User Forums
User Contributed
Developer Support
Thanks to...

User Forums

Free Stuff
Telnet BBS

Message Board
Support and Contact
Requests and Bugs

Old School Palm OS Coding Contest 2003!

Open to everyone! Submit, judge, or just hang out! If you're not a developer.. great, you can hang out, or cheer, or give ideas! If you're a new developer or not very experienced with Palm OS.. great, its time to pollish up your skills and have some fun :) And if you're a seasoned Palm-warrior you can show off, help out, or see if you're still able to push the metal!

Let me open by saying I'm a big fan of coding contests. Back in the day on the Commodore 64, Atari ST and Amiga it was relatively easy to get a programming language and figure out how to do something with it. There were even demo making toolkits, adventure game construction kits, bundled versions of Logo, BASIC and Corewars.. you name it. There were always the hardcore who made the demos that ran on the border of your screen, used vectorballs to make 3d spinning shapes and bouncing giant text fonts. Sure, nowadays you've got huge over-complex APIs and dozens of layers between you and the machine, and this intimidates the young developers. But your free development tools still exist and your freedom is nearly absolute.. the machines are powerful, the toolkits are there, and the Internet makes collaboration or snippet finding a dream. So lets get to it. Lets have some fun. Lets hack around like its 1999.

-- Jeff

Please pass the word! Help out by pinning up an announcement on your favourite website or by telling your friends or bringing it up in your local forum. We're doing this all for fun, so help spread the news!

Discuss the contest here!

OSCC 2003 Winners!

  • Contest 1:
    1. mazehike (tie, first submission)
    2. nt-1sta (tie, later submission)
    3. ascave
    4. tinysnake
    5. 256xtreme
    6. iamyou
  • Contest 2:
    1. simplicity
    2. snowman
    3. ping
    4. neilcollision
    5. idlewild

Final Submissions:

Only 11 submissions for this year's contest, but all cute :)

News and calendar:

  • Oct 16th: Contest announced; get CodeWarrior out, dig up the PRC Tools at Sourceforge, ask questions, get advice and start nailing down your toolkits.. you've got two weeks to get ready!
  • Nov 1st: The contest themes will be announced and you can start hacking away at your submissions!
  • Nov 1st - Dec 31st -- submit your entries! If you send in one, and then repair some bugs or augment it, you can resubmit -- but do try and avoid flooding us!
  • Nov 3: Rule change with regards to leaving "turds" behind, and with regards to Creator IDs; see rules section below.
  • Dec 31st -- contest finished at midnight EST. Judging commencing!

Contest 1:

  • Start: November 1st 2003
  • Finish: Dec 31st 2003 (approx 8 weeks)
  • Theme: Motion.
  • Limits: Max of 1 application .prc file (and no .pdb datafiles, etc; must keep it a single file for the judges sanity sake); no VFS usage. No more than 200K (in installable state) total. Bonus points for tiny!
  • Platform: Palm OS 3.5 and later; Palm OS 5 "ARMlets" (pno-lets) are discouraged due to your voting audience! (Example devices could be Palm IIIc through Sony Clie NR!)
  • Ideas: The themes are not to limit you but just to get your mind working -- you could go as basic as the word "motion" written on the screen, to bouncing letters like in the demo days, to vector balls or 3D-dots moving around, to run and jump games, to totally different things like an application that shows the phases of the moon, trade between businesses in some way, or tracks exercise habits; as long as it has something to do with movement, motion, activity, you're good -- we dont' limit you to motion of *what*! Sprites, check. Games, check. Abstract movement, check.

Contest 2:

  • Start: November 1st 2003
  • Finish: December 31st 2003 (approx 8 weeks)
  • Theme: Collision and Interaction.
  • Limits: Max of 1 application .prc file (and no .pdb datafiles); no VFS usage. No more than 500K (in installable state) total. Bonus points for tiny! We love tiny sleek little demos and games!
  • Platform: Palm OS 5.x (You can of course build an app for OS3.5 and enter it into this contest); Palm OS 5 "ARMlets" (pno-lets) are encouraged but of course not at all required! (Example devices could be Palm Tungsten T, Sony Clie NX, etc)
  • Ideas: The themes are not to limit you in any way, but to provide a leaping point for ideas. In this case, you could put the word "collision" onscreen and be covered, or think about particle collisions (or heck, molecular!), or water, or sprite collisions, or colour collisions like in a raycasting or raytracing applet, or plasma lava demo, or two people running into each other, political conflict, or break-out games or...... its all up to you. Come up with something, as almost everything has collision in it :)


For each contest - so lots of prizes here! (There are two first place prizes, one for each contest; two second, two third, and so on)

  • Bragging rights!
  • First prize: $200 USD + Codejedi Palm OS apps + HandPainter-PRO + Handheld Basic Enterprise Edition
  • First prize additional (Contest 2 only!): Metrowerks Codewarrior for Palm OS v9
  • Second prize: $50 USD + Codejedi Palm OS apps + HandPainter-PRO + Real's Helix Producer (Linux/Mac/Windows)
  • Third prize: Codejedi Palm OS apps + HandPainter-PRO + Real's Helix T-shirt
  • HandPainter-PRO is by our friends at www.SoftAway.com
  • Handheld Basic EE is from Peter Holmes, Inc. (approx $1000USD value each!)
  • Helix Producer is by the fine folks at Real (approx $199USD value each!)
  • Metrowerks Codewarrior for Palm OS v9 is courtesy the excellent folks at Metrowerks (value $399USD)
  • Let us know if you'd like to donate to the prizes to help push the contest!
  • Charity donations are made in winner's name of course!


  • Forward submissions to skeezix@codejedi.com
  • Post questions or request clarifications to the message board!
  • Multiple submissions are fine -- we're trying to have fun, so if you get carried away.. great! :)
  • An individual can win only once per contest
  • Each submission can go to only one contest at a time!
  • Original submissons only; no cribbing them from someone elses website or from someone elses contest submissions
  • Submission must include author(s) name, handle, and current date. Winners of course will need to provide more detail to collect prizes!
  • Submission should have a useful Creator ID; if they're all 'Strt' or something default like that, it may prove confusing to the judges and users; if you don't wish to register a Creator ID with palmsource, then use 'OSCC' (Old School Coding Contest) which I have registered for this purpose and use a relatively unique filename to avoid conflicts! Registering Creator ID's is done here: http://dev.palmos.com/creatorid/
  • Submission must say something to the effect of "this application is free to distribute and enjoy by everyone"; you're free to note that it may not be distributed in a collection or for money without your permission, etc. (Codejedi is *not* planning on making any such collection; if requested to do so, we'll ask everyone). If the license is too restrictive or convoluted, we'll reject it. Keep it simple folks, but you must include one :)
  • Submissions must include a valid email address for contact; it will not be published. (No spam from us, either!)
  • Teams are okay; you can split the prize if you win :)
  • Submissions must be coded between the contest start and finish dates
  • Submission must not leave unnecessary "turds" (have unpleasant side effects), though may leave behind useful small files; ie: It may not leave behind multi-megabyte datafiles (to keep judges sane), and may not leave behind unnecessary "feature memory" usage, but may leave behind small feature memory or preference data for high scores, user preferences, user configuration, savegames, etc. Datafiles and preferences must use the same creator ID as the submission so that cleanup by hand or tools can be done easily.
  • Submission may not modify the device user preferences and leave them modified -- no permanently modifying the users alarm volumes for instance, or more to point.. no modifying the users game volume setting and leaving it modified.
  • Submissions must be zipped; no password. Unix style tarballs and Mac binhex are discouraged. (Sorry! Keeping it simple!)
  • Pocket 'C' applications will be allowed; the interpreter should be included in your .zip file for completeness and does count against your total size limit. Pocket 'C' isn't really fast.
  • Judging will be by both a panel of experts as well as the public. Details to be announced as they evolve. Voting will begin after contest closes.
  • Judges are cautioned to test against devices reasonably available when contest began; ie: For OS5 contest, devices are likely the Palm T|T1 or T|T2 but not T|T3, or Sony NX or the like.
  • Codejedi may reject any submission for any reason (inappropriate, cheating, etc). Rejections will be documented on the website along with other submissions. Resubmitting may be an option depending on rejection reason!
  • Entries are posted to the website as received (before close date)
  • In the event of a tie, the earlier submission received wins. In the event of another tie, we will pick randomly.
  • Rules subject to change at Codejedi leisure (in order to clarify rules or cover unforseen situations; changes will be listed on the website). We will not change rules so that we claim ownership or the like -- we're not evil. The only rules that may change are to keep the contest fair, since we're doing this in the spirit of fun.
  • Codejedi reserves the right to cancel or restart the contest if for some reason it must
  • Codejedi does *not* claim ownership of any submissions or content; submissions are owned by their submitter with the license included in the submission; any content posted in forums etc is public domain. If the license is overly restrictive, we must reject the submission.
  • Contest requires at least 5 contributors; we'd like to see lots and lots of submissions and contributors.
  • Avoid flooding; go for style and quality first
  • Bonus points for including source code; ideally GPL'd. Source is not required!
  • Donations for prizes are welcome!
  • Codejedi may adjust the deadline if required
  • Contact support@codejedi.com if you have questions

Thanks to these referrals for helping out!


The judges opinions are their own.

Developer hints:

  • Be sure to aim for the contest theme; be it demo or small game or whatever, you'll want to fit the contest criterion to impress the public!
  • Given the short timelines, try and be specific! Nail something *good* -- if a little game, make it fun. If a little demo, do it well.
  • We don't limit the development environment used; gcc and pilrc are excellent and free and Free. CodeWarrior is fine, too. Picking J2ME limits your audience so the judges might not be so kind. Pila for assembly is fine, as is NSBasic (fast prototyping could be an advantage here!).

If this contest succeeds we will do more!

Send email to Jeff Mitchell at support@codejedi.com