webOS Nation Forums >  Stuff for your webOS Device >  webOS Apps & Games > Classic by MotionApps
Classic by MotionApps
  Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06/29/2009, 08:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
Jonathan I Ezor#IM's Avatar
 
Posts: 563
When Palm announced WebOS, many expressed concern about losing their investment in (and functionality of) their existing PalmOS apps, especially when Palm said it would not be creating a PalmOS emulator and that the earliest version of the SDK would not be sufficiently low-level to enable someone else to do so. Happily, Palm soon retreated from that position, giving MotionApps sufficient access to the SDK and WebOS' foundations to enable MotionApps to create Classic. While not a complete solution for all PalmOS apps, Classic (which was made available via the App Catalog on the Pre launch day, and is currently on version 1.1) has rapidly become a must-have for those of us who are transitioning from PalmOS devices (in my case, a T|X) to WebOS.

Like all other App Catalog apps, the 7-day demo of Classic installs with a couple of clicks, placing an attractive tuxedo jacket icon in the first page of applications. Launching Classic places a familiar looking 320x320 screen with a 5-way navigation button and "hard buttons" on the Pre's screen:



Users can add .PRC applications and .PDB data files via the USB connection of the Pre, placing them into a Classic-created directory called ClassicApps/PALM/Launcher/Install. While actual Hotsyncing is not (yet) supported, Classic includes a HotSyncID application to support those PalmOS apps whose license depends on the HotSyncID. (Note that while the original version of Classic had the user-added applications on a separate window and would not allow spaces in the HotSyncID, the Classic ROM updater fixes that.) For compatibility, the latest version (1.1) of Classic allows users to turn the limited sound support on and off, and toggle the emulation speed from normal to 2x, as some PalmOS programs are sensitive to those settings and may crash Classic.

MotionApps offers a list of "Classic Certified" PalmOS applications, which are known to work within Classic, but while other applications generate a notification that they are not certified, they may work well. (Cleverly, MotionApps has teamed up with MobiHand to create a co-branded PalmOS app store.) In my own testing to date, Mobipocket Reader worked fine (including with Secure Mobipocket format e-books such as those sold by Fictionwise.com, once the Secure Mobipocket Personal ID generated by Mobipocket on the Pre is added to your Fictionwise account), TealDoc and Bubblet ran well, Worldmate worked fine (including accessing the Internet via the Pre's network connection) and Niggle (the old freeware precursor to Handmark's Scrabble) started fine but crashed at first when accessing the dictionary, a problem that has now been fixed by the ROM updater. Vegas Slots also ran, but the animation of the spinning slot machine was not working, and the tiles in FreeJongg do not show up. Of the programs I've tried, only Penticon's Hebrew Lite crashed Classic so badly as to require uninstallation and reinstallation, not surprising given how much it is tied to specific PalmOS code. Classic also maps the "buttons" on the virtual PalmOS device to keys on the Pre, a feature accessible by tapping the bottom left corner of the screen.







A word about crashing: when Classic crashes, it displays a "blue screen of death," which instructs the user to do a soft reset (available via the drop-down menu) and relaunch Classic.



(Confusingly, it also instructs the user to "[p]lease close this window and try again," even though the Pre's interface works in cards rather than closeable windows.) Generally, the soft reset works, and there's a hard reset available as well (along with the uninstall/reinstall mentioned above).

Even beyond the apps it won't support, Classic isn't perfect. For those of us who have been using 320x480 devices like the T|X, going back to 320x320 is very confining. The lack of Graffiti is frustrating (as it is on the Pre as a whole; any developers listening?), and it can sometimes be difficult to tap the reduced-size icons of PalmOS apps (designed for stylus use) with a finger, although I was able to play Bubblet without a real problem. At times, the notifications area slides into where Classic places the 5-way navigator, making "down" taps difficult. (One other issue: for reviews like this one, the buttons-to-Pre mapping make a clean fullscreen screenshot using the Orange+Shift+P command almost impossible to get.) Classic is also pricey: the full license sells for $29.99 (purchasable via a link within the program itself, that generates a code to be entered into the MotionApps site), but it's still a fair deal for what is essentially a second operating system for your Pre.

Ultimately, Classic largely just works, which is the essence of the PalmOS as a whole. For Pre users who are making the big move from PalmOS, as well as for new adopters who want features and software not yet available for the Pre, Classic is definitely worth serious consideration. {ProfJonathan}
__________________
Prof. Jonathan I. Ezor
Writer, PreCentral
Past Palm Real Reviewer
@webOSquire on Twitter
Jonathan I Ezor#IM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/29/2009, 08:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 1
Good review, and it matches my experience. In terms of usability, though, I find the app to be lacking, but not as much due to any inherent implementation failure as to the apps that it runs assuming the use of a stylus, which is far more precise than a finger tap. This can lead to a very frustrating experience running old apps.

I conclude that Classic is a stopgap if you own old apps you can't live without until the app catalog gets bigger, but ultimately will be an unsatisfactory solution if you expect to run lots of old apps.
remonl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/29/2009, 09:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
Member

 
Posts: 6,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfJonathan View Post
Ultimately, Classic largely just works
Hasn't been my experience at all, sadly. Good review, but in my experience, I can't go more than ten minutes using it before I get a crash, and I've tried a bunch of different applications, and the 1.1 update didn't seem to help all that much either.

That being said, I probably wasn't going to buy it anyway, $30 is just too much for how little I'd need it.

Glad to hear it's working out better though.
jhoff80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/29/2009, 09:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 578
Thanks for the review.
Some of us depended on legacy Palm OS apps during the course of one's day, every day.
Classic apps is a joke! A sick one at that!
aviatordoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/02/2009, 04:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 
StoneRyno's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,560
Does version 1.1 allow spaces in the hotsync ID? I noted that as one of the biggest issues preventing me from buying it. My hotsync ID had a space in it and as a result prevents me from using almost all of the apps I bought for palmOS and use on my T5. I have used the T5 less and less because I tire of carrying it and a phone especially since smartphones have progressed to the point of replacing it however I'm just not sure if I will purchase classic unless it can nearly flawlessly replace my T5. Obvious I don't use PIM stuff in the T5 any more but there are a handful of 3rd party apps and games I used quite a bit on it that I have not been able to replace even when I was using a blackberry for a year. And I don't know if there will every be something to replace them on webOS at least not for a while yet as we are still waiting for public release of the tools to get mass development going. Most hobby coders and such that generate free/opensource stuff will likely not work on anything until they have the tools to make things smoother and easier to do.
StoneRyno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/02/2009, 04:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
Jonathan I Ezor#IM's Avatar
 
Posts: 563
The latest version of Classic does in fact allow spaces and punctuation in Hotsync IDs, an issue for me as well (my Hotsync ID is Jonathan I. Ezor), given how many of my registered programs' codes are derived somehow from my Hotsync ID. {ProfJonathan}
__________________
Prof. Jonathan I. Ezor
Writer, PreCentral
Past Palm Real Reviewer
@webOSquire on Twitter
Jonathan I Ezor#IM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/02/2009, 05:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
Member
 
StoneRyno's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,560
Oh I should have also asked several of the apps I'm using on the T5 also have data stored somewhere (I assume a pdb file associated with the app) will I be able to transfer that file to classic like how the apps are installed to classic? Ideally I'd like to have classic be in the same state my T5 is. Like perhaps use backupman on my T5, install backupman in classic, copy over the backup data from the SD card to classic and then restore from the backup? Is that possible? It would probably be a lot easier to do a method like that instead of manually installing and transfering data between the two to get things up and running.
StoneRyno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/02/2009, 07:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 171
Thanks for the nice review. Very thorough (and I have read quite a bit about this app, though I haven't decided to jump in for the 7 day trial yet because of 1 remaining mystery).

I want to use ThoughtManager, an outliner which creates and uses .pdb files. While I'm confident I could install all the .pdb files I have and use them in Classic, I can't get a straight answer from anyone about whether or not I can back up what I create/edit in Classic, to my computer for safekeeping.

Whenever my Palm or Treo REALLY crashed, I had backup data elsewhere. Classis is "flaky" and if it crashes hard, is all my data gone?

If data created in Classic (new/altered .pdbs) can't be backed up somehow, even manually, then using Classic for anything important would seem to be a big, unwise gamble.
larnapp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/02/2009, 07:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
Member
 
metsfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 616
Quote:
Originally Posted by larnapp View Post
Thanks for the nice review. Very thorough (and I have read quite a bit about this app, though I haven't decided to jump in for the 7 day trial yet because of 1 remaining mystery).

I want to use ThoughtManager, an outliner which creates and uses .pdb files. While I'm confident I could install all the .pdb files I have and use them in Classic, I can't get a straight answer from anyone about whether or not I can back up what I create/edit in Classic, to my computer for safekeeping.

Whenever my Palm or Treo REALLY crashed, I had backup data elsewhere. Classis is "flaky" and if it crashes hard, is all my data gone?

If data created in Classic (new/altered .pdbs) can't be backed up somehow, even manually, then using Classic for anything important would seem to be a big, unwise gamble.
http://forums.precentral.net/webos-a...t-classic.html
__________________
Units - Unit conversion for webOS!
Treo 180->270->600->650->Blackberry Pearl->Palm Pre
metsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/03/2009, 06:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by metsfan View Post
Thanks. Seems like lots of steps but if it works I guess I'll get used to it. On the other hand, I could just carry around my old Treo everywhere I go. It runs automatic nightly backups to the mini SD card.

Just gotta decide which is less of a pain until someone comes up with a good outliner for the Pre.
larnapp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/03/2009, 08:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneRyno View Post
Oh I should have also asked several of the apps I'm using on the T5 also have data stored somewhere (I assume a pdb file associated with the app) will I be able to transfer that file to classic like how the apps are installed to classic? Ideally I'd like to have classic be in the same state my T5 is. Like perhaps use backupman on my T5, install backupman in classic, copy over the backup data from the SD card to classic and then restore from the backup? Is that possible? It would probably be a lot easier to do a method like that instead of manually installing and transfering data between the two to get things up and running.
Quote:
Originally Posted by larnapp View Post
Thanks for the nice review. Very thorough (and I have read quite a bit about this app, though I haven't decided to jump in for the 7 day trial yet because of 1 remaining mystery).

I want to use ThoughtManager, an outliner which creates and uses .pdb files. While I'm confident I could install all the .pdb files I have and use them in Classic, I can't get a straight answer from anyone about whether or not I can back up what I create/edit in Classic, to my computer for safekeeping.

Whenever my Palm or Treo REALLY crashed, I had backup data elsewhere. Classis is "flaky" and if it crashes hard, is all my data gone?

If data created in Classic (new/altered .pdbs) can't be backed up somehow, even manually, then using Classic for anything important would seem to be a big, unwise gamble.
Any PDBs stored on Classics's virtual internal card are available (exposed is their term) for copy/backup using the USB drive under <drive-letter>:\ClassicApps\PALM\Programs\<program-name>\.
balboadave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/03/2009, 11:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 113
Are you saying that the data that is created could be backed up and/or copy to say a program on my pc?

Last edited by cscott44; 07/03/2009 at 11:16 PM. Reason: misspelling
cscott44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/03/2009, 11:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 901
The Fictionwise ereader for Palm works apparently quite well. I downloaded the reader and installed it using the USB link when the pre was plugged in to the PC to drag the ereader to the "install" folder in the Calssicaps folder on Classic. I then added books by redownloading them from the ebooks website and dragging them to the ereader icon in the Classic ap. The books are then available and seem to work well. As mentioned above, the reader does not work perfectly in part because it is difficult to open the icons with a finger, but overall it is a good fit and saves my ebooks.
__________________
Laissez Faire
prubin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/04/2009, 03:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by cscott44 View Post
Are you saying that the data that is created could be backed up and/or copy to say a program on my pc?
I'm pretty sure that's what I said, especially if you meant by a program.
balboadave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/05/2009, 05:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 91
If I install Classic on the Pre and migrate my PIM data from my Treo 700P (MotionApps has a migration procedure) will the data be able to co-exist with WebOS PIM data the I may import using Palm DTA?

I guess I'm asking if they work independant of each other?

Thanks
comptuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/05/2009, 05:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
Member
 
Jonathan I Ezor#IM's Avatar
 
Posts: 563
The PIM data are independent, for better or worse; they can co-exist, but Classic does not (yet) support Hotsyncing, so any changes you make on either end must be somehow manually duplicated. {ProfJonathan}
__________________
Prof. Jonathan I. Ezor
Writer, PreCentral
Past Palm Real Reviewer
@webOSquire on Twitter
Jonathan I Ezor#IM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/05/2009, 05:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfJonathan View Post
The PIM data are independent, for better or worse; they can co-exist, but Classic does not (yet) support Hotsyncing, so any changes you make on either end must be somehow manually duplicated. {ProfJonathan}
Thanks for the reply.

If I reverse the migration back to the 700P and then I can hotsync. This might work until a better solution develops.
comptuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/05/2009, 05:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 113
Well that was my question, can I manually copy the PIM data file back and forth between the pre and my desktop.
cscott44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/05/2009, 05:53 PM   #19 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 91
I don't think it can go directly, I think you have to go to a Palm OS via smartphone with sd card then hotsync to go to Desktop.

Won't have a Pre until Thurs. Just trying to plan ahead
comptuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/06/2009, 01:26 PM   #20 (permalink)
webOS Developer
 
Classic by MotionApps's Avatar
 
Posts: 350
Jonathan, thanks for a great review, we really appreciate the insight and feedback provided. Just a few comments/corrections on our side:
- the apps are installed by placing the .prc file into ClassicApps/Install directory
- after the 1.0.4 release (it included all the files relevant for Classic, that were omitted in 1.0.3), there is no need to install Classic ROM Updater manually – it is already part of Classic version 1.1
Feel free to always contact us directly with any questions and feedback on Classic.
Cheers!
Classic by MotionApps is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

 

Tags
classic, emulator, motionapps, palmos, webos

Thread Tools
Display Modes



 


Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0