Copyright (c) 2004, Alexander R. Pruss. All rights reserved.
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Force16 is a hack program for ARM-based PalmOS5 units to force applications to run in 16-bit (65536 color) graphics mode. It has only been tested on the Sony Clie series, but might work on other OS5 handhelds. It is experimental software, and might have bugs. Any bugs should be reported to email@example.com.
Why would you want to switch to 16-bit mode? After all, if the application's developer doesn't support 16-bit mode, what benefit do you gain from using 16-bit mode? Well, one answer is that you might have a Sony Clie with a virtual graffiti area and might want to use one of the high quality Clie Skinner skins with it. These skins get their quality reduced when an application runs in 8-bit (256-color) mode. Another is that some software, e.g., Launcher software, may be able to make use of 16-bit icons or 16-bit skins, even if the developer has not designed it for this.
While other utilities, such as Khroma, Colorize or Clie Skinner allow you to change the default system screen depth to 16, some applications, most notably a number of built-in Clie applications like Audio Player or the Clie Launcher, resist the change. Force16 can force an application to run in 16-bit mode. Of course, forcing an application to do something it's not designed to do is inherently a dangerous process that could lead to crashes, data loss, etc. So if you do it, you should only do it on an application-by-application basis, and make a full backup (e.g., to a Memory Stick) beforehand.
Force16 is a hack for yahm, a hack manager for OS5 and earlier units. To install Force16, you should install yahm first. The latest version is available for download here. Hotsync both Force16 and yahm. In yahm select the "A" button (different buttons let you have different combinations of hacks loaded). Press the plus sign to the right of the Force16 name to configure which applications Force16 is enabled for. These are indicated with a plus sign. You can turn on or off a special Launcher transparency tweak if you have Force16 set up for the launcher. This is probably only useful for the Clie Launcher in Clie (non-standard mode) and ensures that icon backgrounds look correct. If it causes problems, turn it off. Then, having made sure you have a full backup, turn on Force16 by checking the checkbox to the left of its name.
Force16 can co-exist with utilities such as Khroma, Colorize or Clie Skinner that change the default system depth. In fact, I highly recommend using one of these utilities to set the default system depth to 16, and then activating Force16 only for those applications that are still displayed at a lower color depth. You can recognize these applications on Clie models because Clie Skinner 16-bit skins will show up in visibly lower quality there. By default Force16 is enabled for those Clie apps that in the author's experience seem to need it.