Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Palm Desktop and the joy of syncing

Remembering the joy of the hotsync process. I'm using my old Libretto 100CT.

Finding Rex

The Rex was an overlooked class of PDA in my opinion. It was a PCMCIA card which was also a PDA. You slotted it into your PCMCIA slot on your laptop and off it went.

It didn't have much of a user interface. In fact most of the models lacked a touch screen of any description except the final iteration, which is very hard to get hold of now.

I don't know if this one works. I need to get it some new batteries. When I do, we'll see what it can do, which won't be much I expect.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Palm IIIxe and BeatPad running Music Studio on a 3G

I thought I'd try the really old tech running the only slightly old tech to see what happened. The results aren't stunning, but it was an interesting experiment.

Yet more Hedgehog and Shruthi

Further controller experiments

More Hedgehog and Shruthi

Working out the controller assignments in Hedghog and getting it working with the Shruthi-1

Not quite time to give up on the SG20

But as I can't see any obvious damage it's time to hand it to someone who is better placed to try to fix it, if indeed that is possible.

Friday, January 25, 2013

D-Pod also in the library

I mentioned ranDRUM earlier, so I thought I'd also mention my other app D-Pod which is also now available in the library if anyone wants it.

ranDRUM in the library

I realised that this probably wasn't available anywhere else so I thought it best to put it in the library so that anyone who wanted it (if anyone at all) could get hold of it.

It's here, and I'll probably get around to putting the original iziBasic and ViziBasic files for it there too at some point.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Running PalmPix again

I'd almost forgotten this. The old PalmPix interface from Kodak. And it still works too. It took me a little while to remember how to use it, but I got there in the end.

I've taken a few pictures with it and I'll post the results soon.

Finding useful things at HP

I was hunting around for a copy of the Palm OS desktop the other day and found it right here on the HP support site along with loads of other useful stuff for Palm OS devices.

So I thought I'd share it with you.

More detail about Hedgehog

I've become slightly obsesessed with this little Palm OS Sequencer from the distant past. So I thought I'd share a bit about what it can do:

Hedgehog is a pattern sequencer for MIDI-enabled hardware and software that runs on your Palm Pilot. To use Hedgehog, you need some sort of MIDI interface attached to the serial port (the thing the Hotsync cradle or cable plugs into.) Hedgehog sequences 16 1/8th notes ('ticks') per pattern and can chain up to 12 patterns in a larger loop.

Each pattern can support 2 discrete channels of MIDI information, and each tick can also send out up to 16 controller messages, to sequence effects or synth parameters with your note information. This is
where Hedgehog is great fun. Hopefully, your gear already supports MIDI controller automation.

The note information is entered on the screen, and can be changed while the sequence is playing.
The 'X' on the left represents the state the system is in, you can be in "add note on", "add note off",
"add single hit", and "delete note" mode. The last row of the control bar determines which channel
the data is being changed for. In this manner, you can control perhaps a drum machine and a
synthesizer separately but on the same page, so you can see how the pattern will sound before you
hear it.

Notes that are for channel one appear towards the left of each grid space, and notes for the second channel appear towards the right. As well, a special area to the left of the note editing grid is set aside for octave shifting. If you tap towards the right of the note grid, you can get either an up or down arrow which shifts that note (for just that pattern) up or down an octave. This is great for making dual bassline and melody information, or even just for marking "valid" notes.

The controller information is entered by dragging your pen across a controller bar below the note entry grid, or just tapping each tick's individual section. There are 16 controller states the sequencer sends out at each tick. Using this system, you can do crazy things like sequence panning information or volume, or your effect's reverb level per note, or filter level for your samplers... the possibilities are endless. Each square in the grid represents a different controller type, and controllers can also be browsed and changed while the sequence is playing.

Even more fun is the Tweak Bar at the top of the screen. As the sequence is playing (or even when it's not), you can twiddle the pen over the Tweak Bar to dynamically send controller messages of the type currently selected onscreen. So in addition to the sequenced controller changes, you can "jam" along on another controller. Sequences are made up of groups of patterns. Each pattern can be viewed by tapping on its box at the bottom of the screen. Of course, you can view and edit other patterns that are not playing at the time. A small dot indicates which pattern is being played at the time, however. You can define the start and end position of the sequence loop by using the start/loop/start bar to the right of the sequence bar. Sequences can be from 1 to 12 bars long and can start and end anywhere among the pattern list.

To start, stop, or rewind the sequence, use the transport bar at the left of the screen. This works just like everywhere else you've seen it. It also sends out the proper MIDI Realtime messages upon restarting the sequence (hitting rewind while playing) or continuing (hitting stop, then start again) it. As well, you can change the BPM of the sequence here as the sequence plays and view it onscreen.
Lastly, Hedgehog also does some things that no other pattern sequencer does. The Math Bar to
the right of the pattern list can alter your sequence in varying ways. It can randomize the sequence completely from a new seed (either the controller set or the note set, you choose by marking the rightmost box) or vary it only slightly using a Markov chain model. This of course can happen during sequence play.

So, as you can see, even for a very simple little Palm OS App it can do a lot. I plan to do a bit more with this soon and have a few more videos of it controlling stuff, so expect to see it in action again soon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Prism and bluetooth

I only just realised that this springboard was in fact a bluetooth module. It works fine as well, but so far I've not been able to get the thing to connect to the internet. It may take a bit more work I think.

Even so, it's probably a very handy module to have around.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Handspring Prism restoring

I thought I'd post this as it shows the back up module and the 8mb flash module too. Both very handy indeed.

Welcome to the gallery ...

Another new page, this time it's a gallery of all the images from Palmorama. I thought it might be fun to be able to see them all in one place.

You can find the gallery here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Reviving the Handspring

I've got my old Handspring Prism going again, and, after remembering that I had a couple of backup modules for it, I've restored all the software too it as well.

This is such a lovely old device, I shall enjoy revisiting what it can do.

Something we never saw, an SG20 for the Handspring Visor

Here's what Swivel Systems said about it:
Music For the Handspring Visor Handheld
In addition to readying the SG20 for distribution, Swivel Systems has been busy working on a Springboard Module for Springboard compatible handhelds, such as the Handspring Visor handheld computer. Similar to the SG20, this - as yet unnamed - module will provide Visor handheld owners with a General MIDI synthesizer for extremely portable music creation. Swivel Systems hopes to release this product in the fall of 2002.
I wonder what it would have been like and how far they got with it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Opening up the SG20

My SG20 stopped working a while ago, and the other day I thought I'd take it apart and see if there was any way I could fix it. On opening it up I realised it was a lot more complicated than I thought.

Still, I'm going to give it a go anyway.

Remembering the SG20

What a fantastic device! What a shame they stopped making them.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Whatever happened to the Fossil Watch?

It looks like they did make a few models of these other than the one I bought myself some years ago. Back then they were way too big to do use in my view and of course now with watches like the Sony LiveView and the Pebble the technology has moved on.

You can still find them on eBay (Fossil PDA Watches on eBay), but the prices are ridiculously high and I just can't believe that there's the demand for these things.

Friday, January 18, 2013

SpinPad controlling Shruthi-1

I really need to spend a bit more time with the SpinPad app and the external MIDI on it as I couldn't get it to do what I wanted this time around.

Baby Hedgehog PDF in the library

If you're interested in The Hedgehog then you'll find this PDF useful as it tells you a lot about what the little boxes and icons do. It's in the library.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Hedgehog and the Shruthi

I posted this over at PalmSounds to begin with, but it also belongs here too.

This is one of the first times that I've got the Hedgehog running in a useful sense. I'm going to have to do quite a bit more experimentation around the controls in the Hedgehog to see what's most useful, and how to get the best out of it, but it's a great controller even so. I'm really impressed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

BeatPad controlling a Shruthi-1

I posted this over at PalmSounds but it belongs here too. Just good to know that this old Palm OS app can still do something useful.

This is running an older version of BeatPad, a demo version in fact, but I plan to get the newest version of BeatPad doing the same. However, there are issues with getting this to work on an older device like this IIIxe as it just doesn't have the power that the app needs. So I'll have to see which is the best version to run on this device.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Using Infrared again.

Moving files from one device to another. Time consuming over infrared, but it does work! In fact it's easy to forget how simple infrared is in comparison to today's much faster methods.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Experimenting with old devices: Palm IIIxe and OS4

I don't know why but I like to experiment with these older devices and see what you can get them to do. It's fun, not necessarily useful, but I like things with limitations.

So I thought I'd try my hand at getting a Palm IIIxe to work as a MIDI controller in a number of different ways. Here's what I've got planned:
  • Running a variety of apps to send MIDI:
    • NotePad
    • BeatPad
    • AxisPad
    • Theremidi
    • SpinPad
    • MixPad
  • Using the IIIxe to run cBasPad (basic for Palm OS) to send MIDI over the serial connection
It'll be interesting to see how it goes and what I can get it to work with. I'll let you know how I get on with. The first thing I need to do is to get all of these back onto the device and see what works ok.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 is still around!

I just thought I'd check to see if it was still there and it is. Ninerpaint is one of my favourite apps for making art on a PDA.

Reminder: Palm Store

Just a quick reminder about the new 'store' for eBay Palm OS stuff. Hope you find it useful.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Ron's Obsolete Palm OS Computing Information Page

This page is absolutely full of information, but if you use it don't get too excited as there are lots of broken links now, as you'd expect.

Monday, January 07, 2013

The Palm Parrot

I never owned one of these as they'd gone well before I even knew about them, but I always wanted one. Here's what they could do ...

4 Channel Wavetable SynthesisListen to awesome sounding tunes with the PalmParrot's proprietary wavetable music synthesis technology.

Voice RecognitionControl special functions in your Palm Computing Connected Organizer by simply speaking voice commands into your PalmParrot.

Voice Recording and PlaybackRecord and playback important memos and messages which can be attached to a specific contact ot appointment.

DTMF Auto DialingProgram in your most frequently called numbers for fast and easy dialing anytime. Tap on the number, or use voice command to dial the phone.

Digital Sound
Experience crystal clear sound effects.

Internal SpeakerListen to games, speech and music via the PalmParrot's speaker.

Condenser MicrophoneRecord directly into the PalmParrot.

Stereo Headphone JackLets you enjoy the PalmParrot in private.

So overall a pretty amazing device for back in the late 90's and early 00's. However, it would have set you back $129, so not exactly cheap!

Also available on your mobile

It really wouldn't be right to have a blog about retro PDAs which wasn't available on a moble browser. Well Palmorama is available in a mobile format too so you can read it on your handheld although my guess is that it'll be read on more modern devices than old style PDAs.

Also, I've now changed the library so it should work a little better on mobile too.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

A new MIDI App for Palm OS (requiring a MIDI interface of course)

A small app for monitoring MIDI messages over a serial connection.

The app is shareware, and as it's now about 14 - 15 years old I'm expecting that it won't be easy to get a registration! Still, it might be handy to play with.

You can find it in the Palm library.

MusicTracker in the library

Another app added to the library. MusicTracker is an old style tracker app for the Palm OS.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Palm OS Pearl Tree

Obscure Palm Stuff and Windows Mobile in IamAshleyElsdon (iamashleyelsdon) This is a useful way of investigating and discovering Palm stuff that you might not know about. Also, it's something that I'm going to keep up dated periodically I'm going to add it as a page on it's own right so that it's easily available for reference at any point.

Coming soon, a Palmorama Wiki

I'm planning a Palmorama Wiki site. It's going to take me a while to get it going, but I hope to get it moving along soon and add stuff to it.

The rough plan is to collect material about Palm projects from the past and create a single reference for lots of information to supplement the library.

I'll keep you posted as to how it goes.

Friday, January 04, 2013 domain has expired!

This was a bit of a surprise really, I know that it had gone in with, but hadn't realised that the old mainstay of Palm apps had finally lapsed, but it has. Apparently the domain expired last year!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

A simple Palm Pilot Serial MIDI interface

I've been looking for this for a while as I'd quite like to build one of these. You can find more information here, which has a load of useful information on Palm and MIDI including this test code:

#midi test prg

10 sersend 0,1,31250
20 for n=24 to 96
30 a$=chr$(144)+chr$(n)+chr$(127)
40 c=varptr(a$)
50 b$=chr$(128)+chr$(n)+chr$(64)
60 d=varptr(b$)
70 sersend  c,3,31250
80 for t=1 to 100:next
90 sersend  d,3,31250
100 next

Now there's a fun weekend project for you!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

PalmOrb project

This is a really interesting project although it has been discontinued for nearly 8 years now. The basic idea is to use the Palm device's screen as an LCD for another device, i.e. and Arduino for example.

You can find the project's page on Sourceforge here, and the download page here.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Chtong in the library

The first of many I hope in the library this year. Chtong is a proof of concept app really, nothing more, but fun to play with for a little while.

Find it here.

New 'Store' page

Another handy thing on Palmorama is a new 'store' for eBay Palm OS stuff. Hope you find it useful.

Good morning to 2013 ... More rare Palm OS Apps in the library this morning

Well here we are in 2013 already. I plan to make good on my promises of yesterday by getting some new apps added into the library today.