Palm & Pocket PC Programming

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Articles

  1. Palm Pc - Spanish translation – Linguee
  2. Background
  3. Java On Pocket PC Devices
  4. Gartner: Microsoft catches up to Palm in PDA OS market

The tool kit includes an integrated development environment and gives you everything that you need to develop software for the Handheld PC, the Palm-sized PC, and the Pocket PC platforms.

The stand-alone tool kit does not require Microsoft's Visual Studio. You can download and execute your creations on the actual target hardware or on a built-in emulator that runs right on your desktop system Figure 3. Visual Basic has familiar syntax and is easier to use with simple drag-and-drop graphical-form construction. Visual Basic also requires a several runtime programs that must be in the target device.

Palm Pc - Spanish translation – Linguee

Experienced programmers find that if an application is mostly user-interface-oriented, then Visual Basic is the better language to use. When I downloaded the free tools, I immediately ran into a problem. The tools are zipped into a Mbyte file, which exceeded my satellite-service provider's fair-use policy. I'd download about Mbytes, and my transfer rate would drop from kbps to about 5 kbps. I had to restart several times and finally completed the process using a shareware program, Download Wonder www. Go figure.

Background

The second problem was the operating system on my desktop computer. I still use Windows 98 second edition; therefore, I could load the development environment and compilers but the not the emulator that Windows requires. To avoid disaster with my system, I borrowed my daughter's computer and installed a beta version of Windows XP to check out the emulator. The emulator is handy; it speeds development by eliminating the time required to download each iteration of your program over the USB connection.

The tool installation was a breeze on either desktop system, and my only concern was the Mbytes of disk space that the full environment required.

Java On Pocket PC Devices

I eliminated the software-development kits for the Handheld and Palm-sized PCs to save some disk space. The traditional first exercise with a new development system is to create a simple "hello-world" application to display some text and verify the compilation process. The Visual Basic exercise was easier for me, because I have worked with the language for both desktop and embedded systems. I simply added a label to the default form, changed the caption, and clicked "Start Debug"—literally a one-minute process—and the application appeared on my iPAQ. The process was even faster on my daughter's XP system, because the default-debug device is the built-in emulator.

The emulator runs the standard Pocket PC operating system, so it is easy to iterate a design to get just the right look. I was also able to surf the Internet from the emulator to check out sites formatted for mobile devices. After I selected a Pocket PC application and target processor, I was pleasantly surprised to find a wizard with a choice of an empty project, a simple Windows CE application, or a typical hello-world application. Of course, I selected the hello-world application, and, within a few seconds, the completed program appeared on my Pocket PC.

The wizard short cut had created the source code for a full project complete with routines to create a window, add text, and remove the window on exit. The compiler simultaneously creates a debug version of your object code and a clean version for final release. Although the custom version of Windows CE is the primary operating system for Pocket PC hardware, resourceful programmers have also ported Linux to some compatible devices.

Linux will not replace Windows CE on general Pocket PCs; however, it could be a cost-saving operating system on fixed-purpose handheld products. You can find details for downloading and installing Linux on Pocket PCs at www. Several other excellent Web sites can help new and experienced Pocket PC developers.

Casio Cassiopeia E 105G Pocket PC PDA Windows CE 2.11 Palm size PC edition

For example, www. The site includes news, tutorials, how to's, sample code, related links, and user forums. Microsoft's www. General Web sites www.


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The Singapore Pocket PC user's group site www. The Pocket PC's biggest flaw is the lack of a standard method of expanding the basic device.

Gartner: Microsoft catches up to Palm in PDA OS market

This lack of standardization makes it difficult for third-party developers to create applications that take advantage of expanded Pocket PC features without favoring one manufacturer's product over other devices. Unfortunately, users are demanding Pocket PC applications with wireless connectivity and, therefore, some sort of expansion slot.

Although the expansion pack doubles the thickness of the Pocket PC, I had instant access to the Internet and my e-mail using Go America's CDPD service from almost any location that cell-phone providers serve. The first prototype for the Pocket PC is partially functional - the screens flow properly, but the data is not fully connected to the internal database, nor is the sync-to-PC working. It is easy to write software for this platform with Embedded VB, which has some signicant limitations, but is sufficient for simple application.

A different Conduit will be necessary, as the Pocket PC conduit programming model is quite different from the Palm model. They can both use the same database, administrative software, reports, etc. I found the software needed to create a conduit for the Pocket PC platform. However, for that platform I have seen the suggestion to not use the ActiveSync process, but instead have the application contact the database or backend system and perform its own sync; for the prototypes I experimented with both approaches to understand the tradeoffs.

It's common to have a more stylized application appearance on Pocket PC, than on Palm.


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  • In keeping with that, the final application may have more interesting button appearances, non-white background, etc. Of course it will still have a clean, professional appearance appropriate for this kind of application.