New Life for Your Old Palm PDA

Do you have an old Palm Pilot PDA laying around and gathering dust? If so then I’ve run across a great program to give Palm a new lease one life. It’s called PalmOrb.

PalmOrb is software that allows you to use your PalmOS device as a LCD status display for your computer! You can display system stats (such as: CPU load graphs, CPU temperatures, free disk space), news alerts, stock indexes, WinAmp graphs, etc.

PalmOrb works by pretending to be (or emulating) a real LCD; a Matrix Orbital LK204-25 LCD. So you can use existing software that expects a Matrix Orbital display!

Once PalmOrb is installed on your Palm, you then need some client software to display content on the device. The PalmOrb links page lists a number of apps for Linux and Windows. I tried LCD Smartie for Windows and it works great. I currently get CPU stats, network stats and current news headlines. I have yet to find any software that will work with Mac OS X, but maybe one of the Unix/Linux apps has been ported.

While it will work with just a straight serial cable, because the Palm is always on and always communicating across the serial connection it draws a lot of power. Therefore I recommend that you only use it with a powered cradle.

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