Sunday, November 18, 2018

In 2002: Fossil Palm OS License announced (to make wristwatch PDA)

The Fossil watches never really took off in my view. They were simply too big for most wrists and didn't really do what you wanted them to do. They weren't user friendly and for the most part were targeted at the hard core PDA user who wanted another little screen on their wrist. The second iteration of the Fossil was a lot better and in many ways they were the precursor for the smart watches that we have today.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

In 2000: Palm Mobile Internet Kit begins shipping

Connectivity for Palm devices was something that people had started talking about for a long time and before this the only thing you could do was read your email on the device and reply then sync and send the reply from your desktop. The mobile internet kit changed a lot.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

I'd almost forgotten DGOS

DGOS was almost a whole alternative OS for Palm. It stopped, largely because Palm did, but it was really interesting. There wasn't ever a downloadable file, but it is now possibly something to do with the DIY Palm device I posted about a few days ago (link).


As you can see, there wasn't much to actually 'see', but it was taking shape, and a shame that it didn't move forward, but understandable.

Alternative operating system? Well, sort of

I've been meaning to talk about this one for a long time now. It's something that I never got around to trying out when it first arrived. I'm talking about Teal OS, although it isn't called Teal OS now, it's SoftOS, and it's still available!

I've just downloaded it to have a look and see what it's like. I'll post some pictures of it soon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Is it still viable to use a Palm OS device in 2018? ... Drawing


My all time favourite drawing app has to be  NinerPaint. It was (is) such a versatile drawing, and also animation package.

Now, I'm no artist, that's for sure, but even I could make something reasonable (I know it's very subjective) with NinerPaint. See below ...


Ok, you may or may not agree with whether this is good or not, and you might not even think it's a good example of what can be done.

The GIF below has a few examples too.



Is it still viable to use a Palm OS device in 2018? ... Office

There were quite a few choices in terms of office suites for Palm OS, and, as in so many areas for Palm devices, as the OS and the hardware improved, the choices and their functionality got better.

My personal favourite was Documents2Go.


Docs2Go could handle Word, Excel and even powerpoint. It was impressive stuff. There were alternatives of course, but really this is the best option in my opinion.

Of course, you couldn't sync wirelessly, or use a cloud service for document storage, that really was the future when we were using Palm OS devices.


Is it still viable to use a Palm OS device in 2018? ... Contact management

Another standard built in app was the Palm OS contacts app. Again it was perfectly functional, and, like many of the built in apps there were quite a number of 3rd party apps that would extend functionality.

If you needed something more powerful like contact management or CRM type capabilities you were probably slightly spoiled for choice!


Is it still viable to use a Palm OS device in 2018? ... Tasks and task management


Task management on Palm was again, simple, yet completely functional. In fact, I'd probably say that this was slightly more functional than what I use today on an iOS device.


You could set a priority, a category, due date and of course details. So, what more do you need?

Is it still viable to use a Palm OS device in 2018? ... Simple notes

Notes, memos, whatever you want to call them, we all use them. Having a store for them is essential in any mobile device, and the original Palm OS had this too.


Even the earliest devices had a simple notes application in the built in selection. Of course it was just text but then that was fine and probably all that was needed or indeed useful.

As the operating system evolved it became more functional.






So I think that whilst you might have a few limitations in using the Palm OS notes you could probably get by reasonably ok.

Is it still viable to use a Palm OS device in 2018? ... Calendar and DualDate

As a little addendum to the calendar post I should say that there was an add on to Calendar on the Palm OS built in app called DualDate. This was actually an amazingly useful add on. It allowed you to hold two quite separate calendars on a single device.

So if you and your partner wanted to both hold a copy of each other's diaries, you could. All you had to do was to beam them over infrared to each other. That's it!

I've not seen anything similar on modern devices.

Take a look in the Palmorama store ... (well, if you want Palm OS stuff anyway)

Have a look in the store for all your Palm OS needs! You can just click above to get to the store. The store has lots of mainly 2nd hand stuff from eBay, but often there's some quite good stuff available, so it is worth a look occasionally. You never know, you might grab a bargain.

Is it still viable to use a Palm OS device in 2018? ... Using Calendar

Actually, if you're ok with an offline calendar then you could still probably get on just fine with the Palm OS calendar. It wasn't bad. It still isn't. It can be quite useful.

You could of course sync it with Outlook, or, if you can remember it, Lotus Organiser!


The built in calendar did evolve over time and with different versions of the operating system, and became quite useful.

Verdict: Probably you could use this now and still find it perfectly functional.

Is it still viable to use a Palm OS device in 2018?

I thought I'd have a look at some of the things that you need a portable device for and whether you could go back to using a Palm OS PDA to do what you need to in 2018.

It won't be a massive series, it'll look at some key areas and briefly give my view on whether the Palm OS could make it against today's modern devices.

It should be fun!

Another Palm OS app download resource

I thought I'd post a link to this site for Palm OS downloads. It's called PalmDB. There isn't a massive amount there right now, but I'm hoping that there will be.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The DIY future of Palm OS?


This is really interesting, and really exciting too. The thought of a DIY Palm OS device could be really cool. If you want to find out a bit more check this reddit thread.

I'll be keeping an eye on this now, you can be sure of that.

Monday, November 05, 2018

One that got away: BeatPlus

Just revisiting the topic from the other day about Handspring Springboards. This is one of the modules that is incredibly rare. I actually owned one briefly, but that's a whole other story.

This was a great springboard. A whole little sound module that could slot into your handspring. Sheer genius.

I was thinking about it just today and thought I'd share it with you.

Let's talk about Rex: What's next?

One thing about the Rex is that it never seemed to find a home particularly for what it was trying to do or be. That was a shame. I think it had a lot of potential to be something great.

The idea of a credit card sized device still appeals to me, and I think it could be used in so many ways. Probably paired to another device, but used to keep track of your wallet. Be a second screen perhaps. There's a whole host of possibilities that could make this kind of device useful again.

Maybe someone will do just that.

Let's talk about Rex: One more device that's of a similar size


Of course the Arduboy above isn't from the same time at all, but has a very similar form to the Rex. Smaller screen and big buttons, but an interesting comparison.

Let's talk about Rex: And that case idea evolved






The insert to the cassette case was 3D printed to hold the Rex. It wasn't a bad idea, but once I'd got it there I wasn't sure how useful it would be anyway.

Let's talk about Rex: All the Credit Card Sized PDAs


As far as I'm aware, apart from these there were no other PDAs made in this format, and of course there are none today either.

Let's talk about Rex: Oregon vs 6000



Let's talk about Rex: Not Rex, the Oregon Scientific









Let's talk about Rex: Another good idea for a Rex case


Let's talk about Rex: Other cool Rex cases (1)


Not mine, but a really good idea.

Let's talk about Rex: An idea for a case



This is where I started. More later.

Let's talk about Rex: A 2 screen Rex thing


Not really, just me putting them in this case as I liked the idea of a little clamshell thing with two Rex devices in there.

Let's talk about Rex: The only musical thing


Unsurprisingly there are very few 'addins' or apps left around for the 6000. I'm not even sure that there were any significant number at the height of the device's popularity. Anyway, I was surprised to be able to find this little keyboard app for it.

Let's talk about Rex: The 6000 and additional apps!


Yep, the 6000 had the concept of additional 'addins' rather than apps, but effectively the idea was the same. There are basically just a handful left around, but you need to look pretty hard to get hold of them.

Let's talk about Rex: 3 x Rex


So here you've got the 5000, a 5001, and the 6000 (bottom).

Let's talk about Rex: 6000 original packaging



Let's talk about Rex: And yes, there were cradles



Because if you wanted to connect one of these things to a desktop computer you needed to use a serial port.

Let's talk about Rex: A quick comparison of the 5000 and 6000



You can see that there was a lot more functionality in the 6000 an perhaps better use of the screen too.

Let's talk about Rex: The 6000


The 6000 was the only Rex that had a touch screen, and therefore needed a stylus. Whilst this was a big step forward for the Rex it also mad it somewhat difficult as there was no where to keep the stylus inside the device.

I think that was a bit of a drawback to be honest. A mistake.

Let's talk about Rex: The Power of Rex


This is where the Rex came into its own. You could just slip it into the PCMCIA slot of your laptop (Here this is a Toshiba Libretto) and it would sync using the TrueSync software.

It was very smart indeed.

Let's talk about Rex: Main screen


This was the main screen of the Rex 5000 / Rex Pro. Not much to be honest, but a useful little device nevertheless. It had the basics, and in many ways that was all that was needed back then.