Me and my Palm
I've used Palm handhelds for a few years now. My first was a Palm professional 3 with a whoppng great 2MB of memory, and after it bit-the-dust my current employer bought me an 8MB Palm m105. Following are some links and resources related to Palm's and my experience with them.
The Palm pilots ship with *most* of the applications you'll need for general use. However, there are so many freeware and shareware applications and games out there, and its so easy to install them, that you'll end up spending loads of time evaluating, installing and using all manner of things.
Whenever I'm looking for something new I generally start with a browse of one of the following sites:
Stuff I use:
The following tools I use pretty much on a daily basis, and those that arent freeware are useful enough to be well worth paying for. They're not installed by default but are definately worth the download/install effort. email me for an unbiased opinion on their capabilities, use, value or performance etc.
- HanDBase - an excellent little relational database on the Palm, build your applications using the database for storage and forms as a front-end.
- TomeRaider - This is one of the more popular e-Book document readers available on the Palm. It also ships with a tool you run on your desktop to import text files and mark them up into a hypertext format.
- Bonsai - A wicked Outliner I bought recently ($25us), Bonsai is a note-taking/brain-storming tool and lets you create trees of related text that can be expanded and collapsed. Bonsai has an excellent PC desktop i/f too which lets you export/convert outlines synched from the Palm to other formats (e.g. XML)
- Plucker - Plucker is an offline HTML viewer for PalmOSŪ devices packaged with UNIX and Linux conduits and a Windows installer
- comp.sys.palmtops.pilot - A resource more than a tool, this Usenet newsgroup focuses on the Palm platform.
- Project Gutenberg - The Project Gutenberg Philosophy is to make information, books and other materials available to the general public in forms a vast majority of the computers, programs and people can easily read, use, quote, and search.
- Memoware - An excellent resource of thousands of mostly free e-books, references and texts in different PDA file formats.
- Site Scooper - Sitescooper automatically retrieves the stories from several news websites, trims off extraneous HTML, and converts them into formats you can read on your Palm computing device for later reading on-the-move.
- The Online Books Page - This is hosted by Penn University and has an index of over 17,000 titles. These are in all sorts of formats, not many are PDA friendly but its a good resource.
Most of the commercial app development for the PalmOS is done using Metroworks CodeWarrior which is an IDE and compiler for C++. The only problem is that unless you qualify for an educational/academic discount, the product can seem a little pricy. For a cheaper C++ alternative with a Visual studio like interface have a look at MobileStudio and PocketC.
If you're not a C/C++ boffin and are keen to have a crack at developing your own Palm apps, check out Michael Winikoff's
Alternatives to C index. One I'm intersted in is a Python interpreter called Pippy, there's an article on IBMs developer works site about it.
Palm themselves have loads of useful online developer documentation. There's a useful looking cookbook-like list of recipies. There's also a list of file-formats and data structures.
You should also have a look at pda-archives.com excellent index of Palm development software for different platforms/languages and the Palm OS Programmer's FAQ.
Cracks and Emulators:
If you're interested in developing apps for the Palm OS, you'll want to download the emulator from Palm themselves. The only problem being that you have to regsiter with their developer programme to get the ROM images for each device you want to emulated.
Of course, you could always copy the emulator from one of the naughty folks like Mr Taxi who have been through this process on your behalf.
Other things to check out, the Palm OS Emulator HOWTO