Written by Josh Freeman
©1999-2004, Twilight Edge Software
All Rights Reserved
About Backdrop EZ
BackdropEZ.zip Archive Contents
Installing And Selecting Backgrounds
Background Brightness & Contrast
Backdrop EZ Settings
Where To Find Backgrounds
Creating Your Own Background Images
Registering Backdrop EZ
Workarounds For Background Incompatibilities
Twilight Edge Software Contact Info
Below is a list of supported devices:
- Palm: Zire, m500, m125, m105, m100, i705, VIIx, Vx, V, IIIxe, IIIx, IIIe
- Handspring: Visor Pro, Visor Platinum, Visor Neo, Visor Edge, Treo 180, Treo 180g
- Sony: S300 series, SL series, T400 series, N300 series
- IBM: WorkPad c3, WorkPad c500
- HandEra: TRGpro
- Greyscale devices running Palm OS 3.3 & earlier are supported by older versions of Backdrop
- Backdrop is also available for color devices: Backdrop GC
If you find a bug, please report it, along with the following info:
- Device type
- Palm OS system version
- Amount of free memory
- List of apps installed (if possible)
- Special options (Springboard module, memory upgrade, etc.)
To Install Backdrop EZ:
1. Download 'BackdropEZ.prc' and 'TWeaver.prc' to
your Palm device.
2. Run TrapWeaver
3. Press the 'Install' button
The following step will reset your Palm device:
4. Press the 'OK' button on the 'Engage TrapWeaving'
5. After reset, run Backdrop EZ
6. Press the 'Install' button
To Uninstall Backdrop EZ:
1. Run Backdrop EZ
2. Press the 'Uninstall' button
If you wish to delete Backdrop EZ or TrapWeaver from your device, please uninstall them first. Deleting the apps without uninstalling them will leave their system patches and functionality in place until the device is reset.
- Reinstall On Reset
Checking this box causes Backdrop EZ to automatically reinstall itself when the device is reset; Otherwise you will have to reinstall Backdrop EZ manually.
- Display As Startup Screen
This option will delay drawing the foreground when the device gets turned on, displaying the background image as a startup screen. The startup screen will only be shown when the device has been turned on from the power button, not from any of the other buttons.
The user can choose how long to display the startup screen by selecting from the Delay: drop-down menu. To instantly bring up the foreground while the startup screen is being displayed, tap the screen or press a button.
- Invert Backlight
Most greyscale devices have backlights that invert the screen, which causes the background to appear as a negative. This option automatically inverts the screen again whenever the backlight is activated so the background displays properly.
- Run Disabled Apps In 16-Greys
Some older devices have screens that do not maintain the correct contrast setting when switching to a different color depth. This requires adjustment of the contrast every time the device switches from an application with a background (which runs in 16-Grey depth) to an application that has the background disabled (which defaults to Black&White depth).
If you find you have to readjust the contrast when running background-disabled apps, use this option to run those apps in 16 greys. This leaves the screen in 16-Grey mode so it does not switch depths and affect the contrast.
- Trim Menu Borders
Checking this box removes the white border that is drawn around the menu bar and menus. (This option only applies to Grey foreground color modes, which are explained in the next section.)
- Trim Dialog Corners
Checking this box removes the square white corners that stick out behind a dialog's rounded corners. (This option only applies to Grey foreground color modes, which are explained in the next section.)
Foreground Color Modes
To change an app's foreground color mode setting, select an item from the popup list next to its name:
Grey: This mode will display the foreground in 16-greys, which allows menus, dialogs, and controls to be drawn in solid (opaque) colors.
Grey, B&W icns: This is the default foreground color mode for all apps when you first install Backdrop EZ; 'Grey, B&W icns' mode, like 'Grey' mode, displays the foreground in 16-Greys, however, it attempts to draw bitmaps and icons in Black&White. This is because most greyscale icons do not have a transparency mask, so displaying them in 16-Greys causes the bitmaps/icons to draw a surrounding white rectangle that obscures the background.
B&W: This mode displays the foreground in Black&White, which makes all menus, dialogs, and controls transparent. This is the mode that the Backdrop EZ application itself runs in (to prevent the main Backgrounds list from obscuring the background), and is a useful mode for applications that are not compatible with, or run too slow in, the Grey modes.
OFF: This mode hides the background while the application runs. (This is the same as unchecking the app's checkbox.)
(Default): This mode makes the app run in the mode that has been selected as the default setting.
At the bottom of the form, there is a 'Set All To:' button. Pressing this button will set all of the application mode settings to the color mode that is currently selected from the popup list immediately to the right of the button.
Pressing the 'Revert' button will undo any changes you have made since entering the 'Apps' tab.
There are some limitations on the types of FireViewer images that Backdrop EZ can use for backgrounds:
Size: The preferred size for a background image is 160x160; Backdrop EZ won't read anything smaller or too much larger than this.
Depth: The image must be converted to 4-bit greyscale or less. Color images are not supported.
Compression: Backdrop EZ cannot read images converted with FireViewer's high compression. Please convert your images with standard or no compression.
Image Conversion Utilities
There are several utilities for converting images to FireViewer format:
On the Web: You can use Firepad's online image converter. Please make sure that the compression option is unchecked and you choose a color depth of 16-level grey or less.
On your PC: You can use Firepad's FireConverter, which is included with Firepad Picture Viewer.
On your Mac: You can use Lemke Software's Graphic Converter. To convert, select 'FireViewer PDB (*.PDB)' as the format from the 'Save As...' dialog. Verify that you're saving to the correct depth and compression type by pressing the 'Save As...' dialog's 'Options' button.
If you've created a custom background you'd like to share, please send in the image or a URL for posting on the sample images page.
1. Hide the background when the application runs
Go to Backdrop EZ's 'Apps' tab and uncheck the box next to the app's name in the application list.
2. Run the application in the Black&White foreground color mode
Go to Backdrop EZ's 'Apps' tab and select 'B&W' from the color mode popup next to the app's name in the list.
3. Manually set the app's colors to use Backdrop EZ's transparency color
A small number of applications allow the user to customize the interface colors. If an app obscures the background when it runs, but allows you to set the window's background fill color, use that app's controls to set the background fill color to the second lightest of the 16 shades of grey. Backdrop EZ renders this particular grey shade as transparent, so anything that's drawn with that color will allow the background to show through.
Workarounds for specific applications:
Problem: The background is hidden behind Launcher X's tabs.
Workaround: Manually set Launcher X's colors to use Backdrop EZ's transparency color.
For each of Launcher X's category tabs:
1. Tap the tab to bring it to the front.
2. Select 'Edit This Category...' from Launcher X's 'Options' menu to bring up the 'Category Properties' dialog.
3. Click on the 'Advanced' button on the 'Category Properties' dialog to display the advanced properties.
4. Click on the small box next to 'Canvas:' to bring up the 'Pick Color' dialog.
5. Select the second-brightest grey by clicking on the second box in the first row. The background of the 'Pick Color' dialog should become transparent and let the background show through.
6. Click 'OK' to dismiss the 'Pick Color' dialog and return to the 'Category Properties' dialog.
7. Click 'OK' to dismiss the 'Category Properties' dialog and return to the current category tab. The background should now be showing through.
8. Repeat steps 1-7 for each of the remaining category tabs.
Problem: Icons have white rectangles that obscure the background.
Workaround: Run SilverScreen in the Black&White foreground color mode.
1. Run Backdrop EZ and click on the 'Apps' tab to bring it to the front.
2. Scroll to 'silver' in the applications list and select 'B&W' from the 'Color Mode' popup next to its name.
- Compatible with OS 4.1
- Supports FireConverter 6.0 (Standard or No compression only)
- Redesigned UI
- Added option to lock foreground to B&W mode for compatibility with some greyscale apps
- Compatible with OS 4.0
- Compatible with OS 3.5
- Minor bug fixes
- Startup screen option
- Reinstall on reset option
- Compatible with OS 3.3
- Updated new Twilight Edge email address in docs & about box.
- 8-color backgrounds: Now reads 4-bit Image Viewer (now FireViewer) images
- Faster screen drawing routines
- Reduced memory requirements by 20K (Now 120K)
- Fixed background shimmering on the Palm IIIx with OS 3.1.1
- Updated new Twilight Edge homepage info in docs & app dialogs
- Initial release
Software Home Page