The Internet Archive’s PalmPilot Emulation project lets you relive the history of technology

The Internet Archive’s PalmPilot Emulation project lets you relive the history of technology

Fifteen years after the release of the iPhone, it’s easy to overlook the role of early innovators like Palm in popularizing the smartphone. By the time HP unceremoniously shut down the company , Palm had struggled for several years to carve out a place for itself between Apple and Google. But ask anyone who has had a chance to use a in the late ’90s or early 2000s, and they’ll tell you how fondly they remember the hardware and software that made the company’s vision possible. Now, it’s easier than ever to see what made Palm OS so special in its day.

This week, archivist Jason Scott uploaded a database of Palm OS applications to the . In total, there are around 560 programs to watch, including old favorites like AND . Even if you don’t have any nostalgia for Palm, it’s worth spending a few minutes with the collection to see how much — or, in some cases, little — things have changed since Palm OS was a dominant player in the market.

For example, there is a whole section dedicated to shareware, and it’s interesting to see how much some developers thought it was appropriate to pay for their software. Do you want to use the full version of ? Just mail $15 to DDT Investments in Plaistow, New Hampshire.

In an interview with Scott said it took about six months to get emulator to work with the Internet Archive. There is still some work to be done. In particular, some of the more obscure apps lack descriptions and metadata. Scott also hopes to write instructions for each program. However, short of buying an old Palm device from eBay, this is the best way to experience a bygone era of computing. This because lets you navigate through Palm OS. You can even launch the database from your phone and there is full support for Palm’s Graffiti Handwriting Recognition System. If you want to help Scott with the project, .

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