So I've gotten a new Palm.

My reasoning for this purchase was that I could use it to write while on the go, or even just if I felt like writing somewhere other than at home. Naturally, I got a keyboard for it as well as I wasn't going to be able to write all that much using the stylus (it has character recognition (at least technically), but I don't enjoy handwriting). Sadly, I neglected to notice that it didn't include a sync cable/cradle in the bundle, and had to get that separately. While waiting for it to arrive, though, I've been fairly impatient about getting programs on there.

Especially the driver for the keyboard!

Thus, I decided to try the only two other methods available to get data onto the Palm: infrared and SD card. I don't have a card reader/writer, so I thought that option was out (turns out it isn't quite - more on that later), so I proceeded with trying to communicate using the infrared port. You see, I eventually remembered that the Lego Spybotics kits that I have came with infrared transceivers; I figured they'd be good enough to transmit data to the Palm.

I first thought of trying it with my Windows system, but the transceivers connect on the serial port and I didn't bother putting a panel for one (the onboard ports of this motherboard don't actually include a serial port), and didn't feel like going through the hassle of adding it (not that it's that much effort, mind you). Instead, I used my laptop, which currently has Zenwalk Linux installed on it. Getting the infrared support was fairly simple (new kernel config plus the tool package), and one reboot later I was in business.

Sort of, anyway.

Linux seems to receive the data from the Palm just fine, and it seems to respond in kind; However, the Palm makes no sign of receiving anything, and eventually gives up on the connection attempt. It seems the problem stems from the most unlikely-seeming source: The Spybotics infrared transceiver. It's not meant for this sort of thing, really; When you use it to transmit data to a spybot, it's actually plugged in directly. I think you can use it to "broadcast" infrared signals to it too, but I don't really remember how that works and if it actually transmits any information. Therefore, I believe it's only meant for really short distances, and the problem with that is that the transmitter and receiver on the Palm aren't spaced the same as the ones on the Spybotics transceiver, and thus one doesn't see the other in one way or another.

I might try putting a much larger distance between the two and see if that works better... infrared is supposed to be able to do more than an inch or two, after all, but unless I had a very specific distance between the transceiver and the Palm, nothing showed up on either side... it's weird.

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