Palm Os Device to Work As a LCD Status Display. (now With Pictures!)




This article is all about how to use your palm OS device to emulate a LCD status display for your computer! You can display system stats (such as: CPU load graphs, CPU temperatures, free disk space), news alerts, stock indexes, WinAmp graphs, etc.

(sorry for the lack of pictures at the moment, ill add them later)

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Step 1: Download

First off, PalmOrb works by pretending to be (or emulating) a real LCD; a Matrix Orbital LK204-25 LCD. So you can use existing software that expects a Matrix Orbital display! Here are a few LCD driving programs:

Linux: LCDproc - free. [LCDproc v0.4.5 has a number of minor bugs; see FAQ.]
Linux: LCD4Linux - free.
Windows: LCD smartie - free. v5.4 is the latest, beta versions are available.
Windows: LCDC - shareware but it's very good.

You will also need to download PalmOrb from here:

You will also need to make sure that your palm can sinc with your pc as this is needed in the intallation process.

Step 2: Install

Unzip the PalmOrb package and double click on the .prc file, this should automatically add it to the list of programs for Palm desktop to install next hotsync. If it doesn't automatically do it you will have to do it manually.

Then completely exit hotsync manager and make sure it isn't running in the background.

Next install LCD smartie or what ever one you are using depending on your operating system.

Step 3: Set Up.

Switch on your palm which is plugged into your pc and run the PalmOrb application.

Open LCD smatie (or similar) on your pc and click on setup.
Here you can mess around with all sorts of stuff like what each page displays and transitions etc.(these instructions are for LCD smartie only as i am a windows user (currently), if you want to send me instructions for any other software i will be happy to add them).
The bit we are interested in for now is the bit in the top right of the setup page, the display settings. For the plugin you need to select matrix.dil, you will also need to select the interface mode ie USB for USB and COM1 for serial.

Click apply and all should start to work, hopefully.
If not you may need to tweek some of the setings. you will need to adjust the display size. ive found that 4*20 is the best.

If all else fails there is a trouble shooting function in PalmOrb on your palm.
Good luck!

Step 4: Features and Requirements.

Free - published under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
Supports PalmOS 2.0 and above.
Fairly complete emulation of a Matrix Orbital LK204-25 LCD (with a 4x20 display).
25 Keys (sent to host). Graffiti also supported.
Color support.
Serial (RS232) support - fully configurable.
(experimental) USB support. A LCD Smartie 5.3+ build is required for USB support on Windows.
BlueTooth (Serial Port Profile), and InfraRed (IrCOMM) support.
Visual display of 6 General Propose Outputs (GPOs).
Visual display of 8 Custom defined characters.
Full built-in help.
Very configurable.
Backlight support.
Palm's Auto switch-off disabled as long as data is received, and battery level isn't too low.
Great for debugging software that drives Matrix Orbital displays!

And ok its not quite the real thing but its getting you that 1 step closer to it.

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    28 Discussions


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, i'd also like to find out how to use a "full screen" mode, as the default allotted screen is really small.

    1 reply

    To use the palmorb program with a bigger font install version 1.1a4. See my comment above to highvoltagefun for the link and pictures.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    wow, nice! i didn't know you could do this. I pulled out my old Sony Clie and set it up! Very NICE! i like~! is there anyway to get a large display area though?

    3 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    To use the palmorb program with a bigger font install version 1.1a4. See my comment above to highvoltagefun for the link and pictures.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    There is a way to do it and it looks similar to the picture on the top right. Im afraid that it doesnt work with lcdsmartie but it may work with the linux based programs. ill have to try and ill get back to you.

    The Insomniac

    11 years ago on Introduction

    I like this, especially since i just got a used CLie off of craigslist. My question is, will the installation of this prevent overwrite the normal Palm OS and prevent it from being used as it would normally when it is undocked?

    10 replies

    No it runs inside the palm os like every other program, once your done just click home and unplug your device, no lasting effects, easy to delete and takes up little memory :) you will however need to restart the hotsync manager on your pc once your done to sync normally again but that is easy enough.


    AGH!!! I installed it according to the instructions, it did a fatal exception error message, and then started flashing the PalmPowered logo on the screen, and i couldn't get it to do anything. I even tried resetting it. I ended up having to erase everything on the palm by holding down the power button and then hitting the up button. Any way I could have prevented this?


    im sorry to hear that just to check, you did first disable the hotsync, ran the program on the pc, then connect the palm, the start the soft on the palm?


    yup. Luckily, I had just closed hotsync after copying all my stuff to my comp from the palm, so i still have the dates and notes and stuff. I guess that PAlMORB and LCDSmartie dont work very well in conjunction with my Clie, even when configured according to your instructions. I'll try it out later, I may get it to work with a few tweaks.

    To use the palmorb program with a bigger font install version 1.1a4 from the palmorb - alpha_beta releases folder in Sorceforge Palmorb releases. Version 1.0 does not have this feature. Select the menu at the top > Screen > Font - Adjust to a scaled font

    2014-01-05 17.19.12-1.jpg2014-01-05 17.18.51.jpg2014-01-05 17.18.26.jpg


    If you right click on the hotsync manager, and select network, and then run LcdSmartie, it will work! does this mean that you could use this AND hotsync at the same time? LcdSmartie = USB Hotsync = Network?

    Wait! Thats because i had the local usb checked AND the network! Otherwise, if you tell lcd smartie that hotsync isn't running, then it should work!

    To Trick LCD Smartie into thinking that hotsync isn't running, find the hotsync.exe file and change it into hotsync.bat it will work the same, but lcd smartie will work because on the check to see whether HOTSYNC.EXE is running. it will come back false.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Im gonna get a old palm and do this and mount it in my computers front panel


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I may actually charge the batteries on my old Palm to try this out!  :-)


    I tried this, and it works very well with Folding@Home, Winamp and SETI@Home, but the screen size is very small, like in the first picture with the keyboard. how do you get it to the fullscreen one? with the winamp FAVU meter?