a few ways to get Polish letters (like ą, ć, ł) working on a Palm - both on the screen and in handwriting. Interpilot seems to be the most sophisticated and versatile, with not only Polish, but also Russian, Greek, Czech, Turkish and other versions. I installed it in the emulator, but it horribly slowed down the machine, so I started to look for something else. Palm OS has a great feature called hacks - small tools that tune the system to better meet your needs, custom character set may be a good example. But... no, not yet 🙂 Finally I downloaded Bocian III - a small app that supports only Polish language (CP1250 charset and Graffiti). If you don't need fancy features like translated system messages, give it a try.


Filed under: emulation, Palm OS 1 Comment