MobileInfocenter

New Features at PalmInfocenter

You may have noticed a few changes around here in the past week. I've implemented a large number of new features here on PalmInfocenter, the Palm software store and the discussions forums. Read on to hear what's new.

New Stuff on the Homepage
The homepage has been retooled with some significant new features. My favorite new feature is a new way to navigate the homepage and past news articles. There are now Next / Previous Page links below the last article heading on the homepage. These will allow you to browse though all of our articles on the homepage all the way back to 1999. BTW, we've always had a archive.

A site search box is now on the main menu, giving you an easy way to search through our vast archive and since it uses google, it searches the entire site including comments and forum posts.

The homepage also now has a "software specials" box. This box will show a screenshot of an application currently on sale in our software store. Developers can offer limited quantity, deep discounts on software titles right on the PIC homepage. You'll also find a list of New and Updated software on the bottom right column with a search box to quickly search for Palm OS software.

I also added new buttons on the bottom right of the page. These allow you to add PalmInfocenter headlines to your favorite search engine portal or other rss news services.

New Active Comments section
The active discussions page has been updated. This page lists the most recent comments posted on articles and links will take you directly to the last post. It now lists the latest comments along with the article that is being discussed and the total number of comments.

Article options
Each article now has new options. I've added a permalink, a linking blogs finder as well as shortcuts to bookmark, add or store the article on del.icio.us, furl and digg.

Also, a few of site bugs have been eliminated and many performance tweaks have been added.

Software Store
The software store has some new stuff as well. In addition to the countdown specials, users can now browse the store by New, Updated, Best Sellers, Special Offers and Up and coming software titles. Also, we no longer require an email address to download demo's.

Forums
The forums have been optimized and now run a bit faster. You can now see a configurable "View all posts since..." list of the latest posts and replies (you must be logged in first for this).

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the new features on PIC.

Article Comments

 (51 comments)

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Congratulations

Surur @ 3/2/2006 11:31:07 AM # Q

Congratulations on successfully updating the site without changing the unique look and feel (unlike the rather unreadable new design at PalmAddict)

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: Congratulations
twizza @ 3/2/2006 1:28:30 PM # Q
Outside of the PA piece (I like the PA design and it will carry over well to their other pages in time I am sure), I agree.

I noticed the comments change as well, and that makes for a very readable change. Very nice.

Keep up the great work Ryan. By no means is it easy running a site like this by yourself, but you really do amaze me in how you are able to do so.
Peace and blessings.

mobileministrymagazine.com
antoinerjwright.com

RE: Congratulations
twrock @ 3/2/2006 6:22:25 PM # Q
Yep, the changes are good. Clicking the "Active Discussions" link yesterday brought a pleasant surprise. Thanks for the updates.

It might not be the "mythical color HandEra", but I'm liking my TX anyway.
Reply to this comment

One more feature I'd like to see!

abosco @ 3/2/2006 12:09:54 PM # Q
Ryan, you forgot about my request from last year about getting an accessible archive to the Notable Stories. I'd like to be able to browse those because there are always a lot of interesting links in there.

-Bosco
NX80v + Wifi + BT + S710a
RE: One more feature I'd like to see!
Admin @ 3/2/2006 1:38:23 PM # Q
you're right B, thats a good idea I forgot about. I will add it to the todo list.

-Ryan
Reply to this comment

Excellent!

sford @ 3/2/2006 1:16:25 PM # Q
Thanks, Ryan, for constantly working on this site! It is still my primary PalmOS site!

(One thing: still waiting for the ability to at least change the primary color, e.g., blue instead of gray, if not full skin-ability. :))

Thanks again!!

____________________________________
Pilot Pro -> III -> IIIe -> Nino (yeah...oops!) -> IIIc -> VIIx -> m505 -> NR70V -> NZ90 -> NX60 -> T3 -> Zire 72s -> NX80V

PDA Wish List: www.PalmKB.com/wish.html

Reply to this comment

I like the Changes

Tech72 @ 3/3/2006 3:13:07 AM # Q
Is it possable to mark comments as read and list ONLY unread ones?

Reply to this comment

Here's hoping we get more of them in the future to come

ackmondual @ 3/3/2006 6:34:26 PM # Q
Good to know a site goes through updates. Even tho the new features probably won't be used by myself, they're always welcome if it isn't at the cost of what we already have.

My peeve is not having to relogin even tho my PIC says I'm clearly alr logged in. It's a smalls improvement, but sometimes the smallest ones are the ones that are most appreciated :)

"Do you know the difference between an error and a mistake? Anyone can make an error, but that error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it."
-Grand Admiral Thrawn

the secret to enjoying your job is to have a hobby that's even worse

My PDAs: Visor --> Visor Neo (blue) --> Zire 71 --> Tungsten T3 (with 4 of 6 screws still remaining) ~?~> zodiac 2?

RE: Here's hoping we get more of them in the future to come
Admin @ 3/5/2006 11:30:17 AM # Q
hey ack, what's this login issue you are talking about?

Is it with the news comments or are you talking about the Forum area? I'd like to clear this up.

-Ryan

RE: Here's hoping we get more of them in the future to come
hkklife @ 3/5/2006 11:50:45 AM # Q
Ryan;
I have the same problem.

Say I have PIC running in two windows. One window has (IE6, btw) front page open. The other page has the forums open. I make a post to the front page. No problems. I then go to the other window and make a post and it says "You are logged into the forums". I have to then clear cookies or log in/out several times to clear everythign up. Or it just resolves itself within a day or two. But there have been several times when I wanted to reply to a forum thread and was unable to because it wasn't seeing me as logged in. Front page works fine 99.99% of the time. For me it's a forum-specific bug.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: Here's hoping we get more of them in the future to come
Admin @ 3/5/2006 12:01:51 PM # Q
yeah, I realize there is a login bug in the forums. I had a friend customize the forums to work with my site login code (because php is not my native programming language), hopefully I can get someone to clear this up soon.

I know it's not a solution, but I find that refreshing the forum page and/or clicking on a link within the forum will then recognize you as being logged in.

I am not aware of any login issues with the news/articles so if there is something going on with that let me know as well.

-Ryan

RE: Here's hoping we get more of them in the future to come
twrock @ 3/5/2006 6:47:54 PM # Q
In an unrelated story....

Periodically in very long threads in the news forum, there appears grey boxes that cover text. The boxes appear to be something like greyed out banner adds that just randomly sit somewhere on top of someone's post. Refreshing doesn't do any good; they are still there.

It hadn't happened for a long time, but then showed up again in the Access Linux Platform Demo Screenshots thread. I think the pattern is that I am viewing all the posts for a paticular article and the overall page length has become very long. For instance, I can duplicate it right now by opening this link:
http://www.palminfocenter.com/comments/8399/#119493

(Hmm, come to think of it, I just noticed which post that is obscuring, so maybe that's just part of your new system; it's not a bug, it's a feature.) :-)

FWIW, I'm using Win98 with Firefox 1.5.0.1 on this particular machine.

It might not be the "mythical color HandEra", but I'm liking my TX anyway.

RE: Here's hoping we get more of them in the future to come
Admin @ 3/5/2006 9:05:15 PM # Q
Ron, can you email me a screenshot of this? Has anyone else noticed anything covering a comment?
RE: Here's hoping we get more of them in the future to come
twrock @ 3/5/2006 11:59:02 PM # Q
Appears to be Firefox specific. A screenshot is on the way.

It might not be the "mythical color HandEra", but I'm liking my TX anyway.
RE: Here's hoping - actually no way off-topic
SeldomVisitor @ 3/6/2006 5:31:35 AM # Q
I use Firefox 1.0.7 and see no strangeness at the time of this post

However, Internet Explorer too forEVER, displaying the top junk and a banner ad, with lots of whitespace below. After I fifnished typing THIS post the rest showed up but IE did NOT jump to the appropriate post.

Weird.

RE: Here's hoping we get more of them in the future to come
twrock @ 3/6/2006 5:56:45 AM # Q
Well, without explanation, it's gone. No more grey box.

Who knows?

It might not be the "mythical color HandEra", but I'm liking my TX anyway.

RE: Here's hoping we get more of them in the future to come
twrock @ 3/6/2006 5:58:57 AM # Q
Oops, spoke too soon. Now it's back.

Ok, enough posts from me about this.

It might not be the "mythical color HandEra", but I'm liking my TX anyway.

RE: Here's hoping we get more of them in the future to come
AdamaDBrown @ 3/6/2006 6:33:35 PM # Q
I haven't noticed anything unusual. I use Opera 5.12, Opera 7.54, Opera Mobile 8.0, Opera Mobile 8.5, and Opera Mini.

RE: Here's hoping we get more of them in the future to come
ackmondual @ 3/7/2006 1:43:28 PM # Q

hey ack, what's this login issue you are talking about?

Is it with the news comments or are you talking about the Forum area? I'd like to clear this up.

-Ryan

@admin

I respond to an email concerning a forum reply to a post. I try hitting the button so i can post another to the thread, it says I need to log off and log back in (or that I'm not logged in.... it hasn't happened in a while so I can't remember exactly). However, I go back and see that prior to clicking to reply, I'm clearly logged in as indicated at the top right of the forums page. I usually follow the suggestions to clear this up and it works. Else, lots of clicking, and logging off and back on again will clear it up.

On a perhaps related topic, in the forums again, all my replies have the "Notify me when a reply is posted" option defaulted as off, even tho i did set this to on in my profile/settings. This latter is more of an annoyance to my preferences, but PIC is interesting enough place that I'm OK with it. Would like it resolved, but I've also gotten used to checking that box evertime I make a post on PIC.

Reply to this comment

Wow. What's happened to Palminfocenter?

The_Voice_of_Reason @ 3/14/2006 1:21:22 AM # Q
Is this what the Palm Apologists wanted all along? Since the "new" Palminfocenter debuted, it looks like the discussions have pretty much dried up overnight. The rapidfire pseudo "news" items popping up on the front page every day aren't exactly stimulating any thoughtful discussion.

I believe Ryan was suckered into wrecking a site that didn't need changing. Now that the Apologists and PalmSource flunkies bullied him into changing Palminfocenter, they can sit back and laugh, waiting to see how long it takes for Palminfocenter to get "PalmStationed".

PalmOS was destroyed by the Palm/PalmSource idiots and the snivelling Apologist lackeys that lick their boots (and a$$es), so I guess it's only appropriate that Palminfocenter falls victim to them as well.

It's telling to note that Beersy was so busy licking the boots (etc.) of every PalmSource employee while at the same time doing his best imitation of Unofficial PalmSource Damage Control Lackey. I see he's been "rewarded" by first Marty Fouts and now PalmSource's David Schlesinger agreeing to give Beersy interviews for his pathetic little blog site that he incessantly advertised here at Palminfocenter (while he simultaneously attacked Ryan and Palminfocenter). He really showed us his true colors.

Looks like the writing's on the wall:

- PalmSource sold to a company that doesn't give a rat's a$$ about developing PalmOS.
- Cobalt and PalmLinux viciously (and IMMEDIATELY) killed off.
- Most PalmOS licensees either gone or about to leave the PalmOS community.
- Developers fleeing the PalmOS platform by the truckload.
- Most of PalmSource's best codemonkeys already moved on to greener pastures.
- PDAs being dumped by major retailers.
- Palm about to slash its PDA lineup in half.
- Palm forced to embrace Windows Mobile, clutching at straws in a desperate attempt to survive.
- Manufacturers and carriers lining up to embrace Windows Mobile.
- No innovative PDAs since the 2004 CLIE VZ90.
- Treos about to face deadly competition from several Windows Mobile smartphones.
- Most PDA sites imploding from lack of interest and fragmentation of the user base.

In retrospect, with as many idiots as Palm had at the helm, the end was somewhat inevitable. Time to stock up on as many Tungsten Tł, Zodiac 2, UX50, TH55 and VZ90 as you can find on eBay, Kiddies: THE PARTY'S OVER.

Thanks for the memories.

TVoR

[No doubt Ryan will delete this post, but it's time someone spoke up and verbalized what I'm sure a LOT of us are thinking.]

RE: Wow. What's happened to Palminfocenter?
Ryan @ 3/14/2006 2:24:06 AM # Q
Despite the doom you predict for Palm note that traffic is significantly up here and there are many more improvements in the works. No one tells me to make any changes, this is a independent website.

Treo's are pretty popular these days, even with the pretty much EOL'd Garnet. But I'm sure if sony ever got around to making a cobalt smartphone you'd be all up on that one.

I have always planned to do more coverage, articles and features but its always a battle with time. The new sw store makes it a lot easier for me to stay on top of what's new & updated, so I have been posting more about new software stuff. I don't expect software news to be as hot topic of a discussion generator like the usual industry news is around here.

RE: Wow. What's happened to Palminfocenter?
Simony @ 3/14/2006 3:32:09 AM # Q
> it's time someone spoke up and verbalized what I'm sure a LOT of us are thinking

You call this drivel 'thinking'?

RE: Wow. What's happened to Palminfocenter?
hkklife @ 3/14/2006 10:05:00 AM # Q
I am doing my part to help Ryan make PIC the "last Palm site standing" by churning out a couple of reviews over the next few weeks. I'm also planning on doing a semi-regular gaming column, since PDArcade's coverage is about 99% WinMob nowadays.

Don't get me wrong--I'm still predicting (eventual) doom for the classic POS that we all know & love--however, just because an OS & a hardware line are moribund doesn't mean that the fan/user communities are also lining up to go off a cliff behind it. Just look at the Amiga, Spectrum, C64 etc. commmunities still thriving online. And then you have oddball platforms like Newton, Nuon or CD-I that cannot even approach Palm's installed user base but still maintain a rabid following online.

As long as Ryan lets "us" Palm faithful have a highly-trafficked platform (PIC) where we can espouse our views and post our reviews then let's take advantage of it.

Voice, I share many, MANY of your concerns & theories but WE can do our part to prop up PIC--Ryan can only do so much as a one-man show. Post your long-delayed VZ90 vs. everything else review, post a guide on how to regionalize it for Engrish, give a roundup of Samsung POS smartphones-- anything will be welcome!

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: Wow. What's happened to Palminfocenter?
Ryan @ 3/14/2006 1:44:32 PM # Q
I feel very fortunate that PIC has some very dedicated readers and commentators. It is what keeps me going.

If anyone is interested in doing quality in-depth reviews, hardware & software, I encourage you to contact me. I am looking to add more reviewers to the team soon.

PIC will always be a independent community resource for the Palm OS. I have no plans to let it slip into obscurity :)

Reply to this comment

question...

Admin @ 3/14/2006 3:12:02 PM # Q
What do you guys think makes more sense to use on the homepage.

Using "more..." to indicate that there is more to read in the article

or

Using "Read more..." as I just changed to now?



-Ryan

RE: question...
hkklife @ 3/14/2006 3:19:13 PM # Q
Ryan;

Just a small question but why have some of your recent posts appeared as "Admin" and others as "Ryan"?

Just wonderin' !



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: question...
Admin @ 3/14/2006 3:20:40 PM # Q
I've been trying things out under different accounts while working on new features.

I will try to use my real name more when replying to comments.



-Ryan

RE: question...
hkklife @ 3/14/2006 3:38:57 PM # Q
Ryan;

I prefer "read more"

SO leave it like it is now.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: question...
hkklife @ 3/14/2006 3:39:30 PM # Q
P.S.

Are you planning any kind of retrospective overview of the past ten years of the Palm/Pilot platform?

Sad that POS is barely...JUST barely...hanging in there long enough to see its tenth full year.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: question...
AdamaDBrown @ 3/14/2006 3:39:36 PM # Q
I too would stick with "Read more." It flows better than "More."

RE: question...
Ryan @ 3/14/2006 3:45:37 PM # Q
thanks guys appreciate your thoughts. I will keep read more.

I also made a change so that when an article has more than 30 comments the text will link to the comment board section for that article.

Also "0 comments" is no longer displayed, because it really doesn't matter if there are no comments.

RE: question...
Surur @ 3/14/2006 3:46:53 PM # Q
Read story Read more does not look very nice next to each other. Why is read more not right below the text?

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: question...
Admin @ 3/14/2006 3:52:13 PM # Q
good points, maybe I should change the text of that button, perhaps to "view article"
RE: question...
hkklife @ 3/14/2006 3:54:36 PM # Q
Here are some possibilities:

"View article"

"View full article"

"Full article"

"Continue reading"


Engadget has always simply had a hyperlinked "Read" which I always thought could be spiffier.



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: question...
Admin @ 3/14/2006 4:07:41 PM # Q
darn, I lost the font I used for that button.

It was an actual Palm device font, does anyone out there have the actual palm pilot font in truetype or know where to get it so I could use on my mac?

RE: question...
Admin @ 3/16/2006 5:49:01 PM # Q
so I found the font and updated the button.

Right now I have the # comments text link to the comments board section only when there are 10 or more comments. Do you think that should be a link when there are less? I figure when there is less then 10 comments you would just scan the bottom of the article anyway.

RE: question...
Surur @ 3/16/2006 6:23:04 PM # Q

I believe consistency is more important. Most people will be puzzled as to why they can do it with one article, but not another. Thats not "zen"-like. Unless there is a price to pay I suggest make it work the same for all comments.

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: question...
Admin @ 3/16/2006 6:33:51 PM # Q
my reasoning is that I dont want people to just click the comments link, and miss on the fact that there is a full article to read.
RE: question...
Surur @ 3/16/2006 6:51:18 PM # Q

I love doing that. But then I come for the comments, not the news. Same reason I read slashdot.

May I respectfully suggest there is no need to frustrate your readers?

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

RE: question...
Surur @ 3/16/2006 6:55:11 PM # Q

Or is it attempt to try and get the comments on topic? I notice a distressingly poor correlation between the comments and the articles. Maybe reading the article first would change that? ;)

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...

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