Re: [NTLK] Any way to decompile Palm .prc files?

From: Christopher J. Lowe (
Date: Thu Nov 11 2004 - 10:15:56 PST

Jeff Henry wrote:

>I've got a Palm application that I would like to
>reverse engineer for a possible Newton app. Anyone
>familiar with any software that will let me extract
>the code form it?
Well which do you want to do?
Reverse engineering - Observing the program and the way it interacts
with the system, working out how it works and writing a program that has
similar function.
Decompiling - Taking the program and disassembling the compiled code to
create source code which roughly resembles the original source.

Classic example - When the IBM PC first came onto the market, Compaq
were trying to release a clone. They could get all the hardware and
software, but the BIOS, which as you all know is the key part to
actually having a working system, they could not get (it was a
proprietry IBM program on a chip only buyable by IBM). For obvious
reasons they were legally not allowed to simply de-compile the code and
re-release it as theirs, as that would be copyright theft. Instead their
engineers hooked up probes to the motherboard and watched what the BIOS
did and how it behaved. It took them a little while, but eventually they
had enough information that the programmers could write a BIOS which had
the same function as the IBM one. Boom, the first PC clone was released,
and it hasn't stopped since.

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