Programming break – vidlist for Palm

January 19, 2012

So, I’ve made some headway on my programming to-do list,¬†and thought I’d share some more details about it – I’ll try not to get too deeply into the techy stuff, since this isn’t a programming blog, and describe a bit of what it’s like to write a program for an old-school Palm handheld.

So, at my windows computer, I start the NS Basic for Palm¬†developer program. I’ve found this to be a great line of products, giving me a lot of freedom to make programs that do what I want them to, for many kinds of machines, without having to get deeper than I like into the guts of what’s going on inside the machine. Though the programming languages for the different NS Basic products are different, they’re all pretty close to the Visual Basic and VBscript that I use in my day job.

Inside NS Basic, the first job is using the graphical form designer to figure out the interface layout – where the entry fields, labels, buttons, list boxes, popup list triggers, and other things go on the palmpilot screen. With vidlist, I was originally thinking of having a really tall listbox on the left that only went a little over halfway across the screen, but quickly figured out that with the kinds of things I was going to need to store in it, it would be better to have the list wider than it is tall. (You can page through palm lists using the little arrow icons, but can’t page or scroll them side to side.)

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My Fold-out PDA keyboard

July 3, 2011

I don’t actually remember where I got this Targus keyboard, if I ordered it online or found it in a shop like Futureshop. It’s a bit of an ungainly thing when it’s all set up, though it looks compact and elegant while folded away – the keyboard itself is in two segments, and then there’s a third piece that’s used to prop up a palm-pilot or pocketPC, with a wireless arm that you put over the IR transceiver for the PDA. This arm works well for my Palm tungstens, but keeps me from even trying the keyboard with the hp iPaq pda, because its IR transceiver spot is in the bottom, which is great if you’ve got a keyboard that’s built that way, but anyway.

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