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PalmPilot: The Ultimate Guide, Second Edition by David Pogue

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Appendix E. Unix, Linux, and Palm

—written by Brian Pinto, Senior Staff Engineer, Logikos Inc.

The vast majority of desktop software, talk, and tips in the Palm world assume that your desktop computer uses Windows or the Mac OS. But the growing legions of the technically adventurous who use Unix or are adopting Linux shouldn’t feel left out. Although Palm Computing itself officially ignores these alternative operating systems, the Unix/Linux online community has rushed to fill the void. Here’s a look at the state of the art in the Unix and Linux environments. (Almost all of the programs described here are on the CD-ROM that accompanies this book.)

Desktop Alternatives

Palm Desktop, provided by Palm Computing only for the Macintosh and Windows, provides three important functions. It mimics the functions of the PalmPilot on your computer, so that you can edit and create data in bulk for the palmtop. It also backs up the data from the Palm device. Finally, the Desktop lets you install new applications onto the palmtop.

As is so often the case, there are many choices of Palm connectivity in the Unix world. In addition to traditional command-line interface tools, you can choose from at least three graphical Palm Desktop alternatives.

Most of the software described below should be considered in beta or even pre-beta. The momentum in the Linux world is so great, however, that the software will probably have advanced considerably by the time you read this.

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