Pawn to CLIÉ4

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A level under development for the Skullspace Hardware Programming Challenge.

  • Platform: Motorola Dragonball Sony CLIÉ (on loan)
  • IO: Stylus touch screen and optionally infrared interface
  • Level master: Mark Jenkins
  • Difficulty: hard

The Sony CLIÉ was a fancy Palm Pilot with a pretty nice colour screen that could be operated with a stylus.

Your mission is to write a dedicated system program (kernel) that will provide a user interface for a reasonable well known board or card game (such as chess), hand the CLIÉ to one of the level masters, and beat them at that game. Some of all of the game engine can be offloaded to a separate computer (if you'd like) and messages exchanged with the CLIÉ by infrared.

Your game must be playable entirely with the stylus, use a drag and drop operation for at least some useful purpose (moving a card, moving a piece), and must not crash for the duration of the game.

It's got to be a real code that takes over the system at a low level, not little Palm app.

Not only will this be a very hard level to complete (perhaps our final "boss" level), but developing it in the first place will be a lot of work.

Some really decent work has already been done to get the screen working, but effort (likely reverse engineering) is needed to get the stylus touch interface going.

Fortunately the CLIÉ is pretty hard to brick, this kind of system wide project can simply be loaded into RAM and displace the PalmOS entirely. Nothing too fancy to get from userland to kernel land either, old Palm devices like the CLIÉ don't even have a MMU, the system is all yours.

The example project to be developed prior to this level being fully documented and made available will be a chess game.