Many of these pages are written on a Palm Tungsten E using peditPro. I would use the PC, but that’s hogged by the rest of the family most of the time. At various times in the past I’ve used a Psion Series 3, a Series 5, an MC400 and a Dell laptop to bash in the text. A change of project at the end of 2003 meant that I had to give up the laptop, which was provided by my clients, and so the hunt was on for a replacement.
At that time of the year I’m always financially embarrassed due to a series of kid’s birthdays, straight before the Christmas present buying season - bad planning that! So a new laptop was out of the question. A hunt through the hardware archive revealed that the Series 3 and 5 both needed repairs whilst the MC400 still worked fine (once I had marshalled enough AA batteries). Unfortunately the MC400’s serial lead seems to have slithered off and hidden somewhere.
I found a couple of Macs in the loft. The Classic was dead, the SE30 eventually came to life but only has an 800K floppy and we couldn’t find a way to get text from it to the PC. I even found an Amstrad ALT-286 portable. MS-DOS 5 booted without problem and all my old writing tools, like PC-Write, were still there. But the rechargeable battery had died and running it on the mains meant that the fan did a pretty passable impression of 747 taking off.
Since the Vx seemed to have drawn the short straw, the hunt was on for a usable text editor. After many trials, and various errors, I eventually settled on Paul Nevai’s peditPro. I had tried it out some years ago, probably on a Palm III without the aid of a keyboard. At that time I just didn’t get it. This is a techie’s editor so I should have felt at home - after all I spend most of my day in front of vi. But I think I was put off by the wilful breaking of the PalmOS user interface rules. I’m a firm believer in sticking to UI guidelines:
- every Mac application should work the same way,
- every Windows app should fall over in a consistent manner,
- and it shouldn’t be possible to guess a Unix utility’s function from its name.
But this time the logic of pedit, especially with a keyboard, made a lot more sense. With the Monaco font selected, the cursor position displayed at the top of the page and auto-indent enabled its pretty easy to edit HTML code.
The solution worked so well that I bought the licence - though I was disappointed to find that it expires in 2068… How, I wonder, am I going to type up initial drafts of my lifeless prose when I’m 108?
All I need now is a simple HTML browser that will allow the previewing of the code. So far I’ve found nothing suitable…