by November 6, 2001 0 comments

The Palm, one of the most popular handheld devices, has literally tons of software for it–commercial, shareware and freeware. We’ll take a look at three freeware and shareware applications here that mimic the behavior of their commercial cousins.

This is a free replacement for the relatively more expensive application BugMe! from HausofMaus. This small utility lets you take quick jots down in freehand when you don’t want to mess around with Graffiti to take notes. For example, someone who you are talking to on the phone gives you some information to jot down, but thanks to Mr Murphy you can’t find a pen and paper. Enter DiddleBug. You just scribble whatever you want on the Post-It Notes-like page and the text appears in freehand. You can even create additional ‘pages’ by tapping a button.

Diddlebug even scores over BugMe! in many ways, apart from its unbeatable price. By simply tapping an icon on the toolbar you can change the color and pattern of the ink you get while scribbling. That is, you can have normal, dark black ink or a lighter, dotted pattern or even white ink. You can also choose the thickness of the ‘pen’, whether you want round edges or sharp, your drawings to be automatically smoothened or be in the raw way you write. (I recommend you use the middle setting; the raw option makes the scribble look really bad if you are a bad scribbler and the best smoothness takes too long to smoothen if you are a fast writer.) You also have an option of using the pen to draw, smear or erase.

Another cool addition is the ability to create simple pre-defined shapes like squares, rectangles, ovals and circles (both filled and outlined), straight lines and text that you can write with normal Graffiti.

You can quickly clear the current page with an icon on the bottom toolbar, and another one allows you to completely delete a page too. Finally, you can even use this program as an alarm. By setting an absolute or relative countdown time for each note, you can have the application pop-up the note at the predefined time.

An amazing piece of software and free. Not only that, if you are a developer, the source code for the entire application is available under the GNU license. You can find DiddleBug and its source at

Vinod Unny at PCQ Labs

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