All programs Copyright Tom Zerucha, Released under the GNU General Public License, see for the full text.


Version 0.24 - beta
This is the main program in the suite. It manages and converts boxes and launches some of the viewer programs.

But the basic features include:


If you need to move files to or from a computer without HotSync or any other Palm software, you can use the Serial feature of ZBoxZ. For Windows, start HyperTerm (usually in the accessories), and create a direct serial connection, "desktop to desktop", i.e. no modem or manual connect. Linux can use rb to receive or sb to send files. Mac has various terminal programs, find one that supports YModem (or see below). Use those file transfer features. Set or verify the baud rate (speed) on both ends to the same thing, use smaller numbers for slower or loaded Desktops, then start YRec on the palm and send YModem on the desktop to move files to the palm, or set up YModem receive on the desktop and do YSend on the palm. Also provided is a raw send or recieve. You need to select a box to send or recieve, and it will be sent raw, or record any characters received into that box. (You can use box or clip-to-box to create a box, and use File->Info to rename it). If a modem is attached, you can send commands to initialize or dial before starting the transfer (no responses are printed - it is intended only for resets, answering, dialing, or entering things like "rb" to start the transfer).

Graffitiing a letter takes you to the next entry starting with that letter (Case sensitive - the shift/shiftlock/punct indicator is on the top line). If no file begins with that letter it scrolls to the top. Normally you want to use this with name sort, but it will do the same thing (find next beginning with the letter) in any sort mode.

If you have internet and/or ppp it is even simpler since you can use Atache to send and HiBrowz to pull files to/from your desktop. You need to use something like MochaPPP ( or the built in PPP to create a connection to the cradle or serial port, or via modem.

If you have a Mac without a normal serial port, you can use the Modem if you have a modem attached to the palm. I picked up a surplus one at a computer flea market for $35, or you can get a palm modem. I plugged them together but not into the phone line (the phone line went between the external modem and the iMac), using ATX1D on the iMac and ATA on the Palm established a serial link. It works if you reverse it. (the ATX1D tells it to ignore the dial tone and orignate, ATA says answer).

To grab small bits of text, use a clipboard extender and then copy the text to the clipboard. You can then do Install->PasteF to create a box, then you can send it or do other things. If the file already exists, you will be prompted to overwrite, append, or cancel.

Use the prefs menu to turn display of different archive types on and off, and enable or disable confirmations.

The Box and Unbox utilities under Linux/Unix/CLI is the easiest way to box a file (which you need to hotsync) or use the ZBoxZ Conduit and get or put files into the ToBox and Unboxed directories.

Instead of installing lots of files separately, you can box the original zip and unzip it on the Palm, then install the files and docs.

Handspring Visors currently use PalmOS 3.1, so some things won't work as well or at all. For example, PiNGer will, but the Visor specific program will do 16 level greyscale. RUnZip won't display Icons as this feature was added in 3.2. PalmOS version 3.3 (Launcher -> Info -> Version) is the minimum for full functionality, and Palm offers an upgrade.

For Modeming including faxing - You can abort by tapping anywhere or pressing any key (which will only abort and not be recognized). It may take a few seconds, and it may display some other messages quickly as it exits.

Batch Operations

This creates a similar looking screen, but file selection is "sticky" and there are All and None buttons which select/deselect all. So you can select multiple files and then tap an operation button.

For example, if you set beam confirm OFF on a remote palm, you can go into alldb -> Batch and mark a dozen databases on the sending palm and tapping beam will transfer ALL of them. On the receiver, enter File -> Batch and mark all the newly transferred .box files and tap Install. All the files will now be stored on the palm.

Also, if you have the bottom to top stroke to beam, it will immediately beam the selections as if the beam button was pressed (in whichever mode the selector is in including alldb and/or batch)

This is also a good way to set the backup bits on multiple files - select all and tap Backup. But this is also dangerous since you can mark all and tell ZBoxZ to delete them. It allows marking Read/only and no-beam files, which won't be deleted or beamed (without any notice).

You can also use this to transfer multiple boxes in one transaction via YModem.

Faxing is documented below.



This is the actual fax utility program. Fax files are standard G3 images, so can be accessed on the desktop.

Running it standalone presents several options:

Note on dialing: The program supplied ATD, so if you append a T, it will use tone, P will use pulse dialing. Then the number follows. Comma pauses for things like when you dial 9.

ZBoxZ and ZFaxZ
There are several functions withing ZBoxZ for Fax support

PiNGer - View PNG Image Files!

This displays any Portable Network Graphics file (or any GIF) on the Palm.

PNG is a replacement for GIF and supported by most imaging programs. The PNG Home page is at which has information and pointers to conversion programs, sample source, and everything else about PNG files.

Unlike many other imaging programs, it can display pictures of unlimited size, actually they are limited only be the available free memory, but not by dimension. You can scroll around the entire picture or view it reduced it from 1/2 to 1/8th size. It will also display color pictures on a Monochrome Palm in the maximum greyscale level (or for Handspring or any Dragonball EZ running OS 3.1 there is a special unsupported PRC that does 16 level greyscale). Any transfered file (using ZBoxZ to beam) will be displayed at the maximum possible color or grey depth.

PiNGer supports nearly the entire specification including all filter types, interlacing, Alpha (transparency) and background. Basically everything needed to display an image. Text may be added later.

Note that it takes time to decompress and process the images so there may be significant startup time especially for large depth and alpha images. Tapping on the screen will abort the program.

If you are converting others, you may want to save them as GIF first, or use a ColorMap mode with 8 bit RGB samples if you mainly want to display them on the Palm. You can also reduce them to 16 level grey if they won't be used on a color palm. Desktop tools will do better color and grey conversions than the internal routines. Palette files for the Gimp and pnmquant (or you can use pnmdepth - these are linux routines but ports should exist).

If you must, it will also display GIFs.

MusicBox - Play standard (or gzipped) MIDI files

This is based on my MIDI sequencer, but requires no conversion and only handles uncompressed or GZIPed files (see for info). Simply box a .MID file (or mff or smf, or MID.gz) and sync it to the palm.

The main screen has buttons with standard icons for play, pause, fast-forward, and stop. (SMF files aren't designed for backing up, so there is no rewind, but there are search/cue functions, see below).

It is mainly designed to use External Hardware which you can find links at Handheld Music, or one of my pages - Scroll down to the PlayMidi Stuff section for links. It works great with Tsunamidi.

The speaker button will play tracks to the Palm Speaker, but remember that it is monophonic so your results may vary. Also this can't handle tracks over 32k gracefully. It will play the first non-disabled track (/T - trk on/off) so you can select which track to play by disabling the prior ones. Also note that if tempo changes aren't in the track, they won't happen.

The Seek has been improved - tapping a digit will seek to the next boundary, e.g. tapping the 10 second digit will cause it to go from 25 to 30.0 seconds, similarly with the measure (from measure 45, tapping the tens digit three times will fastforward to measure 70).

Now you can remember a cue point with the cue menu, it will reseek there.

You can disable any combination of tracks by selecting them with a dialog. Note this disables ALL events including tempo changes and such, so wierd things can happen if you disable the wrong track.

The File name is displayed in the title bar.

The /P (for Play) now selects a MIDI channel, and will play on the palm speaker when the play button is pressed with the display updating, but isn't prioritized, so polyphonic tracks will sound worse. This is an alternative to the internal palm play routine (speaker button).

Track activity is displayed by the roll-flash number bar near the top.

RUnZip - Compress Executables

Note: the compression is only on the desktop currently, but typically achieves 55-60% reduction. ZBoxZ can restore a compressed file to the original on the Palm. Not everything will work, especially if they are called by other programs, access or wrote their program file directly, or use other than normal launch features like alarms or beam receive.

The Comprc program does the compression. For windows, drag and drop a .prc onto the icon, or double click to get an open box. A pdb will be created in the same directory as the prc (This will fail if the prc is in an unwritable location such as a CD). Install the newly created pdb instead of the prc - you can always undo the compression using ZBoxZ on the palm. (Don't use the ToBox directory or you will have to install it).

Under the standard PalmOS launcher they will display with the orignal name, version, and icons. Tapping on them will start RUnZip to decompress them (RUnZip does nothing by itself).

RUnZip files will display in the ZBoxZ file list unless disabled in the preferences.


This is a web clipping application download program. It can take a URL (including cut-paste) and retrieve it to a box, but can also respond to palm: and palmcall: URLs. See the ZBoxZ homepage for examples to download. Use Clipper to see and download several small boxed apps. Downloads are limited to 60K by the palm proxy and requires web clipping on the Palm.


This is a simple http server that will display a list of accessible BOX files on a web page (point your browser at http://[yourpalm'sIPaddress]/) and allow them to be downloaded over the internet. It will set the types of PNG, txt, and html files. See the Atache.txt file for more info.


This is like HiBrowz, but doesn't do palm or palmcall, but also doesn't use the clipping interface, so it works on any Palm. It simply downloads http URLs to boxes.


I use this to create or call PQAs. Type in a URL, and it will either generate a PQA, or simply execute clipper on the URL.

Box Packager and Unpackagers


This is included with ZBoxZ, but doesn't integrate directly with it. It is designed to fix the problem of hotsyncs taking hours when there are thousands of records. ZipSync compresses the pdb (or prc - it works on both) and merges the records so the hotsync will go faster.

ZipSync runs just like RUnZip. For each X.pYY, an X.z.pYY file is produced. Install this second file using the installer (or pilot-link).

SyncUnZip merely needs to be on the Palm and will operate automatically just after the transfer part of the Hotsync finishes. (WARNING: I don't check for free memory so it may fail and I don't present messages - make sure you have enough memory for the uncompressed archive plus 32K or more available).

If SyncUnZip isn't there, uploading it later and tapping on it will cause it to decompress then.

Note that the database and record creation routines on the palm are slow, not horribly slow, but when there are several thousand records it adds up to several minutes even for SyncUnZip. My routine that does the unpacking is fairly optimized but will take some time.

Also note that over all but the fastest links, the upload and decompress will take LESS time than hotsyncing directly. This is useful especially for network or wireless installs.


CapBMP is a Hack (for Hackmaster) that captures the current screen in any pixel depth to a standard BMP (bitmap) file. Boxer can be used to rename the file, and the standard ZBoxZ conduits or unbox programs will unpack the pdb on the desktop.

ReCAP [Not Released Yet] is a simple viewer - it only displays BMPs generated by CapBMP, and they must be displayable on the Palm hardware (e.g. something captured on a IIIc won't display on a V).

ZLib compression library

Most of the above programs use ZLib for compression and decompression.

The palmzlib homepage is at, and the ZLib hompage is at and contain more information about how to use this and how it works.