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Palm usable without a PC?

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December 5, 2004 11:48:48 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

Would a Palm Zire 21 work as present for a non-PC-owner, to play chess? I
want to install a chess program for him. Will that survive on the Palm or
would it be lost if the user forgets to charge it or if the Palm crashes? If
it can be lost, is there a fix for the problem that does not involve a PC? A
memory card that holds the program permanently? I believe the Zire 21 can
not take cards but the Zire 31 can? Please excuse my ignorance, I have no
clue about this type of hardware.

More about : palm usable

Anonymous
December 5, 2004 11:48:49 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

"de" <no@mail.please> wrote in news:31fsr4F3bdrvaU1@news.dfncis.de:

> Would a Palm Zire 21 work as present for a non-PC-owner, to play
> chess? I want to install a chess program for him. Will that survive on
> the Palm or would it be lost if the user forgets to charge it or if
> the Palm crashes? If it can be lost, is there a fix for the problem
> that does not involve a PC? A memory card that holds the program
> permanently? I believe the Zire 21 can not take cards but the Zire 31
> can? Please excuse my ignorance, I have no clue about this type of
> hardware.

When (not if) the Palm crashes, everything on it will likely be lost. A
hard reset restores it to the way it came from the factory. An SD card
can save everything, using a backup program. I would suggest a model
with a card slot, and an SD card. I just saw 128MB cards in WalMart for
less than $15. I also suggest a backup program. BackupMan can be set to
do automatic backups daily, or even hourly for the truly anal, and in the
event of a reset it's easy to restore everything. It's only another $10.

--
Regards,

Stan
December 5, 2004 12:18:39 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

Stan Gosnell <me@work.com> wrote:

> When (not if) the Palm crashes, everything on it will likely be lost. A
> hard reset restores it to the way it came from the factory. An SD card
> can save everything, using a backup program. I would suggest a model
> with a card slot, and an SD card. I just saw 128MB cards in WalMart for

Thanks for the reply. As far as low-end goes, that means Zire 31 and not
Zire 21, doesn't it? I'd rather avoid the Zire 31 because reviews suggest it
doesn't run long enough for chess (less than 3 hours). Is there any way to
restore the software of the Zire 21 after a crash via its USB port but
without computer? Can it accesss mass storage devices? A 64MB USB pen, for
example (adopter?).
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Anonymous
December 5, 2004 12:18:40 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

"de" <no@mail.please> wrote in message
news:31fuj6F39viiaU1@news.dfncis.de...
> Stan Gosnell <me@work.com> wrote:
>
SNIP

> Thanks for the reply. As far as low-end goes, that means Zire 31 and not
> Zire 21, doesn't it? I'd rather avoid the Zire 31 because reviews suggest
> it doesn't run long enough for chess (less than 3 hours). Is there any way
> to restore the software of the Zire 21 after a crash via its USB port but
> without computer? Can it accesss mass storage devices? A 64MB USB pen, for
> example (adopter?).
If you want to restore your programs you'll either need a PC (windows or
mac) or an SD cardwith everything backed up to it. The Palm cannot connect
to a USB Drive as the Palm is a slave USB device like the USB pen drives.

If all you want to do is run chess have you considered one of the many good
handheld chess units out there? You'll get better battery life and you won't
have to worry about resets or crashes.

TC
December 5, 2004 1:30:57 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

"Tony Clark" <curiousgeorge1964@hotmail.com> wrote:

> If all you want to do is run chess have you considered one of the many
> good handheld chess units out there? You'll get better battery life and
> you won't have to worry about resets or crashes.

I haven't found anything good at that price that could be compared to a Zire
21 running HIARCS, based on ELO values listed on web pages. Novag makes
good units but not under 229 EUR (here).

Btw, how often does a Zire 21 with a chess program like HIARCS (and nothing
else) crash so hard that all software is lost?
Anonymous
December 5, 2004 11:38:25 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

I am no Chess expert so I can't say if any of these units are good, but they
all are less than a Zire + Software.

http://www.chesshouse.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=64...

Not sure if they can ship outside the US, but maybe you can use them as a
guide to look for Europena suppliers.

As for Palms crashing, if the program is well behaved they rarely, if ever,
crash. They can crash if dropped or jarred really hard. Also, I suspect that
if this person gets a PDA he/she will find all sorts of other things to do
with it, like electronic Chess books or music or whatever. Then the risk of
crashing goes up as you add more programs to the mix.

TC
"de" <no@mail.please> wrote in message
news:31g2r3F38vfc0U1@news.dfncis.de...
> "Tony Clark" <curiousgeorge1964@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> If all you want to do is run chess have you considered one of the many
>> good handheld chess units out there? You'll get better battery life and
>> you won't have to worry about resets or crashes.
>
> I haven't found anything good at that price that could be compared to a
> Zire
> 21 running HIARCS, based on ELO values listed on web pages. Novag makes
> good units but not under 229 EUR (here).
>
> Btw, how often does a Zire 21 with a chess program like HIARCS (and
> nothing else) crash so hard that all software is lost?
>
>
>
December 6, 2004 2:53:30 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

"Tony Clark" <curiousgeorge1964@hotmail.com> wrote:

>I am no Chess expert so I can't say if any of these units are good, but
>they all are less than a Zire + Software.

Neither am I (chess expert) but those look like toys. HIARCS, on a lowly
Palm Zire 21, reaches 2400+ ELO points. That sounds pretty good. I don't
think that average/club chess players can beat that. Aren't grandmasters in
the 2500+ range? The 50$ chess toys play ridiculously bad. Small book of
openings etc.

> http://www.chesshouse.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=64...

> if this person gets a PDA he/she will find all sorts of other things to do
> with it, like electronic Chess books or music or whatever. Then the risk
> of

He can't, as he won't have a computer to upload stuff to the Palm :)  He's
also not interested in address management etc. Just chess. But I suppose
it's still a bad idea to get the Palm 21 because the memory seems to be of
the non-flash type (why?!) and all software is lost if is is not recharged
in time. If I get a Palm Zire 31 and an SD-card and put the chess program on
it, would it be restored from the card if the Palm is recharged/rebootet?
Somebody mentioned a backup program but I don't see the purpose because that
must be lost on a crash/power loss, too. Or do I need it only once, to write
the software to the SD-card (do those cards not appear as some sort of drive
on the Palm?).
Anonymous
December 6, 2004 3:13:55 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

"de" <no@mail.please> wrote in news:31hhr8F3b2lcjU1@news.dfncis.de:

> He can't, as he won't have a computer to upload stuff to the Palm :) 
> He's also not interested in address management etc. Just chess. But I
> suppose it's still a bad idea to get the Palm 21 because the memory
> seems to be of the non-flash type (why?!) and all software is lost if
> is is not recharged in time. If I get a Palm Zire 31 and an SD-card
> and put the chess program on it, would it be restored from the card if
> the Palm is recharged/rebootet? Somebody mentioned a backup program
> but I don't see the purpose because that must be lost on a crash/power
> loss, too. Or do I need it only once, to write the software to the
> SD-card (do those cards not appear as some sort of drive on the
> Palm?).

You put a copy of the backup program on the card also. After a hard
reset or a dead battery, you can charge the unit and access the backup
program on the card, and everything, including the chess program and the
backup program, will be restored to the handheld. Regular backups mean
the saved games, etc will also be restored. Having a Palm with a card
slot and no backup program is simply negligence. Eventually you will
need it. With the backup and the backup program on the card, you can do
a restore in no more than a minute, no PC required. With the Zire 21, if
he ever lets the battery die, everything is gone forever. You can reload
the chess program for him, but everything he's ever done in it is gone to
the great bit-bucket in the sky, never to be seen again. With a backup
program, it's saved every time a backup is done, and can be easily
restored.

--
Regards,

Stan
Anonymous
December 6, 2004 4:35:37 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

How do you get Backup man on the palm wthout a computer?
"Stan Gosnell" <me@work.com> wrote in message
news:Xns95B6151C22CE2mework@204.52.135.40...
> "de" <no@mail.please> wrote in news:31fsr4F3bdrvaU1@news.dfncis.de:
>
> > Would a Palm Zire 21 work as present for a non-PC-owner, to play
> > chess? I want to install a chess program for him. Will that survive on
> > the Palm or would it be lost if the user forgets to charge it or if
> > the Palm crashes? If it can be lost, is there a fix for the problem
> > that does not involve a PC? A memory card that holds the program
> > permanently? I believe the Zire 21 can not take cards but the Zire 31
> > can? Please excuse my ignorance, I have no clue about this type of
> > hardware.
>
> When (not if) the Palm crashes, everything on it will likely be lost. A
> hard reset restores it to the way it came from the factory. An SD card
> can save everything, using a backup program. I would suggest a model
> with a card slot, and an SD card. I just saw 128MB cards in WalMart for
> less than $15. I also suggest a backup program. BackupMan can be set to
> do automatic backups daily, or even hourly for the truly anal, and in the
> event of a reset it's easy to restore everything. It's only another $10.
>
> --
> Regards,
>
> Stan
Anonymous
December 6, 2004 8:08:46 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

Hi,

Sounds like you know a little more about chess than I do...LOL. My intent
was to show possible options in leiu of a Palm. I love Palms, but from your
original posting the Palm sounds like overkill just to play a chess game.
Combine that with the issues of not having a PC to load SW and I still think
an electronic chess game might be a better choice.

Take a look at these, they claim ratings in the 22009-2400 range, should be
enough to keep your pal busy :) 

http://www.chesshouse.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=65...

Yes they will cost as much as a Zire+SW but you won't have to worry about
crashing and backup programs and what-not. It's a bit hard to tell how large
these things are so that may be an issue.

Good luck in your search.

TC

"de" <no@mail.please> wrote in message
news:31hhr8F3b2lcjU1@news.dfncis.de...
> "Tony Clark" <curiousgeorge1964@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>>I am no Chess expert so I can't say if any of these units are good, but
>>they all are less than a Zire + Software.
>
> Neither am I (chess expert) but those look like toys. HIARCS, on a lowly
> Palm Zire 21, reaches 2400+ ELO points. That sounds pretty good. I don't
> think that average/club chess players can beat that. Aren't grandmasters
> in
> the 2500+ range? The 50$ chess toys play ridiculously bad. Small book of
> openings etc.
>
>> http://www.chesshouse.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=64...
>
>> if this person gets a PDA he/she will find all sorts of other things to
>> do
>> with it, like electronic Chess books or music or whatever. Then the risk
>> of
>
> He can't, as he won't have a computer to upload stuff to the Palm :)  He's
> also not interested in address management etc. Just chess. But I suppose
> it's still a bad idea to get the Palm 21 because the memory seems to be of
> the non-flash type (why?!) and all software is lost if is is not recharged
> in time. If I get a Palm Zire 31 and an SD-card and put the chess program
> on
> it, would it be restored from the card if the Palm is recharged/rebootet?
> Somebody mentioned a backup program but I don't see the purpose because
> that
> must be lost on a crash/power loss, too. Or do I need it only once, to
> write the software to the SD-card (do those cards not appear as some sort
> of drive on the Palm?).
>
>
>
>
>
December 6, 2004 8:26:34 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

"Charles Eaves" <charles.eaves@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
> How do you get Backup man on the palm wthout a computer?

Well, *I* have a computer. The plan is to save the software to the SD-card
before I hand out the Zire. I just want to be sure (before purchasing one)
that the Zire 31 can be restored to the state before a crash without a
computer, directly from a memory card. I hope the OS does not wipe the
memory card in case of a crash or hard reset?
Anonymous
December 6, 2004 8:56:07 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

"de" <no@mail.please> wrote in news:31i5c9F3ai8jsU1@news.dfncis.de:

> "Charles Eaves" <charles.eaves@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>> How do you get Backup man on the palm wthout a computer?
>
> Well, *I* have a computer. The plan is to save the software to the
> SD-card before I hand out the Zire. I just want to be sure (before
> purchasing one) that the Zire 31 can be restored to the state before a
> crash without a computer, directly from a memory card. I hope the OS
> does not wipe the memory card in case of a crash or hard reset?

No, the card is not affected, only RAM. The card works just like a USB
drive, and it's non-volatile flash memory. You can get a card reader for
less than $20 which will let you use the card as a USB drive, and
transfer files directly there instead of hotsyncing, but in this case it
may not be worth the expense.

--
Regards,

Stan
Anonymous
December 6, 2004 9:11:39 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

"de" <no@mail.please> wrote in message
news:31fuj6F39viiaU1@news.dfncis.de...
> Stan Gosnell <me@work.com> wrote:
>
>> When (not if) the Palm crashes, everything on it will likely be lost. A
>> hard reset restores it to the way it came from the factory. An SD card
>> can save everything, using a backup program. I would suggest a model
>> with a card slot, and an SD card. I just saw 128MB cards in WalMart for
>
> Thanks for the reply. As far as low-end goes, that means Zire 31 and not
> Zire 21, doesn't it? I'd rather avoid the Zire 31 because reviews suggest
> it doesn't run long enough for chess (less than 3 hours). Is there any way
> to restore the software of the Zire 21 after a crash via its USB port but
> without computer? Can it accesss mass storage devices? A 64MB USB pen, for
> example (adopter?).

Unless the chess player is on the road, and if the Zire acts like other Palm
units, it can be used while plugged in. Also, there may be battery
supplements available for travel use. I got one for my Tungsten E, and it
was *not* through Palm.
Anonymous
December 6, 2004 11:36:32 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

In article <Xns95B6F37C2FD9Cmework@204.52.135.40>, Stan Gosnell wrote:
> "de" <no@mail.please> wrote in news:31i5c9F3ai8jsU1@news.dfncis.de:
>> I hope the OS does not wipe the memory card in case of a crash or hard
>> reset?
>
> No, the card is not affected, only RAM. The card works just like a USB
> drive, and it's non-volatile flash memory.

SD cards also have a 'write protect' switch, which turns the entire
card read-only. In this special case, that might be a useful feature.
No chance that even an OS bug would corrupt the card...

--
Sincerely,

Ray Ingles (313) 227-2317

The Bush administration is planning to withdraw most United States
combat forces from Iraq over the next several months and wants to
shrink the American military presence to less than two divisions
by the fall, senior allied officials said today.
- New York Times, May 3, 2003
Anonymous
December 6, 2004 11:42:41 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

"de" <no@mail.please> writes:

> Btw, how often does a Zire 21 with a chess program like HIARCS (and nothing
> else) crash so hard that all software is lost?

With well-behaved programs, the palm shouldn't crash. I'd be more
worried about accidentally running the batteries down (going too long
without recharging). When the batteries are fully discharged, you lose
everything in memory. A program that backs up to some kind of flash
card will solve this problem, but you mentioned that you'd rather not do
that (or can't).

--
Darryl Okahata
darrylo@soco.agilent.com

DISCLAIMER: this message is the author's personal opinion and does not
constitute the support, opinion, or policy of Agilent Technologies, or
of the little green men that have been following him all day.
December 6, 2004 4:03:03 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

"Tony Clark" <curiousgeorge1964@hotmail.com> wrote:

>>>I am no Chess expert so I can't say if any of these units are good, but
>>>they all are less than a Zire + Software.

They are ok. The company that makes them has disappeard a while ago (I
believe). Richard Lang created the software for at least some of them. Now
he makes ChessGenius for the Palm and other devices. The beauty of the Palm
is that it's small, portable, fast, strong and, most importantly, upgradable
with new software and user data. Updates of chess software appear rather
frequently. The small Mephisto units are not upgradable, the book of
openings can not be extended, they usually don't have a display that shows
the moves that the machine is pondering (they show only the most likely
move), they are heavier, operating them can be frustrating because they have
no menus etc. I think they are not nearly as good as a PDA.
Anonymous
December 6, 2004 4:20:19 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

de wrote:
> Would a Palm Zire 21 work as present for a non-PC-owner, to play chess? I
> want to install a chess program for him. Will that survive on the Palm or
> would it be lost if the user forgets to charge it or if the Palm crashes? If
> it can be lost, is there a fix for the problem that does not involve a PC? A
> memory card that holds the program permanently? I believe the Zire 21 can
> not take cards but the Zire 31 can? Please excuse my ignorance, I have no
> clue about this type of hardware.
>
>

Without having a computer to backup and restore data from, any handheld
device becomes rather fragile. I would suggest a dedicated machine
instead, something like this:

http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=59406...
December 8, 2004 12:00:10 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

"Dekaritae" <dekaritae@gmail.com> wrote:

> Without having a computer to backup and restore data from, any handheld
> device becomes rather fragile. I would suggest a dedicated machine
> instead, something like this:

I finally purchased a Sony Clie TJ35 with PalmOS (cheaper than Zire 31,
apparently a discontinued product, but has twice the resolution + more RAM).
It has a "MS Backup program" in the ROM and can backup to and restore from
the memory stick, which can be write protected. That seems to be on the safe
side regarding power loss.

Can anybody give advice on the best Palm chess program? Should I get
ChessGenius or HIARCS? Personally, I like ChessGenius much better because
of its user interface. It's easy to toggle board size, it has coordinates,
looks better (HIARCS only offers bright pastel colors for the dark fields,
they do not look good at all with this PDA's display). And it's available in
a localized German translation. It's also a bit cheaper. On the other hand,
HIARCS is rated higher ... but the rating comes from its own author. I'm not
so concerned about the lower EOL rating of ChessGenius, if lower: it's for a
good player but he's probably not a grandmaster :)  But ChessGenius is
alarmingly small. It can't possbily have a good opening book. And a program
that makes mistakes in that phase does not seem to be a good choice. Anybody
who's played against both, please advice.
Anonymous
December 8, 2004 8:37:33 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

On Tue 07 Dec 2004 12:00:10p, de, wrote:

> "Dekaritae" <dekaritae@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Without having a computer to backup and restore data from, any
>> handheld device becomes rather fragile. I would suggest a dedicated
>> machine instead, something like this:
>
> I finally purchased a Sony Clie TJ35 with PalmOS (cheaper than Zire
> 31, apparently a discontinued product, but has twice the resolution +
> more RAM). It has a "MS Backup program" in the ROM and can backup to
> and restore from the memory stick, which can be write protected. That
> seems to be on the safe side regarding power loss.

The only thing I'm wondering is how you are going to download programs
and load them into it.

> Can anybody give advice on the best Palm chess program? Should I get
> ChessGenius or HIARCS? Personally, I like ChessGenius much better
> because of its user interface. It's easy to toggle board size, it has
> coordinates, looks better (HIARCS only offers bright pastel colors
> for the dark fields, they do not look good at all with this PDA's
> display). And it's available in a localized German translation. It's
> also a bit cheaper. On the other hand, HIARCS is rated higher ... but
> the rating comes from its own author. I'm not so concerned about the
> lower EOL rating of ChessGenius, if lower: it's for a good player but
> he's probably not a grandmaster :)  But ChessGenius is alarmingly
> small. It can't possbily have a good opening book. And a program that
> makes mistakes in that phase does not seem to be a good choice.
> Anybody who's played against both, please advice.

Richard Lang has been writing really good, very small, chess programs
since (at least) the early 80s. I learned about Psion Chess when using my
Sinclair computers -- then the Psion 3. (I'm strangely attracted to chess
and chess programs -- but I can't play worth beans.)

I'm guessing either program would be good -- but if you like Chess
Genius' interface you would probably enjoy it more.

You'll definitely want a second opinion.

--
RonB
"There's a story there...somewhere"
December 8, 2004 10:31:14 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

"RonB" <ronbNOSPAM@bliz.org> wrote:

> Richard Lang has been writing really good, very small, chess programs
> since (at least) the early 80s. I learned about Psion Chess when using my
> Sinclair computers -- then the Psion 3. (I'm strangely attracted to chess
> and chess programs -- but I can't play worth beans.)

I have seen the C code of an engine (must have been a winboard engine,
crafty?) and it was tiny, too, and still very strong. It looked as if it
could be compiled into a 16 KB binary. The strength seems to come from bute
force, not so much from super-smart programmers. I take that as an
indication how much of ChessGenius could be book and not engine code. And
the book is probably stored very efficiently. Still, the small size of only
170 KB worries me. In comparison, the large book of HIARCS is nearly 3 MB
big.

> The only thing I'm wondering is how you are going to download programs
> and load them into it.

With a computer. It's a gift, I have a PC but the person that will receieve
the PDA has not. So he gets the software preloaded on a memory stick.
Anonymous
December 9, 2004 4:56:41 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

On Tue 07 Dec 2004 10:31:14p, de, wrote:

> I have seen the C code of an engine (must have been a winboard
> engine, crafty?) and it was tiny, too, and still very strong. It
> looked as if it could be compiled into a 16 KB binary. The strength
> seems to come from bute force, not so much from super-smart
> programmers. I take that as an indication how much of ChessGenius
> could be book and not engine code. And the book is probably stored
> very efficiently. Still, the small size of only 170 KB worries me. In
> comparison, the large book of HIARCS is nearly 3 MB big.

You're well over my head on this stuff. I only know that Chess Genius
can wallop me every time.

> With a computer. It's a gift, I have a PC but the person that will
> receieve the PDA has not. So he gets the software preloaded on a
> memory stick.

Okay. I'm feeling particularly dense today. Sorry for asking stupid
questions.

--
RonB
"There's a story there...somewhere"
!