15 Jun 97
Various people have reported problems downloading from various mirror sites from time to time so we're adding a few more ASDK mirror sites to the list. All these sites should be fast and reliable: -- thanks to Jay Eno! -- thanks to Walter Perz! -- thanks to Chris Hessing!

5 May 97
The PICnet mirror of the ASDK ( is back up again.

19 Apr 97
A new ASDK distribution site ( has been established to replace the out-of-service mirrors.

1 Feb 97
Wes Cherry has released a new version (1.1) of his Pilot Resource Compiler. This version includes a couple of bug fixes (large numbers of controls), portability enhancements, support for tables, plus some documentation tweaks.

13 Jan 97
Motorola is at again moving files around. If you're looking for the 68000 Family Programmer's Reference Manual (and if you don't have it, you should be) you can find it here.

Andrew Grangaard sent me mail informing me that another set of Motorola documentation for the 68328 has moved as well. You can now find it here (better get it quick before they move it again).

10 Nov 96 - ASDK 1.0 Alpha 1 released!

The Alternative Software Development Kit (download (mirror), view documentation) bundles together the tools, headers, support files, samples and documentation necessary to develop Pilot applications on a PC running Windows 95 or NT. Some highlights of the SDK include:

There's still a lot of work left to build a complete Pilot software development environment but this first release of the ASDK is quite a milestone and provides fully functional tools for creating Pilot applications. Many, many thanks to everyone who contributed to the ASDK, especially Wes Cherry, Greg Hewgill, Matt Peterson, Bill Hunt, and Scott Ludwig.

10 Nov 96 -- ASDK Update
In late June I wrote an article titled Writing Pilot Applications Under Windows in which I detailed what I imagined as the dream PC-based software development kit for building Pilot applications. Then I compared it against what was available at the time -- only some crude tools I wrote that required Visual C++ Macintosh Cross Development Edition ($1999). I included a handful of ideas on how this might be remedied and invited others to join the effort to create tools everyone could afford and use on their PC.

Since then a number of people have combined efforts to create several tools which are being used to create Pilot applications. While we haven't yet reached the dream our progress warrants an update.

GUI Editor
Windows-based editors abound so there are many choices for good program editors. Brad Larson includes a simple editor in his Runway Pilot IDE.

Optimizing C/C++ compiler for 68000
Quite a bit of work has has gone into adapting a Win32 version of the Gnu C compiler (gcc) to create Pilot applications. To follow the progress of this development effort or to contribute your skills please join the pilot.programmer.gcc newsgroup (news://

68000 Assembler
Darrin Massena (me!) has created an assembler named Pila that assembles 68000 assembly language code and incorporates inline or external resources into an executable Pilot PRC file. See the Pila News page for more information.

Resource creation and editing tools
Wes Cherry has written a tool that compiles a textual description of UI resources into Pilot-compatible binary resources and another tool to display a graphical preview of Pilot form resources. The binary resources can then be included by Pila and other tools. See the PilRC readme for more information.

Linker to bind object files together with resource files to produce a Pilot PRC
A separate linker has not been written but Pila can do most of this job by binding together arbitrary code and data resources into a Pilot PRC file.

Integrated project management and build system
See Windows-based IDE below.

Graphical debugger with remote debugging of Pilot
Not implemented. The desire has been expressed to upgrade Copilot's debugger (see below) to a rich graphical interface but nothing has been completed along those lines yet.

Pilot Emulator, debuggable from GUI debugger
Greg Hewgill has created the amazing Copilot Pilot Emulator. Copilot executes on the PC and emulates the 68328 CPU and the Pilot hardware. Under this virtual machine it executes a copy of the Pilot ROM (which you must supply yourself) for the ultimate in faithful reproduction. The emulator goes beyond the API simulator USRobotics provides for the Mac which is known for its incompatibilities with real Pilots.

Copilot also incorporates a debugger and is the way to debug Pilot applications or gain insights into the PalmOS. See Greg's Copilot Home Page for more information.

Support tools (e.g., automatic downloading of built apps)
A number of support tools have been written. PilDis is a 68328 disassembler. prc2bin is a tool for extracting the component resources from a Pilot PRC file. prc2bmp can be used to extract the icon from an PRC file and convert it into a Windows bitmap.

Wizard for creating a 'standard' application template
No effort has gone into this yet.

USRobotics PalmOS header files, samples, and documentation
USRobotics has graciously offered their PalmOS headers and the MemoPad sample application for inclusion in the ASDK. They retain their copyright and have stipulated that anyone wanting to redistribute the header files outside of the ASDK (e.g., with another development kit or language) must first get permission from them (

The PalmOS documentation is now available to everyone from USRobotics' FTP site (

Online help for APIs
USRobotics' documentation (see above) is provided as Adobe Acrobat PDF files which, although far from ideal, are viewable and searchable online. In addition, Matt Peterson has created PilotAPI.hlp, a Pilot API reference in Windows Help format.

Windows-based IDE (Integrated Development Environment) integrating all of the above seamlessly
As mentioned above, Brad Larson has begun work on a Windows IDE for Pilot developers. As of this writing (Alpha 1) it loosely integrates source editing, assembling, and debugging.

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