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Garnet VM Working on the Nokia N900

palm os garnet vm nokia n900 maemo Palm OS Garnet holdouts have another option for running classic Palm OS apps on fully equipped modern hardware that is shipping today.

Nokia's new N900 Maemo 5 powered smartphone is now capable of running Access' Garnet VM emulator. While it is still officially unsupported at this time, an install is possible with a little bit of command line tinkering.

Access Garnet VM has traditionally been aimed at Nokia's maemo powered Internet tablets. However the latest update will work on N900 without many complaints, the trick is simply getting it to install.

The relatively simple instructions come to us from a thread on Nokia's site. Credit goes to sarahn and Bruce at talk.maemo.org. Bruce writes:

I downloaded the latest OS2008 package then opened an xterminal (shell), changed to the folder where I downloaded the package, gained root access, then ran "dpkg -i garnet*.deb". The package installed without complaint and the application ran. I was uncertain how to exit Garnet once starting it so I ended up powering off the phone to exit.

sarahn adds:

To quit:
Press power button and then "End current task"

To switch tasks:
Press ctrl + the '<-' key (this is the standard shortcut that works everywhere.)

The catch is that the current version of the Garnet VM is not built for the latest version of Maemo. With the steps above you can get around the default install process which does not work. Most user reports claim that it works fairly well, though being an emulator on unsupported hardware there may be additional incompatibilities and issues. If anyone does take the plunge be sure to report back here on your findings.

Nokia N900The Access Garnet VM emulator can be downloaded here.

The Nokia N900 is currently shipping worldwide. It is available today in the US at Amazon.com for around $549. The N900 is a GSM phone with a 3.5 inch capacitative touchscreen display with a 800 x 480 pixel resolution. It comes with 32GB of internal memory with microSD expansion, a slide out qwerty keyboard, WiFi, Bluetooth and a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with video capture.

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Call me when they have an Android emulator

DarthRepublican @ 12/8/2009 11:54:23 AM # Q
I have zero interest in Maemo. There are only so many mobile Linux distros you can play with and I'm much more interested webOS and Android.
Palm Apologist
Shouting down the PIC Faithful Since 2009
Screw convergence
Palm III->Visor Deluxe->Visor Platinum->Visor Prism->Tungsten E->Palm LifeDrive->Palm TX->Palm Pre
Visor Pro+VisorPhone->Treo 180g->Treo 270->Treo 600->Treo 680->T-Mobile G1->Palm Pre
http://mind-grapes.blogspot.com/
RE: Call me when they have an Android emulator
LiveFaith @ 12/8/2009 7:18:11 PM # Q
Call me any time. I would like to see a vid of this thing and a review of how well it handles Garnet apps. How does it compare to WebOS Classic?
I'm not interested in Nokia, or their Linux distro either. But with Palm seemingly going away from enterprise to the pop-culture-candy market, I'm looking around.
Pat Horne
RE: Call me when they have an Android emulator
StrawMan @ 12/9/2009 12:34:52 AM # Q
I have zero interest in WebOS. There are only so many mobile OSes you can play with and I find Maemo the most interesting. ;-)

I originally bought an N800 purely as a controller for my UPnP hi-fi system, but found it to be much more useful and impressive than I thought it would be (even without a phone). The combination of decent mobile computing power (& OS) with a phone makes the N900 an attractive option for those of us wanting to upgrade from our aging Palm TXs.


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bullet

Gekko @ 12/9/2009 12:58:00 AM # Q
at some point we have to just bite the bullet and move on. when i leave Palm i'm leaving Garnet too. IMO it's silly to fuss with an emulator at this point when there are better OS alternatives. i don't want to be using some proprietary non-supported emulator and be out there on an island all by myself. there's just no reason too.

the game plan for me now is to just hang on to my Sprint Centro for as long as needed - hopefully June 2010 when a better alternative will arrive at Sprint. hopefully, the iPhone will appear. are the PIMs as good as Palm OS? maybe not, but IMO they are close enough. PIMs on Android? not so much at this point.


RE: bullet
rpa @ 12/9/2009 5:11:00 AM # Q
Yeah, Garnet's life is about at an end and that's too bad. My Centro works fine and the seamless hot sync with Outlook running on my desktop is the key attribute that keeps me using it. Maybe a few Palm geeks should get together and do an iPhone app that mimics Garnet!
RE: bullet
crossoverman @ 12/9/2009 11:26:06 AM # Q
I've recently switched to an iPhone 3GS in the last 2 months, from a Treo 650.

I can tell you the iPhone PIM sucks HORRIBLY in comparison to the Palm OS. It's so inefficient in comparison. The UI on the iPhone OS, whilst pretty, isn't always efficient or consistent.

This is what you have to do to do to make an entry in the calendar:
1. To add an entry you have to hit a plus symbol
2. Type in the title and/or location
3. Press the done button, effectively to save the value. I was expecting to swipe backwards, but can see why they did that. But coming from a Palm OS background it now feels long winded.
4. If you want to change the Start end time click the appropriate button.
5. Ditto for the repeat and alert (i.e. there's a separate screen for each of these options, whereas PalmOS has it all on one screen)

I could enter an entry on my Treo in a few seconds, I find it can take easily over a minute on the iPhone.

You get a maximum of 2 alerts from an entry (and you've got to ask for the second alert). Whereas the PalmOS just auto-reminds you a few times.

I've bought Pocket Informant, but that only helps a little.

Apple have also prevented anyone from altering the on board calendar. So any apps are effectively standalone apps. Talk about reinventing the wheel.

No idea what the PIM is like on Android, but I'm hoping it's better.

I bought it as a stop-gap as I couldn't wait any longer. Tech lust just got the better of me. I'm hoping the iPhone will improve on the PIM front but not really expecting it to. So, keeping an eye out on WebOS, Android, Maemo and Blackberry. Hopefully, the competition next year will force Apple to correct some of the problems in their phone. Otherwise I'm going to have to go through the pain of switching OSes again...


RE: bullet
Gekko @ 12/9/2009 11:51:16 AM # Q

cross -

1. thanks for the feedback. i think bosco has said the same thing. how's the iphone Contacts app vs. Treo? i think bosco said Contacts was OK.

2. i think hkk said Android is much worse than Treo for PIM and not even as good as iPhone.

3. i like the Treo Calendar because i can tap directly on a time or day and quickly enter in an Event - even without a time if i don't want to. i takes about 2 seconds to enter an untimed event which is nice.

RE: bullet
abosco @ 12/9/2009 12:08:02 PM # M Q
I agree on the weaknesses of the iPhone Calendar. I've said it before, but the amount of time it takes to enter a new appointment is too long. The other problem I have with it is no weekly view. This phone has such a beautiful, large screen. It should be able to go landscape and show me a week view.

However, I wouldn't say it sucks horribly compared to Palm OS. EAS works wonderfully, even if my current company moves like molasses in creating compatibility. Entering appointments is slow, but I can retrieve the information easily on the phone. Also, the other PIM apps work well. Notes is snappy, Contacts is fantastic, and there are a lot of options available in the app store for the others like To-Do's.

Overall, I prefer the Palm OS PIM's, but the iPhone OS ones work well enough. In short, they're usable. It's an aspect of the platform in which I'm willing to take a hit in return for better capabilities in virtually every other category.

RE: bullet
Gekko @ 12/9/2009 12:14:57 PM # Q

bosco - have you tried this?

http://www.pocketinformant.com/products_info.php?p_id=pocketinformant_iphone

it looks like it offers a Week View.

RE: bullet
Gekko @ 12/9/2009 12:23:47 PM # Q
RE: bullet
abosco @ 12/9/2009 12:55:53 PM # M Q
It looks pretty solid. It's something I might consider.

I still can't believe you're sticking with antiquated Palm and Sprint just so you can save $30/month. Fire up that 8-track!

RE: bullet
crossoverman @ 12/9/2009 1:04:57 PM # Q
I have to admit to being an efficiency freak. If I know there's a better way of doing something I just look down on inferior ways of doing the same task. I just wish the the various companies would copy each other's best UI features (unless they can come up with something better). Patents be damned.

Don't get me wrong there are VERY good things about the iPhone, but it isn't the perfect device some people claim it is.

Here's a brief summary of my feelings about the iPhone

The things I like:
1. Apps - lots of them. A lot of them free, many of them cheap. I've barely spent over 20 (~ $32) and managed to get shed loads of decent utilities and games. I remember paying anywhere from 10-20 for each Palm OS app.
2. Web access - just so useful when you're out and about and just need to find something out. If you can get a signal that is...
3. Email - I never really used it on my Treo because it wasn't particularly good. The nice interface actually does make it useful.
4. Music - not a heavy music user, though I did fill up 15GB of space with my (legal!) collection...The sound quality is VERY good and you can see why the hordes of people are attracted to it as a media device. Video is also decent, once you convert the video to a playable format.
5. Games - nice!
6. Maps - brilliant, if you can get a GPS lock. The in-built GPS is NOT as good as proper GPS system. High buildings totally kill the GPS. I thought AGPS was supposed to help, but I haven't found any evidence of that.
7. Apps - I have to mention this again purely because of the huge range. Though it can be a weakness in that it's difficult knowing just what to get unless you take the time to get proper reviews. But it really does make the device as it did on the old Palm OS.


My major gripes:
1. PIM - crap
2. Battery - truly crap and you can't swap in a spare. I'm lucky if I only have to charge every other day, and I'm not even a heavy user. I could go 10 days without a recharge on my Treo. I know, it's not a fair comparison, but I REALLY wish ALL the phone manufacturers would make these devices bigger so they can put a big ass battery in there. Frankly, I never had a problem with the thickness of my Treo.
3. Has a tendency to drop the phone signal, I'm still not sure whether it's the phone or just O2 that's crap. The phone feature is incidental (a nice to have) to me so that doesn't bother me too much, but the 3G signal loss is annoying as it prevents me getting texts/emails/web.
4. Camera - low light quality is crap. Just forget it unless you've got decent lighting. I was in London with an American gentleman (white) and an Iranian lady (light brown complexion) and took a picture of them. It was posted on a forum and someone asked whether they were related...'nuff said.
5. No proper multi-tasking - tried out the Pre and the multi-tasking just feels right. It's very tiresome to keep coming in and out of apps on the iPhone and a lot of them not saving your last position.
6. iTunes - buggy piece of software. Though at least it serves some useful purpose. Ironically, this is one case where owning a Mac is a major plus over owning a PC. I'm resisting buying a Mac just to have as a companion to my phone though...
7. Unable to use as a USB drive - why? Why?!? Though I've sort of got round that a little with QuickOffice which turns the iPhone temporarily into a web server on a wi-fi network, then you can upload files to the phone this way. But it's still a stupid way of having to do things, especially since the original iPod had that feature. The only alternative is to jail break.

Anyway, in answer to Gekko's queries:

1. Yep, contacts are fine, I exported from Palm Desktop and then imported into the Windows Address book and synced that to the iPhone contacts. Transferring notes was a lot more long-winded. Trying out Evernote and QuickOffice as a replacement for notes. The standard iPhone notes neither sorts or categorises entries - but it is pretty - wheee!

2. Bugger! I hope they sort that out toute suite!

3. Yes, after using the Treo 650 for 4 years, it truly is painful for me to use the appointment entry on the iPhone. If you go down the iPhone route you'd better steel yourself for disappointment in that respect.


RE: bullet
rpa @ 12/14/2009 5:28:01 PM # Q
With 100,000+ apps for the iPhone, there isn't (yet) a Garnet emulator?? I need Garnet for the Calendar as do many others and the seamless hot sync with Outlook running on my desktop.
RE: bullet
abosco @ 12/15/2009 5:55:54 AM # M Q
You have all of your calendar information synced to Outlook? To get that on the iPhone, plug it into the computer, fire up iTunes, and hit the sync button. That should do it.

Styletap had a working emulator. I think the current developers license does not allow emulators to be released for the iPhone. Maybe they don't want to worry about lawsuits. It was fully functioning and demoed in early 2008.

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My experience

ricegf @ 12/9/2009 5:22:02 AM # Q
I've used every beta of the Garnet emulator on my N770 and (now) N800, mostly to run games (I use gpe as my PDA software). The emulator is highly stable, with only occasional crashes, and has proven compatible with all of my Palm software.

Since it costs nothing, it makes an excellent bridge between PalmOS and a next-gen device. Certainly Android would be a reasonable "next target", though I'm leaning strongly toward an N900 on T-Mobile at the moment.

Charging $9.95 in the Ovi and Android markets wouldn't bother me either. Worth every penny.

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StyleTap

mikecane @ 12/9/2009 3:28:08 PM # Q
StyleTap tweeted me that they are looking at Android.

I wonder if that can even happen? Some things need /root access (hello, screen snaps!) and it seems to me StyleTap might be one of those things. Root is not easy to gain on most Android devices -- especially if you're a mere mortal.

RE: StyleTap
Gekko @ 12/9/2009 4:22:24 PM # Q

If you want a Cadillac, buy a Cadillac. Don't buy a Chevy and try to turn it into a Cadillac.
RE: StyleTap
mikecane @ 12/9/2009 5:04:23 PM # Q
Hey, that was my PSA for those who cling to Garnet.

I still need someone to create a frikkin Calendar as good as Palm's. It seems everything else -- Tasks, Memos, Contacts -- is already there or even better.

However, no matter iPhone OS or Android, I want frikkin CorePlayer too. NOT going to convert AVI to damned MP4!

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running Garnet-VM version 2008 on 2010 Nokia N900

Owled @ 1/8/2010 9:09:06 AM # Q
Following the instructions above it was a mere 15 minutes to download, install and find the applet and run it.
Strange to get used to a protret input and switching between abc, 123 and int'l again ;-)

Have 2 screenshots ready, but cannot find an upload here...

Now up to download from the treasure trove !

Spread the "Word" to N900 owners, I would say.

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Quiting Garnet-VM on N900

Owled @ 1/8/2010 9:12:39 AM # Q
Just tab the screen and then the Blue + sign on the top-right of the window
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Garnet VM on Nokia N900

ClieTreoN900 @ 2/19/2010 7:30:50 PM # Q
The info in the article is a bit outdated. You need to download the version as stated but it will install correctly without rooting around anywhere. I have it installed and the following programs are running on it without problems:

Splash ID
PowerOne Graph (calculator)
World Calendar
U2U
SolFree
DocumentsToGo 8
Hearts
BigClock
ChemTable

Ones that wouldn't work:
BugMe, PalmPegs, & Pocket Tunes

RE: Garnet VM on Nokia N900
StrawMan @ 11/5/2010 8:16:44 AM # Q
If anyone is still interested, the latest Garnet VM now has a proper version for the N900. It seems to work pretty well.

I transferred across a couple of apps (and their data) from my TX quite easily, including DateBook6. That will keep me going until someone eventually writes a PIM replacement with comparable functionality for one of the current generation smartphones. (I was also interested to see that Bejeweled2 ran perfectly, including music & sound effects).

"Call me when they have an Android emulator
DarthRepublican @ 12/8/2009 11:54:23 AM #"
There is also the NitDroid project, which allows dual-booting in Android (among the huge range of alternate operating systems, VMs, emulators and desktop/window layers N900s can run). NitDroid is becoming a very usable option, just a few more hardware drivers that need to be finished off.


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