This page is about the ongoing beta for Crosswords 4.3 for PalmOS,
which adds support for games between devices using Bluetooth. Please
read the known problems below before downloading
and installing the beta.
Then please report lots
of bugs. :-)
April 12 2008: Beta 6 released (rev 2141).
This release adds drag-and-drop. Move tiles from the tray to the board, or vice-versa,
by dragging them.
There's no change to the bluetooth code.
Jan 7 2008: Beta 5 released (rev 2038).
This release fixes a bug when switching roles on starting a new game
(by checking whether it was still appropriate before honoring a fired timer)
and adds a couple of error messages to help users understand how to
start a new game. There's also a cosmetic change unrelated to
Dec 16 2007: Beta 4 released (rev 2014).
Fixed a number of bugs, including a serious one introduced in beta 3
where all preference changes were ignored. The bigger change, though,
is adding a preference whereby users can ask to confirm every
connection attempt to a remote device (via Bluetooth.) This will
allow them to ensure that there's an app running on Treo650 and so
that they don't crash. The default value of this preference is True.
Reporting of phonies had been broken for a while, but is no
Dec 8 2007: Beta 3 released (rev 2003). Fixed crasher
opening after exit with newgame dialog in front (also fixed in 4.2.2);
fixed problem reconnecting after switching roles; don't show Bluetooth
connect option on devices that don't support it; drop incoming IR
messages if the current game is via Bluetooth.
Dec 7 2007: Beta 2 released (rev 1995). Fixed a crasher
in b1 that occurred when you switched from a connected BT game to
a standalone game.
Dec 6 2007: Beta 1 released (rev 1994). Two major changes
were to work around bugs in the Treo650's BT library: register and
look for SDP records uniquely identifying Crosswords running on the
host device; and force user to confirm reconnects when remote device
isn't running Crosswords. In addition, fixed a bug preventing
reconnect timers from firing under certain circumstances.
May 27 2007: Alpha 10 released (rev 1940). Two changes
from 4.2: don't misdraw arrow when removing placed tile from flipped
board; don't reveal opponent's tray when there are two or more human
players on one device. Also, to mitigate crashing Treo650s I'm using
a timer to attempt to connect from guest to host every eight seconds
rather than as quickly as possible.
April 28 2007: Alpha 9 released (rev 1930).
One change fixing a crash: don't use the navigation APIs for Treos on
April 19 2007: Alpha 8 released (rev 1924).
Fix bugs (including crashers) particularly around transitions between
single-device games and games using BT. Prevent PalmOS from asking
user to turn BT on more than once. Other non-BT bugs.
17 March 2007: Alpha 7 released (rev 1881). ARM support added for
Bluetooth library, so there is now a fully-functional ARM version.
February 2007: Alpha 5 released (rev 1859). Uses icons instead
of letters to indicate BT connection status, and greatly improves how
quickly connections are re-established. But the change
means that a5 cannot play against earlier versions: all
devices in a game must be running a5 or better.
20 November 2006: Alpha 3 released for PalmOS. It makes some improvements
in reconnecting when one Bluetooth device quits and restarts Crosswords in the middle
of a game. But this release is mostly about using the five-way instead of the
stylus on the main board. It's now possible to play an entire game without
touching the screen. Also fixed a couple of bugs, including that the robot was
playing phonies. Please note: Alpha 3 cannot read games saved by alpha 2. Please
delete alpha 2 before installing this version.
29 October 2006: Alpha 2 released for PalmOS. No major changes to
Bluetooth play. Instead I added support for five-way (one-handed) navigation
within dialogs. It was annoying having to grab the stylus to switch roles. I
also added a new preference checkbox that lets you hide the values of tiles
in the tray -- since some people find them distracting.
14 October 2006: Alpha 1 released for PalmOS. Crosswords on
PalmOS can play against Crosswords on another PalmOS device or on a desktop
running Linux, demonstrating that cross-platform Bluetooth play works.
- Upgrade is not reversible. While this version can read games
saved by previous versions, the reverse is not true. Once you install
4.3 you will have to remove it using the PalmOS "Delete" feature
before you can go back to the old version (though you shouldn't need
to). Delete will remove your saved games.
- Only two devices can play so far. Support for up to four per game
is planned, though perhaps not before 4.3.1.
- Bluetooth on the Treo650 is buggy: you can crash a freshly
hard-reset 650 (one without any non-Palm-supplied software on it) by
attempting to connect to it when no listening application is running.
This means that if Crosswords is running as guest on another device
and tries to contact the host on a 650 before it is listening the 650
can crash. For beta 1 I've been able to reduce but not eliminate
crashes by treading lightly around 650s, and am considering putting up
warning messages when users select BT when starting a new game on
these old but common Treos.
Please contact me to be
notified of future releases, or sign
up to be notified on sourceforge.
Getting started using Bluetooth
Here's how to connect two devices for your first game over Bluetooth.
If you've played between devices using beaming the later steps will be
Make sure your devices are paired, or that they are "visible". Two
copies of Crosswords can only connect if the one made "Guest" can see
the one made "Host". (If you've never paired your device before,
see your device documentation for instructions -- or just puzzle
through it: it's not hard. I'd like to provide a link here
to instructions, but couldn't find any good ones online.)
If this is your first game, you'll see the "Game options"
dialog immediately. Otherwise,
select the "New game..." menu item. After saving your
current game (or not), you'll get a dialog that looks like this:
Tap either "Host" or "Guest". Either will
give you a "Connections" dialog. Choose
"Bluetooth" from the "Connect via:" dropdown. In
the Host case, that's all there is to do (because Hosts just listen for
Guests to connect.) In the Guest case, you need to name the Host:
(Guest case only) Tap the trigger to the right of the "Host device:" label. In the
Discovery dialog that comes up, select the name of the device the host will be on, and
tap "Ok". Now you should see that name in the trigger.
The "Ask before connecting Bluetooth" checkbox causes Crosswords to confirm with you
each time the Guest attempts to establish a connection with the Host. Typically
this happens at the beginning of a game. Since the easiest way to crash PalmOS's Bluetooth
software is to attempt to connect to a device that isn't ready, I recommend
that you leave this checked at first. You can always uncheck it via the
Dismiss the "Connections" dialog by tapping
Back in the "Game options" dialog, set up your players.
If you're the Guest, set "Local players" to the number on
your device alone. If you're the Host, set "Total players"
to the number in the game from both devices. Check the
"Remote" checkbox for at least one of them -- the same
number as are on the Guest device.
Now tap "Ok" on both.
Take your turns, paying attention to the status
Hints and workarounds
You can quit Crosswords and
restart if you're the Host and the Guest will have no problem reconnecting
once you do. But if you're the Guest and you quit and you're
using a Treo650, it will take the Host around 30 seconds to recognize you once
you start Crosswords again. Since this is not a problem on newer devices
I believe it is due to an OS bug that has been fixed. I have not yet found
- If your connection is lost or the device seems to be struggling to
get one, try quitting Crosswords and restarting.
- If the Guest device starts first, or the Host quits mid-game, the
Guest will keep trying to connect. If the Host device is a Treo650,
this will cause dialogs to appear on it until Crosswords is restarted
or the device resets. Since Beta 1 a dialog goes up before each
connetion attempt. Don't use "Resend" until the other device is ready
(especially if it's a Treo650 or similarly old device.)
Wait for the other device to be ready.
- Generally speaking, when the Host and Guest are both showing the
"fully connected" in their connection status areas, they really are
connected. If moves still don't seem to be getting transmitted, try using the
"Resend messages" item on the Game menu. Or quit Crosswords and restart.
- If one device is showing the fully connected icon while the other is trying to
connect, the connection will not succeed. Wait (up to 30 seconds on older Treos)
for the fully-connected device to figure out that its partner is gone, or if you
are impatient quit and restart Crosswords on that device.