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Preparing for Installation

First, let’s prepare the system:

  1. Remove everything from one of your USB ports. You want to connect your PDA directly to the computer, not through a hub. Get a hub for the other port and put everything on it except the Palm.
  2. Install udev, which automatically creates a device for the Palm when it’s plugged in and removes the device when the Palm is unplugged:
    # yum install udev
  3. Using a command-line text editor, open the blacklist for editing. You can use any text editor you like, including GUI text editors, as long as you invoke the text editor from a root terminal session (for example, # kedit). I like nano, so here’s the command I used:
    # nano /etc/hotplug/blacklist
  4. Add visor as the last line of the blacklist file.
  5. Save the revised file and close the text editor.

Installing pilot-link

Follow these steps to download and install pilot-link.

  1. Go to the following address to download the pilot-link tarball:


    Be sure to get the Anoxia prerelease version.

  2. At the prompt in the directory where you downloaded the file, run the following commands:
    # bunzip pilot-link-0.12.0-pre4.tar.bz2

    This command unzips the bzip compressed file.

    # tar xvf pilot-link-0.12.0-pre4.tar

    This command untars the file; that is, it creates the program directory tree and puts the right files into each branch.

    # cd pilot*

    This command changes directories to the pilot* folder.

    # ./configure --enable-libusb

    This is the first step in a source build, which indicates how you want the program configured—enable-libusb means to configure the source so that, when it’s built, it has built-in support for libusb, which gives the program direct access to the computer’s USB hardware.

    At this stage, you’ll see a lot of screen output that you probably won’t have to do anything about. Once this is done, you should see the following:

    Options detected/selected
     pilot-link version...... : 0.12.0-pre4
     libpisock version....... : 9.0.0
     libpisync version....... : 0.0.2
     Build for host.......... : i686-pc-linux-gnu
     Extra Warnings.......... : no
     Direct USB support...... : yes, libusb
     Thread-safe libpisock... : no
     ElectricFence checks.... : no
     CPPFLAGS................ :
     CFLAGS.................. : -g2 -Wall

    You’ll see several other screens of output, but that’s the first one. Here’s the critical entry we’re looking for:

    Direct USB support: yes, libusb
  3. Run the following command:
    # make

    When run alone like this, the make command figures out what parts of a program will have to be recompiled to operate in the hardware/software environment within your workstation.

  4. You’ll see more screen output. Unless this completes with an error message telling you that make failed, run this command:
    # make install

    This command tells make to finish compiling, create all directories required by the program where the program requires them, and put the program files into the program directories. The program executable is likely to go into a /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin folder (as it does in this case), or /etc file.

  5. You can test whether the pilot-link installation worked by syncing with your Palm. Start the Hotsync button on your Palm and then quickly enter the following command at the prompt:
    # pilot-xfer --port usb: --backup /root/.jpilot

    Listen to the tones your Palm makes in response to a successful Hotsync.

    You can also use this command to build a backup set in a location different from the one that J-Pilot uses. The Palm desktop packages I’ve seen warn that there’s a possibility of file corruption, so it’s best to have an archive copy somewhere else on your hard drive. For example, run the following commands:

    # pilot-xfer --port usb: --backup /home/username/.jpilot
  6. To see a list of the available pilot-link programs after installation, run this command:
    $ man pilot-link

    Man files are available for most of the applications mentioned in the overview pilot-link manual; you can also go to the pilot-link web site for documentation.

Installing J-Pilot

Follow these steps to install J-Pilot.

  1. Change directories to the /etc directory:
    #cd /etc
  2. Open the ld.so.conf configuration text file with a text editor. The following example uses the nano command-line text editor.
    # nano /etc/ld.so.conf
  3. Add these lines to the end of the ld.so.conf file, if they aren’t already there:
  4. Save the file and exit.
  5. Run the following command, which tells the environment where to find library files in the directories you just added to ld.so.conf:
    # ldconfig
  6. Download the source tarball and then run the following commands:
    # tar xvfz jpilot-0*

    This command simultaneously decompresses and dearchives the file into the program directory tree contained within the file.

    # cd jpilot-*

    This command enters the new jpilot-0* directory. The asterisk (*) is a wild card similar to the DOS wild card; it means "Enter any directory starting with jpilot-0*."

  7. Download patch.jpilot-sync and patch.0.99.8-memory and add these patch files to the main J-Pilot directory. Then patch J-Pilot as follows:
    # patch -p0 < patch.0.99.8-memory
    # patch -p0 < patch.jpilot-sync

    These patch files are after-the-fact program modifications, to debug or add a new program capability.

    # ./configure

    The /.configure – make – make install sequence is the same as for pilot-link and works the same way.

    You should see this at the end:

    This package is configured for the following features:
    Compiling Expense plugin...............  yes
    Compiling SyncTime plugin..............  yes
    Compiling KeyRing plugin...............  yes
    Compiling with private record support..  yes
    Compiling with Datebk support..........  yes
    Compiling with plugin support..........  yes
    Compiling with Ma?na support..........  yes
    Compiling with Prometheon support......  no
    GTK-2 support..........................  no
    Compiler Options.......................  -g -O2 -I/usr/local/include
    Prefix directory.......................  /usr/local
    pilot-link headers.....................  /usr/local/include
    NLS support (foreign languages)........  yes
    USB support enabled....................  yes
    dialer support.........................  yes
    pilot-link 0.12 support................  yes
    Pilot-link version found...............  0.12.0-pre4
  8. Run the make command:
    # make

    It should end like this:

    make[2]: Leaving directory
    make[1]: Leaving directory
  9. Run the following command:
    # make install

    It should complete without error messages.

Follow these steps to create the desktop icon:

  1. Right-click the desktop and select Create New File > Link to Application. Figure 1 shows the resulting dialog box.
    Figure 1

    Figure 1 Icon properties.

  2. On the General tab, click the icon button at upper left. In the resulting dialog box, click Other Icons and then click Browse.
  3. Browse to the following location, where [path] is the directory to which the tarball was unpacked:
  4. On the Application tab, type jpilot for Description and for Command. If desired, enter a comment. Click the Advanced Options button. In the resulting dialog box, select the Run as a Different User option and type root in the Username box to make the program accessible only to root. Figure 2 shows the settings in the dialog boxes.
    Figure 2

    Figure 2 Advanced options.

  5. Click OK twice to close both dialog boxes.
  6. Open the icon. You should find a root prompt on your screen. Fill in the root password and the program will open.
  7. Choose File > Preferences. Click the Settings tab. In the Serial Port field, you should find the usb: port already filled in. Figure 3 shows the J-Pilot Palm desktop application you just built from source.
    Figure 3

    Figure 3 J-Pilot opening screen.

  8. Start the Hotsync button on your Palm and then quickly hit the Sync button on the J-Pilot screen. Listen to the tones your Palm makes in response to a successful Hotsync. Your files will be saved to /root/.jpilot/.
  9. Choose File > Install to display the setup screen for installing files to Palm internal memory (see Figure 4).
    Figure 4

    Figure 4 J-Pilot internal file install screen.

  10. Download the following programs to your computer and install them via J-Pilot to the Palm; you’ll need these programs to complete the process in part 2 of this series.
    • FileZ. Internal Palm file manager program.
    • Card Export II. Makes the Palm external card emulate a mountable hard drive. Download the app from Softick to anywhere convenient, and then install it with J-Pilot. Note: This is a time-limited demo; you’ll have to buy a registration key.
    • Card Directories. Lists file extensions/program associations.
    • UDMH. Memory manager. Note: This is a time-limited demo; you’ll have to buy a registration key. But some larger applications, such as PalmPDF, won’t run without it.

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