PlecoDict with Palm LifeDrive

sfrrr

状元
Yes, please share. I am about to acquire one temporarily and want to know whether it will work with PlecoDict, since that's my primary use for a Palm-OS gadget. (I'm a confirmed PPC devotee, but PlecoDict for the PPC isn't out yet.)

Sandra
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
We haven't gotten a hold of one of these yet, so anyone's guess is as good as mine. My suspicion is that it will work but will be somewhat slow (though not so slow as to be unusable) and cause your battery to drain very quickly from all of the disk accesses - both of those problems should be avoidable if you put PlecoDict's data files on an SD card instead of on the LifeDrive's internal hard disk.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
We just got a LifeDrive - it's still a little early to give a definitive answer on how well PlecoDict works on it, but it certainly seems to be OK. Speed-wise it's not great - about the same as a previous-generation Palm with a medium-quality SD card - but that's unavoidable given the fact that it uses a hard drive (with the associated spin-up time etc).

For what it's worth, my general impressions of the LifeDrive are reasonably positive - looks-wise it's a definite improvement over the Tungsten T5, and aside from one crash resulting from some WiFi connection gymnastics it seems to be pretty stable in general. The thing's a brick, though, and not in any sense "pocketable", so I would probably only recommend it if you found the other features (hard drive and WiFi) appealing. And if you want WiFi but aren't interested in the hard drive then a Tungsten C is still your best bet (ties with the T3 as the fastest possible system to run PlecoDict on).
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Nothing new, really, it still seems to work quite well. I think they must have fixed some of the bugs in the NVFS file system between when they released the T5 and when they released this.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
It's a little slower to start up, but once it's running it's pretty fast - PlecoDict's file caching system works quite efficiently on NVFS devices like the LifeDrive/T5/etc.
 

sfrrr

状元
OK--After a week or more of wonderful performance from PlecoDict on my LifeDrive, it started to slow down yesterday. Could it be because I have entered a lot of flashcards (probably 8 lists with anywhere from 10 to 40 or 50 cards each)? Could it be that, starting yesterday, I began entering custom flashcards in earnest if not earnestly?

The only other programs I have on the Palm are FileZ (which I've used to copy, and move and, rarely, delete apps), two old games (Nono and hMaki) which never bothered the LifeDrive before, and Paragon's big solitaire game.

And yes, I've soft-resetted the device, although I'm about to try it again.

Thanks for any help,

Sandra
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
In what way is it slowing down? Does it start up more slowly, search for words more slowly, or are the slowdowns only noticeable when using flashcards or searching the custom dictionary?

I'm afraid some slowdown is unavoidable when using a lot of flashcards or custom dictionary entries, simply because of the way the LifeDrive is designed - any time PlecoDict needs to fetch data from the LifeDrive's memory it has to spin up the hard drive. If we loaded all of the flashcards into memory when PlecoDict started up, we would quickly fill up the rather scant amount of memory available for database caching, and we'd still have to access the hard drive any time you added a new flashcard or dictionary entry (since otherwise they would be lost if your LifeDrive crashed or ran out of battery power).

One thing that might help matters (if you're not doing it already) is putting PlecoDict's data files on an SD card - since there's no mechanical element to deal with it's actually quite a lot faster to access data from an SD card than an idle hard drive.
 

sfrrr

状元
It's slower in the flashcards and custom dictionary, as you suspected. And, yes, it's getting annoying enough that I'm going to move everything possible to an SD card.

Makes me even more eager for the PPC version. Although the LifeDrive is pretty snazzy (and I'll probably give it a positive review), the Palm OS is hopelessly outdated and feels crippled compared to your average 2005 model PPC.

Sandra
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi, I am brand new to this and just recently purchased a Life Drive.

1) How do I put the Pleco Data files on to the SD drive? Right now, to install pleco , i just install on my laptop then click the hotsync.

2) Also, can I put my flashcard files on the SD drive also?

Thank you for your help!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I should clarify. Specifically which files can I put into my SD card and which files MUST remain installed in the handheld palm os?

Thank you very much for your assistance.
 

sfrrr

状元
David--This is what Mike Love told me last week:

The only files you need to install to main memory (which does refer to RAM and not to the built-in drive) are the "PlecoDict.prc" application program and the handwriting recognition data files. Everything else can be installed in the built-in drive or SD card.

And all of the flashcards are indeed combined into a single data file - it's normally called PlecoDict Flashcards, but since Palm OS doesn't allow duplicate filenames, if PlecoDict detects a "PlecoDict Flashcards" file but can't open it (due to file corruption or something similar) it leaves that file intact and creates another file called "PlecoDict Flashcards" with a number (the number of seconds since January 1st of 1904, if you want to be particular about it) appended to the end. So if you see multiple flashcard files, the one with the largest number on the end of it is probably the one your flashcards are stored in, though it might be a good idea to back up the other ones before deleting them just in case it's not.
Sandra
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
David - sfrrr did most of my work for me (thanks :D) but on #2 I'm afraid it's not possible to put your flashcard file on the SD card - writing out data to the card would be much too slow for the system to be usable. So that file has to remain in RAM, along with the main program and handwriting recognizer.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hello Mike and all members,

I bought a LifeDrive to replace my lost ClieSJ30 and I'm not sure if they are compatibility issues and if other LD users experienced the same thing:

1) In CE mode, after the 2nd character identified, could not move the cursor between the character to delete the 1st. There seemed to be some "mis-alignment" behaviour. Recalibrating Touch Screen has no effect.

2) Could not make copy and paste work. Copy of Character from EC to CE is impossible nor within CE.

Any LD users experienced similar phenomenon?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
We haven't seen this in our testing here - are you running any other software on your LifeDrive? Anything that might "hack" how the operating system works, like a Chinese OS or input system? How do you have PlecoDict configured - have you changed any of the Preferences settings from their defaults? Did you use the automated installer or did you install PlecoDict manually?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
mikelove said:
We haven't seen this in our testing here - are you running any other software on your LifeDrive? Anything that might "hack" how the operating system works, like a Chinese OS or input system? How do you have PlecoDict configured - have you changed any of the Preferences settings from their defaults? Did you use the automated installer or did you install PlecoDict manually?
First of all, my apologies to all for the above post and scare to LD users here. It's a result of my installation of the old Oxford version (Duh!) in Life Drive after I lost my old Clie. But it only goes to show how contented I was with my purchases of Clie+Oxford combination that I didn't paid much attention to Mike's updates via email and know little about the Plecodict. But I did keep ALL his letters to me and then it dawn on me that I didn't upgraded!

Now that I installed the Plecodict with the LD, all seemed fine with exception my intent of removing the ABC and NWP which I could not afford after paying for the LD and moving the dictionaries into the SD card
 
I'm quite happy with my PlecoDict on LifeDrive. A new flashcard session takes a few seconds to start, but then it's pretty smooth. I have the dictionary files (OX and ABC) on the hard disk, no particular delays in looking up entries--but then, I'm not used to any other device, so my evaluation might not be the best. :)

I also store Office documents and pictures of my daughters on the hard drive. :D
 

Jawshoowa

Member
should I get an sd card?

I just started using Plecodict on my lifedrive.

All seems well. While the speed is decent, I would certainly love to see any improvements I can get. Does putting some of the Plecodict files on a SD card reallly work? Don't really need it for anything else, given the Lifedrive's fat hardrive.

BTW, I will soon do a side by side comparison of my lifedrive with another friend's palm (T3 I believe) to test the speed. I'll report what we find.

In any case, I am a very happy user. Plecodict saves me hours of time spent with paper dictionaries!!! With word of mouth from two happy grad students and your new Chinese-Chinese dictionary I wouldn't be surprised if you have a few more purchases from folks at my department in the coming months.
 
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