Palm Rumors Exposed!

Editor's Note: The following article is a new section we have created to allow us to pass along the rumors that we hear about developments in the Palm Community. Please keep in mind that these are all rumors. That means that many of them will turn out to be half right, or mistaken, or the products of someone's fevered imagination. Please use at your own risk. On the rumor board for this week is: What happened to the OS 3.5 upgrade?, Details leaked about OS 4?, and everyone's favorite rumor the Apple PDA.

FYI: This is a article from 2000, for the latest Palm rumors click here.

Palm OS 3.5
Possibly the number one question Palm users are asking now is, "Where is OS 3.5?" The most recently released Palm models, including the IIIc, have 3.5 on them but an upgrade hasn't yet been posted to the support section on Palm's Web site for older models. According to some sources, this is because the current version of 3.5 has a memory leak that Palm is working to fix. The best information we have heard indicates that an upgrade will be available early this summer.

Several people have reported that at a recent meeting in Europe, Erik Bos, the Sales Manager for Palm in the Netherlands, announced that Palm would begin charging for OS upgrades sometime in the future. This was also confirmed buy a news tip from someone calling himself dirty palm. Dirty said he spoke with a "Palm higher-up" under strict confidence who stated "upon going public, Palm had to agree to the new board's demand that they not give OS updates away. Look for Palm to make an official announcement regarding this in the next couple of weeks. The price has yet to be determined as of May 1st." hmmmmm..... That explains the long delay.

Palm OS 4
Palm Inc. has already announced that they are dropping Motorola's Dragonball chip for the increased power of the ARM chip. This will require almost a complete re-write of the Palm OS, which will be released as OS 4 sometime this fall.

OS 4 is also rumored to support different display sizes and resolutions and handle over 8 megs of RAM.

Palm Hardware
There have been numerous complaints to Palm Inc. recently that their product line has gotten too complicated. Supposedly, Palm is considering reducing the number of handhelds to four: a wireless and non-wireless version of the Palm V and a wireless and non-wireless version of the Palm III. They are also considering dropping the Roman numeral scheme of naming their versions.

Apple's PDA
Apple could teach secrecy to the CIA but MacOSRumors reported on Friday that they received documents that say that Apple's PDA will be previewed at their Developer's Conference in two weeks and released next month.

On the off chance you haven't heard this already, Apple's PDA is currently rumored to boast a combination of the Palm OS and their own OS X and run on an ARM chip.

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Palm Fatal Error

mikecane@wildmail @ 5/10/2000 10:03:50 AM #
Palm's most serious error will be seen, in the future, as not snapping up the Calligrapher HWR enigine which was the heart of the Newton and then ported to WinCE. Micro$oft now owns it lock stock and barrel and has named it "Microsoft Transcriber." Without this, we Palmists are condemned to a future of Grafitti. Even with ARM chips! (Jot rots!) mc
RE: Palm Fatal Error
Michael Portuesi @ 5/10/2000 12:36:13 PM #
As a former Newton owner, of both a 100 (early model) and a 2000 (late model),
I can tell you that Calligrapher's handwriting recognizer was so-so at best. It
got better with subsequent updates to the OS, but it still wasn't as good as the
printed recognizer that Apple itself developed for Newton OS 2.0.

Apple's recognizer was much better than Calligrapher, and didn't require "training" in
order to be useful out of the box. In fact, I could enter text faster, and with fewer
errors, than I currently do with Grafitti on the Palm. Apple owns that technology
and they could easily cross-license it to Palm for use on their OS.

One advantage of Grafitti is that it requires a lot less CPU than "real" HWR
engines like Calligrapher and Apple's recognizer. Basically, the Palm's Dragonball
processor doesn't really have the resources to do real HWR well. With Palm
moving to the StrongARM family, real HWR on the Palm will finally be feasible.

RE: Palm Fatal Error
I AM COOL @ 5/10/2000 1:34:07 PM #
Just testing ... thank you...
RE: Palm Fatal Error @ 5/11/2000 10:25:17 AM #
Hello? Reality Check! The people who developed Calligrapher were the ones who did Newt 2.0's HWR! Calligrapher was the ongoing upgrade of it! "Training"? You must be thinking of Jot! mc
RE: Palm Fatal Error
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/4/2000 5:20:00 PM #
Hey Mike Cane, you are a moron. Calligrapher for Windows CE bears no relation whatsoever to the product of an identical name developed by Apple. They were two completely different technologies. You also are making me point out that the Newton 2.0 and higher platform was the only one that ever had the real Calligrapher with very accurate, real-time handwriting recognition. Please get your fact stratight before you go mouthing off about how you know so much. (p.s.- newton's did have 'training' for thier recognition, I have a Newton so I should know)

RE: Palm Fatal Error
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/4/2000 5:27:01 PM #
One more thing, Microsoft does not own Apple's Handwriting recognition software, Apple does and in fact is still developing it.
RE: Now heres an idea.....
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/25/2000 2:54:30 PM #
i recently bought a stowaway keybord for about 70 and i can totch type so mutch faster in to my visor than caligraphy windows trancscribe or grfiti so THATs the best way to enter text into a palm (oh and it only take me 10 seconds to set up so no lost time there!)

Paying for upgrades!

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2000 10:32:10 AM #
I'm not impressed by this rumor. One of the reasons I bouqht a palm was because of the free upgrades for the OS.

If this does go ahead then I don't see any reason to buy a palm as apposed to a Visor. At least with the Visor I can get modules for it & I don't have to worry about upgrades.

And one more thinq! What happens to us 'Dragonball Chip' users when the new OSes will be made for the ARM processors?

Thats my moaning done.

RE: Paying for upgrades!
Brandy @ 5/10/2000 2:43:59 PM #
I really think this rumor is just that, a rumor. It goes against what Palm appears
to be trying to accomplish. In order for them to truly charge for upgrades, they would
have to ensure that all other PalmOS licensees (IBM, Handspring, Symbol) would also
charge for upgrades. For example, IBM sells an OEM version of the Palms. If you REALLY
wanted an upgrade, you might be able to d/l from IBM...

I think it's bunk. The reason most of us out here pay more for the flashable Palms is to
FLASH them! Palm knows this and markets the higher priced units. On top of this, isn't
OS 3.5 supposed to make the OS standard across the varied platforms? Can anyone other
than MS sell a standard?

Paying for upgrades!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2000 6:29:59 PM #
A. it is not a rumour. i have verified this fact too. it is going to happen and soon.
B. you will still be able to flash your OS on your palm, you will just have to pay for the download of the file.
C. Do you really think that Palm would make this change and let IBM give the OS away? get a brain dude. they would either give them an OS that was a generation behind, or not let them do upgrades.

Think dude, think!!!

PalmWarez @ 5/11/2000 3:42:02 AM #
Stop begging for a free upgrade and do it yourself. So you have a Palm III series and want OS 3.5? Easy! Go to a store with a lax return policy (ie. Staples, Office Depot) Buy a Palm IIIxe, gut it and put your old Palm III series innards in the black Palm IIIxe case and return the sucker. Yes, this is say the least. And you get 8mb. The only loss (disregarding the place of purchase) is the quite nice black shell the IIIxe comes in. However, having a translucent case, it matters not to me.

The possiblities are endless. Buy a Palm IIIxe and IIIe. Switch guts, and return the IIIxe with the transplanted IIIe innards... believe me, as an employee at there, I'm not the first...

RE: Paying for upgrades!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2000 2:24:10 PM #
What a lowdown creep you are! A thieving, lying, creep.
RE: Paying for upgrades!
DW @ 8/13/2000 5:49:08 PM #
. . . . but thanks for the advice.
RE: Paying for upgrades!
Raishe_werk @ 8/25/2000 5:02:17 PM #
now if palmwarez could do that to palm V. ...
hmm.. i have nothing to do this weekend. free up grades for all!!
have you seen ardiri?... he stole a small german military officer (with the liberty crack) from us.. and we would like him back

"Love the Munkey"

"Moster Pig kills Jesus
More at 11"

PalmOS 3.5 Memory Leak

A. Student @ 5/10/2000 11:15:54 AM #
I've heard rumors of a memory leak in PalmOS 3.5, and I think they're true.

Upon a reset (soft), the file "System" grows by a couple K. Only a hard reset will shrink the size of this file (note: I haven't tested this yet, although it seems obvious).

This leak is probably why the update hasn't been released yet.

I've got a IIIxe in my pocket, (running 3.5), and I've personally seen the above problems with the "System" file. I sure hope they come out with a fix soon...If they charge for it, I'm returning my Palm and getting a Visor.

RE: PalmOS 3.5 Memory Leak
Ian Gillman @ 5/10/2000 1:45:03 PM #
I would expect them to distribute a patch (3.5.X)
for free and charge for a full upgrade (3.X).
They do have to make money after all and I cannot
fault them for doing that. We can always tell
them we do not like it and vote with our wallets
by not buying a Palm next time.

If they charge for the patches then I will
definitely get a visor.

RE: PalmOS 3.5 Memory Leak
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2000 3:56:55 PM #
Hi. While I can't speak for all of Palm, I do know that there is in fact a set of problems with memory leaks with OS 3.5. I'm currently beta-testing TRG's AutoCF (which allows you to access docs and programs directly from the CF card without moving them to RAM first) and OS 3.5, and the developers are in fact trying to work out the memory leak problems. They (wisely) won't release it until the problems are fixed, and they can't be sure they're fixed until the versions are tested extensively. Just my $.02.
RE: PalmOS 3.5 Memory Leak
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/10/2000 6:43:02 PM #
I have a Palm v that i downloaded the D4 beta for the 3.5 OS on. i have not experienced any leak at all and i am checking it often. do you all have the latest version of the OS beta? just a thought. i will let you know if this changes for me.
IIIx with OS 3.5
Calloway @ 5/11/2000 2:07:43 PM #
I have a similar problem with my Palm; see my post below. And I have the D4 version of the 3.5 OS. Maybe it's a III series thing?
some rough calculations
Calloway @ 5/11/2000 2:23:02 PM #
I took my Palm and added what should be tabulated in "System", and it appears that the "System" that appears in Info is ~25K larger than it should be. I used Z'Catalog to find the exact KB of each of the files in "System". So it seems like the missing KB is not due to some ballooning file but rather some fragmentation (or some hidden ballooning file).

And I tested this on my emulator to simulate a "virgin" Palm IIIx. Same problem. Obviously, since the EZ ROM goes into the IIIx, IIIxe, V, and Vx, this problem should appear on all of them. In fact, the emulator indicates that the Palm IIIc will also have this problem.

Not just OS 3.5?
Calloway @ 5/13/2000 5:00:42 AM #
It seems that this "memory leak" observed in System is not strictly an OS 3.5 issue. I took my friend's IIIx (with OS 3.3) and reset it, and found that System grew, just as on my IIIx (with OS 3.5).
RE: PalmOS 3.5 Memory Leak
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/13/2000 6:09:55 AM #
The memory leak for OS3.5 in the IIIxe is a FACT.
It has been discussed on usenet groups. One person mentioned a program called "Victor", which
is unsupported, but does reclaim "orphaned" memory. I tried it. To my surprise, there was
177kb "leaked"! Victor reclaimed it, no problem.


Who cares

renaissance59 @ 5/10/2000 12:11:26 PM #
All these - 'how dare they' comments and 'what happens to dragonball Palm owners?'. Would you be happier if Palm stopped development - that way you'd always have the latest version (!?)

Things move on, and its out of our direct control. Its always been this way - know one worries about DOS users who can't upgrade to Windowss. Personally at the moment my Palm is brilliant (it contains half my brain) - I don't have the need to upgrade, and before more info on OS4 comes out I'm not concerned. I'll decide later if it warrants me spending more money on a new Palm device. I fully understand that when I spend 200 on a PDA that is based on the same processor as a washing machine, then I'll have to upgrade device if I want to play MP3's or video link with my mates.

Palm's will be commodity items (Handspring is trying to prove this) at least the older verisons. We will always be put in a position of throw out the old and bring in the new.


RE: Who cares
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/19/2000 7:43:30 PM #
I think that this man who wrote this is absolutley right...who the fuckcares. And if you do ...well...fuck you!!!!!!!!!!!

OS 3.5

Calloway @ 5/10/2000 1:41:56 PM #
Hmm, I wish these rumors of a memory leak had been brought up earlier. I just flashed my IIIx to OS 3.5 the other day, and now I'm thinking that was a bad idea. Like someone said earlier, "System" increases by ~1k on every soft reset. I'm trying to track down where and why.

And here I figured there was no updater because everyone who wanted to would find out how to do it...

RE: OS 3.5
BobVBH @ 5/10/2000 8:59:45 PM #
How was it possible to "flash" and upgrade to 3.5?
RE: OS 3.5
Bob @ 5/11/2000 2:11:12 AM #
Where did you get OS 3.5 when it isn't even released as an upgrade yet?
RE: OS 3.5
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2000 11:07:30 AM #
The first step is
Upgrading to OS 3.5
Calloway @ 5/11/2000 1:59:28 PM #
In light of what has been said, you may not want to go through with this, but here is the procedure anyway. First get the latest ROM image appropriate for your device. In my case, for a IIIx, I got the non-debug EZ 3.5 rom. Then use the OS 3.3 updater. You want to make sure all your stuff is backed up (I did this by going past that step in the updater, and stopping before it sticks 3.3 on the Palm). Then, start the updater over. There should be an "Advanced" button. That will allow you to flash any ROM image you want into your Palm.
Calloway @ 5/11/2000 2:03:36 PM #
I suggest getting the ROM image from somewhere "safe", like directly from Palm (if you are registered as a developer).
RE: OS 3.5
Khal @ 5/11/2000 8:40:30 PM #

I tried this however after choosing my ROM PalmOS330_ENG_PalmV.exe for the Palm Vx, I got an eror message which reads:

"Encountered an error preparing to flash the handheld - couldn't attach to the handheld. Time out error"

Any suggestions?

RE: OS 3.5
Calloway @ 5/13/2000 4:33:29 AM #
Hmm, I'm not sure what your error seems to indicate... I presume you were using the "Advanced" option and your Palm was in the debug mode as required...

However, what you are citing as your ROM file doesn't make sense. The file name seems to be that of your update installer executable, which is not the same as a ROM image. ROM images have the extension .rom, and in my case, is called palmos35-dr4-en-ez.rom

The error message doesn't seem to indicate an improper image file, so I'm a little confused. But first try getting a proper ROM image, and see if that's your problem. ROM images can be found in various places (see other posts for some ideas)

RE: OS 3.5
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/14/2000 2:36:05 AM #

Sorry about the mix up. Yes I am in the advanced mode, and the rom file i am trying to load is the palmos35-dr4-en-ez.rom. I have down loaded two separate times from palm to see if there was corruption in the download. Thanks for your help.

Oh, the palm is set in Debug Mode before i select the option to flash the rom.

Thanks, as always,


RE: OS 3.5
Calloway @ 5/15/2000 7:12:02 PM #
Um, hmm. And it still won't work? What OS are you currently on? Actually, what matters is were you able to update to OS 3.3? My friend had a IIIx which refused to update to OS 3.3, so Palm sent him a replacement...
My last guess is that I used the Upgrade Utility's backup method (rather than manually setting backup bits or Backup Buddy or whatever, see my first reply to this post for what I mean). And I believe that that method installs a program called FlashPrep which is supposedly used in the flashing process. That could very well be your problem.
RE: OS 3.5
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/6/2001 12:24:53 PM #
I found the same timeout error upgrading to OS3.3.

Did you also use Chapura.PocketMirror? I wonder if that is affecting the upgrade.


RE: OS 3.5
joelmw @ 2/8/2001 5:23:31 PM #
I am currently having the same problem installing the 3.3 upgrade to a Palm III with a TRG SuperPilot Memory Board II XL. The same Palm (though, obviously, with a different memory board) upgraded fine before. Does anyone know what's the deal?

Half fair to charge

Justin Ng @ 5/10/2000 3:52:46 PM #
Major OS upgrades they should be able to charge for, but minor OS patches should be free.

Even Monopolistic Microsoft gives everyone free OS patches and updates at windowsupdate. I don't see why Palm would or should invent practices worse than MS.

Justin Ng

IF they are going to charge ...

Just another Palm Developer @ 5/10/2000 8:04:48 PM #
then By Golly, They HAD BETTER use the money to commit to fixing the BUGS.

For instance: There have been several revisions that create spurious low battery readings, causing alarms to not sound due battery saving actions - a reasonable action IFF the battery is low.

If they are going to position themselves in the market primarily as the owners of the Palm OS, then they had better be getting ALL the bugs fixed. And none of this "we'll come out with a new version to fix some bugs, and add a bunch more via new features" that is all to common in PC software.

PalmWarez @ 5/11/2000 3:43:10 AM #
Stop begging for a free upgrade and do it yourself. So you have a Palm III series and want OS 3.5? Easy! Go to a store with a lax return policy (ie. Staples, Office Depot) Buy a Palm IIIxe, gut it and put your old Palm III series innards in the black Palm IIIxe case and return the sucker. Yes, this is say the least. And you get 8mb. The only loss (disregarding the place of purchase) is the quite nice black shell the IIIxe comes in. However, having a translucent case, it matters not to me.

The possiblities are endless. Buy a Palm IIIxe and IIIe. Switch guts, and return the IIIxe with the transplanted IIIe innards... believe me, as an employee at there, I'm not the first...

RE: IF they are going to charge ...
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/11/2000 5:25:24 PM #
HAHAHAHA! You bastard! Heehee..too bad I have a V.
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