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Palm & Linux ancedote

Well, I've been playing around when I should have been working, again.</p>

This time, I've been playing with a Palm m100. I've never owned a PDA and I just received this one from someone that wasn't using it. The m100 has 2 mb of memory on board. For Linux, the excellent jpilot management software was a great first experience -- it can do everything the Palm official software can do, and more.

While searching for software I found lost of great stuff including instructions on using AvantGo with Linux and your Palm. AvantGo allows you to download promo content and MapQuest maps to your Palm. Some other things I downloaded: SciCalc, a scientific calculator with mathlib; a world clock; a measurement converter; a file manager; a check book; a GNU encrypted password manager; a prioritization manager; a TV remote emmulator and Plucker.

Plucker deserves more time being covered than all of the others combined. First, a little history: the closest I've ever come to owning a PDA is a TI-92 Plus scientific calculator with 2mb of memory and the Motoral 68K processor. While the specs were nice and the qwerty keyboard was a plus, the TIOS leaves something to be desired. All of the applications and games written for TI calcs are written in assembly. This means a higher learning curve and less overall software available for download. For three months, I tried to find a way to efficiently convert documents stored in HTML or TXT in to a binary that a text viewer on the calculator could parse to no avail. Plucker is just that for the Palm.

The Plucker text browser weighs in at 187kb and features fully customizable rendering and a very intuitive interface. It has a crossplatform python-based utility that's very similar to wget's "web suck" ability. Basically, you give it an HTML file, a maximum spider depth and other restrictions and it goes, collects all documents and compiles them in to a zlib compressed binary for download to the Palm.

I happened to have a copy of the excellent book Applied Cryptography on my system. I pointed plucker there: three minuets later I had all 650 pages of the book in a 800kb binary. It's fully linked, includes all graphics and displays quite nicely.

I'm impressed. I'm going to keep looking for the other books I own in HTML format. It would be nice to have some of the references I use on a weekly basis in my pocket all of the time... I'm going to need more memory, though. :)

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jasondclinton
Jason D. Clinton

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