Subject: syncing pda's and cli window application
To: None <>
From: Andrew L. Gould <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/21/2003 11:54:51
Upgrading from my Palm IIIx has me struggling with hardware obsolescence and 
compatibility issues.  The hardware for models made by 3COM and Handspring 
have changed significantly in the last 2 years.  The other PDA's (Zaurus, 
WinCE models, etc) have syncing issues unless you sync to a MS Windows 
operating system.  (There is, supposedly, a Linux desktop application for the 
Zaurus; but I couldn't find it, even after following http links.)  This 
brings me to NetBSD and some thoughts regarding PDA's and PIM's:

I purchased a NEC Mobilepro 780 and am having NetBSD installed on a 
microdrive.  With proper planning (wireless connections, etc), I should be 
able to delay obsolescence issues until the unit dies.

While backing up the system software should be easy, I am still left with the 
syncing issue.  It seems to me that a PIM application that could sync with 
other installations, regardless of whether is was installed on a PDA or 
desktop (desktop-to-desktop, desktop-to-pda, pda-to-pda), would solve this 
issue.  Further, given that an X Server is not available on all PDA hardware 
(Mobilepro 8*, HP Jornadas), a CLI application might be appropriate.  I'm not 
a programmer; although I've learned a little Python.

...and, finally, my questions:

1.  I've been playing with the window application (see 'man window').  Can a 
program control multiple windows.  In other words, could a developer write a 
PIM in Python that would use multiple windows for data display and entry?  
For example:

     Window #1:  Display module list (Calendar, Address Book, etc)
                       Select Calendar to start Calendar module in Window #2.
     Window #2:  Display module functions (view, new, edit)
                       Select v-[date] to see Calendar entries for [date] in
                       Window #3.
                       Select new to enter new event in Window #3.

2.  Should I scrap idea #1 and learn Python with Curses?

3.  Does anyone know of any existing projects with similar goals (flexible 


Andrew Gould