Defects in Palm OS 5   2 comments

I want to be fair here. I've had only one Palm handheld which is the Tunsten E2 running Palm OS 5.4, so I didn't experience any other Palm OS versions. I've been using the E2 and I should say it's overall quite good and faithful. However, there are some cons I've found, which I'd like not to see in the next installment of Palm OS, which most likely will be Palm OS 6. I'll try to be simple, and attach my points with examples, to be clear for all:

  1. The 'Favorites' screen should allow linking to applications installed on the memory card, not just those of the device. It's just rediculous.
  2. The battery icon at the top of the 'Favorites' screen shows the battery percentage when tapped. However, it doesn't show this in the 'Applications' screen.
    • These 2 issues can be easily gotten rid of by using a 3rd-party launcher/manager like Zlauncher, or MegaLauncher, but… why should I buy a $19-priced software while a main and vital feature like that is supposed to be already intergrated in the $199-handheld?
  3. I've noticed that on playing music/video for a period longer than 30 min, and clicking on the 'Home' button, comes up with a Fatal Error, which needs a soft-reset. It's like the heap memory is being consumed up, so that when you need to execute another order, the system cannot cope, and it collapses.
  4. The default system font is kind of chubby for a 320×320 px display. However, this is a personal point of view. Others may like it that way.
    • Tip : you can install new fonts by using the combo of YAHM and FontHackV (OS 5 only). I've written a guide with pictures here.
  5. I'm not sure if this is hardware-related or not, but there should be a way to adjust the display contrast. Something like the brightness rocker that is already present.
    • 'TCPMP', a video-player application for Palm has the ability to adjust the contrast and saturation. This gives a hint that a software command can do it.
  6. One of the most dangerous things in Palm OS 5 is the NVFS type of memory it uses. The NVFS promises to make your life better by saving all your info if the battery is drained. However, it has a killer side-effect. For instance, if you installed – say by mistake – a corrupt application, the system crashed, and you had to reset, you'd be doomed. Now the bad info is forever stored by the NVFS, leading to reset loops, or sticking at the Palm loading logo… In short, your device is not usable anymore, and it needs to be replaced!
    • This exact thing happened to me a month back and I had to send it in for repair, and it costed it me a LOT. Read more about this incident in my other article: here.
  7. The Alarm volume is low, and the tunes are a bit old and boring.
  8. Overall, I think the interface is quite intuitive and easy to use. However, I would like to see it skinnable, to make it cooler and smoother.
    • Tip : 'SkinUI' is a free beta application that has introduced skinning of Palm OS. Check it out here. Download it from here. Download skins from here. (Palm OS 5 only) — However I don't recommend apps from
    • We need to have an alarm icon in Favorites and Applications to be able to know if Alarm is on or not from a single glance.
  9. Multi-tasking: Palm OS 5 lacks multi-tasking which, needless to say, is a must-have feature.

That's all what I could remember for now…
More may come soon…


Posted February 13, 2006 by H. H. in Favorite Posts, Palm

2 responses to “Defects in Palm OS 5

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  1. My palm never quite served the niche I wanted. I think it was because I suck at graffiti. Nowdays I mostly use it as an ebook reader.

    Count Olaf: Beef, yes. Roast beef. It’s the Swedish term for “beef that has been roasted”.

    Count Olaf was the best.

  2. The on-screen keyboard is quite a good alternative.

    And I agree about Count Olaf! šŸ™‚

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