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O'Reilly Network: Making the Palm/Linux Connection

May 07, 2000, 01:35 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Chris Halsall)

"Linux and Unix users are often pleasantly surprised by how much software is available to support PalmOS devices. In addition to the traditional graphical "Palm Desktop" environment programs like J-Pilot, there exists a large quantity of low-level and specialized tools for communicating with, managing, and even emulating the Palm."

"Included with most modern Linux distributions now is a package called "pilot-link," written by Kenneth Albanowski. This suite of tools and libraries enables communications between a Unix environment and a Palm though the serial port, and is used by many other programs to take care of the messy details. Language bindings exist for C, C++, Python, Tcl, and Perl. If you find you don't have pilot-link installed, or want to upgrade, download locations can be found at FileWatcher)."

"The most useful tool included is probably "pilot-xfer," which has its own man page, and is able to do most of the data exchange needed day-to-day. To back up your Palm, for example, simply execute the command pilot-xfer -b BACKUP_DIRECTORY, place your Palm in its cradle, and press the hot-sync button. Every program (.prc) and database (.pdb) file on the Palm will be transferred and stored in the directory. To synchronize all the files, execute the pilot-xfer -s BACKUP_DIRECTORY command. To completely restore instead (for example, after a hard-crash), use pilot-xfer -r BACKUP_DIRECTORY."

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