dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 01:24am on 2005-08-31 under

I had a broken Clié. Now, thanks to eBay and a large dose of luck, I have two broken ones. Let's see whether a digitizer transplant is as easy as the instructions I found make it look ... and whether the instructions for an S300 apply to an SJ30. Wish me luck. Fortunately I have a backup plan in case I botch this.

And yes, this means I did find a busted PDA (labelled "AS IS FOR PARTS") where the screen and digitizer were not what was broken!

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 06:43pm on 2005-08-23 under ,

I poked at my Clié earlier, to see whether I could do anything with the cracked glass that made its touch-screen stop working during Pennsic. After removing the case, I found that I could make the digitizer function briefly by wedging a thumbnail under the corner of it. I was able to perform a HotSync, and to beam a little more information over to the Visor (which I'd been meaning to give away, but I'm now glad I hadn't gotten around to doing so yet), but I was not able to accomplish the same thing with a shim, and the longer I worked the more difficult/less effective the thumbnail trick was. So I haven't copied over most of my calendar items or to-do list yet, nor any of my addressbook. My normal shopping list (in HandyShopper) didn't get copied over either. I'll try again later, and then look at how well the Sony software and Handspring software cooperate on my Windows box -- if I can convince either of those that the Visor is the Clié and just update it as though it had merely forgotten some stuff, great -- likewise if the two desktop apps play nicely side-by-side and I can just copy/paste between them -- but I don't want it to decide that I meant to delete the desktop copies of things or make any other sort of mess. I'd recently installed the backup software that [livejournal.com profile] justgus37 told me to, so if I had another PDA that used Memory Sticks I could just restore onto the spare device; alas the Visor doesn't use those.

I'm hoping I can score a dead Clié cheaply off eBay that has a working digitizer, and do a transplant, but since broken displays/digitizers seem to be the most common cause of PDA failure ... well, wish me luck.

In the meantime, I still need to install a compatible version of the MobiPocket ebook reader on the Visor -- at Pennsic I tried beaming over the copy from the Clié but that version requires the 320x320 screen and the Visor only has a 160x160 display.

Sometime before next Pennsic I want to write -- and distribute -- a PalmOS app that imports the Pennsic University class schedule and lets the user select items to copy into the DateBook app as appointments/reminders. (Just being able to read the list requires an HTML reader or ... either Word doc reader or PDF reader, I forget which ... but I want more than just a copy of the schedule to scroll through. I want a more convenient small-screen interface, and to be able to limit the view to the list of classes I'm thinking about attending. Getting the description by tapping on a class title would also be useful.) Y'all may need to remind me of this every few months.

The last few days of Pennsic I was carrying around a "medieval PDA" -- a wax-tablet book that hung from my belt. I'd wanted one for a couple years. My idea was that each night I'd copy the day's notes from the wax tablets to my electronic PDA in my tent before I went to bed, and copy the next day's schedule onto the wax tablets. (I got a three-leaf book, which has four writing surfaces.) In practice ... well I've still got checks and debit-card purchases from Friday to copy over to the Visor. But I've not had to erase anything for lack of space yet. Unfortunately the wax is even harder to read in dim light (dusk or candlelight) than the Visor's screen, and considerably harder to read by flashlight. But I still like my belt book.

The merchant from whom I bought the book told of another customer, who had bought one a year or two ago. He came into her shop and asked whether he could buy just a center leaf. She wasn't thrilled at the idea of taking another book apart to give him just a center leaf, but when he pleaded, "I need more memory," she decided his phrasing was too cute to deny.

I can just see myself asking to buy "more memory" in a couple years, but let me see how well I can live with just three leaves for a while first. I write small. And as I said, a few days worth of records haven't filled it up (two surfaces haven't even been touched yet) and I don't plan on keeping large amounts of long term data in it.

Hmm. I wonder how well/easily my notes scratched in wax can be scanned or photocopied ...

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)

Headache, bad; also lack-of-sleep issues; so I'm not at Balticon today. I'll probably be there tomorrow evening, but don't know yet what time I'll be showing up (playing a gig elsewhere in the afternoon and don't know how late the event will go). Today my plan was to conserve my strength for tomorrow, but a few urgent things had to be done first, and I got sucked into one or two less-urgent tasks as well. So I probably won't get the wheel [livejournal.com profile] anniemal found for me modified to attach to the endpin of the double bass by tomorrow ... though there's a small chance of that still.

I've been meaning to install a software development kit for PalmOS -- y'know: cross-compiler, emulator, etc. -- but hadn't gotten around to it. Now my getting around to it has been pushed back a bit farther ... because I stumbled across native development tools that I'll be playing with for a while. I haven't installed OnboardC yet because some glitchy misconfiguration somewhere makes inconvenient things happen every time I hotsync (so I'll do it when I feel like coping with undoing the side effects -- if a local Palm expert wants to help me fix the underlying problem sometime, that'd be great), but before I found that, I'd installed a copy of SmallBASIC. BASIC probably isn't the right tool to try to write an improved ABC viewer in, but I've been tinkering in that direction anyhow. So far I've been playing with the graphics commands and putting together routines for drawing the staves and the symbols. I should be able to do that much more tidily when I get around to switching to C, but hey, I'm still having fun so far. (That'll stop about the time I hit the maximum program size and discove I only have two thirds of a parser coded, or something, I'm sure.)

Having a native language means I don't have to keep uploading the compiled code to the PDA, and it means that I can tinker at the kitchen table or on the toilet or away from home. It means dealing with a single environment.

A native development environment on a PDA also means that much more temptation to skip any semblance of proper, thought-out design and just start coding and see where I wind up. And it means not having a proper editor, having to stroke all the code in using Graffiti instead of typing it, risking God-knows-what side effects of a stray pointer, looking at my code a tiny screenful at time, and discharging the battery in a hurry, so I've still got plenty of reason to install a cross-compiler and develop code under Linux or Windows when I finally decide to take the trouble to hunt down and install all those pieces.

One thing about starting this in BASIC with an expectation of changing to C later is that I can use what I'm doing now as a rough draft and not be upset about ripping up huge chunks of it when I realize there's a better approach. I won't be tempted to salvage anything that should really be thrown away, since I'd still have to re-code it.

Now if I had a native Java development environment on the Clie, I'd have a big incentive to finally get around to teaching myself Java like I'd planned for so long. I'd grab a PalmOS native C++ compiler if I stumbled across one as well. But somehow I cannot bring myself to daydream about having ForTran or COBOL on it ... (OTOH, I wonder how useful Lisp would be on a PDA.)

The other thing that having a BASIC interpreter on the Clie means is that it's convenient to type in that AI program I stole from [livejournal.com profile] madbodger *mumble* years ago. :-) That was the first thing I did with it, of course.

I've documented how-many-measures-of-what each track on Home, the second Homespun Ceilidh Band CD, is. This is for dancers who want to know, for example, that the "Saut du Lapin" set is 208 measures long. I'm not sure yet where this info will eventually wind up, but it'll be made available (on our web site, at least). I need to do this for Spinning Reels, our first album, as well.

And now I'm going to read some email and then either close my eyes for a spell or tinker with note-beaming algorithms in BASIC, depending on how much effect this dose of ibuprofen has on my headache.

[livejournal.com profile] anniemal talks about guarding my sleep and trying to take care of me when we're together (I can be frustrating to take care of, not because I don't want help, but because I so very much don't want to need taking-care-of ... and because I feel guilty about not being more fun); my feeling better after she'd been here a day or so is quite unlikely to have been mere coincidence. Alas, it only took a couple of days of pushing myself to deal with Things With Looming Deadlines to mess me up again. A couple more things to deal with (after some rest) and tomorrow's gig(s), and then I can try to get back on track in terms of sleep, energy, and pain-management. I did at least have the sense yesterday to not try to squeeze in one more thing I'd really wanted (but not absolutely needed) to get done.

And speaking of looming deadlines, the Pennsic pre-registration deadline is mere days away. If you're going and haven't registered yet, go make sure your group's land allotment includes you.



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