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be300.org is dead :(

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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2020-06-11 1:52 AM
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A useful tool for these things (including hex dump comparison) may be a tool called diff.

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/8166697/tool-for-comparing-2-bin...
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/16380090/diff-find-specific-chan...




Edited by stingraze 2020-06-11 1:52 AM
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-07-05 10:49 AM
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It turns out that the BE-300 was also available in metallic black like the BE-500, though I don't know if it was available in the US. I picked a new-in-box metallic black BE-300 pretty cheap (about 37 USD including shipping) on eBay, but it was from Russia. It took a month to get here (compared to about two weeks for the BE-500s from Japan), but was worth the wait. The cradle it came with is silver like the one for the silver BE-500s. Despite the box and enclosed documents all being in English, it had Top Menu in Russian for the interface. I created a backup of that for posterity before flashing another OE on it.

Meanwhile, on a couple of other BE-300s I've converted to BE-500s for testing landscaped OEs, I've been testing synchronization of both POOM data and Casio PIM data. The latter, as I've learned, are stored in subfolders inside \Nand Disk\My Documents (Address, Appointment, Mail, ToDo), one file for each item (ranging from about 200 bytes to over 1 KB in size) plus an "index" file in each folder that I assume tracks changes. As I reported earlier in this thread, in trying to get versions of EpodXP and Bee to boot successfully into landscape, I had to remove some files from inside \Nand Disk\Program Files, from where files are displayed and executed uncompressed in the virtual folder \Program Disk (and, in the case of the subfolder \Nand Disk\Program Files\Patch, copied into \Windows and executed from there). This included running a version of the Casio PIMs that can be installed and run from the Storage Card. The end result has been that, while Casio Calendar and Casio Tasks items show up fine in their respective apps, no items show up in Casio Contacts despite their being present in the \Nand Disk\My Documents\Address folder along with an updated "index" file after synchronization.

The only other PIM app that displays Casio Contacts data is a third-party app called Saisuke that can display Casio Calendar and Casio Tasks data as well. Data from all three, including Casio Contacts, show up in that app, but unfortunately it's not adaptable to the landscape display.

Walking backward through the dependency chain from the Casio Contacts app, it appears that some of the files removed from inside \Nand Disk\Program Files are involved; however, returning them to their original locations will prevent the device from booting properly due to lack of RAM (for rendering files in \Program Disk or \Windows). Putting the (uncompressed) files inside the Casio PIMs folder doesn't cure this problem either; the data still don't show up in the Contacts app. So it looks like, so far at least, if you want to use versions of Bee or EpodXP in landscape mode and want to be able to sync PIM data, you'll have to be willing to set the device up to sync POOM data (which is still a manual process) and use third-party PIM apps that render POOM data.
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2020-07-06 11:19 AM
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Interesting! I didn't know that BE-300 was also sold in Russia. Good price, at $37 USD including shipping.


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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2020-08-26 12:17 AM
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Found an interesting site (in Japanese) of l'agenda BE-500.

http://k1ro.o.oo7.jp/BE500/BE500.htm
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-08-26 8:46 AM
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I may have come across that page in my searches. Can't recall for sure though. I like the idea of creating adapters to bring added functionality to the sync connector port on the bottom of the device, but I myself am a hardware idiot. (My biggest hardware accomplishment with this device has been removing the connector from the cradle to create a sync cable - or taking it apart further to create an external power adapter for spare BEs with lost or damaged power jacks that I've used for testing things.)

There're still BE-500s turning up fairly often on Yahoo! Japan Auctions. (I'm still looking for the cobalt blue one; I missed out on one that went really cheap about a year ago. ) One silver one went for a mere 320 JPY the other day in a competitive auction. A few of them are repurposed BE-500s used as pocket translators. They're rebranded with the model numbers TE-700, TE-750, and TE-760, though they all still have the same label on the back identifying them as BE-500s. They still have the same cut-down CE 3 core, and the translation software comes on an included CF card. (I assume they still boot to Top Menu without the card inserted.) Here are images of the package:



(m27449865905_1.jpg)



(m27449865905_2.jpg)



(m27449865905_3.jpg)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments m27449865905_1.jpg (50KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments m27449865905_2.jpg (47KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments m27449865905_3.jpg (19KB - 0 downloads)
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2020-08-27 3:34 AM
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Yes, I have seen the TE-700 in the past, but didn't know there were other models like TE-750 and TE-760.

The author of the website I mentioned has some things written about Sigmarion 3 as well.
http://k1ro.o.oo7.jp/sig3/sig3.htm

320JPY is really cheap. I think the cheapest I've seen so far was about 500JPY or so.

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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-08-27 8:12 AM
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The starting bid on that one was only ten yen, with a total of eight bids coming in. (I was tempted but didn't bid.) Is there anything of interest about the device or accompanying items in the descriptions on the box in the images?
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2020-08-28 12:37 PM
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The first photo states that it is a radio English conversation lesson program.
The Genius English-to-Japanese dictionary and Genius Japanese-to-English dictionary is inside the Compact Flash.

The second photo says you can practice English with native speaker speed level.
There is also instant dictionary function. (Second photo, top right side)

Also, the publisher of this program NHK, is Japan Broadcasting Corporation.

Last photo says that there are 2 CD-ROMs, 4 manuals, stylus etc.

-stingraze
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-09-10 5:00 AM
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I found another nice thing about adding the POOM databases to the BE. At the beginning of this thread I mentioned a Today screen app by developer Trevor Hart, which is aptly named Tcharts Today. As I mentioned back then, it supports several Pocket PC Today screen plugins, and he added his own that displayed owner, date, calendar, task, and e-mail info from the BE's own database and file structure. But another cool plugin that SBSH Software put out for Pocket PCs, called Calendar Plus, which displays a customizable list of multiple appointments, wouldn't work. It took until now for it to dawn on me why: hello, CE Geek, it obviously draws from the POOM databases. So I tried it on one of my portrait-mode BEs with those databases installed, and it works perfectly. I set it to show the next four appointments, regardless of date. Just enough to fill the remainder of the display after date, name, and tasks. And there they showed up, in a nice layout. SBSH Software closed up shop long ago, but a check of the Wayback Machine produces their page on this plugin:

https://web.archive.org/web/20030804012906/http://www.sbsh.net/produ...
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ionbladez Page Icon Posted 2020-12-05 9:36 PM
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EDIT: Looks like renrut AND mutantcheese is already here in this thread! Cool! I had developer privileges on the old forum hehehe. Did I miss anyone else?

Hey guys, old school BE-300 guy chiming in. Got my first BE-300 from my grandmother when I was 10 actually (2002, go figure!)

Although I've been back and forth with devices, I do truly miss be300.org. My username on there was "beshellx" funny enough.
I have been holding on to these 3 BEs that I have. All BE-300s, 2 have minor screen issues but one of them I have expod installed on it.

I can't tell you how it breaks my heart to not be able to find any of the cool apps and programs as I was able to before. I found the MIPS build of the old game Galactic Realms (crimson fire game IIRC) and I also should have the MIPS build of Solskia (definitely a crimson fire game). Both run on the BE. That's about the limit to what I have currently.

However I did manage to find out a couple of tricks by myself, one being to force install (to the BE) a backup to the PC while you are in restore mode (ha!)

All 3 of the units I have seem to have batteries that hold a very minor charge, not more than an hour. But still, I couldn't remember my username here at all. Had to guess a bunch of emails. Now that I'm in, I'd like to share any backups of whatever software I may have. Although I lost my original 1GB CF card with all the cool stuff, I can at least contribute a little bit by providing my BE's expod backup if anyone is interested.

I know I am typing up a storm and probably forgetting a ton of things I wanted to say, but you could say I've been around for a while lol.

I never actually got into mods or anything until I was about 12-13 so it took me 2 years to find a ton of resources (like be-central.be!)

I sadly don't have site backups or anything, but I was hoping someone from the be300.org forums could chime in if they're around. Would be a nice thing to see starkindler or renrut or even mutantcheese on here.

If anyone would else would be interested in keeping the dream alive, let me know and I can share my backups from the 3 devices I have.

I believe one of my BEs has the BE-500 firmware on it. The icons are mostly blank on top menu but I'm sure with a little messing about it would be fully functional.



Lastly, if anyone has the old guide on overclocking the BE to 200mhz by moving the resistor/diode, please share! I can't find this info anywhere!!!


Thanks for reading and I hope I can share some things here with you guys.

Edited by ionbladez 2020-12-05 10:05 PM
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-12-09 4:47 AM
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As linked earlier in this thread, we have a repository of BE-300/BE-500 stuff. Most of the OEs, including eXpod 6.1, are there. I had hopes of dredging up the missing ones, most of which were only released for a short time before newer versions were developed. These included, as I mentioned earlier, the early versions of CButters' EpodXP (1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.2b, and 1.3) as well as Goofather's pre-eXpod releases (EpodMX and XPod 4.0). I thought it'd be cool to preserve the entire evolution of the re-invention of the BE with the classic Windows CE interface, which we Handheld PC lovers have always preferred to the bulky Pocket PC overlaid interface that Microsoft shifted to with later keyboardless devices.

However, for those who still liked the Pocket PC interface, BE hackers still had Tcharts Today, as I've mentioned earlier. Since I was able to find a way to sync Outlook PIM data through ActiveSync (as I mentioned earlier), I have been able to get more than one Pocket PC Today plugin that renders Pocket Outlook data, rather than the BE's own native PIM data, to work in Tcharts Today. In addition to Calendar Plus, which I mentioned above, Birdsoft's UltiContacts plugin works, as does TodayAgenda, both of which also had MIPS versions. Unlike Calendar Plus, however, they don't provide transparent backgrounds, so their portion of the Today screen covers the background used by the Today screen itself, making them too much of a distraction from the rest of the Today screen. Too bad, because TodayAgenda does a nice job of showing not only a sequence of upcoming events but also pending Tasks.

Since my previous post, I snared another metallic black BE-300 (this time for only 18 USD including shipping), but again it's from Russia, so maybe that's the only place where that design was available on the BE-300 (as opposed to the Japanese BE-500). It's still on the way as of this writing.

So far we haven't heard from starkindler, who was nearly as instrumental as MutantCheese in keeping the BAS going as long as it did. And neither MC nor renrut have been back since they posted here 2 1/2 years ago. Another memBEr I'd like to hear from is marko, who did a lot of useful hacking and was a key player in finding the ways to overcome NAND corruption on the BE.
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ionbladez Page Icon Posted 2020-12-12 3:58 AM
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By any chance in the forum backup files, did someone find the hardware mods? There were a couple that I remember off the bat:

Replacing the battery with a readily available camera battery that IIRC is higher capacity

and

what I've asked for previously: Swapping a resistor on the motherboard to enable 200mhz clock speed on the MIPS chip.

I think it was R45 or something like that. I'd love to have it in 200mhz mode for emulators (and possibly other things..)

I did PM MutantCheese not realizing he hasn't been here for a while asking for the forum backup. Would someone who has it be so kind to let me have it as well? I was truly interested in making it "live" again. At least in a read-only format. I have so many domains and web hosts that I wouldn't mind at all getting it up again, at least in minimal format if not something more.

On a side note I do remember exactly how to revive a dead NAND. I had to do it 13 years ago and it was such a simple process. Go figure huh?
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-12-13 12:57 PM
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I mentioned previously that you can't use PSBoot.exe in BeShell to preserve POOM databases and installed files in \Windows, due to the completely different boot file (BeLoader.exe) used by BeShell. However, BeShell 0.9b8 (including BAS_BeShell) has a setting in BeSetup.exe that allows you to enable "persistent registry and \Windows." (It's in the first tab of that applet.) But I always assumed that that setting wouldn't retain installed databases. Turns out I was wrong. With that setting enabled, I manually installed POOM databases in addition to the required files and registry settings to enable them, as I have described earlier in this thread. Then I soft reset. The POOM databases and all records within them were still there. So what you end up with is a BE with all the features of a Pocket PC 2002 device, except with a MIPS processor. Kinda cool.
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ionbladez Page Icon Posted 2020-12-16 6:43 AM
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CE Geek - 2020-12-13 7:57 AM

I mentioned previously that you can't use PSBoot.exe in BeShell to preserve POOM databases and installed files in \Windows, due to the completely different boot file (BeLoader.exe) used by BeShell. However, BeShell 0.9b8 (including BAS_BeShell) has a setting in BeSetup.exe that allows you to enable "persistent registry and \Windows." (It's in the first tab of that applet.) But I always assumed that that setting wouldn't retain installed databases. Turns out I was wrong. With that setting enabled, I manually installed POOM databases in addition to the required files and registry settings to enable them, as I have described earlier in this thread. Then I soft reset. The POOM databases and all records within them were still there. So what you end up with is a BE with all the features of a Pocket PC 2002 device, except with a MIPS processor. Kinda cool.


I'm not quite finishing trying to put together a "working" backup of the old forum, but I did post on there a very peculiar device I got my hands on a while back too.

A MIPS "laptop" with a 180 degree camera. It was pretty killer. Wish I had it, or remembered what the name of it was. I'll get something going so I can show off what I had 10 years ago. It was pretty bad ass. NEC Intermec 6511? 6651? I don't remember. Can't find much on the unit either. All I know is, I posted it on be300.org back in the day and it ran pocket PC games and emulators without a hitch -- Although there is to say, I think I had to replace/copy a specific gdi.dll or similarly named dll in the directory where the software I wanted to start was.

Pretty cool piece of kit. I'm sure the uploaded images are in the backup you provided to me too. I just haven't had a solid few hours to get it up 100% yet.

Thank you again for sharing, I'll make sure no effort is wasted.
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2020-12-16 8:18 AM
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I'm quite familiar with the 6651 - I wrote a review of it:

https://www.hpcfactor.com/reviews/hardware/intermec/6651/

It would be a good idea to drop another line to MutantCheese letting him know the site is back up under your hosting. When he shared the download link with me, he did ask me to do so if I decided to host it online, though that was never my intention since I've never hosted my own website.
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