HTML on a Palm Pilot!

Writing the Code

I am using SmartDoc 2.0 to input HTML in the "Doc" format on the TRGpro (any PalmPilot will work).

I chose SmartDoc 2.0 for a few reasons: 1) it has the best feature set of the available Doc programs 2) it has a built in FTP program that can upload files directly in .txt format. (Note: there is now an FTP client for the PalmOS called Lftp, and it is available from Palm Gear. I have not used this program.)

Unfortunately, I don't have an ISP in Asia, so I have to resort to other methods for uploading files. Luckily, internet cafes are everywhere. The trick is to find one that has a CD drive and FTP.

Uploading The Old Way

  1. Load Pilot software from your CD.
  2. Using a hotsync cable (or cradle), back up the Pilot's databases to the computer.
  3. Open the Doc files on the computer with Doc Reader (freeware), which I keep on a floppy.
  4. Copy the contents of the Doc file to Notepad (the basic text editor that comes with Windows). Save the file onto a floppy from Notepad in text (ascii) format, but remember to give it an .html extension.
  5. Upload to your server via FTP.

Both SmartDoc and Doc Reader can be downloaded from Palm Gear.

Many of the computers in the cafes don't have CD drives, making it impossible to load the Pilot software. To get around this, download the software directly from Palm (slow).

Uploading The New Way

Syncing the TRGpro takes forever, I have to uninstall the software and any personal data, and CD drives can be hard to find.

Since I need a USB connection to download photos from my digital camera, I've come up with a way to greatly simplify my job in the internet cafe. Since the camera uses the same Compact Flash (CF) cards as the TRGpro, I first copy the images I plan to use to the palmtop using MyPhotos which is available, yet overpriced, at Palm Gear.

Next I copy those same photos and HTML files to a new folder on a CF card so that everything is in one place. I can load the USB driver for the digital camera from a floppy, and then use it as an external hard drive for the CF card, simply dragging the files and photos I need onto the computer.

The Images

All of the images, including the backgrounds, were taken with my digital camera. Thankfully, the camera saves images as a JPEG, so there are no formatting problems. To get the pictures off the camera, I need either:

The camera's images range in size from 150-800 k, way too large for a webpage. While I could use the basic Microsoft Photo Editor that is on most computers, I've found an easier way. My camera makes an additional "preview image" of every picture I take. These images are between 10-50 k; quite acceptable for a web page. I'm sure I'd get better image quality by manipulating the regular pictures, but I consider these "good enough."

All in all, finding a cafe that can FTP has been my biggest problem. Sometimes I have to resort to preparing the latest update on a floppy and carrying that floppy around until I find a place that can FTP.



Page Revised 8/31/00