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Comments on: Tapwave Zodiac Now Available for Pre-order

Tapwave is debuting the new Zodiac Palm OS handheld at the DEMO mobile conference today. The company's new product website is live and they are now taking pre-orders. The Zodiac is the first Palm OS handheld designed primarily for mobile entertainment.
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took long enough..

helf @ 9/17/2003 11:25:59 AM #
;)

Been waiting for ages for them to release this AND for you all to announce that they are taking preorders.. :)

I cant wait till I can get one.


Online only?
Marshall Flinkman @ 9/17/2003 6:34:36 PM #
I thought I remembered seeing something about them being in stores too, but I want to be sure this isn't wishful thinking...

So, anyone know when they hit the physical stores? (I'm planning on getting one, but I'd like to check it out firsthand before I plunk anything down for it.)

Also, anyone know of any reviews?

cool! games for geeks

arielb @ 9/17/2003 11:28:54 AM #
hehe it even comes with a graphing calculator
I suppose it would be this one?
http://www.infinitysw.com/products/poweronegraph.html


NO 3D graphics acceleration

ivo_jager @ 9/17/2003 11:44:55 AM #
Despite what the article above says, it has NO 3D acceleration.
It's just as fast as your ordinary Palm/Clie in that respect.
It DOES however has a 3D software engine built in that developers can use. It also has a 2D accelerator from ATI.
Just wanted to point that out :)

Ivo Jager
D3D/MT3D lead developer
www.mobilewizardry.com
RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
Scott R @ 9/17/2003 11:54:37 AM #
The ATI chip is listed as having 8MB of Video RAM. That should provide some sort of advantage, no?

Scott

http://goodthatway.com
- featuring PDA/smartphone news and FREE MONEY!!! -

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
arielb @ 9/17/2003 12:06:32 PM #
it's the most powerful graphics chip available in a handheld today

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
orol @ 9/17/2003 12:10:35 PM #
the ATI imageon ship has 384KB of RAM .. and is used by many PPC nowadays too
from handheld perspective it's a powerful chip but it shold have at least double memery in order to fit 480x320 resolution

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
arielb @ 9/17/2003 12:16:04 PM #
yes but the zodiac has 8 megs of vram

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
ivo_jager @ 9/17/2003 12:28:07 PM #
Video RAM often has faster access times than does "regular" RAM
Unfortunately 3D games do no benefit much from enhanced RAM speeds, as 3D operations mostly concern artithmetic and lookup-table address calculation. Furthermore, the ARM processor already has a significant amount of code and data cache on-chip.
Only operations such as screen blitting (i.e. transfering large amounts of data) would possibly benefit from the 2D accelerator, but 3D games mostly require small sporadic read/write operations.

Ivo Jager
D3D/MT3D lead developer
www.mobilewizardry.com
RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
arielb @ 9/17/2003 12:40:42 PM #
oh i was responding to orol. but yes until the technology comes out, 3D will have to be done in software

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
ivo_jager @ 9/17/2003 12:41:19 PM #
Ofcourse the story changes in the case where 3D operations are calculated so fast that waiting for the memory read/write becomes the bottleneck (i.e. when you have a true 3D accelerator)

Ivo Jager
D3D/MT3D lead developer
www.mobilewizardry.com
RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
painted_dog @ 9/17/2003 12:41:47 PM #
from the Tapwave website...
"The ATI® Imageon™ graphics accelerator delivers advanced 2D hardware graphics performance. And the FatHammer X-Forge™ 3D graphics engine expands on that performance to deliver advanced console-quality 3D games and other rich 3D content."

-painted dog

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
arielb @ 9/17/2003 12:51:19 PM #
i'm also not so crazy about the fact that all ARM cpus still don't do floating point in hardware

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
orol @ 9/17/2003 12:52:08 PM #
well it's shared ram but on the chip itself is 384KB (according to ATI) and shared rame it's a solution but nota good one, eventhough better then any other handheld :-)

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
Shogmaster @ 9/17/2003 2:25:39 PM #
Hey Ivo. Can you confirm for me the total RAM dedicated to the XForge engined game operation is 8MB and no more?



RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
ivo_jager @ 9/17/2003 2:34:03 PM #
It wouldn't make sense if the folks at Fathammer would limit their engine to use only 8 megs of RAM at any time. Ofcourse, we don't use the X-Forge engine ourselves - we use our own engine, so i can only guess here, but IMO it'd be very unlikely.


Ivo Jager
D3D/MT3D lead developer
www.mobilewizardry.com

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
asiayeah @ 9/18/2003 10:15:13 AM #
Even though the tapwave may not have hardware 3D accelerations, at least it provides a 3D engine API for software development. In future releases, I assume the same API will take advantage of the hardware 3D accelerators when it's available and the games will automatically take advantage of the new hardware.

I assume when tapwave becomes a success, PalmSource may start putting their API as part of the Palm OS standard API.

--
With great power comes great responsiblity.

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
enjolras @ 9/18/2003 10:53:03 AM #
A couple of quick notes:)

The 3D API that they're providing is VERY VERY good. While it's not accelerated, it is certainly quick and does a great job with what it has.

The ATI chip does help quite a bit when it comes to fill. The 3D rendering process consists of two phases (I'm simplifying:) ), transformation and rendering.

Transforms are all of the arithmetic referred to earlier that take a object in 3D space and translate it into a 2D representation. This is completely unhelped by the Zodiac architecture.

Rendering is the actual drawing of that data. Older 3D accelerators on the PC hooked into the rendering process, allowing you to pass a set of transformed triangles to them for drawing. This helped quite a bit as it streamlined the actual rendering process in hardware (freeing up the processor for other tasks).

A 2D accelerator can help, albeit later in the process. Instead of handing triangles to the accelerator, now the programmer has to do the rendering setup himself.. but the actual drawing of the lines and shading is accelerated by the accelerator. This is still a good gain, as the ability to fill is greatly increased.

So the included hardware does provide some advantange and you'll see the best games on the Palm OS platform on the Zodiac.


RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
ivo_jager @ 9/18/2003 1:15:55 PM #
"A 2D accelerator can help, albeit later in the process. Instead of handing triangles to the accelerator, now the programmer has to do the rendering setup himself.. but the actual drawing of the lines and shading is accelerated by the accelerator. This is still a good gain, as the ability to fill is greatly increased."

While this might be true for old flatshaded polygon stuff (i.e. each polygon has a single color) which were very popular in the late '80s, this not of any benefit to texturemapped polygons we like to see today in for example the X-Forge engine.
There are no contiguous regions to be drawn (which a 2D accelerator likes to do most) as every source pixel can have an arbitrary position and an arbitrary color that are unknown without the proper arithmetic for every destination pixel. Hence the 2D accelerator is useless :(

Ivo Jager
D3D/MT3D lead developer
www.mobilewizardry.com

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
jadam @ 9/18/2003 3:47:06 PM #
what are you basing these comments on though? The Zodiac uses an Imageon W4200 which ATI has not released ANY stats about it.

Secondly the Imageon has 8mb of DEDICATED memory for it.

Third, The Imageon 3200 supported gouraud shading, now im not a 3d person, but isnt gouraud shading used for 3d games, err psx ones?

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
RSC @ 9/18/2003 4:38:48 PM #
>now im not a 3d person, but isnt gouraud shading used for 3d games, err psx ones?

Wow! You're not a 3-D person!?!?! Where are you from, Flatland? ;)

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
ardiri @ 9/19/2003 2:25:09 AM #
hmm. seems to be ivo vs' rest of the community here :)

tapwave have done what everyone has been wanting over the years - to develop a device specific for gaming purposes; and, this is what they have done. by all means, no-one should say that their approach has been wrong or failed; this unit is going to make some serious head waves in the market. it already is :)

we (MobileWizardry) have been working with tapwave - unfortunately not developing games at this point :) and, we've seen the hardware, know the specifications in detail, and, what the device can and cannot do. we are soon developing some tapwave specific applications; however, we wont be using the 3rd party rendering engines (as, we already have our own).

they went out, licensed a 3D rendering engine - now, while it doesn't render 3D in hardware, the 3D rendering is good - and, will work for most games. it is a polygon based rendering engine, so the games you'll see are more PS1 style - this will be enough for most users to keep them happy.

the device itself has chosen hardware which will work best with games, this includes the choice of CPU MX1 (fastest memory-memory copy), ATI graphics chip (screen blitting) and the key controllers.

now, the x-forge engine renders pixel by pixel to an offscreen window; and, without a 3D accellerator - this takes CPU cycles = processing power. now, the benefit of the ATI graphics chip? when the rendering is done, the offscreen window is copied to the real display. the difference here? since the ATI chip exists, there is no CPU cycles used in the copying process. at 480x320, thats 153600 pixels it needs to copy, or 38400 d-words. moving that amount of memory can take time.

right now, the only difference between x-forge and an engine like deity 3d (our 3d engine) is that they render different environments (polygon vs raycasting). speed wise? deity 3d is customized, and is faster. deity 3d is limited at the same time however.

the good thing about x-forge is that developers can write to that API. when tapwave releases a unit with a 3D accelleration chip - the developers dont change anything, and, the x-forge library is tweaked to use the 3D accellerator for ultra-performance.

when the 3D accellerator exists, x-forge will walk all over deity 3D :) until then, its just a software renderer = no different from anything that everyone else does custom for existing Palm OS devices.

// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
ivo_jager @ 9/19/2003 4:51:01 PM #
"what are you basing these comments on though? The Zodiac uses an Imageon W4200 which ATI has not released ANY stats about it."
I'm basing it on the 3200 info and the fact that it is a 2D accelerator.

"Secondly the Imageon has 8mb of DEDICATED memory for it."
Memory access speed isn't the bottleneck in software 3d rendering.

"Third, The Imageon 3200 supported gouraud shading, now im not a 3d person, but isnt gouraud shading used for 3d games, err psx ones?"

Yep, you're right :)
Gouraud shading comes down to interpolating between two or more shades of colors. Alas, again with arbitrary angled polygons (be it triangles or quads or any n-gon) there is no fixed area you know you can fill on forehand. Only during scanline conversion (i.e. building up the polygon by drawing horizontal or vertical lines) could you make use of the 2D acceleration (you know on forehand you will draw a vertical or horizontal line, you know where it will start and you know where it will end)
One purpose i can think of for gouraud shading (or bilinear filtering) in a 2D accelerator, is smoothening blocks in lossy compressed images so they look more natural. You can observe how this is done in heavily compressed video footage.

Now once this baby gets common place
http://www.acceleon.com/html/g30.html
We can start doing VERY cool things... :)


Ivo Jager
D3D/MT3D lead developer
www.mobilewizardry.com

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
jadam @ 9/19/2003 6:44:57 PM #
bitboys??? heh... heh... heh....

RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
ivo_jager @ 9/19/2003 6:48:36 PM #
*g* Hey, we can always dream, right ?

Ivo Jager
D3D/MT3D lead developer
www.mobilewizardry.com
RE: NO 3D graphics acceleration
shurcooL @ 9/22/2003 9:15:46 PM #
awsome, those G30 specs make me drool... handheld-wise, of course.

hehe, this whole 3D area for PDAs reminds me of the first 3D accelerators for the PC... can't wait to be able to code 3D games using pure OpenGL and PS/VS 3.0 or whatever they'll come up with next. ;)

just imagine, in a few years u'll be able to play Doom 3 on a PDA. :D progress is so sweet.

thanks,
shurcooL

15-20 Tapwave-optimized games?

Scott R @ 9/17/2003 11:50:38 AM #
Ryan, where are you getting that 15-20 figure? I count six "featured" games due in October and another seven games that say "Coming Soon" with no release date given (so, it could be October or it could be who knows when). That's 13. So that's 6-13 games due at release. Then there's another two "featured" games that are listed for release in early 2004. That brings us up to 15 announced games in total, with between 6-13 games released by Xmas.

Scott

http://goodthatway.com
- featuring PDA/smartphone news and FREE MONEY!!! -

RE: 15-20 Tapwave-optimized games?
arielb @ 9/17/2003 12:13:39 PM #
one of the games, Interstellar Flames is made by Xen Games which until now never made a game for Palm. Maybe they'll bring Gang Warfare to zodiac?

Yes

nmerriam @ 9/17/2003 12:21:00 PM #
This is fantastic, even if you don't care about buying one.

Having a device with a 480x320 screen and 128MB or RAM selling for $400 is just astounding, and will HAVE to make Palm and Sony get more aggressive on their prices.

Sony has been sitting too long at the top of the gadget food chain, charging $800 for new devices.

Web store disappointing

skennedy1217 @ 9/17/2003 12:31:34 PM #
When I go to the Tapwave web store I do not see any pictures of the accessories (with the exception of the stylus). There are a couple cases listed, but no pictures. There is a picture of a case on the Zodiac main screen, but it's of an old Palm III series.

Scott

RE: Web store disappointing (somewhat)
skennedy1217 @ 9/17/2003 12:34:52 PM #
Okay, there are some accessories...like the chargers and Targus IR keyboard (looks like the one Palm just announced)...but there are still a lot of items missing. I would love to see what kind of cases/flip covers will be available, as well as see one of these next to a Tungsten.

Scott

RE: Web store disappointing
nmerriam @ 9/17/2003 12:38:56 PM #
I have the same problem -- I guess they don't have images of the flip cover and cases yet. It's a shame, because protecting the big screen is my main concern with the unit. I am SO trying hard to stop myself from typing in my credit card number right now and the case is giving me an excuse...

RE: Web store disappointing
arielb @ 9/17/2003 12:43:55 PM #
the zodiac already comes with a flip cover. What did you think it was? a Palm?

RE: Web store disappointing
arielb @ 9/19/2003 11:48:18 AM #
website now shows the cases

SDIO

painted_dog @ 9/17/2003 12:49:11 PM #
Clarification...

from the Tapwave website product specs:

"Dual expansion slots for MultiMediaCards, Secure Digital (SD) cards
and SDIO cards, including digital cameras and more.*
Zodiac Connector for additional peripherals.
* Slot #1: supports MultiMediaCards, Secure Digital Cards (SD).
Slot #2: supports MultiMediaCards, Secure Digital Cards (SD), and
SDIO cards."

I'm a bit disappointed that both slots are not SDIO, but thinking on it, initially i'm not sure i'd have call for 2 SDIO slots..

Now if someone would start selling a WiFi SD card !

-painted dog

RE: SDIO
arielb @ 9/17/2003 1:08:16 PM #
they figured you'd use at least one for storage memory SD so why bother making it SDIO compatible? Yes, even 128 megs isn't enough :)

RE: SDIO
indesman @ 9/17/2003 1:42:59 PM #
Since it's got built in Bluetooth what would you want to plug in besides a Wi-Fi card or a camera? I guess your missing out on having live video streaming through the Zodiac over 802.11b to your computer but I don't think that's going to be much of an issue. All these SD cards with large external components seem vulnerable enough as it is.

RE: SDIO
painted_dog @ 9/17/2003 9:04:44 PM #
I'd like Wi-Fi so i can use the Z on the office network checking email, schedules & documenation. [i got to make the PPC crowd there GREEN with envy ;-)] [not really, 1st & foremost it has to make me happy, but giving them envy would be a nice side benefit :-) ]

-painted dog

RE: SDIO
coolmos @ 9/18/2003 3:48:47 AM #
What about a GPS SD card ? Are these available to turn the Zodiac into a Navigator ?

RE: SDIO
Doo @ 9/18/2003 11:17:14 AM #
I'm not sure about a SD GPS, but Delorme' makes a blue tooth one.

Shipping?

digilaw @ 9/17/2003 1:37:11 PM #
Does it say anywhere on the site when is the estimated ship date? October xx? I couldn't find it.

RE: Shipping?
painted_dog @ 9/17/2003 8:53:57 PM #
I pre-ordered mine this morning, the confirming email stated that my item was out of stock & expected to ship in 3-4 weeks. So i wouldn't expect units to start shipping till the week of Oct.13 (hopefully !)

-painted dog

RE: Shipping?
digilaw @ 9/17/2003 10:25:56 PM #
Thanks!

RE: Shipping?
painted_dog @ 9/23/2003 12:40:25 PM #
Update...

I emailed Tapwave to find out more precisely when the Zodiacs will ship & this is what i got....

"Reference to your question the Consoles are scheduled to start shipping in the last week of October."

[.... arghhh ! i'll be away on business when it arrives :( . ]

... but thought that people would like to know when its supposed to ship.

-painted dog


Lets see if it survives

Palm4u @ 9/17/2003 2:01:40 PM #
First post, hello to everyone!

Very nice machine, although its a big longer and thicker than some PDAs.

Its great for gaming, but not sure if you can really bring that into a business boardroom. With not cover to hide that "joystick", you look like you're bringing in an old GameBoy into your meeting.

Lets see if this survives. It sort of sounds like the ole Handspring Modules, that no one really bought because of the high prices. Now they just do TREOs.

I think I'd just get the GameBoy Advance instead.

PDAs rules the world !

RE: Lets see if it survives
helf @ 9/17/2003 2:07:19 PM #
This thing is much better than a gba.. They jsut gotta get the games out for it to survive..

RE: Lets see if it survives
Palm4u @ 9/17/2003 2:12:25 PM #
True.... and ppl to buy the games...

They are now treading on the multi-billion dollar industry of Gaming.....

================================
PDAs rule the world !

RE: Lets see if it survives
arielb @ 9/17/2003 2:20:59 PM #
there are a lot of people who don't play games who'll want this as their pda. you can be sure Sony won't be pleased-their PSP will do very well but the Clie line will certainly suffer

RE: Lets see if it survives
Palm4u @ 9/17/2003 2:24:33 PM #
Which group are you referring to target with this new PDA? Youths, teens or working folks?

I really can't imagine Working folks getting this. Realistically, I can't go into a meeting with this thing, looks like a big screen, sideways, with a joystick. Hmm.. .what could it be?

Sony will look at it a little, but they will probably respond with dropped prices and such. I wouldn't say suffer.

This thing will probably need WiFi or Bluetooth later to link for multi-player games, which Sony UX-50 already has built in.

They still have tons of money, hence they can come up with revolutionary stuff that no one really needs. Like that TV/Video Recorder --> Memory sticks. It is a great gadget, but I doubt they will sell too many.

But compared to any other company, Sony has a giant bank account.

================================
PDAs rule the world !

RE: Lets see if it survives
craigf @ 9/17/2003 3:16:14 PM #
Palm4u wrote:
"I really can't imagine Working folks getting this. Realistically, I can't go into a meeting with this thing, looks like a big screen, sideways, with a joystick. Hmm.. .what could it be?"

Well, I can easily imagine going into a meeting with this device. Turn it sideways (portrait) with the joystick at the bottom and it looks a lot like a generic PDA. To be honest, tho, most people don't even have *any* PDA, so whatever you have will be beyond their comprehension and/or appreciation.

RE: Lets see if it survives
Palm4u @ 9/17/2003 3:22:59 PM #
"tho, most people don't even have *any* PDA, so whatever you have will be beyond their comprehension and/or appreciation."

Haha... agreed!!! Very true indeed!



================================
PDAs rule the world !

RE: Lets see if it survives
Konstantin @ 9/17/2003 3:57:51 PM #
Palm4u: "I really can't imagine Working folks getting this. Realistically, I can't go into a meeting with this thing, looks like a big screen, sideways, with a joystick. Hmm.. .what could it be?"

Well, a pda device color that goes well with a 'suit' is generaly black, most PPC look novadays like laser sabers from Starwars. I think that dark and dark metalic colours are well suited for any kind of user including EO's.

RE: Lets see if it survives
Scott R @ 9/17/2003 4:50:30 PM #
Enough about it being too big! Take a look at this:
http://goodthatway.com/news_arc/?id=72

The Zodiac is pretty much the same size as the naked HP iPaq 3000/5000-series.

Scott

http://goodthatway.com
- featuring PDA/smartphone news and FREE MONEY!!! -

RE: Lets see if it survives
Marshall Flinkman @ 9/17/2003 4:59:02 PM #
Palm4u: The Zodiac *has* built-in Bluetooth--no doubt to compete with other devices like the Nokia N-Gage, which also have it.

Integrated WiFi would be great, too, and may well be planned for a future unit (i.e. Bt + WiFi); with both Sony's UX-50 and some Pocket PCs already having both, that seems a no-brainer.

I definitely want to get one, for the same sort of reasons other people have said (i.e. not being a gamer but wanting the memory, dual expansion, Bt and screen)...

RE: Lets see if it survives
arielb @ 9/17/2003 7:46:25 PM #
this isn't for dilbert's PHB.
ok we've heard this all before "oh why does Palm need color? 8 megs is a lot-how many addresses do you need,blabla" Yes *that* crowd is the same crowd that won't be too happy with the zodiac. Let them stick with their low res palms while the real smart users work with 480x320 spreadsheets on the zodiac. The fact is that Palm and Sony blew a great opportunity and you'd have to be a sucker to spend $800 for a clie that doesn't deliver

RE: Lets see if it survives
painted_dog @ 9/17/2003 8:58:22 PM #
"I really can't imagine Working folks getting this. Realistically, I can't go into a meeting with this thing, looks like a big screen, sideways, with a joystick. Hmm.. .what could it be?"

I'm a working folk & i'm going to use mine for work (& play) & i have no worries a/b the form or looks. that's one reason i want a Wi-Fi SD card so i can get my email & notification while in meetings, in the lab & around the office. & that's why i like having the 128MB too. Plus the 480x320 screen will be nice. & the play part will kick while i'm stuck on an airplane traveling. to me its close to the palm many have pined for but no one has delivered [yet] hopefully it'll meet my expectations otherwise its going back.

-painted dog

RE: Lets see if it survives
skennedy1217 @ 9/17/2003 9:13:26 PM #
Where's abosco or mike cane? Me thinks this string is from a wolf in sheep's clothing (i.e., blueanon).
RE: Lets see if it survives
alexito @ 9/17/2003 11:55:03 PM #
"I really can't imagine Working folks getting this. Realistically, I can't go into a meeting with this thing, looks like a big screen, sideways, with a joystick. Hmm.. .what could it be?"

Just put a huge Excel or PowerPoint native file (thanks to Docs2Go for that) and move around it in a very confortable way with the great looking stick and who cares?

Technology moves faster than you can afford... at least for me.

RE: Lets see if it survives
ares @ 9/18/2003 7:50:56 PM #
The zodiac is going to be a total flop do to the lack of games. Also this claim that the 128 Mb is a reason to buy this thing there are going to be plenty of other companies that are soon going to have the same with a better look and not such a crappy name. I am going to stick with a palm and computer. And if i really one to play portable games I wait tell the big boys come out with things (Nintendo, Sony) cause theirs will be much better.

RE: Lets see if it survives
mikecane @ 9/19/2003 5:49:08 PM #
>>Where's abosco or mike cane?

I have no interest in the Z, other than to see it succeed and expand the borders of the PalmOS universe.

Mac OSX compatibility?

jcmorganstein @ 9/17/2003 5:19:44 PM #
Do I understand correctly that this thing doesn't sync with a Mac? Their website says it requires Windows to work. Just for the extra features or work at all, ala SONY Clie? Anyone know for sure?

-jcm
RE: Mac OSX compatibility?
Gabriel Morales @ 9/18/2003 3:18:26 AM #
I too, am very interested in this, jcm. I am definitely excited about the Zodiac. However, if it doesn't support the Mac, then I'd feel less inclined to support Tapwave.

RE: Mac OSX compatibility?
jnutting @ 9/18/2003 4:07:06 AM #
I asked this same question, and was told by a Tapwave employee that the Palm software for Mac OS will *not* work with the Zodiac, at least not yet; When Palm releases a new version of Palm Desktop that works with Palm OS 6, then the Zodiac should work.

As far as I can tell, this has nothing to do with Palm OS 6 itself, but is just a matter of timelines. Each release of Palm Desktop typically only supports handhelds that have been released up until that point. Whether the current release can be hacked in some way to work with the Zodiac (as I understand may be possible for some unsupported Sony devices) remains to be seen.

Anyway, for us Mac users it looks like a bummer at this point.

RE: Mac OSX compatibility?
bcombee @ 9/18/2003 8:26:52 AM #
From talking with TapWave and PalmSource, the issue is that the device uses a slightly modified HotSync protocol that finally removes the 64K limitation on resource sizes. However, this requires a new HotSync Manager to work. While this HotSync Manager is backwards compatible, old versions won't talk to the TapWave, and PalmSource only has this updated for Win32 boxes right now.

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com

bogus software strategy

mj6798 @ 9/18/2003 4:00:14 AM #
The TapWave folks seem to be stuck in 20th century thinking: "create proprietary platform, get it out cheap initially, get lots of developers and users to get stuck on it, then make profits by charging high prices for hardware and operating system upgrades".

Microsoft, of course, has been getting away with that for a while. But the last new company for which that worked was Palm, and even for Palm, it's unclear whether it's a long-term survival strategy.

This is nice hardware at a decent price, but as long as it requires lots of work to port to a proprietary operating system and game software architecture, I'm not interested. A company like Sony is perhaps big enough to pull this off, but TapWave--I don't think so.

RE: bogus software strategy
ardiri @ 9/18/2003 5:43:16 AM #
> The TapWave folks seem to be stuck in 20th century thinking:
> "create proprietary platform, get it out cheap initially,
> get lots of developers and users to get stuck on it, then make
> profits by charging high prices for hardware and operating system upgrades".

to clear this up, the Tapwave device will run existing PalmOS applications. there is nothing "proprietary" about this system - unless you want to do something specific to the device.

while at the current point, they are the only ones doing it - most tapwave applications may actually run on other devices if compatibilities layers are written (ie: x-forge is ported, and the controls can be remapped/configured). the applications themselves are not doing anything specific with hardware, with the exception of the 2D accellerator chip, and the analogue controls.

there is nothing "proprietary" about this system.

the SDK is free, you can download it. you dont have to use the libraries, but, if you want to (and, dont have your own) you can. simple. x-forge is available on a number of other platforms - so, your applications are portable to the n-gage etc (with some extra work)

// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/

RE: bogus software strategy
helf @ 9/18/2003 10:25:13 AM #
nono! your wrong!! its aaaalll proprietary aaron! ;)

RE: bogus software strategy
arielb @ 9/18/2003 10:49:03 AM #
GPL alert! GPL alert!

NO INFRA RED CONNECTION

daigut @ 9/18/2003 10:27:30 AM #
I think it's pity that it does not contain an infra red port, which i think is essential for all palm device, and has been part of any palm since the very first palm pilot!
RE: NO INFRA RED CONNECTION
arielb @ 9/18/2003 10:43:32 AM #
so why do they sell an IR keyboard that works with it?
http://store.tapwave.com/product.asp?sku=2353518

RE: NO INFRA RED CONNECTION
Doo @ 9/18/2003 11:22:34 AM #
I thought the same thing. But the IR port is in there. I'm not sure if it's the enhanced one like on the older sony's for remote control tho. I'll see if NOVI Remote works with it when I get mine.

RE: NO INFRA RED CONNECTION
Marshall Flinkman @ 9/18/2003 2:05:47 PM #
Actually, the Pilot series (1000 and 5000) and PalmPilots (Personal and Professional) didn't have IR built-in. The Palm III was the first with it, and there was an upgrade module for the earlier units.

Someone had to do it: Site devoted to Zodiac just launched

Scott R @ 9/18/2003 12:30:37 PM #
The title says it all...

http://tapland.com



http://goodthatway.com
- featuring PDA/smartphone news and FREE MONEY!!! -

RE: Someone had to do it: Site devoted to Zodiac just launched
ardiri @ 9/18/2003 2:59:29 PM #
http://www.zodiacgamer.com
http://www.pdagames.com

also been up for a while, just had the 'coming soon' messages - so, this isn't the first :)

// az
aaron@ardiri.com
http://www.ardiri.com/
http://www.mobilewizardry.com/

RE: Someone had to do it: Site devoted to Zodiac just launched
Scott R @ 9/18/2003 6:27:10 PM #
Well, I guess I could change my tag line to "The first functional Zodiac web site"

Scott

http://goodthatway.com
- featuring PDA/smartphone news and FREE MONEY!!! -

RE: Someone had to do it: Site devoted to Zodiac just launched
boogie_doggie @ 9/18/2003 9:16:36 PM #
"first functional" is first PERIOD. Intent is not the same as doing...

No Mac Support

visorprismman @ 9/18/2003 3:14:27 PM #
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah...

----------
Cheers
RE: No Mac Support
Admin @ 9/18/2003 3:17:46 PM #
you can bluetooth hotsync with a mac, works on sony devices for me.
RE: No Mac Support
bcombee @ 9/19/2003 6:39:49 AM #
If the issue is the HotSync protocol, Bluetooth HotSync won't work with the Mac either, until PalmSource updates Palm Desktop software on Mac OS to handle the large (>64K) resource chunks. Sorry.

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com
RE: No Mac Support
jnutting @ 9/19/2003 7:09:49 AM #
I suppose one could at least copy files to it with Bluetooth using a utility like Drag'n'tooth. That's no help at all for synchronizing the PIM data, but at least you should be able to load software onto the device.

RE: No Mac Support
hacker @ 9/23/2003 12:50:10 PM #
I just spoke with TapWave on the phone and via their web-based chat forum, and am working towards finding out whether or not they can provide me with a loaner test unit to test and validate against pilot-link, so we can begin supporting this device under Linux.

I'm not sure what dead-ends I'll find out when I actually speak to a real human in their Sales or Development group, but I'll try to follow up here and let everyone know how that progresses.

Incidentally, if anyone has one of these devices, feel free to join me on irc (irc.pilot-link.org in #pilot-link) and we can try to work on getting it working. If it doesn't work, we can get enough debug logging to find out why.

If TapWave followed the Palm HotSync API, and did not deviate with any custom hooks, it should be fairly straightforward to be able to sync the data on the device with Linux, Unix, and OSX machines.

RE: No Mac Support
hacker @ 9/23/2003 12:53:14 PM #
Also, if anyone wants to see this working with Linux, Unix, or OSX, feel free to call their Corporate Headquarters and ask them to either directly support it, or to help provide developer support to those of us who CAN support it for them (the Free Software community and the pilot-link development team, specifically).

TapWave Corporate Headquarters
1-650-960-1817

Let us know what results you have, if you call or contact them to lobby for support on YOUR platform.

RE: No Mac Support
simond @ 10/7/2003 1:41:30 AM #
Apparently it'd be best to talk to PalmSource about the changes as they're the ones who made them (ie it's not TapWave specific, it's just too new for anyone else to have used yet, I'm guessing mainly to speed up installation of big files)

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