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Why not use a PalmPilot?

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  • Why not use a PalmPilot?

    I've been thinking about different ways to
    put a good UI on a car player, and I keep
    thinking about using an old Palm Pilot.

    Think about it: it's a good quality LCD,
    the old ones are cheap now (check out
    http://www.usedpalmpilots.com), it provides
    a touch-sensitive screen, and has a built
    in serial port (and TCP/IP on some). No
    further engineering is necessary.

    So my idea is to give the player a back-end
    in perl and run a web browser app on the
    Pilot. The perl can generate pages,
    indices, etc, on the fly.

    Has anyone tinkered with this approach?

  • #2
    Using a PalmPilot for display and input is a great idea that a friend of mine suggested awhile back, but there's no way any of the current models will play MP3s by themselves. Used solely as a display and input medium, however, it would be quite nice. I, however, would just rip out the screen and touch components and mount it horizontally in a custom case.
    digitalswirlee.com

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    • #3
      Exactly, it would be display and input
      only. The idea of using one of the Pilot
      web-browsing programs would be to simplify
      the interface and back-end programming.

      I forgot to mention some of the Pilots have a built-in backlight, which is cool too. The only obstacle I can think of is 1) the expense of a Pilot web-browser (are freeware ones available?) or 2) getting a Palm to handshake to a computer via TCP/IP and PPP.

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      • #4
        I have thought of this before. I'd personally like to have a nice palm pilot which matches my interior as well to interface my system. I'd probably take a different approach and try to interface it directly to the controller instead of through a cgi program doing it and using a web browser. I'd also wonder how long the backlight on the palm pilot would last if it was on for a few hours on end every day (Of course, only at night) Just wire in a regulator and give it the cars power.

        If I could get just a touchscreen unit rather cheap from a broken palmpilot, I would sure give it a chance to reverse engineer it.

        If anyone has any other ideas or knowledge of the workings of the display units, I'd love to hear them.

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        • #5
          The idea is great. Iīm right now testing the two different Mp3-remotes, PalmAMP and Busker. I prefer Busker cause of the bigger "buttons".

          Get a PalmV( What!! You donīt own one?), Busker and an extra cradle, hook up the cradle to the PC and the car battery and, Voila! I guess....

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          • #6
            cool! Where does one find Busker or PalmAMP? (drool drool)

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            • #7
              PalmAMP can be found at http://www.ironcreek.net

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              • #8
                Busker can be found at
                <a href="http://www.hausofmaus.com/busker.html">http://www.hausofmaus.com/busker.html</a>

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                • #9
                  Thanks!

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                  • #10
                    Sweat, so you could have the palm pilot use a computers Hard Drive if you get an extra cradle?

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                    • #11
                      PalmAMP and Busker are plugins for WinAmp. Basically, they let you control basic WinAMP features (play, ff, rewind, select songs in playlist)

                      To to use these, you need to be running WinAmp on your PC. Also, from what I've seen of PalmAMP, you cannot load specific songs or new playlists - you can only manipulate the current playlist that's in use on the PC.

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                      • #12
                        E-mail the creator of PalmAmp. I e-mailed him earlier this week and he replied the same day, and was very nice. It sounds as though he's still doing a lot of development on the PalmAmp, so if there's features you'd like him to include in the next version, let him know. I asked him to include the saving/loading of EQ presets, and he said he'd work on it, although he wasn't sure if he could use WinAmp's presets or if he'd have to make PalmAmp-specific presets.
                        digitalswirlee.com

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                        • #13
                          Has anybody made some experiences with the
                          LCD and the high inside temperatures in summer ?
                          I already had to dump a psion3c because I forgot it in the car. The display never worked again and the plastic keys(!) were
                          deformed.
                          After this I bought a PalmPilot, and I dont want to loose it the same way...



                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                          ...Unix, DOS, and Windows XP
                          (also known as the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly).
                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------

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                          • #14
                            Even without the heat and such, it's just a bad idea to leave it in your car, because of theft. And if you've got a Palm, you might as well carry it around with you and look cool, right? There's no reason to leave it in the car. If you have to, though, it should be safe (from heat, at least) in the glove compartment, but don't quote me on that.
                            digitalswirlee.com

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                            • #15
                              The only problem that I have run across is that when you leave a palm in your car (at least here in Florida), it gets really hot. The LCD gets REALLY dark when it gets that hot. As the unit cools off, it goes back to normal, though.

                              Although I've only forgotten a Pilot in my car twice, no adverse effects seemed to happen.

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