Comments on: Say Goodbye to Hacks in OS 5

InfoWorld has convinced a few developers to leak some information on Palm OS 5, which is currently being developed. Palm announced long ago that its next-generation operating system would run on ARM-based processors, forsaking the Motorola Dragonball ones that have powered all Palm handhelds up until now. But for the most part, the company has managed to keep the lid on other details of the OS.
Return to Story - Permalink

Article Comments


The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.


No MP3 playback?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 9:22:06 AM #
The developers were less happy about a lack of built-in multimedia features, like MP3 playback.

What?? no MP3 playback?


RE: No MP3 playback?
Mojo @ 1/17/2002 9:24:40 AM #
Give it some time, while Palm may (or may not, speculating on speculations) belive that mp3 is a needed feature, other developers might not share the same view. Use Sony for an example. f they continue the Palm line and adopt OS 5, then if they follow their past units MP3 will most likely be a feature on their higher end models.

Leaving It Up to Third Parties
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 10:09:29 AM #
Most computers don't come with a mp3 player either. Does that mean they can't play mp3s? Of course not. Get your self a third party player and your in business. The same will be true of ARM based palms.

I like it better this way. The mp3 player in the Sony 760 is lame but there aren't any good alternatives because one comes with the handheld and no-one's going to buy one, even a better one, when they've got a free one already.

Everyone thinks Palm should do EVERYTHING. Why doesn't Palm make a hardcase? Why doesn't Palm make a word processor? Because that's not what they are good at. They make handhelds. Leave mp3 players and cases up to companies that are good at it.

If you are going to bitch about having to pay for a third party mp3 player, there'll surely be a freeware one that's lame but free. Pay for it and you can get a good one. You get what you pay for.

RE: No MP3 playback?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 10:59:04 AM #
I think these developers are reading way too far into things. What Palm is making available now is for developers to make sure their existing apps will be compatible with OS 5. These devices will certainly be capable of multimedia functionality, including MP3.

RE: No MP3 playback?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:01:31 AM #
Of course, for MP3 playback to be addes as 3rd party software, it would require the handheld hardware having some sort of sound capabilities. Or else it will be like today. beep.

RE: No MP3 playback?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:06:45 AM #
I have to disagree with a previous post. The MP3 playback in the Clie is not lame. It is infact comparable to the PPCs.

What are you talking about?

RE: No MP3 playback?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:32:58 AM #
I would imagine Palm will offer some type of mp3 software as a bundle or optional add-on.

I think this is a good move on their part, because mp3 is a "niche" function, and Palm has, and always should, focus on the core applications that are most useful to the most people. Micro$oft likes to trumpet what their machines CAN do. I'm more interested in what I WILL do, and so is Palm.

RE: No MP3 playback?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:36:26 AM #
I don't know much about MP3's nor did I think I would ever use one, but I just purchased a 760 and I think the built in MP3 is terrific. I have a large cD collection which I have no saved on my computer. I have a 128m card and I can store almost 3 full CD's. On the road I can add or delete using my laptop. Very easy, very cool.

RE: No MP3 playback?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:42:03 AM #
> I have to disagree with a previous post. The MP3 playback in the Clie is not lame.
> It is infact comparable to the PPCs.

I just don't like the app. The UI isn't so good. Playback sounds good.

RE: No MP3 playback?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:44:28 AM #
it's pretty decent for a palm OS app...

RE: No MP3 playback?
mtg101 @ 1/17/2002 12:14:56 PM #
The UI on the Clie's MP3 player isn't the best. Then again, I hardly ever use it. The Clie comes with a remote control on the headphones, and I just use that - no need to get involved with the Palm app at all.


Diga ao Falante pelos Mortos

Why should there be?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 3:58:43 PM #
Why should MP3 playback be *built-in*? Of course this will be left up to third-party developers. So much the better, because I only want to play my .OGGs*. I'd hate to have space/resources used up on a built-in feature that I don't need. That's like saying the OS ought to have the built-in ability to read MS Word Docs. Sure that's great functionality, but it's not the OS's job.

-webgremlin <><

*ogg-vorbis is an open-source audio compression technology. advantages: technologically superior to MP3 and no patents, no copy protection. disadvantages: not currently supported by many (if any) hardware players, no copy protection.

What did they buy BE for?

huggy @ 1/17/2002 9:24:17 AM #
... "The developers were less happy about a lack of built-in multimedia features, like MP3 playback."...

Then what did they buy BE for???!!! It seems we will get bulkier devices, slower execution of current programs, and short battery lives... wow, I can't wait to see the new Arm based pocket PC's -did I say that? I meant Palm devices... or whatever, there will be no difference!

I say, get the T615, it will be the last sleek Palm OS handheld...

-------------- huggy ---------------

RE: What did they buy BE for?
mtg101 @ 1/17/2002 9:37:51 AM #
Palm have ben working on PalmOS 5 for years, they had a working demo at PalmSource 2000 (December 2000).

They only bought Be recently, it's not really sensible to expect them to have incorporated Be software into the new OS in that time.

Battery life need not be that bad. The devices will use ARM-7 processors, the same ones that are used in most (cell) phones, so battery life should be pretty good. PPCs use StrongArm processors, which are not as battery efficient.

Also battery life is more a function of screens, acessories and so on that the processor. A B/W ARM-7 device will have a better battery life than a color DragonBall based device.


Diga ao Falante pelos Mortos

RE: What did they buy BE for?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 9:38:49 AM #
Palm absorbed BE too late to make an impact on the first version of OS 5. That's why I'm going to wait for OS 5.5 or whatever it will be called.

RE: What did they buy BE for?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 10:16:59 AM #
    The first order of business is to put the product development schedule on a much faster track. That was the whole motivation behind acquiring the Be assets. The Be guys have been in the licensing and platform business longer than we have, and had developed more sophisticated bill and process tools that are suited better for licensees than tools we had. The development tools were worth at least $11 million, and the 50 engineers we got are priceless.

    David Nagel

RE: What did they buy BE for?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 10:42:37 AM #

You are going to hear that "priceless" comment again....when the Be guys come in and ask for a raise!!

Kidding aside...good luck to you and your team. We are all pulling for you.

Jim Kershaw

RE: What did they buy BE for?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 10:46:10 AM #
I posted the quote from David Nagel above and I ain't him. That's from the San Diego Times. I hope Nagel does read this site.

RE: What did they buy BE for?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 1:16:33 PM #
In late 1999, Palm recruiters told me that they are strictly developing on Arm. As OS 5 is the first Palm product to use Arm technology, it has likely been under development for at least two years.

RE: What did they buy BE for?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 1:24:05 PM #
Well I guess no one would of known anyway... Seeing how everyone is Anonymous.

-Bill Clinton
"mmmm, mmmm..... Just love them Cubin Cigars".

Multimedia is coming
bcombee @ 1/17/2002 1:59:13 PM #
In the NON-CONFIDENTAL PalmSource preview webcast yesterday, Palm's OS group said that they would be revealing new security, multimedia and user interface APIs at PalmSource 2002, and that they would be showing Palm OS 5 on at least three different ARM development boards.

What happened to simplicity???

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 9:32:59 AM #
All we need are more accessories for the palms we currently have!!!

RE: What happened to simplicity???
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 10:18:43 AM #
Can't agree with this more. I think we're starting to lose site of what made the Palm a success over the Newton (historically) and Pocket PC (now).

It wasn't a replacement for your PC, it was simply a way to carry the important information with you when away from your PC. That's what Palm does well.

Sure, MP3 playback would be nice, but it's not required and certainly not convenient until xpansion prices come down and space goes up. "Gee I love listening to these 8 songs. . . over, and over and over again all day long."

Video? Are you high? What's the point of that? Tiny screen (or people are going to complain that it's a brick) means you can't see jack. Past the "ohh. . . that's cool. . . ." point of interest. What's the use?

RE: What happened to simplicity???
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 12:42:22 PM #
Videophones perhaps?
Handspring show the world what you are capable of.

RE: What happened to simplicity???
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 1:29:41 PM #
The question should be, "Are you High?"

You're right, MP3 playing isn't needed in a device like a PDA, but wouldn't it be nice if the PDA could do it if we wanted too. Maybe I don't want to listen to music but listening to an audio book could be useful. And your right.. Who the heck is really going to watch a video on such a small screen? But they do have devices that you can run a presentation off of a PDA and on to a projection. Sure beats carring aroung 5 pounds of laptop.

Wake up and look around. The only reason why Palm was successful, was because there was no other game in town. Newton's where HUGE, and cost close to a thousand bucks. The Palm Pilots as they were called back in the day were much smaller, and in compareds to a Newton, much cheaper. WinCE and PPCs weren't even around. That's why Palm were successful, because it sure wasn't for the crappy PIM software they built in to their OS. Who do you know really uses that alone anyway? Everyone I know is running some other third party app in it's place.

And last, the reason why Palm is beginning to "fade" away as one recent news articale put it, is because of their aragant way of thinking. Not wanting to change the Palm WITH THE TIMES. Sure, it was fine to not need or want color, or play Mp3s and have no more than 256 kbs on your Palm back in 1995, but come on, now there are Cell phone with color displays, more memory, and a better processer than the Palm has today.

It takes companies like Sony and even Handspring to show Palm that their users were dieing for something more and better.

RE: What happened to simplicity???
Quik_Fix @ 1/17/2002 4:40:29 PM #
This is an often touched on topic, but I still have to side with greyscale. Color screen phones are just as expensive as color screen PDAs. There will be a time someday where everything will be color (hypothetically), but it's a long time in coming, and people still would rather pay $100 less for greyscale.
I'm not sure I agree that there are cell phones with more memory than Palms (admittedly, I don't know, but I'd love an example). And I do know a great number of people who own m100's and Vx's and use only the basic functions. A lot of people lack the proficiency to play with 3rd party apps and such. They don't even know about them till I beam them to their palms. So I don't think that sticking to those basics is necessarily arrogant. But I do agree that if they don't provide for the niche market who wants mp3 and good video, etc. they're losing an important piece of the market.

...In accordance with the prophecy...


RE: What happened to simplicity???
sub_tex @ 1/17/2002 5:10:25 PM #
"Video? Are you high? What's the point of that? Tiny screen (or people are going to complain that it's a brick) means you can't see jack."

I agree that most of your time using your PDA will not be video playback.

BUT if my PDA could do it and had, say, a 256 meg CF card in it i would definitely watch some simpsons episodes while in the waiting room at the doctors.

It's not a question of "we NEED NEED NEED this or that". It's more along the lines of thinking "someone MAY want this."

The option is there. if you want it, use it. if not, don't.

More options can never be a bad thing. Different PDA's for different users. That's what will work best.

They need to stop thinking "people only need to use this" or whatever. You *don't* know what user X wants or doesn't want. Give the option, and let him or her decide if they will use it or not.

What, no Hacks?!

mikecane @ 1/17/2002 9:39:43 AM #
I hope there will be a way to replace the functionality of the Hacks I absolutely *must* have:

PopUp Note
PopUp Time
PopUp Calc

-- no MP3, huh? No video, either?!

RE: What, no Hacks?!
mtg101 @ 1/17/2002 9:43:13 AM #
If the OS is capable of multitasking / multithreading, you won't need hacks. Just like you no longer need TSR programs on your desktop :-)

The main reason for hacks, especially those you've cited, are that the OS can't run 2 programs at once. PopUp calc is also my fave hack, however it will be redundant come OS 5 as you'll be able to run a calculator and another app at the same time anyway.


Diga ao Falante pelos Mortos

RE: What, no Hacks?!
mikecane @ 1/17/2002 9:54:36 AM #
Yes, I understand all that. I'm just hoping the developers of Hacks will convert their programs to multitask/thread/window apps. I want, say, PopUp Note to still do what it does: place a new window over what I am doing with access to the MemoPad. (I don't want the PPC model: switch screen, switch screen, switch screen...)

RE: What, no Hacks?!
mtg101 @ 1/17/2002 10:14:44 AM #
I see your point. I fully agree that I don't want the PPC functionality where ever application openeded does so over the top of the previous one, leaving you to use the 'task' button to manage which application is shown in the foreground.

I would imagine that the current hack authors will update their software. Making applications that work like hacks have done in the past under OS 5 will be much easier because of MultiTasking. This should also mean that they'll be more applicatios with hack-like behavior on OS 5.

Also, the application running 'under' PopNote will continue to run. So if you're waiting for the computer to take its turn at chess, you can flip to editing memos, and return when the computer has finished. At the moment when you change to PopNote the application under it stops doing any work.


Diga ao Falante pelos Mortos

RE: What, no Hacks?!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 10:16:01 AM #
I will never use OS 5 if I cannot have the functionality of MiddleCapsHack included somehow.

RE: What, no Hacks?!
mikecane @ 1/17/2002 10:47:03 AM #
If I might also note something bizarre about PPC: Some dialogs take up the entire screen!! This is especially annoying in PocketWord, when you call up the Format dialog. What were these people thinking? ("We're Microsoft. Tough!")

That's a great point about not having to wait for one app to complete an operation while another is open.

Let's see what else leaks out from PalmSource!

RE: What, no Hacks?!
mtg101 @ 1/17/2002 12:16:59 PM #
Once PalmSource has happened, all the information will be freely available to all. And if it isn't those of us who are going will soon fill everyone in on what we find out.


Diga ao Falante pelos Mortos

RE: What, no Hacks?!
bcombee @ 1/17/2002 2:04:15 PM #
In yesterday's PalmSource preview, David Fedor, Palm OS Architect/Evangelist, said he would be giving a talk at the show about how to write hacks, both the for 68K-based devices and for the ARM-based ones. It seems that Palm isn't going to be able to make the new OS compatible with existing hacks, but they are providing a mechanism for people to do similar things on the new OS.

RE: What, no Hacks?!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 2:48:54 PM #
The only Hack I *need* is ScreenShot. - rs

RE: What, no Hacks?!
LarryGarfield @ 1/17/2002 7:11:19 PM #
I actually gave a talk on hacks not long ago at a developers meeting, and I've spoken with a few other developers on the subject. This is a slightly techincal explaination, so bear with me. :-)

Like any OS, the PalmOS has a bunch of functions that it makes available to developers in their programs, called an API. However, the functions in the PalmOS are not tied to their names. When a program calls a system function (such as "pop up the keyboard dialog"), the OS first looks up what code snippet is registered to "pop up the keyboard dialog" in a table, then goes and runs that code. It also, however, provides two functions that developers can use to edit that table, one to search it directly and one to change what code snippet the function points to. Hacks work by changing the table to read "first run this block over here, THEN pop up the keyboard dialog", or the other way around, or any other imaginable code the developer wants to stick in there.

The problem is, all existing hacks are coded for Dragonball chips, which are VERY different internally than ARM chips. Older applications can be run in an emulation mode where the OS first mangles the code to make it ARM-friendly, but doing that for hacks, which for all intents and purposes become part of the OS, is impossible. It would have no way of telling what hack was coded for what. That's why Palm never directly supported hacks, they knew they would all break with OS 5. (Hacks were a backdoor discovery and invention in the first place.)

Palm also apparently has taken out the function to edit that table, to avoid older hacks totally messing up the device. Whether or not they will provide some other "system extension" mechanism, I don't know. If not, some intrepid programmer will probably find a way anyway, just as they did with hacks. :-)

Personally, I'm much more interested in if this new "multitasking, multithreading OS" will work on XIP like the current OS or with a split memory architecture like WinCE. The split memory architecture is the single WORST feature of PocketPC, and I really really hope Palm doesn't fall into that trap.

This post is ROT26 encrypted. Reading it is a violation of the DMCA

RE: What, no Hacks?!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 7:24:47 PM #
I thought when Palm got rid of their court jester, Carl Yankowski things will get better.

After spending millions buying BeOS they decided not to include an essential component of a multimedia device - MP3. To top off that, they have been talking about the "Palm Economy" and isn't things like hacks part of it? The beauty of hacks is that we can customize Palms to the way we like it - considering the fact that Palm isn't always very good at putting things in the first place.

I can't help but feel Palm is like a rudderless ship sometimes. Damn, why can't they have a more persistent vision like Microsoft. Damn, if they had and with that market share...

RE: What, no Hacks?!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 10:03:53 PM #
I doubt Palm would take away the ability for third-party developers to customize the operating system in creative ways.

"Hacks" are inherently "hacky". They are an imperfect solution that can cause conflicts and problems.

Have you considered that perhaps Palm has implemented another mechanism in Palm OS 5 for third parties to extend the operating system in "non-hacky" ways that are more compatible and stable?

Think about it. Then watch the news from PalmSource and learn. In the meantime, be patient and don't believe everything you read.

RE: What, no Hacks?!
mikecane @ 1/18/2002 10:49:13 AM #
Thanks, Larry, for that explanation. It makes sense. Perhaps some coder will come up with "The Missing Hack Table" to run Hacks under OS5.

And you're right -- the PPC split memory method is terrible. People go through more anguish deciding between "32MB vs 64MB" PPCs right now than is sensible. Palm users focus on the basics: mono or color? (I just wish Palm's VFS worked as seamlessly as PPC's card handling, however! OS 5 better bring that to the table!)

XIP, VFS, and assorted stuff
LarryGarfield @ 1/18/2002 6:08:59 PM #
Ironically, a split memory architecture is more friendly towards card based expansion than what Palm uses. Programs already "think" in terms of files within a file system, so a CF card is just another block device to play with. Because the pre-VFS PalmOS had no concept of a block device (at least not for file-based devices like disks or flash cards), programs were written in such a way that they didn't know from cards. In fact, they couldn't know about them! VFS is "grafted" on to PalmOS as an afterthought, because the underlying architecture and the thousands of existing programs have no internal concept of a file system. Patching old database functions to trick programs (basically building in PiDirectVFS, MSMount, AutoCard, etc.) would have all the same problems that all of these programs do; things work, sometimes. Remember, the PalmOS is on a level of sofistication slightly above DOS. :-)

I just spent several hours last night with a hacker friend of mine debating ways to implement XIP in a Linux kernel via a block device. Our final solution was really weird, really cool, really efficent, and already alloted for in the Linux kernel. :-) (Yes, I have weird friends.) Whether or not the new PalmOS is capable of it, I have no idea. I've got my fingers crossed, though. :-)

This post is ROT26 encrypted. Reading it is a violation of the DMCA

Strange comments in article

Scott @ 1/17/2002 11:24:04 AM #
A few interesting comments they made in that article:

"Perhaps most aggravating to Palm users, so-called Hacks, is news that utilities written by third parties to expand the capabilities of the current OS will not be supported in OS 5. For example, it is a Hack utility that allows users to touch the title bar and get a dropdown menu."

Huh? Maybe there's a hack for that for older Palms, but Palm, Inc. integrated that into the OS in version 3.5. I'm sure this will still be part of the OS in 5.0.

Some hacks may be obsolete in V5.0. Most others, if still warranted, will be rewritten to work in the new OS. Don't worry.

Here's another good quote:
"Faster performance will also mean that when executing a function on the Palm, the user will not have to wait, sometimes as much as 10 seconds, to regain control of the handheld."

What kind of generic statement is this? Exactly what process takes 10 seconds? It's almost like they're creating filler. Here's how they should have written this to really maximize useless filler...
"Faster performance will also mean that programs will perform faster. For instance, if an application currently takes 10 seconds to execute, under the new OS it may only take 9 seconds (or less). Of course, some processes running under emulation may be slower. So, that same 10 second process, may now take 11 seconds or longer to execute."


RE: Strange comments in article
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 3:48:17 PM #
It's seems that the article was written by someone who's not altogether familiar with Palm OS or Palm Powered devices.

Be secrets

Scott @ 1/17/2002 11:32:52 AM #
I really have to wonder if Palm isn't planning on doing something else with all of those Be engineers and Be intellectual property they purchased. As others have noted, OS 5 has been in the works for a long time. It's hard to imagine much Be functionality will make it's way into the initial release. Then there are those comments about them wanting the better bill and process tools. Not sure what that even is, but Palm has been licensing their OS for some time. Arguably, they have more experience than Be did in this area.

My theory: Palm is going to branch out and either:
a) Release a new version of Be for the desktop.
b) Slightly scaled down version of a): Release the BeOS as the preferred platform for development of OS5 applications.
c) Try to get into the Information Appliance business (if such a business exists - I've yet to see it develop) and sell BeIA to manufacturers of webpads, etc. (this would be a bad move, IMO)

An interesting thing that hit me on Palm's web site the other day was their ad for PalmSource. It says, "PalmSource. Be There." Get it? "Be" there. I think this ad was worded this way for a reason. I think there will be some major announcement at PalmSource involving the BeOS.

RE: No more BeOS
Foo @ 1/17/2002 11:47:55 AM #
Sorry, but there will NEVER be another release of BeOS for the desktop. It's dead and buried, sad as it may seem. There may...and I stress MAY, be a new release of BeIA for appliance type devices, but that's all.

RE: Be secrets
mikecane @ 1/17/2002 11:57:47 AM #
They said AmigaOS was dead too. Look where it is now. Sharp's PDA!

''Be there''
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 12:02:29 PM #
Hmm...perhaps they were also trying to suggest that interested parties should "be there" rather than be somewhere else where the convention wasn't being held.

been there, done that.
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 12:33:17 PM #
Palm DID get into the IA market, 3Com made the Audrey which IMHO is a very cool device running on QNX, and it syncs well with a palm. 3Com killed the whole thing after about a year. You can probably still find them at TigerDirect or eBay where I got one.

I have one and it is great for the kitchen, for the occasional recipe search, and email.

Quite an elegant device, a little ugly, but the main killer was they wants $499 for them when they introduced them. They can be had for <$100 most places now.

RE: Be secrets
Foo Fighter @ 1/17/2002 1:34:09 PM #
Huh? I thought the Sharp Zaurus ran on Linux?

RE: Be secrets
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 1:41:27 PM #
AmigaDOS is in Sharp's PDA? Which one? Did Gateway license it to them?

RE: Be secrets
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 1:48:08 PM #
OK, did some digging. Gateway sold Amiga stuff to its own company ( who is developing applications and OS only. They have partnered with Sharp to develop applications on the Zaurus which is running Linux.

Hope this clears it up.

RE: Be secrets
Foo @ 1/17/2002 1:58:44 PM #
I never understood why in hell Gateway acquired the assets of Amiga. They certainly didn't do anything with the platform. All of Gateway's acquisitions seem to flop. Just look what happened with the ALR deal. POOF! It goes up in smoke.

RE: Be secrets
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 4:13:36 PM #
Gateway bought Amiga's assests to get their patents, that is all there was to it, I'm guessing.

The "Amiga" environment available on the Sharp PDA has nothing to do with the original Amiga OS, except that the people developing it bought the Amiga name and some of those people were Amiga users/developers in the past.

RE: Be secrets
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 6:48:59 PM #
Wasn't Amiga originally created by Commodore? Remember that company?! Still got my old C64 in the basement somewhere ;)

RE: Be secrets
TDS @ 1/18/2002 12:41:52 AM #
Gateway sold Amiga in January of 2000. They are owned by a new company now, and have been working on a new OS and lots of other goodies! The most important is the Amiga Digital Environment, which is a set of powerful multimeda extensions for PC's and PDA's that allow applications to be ported among devices with ease. Take a look at for more info.

I am sure that when OS 5 for the Palms is released, the Amiga Digital Environment will be available to us, too. The current hardware is not quite up to snuff to handle it.
On an interesting side note, in 1995, Amiga considered releasing a new Amiga Computer based on our favorite Dragonball processor! It was scrapped after it was determined that it was not code-compatable enough to the 68x00 series the Amigas were using.


Re: Leaving It Up to Third Parties

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 1:07:06 PM #
No one knows if OS5 devices will have a speaker capable of playing MP3! If they have the same speaker as the T-415 or like most Palm devices, they won't be able to, no matter what third-parties come up with.

RE: Re: Leaving It Up to Third Parties
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 1:14:02 PM #
The speaker is not the limitation in the T415, as it can play wave files. The trick is getting an MP3 decoded into a raw format that the speaker can play. The T415 does not have a DSP to do this as the N710 and N760 do, and the Dragonball processor is not up to the task of doing it in real-time.

RE: Re: Leaving It Up to Third Parties
Foo Fighter @ 1/17/2002 9:29:20 PM #
Who cares if some third party developer creates an app that allows me to hear music through the speaker. You need a headphone jack to actually listen to digital audio in true stereo quality. If Palm doesn't support digital media within the OS, it sure as hell isn't going to be supported by third party developers.

Sad. All that beautiful new ARM processing power going to waste on the Datebook and Memo Pad. Palm is shooting itself in the foot...again.

Where does this leave HS's Treo in the future?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 1:21:06 PM #
The darn thing isn't even out, european Palmers are poised to check the unit out, lot's are happy at the connection PalmOS/GSM telephone...and now this weird "up the creek" interview with even stranger comments on the so called new OS 5.
Where does this leave the OS in...say...1.5-2 years for updates of the OS for the HS Treo? Does this mean that OS 4 (and the "dot whatevers versions") are it? Seems like bad news for Handspring...

Cornelis Steinitz
Basel, Switzerland

RE: Where does this leave HS's Treo in the future?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 2:03:41 PM #
I think you've missed the point. Far from this being a sign that the Treo will suffer from a lack of attention, Handspring is dropping the Visor to concentrate completely on the Treo.

However, the Treo 180 and 180g are not OS upgradeable. The OS they come with is the only OS they will ever have. It can be patched, like the often discussed GPRS patch, but you won't see OS 5 ever on it. BUT, Handspring will, of course, release future versions of the Treo with OS 5 running ARM chips. That's the way things work. Gateway is selling right now computers with processors in them that won't be as good as the ones available in 6 months. In 2 years these computers will be junk. Hi-tech is like that. There is absolutely no such thing as a product that won't be obsolescent eventually, no matter what it is.

RE: Where does this leave HS's Treo in the future?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 4:18:58 PM #
> BUT, Handspring will, of course, release future
> versions of the Treo with OS 5 running ARM chips.

That's a grand assumption. I'm not convinced Handspring has any intention of ever going past Palm OS 3.5.

RE: Where does this leave HS's Treo in the future?
Scott @ 1/17/2002 4:47:58 PM #
Don't ever count on Handspring to offer much in the way of patches. I've emailed them on this subject before. They've offered updated apps in their newer Visors yet not offered these updates to their other Visors (like the Prism). Yet their FAQs claim that their devices don't need flash ROM because they can be updated by patches. Yeah, right.

Will palm stick with the universal connector?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 1:47:46 PM #

I just hope palm doesnt change its "universal port" that so far only a few models are using.

RE: Will palm stick with the universal connector?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 1:53:00 PM #
That's a given. They will modify the "universal" connector.

It's another way to build a revenue stream by forcing loyal palm customers to re-buy all of their accessories like keyboards, modems, etc...

RE: Will palm stick with the universal connector?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 1:57:52 PM #
Palm won't change the Universal Connector. Third party developers, far from being thrilled with Sony over constantly changing its connectors, have decided instead to not offer any peripherals for it. Palm committed to the Universal Connector because companies like Kodak told them that if they didn't pick a connector and stick with it, they could kiss any new peripherals goodbye. Palm will continue using the Universal Connector until something changes so significantly about a new model that it becomes physically impossible. Not out of the goodness of their hearts but for solid business reasons.

RE: Will palm stick with the universal connector?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 2:03:26 PM #
"Palm won't change the Universal Connector. Third party developers, far from being thrilled with Sony over constantly changing its connectors, have decided instead to not offer any peripherals for it."

huh !? .... did Sony change their Connectors ?? The N-series and S-series got the same connector as far as I can see only T series got a smaller connector. Where did you get your "Third party developers, far from being thrilled with Sony" from ?

RE: Will palm stick with the universal connector?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 2:12:13 PM #
You forgot the original CLIE models, that had yet another connector. Its six months after the N series was released and Sony is already phasing it out. The clock is ticking on the 760. it will surely be gone in less than 3 months. Anyone who was making N series peripherals just gave up in disgust with the release of the T series. And who can say how long the T series will be around? At this rate, Sony will release a whole new connector this Summer.

Palm's commitment to the Universal Connector is why there's half a dozen keyboards that use it, a digital camera, an 802.11 module, wireless and wired modems, and more.

For the N series connector there's one keyboard. That''s it. You can't even get a ****ing modem! Peripherals: Sony's Achilles heel.

RE: Will palm stick with the universal connector?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 2:24:09 PM #
the original Clie is just a palm III with a sony case, I really won't see that as a real sony product.

You can say whatever you wanna say, but Palm has also released many different connectors, M5xx, M3xx, Palm VII, they all got diferent connectors.

The only company that sticks with one ... maybe 2 connectors is Handspring, they used the same old case for all visors (except edge) but it's history already.

RE: Will palm stick with the universal connector?
rldunn @ 1/17/2002 2:54:44 PM #
Get your facts straight. All of the Clies, including the original, had the same connector until the T-series came out, and that was changed only because it was physically impossible to keep the old connector.

And there are at least 3 keyboards available for the Clie, including the Stowaway.

RE: Will palm stick with the universal connector?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 2:59:05 PM #
Sorry to the last 2 posters, but you're completely wrong. The original Clié, the S300, shares the same Hotsync port as the S320, S360, N710, N760, and N610. There is landline modem from Sony that works with all the afformentioned models, a.k.a. the entire S and N series. Until they started the T series, they had the honor of keeping the same Hotsync port standardized thoughout their entire product line.
Also, the original Clie is basically the S320 with a different case. The processor on the original was probably the 16MHz instead of the current 33MHz, but I could be wrong about this. The S300 had all the features the Palm Vx had, except it also included a Memory Stick expansion slot.

RE: Will palm stick with the universal connector?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 3:32:11 PM #
Wasn't the question about Palm using the Universal Connector on
ARM handhelds? What does Sony have to do with this?


RE: Will palm stick with the universal connector?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 3:35:11 PM #
For some reason when people talks about "screen" "connector" "compatibility" they tends to say that "T415's screen is a pos" or "sony keeps changing clie's connector" or "sony drops support of their product in 3 months" it doesnt matter if that topic is really related to sony or not, it's just fun for them to talk about sony's imaginery bad things

RE: Will palm stick with the universal connector?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 6:38:04 PM #
It's no fun reading through your imaginary grammar. Its never too late for a GED.

RE: Will palm stick with the universal connector?
mikecane @ 1/18/2002 10:54:13 AM #
Sony only has two connectors. The new connector is on the T series. There are keyboards and at least one modem for the CLIE. (One keyboard is still in Japan and has not come to the States yet!) The T series is bound to be very popular (at least the T615C, that is!) and I'm sure there will be third-party stuff for it. Are these anti-Sony people on someone's payroll? Microsoft, perhaps? (See my "Beware of MS disinfo" message.)

RE: Will palm stick with the universal connector?
nategall @ 1/18/2002 1:58:02 PM #
i remember reading here about how the universal connector will be used for "at least 2 years". from somebody at palm.

nategall says "blah!"

I want my hacks

palmdiva @ 1/17/2002 2:31:08 PM #
Left hack is a nessecity for some of us

RE: I want my hacks
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 3:57:01 PM #
It's a likelihood that the current hack-provided functionality that Palm deems "necessary" will be included in OS in some way. They included dropping the menu by tapping on the titlebar in OS 3.5, didn't they?

3rd Quarter Release

eha1990 @ 1/17/2002 3:14:46 PM #
I think by the time the 3rd Quarter rolls around for Palm they will be to far behind to catch up. The fact that they are still putting out monochrome devices and subpar color devices is an indication of how far behind they are. It is hard to even figure out how they dropped the ball but they did. I love Palm and will remain loyal to them, but PocketPC has lept to the head of the pack in the Handheld computer world it seems. Sony is the only one who will give PocketPC a run for their money. The guys at Palm need to skip OS 5 and go straight to OS 6 if you ask me.

RE: 3rd Quarter Release
Scott @ 1/17/2002 4:50:32 PM #
Check your data. Palm is still in front. PPC is still in the caboose.

RE: 3rd Quarter Release
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 4:52:56 PM #
skip to OS6? What would be the point of that? You mean not ever launching OS 5 and then waiting more development time for OS6 which woul be in 2003? Get serious man... that wouldn't help at all!


RE: 3rd Quarter Release
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 6:40:29 PM #
Do we really think that Palm will actually make that Q3 deadline with a glitch-free, flub-free release? HA!!

Beware of MS disinfo!!

mikecane @ 1/17/2002 4:55:49 PM #
In John Dvorak's latest column (URL at end) --

At It Again Dept.: During the days of the demise of
OS/2, Microsoft sent legions of what were called
Munchkins to inundate online message boards and chat
rooms with good news about Windows NT and bad news and
negative gossip about OS/2. Watching this scenario
unfold was actually amusing: Munchkins filled systems
with messages boosting Win NT and flaming anyone who
defended OS/2. IBM was pathetic and helpless while the
attacks fanned a grassroots fire under Windows.

According to a report by Charles Murray in EE Times,
Microsoft is at it again, but this time with the
newest version of Windows CE, code-named Talisker
(apparently named after an Isle of Skye scotch
distiller). Between 30 and 40 members of the
development team, in what is described as an effort to
"get closer to our customers," have gone online to
"listen" and chat about the OS. One aspect of this,
called a "plugfest," is where Talisker programming
experiences are discussed. A goal of this activity,
according to Murray, is to convince potential users of
embedded Windows CE that Microsoft isn't going to pull
the plug on the product anytime soon—despite a
persistent rumor.

RE: Beware of MS disinfo!!
Foo Fighter @ 1/17/2002 9:40:07 PM #
Mike, WinCE.Net isn't PocketPC. It's just the core that PocketPC runs on. Microsoft hasn't resorted to any disinfo with PPC.

Can't say the same for Palm though.

RE: Beware of MS disinfo!!
martopiggus @ 1/17/2002 9:40:12 PM #
I'm not thrilled to hear that as I was a long time fan of OS/2 at that time. Yes, it's sad that OS/2 is dead, but it's IBM who pulled the plug and let it die. The difference now, is that if Palm OS died, Palm Inc dies.

Dvorak=Swell Guy
TDS @ 1/18/2002 12:50:45 AM #
Am I the only one who thinks that Dvorak is about the coolest guy on the planet? Nobody owns him and he never pulls punches. To many writers kiss up to the big guys. Dvorak just tells it like it is.

Dvorak = Paid Off
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/18/2002 7:41:06 AM #
> Am I the only one who thinks that Dvorak is about the coolest guy on the planet? Nobody owns him and he never pulls punches. To many writers kiss up to the big guys. Dvorak just tells it like it is.


If you truly, truly believe this, I have a nice lemon in the parking lot to sell you.

RE: Beware of MS disinfo!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/18/2002 8:45:06 AM #
Hey, I think Dvorak is much better than David Coursey. Read some articles from the two of these folks, and judge for yourself. I stopped reading Anchordesk ( because of a MS kissing-up Coursey does. And I look forward to reading my PC Magazine every two weeks in small part because of Dvorak's columns.

Yes, he is WAY over-opinionated, but he does his homework before spouting his opinions.

RE: Beware of MS disinfo!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/18/2002 9:05:24 AM #
Microsoft will lie about anything:
    Microsoft's .Net Web services technology appeared to experience a sudden massive boost in popularity over its rival Java, according to a poll run by ZDNet UK.

    ZDNet UK logs reveal rather obvious vote rigging, and prove that it originated from within Microsoft

RE: Beware of MS disinfo!!
mikecane @ 1/18/2002 10:44:30 AM #
It makes me wonder about the "trolls" who infest Palm boards. Part of an MS "black ops" squad? If MS will warp boards to hype its stuff, it's not beneath doing this too. MS has not simply tainted the water with this, they've polluted it!

I want it made clear now that I do *not* get paid by Palm, MS, Sony or any other vendor in this industry to post messages or slant my opinions. If I was ever an employee of a firm, I'd state it up front. So should everyone else.

Will I be able to upgrade my m505 to PalmOS 5?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 5:42:48 PM #
And will they improve user intrevace and integrated any new applications.

pocketpc has all. fromm office to IE and outlook. Also I would like to have some fun with themes also on my palm.

Stop saying my m505!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 5:47:21 PM #
I don't think you own a m505. I think you got a PPC. OS 5.0 is for ARM chip only, not current Dragonball CPU, Troll

I don't know where did the hire this idiot!

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 5:35:54 PM #
I don't know if the writer own a PDA. He doesn't know what he is talking.

OS 5.0 is multitasking already and most likely there will be Stroke Manager to activate applications. Most likely all the hacks will be converted into application and you could place it into Stroke Manager, say an idea.

Anyway, OS 5.0 is not for the current Palm OS devices so you don't need to worry about Hacks.

RE: I don't know where did the hire this idiot!
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 6:45:17 PM #
>> most likely there will be Stroke Manager to activate applications

Dude, I'm all ABOUT that Stroke Manager!!

I am Not a Hack!!

LarryGarfield @ 1/17/2002 7:21:20 PM #
"Perhaps most aggravating to Palm users, so-called Hacks, is news that utilities written by third parties to expand the capabilities of the current OS will not be supported in OS 5."

What?? The author is calling Palm users Hacks? We should sue for defamation of character! :-)

This post is ROT26 encrypted. Reading it is a violation of the DMCA


SaxonMan @ 1/17/2002 7:30:04 PM #
does this mean that the current hack just wont work with OS5 or that it'll be impossible to implement hacks in OS5. even if they are written for it?


RE: Question
mtg101 @ 1/18/2002 4:19:17 AM #
From what everyone can tell, it means that current hacks won't work under PalmOS 5. However, there will be ways of implementing similar functionality using a different mechanism.

Thus if you're worried that LeftHach / ScreenShotHack or PopupCalc won't be possible on PalmOS 5 - don't worry - they will be.


Diga ao Falante pelos Mortos

Why is this even news?

mikemusick @ 1/17/2002 7:51:17 PM #
They were called "hacks" for a reason - they hacked into areas of the OS that weren't supported for third-party developers. There's no doubt that some great user tools were written this way. However, we (Palm developers) were cautioned many times over several years that patching traps and diddling directly with CPU control registers was clearly at our own risk, that risk being nonsupport in subsequent OS versions. The bullet was mostly dodged with OS 4, but with OS 5 the advice comes home to roost.

So, again... where's the news in this "announcement"?

RE: Why is this even news?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 8:47:54 PM #
The reason I don't think this is news is that there is no evidence anything in the article is true. InfoWorld is claiming to have gotten some developers to leak info about OS 5. All it sounds like is some developers were given some info to make sure their apps are compatible with OS 5. There is no reason for Palm to give out info about new APIs, say for multimedia to support that. That hacks would not work is fairly obvious. The author and the developer(s) he spoke with are reading way too far into things they know little about.

PalmSource, Feb 5-8, 2002

ardiri @ 1/17/2002 9:03:43 PM #
want to know what is happening? go to PalmSource. as usual, a number of developers have been informed of 'seeding' information about palmos 5.0, so, most will know if this is all bologny or not. palm have talked about 5.0 since palmsource 2000, so, its no big deal to developers..

as for the claims in this article.. heh.. be sure to drop into one of the presentations at palmsource.. :) most of this is total speculation - sure, it'll be nice, but, dont expect much.. i actually think the news guy left out a few major issues that will come up.. not to sure where his sources are from :)

the most natural progression is to provide an ARM unit, and be sure older applications run on it without major hickups (hacks etc may have problems). rumor is, as a developer, you wont be able to write native ARM apps for a while - check the palm-dev-forum news groups. all shall be told at PalmSource :)

i look forward to seeing david fedors presentation, surely some small changes have been made, it'll be interesting to see whats going to be available. and, at that point, it'll be public information.

// az

RE: PalmSource, Feb 5-8, 2002
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/17/2002 11:08:19 PM #
I thought you guys who signed the NDA have access to the ARM 7 ROM already and 5.0 SDK. Contrary, I have not heard any rumors about ARM 7 C/C++ Compiler for Palm OS. I hope there would be a ARM 7 C# compiler for Palm OS. It would be interesting how MS would react to it. Mono C# compiler is shaping up. I hope somebody would port C# for Palm OS ARM 7 Chip. NS

need more power for large databases

drw @ 1/17/2002 9:55:39 PM #
I read all 83 comments. (sigh)

I've grown so proficient with my palmOS devices that I find myself waiting on the OS frequently. I have large databases which give a good 3 second pause when sorting, calculating. I'd like a palm so fast that it_can_keep_up_with_my_taps.

MP3 is for kids. I want a G3 smartphone with an ARM processor. The killer app for me would be to be able to pickup audio streams from the internet. Not holding my breath for a palm based MS Media Player though. Perhaps a palm based RealPlayer will be produced someday.

And regarding wimps who complain about a 7oz brick: Did you ever hear real men in western flicks complain about having to carry around colt 45's? Back then, bullets were power. Now, information is power. Day before yesterday, the president of the company I work for called me for a number. My response? "accessing.."

David in Pflugerville, TX

RE: need more power for large databases
mikecane @ 1/18/2002 10:58:27 AM #
Just opening SmartDoc with several megs of Docs on my speedy CLIE S320 takes about 5-8 seconds. On my old Palm III, I'd have to wait about *30* seconds. I second your motion for the speed increase.

Hacks/OS Extensions

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/29/2002 7:08:33 AM #
I would understand if Palm commented that current hacks won't work on OS5; that could simply be the result of the processor change. Also, the hook location may change, forcing hack managers to connect at a different point. It would be extremely short-sighted to prevent others from accessing the system to their advantage. Anybody remember the Commodore Pet?? If anything, Palm would be well served to standardize the hook location(s) and publish it as an API.




Register Register | Login Log in