k3twm 1:49am, 20 February 2017
I am going to share the stuff for my Dana that I have, and encourage others to do the same if you have anything useful to add. These devices went out of production over 10 years ago, the Palm OS is long defunct, and these devices are drastically different and practically the opposite of all other Palm OS devices which were designed to be hand-sized devices to view data on the go, not enter it, where the Dana is a lap-sized device that is designed specifically to enter data on the go. For these reasons, its hard if not nearly impossible to find content for the Dana in modern times, since this is the last refuge for Dana users it seems, I think it's appropriate to start a topic for people to share what content is still out there that works with the Dana. I zipped up the contents of my 512MB SD card along with the a "Dana" folder of apps I keep on my Dana, and I'm uploading it to dropbox now to share with everyone. I am also uploading a lite version for people who don't want the whole thing.

The lite version is about 64MB and contains:
/Apps/ which is my backup of all apps I found
/Dana/ apps I keep installed on the Dana itself
/Img/ sample JPG images of that are formatted for Dana's screen
/PALM/ the default directory on SD cards that has apps I keep on my SD card in /PALM/Launcher and about 100 Gameboy Games in /PALM/Phoinix/

Apps include Web/Internet apps, Office Apps, Games, Programming tools, Utilities, Hacks, and more. Bibles, Dictionaries, Thesarus, etc.

The full version is about 335MB and contains all the above plus:
/Ebooks/ which is a collection of over 800 novels and other ebooks converted to PDB/zTXT for use on the Dana with Weasel Reader (included in the zip) Among them there are classics like Nicolo Machiavelli's The Prince, and new books alike.
/Src/ a collection of C source code for all kinds of Palm OS apps in PDB/DOC format for use with OnBoardC compiler or to use with Palm reader or such as a reference to help you learn to code for Palm OS. Sources include those for the Weasel Reader, OnBoardC compiler, many default apps like Calc, Address, as well as games like a Sim City clone.
/Wikipedia/ over 200 hand picked wikipedia articles in plain text converted to PDB/DOC format and sorted into Alphabetic folders with an index list. Mostly Psychology and Game Theory related articles.

Enjoy! Leave comments, questions, or post additional content if you have something you'd like to share.
jorgeferrao 5 years ago
Dear k3twm,

Thank you very much for this material. I have a Dana for some years now, but I have mostly use it as a Neo replacement, as the Palm OS is a total mistery to me.
I will try to test this apps and see if they increase the usefulness of Dana to me.
I have only a 8 Mb SD Card. Can you explain how can I install the apps and books in Dana with that, and, if it isn't too much hassle, explain what is the purpose of each app or of the most useful ones?

Thank you very much,
audax_viator 5 years ago
This is the reason why my daily rocker is a NEO2 (although with a DANA keyboard) - if I had not found many of these things a few years ago, shortly after acquiring my first DANA, today would officially be the end of distraction free writing for me, at least on this device.

Among many other things, the ability to play text based adventures like the brilliant 'A Mind forever voyaging' via 'Frobnitz' was the worst dealbreaker for me - no more DANA for serious tasks. ;)
audax_viator 5 years ago
However - thanks a lot for this extensive collection; there are many things in it I did not know by now.

I just discovered that with a little tinkering, it is possible to use the DANA as a telnet client, and your vast collection of fun stuff lead me to declare this day as completely lost to further obsolete technology fiddling.

Time to fire up the Amiga 500 and try out Palm OS software while listening to the intro music of 'Turrican II'.

Look what you have done to me.
k3twm 5 years ago
Frobnitz isn't going to work, it requires Palm OS 5 and an ARM CPU. I've been trying to find something that could play HHGTTG on the Dana but so far, no luck. Apple II emulator App2Palm runs, but its not actually functional. I think thats the best bet to get something that will work because mostly its issue seems to be the graphics code. You can get a 500MB SD card for like $5.75 (3.50+2.25shipping) on amazon these are what I've been buying, I got 3 of them

Though if more software development is done, yes there are lots of possibilities for the Dana, but things like the zcode emulators, Fromnitz, etc, so far I found none that will work on a Palm OS 4.x device with a 68K CPU. Seems ridiculous considering they're text adventures but I guess many of them have graphics too. The Gameboy emulator works well, but the gameboy was a Zilog Z80 (8bit, 4mhz CPU), w/ 8K ram with a 160x144px screen that was monochrome like the Dana's.. I never deleted frobnitz because I wasn't ready to accept the fact that it wasn't possible to run a damn text adventure game.. but as of right now, its definitely not possible.
k3twm 5 years ago
As for the Ebooks, you can just put them onto the SD card with your computer, or put them anywhere. Weasel reader can navigate the folders on both the dana and the memory card and find them anywhere. I caution users to open weasel first without any ebooks and go to Options>Preferences> and uncheck the setting for sync/copying the books to the device. This makes weasel attempt to copy all books it finds to the Dana automatically when it starts up, and it will look like your Dana is off because it has no "please wait" message, while its working. It will keep going until your Dana runs out of memory. Which is not good if you got a lot of books. You need the books to be copied to the dana only if you want to annotate (add notes/bookmarks) and since all my books are in zTXT format, the notes/bookmarks save right into the book files themselves so you can copy them back to memory card and read them with the notes/bookmarks saved. Both FileZ and UniCMD (My recommendation) can copy files back and forth, way better than letting weasel do it automatically. You also want to make sure when using weasel that you install PalmResizedLibrary.prc because this allows weasel to take advantage of Dana's 560x160px widescreen rather than running at 160x160px. You probably also need Zlib.prc or SysZlib.prc as I have it labelled in some cases, its a library for working with compressed files. Not certain that weasel needs this for using zTXT, but I would think so. You can create PDB/zTXT files using Calibre ( ) it supports input in all sorts of formats, TXT, PDF, Epub, Mobi, etc, and can output to PDB (Palm Database) in three modes (Ereader, DOC, and zTXT) I like zTXT because its smaller files, and weasel can only add notes/annotations to zTXT, while the palm reader built-in on your dana can do notes/bookmarks on standard Ereader files, it does this externally in a ebook database. I like it better using zTXT where the notes/bookmarks go into the ebook itself, so I don't have to keep seperate files around. Only complaint about Weasel I have is that the Palm Reader I can skip to next page with the spacebar, the keys on Weasel aren't as good, but I'm working on making a program that lets me remap keys for specific apps. I'm just not making much progress yet.. heh.. still learning the Palm OS
k3twm 5 years ago
For the images I included, you need to use UniCMD or PiNGer which is included with ZboxZ, though I've not tested PiNGer, UniCMD can open jpeg files fine, you just click on icon to the left of the name, or double click on the name. It'll take maybe 15seconds or so to load the files. They are all 560x160px 4 shade grayscale images that you can use like wallpaper on your Dana, when you just need to see some scenery or want to use it as a proof of concept that your dana can do more than just word processing. They are mostly panoramic scenery but I also made a few pictures of the Band Counting Crows, the singer Jewel, and the actress Eliza Dushku. You can't just convert any ol image because I've found that in displaying images like that, it produces its other two gray colors by toggling pixels on and off, and depending on how much of those colors and what shade they are, it may render a barely visible streaky image. These images are all ones I had good luck with, that seemed to display reasonably well on my Dana.
k3twm 5 years ago
As for Jorge, I included a file TOC-README.txt which does exactly that. I highly recommend Hi-Launcher which gives you a windows-start-menu-like launcher program that I set to the apps button to replace the built-in launcher. Which if you do it that way, make sure you have a menu entry that can launch the built in launcher and edit the menu. I also highly recommend UniCMD for moving files around, viewing native JPG, TXT, and Zip files, encrypting/decrypting files, etc. I also highly recommend Phoinix (gameboy emulator) for some entertainment, as well as SimCity and Monopoly which are fun to play. See my note that Monopoly will generate a Nil Pointer error and reset the Dana when you exit the program, but otherwise it's fully functional. You won't get any data loss, just a minor pain of a soft reset because the company apparently made a minor error in returning control to the previous application. These are the official Monopoly and Sim City btw, not clones or knock offs. I also really like the ClockPopHack which allows me to pop up a clock and battery/memory info over any application by pressing and/or holding a button.
audax_viator 5 years ago
Wow, that was an extensive tour through the software package.

I am happy that I can add something anyway: Frobnitz does not only run perfectly on a DANA, there is even a special version for it that I have been using for quite a while. Check it out here:
k3twm 5 years ago
Well I'll be dipped in $%&!, I tested it and it didn't work, I didn't know there was a version made specifically for the Dana. I thought it was only for ARM based Palm OS 5 devices. Idk how I missed that, I went through the whole list of Palm OS stuff on source forge.
k3twm Posted 5 years ago. Edited by k3twm (member) 5 years ago
Well in that case, here are the over 500 zcode games I'd previously converted to PDB format, and the Dana version of frobnitz: 80MB and contains both Hitchikers Guide to The Galaxy and the Sequel Miliways
tsmpaul 5 years ago
Thank you so much for sharing! I didn't realise Palm OS could do a lot of this stuff!
jorgeferrao 5 years ago
Dear k3twm,

Thank you for the explanation. I have been going slowly through the stuff.. Like Paul said, it is striking what Palm OS can do. Even playing SuperMario.

I am a bit more interested in the idea of playing Text Adventures in Dana, but I am still trying to figure out how Forbnitz works. Is there some guide online?

Another question: is there a way of saving automatically the Dana Alphaword files in text files in the SD card?

H0OK 5 years ago
Hmmm... distraction free writing... distraction free writing... ;-)
k3twm 5 years ago
There is an app in the zip that a dana user created called alphafiles.prc that facilitates copying of files to/from alphaword and the sd card, alphaword also supports saving to sd card by selecting "save as" in the menu and then using the pull down to select your SD card instead of the dana. There is no way I know of to make it automatically save there, but the pulldown is there for you to make use of the save location. Once its saved to the card it will then continue to save to the card. On the card it saves to /Palm/Programs/Alphaword/ there is also in /Apps/Office/ in the zip a copy of wordsmith which is what Alphaword was derived from, alphaword is a slimmed down version of wordsmith altered for ease of use and specific features of the Dana, you may want to try wordsmith and compare features to see which you like better. There is a minor issue where installation of wordsmith tends to "take over" alphaword because they are the same app, so your memo key will launch wordsmith and such, this is not a total takeover, you can still manually launch alphaword and you can also use rsrcedit to modify wordsmith.prc to change its version number and such to make the Dana not "prefer" wordsmith over alphaword when they are both installed. Simply deleting wordsmith from the dana will set everything back to normal.

As for frobnitz its pretty straightforward you near as I can tell it needs the files either installed directly to the dana or possibly in /Palm/Launcher/ on the SD card, it MAY support a /Palm/Programs/Frobnitz or some directory but I have not tested it extensively. Worth mentioning is that putting large numbers of files into /Palm/Launcher will slow down your launcher significantly at or around 100 or so files, this will cause your launcher (apps screen) to load slowly with a "please wait" and also slow down launcher functions like delete, copy, etc, which are in the menu on the launcher screen. This is not good in my opinion, which is why you want apps to use their own folders for data, like how I had the gameboy games in /Palm/Phoinix/ and how Alphaword puts its docs in /Palm/Programs/Alphaword, this is best practice but not all apps support it, and sometimes ones that do don't document it, which makes it difficult to figure out where it looks for its files. Weasel is an example of an ideal app which can find its files anywhere on the VFS, this is why I put my Ebooks in an /Ebooks/ folder and made sub folders because weasel can find them easily and by keeping each sub folder below 100 or so files, it loads these dirs quickly. As for installing files, if you do as I suggested and buy a 512MB or so card (512mb and 1gb are cheaper than smaller sizes these days), you can put all the data in the zip onto a SD card as-is using your computer and a card reader. Then you can "install" from the SD card using UniCMD. For frobnitz I'm currently keeping all the zcode files on my SD card and copying them to the dana as I need them to play, then deleting them. I'd like to figure out if it supports its own data dir so I can just keep all 500 or so in there and not have to copy them, but as of right now I don't know if it supports this. I'm pretty sure its open source so maybe I can figure it out from the source code.

UniCMD is a powerful tool, as you start using your Dana more like a computer you want to learn to use UniCMD and its features. All computers need a good filemanager and UniCMD is a wonderful filemanager. Its a two-paned file manager which functions like "install", "move", "copy" etc, go from the active pane to the inactive pane, the active pane is the larger of the two. You can select the device in the pane using the icon in the top left, to select the internal storage or one of the two cards. The icons on the bottom are less easy to figure out. the most important ones are the second from the left which is a menu that has text decriptions of functions including Edit, send, zip, unzip, cipher, decipher, erase, rename, move, install, copy, then there is the bar above the W and M looking icons which is a horizontal scroll bar that is more responsive than the vertical one in the panes, and another key useful icon is the checkboxes on the right which allow you to select all, select none, and select wildcard, etc. It can also invert a selection. UniCMD is much more than a simple filemanager like FileZ, it also supports use of various computer formats in their native format without conversion including TXT, ZIP, JPEG allowing you to view text files and JPEG images in the file manager and manipulate zip files on the device. It can also encrypt and decrypt files using a password. I highly recommend keeping a copy of this in the /Palm/Launcher/ of your SD card in case your Dana should get wiped out due to a crash or loss of power, then you can reinstall apps using UniCMD from the SD card without needing to sync with the computer.

With that in mind, you want to carefully consider which apps you need and where you need them based on your usage. You want to try keep your Dana's memory as free as possible and only put apps on there you need to make it function. I keep a copy of UniCMD on there so I don't have to have it on ALL my memory cards but I also keep at least one copy in /Palm/Launcher/ on a memory card with my backup apps incase I need to reinstall them, if you use BackupVFS you'd want to do the same with that app. I also keep a copy of hi-launcher on the dana because I use it in place of the default launcher, I prefer the ability to custom design a menu rather than using the dana's launcher which only allows a certain amount of categories and will not allow me to remove things like Wifi which I don't use which I can do in hi-launcher. Best of all hi-launcher doesn't scan /Palm/Launcher/ and thus won't slow down due to many files because it only scans its database of apps I put in my custom menu, and futhermore its menu pops up OVER my apps and allows me to switch between apps more quickly and can even keep a list of my recently used apps. I also keep weasel on my dana and all the libraries I have, Zlib, PalmResizeLibrary, Mathlib, etc. just in case something needs them. All my games and accessories I tend to keep and use off the memory card. This is another thing Hi-Launcher can do the Dana's launcher cant, it can put SD card AND Dana installed apps in the same menu, the Dana launcher organizes apps by where they're installed, and doesn't support sub menus.
k3twm 5 years ago
Hookmt, Its funny you mention that I know a lot of serious writers use this and love it for exactly that reason. I just figured there were other people who like me are not writers and may be interested in the Dana because of all the other stuff it can do. Obviously this could present distractions serious writers won't want. However research has strongly suggested that distractions can sometimes help productivity. A good writer who may like some of these features could make use of TimeLogger which tracks your usage of each app to help them track potential addictions to distractions. TimeLogger tells you how much time you spend in each app using a hack that logs to a database. This is a really useful productivity tool that can also identify that you're burning out on too much work and not enough play. The beauty of platforms like Palm OS and IOS (iPod/iPhone/iPad) is how they switch between apps, they don't multitask like a computer, you can be playing a gameboy game and just switch back to your writing project and then go back a few hours later and pickup exactly where you left off. You won't have to worry about things actually being on your screen distracting you. Also serious writers may appreciate all the Dictionary, Thesaurus, and other apps I shared which are good for productivity and writing. If they wanted a pure word processor, I'm pretty sure the Neo is much closer than the Dana which was intentionally designed to be able to support a wider range of features.
k3twm 5 years ago
Sadly I don't see any VFS code in the frobnitz source, so I guess it will only work with files on the dana or in /Palm/Launcher/ as previously stated. An app doesn't need to support VFS to be able to be run from the SD card because Palm OS simply copies it and its required DBs to the memory temporarily when you run it and tricks it into thinking it ran from the device. It only needs VFS support to be able to actually access the SD cards for data. This is not a major inconvenience just means you will have to manually copy games onto the Dana to play on frobnitz. All the more reason you'll need to get a memory card and learn to use UniCMD or Filez if you want to travel with a lot of frobnitz games, you may also want to keep backups of "Frobnitz Saves.pdb" and "Frobnitz Game In Progress.pdb" along with your games when you swap them out for other games. Otherwise your save games db could grow really large with saves from games not currently on your dana. This is a fine example of how it sucks when an app is not programmed properly. Lack of VFS code makes something backward compatible to Palm OS 1 or 2, but makes it a real pain in the butt if you have lots of data files for use with it and can't take advantage of the features in Palm OS 3 and 4. Maybe once I learn Palm programming a little better I can take a crack at updating this, I'd do it now with the little I've learned so far if it weren't for the fact that this is a pretty complex app, more than likely several source files are going to need substantial patches on numerous functions to make it compatible with the VFS features of Palm OS 4.1.2 on the Dana. There hasn't been active development on this in over 12 years, so I doubt the developers are still around and interested. Written by David Turnbull update for Dana by Patrick Salo, no email addresses shown anywhere I could see in the source. So, if someone wants to track them down and ask, more power to ya, or if anyone can take on the project, kudos, source code is at
k3twm 5 years ago
jorge, I read your question again, andI realized you specified text files.. if you mean actual text files, alphaword doesn't nor to my knowledge did wordsmith support any actual file formats. You all must understand palm os doesn't see files, it uses databases, all true palm os apps that use the Palm OS API store their data inside PDB files (Palm Databases) as resources. Some apps like UniCMD work outside the Palm OS API and can access actual native file types. UniCMD can create and edit plain text files. You navigate to a location on your memory card in UniCMD press the menu button and select "New File" and name it new.txt or such, then click to highlight the file and hit the menu icon (second from the left) and choose edit, this will allow you to edit the file using UniCMD. These are plain text files, plain text (TXT) unlike Rich Text Format (RTF), do not support formatting like bold, italic, underline, font sizes, etc. Under the file menu in the txt editor within UniCMD you'll see functions for CR/LF->LF, LF->CR/LF, and TAB->3space. In case you're wondering what those are, I'll explain that CR is a character representing a Carriage Return and LF is a character representing a Line Feed, think of a classic type writer. When you push the bar on the typewriter the Line Feed is the first thing that occurs, the roller moves the page up a line, then as you continue to push it slides the page doing a Carriage Return, starting the next character at the left of the page. The real significance of this today is that different operating systems use different methods of describing new lines of text. In MacOS 9 and earlier, it simply used a CR character to indicate the end of a line, Unix and Linux type OSes which include I believe MacOSX, use just an LF character, where as Windows works like a typewriter and uses BOTH the CR and LF to indicate a new line. Which means if you format text files like linux does with just an LF or like MacOS used to with just a CR, windows will see all the text on a single line. These functions allow you to change the line endings from the two most popular formats LF(Linux) and CRLF(Windows) and the third option lets you convert all Tab characters to simply three spaces. This is most frequently used by programmers, because a tab character can be interpreted differently by different programs which define how far a tab is, but spaces are always defined the same. This is the best way I know of to work with text files on memory cards that are easily copied back and forth between your dana and other devices without requiring conversion to other formats.
tsmpaul Posted 5 years ago. Edited by tsmpaul (member) 5 years ago
Hi, I have a question about the X-Master, for installing hacks. I added Font Hack 123, and then clicked Configure, and it pops up with a message saying "Unknown operating system version." It refers me to a website, but I saw no mention of the error on that site... Are there some steps I need to follow to make hacks like that work on the Dana?
k3twm Posted 5 years ago. Edited by k3twm (member) 5 years ago
I'm guessing you downloaded Fonthack123 v3.2 there is a Beta 4.0c available that says it has OS 4.1 and Sony HR support. The Dana is running Palm OS 4.1.2, so its probably just that the older version doesn't support Palm OS 4.1 for some reason. I've tested the 4.0c version and it did not produce the error you mentioned when I hit configure. For the most part its safe to assume hacks will work because most palm apps are forward compatible and as far as I know the hack/trap API was removed in OS 5 so no hacks would be written for a newer OS than what you have. You seem to have done the steps right, you just seem to have stumbled on an incompatible hack, download the newer version.

Personally I don't see the need for font hacks the Dana has enhanced font capabilities built in to alphaword, I assume font hacks also sub UI fonts, those used to draw the fonts in all applications. The default font is readable enough, so unless you need some special font for a different language I don't see that as a major issue. The Dana users guide page 81 covers using the Fine Type Converter on Palm Desktop software to install fonts from your computer for use in AlphaWord. see page 81
k3twm 5 years ago
I should also note when I suggested using UniCMD to edit text files, I didn't mention that it will cause fatal memory pointer errors unless the text file is on the Dana, you can view text files on a memory card, but to properly edit them, they must be on the Dana to avoid resetting the Dana due to a memory ptr error that is fatal. The text editor in UniCMD does work, it just doesn't work with files on the memory card. You also want to note the zoom icon as the font size is rather small in the UniCMD editor.
k3twm 5 years ago
Also before I sign off, note that you can use the wayback machine at when you run into links for palm stuff that are no longer valid. Very often I've found even the zip files available for download archived on the wayback machine. You generally want to go back beyond 2006 which is when the Dana was made to find links that are still valid. Most palm sites started disappearing around this time. Web archive doesn't have everything, but before abandoning hope on finding a dead link when looking for palm stuff, try putting the link into the wayback machine to see if it may have been archived before it was taken down. Cheers!
k3twm Posted 5 years ago. Edited by k3twm (member) 5 years ago
Here are two more files, I can offer you next to no help on. One is another zip full of palm apps which is where I got a few of the items in my apps zip, I have only preliminary scanned through this file and removed stuff I know will not work on the dana, like all High-Res, color, and Palm OS 5 versions of programs, but I do not know that the remainder will work, I just know I removed a ton of stuff I know won't work. The other file the is full of files with known serial keys, keygen, and crack/patch tools for apps. Since the companies are all no longer supporting the software and offering registration, use of these is a gray area as far as moral/legal concerns go. I also STRONGLY URGE any of you using crappy operating systems (Windows) to use protection (virus scanner) etc, because I don't use windows or virus scanners, so all I can assure you is that I didn't do anything to these files, not that they're clean. Most all the stuff in my original posts came from sourceforge which I believe does check their files, the rest was largely text type files, ebooks, etc, that don't typically contain viral code. Also backup your Dana before experimenting. In my initial apps zip I went over many of the programs explaining them and you know that I've tested them without issues (Except for the small issue with monopoly I mentioned where it reboots the Dana on exit due to a null pointer issue). Apps CAN not only cause your Dana to go back to the factory defaults (erase your memory) but can also as I found out fooling with certain programming apps, hose your memory cards as well. Keep that in mind when testing things you don't know have been confirmed to work without issues. Backup to your pc and/or memory card and remove or backup your memory card to pc as well when testing things for the first time. Only the programs I wrote about in that text file in my original zips are ones I've tested and had no issues with. I took care to remove any serial or keygen stuff that was windows executable files (.exe) to reduce any risk or possibility of viruses and only left actual apps that are in .prc format for running on the Dana in that file. Again, I can't offer any help on this crap, I don't know anything about it. Just throwing it out there. If you don't know better, don't mess with this stuff, stick to the things I already shared.

Without further ado, here is the small (less than 1MB) with various serials and keygens:

And here is another zip of random apps, I haven't really tested: (about 112MB)
tsmpaul 5 years ago
Thanks! I didn't know about Fine Type Converter. It wasn't on my hard drive, because I had uninstalled all the Dana CD stuff, because I'm on Win 10 64-bit, so I installed the Win 10 64-bit version of Palm Desktop and the USB driver.

Taking a look, there was a number of things that were only on the Dana CD, so I fixed everything by installing the Dana CD over the top of the Win 10 palm folder, and then reinstalling the Win 10 version back again.

Now I've got a working 64-bit Win 10 Palm Desktop, plus all the Dana specific extras that came on the Dana installation CD :)

I wanted some monospace fonts like Consolas. I'm a map drawing enthusiast, especially when writing fantasy stories, but it's just one more thing to have to carry around. So it occurred to me, that I could use F1 on my Dana as a digital "map file" - by putting a grid over an illustrated map of my fantasy land, I could then assign a letter to each grid square: F = forests, V = village, O = ocean, C = circle of standing stones, and so forth.

Then on the Dana, with a font like Consolas, I can type the grid of letters out in columns and rows to form a copy of my fantasy land, but made up of alphabet symbols. Scrolling up and down the Dana screen lets me browse the text-map of my story's world, and at the bottom I can put notes such as:
'The village at 12 x 16 is: Stonebridge.' for reference :)
dougwalkabout 5 years ago
Fabulous! A very interesting and useful thread. It's a pleasure to see some new Dana enthusiasts out there.

The cautions about software from unknown sources are quite valid and should be heeded. Assume the worst until you can reasonably assume otherwise.

We're also very much in a gray area regarding abandonware etc. I think we've settled on a hands-off policy, but if somebody complains, we'll have to kill the links. It would be a shame to lose this useful little corner of the web and the accumulated knowledge within it.

A last request: to keep the whole group open and friendly, we'd prefer that our wonderful members keep the language G-rated. Kind of old fashioned compared to the rest of the web, but we've all tried to build an island of civility where new Alphasmarties are comfortable chiming in. Thanks!
k3twm 5 years ago
tsmpaul, You may also want to consider trying Oracle Virtualbox, its a PC emulator that would allow you to install say a copy of Windows XP or something inside your Windows 10, though it seems like you've worked around the issues well enough. Having a virtualbox though is always handy, you can create a sandbox to play around in that won't effect your system. Use of USB devices in Virtualbox requires the extensions pack to be installed (I think) and you can either setup a filter or you have to specifically tell virtualbox to connect a USB device to the virtual machine. Filters can be setup when the virtual machine is powered off to automatically connect certain devices when they are plugged in. Keep in mind the Dana is actually 2.5 devices (heh) it is one device when simply plugged in, and another when syncing, and kind of another where its in keyboard emulation mode the syncing Dana device is the only one you'd need to attach to a virtual machine.

doug, yes I think we agree for the most part on these issues, which is why I kept files separate so people who don't want to get involved with certain things can avoid them. Most of the software is from sourceforge, and in my original zip anyhow the stuff harvested from web archives is typically either released as freeware, or its the shareware or whatever the term I don't recall is for software that asks to be registered but is not crippled if you don't. Most things like beatdemo for example, which the site is still up for, even if you got a serial or something it's not going to "unlock" it, because its not a full version anyhow. Things like abandonware as we know it on PCs doesn't really exist on Palm OS. Given the constraints of the OS and its devices, programmers made separate versions. Some apps like Adobe Acrobat for Palm OS, the company still exists but has absolutely no interest in supporting the software anymore. I had to scour the web to find a link to that product. It was never sold to begin with, but the maker hides the links to it because they don't want to entertain the support requests. Same with the maker of DocsToGo, who did sell their software, and in fact still does, on modern platforms like android. They don't want to be bothered with Palm OS support anymore. This isn't quite the same as abandonware, because abandonware runs on hardware that is still being made. The hardware doesn't even exist in production anymore for this software, which is what has made this a unique situation. The maker of that beatdemo however is one example of a guy still operating a site selling his software for palm os, which is why I'd never make any effort to step on his toes. While I think he charges a bit much for Palm OS apps, he does make really nice apps and its up to him what he wants to charge. I included his demos to help demonstrate what his software can do. Maybe some music enthusiast will buy his software. The site hasn't been updated since 2009, but still shows the software for sale for iPhone and Palm OS, and its a fantastic suite of music tools I only had the beatdemo freely available in my zip. You gotta understand when you have stuff like this that is about 100kb in size, it would take more code (size) to implement a registration system than unlocks portions of a program than it would to simply offer two different versions. You can't easily reclaim that space used by the registration (DRM if you wish to think of it that way) code once the app is registered. Not to mention its much harder to protect against piracy on Palm OS. The kinds of programs that are just asking for support to register it if you regularly use it, dontationware if you will, if there is nobody taking donations for it anymore, you only get into a gray area if you're circumventing the warning to donate, and I doubt if they're not around to accept donation they'll be around to complain. They have no grounds to complain for sharing the program, that was the whole point of shareware/donationware to begin with. I think we're safe on these issues legally, its morally that you have to ask yourself what you want to do. Like if I use SimCity for Palm OS which they no longer sell, maybe to make amends I could buy a copy of their PC game.. which I actually bought on both PC and IOS. That way you're still supporting the company that made it even though you can't technically pay for their abandonware. UniCMD for example, the guy is still maintaining the website for it, and was originally marketing it as shareware, but now as the version I distributed says, its freeware. Its a very useful tool, and I'm sure the guy would appreciate folks showing appreciation. This is why I mentioned these things, and shared these things. Because if we don't do this, all their work was for nothing. It all disappears with the memories of the select few people who used it. Here we are still using Palm OS devices, we owe it to ourselves and these great developers to see their software live on. Those that are still making efforts to maintain their websites like or such, you may consider seeing if you can at least buy em a beer or something. He says he can't continue development, yet he is obviously still paying for the domain and possibly hosting to keep the site up for freeware versions. You gotta ask yourselves what to do with that.. I'd at least make effort to appreciate it, and where they have contact or paypal donate available I'd thank them and support their efforts. The unicmd seems to have went gratis, offers no contact or donate options, but you'll find cases like miniMusic where that's not the case. Or SimCity, Adobe, Hasbro (Made the Monopoly game) that are still alive and well but not in the market for Palm anymore, I suggest buying their other products to show your support.
k3twm Posted 5 years ago. Edited by k3twm (member) 5 years ago
Just in case anyone else could use fonts for alphaword and for some reason can't get the AlphaWord FineType software to work, I'm going to share some already converted fonts. This zip is about 600kb and also contains, richfonts.prc which I am not sure what it even is, I looked at it with rsrcedit and it seems to have bitmaps containing a font in it, idk why its a prc and not a pdb, I thought maybe somehow it was a library required for using imported fonts so I included it just in case. I'd try not syncing it and see if the fonts appear in alphaword without it. Installing all 45 fonts will require about 1MB of memory on your Dana, or you can just install those you like.

Fonts included in zip:
13 Sans, 6 Serif, 20 Script, 6 Symbol. The symbol fonts will give you a way to put some graphics/icons into your documents. You will want to experiment using the asciichart app I had in my to see what symbols are available. Maybe later I'll post an alphaword doc with the full ascii characters that you can just copy/paste from like clipart.
k3twm Posted 5 years ago. Edited by k3twm (member) 5 years ago
Ok, here is a zip with just the 6 symbol fonts Bookshelf Symbol 7, Marlett, Webdings, Wingdings, Wingdings 2, Wingdings 3, and a file called Clipart.pdb which is a document you open in alphaword/wordsmith and it has all the images from these fonts (provided that you install all the fonts of course) so that you can view the images they contain and copy/paste them into your documents.

This allows you to have clipart images in your documents you create. Perhaps someone will find this interesting. Cheers!

For advanced users, you'll notice there are more characters in some than others, because I removed all the blank ones. There are 256 ascii characters, not all of them have images in each of these fonts.. Marlett for example has very few actual images. If you use the resource editor (rsrcedit.prc) from my apps zip, you can edit these fonts and create your own clipart images, ideally in spots that aren't in use in fonts like marlett that have plenty of open spaces. When you open the font in rsrcedit, you'll see a bunch of Tbmp resources, each of these is a bitmap resource representing one of the characters in the font. You can open these, and it will bring up the icon editor allowing you to draw graphics. It will save when you exit and hit apply. Then you can use these graphics in your documents just like you can use the others.
k3twm Posted 5 years ago. Edited by k3twm (member) 5 years ago
This is an AlphaWord document that contains all the printable ascii characters 0x21-0xFF (33-256), the first 32 characters are called control characters that are used for specific functions in computers, and do not typically contain visible characters and even if they did, the program may not be able to display them because it would interpret them instead. Examples include 0x20 (32) which is a space and the various characters which represent new lines like CR, LF, Null, etc.

You can use this for the clipart idea I mentioned, open this document, hit Ctrl+A and then change the font to a "dingbats" style font to see all graphics in the font so you can copy/paste them into your documents. Note that not all fonts will use all characters.

Here are some links to download free dingbats fonts online to use as clipart:

use the AlphaWord Sync's Fine Type converter to convert the fonts for use with AlphaWord.

Using this method, you can add boarders, icons, and graphics to your documents in AlphaWord on your Dana. Enjoy!
k3twm 5 years ago
approx 20mb zip containing approx 300 dingbats font files, the PC folder is the original fonts for your computer, and the AlphaWord folder are the fonts converted at 12,18,24pt I included the original fonts in case you want to convert it at different settings. To convert fonts copy/install them to c:\windows\fonts\ then run the AlphaWord Sync and select the FineType button, hit advanced to choose sizes, select a font and hit install, this will put the resulting file in My Documents\Palm OS Desktop\user\install where user is the user you selected in FineType, then you can either sync with hotsync or copy them manually onto a card from this folder. These dingbats fonts serve as clipart for Alphaword, and for programmers, you can even use the bitmap graphics in your programs. Be it you want to make some artsy page breaks, borders, bullet points, add some graphics, or just "encode" your message in an alien font, this is probably the best way to do it on your Dana, using dingbats fonts. See my previous posts for more info and the ascii_print.pdb document that will let you view all images in a font. Just select all (Ctrl+A) and change the font to a font of your choice to see all available images in the font. These 270 or so fonts would take up about 4.5MB on your Dana. Fonts must be installed/copied onto the Dana's internal memory to use in AlphaWord, I tried /Palm/Programs/AlphaWord/ and /Palm/Launcher/ on the SD it doesn't find them there, they must be on the Dana to be used.
heos41 5 years ago
Long-time lurker here, but finally the posts of k3twm made me start writing :)

Three applications that are mentioned rarely / ‘ages ago’, to start with:

Bonsai is one of the great outliners for Palm OS. It has excellent compatibility with AlphaSmart Dana /AD/, including wide-screen support and ability to store files on SD card for no-sync transfer to PC. On device you can export outlines to memo or PalmDOC formats, and on the PC - to universal formats like txt / csv / html /xml /etc. The great advantage of using an outliner instead of ‘plain’ text file is the possibility to structure the contents. You can organize your writing in different levels / indentations / ‘chapters’. No, it will not replace Scrivener, but probably is much easier to navigate and organize, compared to ‘pure text’ via CardTXT / SiED / AlphaWord / WordSmith / etc.

DayNotez It’s a journal / diary type application, from the same developer as Bonsai. Wide-screen support for AD as well. It allows record view by day / month and has keywords & follow-up flags & templates. It also has a desktop counterpart that besides having the ability to edit your notes on bigger screen, again allows exporting to txt, html or csv. Please, note that the latest versions /3.x/ require PalmOS 5 and are not AD compatible. For any reason I am also not able to use 2.9x on AD , but 2.83 works just fine.

Another company, which products definitely need appreciation IMHO from PalmOS / AD users is TealPoint. One of the very few developers, still maintaining their PalmOS products web-pages and offering purchases /did not try it recently /. Among their various programs supporting AD Dana Wide Mode is TealSafe - passwords & secure data manager with wide-screen support.

Glad to share some PalmOS nostalgia - and thanks for this quite informative and valuable for me group :)
k3twm Posted 5 years ago. Edited by k3twm (member) 5 years ago
Here is an updated organized, indexed zip of stuff that can be put directly onto an SD card for use with the Dana. Apps, Fonts, Games, Hacks: (approx 180MB)

About 40 apps, 320 fonts, 50 games, 20 hacks, 100 game boy games, and 700 zcode interactive fiction stories.

Here is a lite version without the Gameboy PDBs or the Zcode PDBs, its about 70MB, and I also added the trial of TealAlias which I highly recommend buying from it allows you to run apps and access their Data from anywhere even if they don't support VFS, its simply brilliant and very useful if you use a lot of apps or ones with a lot of data. It saves your precious memory on the Dana by letting you keep the stuff on the card and use it as if it were on the Dana. It also lets you keep things better organized as you don't even have to put it in PALM/Launcher on the card, you can put apps in their own folders anywhere you want.

I apologize for windows users, I use linux and the Index.txt file has improper line breaks for windows users so the text will appear all on one line in Notepad, here is a corrected version with windows style line breaks. Sorry.

Here is a link to the index you can read online without downloading:
Roginald 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing this treasure trove. I'm not only downloading the zips now but also saving this html page along with them so I can read through your posts at a later date to see your advice / recommendations.

I used to collect old computers as a hobby and that's sort of how I see the Dana, but for now it's firmly for use as a word processor.

I notice you've uploaded lots of fonts.

Do you (or does anyone reading this) have any advice on a simple font that will display very large on the Dana's screen? Currently Verdana is the best I can find. It's great in terms of being large and easy to read, but a bit over-stylised. I don't understand why most fonts won't render over a certain size no matter how large to set the point size. Verdana is 'getting there' but ideally I'd like larger and simpler.
Roginald 4 years ago
I've realised that Verdana is actually a nice clean font at normal sizes, but starts to look frilly when the Dana is displaying it very large. Maybe I'll have to try installing lots of fonts and trying them all at a high point size to see what happens to them.

Meanwhile if anyone has found a font that looks good on the Dana when large, and can actually be rendered large, I'd be grateful for some insight!
katybethtolsen 3 years ago
First I'd like to say that for whatever reason I am no longer able to access my original account and have created a new one.

As for font sizes, the thing is, when you convert fonts using the windows software that converts the fonts, it has you select what sizes you want to include and if I recall correctly it only lets you use 3 sizes.. so setting the point size in alphaword or such is irrelevant.. if you convert a font in 7, 10, 12pt setting alphaword to 8pt will give you 7pt, 20 will still give you 12pt.. etc.. palmOS cannot scale fonts (natively, there may be a library for it, and for all I know that may be what that prc file was I didnt understand), it has them bitmapped in pre-defined sizes. So I would imagine that you can just convert a font with larger size. I converted some of the ones I posted in larger sizes because certain fonts were smaller to begin with.

I don't use windows, so fooling with the actual PalmOS desktop stuff is kind of a pain for me. Anyhow.. I'm trying to keep the dropbox active and stay in touch on this forum because I see a lot of potential in the Dana and the resources available for it are scarce these days. I've made a new account on here as you can see, and I've logged into the dropbox today to keep it active. Cheers!
Roginald 3 years ago

I've just noticed your post now, sorry. I take it you were k3twm then?

Thanks for the info. I hadn't realised that you only get to choose 3 sizes when you make the fonts. I'm sort of tempted to waste lots of time trying to get an ideal font with an ideal choice of 3 sizes, but really I've come to like the Verdana font.

I did spend a lot of time quite recently experimenting with all the fonts on my Dana at all sizes and with bold on/off, looking for one that worked well for writing (i.e. large) and well for reviewing (i.e. small). Each one was a bit of a compromise so I went back to Verdana.
Roginald 3 years ago

I couldn't resist tinkering now that I knew creating the fonts on the PC was the way to go. I got some interesting results, but the one I am happiest with is good old Arial.

Using FineType Converter on the PC, I created Arial at 8, 14 and 26. The 26 is amazing. It gets exactly 4 lines of text on the screen in Wordsmith at default line spacing.

I realised it was a bit silly that the font I use on the Neo is normally the 3-line one and that's actually bigger than the biggest Verdana I'd been using on the Dana. I'd also been getting a bit fed up of how hard it is to read text on the Dana unless I spend a while fussing over a light source.

It's given my Dana a new lease of life and made it very enjoyable to type on again. It also takes advantage of the Dana's larger screen size compared to the Neo. The font is now a little bit larger, and I can fit quite a bit more text on the screen.


I've got a good mind to try to find a size which gets exactly 3 lines.
Roginald 3 years ago
Maths suggested that if 26 gave exactly 4 lines, then to get exactly 3 lines the size should probably be around 34 - 35.

I tried 34, 35 and 36. 35 gave the best results - you never see a pixel from the lines that are just out of view, i.e. it fits 3 lines perfectly.

It also gives me very nearly the same amount of text on screen at once as the 3-line setting on the Neo, except the text is so much bigger it's a joy. I made it bold as well which seems to give a much nicer result to my eyes anyway:

Roginald 3 years ago
I should add, if anyone reading this wants to mess around with fonts on their Dana, that you are not really limited to just 3 sizes for any given font family.

PalmOS seems to refer to the fonts using the file name you give them, rather than the contents. So, in FineType Converter, you could set 3 sizes for the Arial font, then save the pdb file as, say, Arial_8_14_26. You could then set another 3 sizes up and call it Arial_6_20_35. In WordSmith, they come up as two separate fonts, named according to your file names.

Another thing I noticed is that, in FineType Converter, there is a 'width' option which essentially allows you to make the font appear a bit more 'bold' if you increase it.

What I had often done in the past was just set the font to bold in WordSmith because it looks better. But of course that means you lose the meaning of bold. Fine if you consider your file just text. But if you want to preserve formatting, and use things like bold only where appropriate on the Dana, and also prefer the look of a bolder font, then you can use FineType Converter to make the normal font look more bold.
katybethtolsen 3 years ago
Well I personally wouldnt want a font quite THAT large on such a small screen, but I'm glad you found ways of dealing with your issue. And yeah, the several copies of the same font under different names is a good thing to mention.. that may not be obvious to a lot of people.. course neither is the fact that while the app has actual point settings, palmos doesn't scale fonts.. it merely bitmaps them in 3 sizes.

You however now know how to get your own fonts AND get around the 3 size restriction, so you're good to go.

I use my Dana most often as an ebook reader, I convert pdf, epub, mobi, txt, etc with a program called Calibre to ztxt/pdb and use weasel on my dana with the ResizeLibrary to make it use the whole dana screen. ztxt is nice because it allows for annotation as well as being a smaller size than regular txt files. It requires the zlib library.

You can see the upstream website or look into my zipfiles which includes weasel, zlib, resizelibrary among many other things.

The resizelib doesn't just work on anything, the app has to be programmed to support it, but it allows apps that are made for 160x160 palm devices to also work on larger displays like dana's 560x160 when the library is present.

I like being able to have a ton of books at my disposal on removable cards, easily readable on a nice device with long battery life, and able to annotate and such. Its one of many things the dana is great for.
kc0nlh 2 years ago
I definitely need to pick up myself a dana I plan on using it for programming Palm. I had a palm VX back in the day. unfortunately it's lithium ion battery is starting to show its age. will definitely need to get a SD card that's supported by the Dana though.
writesuewalsh 2 years ago
heos41 That’s nice, but because Bonsai requires a registration key and the company is long gone, it’s useless. Thanks anyway!
heos41 2 years ago
Well, I will hardly say 'useless' - it is still one of my most used applications on various Palm OS devices and I rely on it daily. You can use 'date-back hack' /e.g. - keep the date within the trial period, which will probably work OK for other 30-day limit trial programs/. For the Dana - if not using calendar / ToDos/ other date-sensitive programs - this might work quite OK. Or - it is up to you - to search for places like palmdb net / c4pda/ 4pda / etc and decide if you want to go the 'gray' path ......
writesuewalsh 2 years ago
H S I apologize, I was a bit too harsh. Forgive me! I’ve since gotten it set up and love it!
heos41 2 years ago
Nothing to forgive for :) Glad it works - and enjoy Dana !
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