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Thread: Finally! A Linux-based PDA

  1. #1
    The Iceman Cometh
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Finally! A Linux-based PDA

    I was reading Network World and happened upon a review about a Linux-based PDA, something which has been long overdue.

    The Zaurus SL-5500 has a 206-MHz StrongArm SA-1110 processor, a Linux-based embedded operating system called Embedix3 from Lineo, the QT Palmtop Environment GUI from Trolltech AS, with Personal Java thrown in.
    You can go to ZaurusZone and download a version of Virtual Network Computing compiled for the Zaurus. VNC was created by AT&T Laboratories and the University of Cambridge.

    VNC is sort of like pcAnywhere but differs in that it is free and often seems to be faster. Anyway, you can use VNC to view and interact with the Zaurus display while sitting on your remote Linux or Windows or whatever machine.

    You also can telnet in! Yep, it's Linux so you just have to enable the telnet daemon and off you go (click here for the details of how to do this).

    And if all of that isn't enough, LinkSys just sent us a wireless Compact Flash card the day after Zaurus arrived. This is one of a number of 802.11b devices for which Zaurus has built-in drivers.
    As you can see, it's pretty much fully-loaded and ready for practical use. What do you think? Anyone interested in getting one? I have a Compaq iPaq which I've had quite a few problems with (finally got HP to replace it after they released a new version which had far less bugs) and I'm thinking of getting one of these as a replacement.

    Read the entire review here: http://www.nwfusion.com/columnists/2...5gearhead.html
    Or read the press release here: http://more.sbc.co.jp/slj/index.asp


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    I agree it has been a long time in coming, at the moment I use a Psion organiser (slightly outdated ) but Pocket PC's in my opinion are not that good. My bro is constantly performing hardware resets and mucking around with the settings. Linux should be good.

    \"Why is the bomb always gettin\' the last word?\" - Will Smith - Lost & Found (2005)

  3. #3
    Old Fart
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Everything I've seen on the Zarius has been quite positive. The only thing I can see holding it back from the commercial mainstream is the public's lack of knowledge (fear of the unknown) where Linux is concerned and their dependence on Windows-based products. When a desktop version of Linux that is well accepted by the public is released (please Lord, make it soon!) then devices that are Linux based will be more successful commercially, and deservedly so. And yes, I too would be interested in owning one.
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

  4. #4
    I agree that a linux based PDA is a good thing. It's definitely been needed. However the comment about releasing a desktop version of linux that is accepted by the public raises a question. How dumbed down does a Linux distro have to become before it's accepted by the public (Desktop, Server, or even the PDA)? Honestly, what turned the rest of us on to Linux? For myself it was being tired of M$ running the show and the inablility to do "whatever I wanted" on my system and the costliness of the software. Frankly, if the public is ever going to embrace Linux, it'll be because they aren't happy with the current software giant and the public will have to LEARN Linux. I had to, we all had to at some point, and so will the public. But not to stay off topic, a Linux PDA is a welcomed member to the Linux front.

    -the eeshman

  5. #5
    AntiOnline Senior Member souleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Flint, MI
    Not only is it a good product, its actually a really nice toy. I was able to get ahold of the developer version (SD5000) and have been using in since last Christmas. I actually replace my Handspring Visor Prism with it. I am not sure if you can still buy a developer version, but you can register to be a developer at developer.sharpsec.org. They also have a LOT of information on things like getting wireless network carrds working properly. I personally love it, and have been using it longer then any other PDA I have owned.
    \"Ignorance is bliss....
    but only for your enemy\"
    -- souleman

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    The Zaurus wasn't the orginal nix pda though. The agenda vr3 was around before. i don't believe it was as powerful though.

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