HowTo: Using the Palm PDA in 2023
My first PDA was Palm m105, I used it in 2001. 20 years later I decided to check, how the last generation of Palm OS devices was looking and to check if it’s possible to use Palm OS nowadays.
Palm m105 was a nice device for its time, it had a grayscale screen with a “stunning” 160x160px resolution and a 16 MHz Motorola CPU. Compared to it, Palm TX looks much better — it was released 4 years later, and it has a 312 MHz CPU, 320x480 TFT screen, USB, WiFi, and Bluetooth support. It looks much more promising, and when I saw Palm TX on eBay in a brand-new condition, I decided to test, what will be the experience of using this device today.
This is the hero of our story:
Let’s get started.
Palm TX looks small and light, compared to modern devices — the screen size is only 3.9" and the weight is 149g:
The first thing that catches the eye is plenty of buttons. The PDA has 9 buttons in total — four buttons for different apps, four cursor keys, and an “OK” button in the center. Using the preferences, every button can be assigned to any application:
It is a very useful feature, that often does not exist even on modern devices. On Android smartphones reassigning the hardware buttons may require root access, and sometimes it is limited or not possible at all. I actually don’t understand why, it’s nice to have the possibility to launch a favorite app (like book reader or Facebook or something else) with one button click.
In general, the Palm’s TX hardware was not bad for its time. It has an Intel XScale CPU with 312 MHz frequency, a 128 MB flash memory, that can be extended using the SD/MMC card, and a 480x320 TFT screen. Palm TX also has Bluetooth, WiFi, and the IrDA port for connectivity. Another nice improvement, compared to previous Palm models, is multimedia support. Palm TX can play MP3 files from an SD card and it is even possible to watch the…