What PDA's is PDa known to run on
See on the main page under "Supported Hardware".
How to start PDa without the GUI
PDa, as well as Pd, offers a command line flag which lets you start the
engine without the GUI. This is specifically useful if you want to develop
an application using Pd/PDa as a sound engine in the background.
Just start PDa like this:
pd -nogui autotest.pd
Get the autotest.pd
file from here. This is just a simple stereo oscillator patch. Additionaly it includes the possibility to receive commands from the outside via the FUDI (Fast Unified Digital Interface - Pd's enhanced generalized MIDI) protocol.
To send commands to the running pd just start "pdsend 33033" and type in your commands, ending them with a ";" and a newline. If you want to control from on
different computer you have to append the hostname of the computer PDa is running on (or its IP): like:
pdsend 33033 zaurus
How to export my X-display to my desktop linux box ?
(thanks to Derek Holzer also check out his descripton at PD mailing list
on how to setup
an iPaq 5550)
Patching in PDa with the IPAQ stylus is a real pain in the wazoo. I've
been using a remote X11 session over SSH for this purpose in the
First, edit the /etc/ssh/ssh_config file on the Host computer [i.e. your
lap/desktop, not the IPAQ] and add the following line:
I believe everything else should be commented out.
Then open a new SSH session from the Host to the Remote computer [i.e.
IPAQ, webserver, etc] with the following command:
ssh -2 -X -C user@IP.address.of.Remote
Once you have a prompt inside the Remote computer, you can start X11
applications by command line:
Et voilą! The application's GUI will appear in the display of your Host
computer, but it will be physically running on the Remote computer. YMMV
as to how responsive the GUI is, as this is a function of available
How to compile the source for my desktop system ?
You can also compile PDa for your desktop system, and develop your patches
there in order to transfer them later to your PDA. Just keep in mind that
the PDA has less power than your desktop. Not everything that runs on the
desktop will run on the PDA too.
In general it is recommended to develop theee patches on your desktop system,
although it is possible to patch on the PDA with your stylus too.
On Linux, you need tcl/tk installed (development version). Just unpack the
sources of PDa and go to the PDa/src directory. Do a make and it should
compile (the most critical part is tcl/tk). Then run it directly from the
Theoretically it should not be a problem to compile it on Windows or
OSX too, but I haven't done that yet.
Why is the PDa crackling when I want to draw in an array ?
Tcl/tk is not very well suited for PDA's so don't await fast graphics.
In general avoid graphics updates (especially constant array drawing and
the VU-meters), one or the other number box should not be a problem
(depends on the update frequency).
When I want to create a vd~ or delread~ I get an error message
In order to create one of these objects, you have to create a corresponding
(TODO: fix this behaviour ??)
PDa refuses to output any sound
If you run gpe you might have to disable the gpe-soundserver. Another trick is to try to run it with the -noadc option, as several PDA's don't support full duplex sound.
When making these tests, start pd from the console and watch out for error messages. The -verbose flag might also give you better clues about what happens.
What is the best hardware for running PDa ?
Generally it should run on any embedded system that runs linux. For getting
the GUI going you need X and tcl/tk.
People have good experiences with these devices:
iPaq3150 - familiar
iPaq3660 - familiar
iPaq3975 - familiar
iPaq3870 - familiar
iPaq5550 - familiar
Sharp Zaurus SL5500 - openzaurus
Sharp Zaurus C860 - pdaxrom,openzaurus
It has been reported to run on the following too:
gumstix - without graphical interface
Triton LP - without graphical interface
iPod (with the PdPod graphical interface)
(please tell me if you got it going on other devices)
Where do i get more information about PDa, is there a mailing list ?
Not yet. Ask me directly (see the Contact section).
When will there be a version for my XXX-PDA ?
It is hard to target for a specific PDA model. I hope some day I will have
a Windows PDA again and enough time to port PDa to Windows. But who knows.
When is the PocketPC version finished
See above. No concrete plans yet, due to limited time and resources. Everyone
who wants to help out is more than welcome.
How do I install Linux on my PDa
The familiar distribtion has very good documentation on this topic. Look at
for further information.
If you want to install OpenZaurus on your zaurus, check out their installation
Can I run all my patches on PDa ?
No. Most of the time you will have to develop specifically for the PDA. I tried
to keep PDa as compatible as possible, but there are some differences. Normally
I develop the patches with a specialized PDa version for PC's (TODO: make this available)
Which feature are not available
Here a short list what is not available, or what is different, please report if you find more:
- The readsf~ and writesf~ objects are currently replaced by sfread~ and sfwrite~
- tabread~ and tabwrite~ are indexed in milliseconds instead of samples, the soundfiler outputs milliseconds instead of samples for length
- vcf~ could be improved in quality
- conversion routines (dbtorms,mtof, etc) are only available for control flowi (no dbtorms~, mtof~, etc)
- array cosinesum,sinesum not working (loading arrays ??)
Last Modified: February 19 2007 14:21:35 GMT