Comments on: WordSmith 2.1 Has Spell Checker, Thesaurus, VFS Support

Blue Nomad has just announced WordSmith 2.1, which features several major enhancements, including spell checker, thesaurus, and virtual file system (VFS) support. In addition, WordSmith 2.1 will ship with a carbonized Mac OS Wordsmith desktop application that runs natively under OS X, and FineType Manager, which allows users to delete, beam and preview Blue Nomad FineType fonts. It will be available near the end of this month for $30. It is a free upgrade for all current users.
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Wordsmith 2.1 released? I don't think so.

Gyre8 @ 11/13/2001 9:12:55 AM #
This from the Blue Nomad site:

"WordSmith 2.1 will be available for $29.95 in late November 2001, "

So it's not actually released. Perhaps this should have been a 'pre-release' statement.

RE: Wordsmith 2.1 released? I don't think so.
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/13/2001 9:16:38 AM #
Reading the features it seems worth waiting a few more weeks for. At least it will be a free upgrade for existing WS users.

I'm curious how WS will handle the VFS. I hope it will keep the document on the external card while reading it, and only copy it to Ram for editing.

RE: Wordsmith 2.1 released? I don't think so.
Ed @ 11/13/2001 9:26:10 AM #
I made that clear later in the article but you are correct, the first sentence wasn't right. I have rephrased it.

News Editor

The $500 Question

ktran @ 11/13/2001 10:00:52 AM #
How much RAM will it take??

RE: The $500 Question
GKreamer @ 11/13/2001 10:08:49 AM #
If you are worried about RAM, spend $8.00 and get !pZip. This will compress the application by 40-50% for storage and then uncompress it on the fly when you want to use it. When you exit the app, the uncompressed copy is deleted. I have been using !pZip for months and it works great. I have WordSmith stored in ROM (FlashPro) and it takes up 250K. The only caveat is that you have to have enough free RAM to allow the compressed application to be "un.!pZip.ed".

RE: The $500 Question
wilco @ 11/13/2001 10:15:17 AM #
The added Thesaurus/Spell checker should add at least 200k to the Application, which currently stand at 467k. Hopefully you could place the Spellchecker/Thesaurus Database on Card.

RE: The $500 Question
wilco @ 11/13/2001 10:18:46 AM #
Using !pzip is great at conserving space, but the added time to uncompress the program is a hassle especially if you mapped Wordsmith to Memo pad button, and it launches everytime you wanted to jot down a short note.

RE: The $500 Question
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/13/2001 10:32:00 AM #
I would say about 800-900k. There is nothing wrong with that though. Looking at that Stowaway deal at Comp USA ($49.99 after rebates) + Wordsmith at $30.00, $80.00 for both seems like a great deal and I might have to jump on it.

RE: The $500 Question
ktran @ 11/13/2001 11:46:09 AM #
Thanks everyone for your input.

The whole problem is that I'm probably ripe now for a new Palm unit -- I'd do my part to help out Palm's sales if I could afford it. I'm already using Wordsmith 2.0d, and it uses up a heft 400k of my Flash space on my 2 meg IBM Workpad.

And those of us who are worried about RAM space are also the ones who'll likely have 16 MHz processors -- how does the compression utility fare with these devices?


K. Tran

RE: The $500 Question
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/13/2001 11:54:58 AM #
WordSmith 535 K
Thesaurus 288 K
Two dictionaries for the speller, the smaller one is 420 K

Dictionary and thesaurus do not work on the card without a utility like pidirect or msmount.

RE: The $500 Question
Altema @ 11/13/2001 12:30:43 PM #
K. Tran, I'm not sure that the compression utility would be a significant help within the 2Mb boundaries. You would need to keep the rest of your programs at a minimum to allow enough RAM for WordSmith to decompress. Putting WordSmith in ROM may be the best option, as the Palm runs it directly from ROM without using any additional RAM, except for whatever is needed for the current document. As an alternative, you may want to go with a text editor and use a third party spell checker like SpellMan. Documents To Go is also very good. DTG would require 114 for the main PRC file and 217 for WordView_.prc, which is used for the Word documents. That would be a minimal installation, and would not include SpellMan.

If you are looking for an inexpensive way to upgrade, check the Palm Store at for refurbished units. They have had the Palm IIIxe on sale for as low as $79, and that device is the same as yours except for having 8Mb of RAM. It's a good device, has a full size screen and flashable ROM (unlike the M100 series). They are currently sold out, but the Palm rep said to keep checking back. There are also a few companies that offer RAM upgrades for a similar price.

RE: The $500 Question
GKreamer @ 11/13/2001 4:57:00 PM #
True, I did not think about the delay for older Palm units. I also use AfterburnerHack to over clock the Palm, this does speed things up a bit. BTW, !pZip supports overclocking and it has a trial version to play with. I have WordSmith mapped to my MemoPad button and the delay is not terrible. For quick notes I use daMemoPad (freeware) combined with AppDa Launcher (also freeware). This splits my home button into four, I then tap the lower left quadrant of the button, a list of installed DA's pops up, I choose daMemoPad and I can enter a quick note while in almost any application- a window pops up for note and goes away when I am done. Just my 2 cents...

RE: The $500 Question
volcanopele @ 11/13/2001 10:07:49 PM #
With VFS support, Wordsmith 2.1 takes up 550 KB. The thesaurus takes up 280 KB, the spell checker with large dictionary takes up 1200 kb. you can choose the components you want. You can even pick up a non-VFS version w/o thesaurus and spell checker for 500 KB. Good thing I have a Memplug so that I can put all those files on my SM card.

What is the OS X app?

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/13/2001 11:42:39 AM #
Is the OS X app just a carbonized version of the OS 9 app? If it is, why should we care? It's just an app to set up what files to sync and until we can sync in X apps like that don't matter.

RE: What is the OS X app?
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/13/2001 12:12:30 PM #
No, there was also an RTF converter. With TextEdit in OSX using RTF format as well, this will be really nice. For now I can just copy the documents to memory stick and get to them that way.

RE: What is the OS X app?
Ed @ 11/13/2001 12:18:26 PM #
Palm has promised to release a version of the Desktop app for OS X by the end of this year. I haven't heard anything new on this for a few months, though.

News Editor
RE: What is the OS X app?
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/13/2001 12:28:34 PM #
> No, there was also an RTF converter.

Are you saying there is an RTF converter built into the Palm app? So it can open an RTF file directly, without having to convert it into WordSmith format? That's great!!

Email Attachments

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/13/2001 11:43:54 AM #
When are they going to get email attacment viewing and/or editing via hotsync? I would love to ditch Docs to Go in favor of Wordsmith.

RE: Email Attachments
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/13/2001 9:05:00 PM #
WS uses a form of Docs, and can read and edit docs. I registered while it was in beta for really cheap, and I think it was a GREAT investment, I being a student.

Macintosh Support

Davy @ 11/13/2001 12:39:34 PM #
FineType Manager, which allows users to delete, beam and preview Blue Nomad FineType fonts. It will be available near the end of this month for $30. It is a free upgrade for all current users.

Does this mean Mac Users finally have their own text-converter, or do we still have to download them from the web?

RE: Macintosh Support
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/17/2001 7:42:42 PM #
still no font converter for the Mac.. the finetype manager is just on the handheld to manage any fonts you have on there...

Images and Tables

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/13/2001 1:56:08 PM #
This is very cool... Wordsmith is the best word processor you get get on a Palm (or PPC for that matter).

However, any word on when we'll get image and table support? I'm not complaining... just wondering.

"Fully compatible"?

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/14/2001 4:08:52 AM #
"WordSmith 2.1 is fully compatible with Microsoft Word,...."

Maybe it's just me, but what does that claim mean?

I'll give you at least one example in which Wordsmith is currently not compatible: Asian language support. You can not edit any Chinese text in Wordsmith and have it properly sync back to your desktop machine. You can edit the Chinese text in Word and have it sync over to Wordsmith just fine. I might be being a bit picky here, but I do have a problem accepting the word "fully" in the WS press release. I have no doubt there are other examples as well. Even Star Office won't go so far as to claim "full compatibility" with Word. How could WordSmith make such a claim?

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/19/2001 6:20:10 AM #
Yes...but then stop being bloody asian

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/19/2001 6:21:22 AM #
don be lacist gwai lo!

VFS while Hotsynching?

bookrats @ 11/19/2001 2:47:59 PM #
The BIG question I have regarding WordSmith 2.1's VFS support -- does this mean that the WordSmith conduit can hotsync documents that are on the memory card, as opposed to being in Visor main memory?

In other words, if you make changes to your document on the PC, and then hotsync your PDA, and the document is stored out on the memory card -- are the changes made to the copy of the document on the memory card? Or must the document be stored in Visor main memory?

Since I try to keep my WordSmith documents out on my CF card, I'm hoping WordSmith figured out how to do this.

Well, I have a registered copy of WordSmith 2.0, so I guess I'll find out when the time comes.


Jeff Meyer



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