I’ve been a long time user of TeikeiDA, FreePadDA’s sister application, but recently I downloaded FreePadDA in the hope it would be better than TeikeiDA. When I first starting using Teikei, I used it mostly for Web Logins in Blazer and unimportant passwords, but more recently I started using it for Web Development. I could keep it preprogrammed with common HTML tags, then just invoke them into the doc I’m creating/editing. Here is a screenshot of my Teikei memo entry (if you want to find how to input different commands in Teikei or FreePad, there are many tutorials available online).

 FreePadDA   A cool use I found for it

I soon found the number of categories (or columns) to few, and really wondered why the developer didn’t extend the form all the way to the left of the screen.

 FreePadDA   A cool use I found for it

I was pleasantly surprised to see FreePad utilize the whole screen, and thus add two more columns. I was also intrigued by the new interface, where instead of tapping on the screen to paste that text into the underlying text field, you can tap on multiple entries, and it’ll paste it into its own text field, then you have to manually paste it in. This can save launching the DA more than you have to, because you can combine two or more entries before you have to exit i.e. if I want to center align something in an HTML document I can use the <div align=center>This is center aligned</div> tag by first clicking the Div command then the align tag without exiting FreePadDA. But the problem with FreePad, is the interface is not set up for for this kind of use.

 FreePadDA   A cool use I found for it

With long tag names, the end of the names are cut off and this is very undesirable , there are buttons you don’t need, and a vertical layout is much harder to use than a horizontal one. So to accommodate my seemingly rare use, I totally redesigned the UI to look like this.

 FreePadDA   A cool use I found for it

It was maybe a one hour job (I did it in between watching football on Sunday night ;-) ), and it has allowed me to web develop much faster than I could otherwise.

What do you think?

As we mentioned here, the TamsPalm team is going to be taking on the task of reviewing most of the popular launchers available. This is Part I, where we take a test drive with Propel.

Propel by Iambic, is an alternate launcher for Applications, Memos, Documents, Files and Contacts on your handheld device. After you download and run the installer, you can choose wether to use Standard or Professional version. (This review focuses on the Professional Version).

screen1 Launcher Review Series Part I   Propel

Clicking the “Yes, let’s go!” button will launch Propel, where it will refresh your data. Unfortunately my device crashed during this process. Upon reboot, Propel says it has crashed, and the problem was with my Memos database, and to check it to make sure there are no problems.

screen2 Launcher Review Series Part I   Propel

I checked my Memos, and everything seemed to be fine. I even deleted many of the Memos I really didn’t need, hoping that I might delete the one(s) that caused the problem, but that did not fix anything. This was very frustrating, not being able to even get Propel to launch, but we did like that it at least specified where the problem was, instead of just crashing without any error logging (although, we wished it wouldn’t of crashed at all!).

Finally I was able to have a crash-less refresh, so I was able to actually use Propel (I changed the Application that handles Memos from Memo Pad to PsMemo, and that seemed to solve the problem, but I have no idea why)

screen3 Launcher Review Series Part I   Propel

Launching Applications was a little harder than I would’ve liked, as Propel uses a nonstandard scroll bar, but maybe it was something I just need to get used to. The real killer feature for Treo users is the ability to launch applications by pressing the letter of the app you want to launch. Propel will then show you a list of apps that start with that letter, where you can either navigate to what you want to open with the five-way, or further specify your search by typing in more letters.

screen4 Launcher Review Series Part I   Propel

Although technically you can also do this by using the on-screen keyboard with your 320×480 Palm PDA, it certainly is not as easy because the keyboard is not always on-screen.

Propel has a bunch of different views that can be used to launch anything from Music to Memos to Contacts, and this worked well.

screen5 Launcher Review Series Part I   Propel screen6 Launcher Review Series Part I   Propel

(Blacked out by me)

screen7 Launcher Review Series Part I   Propel

Propel has many different options, and this seems sort of overwhelming when you first start using it.

screen8 Launcher Review Series Part I   Propel screen9 Launcher Review Series Part I   Propel

screen10 Launcher Review Series Part I   Propel screen11 Launcher Review Series Part I   Propel

One option that doesn’t seem to be available, is adjusting the font size on a area by area basis, i.e. I personally like the font for the Applications quite small, but everything else larger. When I set the font small, it makes the top tabs really small and hard to press.

screen12 Launcher Review Series Part I   Propel

Another thing we disliked, was the way to select Application tabs. If you have more categories than one screen width can “fit”, then the only way to get to these other categories is to press the little arrow buttons to the left or right side of the tabs.

screen13 Launcher Review Series Part I   Propel

The problem is that the arrows change the categories one by one, so I had to press that button about six times to get to my last category. Maybe instead of this, there can be a drop down menu or have the tab area support icons so you don’t overflow one screen, but whatever it is, this needs a little work. Propel also has a nifty little feature called Favorites that allows you to specify Favorites for stuff you access often. For example, you can select some Applications as Favorites and also some Memos, and when you select Favorite Mode everything else will be filtered out, except what you have preselected.

screen14 Launcher Review Series Part I   Propel

Pros

  • Ability to not only launch Applications, but most types of other data too.
  • Favorites feature
  • Type to search (esp. for Smartphone users)

Cons

  • Instability
  • Hard-to-use tabbed interface
  • Overcomplicated
  • Font Size only adjustable on a whole view basis
  • Statusbar cannot be taken off-screen in Propel (I know some people like to do this)
  • No double column list view to maximize space

In Conclusion

The idea and attempted functionality of Propel is great, make it a “one stop shop” for most of your data on your device, if you will, but the implementation is a little weak. This software attempts to do a lot of things, and some things it does well (like the Favorites), but it really needs a serious overhaul to do them all right. If you’d like to try out Propel, and see if it fits your needs, a free trial can be downloaded here. Unfortunately a TamsPalm Shop discount was not possible for this review, as we normally do, but Propel Professional Edition can still be purchased at full retail price here.

One of the most popular replacement software items people get for their Palm OS device, is a replacement launcher. But the real problem is which one do you get? I mean, there are so many options, each one offering different functionality, different features, ect., it is often hard to choose. This is why we are going to be reviewing some of the more popular launchers, giving you our opinions, and just try to make finding the launcher to fit your needs easier. The first launcher we will be reviewing is Propel – so stay tuned!

Foreward — This is just a guide containing a few hardware mods I’ve seen done over time. I’ve talked with the folks who’ve originally done these mods for more info than their original posts, so hopefully I don’t cause too much chaos ;-)

This one focuses on the modifications that can be done to the official Palm hardcase available for the T|X, T|E, T|E2 and the T|T5.

– The Magnet Mod –

My quest for the perfect hard case started in May. I was dissatisfied with the state of my T|X’s hard case, and was looking for an alternative. My main problem was that the chintzy little clasp that held the case shut had snapped loose and would not keep my T|X safe. After a bit of discussion, we decided that replacing the clasp with magnets was a viable alternative.

The first step is to drill out the holes. Since I never really figured I’d be doing this sort of post 7 months later, I have no “in progress” shots, sorry :-) .

Make sure you choose magnets before you drill the holes so that you don’t end up with a big gaping hole in your case. The best thing I have learned is that if you make the hole a tad bit smaller than your magnets, then slowly file it out with anything fairly sharp (Hell, a small flat-head screwdriver works) you will have a nice snug fit that will never require reglueing.

After you drill the holes (I did four, two on each half of the case) you can drop the magnets in. The best ting to do is use a pair of tweasers and coat the magnet with gorilla glue then you simply wedge the magnets in the holes and you are done!

IMG 1199 Ultimate T|X Hardware Hacking Guide    Part I    Case Mods

– Anti Rattle Mod–

“So, uh, Ryan, why do you have pieces of dish towels glued to your case?”

Good question! (I’m sorry, I know that’s bad :-) ) The case is designed just kludgingly enough so that there is a very smaller, probably less than 1mm gap between the T|X and the case lid, just enough to have it rattle around and scuff up the front of the the T|X. Jays333 originally gave me the idea to do this in the above 1src thread, however I didn’t have any of that foam lying around, so I simply cut up a dish towel.

Jays333 did a nice job on his however:

aIMG 0038 Ultimate T|X Hardware Hacking Guide    Part I    Case Mods

This effectively cancels out any rattling that may occur, keeping your T|X unscathed for years to come.

– Headphone Mod –

So, what else can be done to our T|X cases? Well, I have done a few other things to the case in the time I’ve owned it. When I performed the Magnet Mod I also decided to cut away a hole for the headphones so that the case would latch shut when I was listening to music, rather than mashing up my headphone jack.

IMG 1433 Ultimate T|X Hardware Hacking Guide    Part I    Case Mods

The first step is to mark where you want to get the cuts. You can plug in the headphones and put the device in the case so that the headphones are where the cuts will be (at which point, you know where the cuts need to be, or you can wing it with a sharpie cap, like Chris Tengi did.

576485821 60504ef50f b Ultimate T|X Hardware Hacking Guide    Part I    Case Mods

That’s all of the mods I could come up with in regards to the Palm Hardcase. Next time we will take a look at alternatives to the Palm Cradle: the design, construction and customisation of our own Cradle kit!

Also, if you try any of these mods please note that I cannot be held responsible if your case is permanently damaged! Perform these mods at your own risk! 

A while back Dmitry Grinberg released a small application that would hard reset your device for you, without using the hard buttons. This was released because quite a few devices have/had faulty power buttons that prevent a user from hard resetting their device.

Well, while fooling with my third bricked T|X (Yep, it bricked already) I found that by holding all four power buttons in the right way, you can actually preform a hard reset without using the power button!

The steps are more-or-less as follows:

  1. hold all four hard buttons (home, calendar, tasks and web)
  2. When the black progress bar on the first screen reaches 100% it should stay until you let go of the buttons.
  3. Let go of the buttons and the split second the device switches to the grey palm powered screen reapply the buttons.
  4. wait a few seconds and release the buttons. With any luck you will be shown the “Are you sure you wish to erase all data screen.”
  5. Press up to complete the hard reset.

Watch a video showing the procedure.

Did this work for you?

Just to clear things up folks, the steps are to be done as it is resetting! ~Ryan

PalmOne Files is an application that debuted on the Tungsten T5 and has been included since then on the Lifedrive and newer Treos. One of the most useful features was the Open File menu option it created in Blazer seen here.

 PalmOne Files 2.1   What Happened to the Open File Option?

Selecting “Open File” will allow you to browse to the local file you want to open.

 PalmOne Files 2.1   What Happened to the Open File Option?

Now when we delete PalmOne Files 2.0 from the Lifedrive, and install version 2.1 from the newest Palm smartphone – the Centro – this menu option mysteriously disappears on my TX.

 PalmOne Files 2.1   What Happened to the Open File Option?

Palm, what happened to it?

If you are like me, then you are spelling impaired, but are there any solutions for this problem on a Palm device? Most of you probably know Documents To Go Premium Edition has a spell checker, but how about something else that is easily accessible in all applications? I use a little-known, not in active development spell checker called Spell5. It is totally Free, and works great. But no, it does not automatically underline every misspelled word like on your desktop, but it does work with the Clipboard in kind of a cool way. It automatically Copies/Pastes to and from the Clipboard (and the Cutpaste5 Clipboard if you have that installed) when you start Spell5, and when you exit it. So to check the spelling of of a word or block of text you would have to do something like this:

Copy to the Clipboard whatever you want to spell check.

 Spelling Solutions For Your Palm

Exit your currently running application and launch Spell5. Spell5 will then automatically paste the text from the Clipboard into its text field.

 Spelling Solutions For Your Palm

Where you can then hit the “Check” button to check the spelling. It will then check the spelling by showing the misspelled word with a list of correct choices (much like when you right-click a misspelled word in Windows).

 Spelling Solutions For Your Palm

Where you can either Replace/Skip/Learn/Cancel the current operation. Once you exit Spell5, it will copy the contents of its text field (the one that you just corrected the spelling of) back to the Clipboard, where you can then paste the correctly spelled text to wherever you need. You may be asking, that I stated a spell checker that was “easily accessible from all applications”, and this didn’t fit those guidelines. Well I myself use a great Shareware Application from Alex Pruss called OnTop that will allow you to launch Applications on top of others, instead of having to exit the currently running program. This works beautifully in conjunction with Spell5 to make spell checking text very easy, but this does not mean you have to have OnTop to use Spell5, it just makes it more convenient.

What do you think?

On the gmail login page there is a news bit entitled “New! IMAP Access!”

While this has been in the pipes for a while (a few slashdot articles show a few users getting beta testing of it) the news article states that “We’re rolling it out to everyone over the next few days”.

Will you enable GMail’s IMAP access?

Well, Dmitry Grinberg of PalmPowerUps fame has done it again. He is currently completing work on his latest hack: a T|X ROM reflasher. This application is not Dmitry’s/Palm, Inc’s “TX2″ reflasher; it works, not only on the overflow ROM area, but on the rest of the ROM, OS and all. There seems to be quite in interest in this application, especially among the ‘Old School’ Palm users, the folks who used to use and love the Jack* applications.

Dmitry has quite a few cool projects (here, here, here and others) going at the moment, and it is very cool to finally see a TX ROM reflasher! Unlike his previous reflasher, PowerRom is completely Dmitry’s code (not a hacked ESU) and will be marketed as shareware.

Dmitry expects to be done with this application soon and you can be sure TamsPalm will be there to cover it!

PS: Dmitry is in need of a Tungsten T5. If you would be willing to donate a T|T5, contact him at dmitrygr AT gmail DOT com!

PalmInfoCenter has just posted a note stating that, in Palm’s attempt to make up for the 700p Whac-a-mole, Verizon’s 700p users can now download a full version of Astraware SuDoku. It goes on to say that, unlike the version released to those who Beta’d the MyPalm portal, this version requires no “onerous” registration and license fees (akin to any free Astraware game)

You can download you free version of Astraware SuDoku (If you’re a verizon 700p user who have ran the 1.10 ROM update :-) ) by following the directions here:

  1. On your smartphone, press Applications, and select Web.
  2. In the address bar, type www.palm.com/sudokupromo, and press enter on the keyboard.
  3. When the Download prompt appears, select Device from the Save to: list, and select Yes at the bottom.
  4. Select Save and Open from the Download prompt, and Yes when asked whether you want to accept Sudoku into Applications. The software will now download and install to your smartphone.
  5. When complete, press Applications, and locate Sudoku in the applications list. Tap on the game to start playing! Be sure to perform a HotSync® operation on your device to backup your new game.

Is this just more Palm pandering, or do you think it is a full hearted attempt to apologize?
Big thanks to PIC for the info!

While helping John Wilund integrate SrcEdit into PalmOS Simulator, we stumbled upon an interesting discovery: Ctrl Keys usually have a function AND generate USABLE keyDownEvent structures!

“Wow, that’s real useful, bub…” Actually, yes, it is. While coding your apps to use Ctrl-* in PalmSim may not be ‘worthwhile’ (Who really uses PalmSim, besides developers?), the primary functions of these keys may make testing and debugging much more convenient and realistic than before.

Continue reading »

While browsing 1src recently, I came across an interesting thread discussing some of the options in the AppShelf launcher. If you use AppShelf, you probable know that it is translated to English from Japanese , and thus the descriptions of the myriad options is quite hard to understand. You can read the thread here.

1src user elParkeur even made a “proper” English overlay that can be installed on your device, it clarifies most of the options, and even adds Tips to some screens (that little “i” that appears in the upper-right hand corner of the screen) The Overlay can be found here.

There are literally tens of thousands of applications for the Palm OS, but something that is very useful, and something that is also very hard to find, is an image converter. All the time I find myself forgetting to convert an image on my computer before I send it to my Palm, and then when I’m away from the computer, realizing oops, I can’t use this format. But recently I found a little work-around. A very good Graphics Design/Drawing program called TealPaint, can handle three popular image formats GIF, BMP and JPG, and can open those and save to any of the three formats. This is one of the many great features of TealPaint, but what if you find yourself with one of those odd image formats like PNG or TIFF? What do you do now? Well there is also a solution to this problem , if you use the popular Resco Photo Viewer, you may or may not know, that you can convert any of the viewers supported formats to JPG (Menu–>Edit Image–>). So with Resco Viewer you can convert BMP/GIF/TIFF/PNG to JPG, and with TealPaint take that JPG file and convert it to GIF/BMP. As an overview, I made up this chart showing input and output formats of these two image converters (I also included Tbmpedit that was covered earlier on Tamspalm)

conversion chart Image Converting on Palm OS

What do you think?

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