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slippers2k

What's better - program a Palm handheld, or program a PocketPC?

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Hey all, I spent a while thinking about this, and wanted to get your feedback, as it is quite possible that I might get a PocketPC handheld or Palm handheld today based on the outcome. I have been learning how to program for windows mobile for the last 3 months solid. I created a quick little snippet of a smartphone test app (which is basically pong, but with powerups), and converted it to a pocket pc format (I just have to clean up the code so it displays properly). I am also trying to start selling games through Handango.Com, and am feeling more confident in my ability to start creating fairly decent "cheapo" titles in the future (everything I sell on Handango will probably be $1 or less, no more than $5 at the most). My question is: am I selling to the right hardware? I'm torn between continuing to program for the pocketpc and sucking up the cost of one of those handhelds, or learning how to program for Palm handhelds and potentially re-learning the coding/compiling/deploying process for those machines. Windows may be the new kid on the block, but Palm handhelds are getting cheaper every day. (I have not forgotten Microsoft's powerful ability to throw money at its problems, however.) What is involved in programming for the Palm handhelds? Is is that much more complicated than using Visual Studio and the NETCompact framework for mobile devices like windows pocketpcs and smartphones? I would like to make mobile programs, but I also don't want to waste time programming for a device that I'm not going to get long-term exposure on. Thank you for reading my post. Happy New Year to you all, and thanks for any advice you can give. God bless you! -slippers2k

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My opinion, is pocket pc. I have seen a ton of them around lately here in the seattle area. Many mobile phone companies are offering windows mobile 2003 devices for reasonable prices(provided you sign for a year or two...) So I say pocketpc.

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Quote:
Original post by chad_420
My opinion, is pocket pc. I have seen a ton of them around lately here in the seattle area. Many mobile phone companies are offering windows mobile 2003 devices for reasonable prices(provided you sign for a year or two...) So I say pocketpc.


Agreed.

I have programmed on both.

Sales of Palm devices dropped dramatically a few years ago, with PocketPC sales skyrocketing. Palm devices are cheaper, though.

SD cards really changed the landscape. Since you can have potentially gigabytes of storage rather than the built-in NV RAM, that's no longer a bottleneck.

I have heard that Palm is easier for developers these days. I stopped on the Palm before the had fast processors; the Dragonball processor was about equivalent to a 286 PC. You could count your megaherz on one hand (in binary). Sure, they were 32-bit, but you had no processor cycles to waste, very little memory. Memory was segmented, and you had to deal with their database 'file' system in 64k chunks. Several of those restrictions are gone now, I'm told.

PocketPC has a faster processor, some are just over the 600MHz mark. Program-available RAM is a few dozen megabytes, which is quite a lot for a handheld. It's windows based, and it isn't too hard to write C# programs that can run on both the device and windows. Since Microsoft **FINALLY** got a reasonable C++ PocketPC tool, you can probably write cross-platform C++ code as well. (The older tools, eMbedded Visual C++ and family, were horrible and not even close to c++.)

But as always ... pick your market first. If your market uses Palm, develop for palm. If your market uses PocketPC, use PocketPC. If your market uses Linux/Symbain devices, use it instead.

Although it can be more difficult, there's nothing wrong with keeping the logic in platform-neutral C++ and the presentation using platform-specific commands. (That means compilable by the gcc/Palm toolchain or the Metrowerks Palm compiler, and the Microsoft C++ compiler now that they actually have one.) Such platform-agnostic logic is hard for a game, but would be trivial to port to more profitable platforms such as MacOS.

frob.

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Okay... made my decision after I left to go out that weekend, and bought myself a pocketpc.

I bought an HP, an iPAQ rx1950 (or rx1955, not sure). It's got wifi, no bluetooth (but I don't feel like I'm missing much, would've had to pay 100 bucks more for a model that the store did not have with it), and it's a nice home for my 1 gb sd card.

I *definitely* want to program for pocketpc apps because of the absolute ease of use of the windows visual studio enterprise for mobile app development.

frob: I tried programming on evc++ for mobile apps and discovered why I like visual studio so much - evc++ just does not want to work on my computer, period.

I also like the growing pocketpc market. I'm also thinking about making games that will run on pocketpc and windows platforms.

For now though, the majority of my attention will be brought to bear on making pocketpc games. I like the popularity they are beginning to get.

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