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Change Log for Pebbles Software

The Pebbles project began in fall of 1997. This page has a history of the various releases. See also the list of people who have been involved with Pebbles.

Table of Contents

Version 6.1.2

(Released 3/14/2005 and again 5/10/05 and again on 8/10/05. A few bug fixes.)

  • (8/10/05; Fixed Palm versions to work better on the Treo 650 and the Palm Watch. Fixed some 5-way buttons handling for Palm devices. Recombined WinCE versions for WinCE 2.11 devices. Fixed bug that caused crashes in SSC and Remote Commander when downloading some images. Fixed bug in CE RemoteCommander where screen image was not refreshing in scribble mode.
  • (5/10/05; Found and fixed another bug with Shortcutter for Windows CE, where it would only send one character, and then it got stuck. Updated WindowsCE version numbers as follows: Shortcutter: 6.02, RemoteCommander: 6.12, SlideShowCommander: 6.11
  • (3/14/2005): Found and fixed a bug in Shortcutter for Windows CE. Updated Shortcutter for WinCE version number to 6.01.

Version 6.1.1

(Released 2/22/2005)

Mostly a bug-fix release, but added PebblesChat back in at the request of a user.

  • Fixed a crash in the Palm networking code when can't connect, which affected older OS's such as PalmOS 4.1 on the AlphaSmart Dana Wireless
  • Fixed a bunch of problems with connecting using USB, BlueTooth and Network on Palm.
  • RemoteCommander for PocketPC: fixed that when the mouse movement is set to relative, the mouse mode would sometimes get stuck as right-click.
  • Re-released PebblesChat for Palm: same as V5 version feature-wise, but recompiled with new libraries and protocols.

Version 6.1

(Beta release December 8, 2004, main release Dec 14, 2004)

  • Fixed connection dialog bug on Palm versions, especially for Sony CLIEs.
  • Made version 6 web page be at the main Pebbles URL.
  • Beta of V6 had a wrong version of RemoteControl.dll on PC; fixed.
  • Fixed crash of SlideShow Commander for Palm and PocketPC on slide that "compressed" bigger than original
  • New icons and better organized menus for RemoteCmd for PocketPC
  • Fixed Shortcutter for Palm so uses change-plugin instead of open&close so works better for USB connections.
  • Fixed enter key problem in PocketPC RemoteCommander
  • Palm SSC fixes:
    • Zoom state will always zoom out when slide is changed
    • Black/White screen will no longer prevent future slides from displaying
    • Slide refresh should work now
    • Preview form will no longer exit immediately on cached slides
    • Download all should work correctly
    • Reorganized main form drawing code to reduce form switching and flicker
    • Changed default hard button mappings
    • Added left and right mapping to preview form

Version 6.0

(Alpha release, July, 2004, Beta release October 6, 2004)

PebblesPC changes

  • Added some protection for network applications: they have to be explicitly permitted and deleted, more like the COM ports. Removed the "network" checkbox at the bottom.
  • Added support for USB conections

General Palm Changes

  • Removed a bunch of the rarely-used Pebbles applications from the distribution: ButtonScrl, RateScrl, SlideScrl, WebAssist, ClipBook, ClipHack, MultiCursor, and Switcher.
  • Fixed so supports native BlueTooth and WiFi on Tungsten devices.
  • Fixed so supports PalmOS version 5.0.
  • Fixed the USB support for USB Palms!

General PocketPC Changes

  • Works with PocketPC OS 4.20.
  • Removed Switcher from the distribution

Remote Commander for PocketPC

  • Changed algorithm used for shrinking pictures so that it half-tones, so that the pictures look better when tiny. However, this makes them look a little worse when viewed zoomed-in: before it was solid, but the wrong color, now it is halftoned, which makes the colors closer but it looks more grainy.
  • Added ability to chose whether the Right or Left buttons are used for tapping on the screen.
  • Added ability to use hard buttons for right and left mouse clicks.
  • "Enter" key on soft keyboard wasn't working, and is now fixed.
  • Improved stability for RemoteCommander. No longer hangs while trying to reconnect after a disconnection.
  • Added an icon for clicking on the right mouse button.
  • Added a menu button for right/left clicks.
  • Fixed memory leak bug in Grabber/RemoteCommander.

Shortcutter for PocketPC

  • Fix so PocketPC Shortcutter can run if directory "My Documents" has different name, as on foreign editions, such as German PocketPCs.
  • Known Bug: If you upgrade from an older version of Shortcutter, your datafile may no longer work, and you may have to redraw all of your panels. Sorry.
  • ShortCutter will now query the user if he wants to backup the ShortCutterData.shc file if the .shc file is of an older version. If so, the old file is saved as ShortCutterData.bak in the same directory ("My Documents").

SlideShow Commander for Palm (not available for general download)

  • Added a number of drawing tools, to make it easier to draw straight lines and circles onto the slides.
  • Added preview mode, so can preview future (and past) slides.
  • Added pre-download whole show, which also supports off-line viewing of the slides.
  • Added support for the 5-way buttons on Tungstens, with special customization screen for setting what they do.
  • Hard buttons can be assigned to preview forward and back, and to switch panels.

SlideShow Commander for PocketPC (not available for general download)

  • At the request of an important customer, added new "Always Preview" mode, where PocketPC always shows the NEXT slide after the one on the PC and main screen.
  • When in Slide Titles and other modes, the main menus (at the bottom) grey out since they don't work anyway.
  • There is a menu item that, when not in scribble mode, turns off tap to advance slide so don't go forward when trying to tap on links by accident.

Version 5.1

(Release June, 2002)

We have a modified version of RemoteCommander that contains word completion and the ability to hotsync from RemoteCommander, which we described in a paper at the ASSETS'02 conference, so we released this version on our page for assistive uses of Pebbles software.

We have a new version of SlideShow Commander for PocketPC which is available for internal use only. New features include previewing of slides, tapping on embedded links, and support for BlueTooth. Available only to authorized users (from CMU and selected other universities, the USA government, and companies such as Microsoft that fund our research). Contact Brad Myers for access.

Changes in Version 5.0

(Release February 4, 2002)

General Changes

  • Higher priority for PebblesPC process on PC so will be ahead of "normal" games.
  • Fixed PebblesPC so it is more robust about trying to make a connection when a hand-held is connected, removed from the cradle and then replaced in the cradle.
  • Updated Ping and instructions for programmers to create applications using the Pebbles protocols.

Remote Commander for Palm

  • The hard keys (application buttons and arrow keys) are assignable to shift, control, alt, function, application, do nothing, or else the left, right or middle mouse button. The middle arrow keys can also do up and down arrow.
  • Tapping can be assigned to left, middle, or right mouse button, or nothing.
  • The on-screen labels for these functions now are actually buttons.
  • There are bigger labels for main 4 hard buttons (filling the whole vertical space)
  • A preferences option allows control of the acceleration of the cursor across screen, so can make it all the way across with one sweep.
  • Interacts with the acceleration set for the mouse cursor on the PC. At highest speed, will make it across 1024 screen even if the mouse PC's cursor is set to no acceleration.
  • Choice of 4 different keyboards: alphabetic or normal, regular size or big
  • Ability to turn off key repeat
  • When key repeat is off, then the on-screen keyboard buttons send down and up separately (e.g., for games)
  • Ability to adjust how accurate taps have to be
  • Ability to turn off use of Graffiti, in which case whole Graffiti area is used to pop up the keyboard
  • Ability to turn automatic power-off delay to be 30 minutes
  • Support for the Kyocera jog-dial switch (on the Kyocera smart phone): it always sends up-arrow and down-arrow.

Shortcutter for Palm

  • Support for external control (can be launced by another application)
  • Open action changed to switch to an app if it is already running rather than opening a new copy
  • Slider can assign 2 actions like knob. Not just for scrolling anymore.
  • Buttons that send keys will send down and up separately (if not auto-repeat) so can be used to control games.
  • DeviceCtl program released which can control the ActiveHome X/10 device

Remote Commander for PocketPC

  • Installer that works with ActiveSync which automatically picks the right file to install onto the handheld.
  • Ability to "snarf" (grab) the contents of the PC's screen onto the handheld, and zoom in and/or scroll around. Screenshot refreshes periodically (default is 10 seconds, configurable on Options dialog).
  • Uses Pocket-PC style menus Extra onscreen keyboard buttons are now positioned appropriately for Transcriber as well as Keyboard and Character Recognizer.
  • Remembers last IP address, and IP address entry box now has horizontal-scroll style turned on, so you can enter long IP addresses. Also has a pop-up of the last few IP addresses used.
  • New icon

Slide Show Commander for PocketPC

  • Now a commercial product from Synergy Solutions, so no longer available for free download. See http://www.slideshowcommander.com
  • Commercial version supports PowerPoint XP (Office XP).
  • Employees of Microsoft, DARPA, or academic researchers can contact Brad Myers for the newest research version.

Shortcutter for PocketPC

  • Beta release of this program released.

Switcher for PocketPC

  • Installer that works with ActiveSync which automatically picks the right file to install onto the handheld.

Changes in Version 4.1

(Release 9/26/2000)

General Changes

  • Removed unnecessary files from pebbles.zip, reducing its size to 1150K.

Shortcutter V4.1

  • Added actions that are application-specific.
  • Mouse buttons can be selected to do regular mouse actions, or else to draw using scribble or multicursor (like the mousepad).
  • Fixed menu shortcut characters for OS3.5.
  • The "New" button when editing a Macro goes directly to action panel.

RemoteClipBook and WebAssist

  • Fixed icons

Changes in Version 4

(Beta release: 9/1/2000. Official release 9/24/2000)

General Changes

  • A new Connections dialog box in all applications, so you can control how the hand-held connects to the PC.
  • Support for connection by Infrared and sockets. This allows Pebbles applications to connect using radio networks like 802.11 (Wavelan or Proxim or Symbol Specturm 24 wireless).
  • Support for color Palms (PalmOS v3.5) and Pocket PC (Windows CE v3.0).
  • There are new icons for each of the programs (thanks to Joonhwan Lee).
  • We fixed a bunch of memory leaks and other small bugs in all the software.

New Windows CE Programs

  • There are now Windows CE versions of Remote Commander, Scribble and MultiCursor (all in one program called RemoteCmd).
  • There is now a Windows CE version of the Switcher program.

Changes in Slide Show Commander

  • Slideshow commander for the Palm has been licensed to Synergy Solutions and now is available for commercial sale. Therefore, the Pebbles distribution only contains the Windows CE version. Get the new version of Slide Show Commander for the Palm from Synergy at: http://www.slideshowcommander.com/.
  • The Windows CE and Pocket PC versions are still available for free.
  • The SlideShow program now shows a thumbnail picture of the current slide on the "scribble" pane.
  • Menu commands for Black Screen, White Screen and Clear Scribbles
  • Bullets are shown in the Notes view, which makes it much easier to read.

Changes in Shortcutter

  • The Macro action is now implemented, so you can have a sequence of actions be invoked by a single Shortcutter action.
  • New Mouse Pad widget: Can control the mouse of the PC, either in RemoteCommander mode, so it controls the real mouse; Scribble mode, so it controls the Pebbles scribble cursors; or MultiCursor mode, for custom applications that support multiple cursors.
  • New Toggle Button widget: Does an action when pressed down, and a different action when released. Useful for mouse buttons, so down press of the button sends mouse down, and release of the button sends mouse button up.
  • New Graffiti widget: That acts as a big Graffiti pad, so you can make Graffiti gestures inside the widget (which you can make as big as the screen). Optionally define as characters only, numbers only, or 2-sided like the regular Graffiti area.
  • Ability to send the Graffiti strokes (either in the regular area or in the Graffiti widget) to the application as if they were typed on the PC's keyboard.
  • Feedback for the action being invoked is provided at the bottom of the screen.
  • Added support for sending the middle mouse button.

Changes in Version 3

(Beta release: 8/31/99. Official release 12/6/99)

  • A new version of the Slide Show Commander, featuring a new pane for timing the talk, and user-assignable application buttons actions. The changes are:
    • New Timer Tab. This tab allows you to time your talk. It has three modes, controlled by the choice boxes at the bottom of the window.
    • Assigning the Hard Buttons: Ability to assign the application buttons on the Palm to various functions, like forward and backward slide.
    • Disable the Automatic Power Off option.
    • Hyphen character sent as a space while a Slide Show is in progress, since hypen ends the slide show, and it is easy to give it accidentally when trying to do a space.
    • Always starts the slide show at the first slide instead of at the current slide.
  • An exciting new application: Shortcutter, with which you can build panels of controls to allow the Palm Pilot to control your PC applications.
  • Windows CE implementations of SlideShow Commander, MultiCursor, Scribble and Remote Commander.
  • A new application for Palms: WebAssist, which helps with "hub-and-spoke" style browsing for Internet Explorer. (Sorry it doesn't work with Netscape.) Select a region in IE, Copy the text into the PC's clipboard, then use the Refresh button on the Palm to copy the links out of the selection. Then tap on links to go to that page.
  • A new application for Palms: Switcher, which combines the functions of the Windows taskbar and an application's Window menu. It displays the running applications, and the windows of the current application, and you can tap on one to switch it to the front.
  • Increased speed for all Pebbles applications, with an upgraded protocol (so you cannot mix old versions of the Pebbles software with these new files. Therefore, the download below includes a complete set of files, even though some have the same user interface as before).
  • PebblesPC now automatically detects the user name from the Palm or Windows CE device, so you only need to add and remove COM ports.

Earlier Changes


V2.3 of SlideShow Commander
(Changed only SlideShowControl.dll)
Now updates the notes and slide titles on the PalmPilot when the slide is changed at the PC end.


V1.0 of Scribble
First release of the Scribble application.


V2.2 of SlideShow Control
(Changed only SlideShowControl.dll)
Fixed a bug in the previous version where the new slide sometimes flashed a few times when you changed slides.


V2.0 of all PebblesPC applications
Lots of changes to Remote Commander and release of all of the following for Palm:

  • SlideShowCmd
  • PebblesPC architecture
  • RemoteCmd
  • RemoteClipBook
  • Scrollers
  • PebblesChat
  • MultiCursor and PebblesDraw
  • Scribble


V1.0 of Remote Commander
(first Pebbles application)

Sept. 1997

Pebbles Project Begins
(as independent study project for undergraduate Herb Stiel)

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