Pacific Tides
My name is Thomas Sturm and I'm a programmer, photographer and writer.

Now go outside and look at the sky.

Smart Tools for the Palm Centro

Something a little bit more geeky than the photo posts of the last few months... I've been using a Palm Centro for a while now and I am thoroughly happy with the phone and its features - but the really big advantage of having a smartphone based on a relatively open platform is of course the fact that there's thousands of applications to download.

Here's a list of applications that I'm now carrying around everywhere:

  • FileZ - a free utility to help with the housekeeping on the Palm OS. I mostly use it to move files between the main memory and the microSD card.
  • Mergic Ping - a free ping tool for Palm phones. Yes, not everybody needs this, but if you use ping to check on server availability a lot, then it's a pretty cool thing to be able to do so from anywhere.
  • pssh - free SSH client. Did I mention that this will be a geeky post? For me this is one of the coolest things about the Centro. I won't use this often, but I know that SSH on my phone will come in handy one of these days when a server I rely on is down.
  • whois - another little laser-focused application - a free, simple whois client.
  • CaSTaway - the Palm version of this Atari ST emulator. I had Atari ST computers back in the 1980s and early 90s and in fact still have an old Falcon stuck in a box in a basement somewhere. Not only did I have many games for the ST, I actually wrote a lot of code on the machine. So now I can play my very own version of Mahjong on the go. And then there's of course Civilization I. And Dungeon Master... enough said.
  • ArmZX - a free Sinclair Spectrum emulator. There's some games that just don't get old - even after 25 years in this case. I still can while away half an hour with Atic Atac or Manic Miner, and this emulator runs the oldest of my own code that still exists - a couple of ZX Basic games that I wrote in 1982! I've noticed an issue with the USB syncing after running ArmZX, and so I'll be looking for an alternative, but since I usually Bluetooth-sync my Centro, it's not a big deal.
  • GoogleMaps - of course.
  • Flight Status - a pretty cool application that gives you live flight data. Written by a teenager who by what I can tell has a big future in front of him.
  • MetrO - a mainstay on Palm and other handheld devices for many years. Whenever I travel I make sure to upload the databases for my destination and I'll never be lost in the transportation network of an unfamiliar city.
  • PAdict - simply the best Japanese dictionary for any handheld, comes with a 100.000-character database. The draw-a-character Kanji recognition is amazing, especially considering that you are doing this on a cellphone. Oh - and it's free, too.
  • Planetarium - is that bright red light in the evening sky Mars? Or Jupiter? This shareware application is really cool if you are one of those people who occasionally looks up at the sky in the evenings...
  • Tide Tool - if you are living close to open water and spend any time at the beach, this tool is a must.
  • RiseSet - Sun and Moon rise and set times. While I'm out taking pictures I often want to time a certain shot for sunset or moonrise. Not a problem with this free application.
  • YAUC - Yet Another Unit Converter. My life saver whenever my metric brain encounters fluid ounces, square feet and Fahrenheits...
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