Novacom is a protocol for communication between a host PC and a webOS device or emulator and also the name of the official software that implements the novacom protocol.
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Novacom over TCP
By default, only the novacomd of the emulator is configured for TCP, but you can use novacomd over TCP with a physical webOS device as well with the following steps (credit to EricBlade for identifying this procedure)
On the PC you want to connect from, open a command prompt and enter:
sc stop Novacomd sc start Novacomd -b (your LAN IP Address)
On the webOS device you want to connect to, login to a shell, and edit /etc/event.d/novacomd
Change the line that says:
exec /sbin/novacomd > /dev/null
exec /sbin/novacomd --connect-ip (your computer's LAN IP Address you entered above)
Then disconnect your webOS device from USB, and reboot it.
When it comes back up, it shows up in "novacom -l" as an emulator connected via tcp, and all the palm-* commands work.