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Getting Bonsai to work in HPC Professional/WinCE 3.0?

hpcboy Page Icon Posted 2020-09-25 1:20 AM
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H/PC Philosopher

Hong Kong SAR
Bonsai is a powerful and fully customizable outliner and has been regarded as a killer application on PDAs by so many in the old days. Originally developed for Palm OS, the very last update releases a build (5.0.5) for Windows Mobile.

I have been using Bonsai on both my PC and my Palm device (Alphasmart Dana), and even on my Android phone using PHEM and I would say it remains my personal pick of outlining and GTD solutions. It will be a dream come true if it can also run on my Jornada 720.

Mobyware lists the requirements as follows
Requirements: .NET Compact Framework 2.0 Service Pack 1

Supported operating systems: Windows Mobile 2003, Windows Mobile 5.0, Windows Mobile 6 Classic, Windows Mobile 6 Professional, Windows Mobile 6.1 Classic, Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional

These were the steps I took in my attempt to get the app to run:

Step 1: At first I installed .NET Compact Framework 2.0 Service Pack 1 Redistributables from here:
It has to be installed on PC first. Under C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft.NET\SDK\CompactFramework\v2.0\WindowsCE\wce400\armv4 there are two CABs: NETCFv2.wce4.ARMV4.cab and NETCFv2.ppc.ARMV4.cab . I chose the wce4 one as the ppc version simply won't install on my Jornada 720.
Installation of the v2 CAB is tricky. I found that I need to install it on a clean system without stuff like .Net Compact Framework 1.0, Redgear, etc.
(Yes, it's supposed to be for WinCE4, so is this a problem here?)

Step 2: Then I installed RedGear (enabling newer Windows Mobile and Pocket PC apps to run on older WinCE platforms):

Step 3: Finally I installed Bonsai. Surely it complained about incompatibility but installation went fine.
The problem is the app won't load. Pressing the icon I can see a RedGear bar flashing at the bottom for half a second and then gone. Nothing happened then.

An alternative is to try to load Bonsai via StyleTap. But that app is super expensive (USD$60??) and I assume the app won't make use of the whole widescreen estate.

Much appreciation to anyone who can provide your insight here.
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