Palm Code v1.1

Revision History

v1.1: enhancements by [PWG] - 18-12-2003

v1.01: First official release version. (i)nput category replaced with (g)rafitti and (k)eyboard categories.

v1.00: First version of Palm Code released for comments in the Flipside forum.

Inspired by other preference enumeration systems such as Robert Haydenís Geek Code, Palm Code is a means for PalmOS users to disseminate their palm-related views and preferences in the form of a block of text code. Palm Code demonstrates how a user feels about various features and aspects of PalmOS devices, their uses, and even their views on some of the more influential companies which have influenced the platform.

Palm Code consists of a standardized series of letters representing categories, features, and issues. At the end of each category letter, the user adds character modifiers which denote his or her views on the particular category, feature, or view. The end result is a userís PalmOS Ďworldviewí at a glance. Users can incorporate Palm Code into their email signature files, or even use Palm Code as a tag line to their posts to online discussion forums (those of you who spend time at PIC can probably envision how this could cut down some unnecessary flaming in the discussion threads ;-).


Classifying oneself according to the code system is a lot like filling in a multiple-choice questionnaire some responders may have problems strongly identifying with one of the preset answers offered. While figuring out your own code bear in mind that the descriptions associated with each answer level should be interpreted more for the spirit behind the response, rather than every aspect the literal statements. In addition to encouraging flexibility in self-classification, the Palm Code incorporates some common tried-and-true modifiers which make it easier to fit an individualized response into a somewhat arbitrary framework. The modifier codes are:


Place after a rating, this symbol indicates that the not very exact, or a somewhat borderline classification.For instance, you might agree with only a part of a category.


A second parenthetical rating after a category indicates crossover ranges, where the first rating is accurate most of the time, but the second rating is more accurate in certain situations. Additional ratings can be added, separated with commas, in descending order. It's not recommended to add more than one rating though.


A question mark indicates the responder isnít familiar with the topic of the category or has no views or experience from which to comment on the subject..


Placed after a category letter, this indicates that the user declines to comment on the subject.


This symbol, used only to modify the user type category, indicates that the user participates in this category as a paid professional (probably only relevant for responses ĎBí and ĎD,í though if you feel you have a good case for applying it to another category, by all means go for it ;-).

User Domains

The first segment of Palm Code begins by identifying some basic user information. To the obvious beginning character of ĎPí users may add an additional descriptor which shows what general type of user best describes them. Users may also add how many years they have been using PalmOS to the end of this category.


The Ďaverageí consumer: Users who acquire a PalmOS device on their own with the basic goal of organizing and entertaining themselves.


The business/professional user: To such people their handhelds are primarily a work tool.


The student: Such users mainly rely on handhelds to help them with their studies.


The gadget junkie: PalmOS handhelds are such cool devices that such people need no further rational to use them.


The developer: This user is as interested in writing software for PalmOS devices as he/she is in using them.


The medical professional: For them, having Fireviewer images of EEG readouts could mean someoneís life or death!


The vertical market user: People who have very specialized setups that may help them control production on a factory floor, or analyze Giraffe blood in the Serengeti.

Specs, Features, and Usage

The next twelve categories allow users to weigh on several of the frequently-debated attributes of PalmOS devices:

Form Factor

f-- I could carry an AlphaSmart Dana all day and wouldn't mind a bit.

f- As long as it isnít a total brick, Iím happy.

f I go for a good balance between size and features.

f+ I prefer the sleeker Ďexecutiveí designs.

f++ I want credit card thick devices!


h-- I use my PDA as a standalone unit.

h- Once a week is enough for me.

h I HotSync® every day.

h+ Morning, lunch and dinner.

h++ Every 15 minutes, to make sure I'm in sync.

Battery Life

b-- I walk from power supply to power supply.

b- I charge a few times every day.

b My PDA charges every night.

b+ The tickle charge I get when I HotSync® is enough.

b++ I forgot the last time I charged my Palm.


p-- A 16MHz Dragonball handles all my PIM needs.

p- The 33MHz Dragonballs are about the perfect level of power.

p Dedicated multimedia coprocessors and/or higher range Dragonballs are the way to go.

p+ I want desktop power in my pocket. Give me ARM!

p++ I overclock my PDA to 1 GHz

Operating System

o-- Iíve never needed any features which arenít in OS 2 or below

o- OS 3 meets all of my needs nicely.

o I stick with OS 4.

o+ I won't buy a new device that doesn't have OS 5.

o++ OS 5 is just a stepping stone, I want OS 6 or beyond!

RAM Memory

m-- I canít use more than 70% of my <=2M!

m- I think 8M is enough to get by.

m 16MB suits me.

m+ I have 32-64M on my device.

m++ I've got 64+ MB.

Flash ROM

F-- My device doesn't have Flash ROM

F- I've got Flash ROM, but don't want to tamper with it.

F I have a few applications in the ROM.

F+ I've got an EFIGS(P) PDA and removed the languages I don't use to get extra space.

F++ I've crafted my entire ROM.

Virtual File System

v-- I honestly donít see the need (see m--).

v- VFS is far too crufty to use!

v I use VFS, but mainly for backup/ long term storage.

v+ Many of my apps live on a card and are mounted via my launcher.

v++ I use multiple cards, put almost everything on them, and now have 1-2M free on my device!


g-- I never got the hang of Grafitti and rely on the virtual keyboard or desktop hotsyncís for most data entry.

g- I really need third party enhancements such as Fitaly, WordComplete, or Tealscript to make Grafitti practical.

g I use a stylus for light input, but prefer another input method for the heavy stuff.

g+ I use Graffiti for most data entry needs.

g++ I can write in Grafitti faster and more accurately than most people can type!


k-- I canít conceive of ever needing a keyboard for my handheld (see g++).

k- I can see the appeal here, but donít want to add the cost/bulk to my setup.

k I use a keyboard occassionally, mainly when I have large ammounts of text to enter.

k+ I usually carry a keyboard if thereís any chance that Iíll have more than a few paragraphs to write.

k++ Iím ready to give up Grafitti altogether in favor of a good integrated thumboard (see g--)


r-- The classic 160x160 is plenty of pixels for a PDA.

r- High res is nice, but definitely a luxury feature.

r After seeing 320x320, I can't go back to low res.

r+ I've got to break out of the square, give me virtual graffiti areas!

r++ I'm not happy until I have a 3D screen.


c-- 4 shades of gracing to a desktop computer is all the connectivity I need.

n Iím satisfied connecting to the Internet via a landline modem/host computer.

n+ Connecting via a cell phone meets my needs for on-demand wireless access.

n++ I need a dedicated wireless connection (preferably 3G).


t-- Iíll keep my cell phone and PDA separate, thank you!

t- Integrated devices are intriguing, but involve too many compromises.

cing to a desktop computer is all the connectivity I need.

n Iím satisfied connecting to the Internet via a landline modem/host computer.

n+ Connecting via a cell phone meets my needs for on-demand wireless access.

n++ I need a dedicated wireless connection (preferably 3G).


t-- Iíll keep my cell phone and PDA separate, thank you!

t- Integrated devices are intriguing, but involve too many compromises.

t I look forward to the next crop of PDA/phone hybrids, and may make the jump.

t+ I really like my combo unit, and couldnít go back to carrying two devices again.

t++ Iím convinced that all PalmOS devices will feature telephony some day.


a-- Everything I need came in the box.

a- Iíve bought some small add-ons such as screen protectors/styli.

a You definitely need a good carrying case.

a+ After investing a few hundred in the PDA, why skimp on cases and travel chargers?

a++ My ever-growing collection of accessories ranges to the exotic/bizarre.


G-- Organizing my day is a difficult enough game for me.

G- I play Traffic but only when I'm in a waiting line.

G I've got a few games loaded.

G+ A PDA without 10-15 games isn't a PDA!

G++ Who needs an XBOX or a PS2 when you've got a PDA?


E-- No thank you, I'm barely even using MemoPad.

E- I've stored some reference docs but don't know when I updated them.

E I've got some ebooks, and perhaps a map or two.

E+ My ebook collection is bigger than my normal book collection.

E++ The Library of Congress' book collection is puny compared to mine.


M-- The HotSync beep is the only sound I have.

M- The built in speaker is enough for remembering my appointments

M I've got some music on my Palm.

M+ Watching movies when I commute? Yes please!

M++ I don't settle with less than a 7.1 surround system.


In this section you define which device you're currently using. Add the model name between the { }. Example: DP{T3}

DP{ } PalmOne device, or an older device under the Palm brand.

DS{ } A Sony device.

DH{ } A device from the company formerly known as Handspring.

Dh{ } TRG Pro/Handera.

DA{ } AlphaSmart.

DF{ } Fossil.

DG{ } Garmin.

DY{ } Symbol.

DT{ } Tapwave.

DK{ } Kyocera smartphone.

Ds{ } Samsung smartphone.

DO{ } Other, define inside the { }.

Usage Examples

Start the Palm Code with Palm Code v1.1: and then add the categories and modifiers.

PalmCode v1.1: PC(J)5 f+ h+ b p+ o+ m+ F-- v g+ k- r c++ n- t- a G E+ M DP{TE}

PalmCode v1.1: PM f h b- p+ o++ m++ F? v+ g+ k+ r+ c++ n- t a+ G E- M- DP{T3}

PalmCode v1.1: PC(B)4 f h-- b+(++) p+ o+ m(+) F v+ g++ k-- r(+) c n+ t-- a(+) G- E M-(--) DP{TT}

or alternatively, PGP style:

Version: 1.1
PC(J)5 f+ h+ b p+ o+ m+
F-- v g+ k- r c++ n- t-
a G E+ M DP{TE}