Palm OS

From the altkeyboards mailing list:

At 3:12 PM -0500 12/20/01, giles_AT_shelluser.net wrote:
I'm going to try to assemble as much information as I know about the Palm devices with the Stowaway/Targus/Palm folding keyboard with Palm variants and OS variants and even the Compaq iPaq. I'm hoping this will be a thread-ending message, but that never works, does it?

I'm a Linux user and a Dvorak user (side note: interesting how much cross over there is between those two groups, isn't it? Looking for something better, I suspect. Wonder if we've found it. Even if we haven't, at least we can think we have). I use a Palm IIIx, and a Palm-labeled Stowaway keyboard. The keyboard has a fragile feel to its build, but is an astonishing engineering feat and feels at least as good as my laptop keyboard. The keys are full size. In the name of compactness, they have chosen not to include some keys, such as ESC (bummer for vi users, not that I've seen vi for the Palm yet) and F-keys.

The Stowaway keyboard is made for the Palm III series, the m1xx, m5xx, V, and VII series, as well as the Handspring, Clie, Jornada, iPaq, Motorola phones (??) and Casio Pocket PCs. Pretty good coverage.

When I first got my Stowaway, I don't think Dvorak was officially supported. Up until today, I was using a hacked version of the "Keyboard.prc" file I found on the internet (through Google, I believe) that replaced Qwerty with Dvorak. I installed this exclusively under Linux, and it wasn't difficult. It would have worked fine under Windows or the Mac, since it's a standard Palm .prc file.

After posts in the last couple days, I visited http://www.thinkoutside.com/ and downloaded the 1.6 version of their keyboard drivers. It's not mentioned often, but apparently their drivers since 1.51 have supported Dvorak as a layout option.

I soon discovered that the driver in the Windows package is wrapped in an executable which I couldn't easily run under Linux (and it's not a self-extracting zip). So I downloaded the Mac version. Unfortunately, that version is compressed with Stuffit. There's a shareware product for Linux that handles Stuffit files from Aladdin (search freshmeat.net for "stuffit"). (I actually e-mailed the package to a Mac-using friend who unstuffed it and e-mailed me the "Keyboard.prc" file.) I loaded the "Keyboard.prc" on the Palm, chose Dvorak, and everything is happy.

So it would seem Dvorak is supported for almost any combination of PDA and OS with the Stowaway. It's somewhat inconvenient for Linux users to set up, but not a major problem. Linux users are a minority and are generally treated as such. Instead of complaining about being mistreated, get it working anyway and boast about your resourcefulness. :-)


At 3:13 PM -0600 12/22/01, Marcus Brooks wrote:
Well, I've got a Handspring Visor Prism and Targus Stowaway now, and I can attest that the 6.0 keyboard driver from http://thinkoutside.com works fine for Dvorak with this combination. (It only has the two-hand layout, though.) Some notes:

Might just be me, but I had to do some jiggling to get the Dvorak setting to "take" the first time after installing and doing a soft reset. The thing that seemed to work was disabling and then re-enabling the keyboard. After that it seemed to switch back and forth OK.

I think somebody mentioned getting a "Windows" keyboard.prc file that doesn't work on the Mac. If the case is that you can't open the Palm Desktop by double-clicking the .prc file, you can still open the Desktop directly and drag the file into the HotSync->Install Handheld Files dialog. If the problem is opening a zip file in Linux, see if there's an "unzip" command. Some other *nix flavors have it.

If you get your Stowaway from thinkoutside.com (via yahoo), there's a $5-extra software bundle that features a WordSmith word processor (http://www.bluenomad.com) that works really well with the Stowaway. If you've already got the keyboard, you can get a trial download for free (200 doc-edit sessions, and all the memo/view sessions you want). Separate registration is $29.

WordSmith includes FineType font manager that offers anti-aliased fonts, but it doesn't work as well on a color display, so the missus has offered to buy me a Neo and take the Prism for herself. How thoughtful! ;^)


At 9:01 PM -0700 11/13/01, Vaughn Seward wrote:
You can get a one-handed Dvorak keyboard ($5.95 shareware) here:

http://www.palmgear.com/

...search for "Keyboard Hack".

I was using this until I found Fitaly.

Back to Introducing the Dvorak Keyboard.


Last update: 29 December 2001
Original page established: 29 December 2001
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