LockMe! for PalmOS

LockMe icon Current Version is 1.1.
  Works on PalmOS 2.x and higher
  Developed under Linux with gcc, pilrc and CoPilot.

(This web page is about an old PalmOS security utility of mine, LockMe! Although no longer being maintained, the tool and its source code are still available.)

Description

LockMe! periodically locks your Palm, starting at a specified time.

Documentation

actual screenshotFirst, install & start LockMe!
Activate LockMe! via the checkbox and select the start time you want your Palm to lock.
You can choose the locking interval between one hour and one day. E.g., if you select a start time of "06:00" and an interval of "12 hours" your Palm will lock every day at 06:00 and 18:00 etc... (you need more examples? :-)

If you also check "Hide Records", it will hide your private records at the same time.

If you check the option "Lock after reset" you Pilot will lock after a (soft) reset.

Additionally, you can use the button at the bottom to instantly turn off&lock your Pilot.

Of course, all this is quite pointless if you didn't assign a password in the built-in "Security" application.

Note! Important! Even if you later uncheck (= disable) "Enable LockMe!", it will lock your Pilot one more time. That's a feature, not a bug.  Why?  See below...

Background

Locked PilotOlder PalmOS versions did not come with a feature to auto-lock the systems. As an alternative to (then) only commercial security utilities, I developed the open-source LockMe! application. Even today it is useful if you do not want to have your Palm auto-lock at power off, but rather once or twice a day, in case it gets lost (the lock will only allow to access the login screen, where you can leave your contact information for a finder).

A particular feature of LockMe! is the following: even if somebody finds your Pilot and turns off the LockMe! application, it will lock it one more time. Of course, this can be prevented by deleting the application, but the point here is not complete security (one can do a hard reset anyway), but rather a means of forcing the log-in screen to appear.

Release Notes

Version 1.1

  • Released 05.07.1998
  • Locking interval is now selectable
  • New option "lock after reset" (also works correctly now after a system reset)
  • Fixed incompatibility with built-in DateBook: if a "Reminder" is displayed at lock time, it will go off after the dialog has been dismissed.

Version 1.0

  • Released 13.05.1998 (first public release)

FAQ

Some frequently asked questions and their answers:

  • Does it work with PalmOS 4? What about PalmOS 5?

    So far, I received two user reports regarding PalmOS 4; one from a user with a Palm 50x and one with a Sony Clié (625). It works fine with both models. Although PalmOS 4 comes with its own auto-locking feature, some users still like LockMe! because it has the additional auto-hide option. Moreover, as one user points out in a message on PalmGear:

    On a Palm 50x running OS4, the Palm screen can't remain on in the cradle when the system 
    is set to lock at a given hour each day. That is, to allow the screen to stay lit when the 
    device is in the cradle, you have to disable the daily locking feature. This little "feature" 
    is revealed on the company's troubleshooting web page. Ah, but LockMe! lets us workaround the 
    annoyance. Simply check "Stay on in Cradle" in the general preferences screen and set 
    "Auto Lock Handheld" to "never" on the security screen. Then, use LockMe! to lock the unit 
    once each day.'

    I also received a positive report from a user with a Palm Tungsten T2 running PalmOS 5.

  • I locked my Palm but don't remember the password / didn't even set a password! Help!

    Remember that LockMe! uses the same password as the built-in "Security" application. Thus, you just have to enter the password you set there. And yes, you must have set a password there, otherwise LockMe! could not lock your Palm. If you really can't remember the password, you basically have three options:

    • follow the instructions in the manual for "forgotten password", i.e., do a hard reset to erase all data, including the password;
    • use a utility to extract the password from the backup files stored on your desktop
    • boot your Palm in "debug mode" and fiddle with the preferences database (sorry, you're on your own here).

    Lessons to learn here: i) don't forget your password, and ii) a Palm is not a secure device, therefore encrypt any sensitive data.

  • How do I set the login message/splash screen?

    Start the built-in "Preferences" application and go to section "Owner". Voila...

  • How do I set the password?

    LockMe! does not store the password itself. Rather, it relies on the built-in "Security" application for locking a Palm. Hence, you have to enter the password there (usually found under the "System" folder, check your manual for details).

  • I installed LockMe! but it doesn't work! Help?

    The most common problem is that no system password has been set. In this case LockMe! appears to not operate at all, when in fact it is executing a lock operation that is ignored by the Palm Security application. Try the "LockMe now" button to see if locking itself works fine. If not, check the FA question on setting the system password.

License

LockMe! is free software (see the GNU general public license)
and comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY. © 1998 by René Witte.

Download

Pilot iconYou can download the whole package (including source, 16 kb) as a Unix/Linux ".tar.gz"-file, or just the executable, either as a Pilot ".prc" file (4.7 kb), or as a zip archive (including some documentation, 11 kb).