New Launcher for Clie: what's the point?

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I was browing on the other day, and there's a whole forum devoted
to launcher software. It seems to work fine as it is, so what's so great about
getting a third party launcher? What do they do that the default one can't?

Any advice gratefully received...

-Take out Ron to reply-
Votre mère était un hamster et votre père a senti des baies de sureau

Re: New Launcher for Clie: what's the point?

Dr. Boggis wrote:

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I don't own a Clie, so I don't know what the default launcher on a Clie
does.  I do use a third-party launcher on a Palm Tungsten E.

The launcher I use is Launcher X, from Little Mobile Creations.
Launcher X is a replacement for an earlier product from the same author
called Launcher III.  I first used an early freeware version of Launcher
III on my original Handspring Deluxe, and stayed with the program as I
upgraded machines.

Launcher X uses a tabbed interface.  Each tab is called a category, and
you can create an arbitrary number of them.  Within tabs, you can
customize the layout, choosing Icon of List view, and the number of
columns used (1 - 6), as well as the font for icon and tab title.  You
can also hide tabs, so the contents are not displayed by default.

Launcher X is VFS aware, and supports applciations installed on
expansion cards.  Apps on a card are indicated by a small black
rectangle the the left of the application's name.  Tap an icon for an
app on the card, and Launcher X copies it to RAM and runs it.  Exit the
application and the RAM is freed for other purposes.

By default, Launcher X looks in /Palm/Launcher for applications on the
card, but you can define up to 31 additional directories for it to look
in.  I use this to logically sort programs by type, so I have
/Palm/Games, /Palm/Office, /Palm/Net and similar directories.

The problem with having applications on an expansion card is hotsyncing.
  Hotsync doesn't see programs on an expansion card, so putting
applications that need to be hotsynced on a card seems impossible.
Launcher X solves that with "shortcuts".  You can take an application on
a card and have Launcher X create a shortcut.  This is a small (3-5KB)
stub program in RAM that points to the real application on the card.
Hotsync sees the shortcut, and things work as expected.

By using Launcher X shortcuts, I was able to move some larger
applications like my preferred word processor (WordSmith) to the
expansion card and free RAM for other purposes.

Launcher X lets you specify your default hack manager (for OS4 and
earlier devices) and DOC reader.  When you do so, hacks and doc files
appear in Launcher X tabs with the standard icon for the hack manager
and doc reader.  Tapping a hack opens the hack manager to
enable/configure/disable it.  Tapping a doc file opens your specified
doc reader to display it.

If you use WordSmith, QuickWord, or iSilo, you can specify those are
installed as well.  If you do, behavior is similar to hacks and doc
files -- tapping the icon of a file invokes the specified program to
view/edit it.

Launcher X supports "skinning", where coders can create "skins" that
change the appearance of the program.  Skins can have category tabs
across the top, down the left or right side, or no tabs at all.  Custom
icons can be used.

Launcher X also supports "gadgets".  Gadgets are utility functions
identified by small icons at the bottom of the screen, which you
activate by dragging a file icon onto them.  Available gadgets let you
delete files, get information about them, beam them, move them to/from
expansion cards and perform other useful operations.

As you discovered at the Clie site, there are a number of alternate
launchers around.  I use Launcher X as a productivity tool.  The
interface makes it easier for me to find and run the program I want
(since I have several hundred installed).  And the support for VFS and
expansion cards makes it possible for me to keep most applications on
the card, saving memory for data.

There are other launchers with even more features, especially in terms
of being able to customize the appearance.  They also tend to be a lot
bigger, and sometimes slower.  Launcher X provides the mix of features
and appearance that meets my requirements.

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See above.

Re: New Launcher for Clie: what's the point?

I believe the Sony launcher is terrible. I never use it and wish I could
uninstall from the ROM. There is nothing special to it.

I installed ZLauncher and love it. It allows you to customize your launcher.
You can have quick launch icons, pictures in your background, different
colours and appearance for your desktop and scroll bars, etc. In addition to
improving the look of your palm, it will allow you to have a taskbar that
can have various tools and applications as shortcuts.


better known as McGrady's cousin

Vince Carter - Half Man, Half A Season.

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