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Comments on: Use A PC Keyboard With Your Handheld

MobilityWare has released a new desktop based application that enables a existing desktop PC keyboard to be used with a handheld for typing data directly into applications over a cable or wireless connection.
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Submarine Screen Door?

LiveFaith @ 6/16/2004 3:56:02 PM #
Cool,
But the attraction seems quite limited. Besides an encrypted password app, I personally do not see much usage for the 70-80 apps that I have. Most already sync keyed data.

Palm screen on PC screen

Gar @ 6/16/2004 3:59:20 PM #
Would still love to see the actual palm screen on the PC screen, in real time. A step beyond that would be to launch the Palm apps off of the handheld onto the desktop in a more desktop looking interface. Thus your handheld would be running it's own programs and data, connected to a office desktop. No need for the full programs or data on the desktop.

-----------------
My wife has to sell a lot of candles (www.ccandles.com) to buy her new Palm.
RE: Palm screen on PC screen
ocspub @ 6/16/2004 4:04:48 PM #
> Would still love to see the actual palm screen on the PC screen, in real time.

It's not quite real-time, but MobilityWare has a solution for this, too:

http://www.mobilityware.com/HandShare/HandShareProduct.htm

Oliver


How to get a Palm screen on the PC screen
;-(( @ 6/16/2004 4:35:15 PM #
One word: POSE.

It just needs to be hacked to display full screen mode.


RE: Palm screen on PC screen
jheard @ 6/16/2004 4:37:15 PM #
The next version of HandShare due out in a couple of weeks will have much better performance on OS 5 devices, much closer to real time. However HandShare does not have the keyboard programability that KeyLink does. KeyLink will probably also be much faster entering data than HandShare, it takes quite a lot to capture the Palm screen and send it to the PC on a constant basis.

John Heard
http://www.mobilityware.com
RE: Palm screen on PC screen
Winter_ @ 6/16/2004 6:20:11 PM #
History repeats itself...

There's a free, open source solution for this: VNC. We would need the VNC server running on the PDA, and a client on the desktop.

Problem is: right now, there's only VNC client for Palm OS. So the PDA can be a controller, but not be controlled.

Funny thing is: there are VNC servers for mobile devices. It's there for the Zaurus (but surely that was too easy, heh). It's more interesting to see that the server has been ported to PocketPC.
http://www.pocketvnc.com/pocketVNC.aspx

In fact, looks like M$ smartphones do include a propietary solution...
http://msmobiles.com/news.php/1764.html

And, hey, there's even a limited Java version! (*chuckle*)

Funniest thing is: since we can't use the free, open source alternatives, we have to pay for some half baked solution.

Niiiiice...

Question for the developer
niall @ 6/17/2004 6:10:28 AM #
This is actually about HandShare.

I'm a bit suspicious as to why it requires access to the internet. I ran HandShare, with my firewall blocking it from the internet, but it would only give me continious errors. As soon as I gave it access privilege the errors stopped :/

What information does HandShare need to send or receive over the internet??

Regards,
Niall


RE: Palm screen on PC screen
Token User @ 6/17/2004 7:30:53 AM #
There's a free, open source solution for this: VNC. We would need the VNC server running on the PDA, and a client on the desktop.

Cobalt will open up a lot of this levelof functionality. VNC relies on running as a background task, and the current (Garnet and lower) OS model only has limited support for this.

I predict a port of VNC (or a server that at least responds to the same requests and returns data in the expected format) to arrive for OS6 devices fairly soon after their release.

~ "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed." - DV ~

RE: Palm screen on PC screen
Winter_ @ 6/17/2004 8:17:03 AM #
In fact, I *pray* for a whole lot of porting to happen on OS 6... :P
RE: Palm screen on PC screen
Token User @ 6/17/2004 9:33:36 AM #
To be honest, I disagree about the whole porting thing.

It should be about innovation rather than porting ... this is a similar argument to the whole "skins" thing elsewhere on PIC. While porting is far more technically challenging than creating a skin based off another device, it comes down to a similar notion.

But, porting is a necessary evil on the road to "cross platform development". Subtl difference, but one I hope you'll understand.



~ "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed." - DV ~

RE: Palm screen on PC screen
jheard @ 6/17/2004 11:13:38 AM #
>What information does HandShare need to send or receive over the internet??

HandShare does not send anything over the Internet when you are using it with USB. What you are seeing is a local TCP/IP connection over the loopback address of 127.0.0.1 The HandShare PC component is architected to accept TCP/IP connections, the support for USB is a seperate program that communicates with the Palm over USB and then forwards the communication over a Local (127.0.0.1) TCP/IP connection.

John Heard
http://www.mobilityware.com

RE: Palm screen on PC screen
Winter_ @ 6/17/2004 2:42:52 PM #
It should be about innovation rather than porting

Well, here we are, wishing for someone to innovate so we can substitute the non-ported VNC.

Innovation is nice. Meanwhile, wouldn't it be useful to be able to use the tools that already exist - and that the rest of the world is already using?

(more so when those tools are free and even open source - so innovation does not need to start from scratch :P)

RE: Palm screen on PC screen
Token User @ 6/17/2004 7:17:28 PM #
Well, here we are, wishing for someone to innovate so we can substitute the non-ported VNC.

Damn straight. Porting propogates code that has been optimised for one platform onto other platforms that need to then be tweaked to make the code run in that environment, which is then ported to another environment, and so forth through the vicious development cycle.

Standards and common communication protocols needed for things such as VNC. Scrap the codebase (well, not entirely, use it for reference), and rewrite the damn thing adhering to the communication protocols needed for a VNC client and server to talk to each other. The code on the PalmOS device will then be coded from the ground up to work on the Palm, NOT on a Debian Linux server, or a Mac OS9 server, or a Windows 98 server. But the key is that these apps talk to each other, and know how to respond.

As I said, porting is a necessary evil ... but it doens't mean I have to like it.

(BTW - My background is software engineering. I wrote a lot of code in C for the Palm VII to take advantage of the TCPIP stack ... then I moved onto cellphones in C ... now I am waiting on Cobalt and the underlying hardware to catch up to where I need it to be for me to start developing again ... so I am semi qualified to rant 8^)

~ "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed." - DV ~

Thanks John
niall @ 6/17/2004 9:53:07 PM #
Your explination makes sense. Now all I need is to get it to work for me :)

Regards,
Niall

RE: Palm screen on PC screen
Winter_ @ 6/18/2004 9:07:27 PM #
Porting propogates code that has been optimised for one platform onto other platforms that need to then be tweaked to make the code run in that environment, which is then ported to another environment, and so forth through the vicious development cycle.

Surely that CAN happen. But code can also be born "abstract enough" to be reasonably portable, right?

Scrap the codebase (well, not entirely, use it for reference), and rewrite the damn thing adhering to the communication protocols needed for a VNC client and server to talk to each other

On any "sane" system, there should be a salvageable part of the code. There will be another part that will have to be tweaked, and yet other that will have to be totally rewritten.

Let's talk about specifics. We don't have a VNC server for Palm OS. The part about getting the screen data would have to be custom written for the OS or even the hardware - I don't know. But what about the code to compress that image? And the code to send it over the network? Couldn't all of that be recycled almost as-is? (that is, if Palm OS had a real standard C lib)

So I still can't see why porting could be bad. Innovation is nice, as I already said. But here we're not asking for something innovative, but for functionality that has been in use for some years now! So, to me, it looks like right now we need more ease of implementation and less innovation.

Recently, on another thread, I said that the current situation with OS 5 reminds me of Mac OS classic. It was such a particular platform that porting was quite rare. Developers were kind of forced to (re)write their apps specifically for Mac OS, and that usually brought beautiful, solid, powerful apps - but also meant an ever diminishing number of developers and apps. You can see that that almost killed Mac OS... but then, OS X arrived. Now porting from other platforms is much, much easier... and, guess what? there are even more developers that take care to personalize the apps for the OS. The bonus is: if they don't, you are free to choose between the off-the-shelf, powerful app ported from Linux or a carefully crafted, OS X-specific work of art - but perhaps lacking in some respect. The funny thing is, that specific one sometimes is based on the same ported code!
So, again, I can't see easyness of porting could be regarded as a bad thing.

Useless

UZI4U182 @ 6/17/2004 12:43:32 AM #
What's the point of this? I'd rather be typing something in Microsoft Word on my PC which would be right in fron of me. Even if the connection is wireless, it'd still have to be right in front of you, so what's the point?

UZI4U182@suscom.net
Main PDA: NX70v + WL100
http://clieflash.shorturl.com
RE: Useless
Patrick @ 6/17/2004 5:54:40 PM #
I don't agree that it is useless, but I do agree that it is marginally useful. Most of the major applications include desktop counterparts and conduits, making it much more rational to use the desktop app than this utility (neat as it is). For some apps which don't include a desktop component, this utility would come in handy, although twenty bucks makes it out of the question for me, even though I'm a geek and a gadget hound.

If PalmGear puts it on sale for ten bucks, then we're talking. I just don't imagine I'll use it so much to make it more valuable to me than that.

nothing new!

T.W.G @ 6/17/2004 6:00:55 AM #
Hi all together,

did anybody remeber "keyz" (I don't remember the exact name) for Palm?
It was exactly the same solution and it was minimum 2 years ago.

I used and tested it on a Palm IIIxe.
It's funny but not as useful as an external Keyboard for the Palms :-)

T.W.G www.twgmusic.de

Palm Powered Handheld Reviews from T.W.G at: www.pdaforum.de

RE: nothing new!
grantb4 @ 6/17/2004 5:18:43 PM #
Ow what about "Office Solutions" by Genovation:

http://www.genovation.com/product.asp?cid=2&pid=11

"Operate your Palm PDA using your PC's keyboard and mouse."


RE: nothing new!
Sjrixon @ 6/23/2004 7:44:25 AM #
Great.. But it crashes my T3!

Pebbles

onestar @ 6/17/2004 3:36:30 PM #
Strange...

This looks like something the Pebbles project has had for years...

http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~pebbles/

One by one, the penguins are stealing my sanity.

RE: Pebbles
jheard @ 6/17/2004 4:04:26 PM #
As far as I can tell the Pebbles project does not do what KeyLink does. The Pebbles project allows the PDA to control the PC in various ways. KeyLink allows you to use the PC's keyboard to type input into the Palm handheld. The Pebbles project looks like somewhat the opposite of what KeyLink is.

John Heard
http://www.mobilityware.com
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