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Palm Changing OS Strategy

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the shaking-things-up dept.

Handhelds 213

profet writes " is reporting that PalmSource plans to change its OS plans and simultaneously develop/release OS 6 and continue development on OS 5. The names shall be changed to reflect that they are both current. The plan is to have OS 5 for low end devices ($100 price point is a goal), and OS 6 for high end devices. This is a drastic change from their current practice of having one current OS drastically customized (read: hacked) to suit the manufacturer's needs. It looks like PalmSource is aiming directly at Symbian's success with Nokia's series 60 platform."

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Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8197972)



Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198046)


Linux on my Palm (0, Offtopic)

SphericalCrusher (739397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8197984)

I see no reason to keep Palm OS over this version...

Re:Linux on my Palm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198105)

"Basically we're asking SCO to put up or shut up." -Linux

Linux said that? Where did you meet Linux? What was his last name?

Re:Linux on my Palm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198349)


BeOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8197993)

what about the BeOS rights they purchase, what was it called yellow jacket or somehting

Re:BeOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198048)

what about the BeOS rights they purchase, what was it called yellow jacket or somehting


Yellow Tab has a version of BeOS. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198213)

Yellow Tab [] has a version of BeOS called "Zeta".

I think the story is that they could licence everything but the name. There's an awesome preview up on Zeta Journal [] .

And there are also the two open clones in the works: Blue-Eyed OS [] (by building BeOS-workalike bits on top of Linux) and OpenBeOS [] (a from-the-ground-up reimplementation of BeOS)..

Re:BeOS (2, Informative)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198346)

Well that's part of the issue. much of the BeOS tech would work very nice on higher end palms, but that requires a major overhaul to the software that would leave lower spec units in the dust. Palm bought the IP and hired many of the engineers. The BeOS tech would reduce the need for companies like Sony to hack the PalmOS like they have been by creating a more full featured base...also if they followed the modular model of Be it had a much more "graceful" model of providing clean seperation of OS components...It was Very Un-Microsoft. If a company wanted to extend just one aspect, it's much easier with the BeOS structure.

Remember, they bought the tech...I doubt any actual BeOS code would be in Palm6...but I'd bet it "looks" like BeOS under the hood!

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8197997)

postus first

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198015)

Troll my foot, the AC has a valid point, the article is crap

Linux is superior in every way (-1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8197998)

Palm OS is a dated poorly designed "os" (I use quotes since 90% of it was stolen from QNX but thats a different rant.

Use common sense. Use open source.

Re:Linux is superior in every way (0, Offtopic)

SphericalCrusher (739397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198003)

Amen. It is pretty useless... I could write something better... it's just formatting it for the PDA to use is where I get stuck at.

Re:Linux is superior in every way (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198129)

If you could write something better than fucking do it you dolt. And who the hell is Linux? I thought his name was Linus. Goodness.

In soviet Russia, OS changes my palm strategy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198000)

Once I switched to Linux and discovered the joys of tabbed pr0n browsing, my hand got callused, which changed my strategy somewhat nad greatly increased teh sale of Cornhusker's lotion here

What's not mentioned (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198006)

Is that under the plan, the company will simultaneously develop multiple versions of its OS and aim them at different parts of the cell phone market. With OS 5, PalmSource was focused primarily on making a hardware transition.

Re:What's not mentioned (2, Insightful)

t0ny (590331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198674)

It looks like PalmSource is aiming directly at Symbian's success with Nokia's series 60 platform

Looks more like PalmSource is aiming at finally doing something besides losing money and market share.

With all the buzz surrounding their product, PalmOS could have been the one OS to rule them all (all the small devices, that is). Instead, they waited until tons of other people made the kinds of moves they should have been making (handspring especially).

Speaking of Handspring, if I were them I would have flipped off Palm and purchased the PalmOS after they spun it off into its own company. Why they need Palm (and more importantly, its bumbling executives) weighing them down is something I cant figure out.

100 bucks for Palm OS? (-1, Informative)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198013)

Is that a per device licensing fee?


WinCE tops out at about 30 bucks per license. A small licensing fee up front added to that if you want to build a PocketPC or Smartphone.

are you retarded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198087)

that's the price of the device it's intended for.

get a fucking clue.

Re:100 bucks for Palm OS? (1)

cleverhandle (698917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198089)

Um... no. If you RTF article, it clearly states that the $100 is the cost of the device to the consumer.

Mods - if you're going to mod something up as informative, isn't a cursory check of accuracy a good idea?

Re:100 bucks for Palm OS? (2, Insightful)

certsoft (442059) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198119)

Seems to me there should be a moderation option of "Incorrect". About all you can do now is moderate it as "Overrated".

Re:100 bucks for Palm OS? (1)

citog (206365) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198313)

I prefer 'Redundant'. But 'Incorrect' would be useful.

Re:100 bucks for Palm OS? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198402)

Still Cheep compared to linux at $699

May there be a quick end to SCO!

100 bucks for Palm device? (2, Informative)

cgenman (325138) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198090)

Nope. That's for the whole device, like the 79 dollar Zire.

Re:100 bucks for Palm OS? (1)

wrenkin (71468) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198131)

I think it's the intended price point for devices that will use the 'low-end' OS.

Re:100 bucks for Palm OS? (1)

craXORjack (726120) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198167)

WinCE tops out at about 30 bucks per license. A small licensing fee up front added to that if you want to build a PocketPC or Smartphone.

$30+ Per device?! Whoa! No wonder winCE has been such a failure! They should try giving it away.

Re:100 bucks for Palm OS? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198187)

Are you a fucking retard? Seriously, only in your fucked up world in WinCE a failure. PocketPCs beat the FUCK out of any of the shit Palm can turn out.

Re:100 bucks for Palm OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198330)

wince is actually a tremedously great product (the newer versions)

i bought a pocketpc with the expecation of dropping linux on it, because i dont use windows (veryy substandard product in my opinion and experience) on the desktop, so why would i bother on my ppc.

i have to say, microsoft deserves credit on wince, its nicely integrated with the features, and its a great system.

pocketword + handwriting recognition is superior. i do wonder about how IE will be in the future with its track record. but then again i have read that windows ce is a different code base so i assume IE wouild be too (much tighter controls and actually done, um WELL :)

Re:100 bucks for Palm OS? (2, Informative)

zapp (201236) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198464)

You think $30 is bad for an OS? Gimme a break.

Most apps for either Palm OR PocketPC run $10-50.

PocketQuicken (which requires a desktop copy of quicken) costs $40.

AOL Instant Messenger for PPC costs $20!

Now... I don't concider $30 bad for an OS, but $20 for AIM?

How about a roman numeral? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198014)

Palm OS VI

Just like Apple did with OS 10.

Where have I heard all this before? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198019)

PalmOS 3.1 is for desktops.
PalmOS 3.11 for Workgroups is for small networks.
PalmOS NT is the server platform.
PalmOS 95 *is* *the* upgrade for PalmOS 3.1.

This is gonna end in tears...

Re:Where have I heard all this before? (5, Funny)

I Be Hatin' (718758) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198063)

This is gonna end in tears...


Palm 98 is just like Palm 95, except it doesn't crash as much.
Palm 2000 is the first stable palm.
Palm XP is the Palm Experience... something most Slashdotters are already familiar with.

Re:Where have I heard all this before? (5, Funny)

mattjb0010 (724744) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198186)

Yeah, let's not talk about Palm ME :)

Re:Where have I heard all this before? (1)

t0ny (590331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198694)

You forgot Palm 98, Second Edition, and the ill-fated Palm, Millenium Edition. We will probably have to wait a while for the latter.

Re:Where have I heard all this before? (1)

licem (640768) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198147)

EEExactly. Strech the Palm OS concept to a tiny cell phone screen that doesn't even have a touch screen, all the benefits and reasons that design choices were made break down. The smart thing would be to completely redesign an interface for cellphones that does NOT have to look at all like the Palm OS we know and love. Learn the lessons of Microsoft - do not try and fit a wolf into a dog house.

Re:Where have I heard all this before? (4, Interesting)

laird (2705) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198203)

"Strech the Palm OS concept to a tiny cell phone screen that doesn't even have a touch screen, all the benefits and reasons that design choices were made break down."

I don't think that they're trying to cover quite that broad a range. The sense I get is that they're intending for PalmOS 5 to run on the class of machines it already runs on (ARM processor, 160x160 pixel or larger touchscreen, 8 MB or more of RAM, perhaps an SD slot), which they project will drop in price over time. PalmOS 6 will run on more muscular hardware (larger touchscreen, more RAM, faster CPU, SD slot) and provide richer multimedia and multitasking capabilities. So it's not so much for this year's cell phones as perhaps set top boxes, G3 cell phones, or high-end PDA's or tablet computers.

It's not clear (to me, at least) how much of a fundamental difference there is between PalmOS 5 and 6. So it's hard to say if it's essentially the same OS with more frameworks (like NT vs. NT Server) or a real forking (like Win95 vs. NT). Perhaps someone with some inside info could comment?

Re:Where have I heard all this before? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198326)

The difference between PalmOS 5 vs. 6 is similar to Windows 95 vs. NT and MacOS 9 vs. X. Basically it's the transition to a real protected-memory OS, requiring a new underlying system architecture. So, similar to the Windows and MacOS transitions, PalmOS 6 is a completely new operating system, with a compatibility layer to provide the same APIs as on previous versions of the OS and maintain application compatibility.

Re:Where have I heard all this before? (1)

John Courtland (585609) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198458)

Is it fully protected to the point the palm won't die hard if an app overruns its allocated memory? Every device I've ever used without a protected OS needed the damn batteries removed to restart, and that, my good sir, is a pain in the ass.

Re:Where have I heard all this before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198513)

Of course. I'd never consider it protected memory if it couldn't even protect itself from application code!

Architecturally, it's basically what you'd expect of a modern OS: an application runs in a separate process, which is torn down when it exits and all resources reclaimed by the system. It is multithreading, so you can run multiple threads (which can do their own UI) in the same or different processes.

And there is much more stuff, which will be revealed at the developer conference next week. :)

Tablet PCs! (1)

lpret (570480) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198667)

Yes, this is something I've been saying for quite some time! Why can't we create basically a palm with a really big screen to be a tablet PC? some palms already have bluetooth and wifi built in -- and they're the same size as a deck of cards! This would mean we would only need our ~400 Mhz chip used in PDAs now, and have a compactflash slot -- and it could even have 10x the battery life of current PDAs! Turn it in landscape mode and have a soft keyboard. The options are endless, and this is all using technology that already exists.

Drastically (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198033)

OS drastically customized....

*cough* Sony the bastards *cough* (-1, Offtopic)

John.P.Jones (601028) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198037)

I'm sorry, this is offtopic but why in the world is the URL for C|net's actually This seems really odd, I would have thought it was a SPAMer type trick to fool unwitting AOLers.

What were they thinking? (1)

willdenniss (707714) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198075)

stupid as it may be - yes it is uses as it's domain name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198080) is indeed a trick site and I expect the article page to be changed to a goatse image anytime now. (0)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198351)

no its not.

linux PDA? (4, Interesting)

axxackall (579006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198051)

If all I need is just a PIM (calendaring, contacts, notes, money, short messages), then what would be the reason to choose PalmOS vs Linux on PDA?

Anyone with some experience with both? I used Palm Vx with Palm OS 3 and found it too buggy. I saw ads about Zaurus and found it interesting. I am really close to get Linux PDA. But before I cash out, is there anyone here who found a reason to migrate from Linux PDA to Palm OS?

Re:linux PDA? (5, Interesting)

AnonymousCowheart (646429) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198128)

Ive owned both the zaurus and a few palms, the newest model i have being the palm m500. While the zaurus is a great toy, palm "just works." the damn thing is fast, rarely (about 5times a year, due to bad software) crashes, and even then, it takes like a 30second reset.
The zaurus however, does Much more, wireless, mp3 player, video player, etc. however as far as a PIM goes, you just can't beat palms ease of use, and speed. Especially graffitti, works great. Not to bash the zaurus, but i found myself 'setting it up' (see playing, trying to figure things out) more than being productive
in the end, i use the b&w palm, why? besides the above notes, the batteries last MUCH longer in it then any color screen would. Nothing fancy, just a PIM, like you asked for;)

Re:linux PDA? (3, Interesting)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198215)

The Palm "just works"? Man, you must have REALLY low expectations. My Tungsten T2 has given me more trouble in six months than my Newton MP2100 has in a decade. The Palm syncronisation system is complete and utter crap, the notion of a PalmOS application is an absolute fantasy, with most remotely cutting edge apps being pretty much machine specific and - worst of all - when it decides to freak and lock up, the only way to get it going again is a long charge followed by a hard reset, which kills all of your data and leaves you reliant on the utterly broken backup/sync system to get you going again.. PalmOS isn't really a playform at all, it's an embedded OS.

Re:linux PDA? (1)

AnonymousCowheart (646429) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198309)

Had you read my post, you wouldve seen that i wrote "my most recent palm was the m500." We're talking about PIM's here, not PDA's with a built in kitchen sink. I can't vouch for palms stability when it comes to multimedia PDA's, but for the basic PDA, mine works great. I also can't speak for your backup issues, I use linux, and have no trouble syncing/backing up, and I'm even using the USB cradle. I have crashed my palm before (ran software that required mathLIB,and didnt have it installed) Hit reset, all was back to normal, ive NEVER had data loss with my palm. There is also something to be said for having a MAJOR device like the palm, that is you can upload your contacts to yahoo! and other services as long as they're in the 'palm' format.

Re:linux PDA? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198386)

I've been using an M515 for the past 6 months and I haven't had it die once. Also, although the Palm OS is not open source (unfortunately), there is a ton of free software available for it. The only thing I wish it would do is hotsync over the internet to a remote server.

Re:linux PDA? (1)

axxackall (579006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198387)

Speaking about hard-reset - that one thing that was annoying me with Palm Vx all the time - at least once a week I've lost all my data because it locked itself up completely. I've noticed that the more I've used categories and the more data I ahd in general (my memory was 8MB) - the more chance of the final crash.

As for syncronizatio, I think it's a general problem in many cases, especially with intensive usage of categories - a sync software usually syncs your primary records, not categories, so, you either end up with duplicated primary records, or with messed up categories.

Is it the same or different on Linux PDA?

Re:linux PDA? (2, Informative)

Stalus (646102) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198608)

I've had a Tungsten T for about a year now, and I've been very happy with it. For day to day things, I mostly use the standard aps, but I also use it occasionally as an mp3 player, HP48GX emulator (faster than my real version), and with my bluetooth phone I can check e-mail and look up stuff on the web, chat on ICQ, etc. I have a couple other random aps on there that are useful too.

I had a Treo 300 for a brief stint and it locked up like crazy, and I understand what you mean about that driving you nuts. But with the Tungsten T I think I had one hard lockup, and two sudden reboots, and I've never lost any data. Because of that, I only synch about once every two weeks, and the battery life has been good enough that I generally only remember to charge it about once a week.

I think Palm's problem is that almost every Palm-powered device has a different version of their OS, so there's a little bit of hit and miss. For example, the Treo300 had a version tweaked by Handspring specifically for that device. There seem to be more problems with the devices not sold by Palm, since most of those can't upgrade the OS. You might check their website for updates - they did have some for the Tungsten T to fix an audio level problem for mp3 playback.

And a mention for my problem with the other option - the pocket PC. I have yet to see one with a vibrating alarm, which just astounds me. I usually leave everything on vibrate to avoid having it be disruptive during meetings, movies, classes, etc.

Uh, I think you have it backward... (5, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198139)

If all I need is just a PIM (calendaring, contacts, notes, money, short messages), then what would be the reason to choose PalmOS vs Linux on PDA?

If all you need is just a PIM (calendaring, contacts, notes, money, short messages), then why would you ever consider choosing a Linus over PalmOS on a PDA?

PalmOS is built for the job, fast enough to do what you want (and more), power efficient, etc.

Stop looking for a sledgehammer to crack a nut and give serious consideration to a Zire or Tungsten. Which one is best for you depends on how honest you are when you say you're looking for "just a PIM".

Re:Uh, I think you have it backward... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198161)

you make a veryt good point. However some people like to support open source, and are willing to go the extra mile to do so.

Now, my base line Nokia cell phone can also act as a pim. I'm prettu sure most cell phones can be your PIM.
I just wish I could load some personal pictures on it.

Re:Uh, I think you have it backward... (1)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198459)

Palm Linux [] runs on many 68k Palm Os devices.
As much as Linux can run on very low end devices the typical Linux PDA is still a very high end device. It's not a simple PIM.
You can run a web server from a Linux PDA but a typical PalmOs PDA makes a wonderful PIM.

I've both a Handspring Visor and a Zaurus infront of me right now.

The handspring is a great device for GPS, e-mail, cell phone or what ever... I even have a digital voice recorder module.

But I skipped the MP3 player due to cost.

The Zaurus is much more powerful and slightly more bulky. MP3 player built in movie player available extra.

The PalmOs device is ok for viewing pictures but I need the Zaurus to edit those pictures.

Also certen limitations on the Palm... I can't e-mail pictures from my Handspring but I can from the Zaurus.

Re:Uh, I think you have it backward... (1, Interesting)

axxackall (579006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198401)

Perhaps PalmOS is built for the job, but also it's built for the crash in the middle of the job. Usually people associate reliability with servers, but it's getting really annoying whn your PDA locks up at the middle of meeting. Even more - you have to press hardware reset and all you data is gone.

Re:Uh, I think you have it backward... (1)

RealityThreek (534082) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198637)

How did the parent post manage to get rated Interesting? I've only had my Palm crash once or twice, and it was because of a misbehaving program I downloaded and was trying out. And in no situation did I -ever- lose data. It's more reliable most the servers I've seen. :P

Re:Uh, I think you have it backward... (2, Interesting)

lpret (570480) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198700)

I was going to mod you down, but decided to debate this instead. What PalmOS are you running? I've been using Palm since the Palm IIIx, and I've never had it crash on me outside of poorly designed software. You said you needed a hard reset -- for what? A soft reset should be just fine for any crashes that occur -- the only hard reset I've ever had to do is when I screwed up upgrading the OS.

There's a reason why most industrial PDAs are Palm based. It's very solid. It may not look like mini-windows (like Pocket PC) but it's fast, solid, and just works.

Palm crashes? (3, Interesting)

jackDuhRipper (67743) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198722)

Others'MMV, but I've owned / used / beaten to near-death 4 different Palms since the III (c.1998) and I can count on my fingers & toes the number of crashes I recall. The preponderance of those are recent*.

When I say "owned / used ..." I'm talking every day, shutting the thing on and off probably 20 times each day, taking meeting notes (~40 WPM with Graffitti), and reading AvantGo news and PDFs as well as playing games. This in addition to the calandar and To Dos tracking I originally intended.

Never have any of them (III, IIIx, IIIxe, Tungsten T) locked up in the middle of doing these things - they've locked up when syncing, when Finding (searching) against "bad apps," when attempting to switch from a live "Arkanoid" game, but never in the middle of real usage.

*- Also, at least in recent Tungsten memory, when I have reset it, it hasn't lost a damn thing - Not a Note, not a To Do, nor a Calendar entry.

OS 6 - architected and built by the BeOS engineers - looks interesting. I use it much more for "traditional PDA" stuff, but the BeOS was always smart and ass-kicking.


Re:linux PDA? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198140)

I migrated from Palm OS3 to the Zaurus platform.
I must say that as a PIM, palm OS was better. ...But for everything else, the Zaurus feels (to me anyway) to be a far superior device. I migrated away from palm OS because I felt "limited" by the capabilities of OS3. I understand that Palm OS has improved since then. ...but now I'm pretty content with my Zaurus, so I haven't felt the need to switch back.

In short, if ALL you need is a PIM, then you should be looking at a cheap Palm OS device. Otherwise, I believe the Zaurus is worth a serious look.

Re:linux PDA? (5, Informative)

bwy (726112) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198188)

I have owned a Zaurus and a Sony Clie (Palm OS 4). They are two different beasts. The Clie is a great address book, calendar, etc. and has good desktop software that I like since i refuse to use Outlook for calendaring. It is a small device and great at the traditional PDA functions. Synching is very refined and works well with XP and OS X 10.3 using iSync. I can sync right to Address Book and iCal.

The Zaurus was excellent at web browsing, hacking, running Java, running a real pop3 mail client, etc. Plug in a cheap WiFi CF card and you are good to go. But here is the thing. It is horrible at calendaring, synching, etc. The desktop software is pathetic. You almost certainly have to consider the Zaurus a very small linux based PC that stands by itself and forget about the desktop integration part.

All that being said, I sold the Zaurus on E-Bay recently and kept the Clie. The Zaurus is by far the best "toy". However, having a handheld Internet connected device wasn't that useful (for me, anway) especially since I own a 12 inch iBook. Having a list of important phone numbers and my calendar with me at all times and available instantly is important though and Palm devices do that very well.

Depending on what you want and need, the Zaurus might be a great choice. I had no complaints. It was stable and overall really cool. There is just something cool about using a handheld as a web server. (but then you inevitably end up asking "WHY"!)

Re:linux PDA? (1)

axxackall (579006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198416)

What's specifically wrong with calendaring in Zaurus? Your answer can be really helpful for me.

Re:linux PDA? (1)

bwy (726112) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198517)

The calendaring app on the handheld isn't too bad. But, it really doesn't have a lot of value for most people if they can't sync it reliably to a good calendaring app on their desktop. The Zaurus desktop suite has some major issues- it isn't nearly as refined as Palm Desktop and to me just doesn't seem professional (I could be a bit anal as I develop user interfaces for a living.) The Zaurus can only sync with their desktop software too and there is ample proof in newgroups that synching is unreliable and sometimes just won't work. Also, last I checked they had dropped support for a desktop client that would run on Linux. Imagine that, a Linux handheld that only synchronizes with Win32.

There is also a desktop client that lets you move files over to the device via the USB Cradle, but it turns out that the easiest way to deal with the device is to treat it like the real computer that it is- by setting up FTP and moving the files over that way.

I should also mention that while the plastic case of the 5500 is questionable in quality (I'd prefer aluminum or something), the keyboard is extremely nice. It has a great feel to it and really adds a lot of value to the device. You can fire up Gaim on the thing and IM using the keyboard quite nicely.

In summary- if you decide to buy- buy it for the device, not the synching or the desktop software.

Re:linux PDA? (1)

serial frame (236591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198542)

You should have waited for the Lycoris ROM to be released [] , whenever that will be. It doesn't appear to be on anywhere, perhaps I'm wrong.

Re:linux PDA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198204)

If only PDAs supported PIM (Protocol Independent Multicast) we'd be all set.

Re:linux PDA? (4, Insightful)

zulux (112259) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198328)

If all you need is a PIM - Palm is definatly the way to go.

I *love* my Zaurus 700 series- it's fun to SSH into a server with 80x24 characters and a real keyboard , but for PIM stuff, it's slow and clunky.

Re:linux PDA? (1)

axxackall (579006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198429)

What specifically clunky about PIM on Zaurus? Can you give few examples?

Does anybody know... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198055) far HURD is behind release now? I'm tempted to say ten years, but it might be twelve. Maybe I should post an Ask Slashdot?

Re:Does anybody know... (-1, Offtopic)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198440)

This post is extremely off topic and I'll prob be modded as off topic, but I'll answer you anyway, afterall knowledge is what Slashdot is all about. Yea its about 11-12 years behind release. I believe Linus started devloping Linux because he didn't see the GNU/HURD being released anytime soon. I've played with HURD and the source is absolutely beautiful, even compared to Linux. If you hack at all you should look at it. It doesn't do much and has almost 0 hardware support, but its great to start kernel dev in if you've never had the pleasure. I guess thats all there is to say about it. For anyother slashdotters that may read this and teaches, if you have your students code or want to show them some good coding, use the HURD.

Linux on Palm (3, Interesting)

armando_wall (714879) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198079)

Alternatives to PalmOS, anyone?

Has anyone tried LinuxDA [] ? It sounds like an interesting alternative, even being a commercial product.

Re:Linux on Palm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198084)

That's GNU/Linux faggot.

Re:Linux on Palm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198104)

That's GNU/Linux faggot.

Hi, Richard!

Re:Linux on Palm (1)

nebelfrau (749653) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198256)

I've tried the LinuxDA on an old HP PDA of mine, it worked smoothly. It was very efficient, too, but it's not something I would use permanently.

Cool, erm... (5, Insightful)

Ravensign (134410) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198097)

I thought this was a really cool article, then I realized its not 1998.

Does Palm have any kind of momentum at all anymore?

Re:Cool, erm... (4, Funny)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198168)

Does downward momentum count? If it does, then yes.


Re:Cool, erm... (3, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198372)

Are you kidding? Palm is kicking the Apple Newtons ass! I hear Microsoft is working on a product to try and compete, but I doubt anything will come of it.

Re:Cool, erm... (1)

lpret (570480) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198739)

I was really going to mod you down, but decided to discuss this one.

PalmSource has all sorts of momentum. They have created the best PDA experience hands-down. Setup for bluetooth and wifi is a piece of cake compared to Pocket PC. Their applications run fast and are not bloatware. And it's not just me saying this. Although they're not the only kids on the block, they still have a tremendous following for their ability to create a solid OS. By reinventing themselves and allowing their OS to be used on various platforms, they are set up for success.

Naming suggestions (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198103)

how about "Palm OS Full-Speed" and "Palm OS Hi-Speed"?

let's get medieval (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198112)

That's it I'm going back to my stone tablet and chisel!

My pants are too small (1)

AvengerXP (660081) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198141)

Every time i hear Symbian i cant help but think about the porn device. Fans of Kazaa will get my drift.

On topic, i think having two OSes will just take away needed ressources to put on OS 6. I think it's more Marketing than anything else. Much like Win98/98SE/ME. They're doing exactly the contrary of what MS is doing and creating one single end user/server line. I don't know if that's a good thing.

As a BeOS fan (2, Insightful)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198153)

I have high hopes for PalmOS 6. Combine guys that created a great OS with some of the minds that created a great handheld, and ... my fingers are crossed. Does anyone have any details on v6.0? Screenshots? Technical specs?

I envision a white device with yellow borders... ummm.

Palm Dev Conf (1)

code_rage (130128) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198343)

The Palm Developer Conference will reveal the details [] of the new OS. San Jose, CA, Feb 10-12 2004.

Palm OS (-1, Offtopic)

Yellow_Piss_Hat (745926) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198154)

Palm OS. What's it all about? Is it good, or is it whack?

Re:Palm OS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198196)

wiggidy wiggidy whack f00!

The new names for OS 5 and OS 6 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198171)


Palm is losing their niche (4, Interesting)

mnmn (145599) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198200)

Palm OS is the OS for low-end devices with simple functions which do not require the headache of viruses/spyware/BSOD etc, and which do simple monotasking applications on budget ram and flash and no MMU.

Try to overdevelop Palm OS into a GUI layers, multitasking, and other higher end stuff, and youre directly competing with Linux, QNX, BSD and BeOS (maybe they plan to merge their BeOS with Palm on higher end). They should not want that. Linux with the community backing, applications, tools, hackibility etc will win hands down and we'll see people buying Dell machines, replacing Windows XP with Linux, getting the free PDA and replacing its PalmOS with Linux + XFree86 and its tools.

I think Palm should try to remain as simple as PalmOS 3.5 or 4.0 and instead focus more on applications. The OS should be developed to deal with more hardware, make easy-to-use SDKs to gather applications from the community and to handle nice themes. Thats all. Pretty soon someone will shrink x86 to palm size and make it consume power as little as the ARM720T, and Microsoft will rush to modify Windows XP for it, and people will just replace that with Linux. Palm will then have to rely solely on their lower end OS on even smaller devices.

Re:Palm is losing their niche (5, Informative)

GarfBond (565331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198461)

You have absolutely no idea what a palm device is used for. On a palm device, you *do not* load Windows XP on it. These are items with around 400MHz Intel XScale and around 32-64MB of memory.

PalmOS is for palm-sized devices (e.g. ORGANIZERS) that have very little flexibility as far as data loss, convenience, and user-friendliness. No user wants to open up a console and mess with XF86 settings to try and get their organizer working right in the middle of a meeting.

Part of the reason Palm is still popular is because of the fundamental design decisions made with the OS. Which is to be, above all, a damn good organizer. Part of what Palm realized (and what Apple hadn't yet with the Newton) is that user requirements for an organizer is significantly different from a computer. Users expect it to work just as well as their wristwatch. A great article to read on this is the "Zen of Palm" ( ZenTOC.html)

In the handheld market, Palm is competing with PocketPC (or as it's less affectionately known, Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC) and to a very much lesser extent, Linux on the Zaurus.

In the phone market, Palm is competing yet again with Windows and then Symbian. And this division of markets is why they're concurrently developing OS 5 and 6.

And, for your information, PalmSource owns Be. Part of the whole point of OS6 is that Be engineers are putting significant efforts into it.

Where have I heard this before? (2, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198239)

I really think that Palm should drop support for their embedded OS and focus on a Desktop OS, that they can give away for free and compete with Microsoft for bootmanager rights on OEM desktops.

What could go wrong?

Re:Where have I heard this before? (0)

webtre (717698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198352)

SCO litigation

With the competition from PowerPC devices . . . (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8198275)

. . . I'm wonder what the next chapter in Palm's history will be. Chapter 7? Or 11?


Re:With the competition from PowerPC devices . . . (1)

zapp (201236) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198447)

PowerPC? So now Macintosh computers are taking market share from Palms? ;)

Gadget lust and price points (5, Insightful)

Grrr (16449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198277)

I want to root for Palm. Really.

Even broke down and bought a used IIIXE... which died a month later. I know there is much newer tech out there now, and geeky individual buyers are not the preferred target market. I could probably get this doorstop fixed - but my cell phone and Blackberry are covering the basic PIM and game bases.

And I've never had to reboot the piece of paper in my wallet with all the phone numbers on it. Even a phone with an OS of any complexity makes me nervous. Again, I know they don't care about incidental sales...

This is a toy I would like to be able to con myself into "needing" -but at $300-$400 and formidable network access charges, it isn't that inconvenient to check e-mail with the cell phone or haul the laptop around.

While there many not be many people with the same mindset, I wonder if a $100 price point (for a device with some expansion capabilities) wouldn't get people like me off the fence.


Re:Gadget lust and price points (1)

GarfBond (565331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198484)

Lucky for you, palmone already thought of that: 1/

If $99 is too much for you, then there's a slower, older, less memory version of it for $79.

Granted, there's no backlight or expansion on either of these, but they're cheap.

What I've Gathered (2, Interesting)

Eideteker (641508) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198354)

Palm OS 6, according to [] , is basically redesigned from the ground up to embrace wireless networking. Palm OS 5 is staying because, quite honestly, it works. I never owned an earlier generation PDA, but I swear by my T3. I haven't experienced any of the bugs I hear about from OS 3 users.

Plus, it doubles as my mp3 player to take to work in the morning (with the addition of a handy SD Cruzer drive) and it impresses the heck out of people.

Developers, developers, developers, developers (4, Insightful)

Imperator (17614) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198410)

PalmSource has made a mess of the platform from a developer's perspective. It used to be that all Palm OS systems were more or less the same--slow 68k processor, very small address space, small 160x160 monochrome touch screen. As the technology moved down in price, Palm OS systems started to get improvements like faster ARM processors (endian change!), more memory, and high resolution color screens. The problems are several:

  • The hardware became too varied. Palm OS form resources use absolute positioning, so it's not easy designing a form for different screen resolutions. Having multiple copies of each form is a pain in the ass, both when creating the forms and when writing the code.
  • The APIs became fragmented. Until recently, every device manufacturer with a resolution above 160x160 (or a collapsable input area) had its own API. Some developers of 3rd party apps go out of their way to support all of these--but most just support none.
  • The development tools became too complicated. POSE was great, but now every device seems to requires its own emulator or simulator. Not every simulator makes it to every development platform. It becomes a pain in the ass to test for all the devices out there.
  • Backwards compatibility was either overpursued or underpersued. For the former, consider sysAppLaunchCmdFind. Find is enormously painful to support--no globals, no exceptions, etc. But with the amount of memory in today's machines, there's no reason this launch code can't be accompanied by globals. Then in apps I can't be bothered supporting Find in, I'd be more likely to write the code--though it would only run if I had a launch flag to tell me my globals are present (sysAppLaunchFlagNewGlobals | sysAppLaunchFlagSubCall). For a lack of backwards compatibility, look at VFS.

So in summary, life has been frustrating for Palm OS developers. But the real losers here are the users. What used to be a vibrant community of 3rd party developers has somewhat dried up. People simply aren't writing as many good, device-neutral Palm OS apps as they used to.

Go ahead, mod me -1: Microsoft fan (3, Informative)

zapp (201236) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198423)

Boy are you guys gonna hate me for even suggesting Microsoft....

A lot of people are asking for alternatives to PalmOS... well, how about it's #1 competator: PocketPC?

I have been playing with the HP iPAQs recently, and am trying to find one at a reasonable price, and lemme tell you I am in love.

I owned a Visor Delux back when they came out, and it just sucked after a while. Handwriting was a pain in the ass; the software worked, but was limited; there was no good solution for document editing/viewing; audio, video and networking functions were nonexistant at the time. Even then, the top of the line HP Journadas could play mp3s and had a color screen.

If you want something to replace your pocket pad of paper, go with a palm I guess. If you want a *computer* in your pocket, go with a PocketPC... I personally am drooling over the HP h1945, h2215, and h4155's.

I like my Palm(s)... (3, Interesting)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198479)

I paid $50 for a refurbed Palm m100 about two years ago. The thing is still running, fat, sassy and happy. I now basically run my life on an m125. Again, bought refurbed, this time for $60 after you factor in the rebate.

I had to move to the m125 because there's a glitch in PalmOS before version 3.5.2 that conflicts with certain apps running on MacOS 9.x, and the m100 can't have its OS upgraded because it's burned to ROM. The m125 has PalmOS 4.0.1 burned to ROM and it coexists beautifully with my Mac G3 Blue-and-white, my Windows desktop and my dual-booting Thinkpad 600e.

The thing that really kicks ass about Palm is Palm Desktop. You can still download it from for FREE as in beer (not free as in freedom but what do you expect from a closed-source for-profit software/hardware company like Palm) and it is a great little PIM program regardless of whether you use it for syncing your Palm or just keeping your appointments straight.

Sure, a Zaurus would be able to do more. Yes, PalmOS is crashy and cranky...what do you expect from something that basically is like MacOS before the MultiFinder was born? Still and all, it does what I need it to do, no more, no less.

Most importantly, carrying around my little Palm is easier on the shoulders and back than carrying around a 3 pound paper-and-pencil planner. That you cannot deny.

Don't play OS wargames - be compatible (4, Interesting)

vik (17857) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198546)

I'm a developer of PalmOS and WinCE/PocketPC applications and I realised that fighting any kind of multiple-platform market required a cross-platform tool that works under top-notch IDEs like Eclipse. And there is one. And it's Free.

By writing programs in SuperWaba [] - a cut down Java VM - I avoid most of the crap associated with who has what version of what device. Palm V2.0 to WindowsXP/CE, I have just one application to develop and it runs on all platforms - even in a web browser.

Don't leave home without it :)

Vik :v)

Their strategy should be to _GET_ an OS. (5, Interesting)

MMHere (145618) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198613)

I don't intend this to be a troll.

They don't currently have a RealOS(tm), so why is acquiring/building a real OS considered a change in OS strategy?

When I say they don't have an OS right now, I mean:

- It doesn't do preemptive multitasking, so multiple tasks don't run simultaneously very well. It requires tasks to voluntarily yield, much like MacOS's before OS X. (Palm software people are old Apple software people anyway...) The Palms I've used also did very little in the way of letting multiple tasks run simultaneously. Usually the "top" app is all that's happening (possibly ignoring some interrupt driven background I/O).

- It doesn't have process memory space protection, AFAIK. Without multiple tasks actually running at the same time, this is less of an issue. Palms do, however, "crash" and need to be rebooted sometimes. Certainly this happens more often than on ucLinux PDAs...

If they're making those things possible (and PalmOS 6 is claimed to be "better at multitasking," so it sounds like they are), then it may be worthy of actually calling it an Operating System.

Well, to be pickey... (2, Insightful)

Ghengis (73865) | more than 10 years ago | (#8198687)

having preemptive multitasking, or multitasking period is NOT a requirement for being an OS. Neither is having memory protection. All an OS has to do control (allow) execution of programs and *may* provide various services such as accessing hardware. Now, this doens't mean that an OS without multitasking or memory space protection is any "good", but it is still an OS.
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