As everyone who reads this weblog must know by now, I love Palm OS handhelds. So, it was only natural that I would try and find a way to manage my weblog via my ever present pa1mOne Tungsten C, or one of the other Palm OS based devices that I carry with me. For managing my weblog, I use Movable Type, so most of my focus was on finding a solution for my specific weblog, but alone the way I found a couple other cool programs that can help you make your weblog mobile.
Web Browsers Weblogs are web based, so my first thought was to try using one of the many web browsers for Palm OS. I tried Blazer, Eudora Web, and the built in browsers for the Kyocera 7135 and the Tungsten C and none of them worked well enough for me to use them for my weblog. The biggest hurdle is that Movable Type makes use of pop up windows which no browser seems to support. Not only that, but it’s rather cumbersome trying to navigate the MT interface via such a small screen. The text entry is a dialog box, so it doesn’t really lend itself to entering a weblog post. In fact, while trying to edit a post, one of the browsers ended up deleting it entirely! :O
HandX With web browsers not working so hot, my next step was to see if I could find a dedicated program that would run on my Palm. The first application I came across was HandX, however I quickly saw that this is a total webloging product, not an interface tool. In other words, HandX doesn’t interface with Blogger or MT, instead you create scripts on your web site to accept HandX posts from your Palm. A little too DIY for me and not exactly what I was looking for. AvantBlog If you’re a Blogger user, AvantBlog allows you to post entries via AvantGo. What’s nice about this is that if you don’t have Internet access on your Palm, you can post by simply performing a HotSync. If you do have Internet access on your device, then you can perform an update on the fly. This program will also work with PocketPC devices as well. Alas, I’m not a Blogger user, so this didn’t help me at all. Azure It was looking like my search was going to yield nothing. I had seen in a post where you could use AvantGo Custom channels to post to MT, but that seemed rather klugey. It looked like all hope was lost and then I found Azure. Azure is a Java based application, so it will run on Java phones as well as Palm OS devices. You need to have the MIDP for Palm OS installed on your device in order to run Azure, so I downloaded it and installed it. The only configuration to set is in the “Preferences”, simply set the “Networking” to Enabled. Then I downloaded Azure and installed it as well. I then added my weblog by putting in the path to mt-xmlrpc.cgi. After that, I clicked the “Okay” button and Azure connected to my weblog! I then selected my weblog and BOOM, there were the last 10 entries. Azure has an easy to use interface and offers just about every aspect of a post. For example, you can turn on and off comments, trackbacks, edit the Excerpt, or Extended Body and just about anything else you might want to do. The only thing I couldn’t find was a way to delete a post, but that’s probably a good thing. 🙂 Conclusion So, now that I’ve found a Palm OS solution am I going to use it? Maybe. I’ve gotten a bit spoiled by w.bloggar and without spell check I’m doomed. If it allowed you to import a WordSmith document, I think I’d be more inclined to use it. That being said, I do plan to try this out on the AlphaSmart Dana and see if I have a better experience there. In the mean time, I’ll use Azure as a remote editing tool. If I need to make a quick edit, or just post something fast to my weblog, then Azure is the ticket.