Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Calendar for badminton open 2007

I key in the world class badminton cup schedule in Google Calendar, but in Chinese


我收到一份羽球賽的賽程表,我選了一些比較重要的賽事,鍵入 Google Calendar 。 Google Calendar 真的很好用,我大概只花了十五分鐘就完成輸入了。

加入你的 Google Calendar 請按

使用 iCal 可以加入 Mac OS X 的行事曆當中。至於其他格式,請自行轉換。

這就是 web 2.0 的觀念,資源共享。

Switching to Intel

Did you notice, desktop computer (Apple) and workstation computer (Sun) is switching to x86 platform, one after another? Choosing the hardware platform and CPU is just a business decision, but making the software (including OS and Application) to work on different hardware platform, you need some technical effort.

Mac OS first develop on Motorola 68000 series CPU and later ported on PowerPC, it never runs on Intel (or x86) CPU before version 10. If Mac OS runs on Intel CPU, I think most poeple will buy an IBM compatible machine and install a Mac OS on it during the 80s.

Mac OS X inherits NextSTEP OS from NeXT Computer, which Apple acquired at 1996. Before Apple acquired NeXT, NextSTEP already available on Intel machine, but when OS X was released, it only runs on PowerPC platform.

I am not surprised OS X can runs on an Intel machine, because NextSTEP already did it before. I am surprised by Steve Jobs want it to run on Intel machine, Steve Jobs never want his product on Intel CPU. Even at NeXT, Intel platform is not his first choice.

Recently Sun Microsystems announce will sell Intel base server machine. Sun has a great OS product, the Solaris operating system. I have been using Solaris (on SPARC machine) for many years, it is very stable and performing well. I am not sure how well it will run on Intel platform.

Solaris on Intel is not a new product. SunOS has been ported to Intel platform as early as in 1980s, but the most popular version that I can remember is Solaris 2.6. A lot of users doesn't know Solaris runs on Intel, may be the Intel version was not so popular and it was lack of support.

What Sun did is just like Apple. Their product on specific hardware platform which is not Intel, but Intel is some company that you just can't ignore. The recent switch to Intel for both Sun and Apple already prove it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Palm Dictionary

If you have a Palm PDA, definitely you are not using it just as a electronic scheduler and memos, because it can do more than that.

One of the most wanted features for me, is to turn the PDA into a electronic dictionary.

There two common dictionary software for Palm, KDic and ZDic.

Most early Palm users should know KDic, it was originally written for Japanese-English dictionary, but it is a universal dictionary, depends on what type of dictionary database you have loaded in.

KDic support DA hack, so you can call the dictionary as a pop-up from other application. KDic is a freeware, the latest version now is 1.46, it runs on Palm OS 3.x to 5.x.

KDic, english dictionary

The KDic development was slow down. KDic may have some memory leak as warning by Palm OS Emulator, but I am not very sure about it. I have been using an earlier version, which sometimes crash with CJKOS.

ZDic is a much newer application, updated quite frequent, written by ???. It can share dictionary database with KDic. ZDic is a freeware, it runs on Palm OS 3.x to 5.x, support DA, and voice support only on Palm with ARM cpu.

ZDic, list display

According to this Korean blog, the original 2.33 version can't run properly on Palm TX, so a blogger name zdyx, make a patch and corrected the problem. This Korean change some of the chinese message into english and provide a copy at his blog site.

KDic/ZDic database. KDic and ZDic are just dictionary software, it doesn't came with dictionary database. You need to install a database for the software to work. You can try this english-english, it is quite a big file. You can try english-chinse database too.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Gmail on microemulator

Can gmail mobile app run on Palm?

I hope the gmail mobile application can run on Palm, but I am not sure. Since I am able to get it run on j2me microemulator emulator, it should work on any midp 2.0 compatible vm.

Gmail App, running on midp emulator

This is how I do it. microemulator told me they are midp 2.0, but I encounter some problem while running the gmail application:

$ java -jar me-app.jar gmail.jad

I get a few error for class not found:
com.barteo.cldc.https.Connection (and a few other class)

I do a quick and dirty hack. I get CertificateException class from midp 2.0 from Sun, com.barteo package from cldc.jar (can be downloaded from ).

The last part, where can I get the gmail mobile application? I download the generic program from: (rename to gmail.jad)

I get this 2 link from gmail help center.

Beyond wireless broadband

Thoughts for Singapore wireless@SG

Just after I graduated many years ago, I have an interview in NUS (National University of Singapore). There is a question from the interviewer, the professor ask me, "Malaysia have any vision plan?" (or something like that).

I don't know what he really means at that time, so the professor explain to me, like for Singapore, they have an IT2000 initiative (intelligent island). I think I was not able to answer the question well at that time, and I didn't get the job. Later I realized that the professor may refering to 'wawasan 2020'. (I think the MSC idea is not there yet)

Internet seems to be a hit in 90s, especially when US president Bill Clinton and Al Gore propose 'Information Highway' idea, all other country have a similar plan but with a different name, like Singapore's intelligent island, India's Technology Park, Hong Kong's cyber port and Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor. The idea is to have broadband network connection.

After year 2000, extend one step further than broadband network, with the wireless broadband. Recently Taipei city just win an awards for its WIFLY network. Singapore announces to have wireless connection coverage throughout the island, and it is free for the first two years (now extended to 3 years).

I read a article about WIFLY in Taipei, even they have 90 percent coverage in Taipei city, but not many users (40,000 out of 2.6 millions) willing to pay for the services. Definitely there is a reason behind it.

I think Singapore government is doing a good job, given it free for the first few years. They have spend million of dollars on implementing the wireless system, Wireless@SG. I hope they can do better, and all other country can do it better.

If you are familiar with personal computer history, you should know Lotus-123 is the killer application on IBM PC. Many users buy IBM PC not because they are IBM product or it is affordable, they buy PC just because they can use Lotus-123 on it. I hope all these governments who promote wireless broadband don't forget, a killer application needs to be there as the key to the success, be it a software application or web services.

New York Times, What if They Built an Urban Wireless Network and Hardly Anyone Used It?
台北無線網路新都,果真世界第一? Free access to Wireless@SG network
Todayonline, Singapore, one giant hotspot
More Wi-Fi hotspots become free in Singapore

Thursday, January 04, 2007

How to run j2me application on Palm

I skip my dinner today, which is not good.

Question: Is it possible to run midp application on Palm?
The quick answer is yes, but how?

This just give you some idea how it will work, but not showing the detail step by step.

You should know how to write an j2me midp application, there are many tutorial on the internet that you can follow. What you need to do now, is to convert j2me jar file to a palm prc file, after that install this prc file and midp VM to the Palm device will do.

Yesterday night, some web site told me, there is a jar2prc tools to convert a jar file to prc file. I was searching high and low, but can't find this utility file. Seems like this jar2prc file is not a standard utility, it came with IBM WEME (Websphere Everyplace Micro Environment), and not Sun wireless toolkit.

Seems like the j2me vm is still within the competition between Sun and IBM. IBM's j2me VM is the majority on Palm OS platform. I am more familiar with Sun's tools, because I was using it when I first develop j2me application.

My development experience on j2me is about four to five years ago, but I almost forgot everything now. Luckily I still keep some README note from other developers, and I take a quick browse. Sun wireless toolkit is using midp4palm to convert jar to prc.

(Please take note, the prc generated by IBM need WEME, prc generated by midp4palm need Sun's midp. I guess should be the ID generated by both tools are different)

Most website (which is very old), will point you to which already been removed by Sun. I am not sure how you are going to generate the prc file now, but since I still keep this midp4palm file, I use this 5 years old file to generate prc file.

midp4palm, convert j2me jar file to palm

If you really can't find midp4palm, you should use IBM as your development tools, now you know why WEME dominate on Palm platform.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My Palm TX

Welcome year 2007 and happy new year.

Finally I get a Palm TX + 1G microSD (Yes! 1G) for RM999 just before the last day of year 2006. 999 sounds like a good number, definitely 888 is even better.

Most people will not buy a Palm TX PDA, is a 2 years old product, is not a smart phone and it doesn't run windows. (Ya! Is a big deal for many users because it don't support Microsoft Office). May be these people will prefer HP rx5915, which has WiFi and GPS system.

For a technical (hardware) user, Palm TX is still not their choice. Palm TX storage (128M) can't compare with Palm LifeDrive (4G), TX is using an Intel XScale processor which already sold to Marvell. TX could be the last product which use XScale, Palm's future product could be base on TI's OMAP or other ARM core base processor (eg. Samsung) like Zire 21, Treo 750v.

I don't really like Intel XScale, I am not sure if you compare with XScale and OMAP, which will perform better, but the XScale product used by Palm support WiFi, so that's the reason I choose the product. On the other hand, XScale is a good product, performing with low power.

Software people like me, Palm OS definitely is my choice, Windows Mobile have performance issue, they need a powerful device which will drain battery quickly. Even though both Palm and PalmSource (acquired by ACCESS) is moving to Linux platform, but we don't know when. Recently Palm license Palm OS source code from ACCESS. Palm OS is still simple and easy to use.

I have tried TX WiFi connection, is easy to setup, but I have no luck on configure Nokia mobile phone as an internet dial-up modem. I have download the midp j2me VM (from Sun), and my 5 years old j2me program still work on the TX!

Many old Palm OS v3 program doesn't work well on TX, but some still working fine. I think Palm has do some home work on backward compatibility, those old program actually compile for Motorola cpu. I don't really like the Graffiti 2 handwriting system, but I think I will get use to it soon.

I don't have much time to try for the 'new' device, but definitely will write more in the future.

This is my homepage for Palm TX.