Odd ideas that I've had lately...

From: John Boffemmyer IV <john_boffemmyer_iv_at_boff-net.dhs.org>
Date: Sat Feb 8 19:46:00 2003

Roger: first off: serial/usb isn't really built in. you have to plop it
into a cradle to get the usb/serial connection or get a usb/serial adaptor
to plug into the palm, it is NOT built in on most models that I know of.
Second, the idea of the mini portable PC is to take something slightly
larger than a palm and give it some real power so you can connect it to
anything you feel like it in the field. Say, I go over to Sridhar's house
and decide I want to grab the docs on an old DECServer, most palms don't
have the storage space or interface unless you go find a program written
for the machine you are on and have an IR port or happen to have a Palm
cradle for that model (nowadays one cradle does NOT fit all). A mini-PC
portable, like the idea I had, would have standard built-in interfaces that
would allow for this, plus the needed storage space. Like simple FTP'ing
the data over a standard tcp/ip protocol on the built-in Ethernet or such,
this would make portable data sharing easier. You know, something to do
more, have actual standards and work better (much like some of the
ClassicComps we all know and love). This is why I was considering RISC or
such, since it is technically Classic technology and will allow for already
existing programs, O/S's, hardware, etc. to be used. I cannot make claims
as to the Visors of today or past since I've only worked with two older
models and both were much like Palms where you had to have a cradle or an
add-on. I agree with the idea of OS9 for your 68k, it will be more complex
and troublesome than it is worth and an alternative would be more effective
in your situation. At least someone else still reads the goodie mags. The
Palm3c battery can be changed out on your own if you can get the housing
opened on it. There are actually a few companies that make the cells for
them. Might be worth a look-up. My father had one of the original Palm
Pilots. There was no built-in serial on it. It had the Serial cradle which
obviously required a PC or Mac to plug into and was kinda buggy until later
releases 6 months later. As for just an adaptor cable to go directly to
serial or usb; yes, there are some, but you then need software to make them
work and they don't always work either (IE a few demos I saw at TechX at
the Jacob Javitz Convention Center in NYC in 2000. A company making Palm
adaptor cables had the PalmVx fail to work right with a serial cable hooked
into an HP desktop. Obviously, they left after the 2nd day). Though, I do
agree, Palm and Visor should release the schematics and possibly the Palm
O/S source to the older units such as the Pilot and the IIIc's. It would
help the open source community and us hobby guys would then have something
to tinker with when our Vaxen or what-have-you are down due to oversized
power bills or missing/broken parts. If need be, maybe we can put our heads
together and work jointly on getting something going on classic Palms (they
passed the big 10 now, haven't they?). I'd like to tinker with these
buggers since they are technically just modified old Macs/PCs crammed down
into a tiny size and are nifty if you play with them enough. If interested,
contact me off-list.
-John Boffemmyer IV

Founder, Lead Writer, Tech Analyst
and Web Designer Boff-Net Technologies

At 01:26 AM 2/7/2003, you wrote:
>At 21:04 02/06/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>>I was sitting at home reading my latest copy of Mouser (component catalog)
>As I have done most recently... ;-)
>> Palms and Visors...
>I've had a somewhat different _psycho-wacky_ idea -- what would it take to
>get OS-9/68K ported to the Palm? I have a Palm 3c with a partially dead
>battery, twiddling it's thumbs, which would make a decent "play-palm"...
>uClinux looks too bulky & slow, compared to OS-9...
>Anyone here work for Radisys/MicroWare... Any chance they'd sell hobbyist
>source licenses??? :-)
>One bad thing with this is I did some googling earlier today (for sh*ts &
>grins) and there's not a ton of info about the internals of the Palms
>(things like memory maps, display access parameters, etc...) out there...
>>...but the palm doesn't have built in USB or Ethernet or Serial,
>Ahem, *all* the older Palms (up to & including the 3C) had built-in
>Serial, and the newer ones have built-in USB... mind you, you need a
>Handspring with it's built-in CF slot to get ethernet...
>> you are stuck with a bulky add-on or a cradle...
>Or just a cable... been on the open market for years... :-)
>>...possibly SCSI on a standard AT board in as small a size as possible
>>while enabling use of as many slots in the back of an AT case for the
>>AGPx, PCI and ISA. I was thinking of using something like an AMD-based
>>Ethernet chip with the prototype board's VIA motherboard chipset. Anyone
>>have comments?
>Why? Just to have a very small computer? If so, there's a new "standard"
>out that about 1/2 the size of a Micro-ATX board... the whole computer's
>about 9-10" high... Available in Athlon & Pentium4 flavors...
>... If you were looking at the slower machines to save money, the custom
>mobo's will cure that...
>Just more assorted ramblings... ;-)
>Roger "Merch" Merchberger
Received on Sat Feb 08 2003 - 19:46:00 GMT

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