Sunday, July 31, 2016

Xircom Rex 5001 Personal Organizer with Dock on eBay

A rex 5000 is a nice device, not as good as a 6000, but it's still good. So I thought I'd mention and share this one on eBay.

I especially like the 'Wear your info' tag line. I never thought of a Rex as a wearable ...

Xircom Rex 5001 Personal Organizer with Dock on eBay

And the new battery is holding up pretty well

So I've got my Treo 650 back up and running. Next thing will be to start some apps for the Fossil in ViziStudio that you can see at the bottom of the screen.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Handspring Visor Eyemodule 2 Digital Camera Springboard Module on eBay

The Handspring Visor Eyemodule 2 Digital Camera Springboard Module was one of the best cameras available for the Handspring. These are lovely. I thought I should share it.

Handspring Visor Eyemodule 2 Digital Camera Springboard Module on eBay

Well that didn't take long did it!

Having posted about the battery situation just a day ago it's arrived. So now I'm hopefully all set, once it charges up, to get going with making something with iziBasic. My plan is to get something very simple done in iziBasic to test what's possible before trying something more complex.

Just to let you know that this has got cheaper ...

I posted about these the other day but I've just noticed that the seller has dropped the price. I thought I'd let you know in case you might be interested. Same link below ...

Fossil Abacus AU5011 Wrist PDA on eBay

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Making some apps for this fossil is getting closer, but still a little way off

Beaming apps to the Fossil works. Some sound apps work for the Fossil too. So the next step is to make some apps specifically for it, and the best way to do that is to build them using iziBasic, which would also be the easiest way I should think.

So I fired up the Treo 650 to use iziBasic. Of course the Treo worked fine and was just as I'd left it as it was one of the Palm OS5 devices with non-volatile flash (something we take for granted these days). The only problem was that the battery would take no charge at all.

So I've had to order a new one and they're not that easy to get hold of these days. Hopefully it won't take too long to arrive and then I can get back to building something new for the Fossil.

When I do, I'll be sure to let you know.

In 2005: Tapwave discontinues Zodiac line of multimedia handhelds

In 2001: AlphaSmart PalmOS License announced (for education-specific device)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Piezo Power on the Fossil

Piezo power is an old Palm OS app that creates interesting sounds using a variable tone and volume using waves drawn on screen. After my experience with Theremini I thought that this might not work either, but it did! It was quite quiet but it definitely made a sound! It's very cool.

One thing that marked out Piezo power was that it could work on two Palm OS PDAs simultaneously. As you can imagine that's my next experiment! You probably won't have to wait too long for that!

Theremini on the Fossil

The first app I loaded onto the Fossil was of course Theremini. If you don't know Theremini it's a theremin type app that makes a sound based on stylus input. I got it loaded via a beam with no problems, but sadly the app doesn't work on the fossil. That is to say it works, but it makes no sound at all.

It's a little set back, but not the end of the world at all. It's a shame, but I'm going to try some others too.

Monday, July 25, 2016

If this is what I think it is then it's pretty exciting

Having just bought a Palm OS Fossil I'm not really in the market for this. However, I am pretty interested in the contents of the second box. If I'm correct this is a fairly rare Windows Mobile version of the Fossil Abacus. It used a set of services from Microsoft to give information online to the watch.

I have to say that I don't know too much about it, but I do know that they're hard to find.

For both of these for what is around £200 isn't a bad deal all in all.

Fossil Abacus AU5011 Wrist PDA on eBay

Beam in succesful!

And as you can see, the beam in was successful! All working perfectly.

Beaming to the Fossil

As I've mentioned before, one of the best things about the Fossil Abacus is that it has an infrared port on it. So you can beam apps and data to it. As you can see in this photo I'm beaming apps into the Fossil, and it works perfectly!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Experimenting with BeatPad (on the Handera 330) and the MIDI Vampires

This is an experiment I've been meaning to try for a while now. I wanted to see if I could use MIDI from the Handera 330 running BeatPad (from miniMusic and using one of their serial to MIDI connectors to run into the MIDI vampires.

My previous attempts with this were using a non-powered V5 (Philip Rees) but that didn't work as the vampires need MIDI power, which is why they're called vampires as they use MIDI vampiric power. So I thought that if I used a V3, which is powered by a 9V battery. However, even with this it didn't seem to work. I tested everything, but couldn't get the vampires to work.

My only assumption is that the vampires aren't working anymore. Which is a shame.

Friday, July 22, 2016

In 2003: Palm introduces Tungsten T2 (32MB RAM, brighter screen update of Tungsten T)

The step before one of my favourite PDAs of all time, the T3. The T2 was nice, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't the T3. I never owned a T2, or the original T either, but I guess I don't really need to again.

In 2002: Sony announces SL10 (entry-level)

I never had one of these. By the time I was into the Sony line this was very old and too small and under powered for my needs by then.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Fossil Memory

So the tiny little Fossil watch has an 8mb memory. Which is pretty amazing actually. I'd have expected 2mb, 4mb at the most, but not 8mb.

So there's loads of storage space on this, lots of room for running apps and testing things out on the device.

Fossil stylus callibration

Works just the same way as normal PDA devices running OS4. So it really is a PDA on your wrist.

This comment has got me all fired up!

When I saw this comment my eyes lit up! I really want to try out the old miniMusic apps on the Fossil now! That could be so awesome!

I probably need to calm down a little bit now.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fossil Abacus boot up screens

I thought I'd post these to show you what it looks like when the Fossil Abacus boots up for the first time. Nice Fossil boot screen too.

Like other OS4 devices the Fossil doesn't have non-volatile flash

It's weird to think that there was a time when we had devices that didn't run on non-volatile flash memory, but of course most of the devices from back then had to have power to retain their memory and data.

The Fossil is no different here. It needs its battery to be running to keep its data.

In 2001: Palm announces m125 with immediate availability

The m-series Palm OS PDAs sort of passed me by in a way. I was doing other stuff and still using my 3 series so I didn't need to go there. I sort of caught up again a few years ago, but I still don't understand why they moved to the m-series. I didn't think that the hardware really warranted a new line of PDAs. Just my view.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Another size comparison: Fossil, Pebble, LiveView

Interesting to see it from this angle. Apologies that it's a bit dark, but I think you get the picture as it were. The order is: Fossil Abacus, Pebble Time, Sony LiveView (1).

Smartwatch size comparison (Fossil Abacus v Pebble Time)

The Fossil is much heavier than the Pebble Time, but then you'd expect that wouldn't you? In actual fact the available screen size is about the same! Obviously the Fossil screen is monochrome and not e-ink, but it is a touch screen whereas the Pebble isn't.

Also the Fossil is a device in its own right whereas the Pebble needs a smartphone to work, so in some ways the Fossil the more stand alone device.

I found it interested to see the two side by side.

I'll be posting more like this soon enough.

In 1999: Palm IIIe announced (entry-level)

Which looked a lot like the other devices but came with only 2mb of RAM onboard. I mean, these days you can't really believe that you could do anything with 2mb, but you could back then and people did. I never really warmed to this device, but I guess that by the time it came out it really wasn't aimed at me.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Yes, you can beam to and from the Fossil Abacus

One of the most important things about the Fossil Abacus was that it had an infrared port on it. You could beam to and from the watch just like with any other Palm OS PDA. That's one of the big reasons I wanted to get it in fact.

One of the things I'll be experimenting with (and posting about extensively I expect) will be what kinds of apps you can get to work on the Fossil Abacus, and the main way I'll be getting apps in to it will be via IRDA.

Expect a lot more about this soon enough ...

In 2003: Sony introduces new Handheld Engine processor (variable speed ARM-based CPU)

Sony released so many devices it was almost unreal. They really did make a lot of use of the Palm OS back in those days. It's a shame that they didn't keep it up, but a lot of the devices are still worth having even now.

In 2003: Sony announces UX50 and UX40 (landscape flip&twist format, keyboard, WiFi + Bt, 16+16+16+29MB RAM, Handheld Engine processor)

Amazing when they were first announced. I was really excited, but they were so expensive that they were out of reach for a lot of Palm OS fans. Which was a shame. I only ended up owning one many years later and long after they'd been discontinued too. When I did own one it was a bit of a disappointment in the end.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Yes, I do have a tiny stylus and I'm very proud of it!

Yes, hidden in the strap buckle is a tiny little stylus! I had no idea that the Fossil abacus had one of these and used a touch screen! It's a lovely piece of design and engineering. You pull the little stylus out like this.

Once out it unfolds into a little, and actually usable stylus, and then it works with the screen just like any other stylus.

My concern was that it might loosen and effectively get very easy to just fall out. But it actually seems pretty steady and secure.

Here's how it unfolds completely.

It works! Amazing! I love it!

Friday, July 15, 2016

After years of wanting one of these, finally I've got one, and so far it's pretty amazing!

You've probably heard me go on about the Fossil Abacus before. It was arguably one of the most advanced smart watches before there were smart watches. It ran on Palm's OS and was effectively a tiny Palm OS PDA on your wrist. Ok, maybe it wasn't that tiny, but it was awesome.

I've been after one for a very long time indeed, and now I've managed to get one relatively cheap on eBay. Not only that, the seller delivered it to me by hand on the day of the purchase. I was pretty excited about that too.

So I have to post about it, and I will be posting about it quite a bit now, so be prepared ...

Here's a couple more pictures of it too.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

In 1998: Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky leave 3Com and found Handspring

The start of something rather amazing in my view. Handspring could have been a true market leader if they'd had a little more vision. So many of the modular electronic devices we're seeing now were inspired by the Visor and its modular approach.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Fossil Wrist PDA, Palm OS powered vintage wrist computer on eBay

These are quite so rare as the springboards, but they still don't come up at a reasonable cost very often. In fact, for the most part they seem to get listed on eBay for double what this one is going for. Hence me mentioning it.

Fossil Wrist PDA, Palm OS powered vintage wrist computer on eBay

Rare Eyemodule 2 for Handspring Visor on eBay

Not something you see very often now. These old handspring modules are very rare these days, and the eyemodules are even rarer. This one isn't badly priced if you're looking for something for your old Handspring Visor.

Rare Eyemodule 2 for Handspring Visor on eBay

Friday, July 01, 2016

In 2003: Alphasmart announces Dana Wireless (WiFi)

Alphasmart was a really innovative brand and Dana with wireless was a good example of just that. An early version of an iPad with big keyboard? Sort of.