Major Java MIDlet manager update: now, parallel execution possible under Jbed etc.

Esmertec, developers of the Jbed MIDlet manager, are constantly releasing newer versions of their environment in various Windows Mobile models. These new managers are, then, quickly get mirrored as self-standing, standalone, downloadable and installable installers over the Internet (and, most importantly, XDA-Developers).


Opera Mini + (W)VGA users, attention: a hacked, VGA-friendly Jbed version has been released!

(Technical note: as of 01/02/2009 2:57 AM CET, the images in the article and the mirrored download aren’t accessible. Hope they’ll become available in about 10 hours. That is, make sure you check back in 10-15 hours if you’d really want to see them. Sorry for the inconvenience - my database back-end has been having problems and the CS people have been away.)


VGA & Opera Mini (and/or MIDlet) users, you’ll LOVE this: at last, readable charsizes!

So far, the biggest problem with running Opera Mini (or any MIDlet that uses characters to display anything; for example, the Gmail MIDlet) on high-resolution (W)VGA Windows Mobile devices was the far too small character size all contemporary, recommended (most importantly, Jbed) MIDlet managers used.


MIDlet manager news


In addition to thoroughly re-testing the WM2003(SE) compliance of the latest, just-released Jbed version (see the UPDATE section in my yesterday's post), I've continued testing the new MIDlet managers.

I’ve also tested some of the versions linked from the thread on my HTC Vox (s710) to find out whether they’re any good compared to the old MIDlet managers; particularly Cloudyfa’s version - the version that, so far, I’ve recommended to all MIDlet users (unless in need for M3G (3D) support.). These two are both “fixed heap†versions; some of the less simple games (for example, DoomRPG) and benchmark apps with large memory requirements are stated to run much better / more reliably in the fixed heap versions than in the regular ones (for example, that of Cloudyfa) because of the much bigger available memory. I haven’t tested the effects of this myself.

1. JBed3dMod_HeapSizeFix (that is, 3D-capable Jbed version, based on 20070524.2.1, with fixed heap)

I was really interested in how this (and an additional, hacked file available for download HERE - just overwrite JBed.exe of the original, already-installed version with JBed3d_SreenFix.exe after renaming) worked because, at, there’s a version that promises flawless, screen problem-free functionality on MS Smartphones also compatible with the excellent Gmail client MIDlet.

(Also see THIS (original HERE) for more info; see freesunny's post at 10.01.08 10:56:06.)

So far, it seemed impossible to make the latter (the Gmail MIDlet) flawlessly work on MS Smartphones under any version of Jbed. An example of the display problems the non-hacked version (or any Jbed version) can be seen in the following screenshot:

Unfortunately, the hacked version (after overwriting the EXE file with the separately downloaded JBed3d_SreenFix.exe) doesn’t really work with Gmail: while indeed the entire screen estate is used, the three lowermost menu items (Search, Compose New, Exit) aren’t visible, just like with the non-hacked case:

Note that essentially the same results from the folks can be HERE. The same problem also exists in Portrait mode, not only in Landscape.


New MIDlet manager in development: PhoneME; Jbed for WM2003(SE) released!

There are two pieces of news for everyone interested in running Java MIDlets. The first will be having a pre-WM5 device and wanting to run Java MIDlets (for example, Opera Mini) on it. Yes, at last, some Russian hackers made Jbed, the industry-leading MIDlet manager work under WM2003(SE)! The second (and, for most people, not that important) piece of news concerns a brand new MIDlet manager port for Windows Mobile.

1. Some Russian hackers, including the folks, have, at last, managed to make Jbed, the best MIDlet manager, work under WM2003 and WM2003SE. The importance of this just can’t be stressed enough: so far, you only had the really inferior IBM J9 and the 10-series TAO MIDlet Manager to run MIDlets on pre-WM5 operating systems. Now, this has dramatically changed. Now, nothing will stop you from using Opera Mini on your pre-WM5 Pocket PC.

The direct link to these WM2003(SE) MIDlet Managers are as follows. There are three versions: a modded one, a non-3D one and a 3D one; all with a heap size fix.

Esmertec Jbed heapfix
Esmertec Jbed3d heapfix

They have also made a MAJOR update to their MIDlet article, linking to all the contemporary Esmertec, TAO etc. versions (including ones with heap fixes, with and without 3D support etc.); the above links can also be found in their article. You can see the translation of the new page HERE (Google) and HERE (Babelfish). Note that I’ve kept the original page HERE (Google) and HERE (Babelfish) for historical reasons for people interested in the pre-Esmertec times.

2. Now, the other piece of news, which, again, won’t be of that much interest to non-WM2003 / non-Java hackers.

Java is a really viable programming platform. Not only several high-quality games make it worthwhile, but also probably the best and, if you’re lucky enough with your geographical location, fastest and most bandwidth usage-friendly mobile browser available for mobile phones (including Windows Mobile), Opera Mini 4.

I’ve already devoted an entire all-in-one Bible to running Java on Windows Mobile (and Symbian). Now, let me introduce the latest Windows Mobile KVM: PhoneME.

PhoneME is another "let’s bring Java to various platforms†projects (official homepage HERE), which has recently received Windows Mobile support.


Sneak peek: my forthcoming Midlet Manager Bible


I've been working on a FULL roundup of ALL midlet managers available today.

In addition to thoroughly comparing the current midlet managers to each other, I'll also publish really thorough, reliable and never-before-published, tips, tricks, benchmark and compatibility results. You'll LOVE them.

Currently, the backbone of the roundup, the charts, are (more or less) ready. Feel free to comment on them.


IBM releases new, 6.1.1 version of great Midlet runner J9; now, it’s fully compatible with Google Maps!

UPDATE (04/04/2007): Handango also hosts IBM J9 6.1.1; the links are: hi-res VGA; low-res QVGA. Note that there is no trial version offered in there.
(End of update.)

Ever wanted to run the same midlets (small Java applications) on your Pocket PC as on your mobile phone? Ever wanted to use the great alternative Web browser Opera Mini or the great mapping software Google Maps on your Pocket PC? Read on!

It was over half a year ago that IBM released the last, 6.1.0 version of their well-known Personal Java / Midlet environment J9 (read the tutorial here).

As with the previous version, the distribution isn’t available on major Pocket PC software resellers like Handango; only on IBM’s official download page. You will need to register yourself in there in order to be able to download the environment – Personal Profile (PP) if you need to run smaller, PP-compliant (!) stand-alone Java applications (NOT Java applets inside Pocket Internet Explorer / Internet Explorer Mobile – IBM J9 has never supported them!) and the MIDP 2.0 version if you want to run midlets like the above-mentioned two "killer" midlets, Opera Mini or Google Maps. Note that the Midlet version, as with the previous 6.1.0 version, comes in two flawors: a VGA and a QVGA one. If you have a VGA device, get the former.

After downloading (make sure you also get the installation instructions PDF file and don’t mistake Windows CE 5 for Window Mobile 5 – you’ll need the latter only), execute the file (it’s been downloaded to c:\DownloadDirector\) and extract c:\Program Files\IBM\WEME\runtimes\61\wm50-arm-vga-midp20\ (VGA MIDP), c:\Program Files\IBM\WEME\runtimes\61\wm50-arm-midp20\ (QVGA MIDP) or c:\Program Files\IBM\WEME\runtimes\61\wm50-arm-ppro11\ (Personal Profile). Transfer the contents of the (unpacked) bin and lib subdirectories anywhere on your Pocket PC (note that the installation instructions instruct you to copy these two directories under \J9\MIDP in the main storage. This isn’t needed: a storage card will do too) and, then, do what “Installing and running a demo MIDlet†(the MIDP version) or “Running a demo application†(the PP version) states. Note that you can (and, if you plan to install many midlets, should!) still use the registry import script I’ve provided (see the “My registry script†section in my previous tutorial) for 6.1.0 to greatly ease midlet deployment; as with the previous version, make sure you change all occurrences of “\\SD Card\\J9-MIDP†to the current path of your J9 home in it before importing.

Screenshots of the new version running Opera Mini 3.0.6540 Advanced (also see this article; the JAR file is available for download here; simply download it and click on it after transferring it onto your PDA and importing my above-mentioned registry import file if you don't want to deploy it by hand, in the very awkward way the official IBM documentation recommends) on my WM2003SE VGA Pocket Loox 720: 1 2; on my WM5 VGA Dell Axim x51v.


Bluetooth, Midlets, Java, Pocket PC

I've always played a lot with native (non-Java) Pocket PC Bluetooth API's (see for example this). Now, I've tried to make stand-alone Java Bluetooth applications (under the IBM J9 Personal Edition environment) and Java midlets (under the IBM J9 MIDP environment) work.


How do I run the well-known Stocks Applet on my Pocket PC? (Incl. TONS of brand new, never-published Java tips & c

I’ve just received a question over at the Pocket PC Thoughts forums (read it in its entirety if interested) concerning how the well-known Stocks Applet should be run on the Pocket PC.

When you click this link on your desktop, the stocks applet will run just OK. When you click it on your Pocket PC, on the other hand, it won’t – just a strange, small “beta.jnlp†file will be downloaded to the Pocket PC.


Running Motorola-specific Midlet games on the Pocket PC? YES!!

In this XDA-Dev thread, forum member therealholg stated the Intent Midlet Manager (which is shipped with all Pocket PC Phone Edition devices as is pointed out in, say, Java Midlets on the Pocket PC - the Complete Tutorial) is able to run Motorola midlets (that is mini Java mostly leisure applications - read: games).

I’ve given this a try to find out whether it’s true as the Midlet manager can’t execute most other, device-specific Midlet programs (Nokia or Sony-Ericsson ones). I was delighted to see that this is indeed true: the Intent Midlet Manager was indeed able to run the majority of the (well, not very new, but still, some of them is pretty playable and enjoyable on the Pocket PC) Midlets I’ve thrown it at.

A breakdown of the midlets I’ve tested the Midlet manager with (along with their filedates, -sizes; “invalid JAR†stands for the Midlet manager’s inability to deploy the midlet) some midlets:


Great, Free Java/Midlet Environment IBM J9 New, 6.1 Version is Out – a Full Compliance & Bug Report & Never Before Publi

IBM WebSphere(R) Everyplace Micro Environment (IBM J9 for short) is one of the best Java and Midlet environments for the Pocket PC (please see this tutorial on what Midlets are and how they can be used). If you make a generic search in my Pocket PC Magazine Expert Blog for "IBM J9" or look around in my full-blown Java-related articles (for example, Using Java on the Pocket PC - the complete tutorial (alternatives: FirstLoox, PPCMag); also, the "Java" sections in my Pocket PC Magazine Expert Blog are worth checking out), you’ll get numerous hits. The former Midlet article and the latter generic Java article are both worth checking out to see what midlets are capable of/usable for. Opera Mini, Google Maps, Toonel - just to name the three most important "killer apps".

The last version of J9 was released over a year ago – it took IBM a year to move to a new version. It was indeed worth the waiting - the midlet support is indeed definitely better than the previous version.

What’s new – in a nutshell

  1. Improved Midlet compliance – now, it’s fully compliant with all versions of Opera Mini Advanced (including the latest, 2.0 version). I didn't have problems with Google Maps either.
  2. VGA (high) resolution support, at least as far as text rendering is concerned, without having to use the native VGA mode on VGA devices. (Unfortunately, this only applies to text rendering. Rendering of graphics in standard SE VGA is still pixel-doubled, which will be a real pain with graphics-based midlets like the ingenious Google Maps. Then, you'll need to reboot the device into native VGA mode.) There're two separate versions for QVGA and VGA devices; I'll elaborate on the differences of the two in a separate section, with a lot of practical tips and tricks never published before.


Alternative Java environment Mysaifu updated

A new, 0.2.3 version of Mysaifu, the new, alternative, free Java environment meant for running stand-alone Java language applications has just been released with some really nice bugfixes (and, unfortunately, with some new bugs). The author of Mysaifu is really active: it was just a few days ago that the previous, 0.2.2 version of this excellent environment was released. Wyvern Probably the most important bugfix makes it possible to play the well-known Java-based multiplayer game "Wyvern" without any problems. Now, also context menus work flawlessly (the only problem with the previous, 0.2.2 version). I really recommend the game – it's free and if you like online multiplayer Role Playing games, you will definitely like this title too. Please read The Definitive Multiplayer PPC Game Roundup for more information on the game.


Java Midlets on the Pocket PC - the Complete Tutorial

UPDATE (late 2007): the article is outdated. Read THIS instead.
(end of update, original article follows)

Midlets are widely known for mobile phone users because a wide variety of games, chatter applications (for example, Internet Relay Chat clients), Web browsers (for example, the excellent Opera Mini), Google Maps cients (for example, Mobile GMaps) etc. are available in a cross-platform midlet form.

I always receive a lot of midlet-related questions (see for example this and this threads; note that they're a bit old and, therefore, do not have the most up-to-date information); this is also why I've decided to write an all-in-one article on all the midlet-related questions. (Needless to say, this article is the first generic, practical overview ever written on this question.)

Opera Mini, the best, free Midlet-based Web browser itself is certainly a reason for learning to run midlets on PPC's. While a bit simple and incapable at the first blick (for example, there's absolutely no support for selecting text and copying it to the clipboard – in this respect, it's like the Thunderhawk browser, which doesn't allow for any kind of such functionality either), you'll soon learn to love to use Opera Mini on your Pocket PC because:


New Versions of Fastest, WM5-compliant, Pocket Internet Explorer applet plugin-enabled Java Virtual Machine, CrEme, out!

I've reported today of the new Mysaifu version. After having published the article, I've noticed that NSICom has released two, brand new versions of their CrEme JVM – now, with WM5 compliance. CrEme is the fastest Java Virtual Machine (JVM) out with moderate system requirements and is, therefore, really worth checking out, particularly if you want to use the great bandwidth reduction tool Toonel or Java applets in Internet Explorer Mobile. The previous versions of CrEme didn't work at all under WM5; they complained about not being able to load gfw/gfwconf and immediately exit. Fortunately, that's no longer the case – the new versions are WM5-compliant and work just great! No article from me without thorough compliance testing. Let's see right away how the new version behaves in the most important usage areas of Pocket PC JVM's!


Managed to make Jeode, the Java Virtual Machine, work under WM5! That is, you can run Java Applets in Pocket Internet Explorer o

A few days ago when I checked the WM5 compliance of all Pocket PC Java Virtual Machines (JVM's), I realised neither CrEme not Jeode, the two most important JVM's for the Pocket PC, work; at least not without manual hacking.

Since then, I've done some serious work to try to make these two JVM's work. I'll write more about CrEme if I manage to make it work (I'm still fine-tuning it); in this blog post, I only concentrate on Jeode.

I was successful at this: successfully found out why Jeode didn't work under WM5 and now, it's working just great. The problem with Jeode 1.7.3 (more on Jeode versions later) is that the CAB file the installer installs on the Pocket PC contains another CAB file, jeode.CAB, which is then put in the root of the file system of the Pocket PC. Two of the earlier operating systems, WM2003 and WM2003SE automatically execute this CAB file after it has been uncompressed. Pocket PC 2002 and WM5 don't.


For Java Programmers: Executing External Applications, Accessing Web Resources and Initiating Browser Redirection from Java Code


(Also see this question) A common question from Java programmers is whether you can execute an external application from a Java self-standing application (that is, not an applet) on the Pocket PC. In this article, I scrutinize this question, along with the Pocket PC support of applets communicating with applications on the originating host and redirecting the browser to another page.


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