Handspring and springboard practical uses in 2016

Discussion in 'Palm' started by greenshoe, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. SyncRaven

    SyncRaven Mobile Deity

    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    103
    There are a couple kinds of storage springboard modules. One is just a standard handspring "backup" module like this one:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-8mb-Fla...134962?hash=item2363bc3872:g:oHEAAOSw3ydVhMTQ

    That just makes a single snapshot of your visor that can be restored in full at a later point (like a windows restore point).

    Then there is the standard "flash" modules which lets you move apps and databases to a card and lets you run those apps directly on the card.

    The best one, however, is the memplug which supports making multiple "snapshot" backups on a single card AND can also run apps right from the card.
    You can read about it here:
    http://www.visorcentral.com/content/Stories/98-1.htm

    It comes in several flavors depending on the memory card used (compact flash, sony memorystick and smartmedia memory cards).
    The compact flash version is the most dependable since compact flash cards are seriously durable and last for years.

    So I definitely recommend finding yourself a memplug compactflash - they are rare but occasionally show up on ebay from time to time (often they are bundled with visors, so if you search "handspring visor memplug" you might find some).

    Your plan sounds pretty good to me. There are even some apps, like documents to go 6, that can write native word files.
    So in theory if you could find a good document editing app you could just write directly to the memplug with your native word or text files.. which then transfered to your computer would be usable directly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
    raspabalsa likes this.
  2. SyncRaven

    SyncRaven Mobile Deity

    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Hope I didn't scare you regarding the discussion about the memory capacitor :). They are very dependable and the problem is rare even on visors with the original capacitor. I was just saying if you ever run into a problem I could probably help you since I have experience repairing them.
    You really can't beat the visor for dependability with the aaa batteries :)..

    Next yes every new windows version makes it more difficult to work with palm desktop. Personally I have a copy of windows xp running in virtualbox, which I have palm desktop loaded into so no matter what version of windows/linux i'm using for my main os I always have a stable palm friendly os that I can sync with. The beauty of using virtualbox for your palm desktop setup is you can move the virtualbox image to any computer with no downtime & you can make backups of the virtualbox image so if the palm desktop setup ever crashes you can just rollback to one of your virtualbox backups.
    It took a little extra effort setting up in the first place but saves a lot of grief later.
     
  3. SyncRaven

    SyncRaven Mobile Deity

    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Another thing, if you do find a memplug send me a PM since I have memplug update files I can send you to get your memplug card up to the latest stables version, which gives you some critical features.

    Those files are not currently available on the web since the original company is no longer online.
     
  4. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

    Messages:
    9,756
    Likes Received:
    10,257
    Trophy Points:
    288
    You don't *need* to tinker with the TX to keep using it. Several users here have their TXs in good working condition without tinkering. What I meant to say is that you can repair or improve the TX by yourself, should you want or need to do it. This appplies to any and every Palm model: they are easy to modify, compared to today's devices. I've modded the following models: T|T1, T|T2, T|T3, T|E, TX, T5, T|E2, mostly to increase battery capacity, but also to add other hardware features.
    The Palm Universal Keyboard is fragile because it has a hinge to fold it in half. The rest of the keyboard had a very good build. A non-folding model should be sturdy enough.
    I don't have experience with the springboard modules, so I can't tell what they can or can't do. But there must be manuals online to let you learn what you can install or store in them.

    As for the SD card, you can store anything in them. This doesn't mean the Visor will be able to read all of it, though. You'll need the proper PalmOS app for every kind of file you store. Be sure to check the maximum SD card size the springboard can hold, I'm guessing 1GB may be the maximum size, but look for info about this. SDHC or SDXC cards are out of the question. Only later devices (NVFS models) could use SDHC cards via a 3rd-party driver.

    Yes, it can be problematic, but if properly installed, it will work. PalmDesktop can work even with Windows 10, which I have on both my desktop and laptop.
     
    SyncRaven and Hook like this.
  5. SyncRaven

    SyncRaven Mobile Deity

    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    103
    I'm pretty sure there is no SD card based springboard modules - it was really before SD technology bloomed.
    Just compactflash, smartmedia and sony memory sticks based modules.
    But you can use a memory card reader to access any of those formats on your computer.
     
    raspabalsa likes this.
  6. greenshoe

    greenshoe Mobile Enthusiast

    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    3
    So the latest is that my memplug for smartmedia came. The compactflash and memorystick modules were too scarce. Also came the smartmedia. Still waiting on my smartmedia reader so I can copy files to and from media and my computer.

    I successfully backed up my Neo. I had plugged in the OmniSky earlier just to see what would happen and it left behind a slew of files and apps. So I cold reset it and copied back only the files I wanted - Datebook+ and the Keyboard program and preferences. This worked flawlessly and I saw my daily journal in the datebook.

    I then used the memplug on my deluxe and copied back those same ones and saw that work as well. So it seems the only sync capability I need can be accomplished with files - copying to and from.

    @SyncRaven, I'll check to see what the version is currently of the memplug. I do seem to have the option to move applications to the card and run from there. I don't know what other fuctions would be available in later versions.

    @raspabalsa jogged my memory and I saw a capacitor through the transparent casing on the Handspring. I had forgotten you could remove the batteries and put in new ones without losing memory as long as you did it quickly enough. Is this the capacitor you are talking about on the Palm TX? when it goes bad, I guess you lose that capability and also you lose continuity so that you must replace the capacitor to be able to use the device at all. That is an easy enough maintenance to do for me. Not ideal, but that's plenty easy and I see there is plenty of space to work in.

    I seem to be pretty close to my end state. I just need to do some things around reliability. Maybe you know the answers to these:

    1. I expect I'l wear out the springboard connector eventually. So it would be best to leave the memplug always plugged in. I also notice that the springboard is not recognized unless media is inserted at least in this smartmedia model. Is more battery being consumed with this springboard in? I'll monitor and find out, but I'd assume the answer is no or not much.

    2. I gather smartmedia is less reliable. There seems to be plenty to buy up, but it may be 15 years old new in the box? It probably wouldn't hurt to find some spares. Not a question really, just an observation.

    3. what new functions are there in later versions of memplug?

    4. As these functions are all coming back to me now, I must resist the urge to tinker. :) I have to remind myself that this has a very specific purpose. I don't need to be imagining ways I can use TCP/IP over IR to a linux box, and <insert impracticality here>, though clearly the temptation is there...

    5. what readers do you like / did you like? any recommendations or applications to share? for ebooks, any format, etc. And where do you like to download these now? I have only used a kindle app myself for reading and haven't ventured far yet.

    Thanks!
     
  7. greenshoe

    greenshoe Mobile Enthusiast

    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Ah! And, to bring it back to the larger question I have and you have helped me to so far identify two uses that handspring would be suited for even today 15 years later.

    What other applicatinos come to mind that would be of use today? Did you have a proliferation of apps back then that you couldn't do with out? How many of them still have a niche today?

    Also, what new applications haven't been coded that could still be of use today on a Handspring or palm device?

    I know this is a bit of a stretch, but while we are on the topic - might as well think it through.
     
  8. Tom LaPrise

    Tom LaPrise Absent-Minded Professor

    Messages:
    2,724
    Likes Received:
    798
    Trophy Points:
    288
    Chuckling to myself a little... I still have my Visor Deluxe and 8MB Flash Springboard. I paid $79 for that Springboard... recently paid $10 less for a 128GB MicroSDXC card for my phone.

    I liked Planetarium, RiseSet (for figuring out where & when the Sun would rise or set for photography), iSilo for reference "books" and reading, and HellClock just for silliness.
     
    scjjtt and RickAgresta like this.
  9. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

    Messages:
    9,756
    Likes Received:
    10,257
    Trophy Points:
    288
    Actually, that capacitor is not present on the TX or other models that use non-volatile memory (NVFS). It's not needed because NVFS devices by definition do not require power to keep memory contents. Older, RAM-based devices do need power all the time. RAM-based models that use batteries do need that capacitor so the memory won't be wiped. The capacitor stores charge that should be enough for a few seconds, assuming the user has the new batteries ready to install. In practice, that capacitor fails with age, so the instant the user removes the batteries the RAM loses power and is wiped. But yes, it can be replaced. You can try contacting Chris Short to see if he has spares, and it would be a good idea to order a couple of them so you won't be caught without one if/when the one in your Visor fails.

    Back in the day I used iSilo, eReader, PalmPDF, and TiBR to read books. There used to be a huge library available on memoware.com, but it's been pulled off. You can check Project Gutenberg for free books, and there are other libraries available (check google). However, if you already used Kindle then IMO you'll have much better results with it: higher resolution, faster rendering, more modern formats available, etc. I used to have a large library of books for my Palm, but when I migrated to Android I gradually converted my books to epub format to read with Moon Reader or Calibre.

    There still are applications where the PalmOS excels (and I mean really excels). Calculators is one of them. I've tried lots of calculators on Android, and even purchased two or three, but even adding their features up they don't match the power and features of powerOne Graph calculator on my TX. I've even had to put my Android phone aside in annoyance and pick my TX to do certain calculations. However, I don't think you can buy powerOne for PalmOS anymore.

    Remote controllers is another good application for a PalmOS device. My TX with NoviiRemote works very well with my 4-device audio/video setup. However, in this field I think Android devices are slowly catching up.

    Be sure to check the PalmOS sub-forum here. You'll find sections for games and applications, with tons of tips and app recommendations.
     
    RickAgresta and scjjtt like this.
  10. greenshoe

    greenshoe Mobile Enthusiast

    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    3
    @Tom LaPrise , wow - Planetarium is still around: http://www.aho.ch/pilotplanets/, with a manual, lots of information and downloads. Cool that you can control your telescope with it too. One nice thing about having something like this in the field is the low intensity of the screen. I remember going with an astronomical society in 2000 out to Ft. McKavitt in Texas where there really were dark skies. Guys would have their laptops with the red cellophane to keep the glare down, both for visibility and to keep light away from telescopes which were being used to do very long exposures for photography. So maybe still an application there for that. Also their batteries would be dying.
     
    RickAgresta and scjjtt like this.

Share This Page