WristPDA and Linux
Copyright (c) 2005 Wesley Post.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover
Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
Free Documentation License".
Legal stuff (Disclaimer):
The use of anything on this page is on your own risk. I just describe what works for me, and feel free to use it if it works for you too. I'm not responsible for any loss of data or anything bad that can happen to you while you use this information.
However, everything here is tested on my own hardware and worked unless stated otherwise.
This chapter gives you more information about the hardware.
The WristPDA is available branded as a Fossil FX2008 and Abacus AU5005. The WristPDA, is a wristwatch with a PDA integrated in it.
For a watch, it's quite a big one. This is also why i call it a geek-toy. Many people are commenting on the size.
For a PDA on the other hand, it's quite small. It runs standard apps, and the display is also the standard resolution. This results in small letters, so it takes a pair of good eyes to read.
Some of the specs are:
More specs can be found at the fossil site (in the links section).
- Palm OS 4.1
- 4 MB ROM
- 8 MB RAM
- Motorola Dragonball Super VZ 66 MHz CPU
- 1"x1" display
1.3 What works and what doesn't
The device can work with two types of communication. One is USB (1.1) and IrDA. I got USB working, but i didn't get IrDA working on my computer (which doesn't say that the WristPDA doesn't work, any information is welcome).
Because the watch is basically a Palm device, all palm tools will work just as good with this watch as with "real" Palm devices.
This chapter contains more information about the software on the computer's side (not the PDA side).
2.1 Usefull stuff
To make use of your WristPDA you need a few things:
2.2 Kernel module
- A kernel with the visor module (any recent kernel will do)
- pilot-link is a very usefull set of commandline tools
- jpilot is a nice GUI based app. and allows data input
To get the device working, you need to use the visor module. On older kernels you need to add "vendor=0x0e67 product=0x0002" to make it see your WristPDA. On recent kernels, you don't need to do this anymore.
When you loaded the module, connect your WristPDA via the supplied USB cable, and select the HotSync app. In this application select "Cradle/Cable", and press the hotsync icon.
On the PC, open a commandline, and type the dmesg command. In the and of the output you will see the visor module recognised your WristPDA, and assigned a serial port to it. In my case this is /dev/tts/USB0, but this may vary.
The best thing you can do now is to make a symbolic link to this device, and call it pilot, so all programs can access it as /dev/pilot (which usually is their default). To do this, open a command line and become root by typing the "su -" command and root's password. After that type "cd /dev" and "ln -s /dev/tts/USB0 pilot", ofcourse replace /dev/tts/USB0 with the device that was reported.
Now you got your connection working. Now you need software that sync's your watch. A good (set of) commandline tools it called pilot-link. It contains a few programs with which you can control your WristPDA. I also use the jpilot program, which has a nice GUI, and allows you to input data via your computer instead of the WristPDA.
Before you can sync the first time, you need to set the user-id in the WristPDA. This can't be done in the device itself, but must be done via the computer.
This is what you have to do:
You can choose the nummeric ID and name yourself.
- Start hotsync on the watch, so that it waits for data (with the three icons on a row).
- On the computer, open a command line and give the command: install-user -u "Your Name" -i 12345
After that you can sync. I use to sync with jpilot. Again, start the hotsync application at the WristPDA, so that it waits for a connection from the PC. After that press the sync button in jpilot.
2.4 Additional stuff
I you downloaded a prc file somewhere (these are palm applications), you can use the pilot-xfer program to install it. Just start the hotsync process at the WristPDA, and type "pilot-xfer -i program.prc" and you're done.
I like the plucker program. This program consists of two parts, one for the computer, and one for the WristPDA. The computer part downloads sites you want, and puts them into pdb files. The plucker program at your WristPDA and read these, and enables you to browse some sites offline. Sites that "pluck" well are usually sites that have a PDA version, or RSS feeds.
Installing plucker on my system (Gentoo Linux) needed some extra work. Since plucker is masked, we need to unmask it. Add this to your /etc/portage/package.keywords:
If your try to emerge now, this will fail (there is a reason that it's masked). It uses WxGTK, of which the current version is 2.6, but plucker uses 2.4. So we need to mask anything newer than 2.4. Add this to package.umask:
And this to package.mask:
In this way, if 2.4 gets updated, you'll get it, but it will never update to anything newer than 2.4. Now you can emerge plucker to install it.
More software can be found on the sites listed in the links section.
2.5 Getting networking going
Yes, your Watch is capable of doing networking. I'll describe what i had to do to get networking going with my Nokia 6310i GPRS phone via intrared.
To do this, you need the original networking files from Palm OS 4.1 I have them here, but i'm not sure if it's legal to publish them here, so if i get any complaints, i'll remove them. Warning: Since these are normal Palm OS files, they behave different (Small font, back button does not always work)
Untar the file, it contains four PRC files, which you can download to your watch with: pilot-xfer -i *.prc. When you did that, start the prefs application, and you'll see the Network part.
Now you can create the connection. I called mine GPRS, since i use that to connect. My GPRS provider does not require authentication, but is doesn't work if i don't fill in the username and password, so there's just A and B in there. The connection is "IR to a PC/Handheld".
In the details, set the type to PPP, and i've set the idle timeout to never. Since navigation on the wristpda isn't that fast, you'll hit the timeout pretty quick. I checked the Query DNS and set IP Address to automatic.
Last but not least, you need to write a script. I have:
send : at+cgdcont=1,"IP","internet"
Wait for: OK
send : atdt*99***1#
Note that on the place of "internet" you can specify the internet APN of your GPRS provider. These commands are quite general, so they should work with most GPRS/UMTS phones.
I currently have no information about the Palm's security. Keep in mind that the Palm has no firewall, and all your personal information is in there. Use with caution. if your GPRS provider allows you to choose between different ways to connect to the internet, choose the most firewalled one.
Besides networking itself, you also need network applications. This is my list:
Eudora Email and Browser: http://www.eudora.com/products/unsupported/internetsuite/eudora4palm.html
IM+ instant messenger: http://palmsource.palmgear.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=software.showsoftware&prodID=52522
Mergic Ping (Not sure if their VPN client also works) : http://www.mergic.com
3. Valuable resources
This chapter will list some resources you might need when you want extra software or run into troubles.
3.1 Yahoo! group
These is a Yahoo! group for this WristPDA, and it's located at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wristpda/ and it requires a Yahoo! account. The group contains some nice downloads, pictures, a list of programs that are tested to work well, and an email list/forum.
3.2 Other sites
Other sites that might be worth viewing:
General site: (also contains more specs)
Fossil / Abacus Wrist PDA with Palm OS site:
Fossil's WristPDA SDK (Winthing only):
Palm OS Emulator (POSE) (Does not run the WristPDA ROM):
Palm OS Desktop SDK:
The Palm OS Desktop HOWTO:
The POSE HOWTO:
Since i just started this document, i would like to add more information:
- Setting up pose (Palm OS Emulator) to run WristPDA apps.
- Modifying the Palm SDK to create WristPDA apps.
5. Contact me
Suggestions, reports and comments are always welcome, if i have time i'll test it on my own systems before i pubilsh it on this page.
If you want to contact me, you can send an email to pa4wdhNOSPAM-at-yahoo-dot-com (Remove NOSPAM, and replace -at- and -dot- with a @ and .). Please help me to organise my email, and put the word wristpda somewhere in your subject line.
6. GNU Free Documentation License
The full text of the GNU Free Documentation Lincense can be found