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Once, in the days when PDAs lasted a whole month on one battery charge, I had a Palm IIIx. I forget how many PDAs and smartphones I've had since, but the M68k-based, greyscale (mostly black & white), 160×160 little plastic box was probably the best PDA I've ever had1, and the only PDA I've ever written software for. I liked writing software for PalmOS. It was simple, fun, and productive. But then, I've always liked programming platforms with limits, where you can take full advantage of the hardware. I have three rather simple applications for Palm devices. They are all available with source. As always, they are all distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. Though they're obviously of no use to anyone these days!

BEFH Screenshot

Bastard Excuse from Hell screenshot.

BEFH (Bastard Excuse from Hell)

Bastard Operator From Hell excuse calendar, featuring the original BOFH excuses plus quite a bit more, all from the excellent BOFH excuse server. Complete with Scary Devil Monastery coat of arms (thanks to Andreas Skau). New and improved, with excuses in a nice PDB file and a Perl script to generate your own excuse databases.

How it works: simple enough. Just tap the screen. The current excuse is also placed in the clipboard for your convenience.

To make your own excuse databases: use the bundled mkpdb.pl to process a file. Remember to redirect output, unless you like garbled terminals (I'm quite partial to them, they tend to scare away all the wannabes and they're always a good excuse to stop work, ‘while I figure out what's wrong with it’). But I digress. Here's what to do, in case you haven't figured it out yet:

./mkpdb.pl <excuses.txt >file.pdb

For your convenience, I've included three excuse files, with their respective PDB databases. You only need to install one of them. The more the excuses the more the variety, but memory footprint on your Palm increases too. Here are the files:

FilenameWhat it is
befh-excuses.pdbThe original file.
befh-newexcuses.pdbA larger database, kindly contributed by Brian Keefer.
befh-allexcuses.pdbthe entire (unedited) excuse list from Jeff Ballard's Excuse Server.

Please let me know if you've added anything interesting to the source code, or found a bug.

BEFH was developed under Linux, using GCC. If you're a Codewarriorperson, you might find things a bit unlike what you're used to. Sorry.

PS: The icon reads ‘Ll’ (ell ell), i.e. Lovelace, not ‘L1’ (ell one).

Bastard Excuse from Hell
BOFH excuse generator for PalmOS 3.x, version 0.3.

  1. until Android 4 came along — and even then, I'm not 100% sure. I've yet to see an Android device that lasts a whole month on one 1600 mAh battery charge.