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by Alice Davis

Palm OS platform devices include a selection of more than a hundred solid devices. These devices are backed by 18 globally renowned manufacturers themselves, apart from Palm and PalmOne, Inc.


Palm, Inc. launched the earliest Palm OS 1.0 back in 1996 through the first generation Pilot 1000 and 5000. In 2007 they released the Palm Centro which supported OS version 5.4.9. Other Palm OS devices by prominent manufacturers include:

  • The Sony CLIÉ TG, TJ, UX, and NX series
  • IBM WorkPad to WorkPad c505
  • Lenovo p100 to p300
  • The Zire series by Zire
  • Tungsten T series to Palm TX
  • Tapwave Zodiac PDAs for gaming
  • Other PDA models by Treo, LifeDrive, and Qool
  • Samsung smartphones such as SCH-M330, M500, and i539 (released only in China)

Can I Run Palm OS Applications without a Palm OS Device?

Yes, you can, as long as you are using the appropriate emulator. Running Palm OS applications without a Palm OS device is fairly simple.


All you need to do is get your hands on the Palm OS Emulator which emulates Motorola 68000 devices. They will, however, require the ROM image to boot which you can obtain from PalmSource.

Palm OS Applications
Palm OS Applications

You may obtain that ROM image directly from a Palm device as well.

Garnet VM is one of the Palm OS emulators that focuses on enhanced compatibility with existing apps. The Garnet emulator emulates an ARM architecture. Whereas, other free emulators such as E-MU Emulator focuses on replicating Palm M515 (OS 4.1).

What Magazines Are Devoted Solely to Palm?

Handheld Computing Magazine (formerly known as Tap Magazine) has a dedicated Palm Infocenter for all tech enthusiasts. Ryan Kairer founded the portal back in 1999. Since then it has turned into one of the leading news, review, and community portal for Palm Inc products exclusively.

Another reliable source of Palm OS product reviews and the news is the Palm OS Section of Pen Computing Magazine. This specific section caters to everything you need to know regarding Palm hardware, content archive, software reviews, and news regarding the re-launch.

Why Does the Memory on My Palm OS Handheld Seem Smaller Than It Should?

The memory problem in Palm OS devices is more of a hardware problem than a bug. Several 8 Mb and 2 Mb variant palm OS devices reportedly had the same issue.

Palm OS Handheld Seem
Palm OS Handheld Seem

Many users have complained that the free space on the device doesn't align with actual calculations. If you're facing the same problem then your device is faulty. We recommend you get it replaced or fixed. Remember that bug fixes claiming to fix this problem aren't entirely reliable.

There are quite a lot of books available in the market that caters to the needs of Palm OS enthusiasts. Since we can't mention all of them, here are some of the most renowned ones among developers and beginners alike:

  • Palm OS Programming Bible by Lonnon R. Foster.
  • Palm OS Programming for Dummies Pap/Cdr Edition by Liz O'Hara.
  • Palm OS Programming: The Developer's Guide by Julie McKeehan, Neil Rhodes.
  • Palm OS Game Programming: January 2002 by Nicholas Pleis.
  • The First Week with My New Digital Organizer: A Very Basic Guide to Palm OS PDAs (Capital First Week) by Pamella R. Lessing.
  • Java Development on PDAs: Building Applications for Pocket PC and Palm Devices by Daryl Wilding-McBride.

What OS Do Palm Handhelds Work With/On?

Palm OS works on a wide array of host OS. We all know that Palm's source codes have been made adjustable onto other OS for test runs and app trials. So, here is a list of the most compatible operating systems that Palm handhelds work best on:

  • Windows 3.1, 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT 2000;
  • Windows for workgroups;
  • Macintosh OS/2 warp;
  • Specific versions of Linux;
  • Android; etc.

How Do I Use Palm V Cradle with Hard Case Installed?

Using the Palm V cradle with the hard case can be a real struggle. Every time you want to mount the device onto the cradle you will have to remove the hard case, and that can be a hassle to many.

Palm V Cradle
Palm V Cradle

An easy work-around is to open both the back and front of the case. Just prop the sides before mounting it onto the cradle. Now, you won't have to remove the hard case every time you mount it.

Remember that even though it's known as a 'hard case', it's not designed to withstand unwanted pressure from the inner side. Any such pressure may cause the hard case to break.

How Do I HotSync Using IR (Infrared)?

Simply follow the following steps to HotSync your Palm Device to your laptop or other devices without a wire/cable (using IR). For the sake of demonstration, we're going to assume that you are using a Windows laptop as the steps are more or less the same across all devices.

  • Tap the 'Applications' button on your screen.
  • Then tap the 'HotSync' icon and select local.
  • Next tap the small triangle beside 'HotSync' that will lead you to the drop-down menu.
  • From that menu select 'IR to Handheld or PC'
  • Move onto your Windows Laptop and right-click the HotSync Manager icon.
  • Next select 'Setup' and press on Local.
  • Go to the serial port, select COM3 or COM4 and press ok.
  • Place your palm device within 3 ft of your laptop, and you should have a perfectly synced pair.

The Palm IIIx Screen Is Nice, But I'm Noticing Ghost Lines in Some Applications

The ghost lines are one of the most common bugs noticed in the Palm IIIx. Palm Computing has released a patch that specifically targets solving the problem along with some other OS bugs. Consider going for the OS patch or the shareware hack to work your way out of this problem.

My Palm OS (TM) Device Is locked Up! (Resetting the Palm OS Device)

Given that you are locked out of your device, there's only one way to safely break-in. And that is by hard resetting your device. A hard reset clears all previously stored data on the device including the lock encryptions.

If possible, back up your data on another device before hard resetting. Here is how you can reset your palm device to bypass the lock:

  • Grab the reset tool located within the stylus.
  • Hold down the power button and press the reset button located in a hole at the back panel.
  • Release the button when the screen shows 'Palm Computing Platform.'
  • Lastly, a reset confirmation will be shown on the screen. Press the top scroll button to continue and your device should now have hard reset itself.

I Use a Mac and Most of the Applications I See Are in.Zip Format. Can I Use These?

Yes, you can. All you need to do is simply unzip the compressed files to access the data within. The latest Mac features the double click option to directly enter the compressed files. Archive Utility will decompress the file automatically upon a double click.

Previously, Mac used to use a third-party program known as Stuffit expander to decompress the files. These programs have become obsolete nowadays as the compression and decompression features come built-in with MacOS.

About Alice Davis

Alice is a writer who lives in the City of Long Beach. She has a husband, an exceptionally small chihuahua, and 15-pound Maine Coon. Alice got her bachelor of science in biological science from UC Berkeley. Now, she likes writing about a lot of things; including but not limited to technology reviews, science stuff, and anything food-related.

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