Old News

19 Aug 97 - Adam's Pilot Software Archive gone

In the early Pilot days (I'm such an old-timer) it didn't take long for a number of sites to pop up cataloging the few available Pilot applications. Most of them had clunky user interfaces or, worse, failed to keep up with the accelerating pace of new software releases. Adam's Pilot Software Archive was different. It was always up to date with a complete list of software formatted to make it easy to see what was new and be able to download it quickly. I liked it

All good things eventually come to an end and so it is with Adam's site. Unable to find the time to keep up with the flood of new Pilot software coming out, Adam has decided to pass the torch to another site and move on to new Pilot software development challenges. Hey Adam, thanks for the time you put into your site. Good luck with your new ventures.

Adam is now pointing users to PilotGear's site which has also been doing an excellent job tracking the latest in Pilot software happenings. While PilotGear lacks the lean-and-mean-ness of Adam's site and is often quite slow it is nonetheless a very rich and complete resource. So, I've changed my above link ("Download lots of cool Pilot software") to point to www.pilotgear.com. I think you'll like it.

10 Aug 97 - Pilot Programming FAQ released by Wade Hatler

New users arrive at my site every day on a quest to learn how to write software for their Pilots. As the amount of information and the number of viable Pilot development systems has increased so has the need for a FAQ that pulls together the answers so many people are seeking. It's been on my list for awhile to create such a FAQ but I haven't been able to afford the additional time investment that maintaining a high quality FAQ requires.

Well now the void is filled! Wade Hatler has taken on the task and produced an excellent Pilot Programming FAQ. His FAQ is a work in progress but already covers most the questions I see (and believe me, I see plenty). If you are wondering how to get started writing software for your Pilot, begin with Wade's FAQ and it will lead you to the various languages, systems, and tools you'll need to get the job done. Wade's home page is also a good source of Pilot info, programming and otherwise.

3 Aug 97 - Win32 GCC 0.5.0 released by John J. Lehett

This much improved release of the Gnu C Compiler and Pilot tools for Windows includes everything you need to get started writing Pilot applications under Windows 95 or NT. For FREE you get a C compiler (gcc), a resource compiler (pilrc), an editor (emacs), a debugger (gdb), a Pilot emulator (Copilot), a tutorial (yay!), and the latest Palm OS 2.0 header files. Some nice sugar-coating has been added to this release but it's still gcc under the surface and a fairly complex system so if you have troubles getting it up and running head on over to the pilot.programmer.gcc newsgroup. Try John J. Lehett's website for the latest Win32 GCC news and links to download sites.

20 Jul 97 - Palm OS 2.0 Developer Documentation and Header Files released by Palm Computing

You can download the latest documentation and header files direct from their usr.com site. Windows users should download ossdkwin.zip (2.86 megs!) and Macintosh users ossdkmac.sit.hqx. Included in the compressed archives are:

NOTE: No development tools are included with this SDK. You'll still need CodeWarrior, GCC, Jump, Pila or the like to make use of its contents. These headers are adapted to Metrowerk's CodeWarrior and will need some tweaking to be directly used by other tools.

21 Jun 97 - Article: My CodeWarrior Journal, Japanese Translation by Takeshi Sugiyama

Takeshi thought my ongoing CodeWarrior report would be of interest to many Japanese PalmPilot developers and has kindly translated it into Japanese. Does anyone know how I can get the appropriate (Kana?) glyphs to show in Internet Explorer? I think I need a new font.

21 Jun 97 - Article: TCP-IP With the Palm OS by Ray Rischpater

This article, published by Handheld Systems, gives a nice overview of the TCP/IP functionality built in to PalmPilot Pros. The good news is that aside from a couple of PalmOS-specific calls to initialize the network library, Palm has decided to closely follow the Berkeley Socket API. If you've already done some Socket programming, you can apply your knowledge directly to the Pilot.

15 Jun 97 - Article: The PRC Format by Theodore Ts'o

USRobotics has never been forthcoming with the necessary details of the PRC file's format. This information is crucial for authors of development tools that generate PRC files or utilities that process PRC files in one way or another. Why don't they publish it? Major platform vendors (e.g., Windows, Mac, UNIX) carefully document their executable image formats and publish this information to encourage the development of tools that can produce proper executables. I'm sure the Windows CE image format is not kept a mystery from software vendors who wish to create development tools for CE devices.

When I started writing my Win32 .exe to .prc converter (over a year ago!) I had to disassemble several PRCs and the Pilot's ROM to discover the layout of the PRC and the meaning of enough of the header and data bytes to be able to create my own PRCs from scratch (clue: this was not easy). Although the executables produced by my tools run great, I could never be certain that I didn't misinterpret something and while my executables happen to work on today's PalmOS devices they might be incompatible with future PalmOS devices or releases. (Actually, the burden of compatibility shifts from the ISV to the platform vendor once an application becomes popular because users will always blame the platform vendor if an updated OS release causes existing applications to break, no matter whose 'fault' it is.)

While I'm twisted enough to enjoy discovering the secrets of the PRC format the hard way, most rational people have better things to do with their time. I was not rigorous enough to document my findings and most of my knowledge of the PRC format now lies embedded in my tools. So now what? You guessed it, another brave hacker has come to save the day! Theodore Ts'o has been cracking down the PRC and documenting his findings. His web page, The PRC Format, digs into all the great dirt and shows you what's really going on inside that file. Now that Ted has done most the work for USRobotics, the least they could do is have one of their engineers review his document, fill in the few remaining holes, and bless it as the official PRC file format henceforth.

15 Jun 97 - Catching up

I've fallen way behind in updating this page on the various Pilot software development happenings that have been going on so I'll do a quick dump of useful tidbits here and get caught up. Send me mail with any other items of interest you think other Pilot developers would want to know and I'll pass the info along.

Several Pilot development tools have been updated:

PilRC, the Pilot Resource Compiler, has gone through a few revisions and is now at version 1.5. If you're using an older version like the one included in the ASDK, it's time to update. Head on over to Wes Cherry's PilRC page for the latest details and download.

John J. Lehett has updated his GCC Win32 port for Pilot to support floating point math, more C library functions and to eliminate the funky macros that used to be required. His latest version is 0.4.1. See the GCC Win32 Port For Pilot page for details.

cbasPad, a subset of BASIC for the Pilot, is now up to version 0.77. From Ron's Pilot Palmtop Info Page: "Features include trig and log functions, playing sounds and morse code, simple graphics, and serial port support". All sorts of BASIC programs have migrated to cbasPad. Check out Tan Kok Mun's Pilot BASIC page.

Copilot, the Pilot Emulator, has been upgraded by (at least) two different people to support emulation of the new PalmPilots. Hopefully the best features of both major versions will be merged together into a single unified version going forward. Heath Hunnicutt was the first to fill the void after the PalmPilot was released and has added some nice features to Copilot 1.0 beta 13h (see Heath's Copilot page). Since then Greg Hewgill, the original author of Copilot, has released version Beta 9 on his Copilot page. If you plan to use either version of Copilot you'll need to copy the PalmPilot ROM image from your Pilot to the PC. Greg Hewgill's updated getrom2 is by far the easiest way to do this (short of software piracy).

Several web sites are now catering to Pilot software developers in one way or another:

Ray's USR Pilot Software Archive has two archive categories of interest to the Pilot developer, Development and Development Source Sample. 'Development' lists and links to most of the freely available Pilot development tools and 'Development Source Sample' lists available sample source code (15 programs at last count).

Andrew Howlett also has a page covering C & PILA Source Code which has nice write-ups on each of the programs.

My personal favorite Pilot software archive site, Adam's PalmPilot Software Archive, now has a section for Pilot Software Development Tools.

7 Jun 97 - Article: My CodeWarrior Journal by Darrin Massena

I received my copy of Metrowerk's CodeWarrior for Pilot DR2 last week and have begun putting it to the test. Do Windows users finally have a complete commercial Pilot software development environment? Is it worth $369 more than the alternative solutions? Read My CodeWarrior Journal and find out.

3 May 97 - "My Dog Ate My Pilot" by Jeff Lipsman

Normally I only post information of particular relevance to Pilot software developers but when I came across this one I laughed out loud and had to share. Check out the picture:

"Jeff Lipsman <Xjeff@dataflight.com> wrote in article <33569063.D0D@dataflight.com>...
Yes, it is true, my Weimaraner ate my new Pilot Professional. I only left the house for a minute. She went into the bedroom, nabbed the Pilot off of the nightstand, walked back to her lair, and had lunch. There were only scraps left of the leather case.

She was very contrite when I came back home, but I couldn't figure out why until later that evening. I was looking for the Pilot when I suddenly remembered her guilty looks earlier in the day.

I have to give it to USR. Her teeth punctured the back of the case, and she broke the glass screen, but she didn't puncture or tear the plastic that covers the screen, so no glass got out.

Follow the link to see a picture. Maybe it would make good desktop wallpaper. It's not much good for anything else.


--Jeff Lipsman
Dataflight Software, Inc."

3 May 97 - USRobotics Pilot Technical Information & Support

It's been awhile since I mentioned this page on the USRobotics InHand Developers' Zone web site. If you haven't already, take a look at the stuff posted there. In addition to pointers to the Technical Brief and Minehunt source code mentioned below, you'll find Stu Slack's article on writing Pilot conduits, information on registering your application's creator ID, technical support email addresses, and several other technical publications of the tutorial/cookbook sort.

3 May 97 - PalmPilot Developer Technical Brief posted by USRobotics

This technical brief (and they do mean brief) lists new PalmPilot features, pitfalls for existing applications when running on a PalmPilot (Palm OS 2.0), backward compatibilty for 2.0 applications, conduit issues, and a few other small changes and things Pilot developers will want to know. Not mentioned is how to take advantage of any of the new Palm OS 2.0 features.

3 May 97 - Source code to Minehunt released by USRobotics

Minehunt is written in 'C' using the CodeWarrior Pilot DR1 SDK. Even if you don't have the tools to recompile it yourself there is plenty to be learned by reading the source code.

3 May 97 - More CodeWarrior for PalmPilot info

Monday I'm ordering a copy of CodeWarrior for PalmPilot DR2. It is said to run on Windows 95/NT as well as the Macintosh though not without bugs. $369 alone or $549 bundled with a PalmPilot Pro. You can find the details on Metrowerks site.

19 Apr 97 - New ASDK Mirror is up

I've received a lot of email from people who have been unable to download the ASDK from the two mirror sites that were established several months ago. Apparently they are no longer in service! Not to worry, Brad Clements has graciously offered to play as a new download host of the ASDK. Now the latest ASDK (still Alpha 1, 900K) can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.murkworks.com/pub/asdk/asdk1a1.zip. Thank you Brad!

14 Apr 97 - Metrowerks SDK + PalmPilot Professional Bundle

This looks like a great deal. For $549 you get a PalmPilot Professional, the current version (DR1) of the Metrowerks/USR SDK (Macintosh only), and when it is available the new (DR2) SDK for both Mac and Windows! DR2 availability will be announced within two weeks. See Metrowerks' press release for details.

2 Feb 97 - European Mirror of Pilot Development Tools established by Holger Klawitter

Over the months a few European users have reported problems getting reliable downloads of various Pilot software development tools from the United States. Holger Klawitter has set up a German site with copies of the more popular Pilot development tools (ASDK, Copilot, etc). The descriptions on the page are in German (fun!) but the files are unaltered. Go get 'em!

1 Feb 97 - PilRC 1.1 released by Wes Cherry

The latest version of Wes Cherry's Pilot Resource Compiler includes a couple of bug fixes (large numbers of controls), portability enhancements, support for tables, plus some documentation tweaks.

1 Feb 97 - Pila 1.0 Beta 3 for Unix + Source Code released by Damien Neil

Unix users have been pestering me for awhile to port Pila to Unix so they could join the Pilot programming party. Damien Neil has taken charge and ported Pila himself! Now Unix users (Linux at least) can use Pila and Jump (which requires Pila) to program the Pilot in assembly language or Java.

This release includes the 'C' source code to Pila which may even still compile for Win32 (I haven't tried it). Damien reports he's had positive results using the port in concert with Jump under Linux. Nothing fancy, this is a no frills release to help get Unix developers off the ground. For further discussion of the port, head on over to the pilot.programmer.pila newsgroup (news://news.massena.com/pilot.programmer.pila).

1 Feb 97 - Pila Source Code Page established by Andrew Howlett

Andew Howlett has set up a page with links to source code for Pila (assembly language) applications. If you have any source code you're willing to share, send your contributions to howlett@iosphere.net. The more we share the more we all benefit!

1 Feb 97 - Pilot File Dump 1.0 released by Pat Beirne

Pat Beirne has been hacking away at all sorts of neat Pilot stuff including the Generic Conduit Manager (can perform a complete backup of your Pilot data and applications), THE HotSync FAQ (very nice), and now Pilot File Dump. Pilot File Dump runs on the PC and dumps the contents of .prc/.pdb files to make it easier for you to pry out their secrets. Source code is included (yay!). Get all the details on Pat's Temporary Home Page.

1 Feb 97 - Hardware & Stuff mentioned in the Wall Street Journal!

Back in August '96 Luiz Coutinho sent me mail to let me know that he'd ripped his Pilot apart, discovered many interesting things, and wanted to share his knowledge with the Pilot community. I offered to host a web page designed by him on my site and so was born Luiz Coutinho's Hardware & Stuff. This Thursday's edition (30 Jan 97) of the Wall Street Journal had this to say about it in the Watching the Web column: "Curious about the guts of your Pilot? Don't break out a screwdriver; head to this site. Full-color photos depict every component and explain what they do. For the intractably curious, though, there are instructions on how to crack open the case." Congratulations Luiz!

19 Jan 97 - Pilot Software Archive adds Pilot Software Development Tools section

Adam Deaves' site has long been my favorite place to go to find out what new Pilot software is hitting the streets. Now he's added a new category for Pilot software development tools and source code, yay! For details on most of those tools, head on over to my Tools and Articles page.

19 Jan 97 - Pilot Icon Editor 0.01 Beta 1 released by Brad Goodman

Gcc users tired of hacking out icons by hand (or reusing the same icon over and over) can now use Brad Goodman's Pilot Icon Editor to do the job. Users of Pila and Jump have a choice of using Pilot Icon Editor or continue with standard Windows bitmap editing tools (Pila automatically converts 'WBMP' resources from Windows to Pilot format).

19 Jan 97 - Pilot Studio 0.2 released by Alain Falanga

In the beginning we had no tools at all for creating Pilot applications on the PC. Then came Pila and PilRC making it possible but sadly painful for those with limited assembly language expertise and/or limited patience. Then along came Jump, bringing the comforts of a high-level language to the PC Pilot development community. But many developers had become accustomed to the even greater level of comfort provided by Windows integrated development environments that are a part of every major PC development tool today.

Alain Falanga aims to provide the same comforts for developers of Pilot applications. His new environment, Pilot Studio, wraps Pila, PilRC, Jump, and Copilot with a Windows user interface to provide convenient access to these tools, tool/environment options, your source code, assembly/compilation, and online help. Don't be surprised if you run into problems (version 0.2, after all) but I think you'll like Pilot Studio and where it's headed. Let's help Alain shake out the bugs by testing Pilot Studio thoroughly and passing along detailed bug reports, ideas for improvements, and general encouragement.

You can read more about Pilot Studio from Alain's Pilot Studio Page. If you have thoughts on Pilot Studio you want to share with the rest of the Pilot development community, head on over to the pilot.programmer newsgroup (news://news.massena.com/pilot.programmer).

19 Jan 97 - Compact Application Solution Language Demo released by CASLsoft

From CASLsoft's demo README: "CASL (Compact Application Solution Language) is a high-level language specifically designed to allow developers to quickly create applications for small computer environments, such as PDAs. This demonstration package contains a set of CASL example programs (both their source code and their executable PRC files) and the CASL runtime interpreter needed to run CASL programs."

From their site: "When released, the first version of the CASL Interactive Development Environment (CASL_IDE) will contain tools to edit and compile CASL source programs, run CASL programs under Windows, convert a compiled CASL program to a PRC file, and and [sic] install a CASL/PRC file into the Pilot."

The CASL development system isn't available yet (expected to be released by the end of February) but it sounds promising. You can read more about it on their site www.caslsoft.com.

1 Jan 97 - PDA Developers magazine is renamed to Handheld Systems Journal

Handheld Systems is a bimonthly printed magazine targeted at developers of (surprise!) handheld systems like Windows CE, Newton, GEOS, Magic Cap, and most importantly, the Pilot. Every one of the last several issues has at least one Pilot programming article which puts it ahead of any other magazine I know of. Excerpts from Handheld Systems are available online including these articles of particular interest to Pilot developers: Unix and Pilots by Kevin Flynn, Hacking the Pilot by Edward Keyes, WorldTime - A Pilot World Clock by Steve Mann, Pilot Programming Primer by Steve Mann, and Palm Ups the Ante with Pilot by Steve Mann.

1 Jan 97 - Solutions 0.1 (a shared library mechanism) released by Russell Y. Webb

Given the limited amount of memory each Pilot has you'd think the PalmOS designers would have given priority to devising a means by which common code (aside from the OS itself) could be shared by several applications to save memory. Another advantage of shared libraries is that they can be upgraded independently from the applications that use them (though this certainly has its pitfalls). USRobotics wasn't able to get such a feature into PalmOS 1.0 so along comes Russell Webb to fill the hole. Russ is proposing a solution to become the standard mechanism by which Pilot applications bind to and call shared library functions. Please read his proposal and let him know what you think -- a good solution to the shared library problem will benefit Pilot developers and users alike.

1 Jan 97 - Metrowerks SDK + Pilot 5000 Bundle

Barry Berman of Metrowerks informed me that Metrowerks is still providing a deal for Pilot developers. For US$299 you get a Pilot 5000, CodeWarrior for Pilot (only runs on a Mac!), the Conduit SDK (only runs on Windows!), Pilot Desktop for the Mac, a debugger cable, and they toss in a t-shirt too! This is a pretty good deal if you want the SDK and is actually US$11 cheaper than buying the SDK without the Pilot 5000 (seems strange to me too). Think of it as buying the SDK for $299 and having a Pilot 5000 and a t-shirt thrown in for free. Follow this link for details.

Now if only they could get CodeWarrior and the Pilot SDK running on the PC...

1 Jan 97 - Happy New Year!

Wow, 1996 was a lot of fun. Two big events for me were getting a Pilot and starting this Web site. The Pilot has been a blast and although USRobotics' offerings for software developers have been severely limited that just provided more opportunities for some fun hacking and creating my own tools. Other hackers have taken up the cause and there are now free Java, C, and assembler tools for developing and debugging Pilot software on PCs.

Putting this site together has also been a kick. Pilot Software Development first came on-line June 27th, 1996. In early September I bought some software (IIS Assistant) to help me track usage statistics for my site. Back then I was averaging ~300 "users" a day (IISA counts each unique IP address hitting the site that day as a "user" -- not entirely accurate but closer than most measurements). The week of December 15 daily usage averaged 672 users and on December 30th a record 962 users visited this site! Looks like quite a few people found Pilots under the Christmas tree this year!

Here's a chart that shows the number of users per day since September to the present. I don't really know what the main factors contributing to the growth are (usage has more than doubled in just over two months) but I'd guess it's a combination of the increasing number of Pilot owners overlapping with the increasing number of Internet users.

Now that the new year has begun I just want to say I've enjoyed interacting with many of you over the past few months. It's been fun hearing about your Pilot development efforts and I especially appreciate the contributions of other developers to improve the state of the tools we all use to create Pilot software. So, thanks for stopping by and I wish you all a very happy new year.

14 Dec 96 - Newsgroup for Jump (Java for Pilot) available

I've added another newsgroup to those already hosted on news.massena.com. This one provides a forum for Jump users to ask questions, provide answers, and share their experiences with other Jump enthusiasts. Come join the discussion in pilot.programmer.jump.

You can read these newsgroups with your favorite news reader or most Web browsers (Netscape 2.0 or newer, Internet Explorer 3.0 or newer). With a browser, follow these links:

pilot.programmer news://news.massena.com/pilot.programmer
pilot.programmer.gcc news://news.massena.com/pilot.programmer.gcc
pilot.programmer.pila news://news.massena.com/pilot.programmer.pila
pilot.programmer.jump news://news.massena.com/pilot.programmer.jump

12 Dec 96 - Jump (Java for Pilot) released by Greg Hewgill!

Another breakthrough from Greg Hewgill, author of Copilot (the Pilot Emulator)! Here's the scoop direct from Greg: "Jump is a developer's tool that lets you write Java applications for the Pilot. This has nothing to do with the Internet, HTTP, or the World Wide Web, and in particular will not allow you to run or write Java 'applets'. It does allow you to use a well-designed, easy to learn language to write applications for the Pilot.

Jump works by translating compiled Java class files into 68000 assembly language, which is then run through Pila (the Pilot Assembler) to generate standalone PRC files. No extra Java runtime support is required on the Pilot."

Wow! For many people Jump will be the easiest and most accessible way to write Pilot applications. You'll find the latest details about Jump on Greg's Jump home page.

12 Dec 96 - GCC Win32 Port for Pilot released by J. J. Lehett!

It's been a long time coming (I've been receiving email on this topic since I published my first Pilot article) but it's finally here. Now you can write Pilot applications in C, on your Windows PC -- for free! J. J. Lehett has built on Jeff Dione's effort to create tools for writing Pilot applications under UNIX and brought the whole package to Windows. Benchmarks haven't been run yet but there's reason to believe the GCC compiler might generate smaller, faster Pilot code than the Metrowerks compiler! Anyone up to writing a test to find out?

NOTE: J.J.'s GCC port is not for the faint of heart. The ZIP file of the required Gnu toolchain is ~6.5 megs, the installation process can be...challenging, and the documentation is...thin, but hey, that's what's hacking is all about. Combine these tools, your wits, and some sweat and eventually the Pilot will be singing your tune.

For the latest info on this GCC port, head on over to the GCC Win32 Port for Pilot home page. For other GCC/Pilot news and discussion check out the pilot.programmer.gcc newsgroup (news://news.massena.com/pilot.programmer.gcc) hosted on my site.

12 Dec 96 - Article: Extending Your Desktop with the Pilot by Stu Slack

Shame on me. A couple months ago Stu Slack pointed me to his (then) new article on writing Pilot Conduits using the Conduit SDK. I dropped the ball and never passed on a pointer to his article. Better late than never, right? If you want to know what Conduits are for, how they work and how to create one for yourself, go read Stu's article. It includes the source to a PC app, a Pilot app, and a Conduit to link them together. Great stuff.

10 Nov 96 - ASDK 1.0 Alpha 1 released by Darrin Massena !

The Alternative Software Development Kit (view documentation, download (mirror)) 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. Thanks also to Shannon Haworth and Potomac Interactive Corporation for providing a high-bandwidth site for ASDK distribution.

9 Nov 96 - Pilot Software Development survives ISP's incompetence

Have you had any problems accessing this web page or the pilot.programmer newsgroups recently? My site has periodically been unreachable the last couple of weeks usually sometime between the hours of 9:00am-5:00pm PST due to various problems my Internet Service Provider has been having maintaining their service. I think they finally have the problems fixed and we'll be back to enjoying reliable service (fingers crossed).

9 Nov 96 - Oops, a few Pilot News notices have accidentally been lost!

I'm trying to recover them...

9 Nov 96 - Pilot Software Development discussion groups available

New newsgroups for discussing Pilot software development topics are now hosted on Pilot Software Development (news.massena.com). Please join us! You can read these newsgroups with your favorite news reader or most Web browsers (Netscape 2.0 or newer, Internet Explorer 3.0 or newer). With a browser, follow these links:

pilot.programmer news://news.massena.com/pilot.programmer
pilot.programmer.gcc news://news.massena.com/pilot.programmer.gcc
pilot.programmer.pila news://news.massena.com/pilot.programmer.pila

5 Oct 96 - Pila, the Pilot Assembler, Beta 2 released by Darrin Massena

Here it is! The first public release of a PC-hosted programming language for creating Pilot applications. With Pila, the accompanying tools, and some 68000 assembly language experience you can create complete Pilot applications on your PC. This version of Pila has too many new features to list here so see the Pila News page for details or read the Pila documentation on line.

5 Oct 96 - PilRC v0.8 and PilRCUI released by Wes Cherry

Wes has updated his Pilot Resource Compiler and added a new utility, PilRCUI, to provide a graphical preview of your Pilot form resources.

5 Oct 96 - Updated: Hardware & Stuff by Luiz Coutinho

Luiz is continually updating his in-depth report on the Pilot hardware. If you haven't checked it out lately you're missing out on some cool hardware hacking.

1 Oct 96 - Copilot released by Greg Hewgill

This one is going to blow you away when you see it. Greg Hewgill has implemented a complete Pilot emulator running under Windows 95/NT! This is not a flaky half-baked emulator. It looks like a Pilot, sounds like a Pilot, and runs all your favorite Pilot apps at full speed. Better yet, Copilot has a symbolic debugger built in and symbols for all the Pilot APIs and internal routines! What fun! Take a hop over to Greg's web site at http://userzweb.lightspeed.net/~gregh/pilot/copilot/ to see the latest Copilot news.

11 Sep 96 - Pilot Software Development mirrors USRobotics SDK FTP

I have received a few messages from people who have been having trouble downloading USRobotics' SDK documentation from their FTP site at ftp://ftp.netcom.com/pub/pa/palm. The problems include an inability to connect, partial downloads, and very slow downloads. Until they take care of these problems I'm going to duplicate the contents of their os_sdk and cond_sdk directories on a faster site http://www.wolfenet.com/~darrinm/pilot.

11 Sep 96 - Pila, the Pilot Assembler, enters Beta test phase

Pila now comes bundled with PilRC, for creating user interface resources, and PilDis, for disassembling existing Pilot applications. If you have assembly language programming experience and would like to contribute to the Beta test, please send me mail.

11 Sep 96 - PilDis released by Bill Hunt

With PilDis you can take a peek at the assembly code of any available Pilot application. It's a great learning tool for both beginning and experienced assembly language programmers.

11 Sep 96 - prc2bmp released by Scott Ludwig

This was actually released a couple weeks ago but I spaced it. prc2bmp is a Windows tool that extracts the icon image from a PRC file and writes it out as a Windows .BMP file for easy editing. More interesting to the average Pilot programmer is that the source code is included and provides a simple example of how to read a PRC file and extract a desired resource from it.

3 Sep 96 - Pilot Software Development has moved!

It should be completely transparent to you (I kept the old address) but I've finally found a permanent host for this site! We have more bandwidth now so if I can restrain myself from loading up on GIFs, JPEGs, WAV files, AVIs, VRML, RealAudio streams, Java applets, ActiveX controls, cookie processing, and complex scripts (it won't be easy!) you should notice improved performance.

The site is now housed at my home, running on my fabulous Gateway 486/66 and exercising the full 32-bit power of Windows NT 4.0. Nothing can stop me now! Expect more frequent updates and new features. As you'll see, I took the opportunity to update the News with some recent happenings you may have missed.

And many, many thanks to Phil Wherry for playing the temporary host for P.S.D!

2 Sep 96 - Article: Hardware & Stuff by Luiz Coutinho

Want to know what's inside your Pilot? Don't want to void your warranty? Well after everything he's done to his Pilot Luiz Coutinho's warranty is long, long gone but you can reap the benefits as Luiz spills his guts on the Pilot's guts. Lots of great pictures, check it out.

28 Aug 96 - PilRC v0.6 released by Wes Cherry

Resources provide the user interface fire for Pilot applications but without tools to create them PC-based Pilot developers have been rubbing sticks together and getting nowhere fast. Wes Cherry delivers the Bic lighter we've been needing in the form of PilRC, the Pilot Resource Compiler. PilRC is a Windows NT/95 application that reads a textual description of your resources and spits out Pilot format binary resources for easy inclusion in your app.

Now who's going to write the GUI resource flamethrower?

23 Aug 96 - PocketChess released by Scott Ludwig

Another fine application written with the ASDK. Go to Scott Ludwig's Pilot Software site to check out his latest.

22 Aug 96 - PilotMark released by Darrin Massena

The only difference between a Pilot 1000, 5000 and a Pilot upgraded to 1 meg of memory is how much memory they have, right? Wrong! While hacking the hardware Luiz Coutinho discovered the 1 meg Pilot has twice the RAM bandwidth (16/32-bit memory reads and writes take half as long) of a standard 1000 or 5000. I wrote PilotMark to verify this. Run PilotMark on your own Pilot and compare the timings to those I've found on other Pilots. Read the included note for details.

7 Aug 96 - Pila, a Pilot Assembler, is ready for Alpha testing

I'm putting the finishing touches on a Windows 95/NT-based assembler for the Pilot called 'Pila'. If you have 68000 assembly language programming experience and would like to try your hand at creating Pilot applications please send me mail.

30 Jul 96 - Alarm Hack source code released by Wes Cherry

Alarm Hack demonstrates a way to patch PalmOS APIs and keep the patch in memory after the patching application is removed. The patch resides in Storage RAM and consumes none of Pilot's precious Dynamic memory. This is a great example to follow if you're thinking about writing a TSR-like application.

12 Jul 96 - Pilot Hack 1.01 released by Darrin Massena

A very minor revision. Fixes a bug in the 'x' command (used to backup ranges of Pilot memory to your PC) and adds a new 'v' command to display the Pilot's ROM version and Product ID. Thanks to Luiz Coutinho in Brazil for reporting the 'x' bug! At this point if you're having problems producing ROMDump.prc files it's probably because you're low on memory or at one time you installed a copy of Pilot Money that somehow hoses hotsync backups (I'd like to know that trick!). Either can be fixed by cold-resetting (memory wipe) your Pilot and then loading Pilot Hack.

10 Jul 96 - prc2bin released by Darrin Massena

For hackers only, here's a simple Win32 utility for extracting resources from PRC files.

9 Jul 96 - Debugger Patcher-o-matic released by Flip Phillips

This cool hack changes the Mac Pilot debugger to use the printer port instead of the modem port.

2 Jul 96 - Article: Writing Pilot Applications Under Windows by Darrin Massena

Although it isn't simple or graceful and it may not even be affordable, writing Pilot applications on a PC under Windows is possible. The tools you need are Microsoft's Visual C++ Cross-Development Edition for Macintosh, exe2prc (a program to convert a Win32 EXE to a PRC file), and the know-how to put it all together. The result is for hackers only and certainly isn't close to the complete set of tools that comes with the USRobotics/CodeWarrior Pilot SDK. But if you already have VC++ Mac or qualify for Microsoft's competitive upgrade it can be a lot cheaper than buying a Macintosh.

30 Jun 96 - Article: Pilot Hack Tutorial by Darrin Massena

I take you on a trip down Pilot's memory lane with Pilot Hack.

28 Jun 96 - Graffiti Help released by Scott Ludwig (a.k.a. PilotHacker)

Another application by Scott Ludwig. Graffiti Help gives you Graffiti online help without putting a squeeze on your Pilot's memory.

28 Jun 96 - Article: Writing Space Invaders for Pilot v1.0 on a PC by Scott Ludwig (a.k.a. PilotHacker)

Scott tells how he wrote Space Invaders for the Pilot using only his wits and a few crude tools.

27 Jun 96 - Pilot Hack released by Darrin Massena

Pilot Hack is my first Pilot application. I wrote it before I received an SDK from USRobotics, before USRobotics released their API documentation on the Internet. Maybe I went off the deep end but I couldn't wait for USRobotics to get their act together so I started hacking. Pilot Hack is the first result, a tool used to help create itself. More details in Tools And Articles.

27 Jun 96 - Pilot Software Development site up!

Everything has finally come together so I can now provide this resource for people interested in creating applications for the Pilot. Many thanks to Phil Wherry for playing host for this site and for setting up the software, dealing with InterNIC, etc. - making it all work!

26 Jun 96 - USRobotics SDK arrives!

It's here! If only I had a Mac to run it on. Well, the headers will be very useful anyway and the SDK CD makes a fine coaster.

25 Jun 96 - Invaders released by Scott Ludwig (a.k.a. PilotHacker)

A talented friend used my PC-based SDK to create this excellent rendition of the arcade game classic Space Invaders. More details on the Pilot development tools and articles page.