PalmPilot Things

After losing all the personal data on my Palm Pilot yet again, i finally decided to take note of lessons learned in Ping's guide to troubleshooting your Pilot.

News flash! Real-time 3-D texture mapping on your Palm Pilot!

Even newer news flash! Make change even when you don't have any change! Use ChangeMaker to pay a friend fairly using chance to produce the correct expected value.

Looking for Neat Toys for Your Pilot?

At this site you can get Polyhedra, the original 3-D graphics demo for the PalmPilot. Not a very practical program, but at least it's tiny, at less than 4k. It was an enjoyable first try at hacking the Pilot for me, back in February 1997. Good for showing off that your Pilot can do more than just take notes: it can render shapes in wireframe!

If you want to play with another useless, battery-draining app, try Blobs, my first experiment with greyscale mode. It might well be one of the first screen savers for the Pilot. Let me know what you think. (Tap the menu button to get some instructions. To see the busiest animation, start the program, press the "up" key once and the "down" key three times, then wait.)

Thanks to everyone who's played with Polyhedra. I've been getting a lot of mail from people who think it's neat. But it's plain C and uses only wimpy built-in drawing routines, so allow me to say you ain't seen nuthin' yet! I'm sure that lots of Pilot programmers will be able to do much cooler effects. Just wait till we get going on the serious assembly code.

NEW! So, this page hadn't been updated in over a year, and last time (on 1 January 1998) i wrote:

Though i didn't do any Pilot stuff over the summer, i've started on something else recently which i'm really excited about.

The "something else" in question is the first real-time texture mapping program ever to be written for the Palm Pilot. I finished the renderer over the Christmas holidays in 1997, and it has languished for over a year while i hoped to turn it into a real game. I haven't had time for that yet, but i still want to share it with you. Impress your friends! :)

The renderer has a carefully optimized inner loop in 68k assembly and manages around 10 to 13 frames per second (cheating) in a 3-D (really 2.5-D) Wolfenstein-style maze with a textured sky background. You will need to install two files to see the demo: the renderer, Escape, and a simple maze for it to display. Start the program and tap the menu button, choose "New..." and the maze "simplecyc" should appear in the list. Go ahead! Try it out and let me know what you think. I hope you like it.

Are You a Developer?

NEW! As a little New Year's present for 1998, i'm posting the source code for Polyhedra for you to look at, in case you were curious. The main program is in poly.c and there is a header file for the fixed-point arithmetic in fixed.h . I spent a few minutes going through and adding comments to explain what's going on. If you want to use the routines in your own programs, just ask.

If you're a developer, you might like my Perl scripts for manipulating Pilot database files. For me, they're indispensable help in Pilot hacking sessions or when taking apart other databases to see what's inside. Get them here:

You can get more developer's tools at RoadCoders.

Watch for more.

copyright © by Ka-Ping Yee <ping@lfw.org> updated 1 May 1999