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Sharp's Upcoming Linux PDA

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the it's-not-the-size-that-matters dept.

Handhelds 107

Bill Kendrick writes: "ZDNet reports that Sharp is getting ready to make its Linux-based PDA available to developers in the next few weeks. They'll include a 206MHz StrongARM, 32MB (in the cheaper, developer edition), a JVM, the Opera web browser, and a slide-out keyboard. A profile of the device is available at LinuxDevices.com." We've mentioned this before, but it looks like it'll be here soon.

cancel ×

107 comments

Fr0st for me... (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399254)

SHIT FOR YOU!

I am the one.

Re:Fr0st for me... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399280)

Naw, there're plenty o' guys like you.

Re:Fr0st for me... (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399290)

I pull AC's like you out of my fecal matter, whore.

Re:Fr0st for me... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399325)

Hey, aren't you the mouse gesture in Mozilla?

HEAR MY GNUHOLY WORDS NOW!!!!! (-1)

Allah_Spork (524500) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399296)

Your logged-in first post is a boon to MINE eyes, for too often the infidel AC, who is OF THE DEVIL, conives and gets first post.

Normally, I would enjoy to delight you, MINE failthfull, with ascii-images of the Prophet Mohummad, peace on him!, enjoying rectal coitus with a muslim male. Unfortunately, the Poster Comment Compression Filter, which is also OF THE DEVIL!, prevents this.

Re:HEAR MY GNUHOLY WORDS NOW!!!!! (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399315)

Rumors of your kindness and beauty travel far and wide, but they hardly do you justice.

Install an emulator, and enjoy! (-1)

AnimeFreak (223792) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399259)

Play Nintendo, SNES, or Genesis games all in one device. Not a bad idea, ne?

Re:Install an emulator, and enjoy! (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399278)

Betcha thought you had FP, eh?

And by the by... (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399264)

Linux sucks.

Joey Joe Joe...Shabadu

Homer that's the worst name I've ever heard.

::crying::

Joey Joe Joe!

pull-out keyboard (1)

shibut (208631) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399270)

The problem with these types of keyboards is that the keys are smaller than most fingers (in particular thumbs). The stylo can type on them if there's an indentation but then it isn't that much better than the "keyboard" displayed on the screen. I think a more inventive system (as was discussed re:cellphones recently) is needed.

Re:pull-out keyboard (1, Interesting)

Jebus_the_spork (449174) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399350)

ive used a similar one before, and you have to squeeze your fingers and hands together, the typos run rampant. defenitly not comfortable.

Re:pull-out keyboard (1)

nickjennings (132759) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400020)

Actually, these smaller keyboards can be done very well. If you've ever used one of skytel's email-pagers, their keyboard layout is very small yet after getting used to it, i could "thumb type" pretty fast.

If this keyboard had been a little bit larger, (like the size of a Psion 5mx keyboard), the thumb typing becomes a bit cumbersome because you cant easily grasp the device while still keeping your thumbs free.

From the screenshots, it looks like this keyboard could be perfect!

Re:pull-out keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2400567)

Agreed! I've got a Motorola T900 2-way from SkyTel, and the backlit mini-keyboard is excellent! I'd kill for a PDA with the same keyboard.

Re:pull-out keyboard (2)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 12 years ago | (#2401129)

Eh? As a long-time Psion user, I have to say that thumb-typing is perfect on the 5MX.

The 5's have the best PDA keyboards there are. (Of course, I can't get one with color, or a big fat fast processor, etc.etc., hence my current bout of "new PDA lust".)

Thumb Keyboards (2)

FallLine (12211) | more than 12 years ago | (#2401830)

Such as those on the RIM (Blackberry) pagers and Motorolla P900 (though those are much more cramped) are actually quite cramped. In case you're unfamiliar with them, you don't type on them like you do with a traditional keyboard, you just use your thumbs, as in the edge of your thumb. I've got fairly big hands and I can comfortably type ~30wpm on the RIM pagers. Ignoring space issues, the thumb keyboards beat the pants off Palm and PocketPC's handwriting recognition and other common forms.

That said, I agree with you, there should be better solutions out there.... Who ever invents one that:
A) can be implimented without taking up a great deal of space (at least when compacted)
B) can be LEARNED relatively quickly
C) allow proficient users to type comfortably upwards of 40wpm [especially in PDA/road-type situations]

will be in a real position to dominate the PDA market....

Re:Thumb Keyboards (1)

mjprobst (95305) | more than 12 years ago | (#2401870)

Actually, 40wpm won't cut it for me either. I'm used to typing 120wpm, any slower and I loose the thoughts in my head. I got a Psion 5mx because I can type about 40-50wpm on it and it frustrates me.


I'd like to see a very portable solution that will allow for this kind of speed, without a year-long learning curve, which can be stowed away in favor of handwriting recognition. If the device would have to be the size of a Newton or a bit smaller to make it happen, so be it. I don't want a laptop with fliptop, though.


Some kind of system similar to a stenography machine, with machine-assisted word completion, would be nice if it could get accurate enough at predicting one's patterns.

Good For.. (1)

mmThe1 (213136) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399282)

Can't decide which one will this be good for:

Linux....PDA market

The product doesn't look extra-ordinary, but looks like once Sharp goes on to promote it, it'd do better than the existing trends in the market. Good for all.

Can you be serious? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399293)

The united states in currently in the process of making history, possibly inviting a 3rd world war, and you are talking about Sharp's Upcoming Linux PDA.
who

the

fuck

cares??

NO ONE! WHO THE FUCK WOULD CARE IN THE FIRST PLACE???? i hope the persone that posted this dies in another terrorist attack.

Re:Can you be serious? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399400)

sorry dude. News orgs are having an orgasm over the news, but the fact is that the Taliban is a tin can gov't. Hell, they're a tin can gov't's tin can gov't. The threat of being bitch slapped by the US has caused many supporters to defect, and the initial bombings (of a few targets) is making the remainder rething their resolve. Within a week, all but the most hardcore towelheads will have defected and the US will appoint their former king as a interim leader until the Northern Alliance can be "voted" in. Terrorist camps will be destroyed, although it will probably take a month or 2 to snipe Osoma, unless he gets turned in by someone wanting some of the reward money.

The last time there was a fight this one-sided was Microsoft's web server shootout.

Re:Can you be serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2401395)

Well seriously, tell us, what you can do or what you have done for this historical moment then.

If you care about your war, stop reading slashdot and go out and help.

Cool! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399294)

This thing should be at least three times as successful as the Indrema!

Agreed! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399402)

Three times zero equals ... zero! Which is about as successful as this thing will be.

Any more information? (2)

PenguinX (18932) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399310)

I would love to get ahold of this little box - I currently have a Visor Prisim and the best thing they have for it is the VisorPhone. Does anyone know of a CF variant of a GSM "visorphone" device? If anyone has anymore details on this device I would love to hear about it.

Re:Any more information? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399410)

I would love to get ahold of your mom's box - but I don't have the $1.25 required. And I don't want to catch crabs, herpes, and clap. IF anyone has anymore details on PenguinX's mom's vag, I would love to hear about it

Re:Any more information? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2400817)

Well, her snatch smells like burnt rubber, and she has a really fat ass. She's got this huge dildo she likes to shove up her butt. Then I kicked her in the eye.

Sharp Zaurus PDA (3, Interesting)

Spootnik (518145) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399326)

I just returned from Java One and Sharp had a booth there. They showed off this PDA that looked very cool. I think it takes Palm attachments. The bottom slides down to reveal a tiny keyboard. But the cool thing is that the PDA is a Java app thing that runs under Linux. It was running a 2.4 kernel and it just looked friggin' cool. I don't know what kind of development environment they've got (does gcc have a StrongARM backend?), but I got the feeling that they were looking for people to develop apps for it. I suppose that's because no one will buy it without apps. I signed up to get an early development release, but I don't really know what that means. Does anyone have any more information on this? All the web pages I find are in Japanese.

Re:Sharp Zaurus PDA (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399343)

I think I'm turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so.

Re:Sharp Zaurus PDA (1)

manyoso (260664) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399346)

Try this [sharpsec.com] link. It is the developers website.

Not much there yet, but I imagine it will heat up after people get their hands on this device.

Re:Sharp Zaurus PDA (0, Redundant)

PMan88 (467902) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399558)

I think the StrongARM uses a lot less power than a Pentium processor.

Re:Sharp Zaurus PDA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2400823)

I think the StrongARM uses a lot less power than a Pentium processor.

...which both use less power than your mom's dildo.

Sharp sign Amiga as content provider (3, Interesting)

Twig (93915) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399749)

The Sharp Zaurus PDA is also the first mainstream device to see the return of old friend Amiga [amiga.com] to modern computing.

Amiga have been signed [amiga.com] by Sharp as a content provider for its new Zuarus platform. The Zaurus ships with Amiga's "AmigaDE", a platform agnostic digital environment which is hosted by the Linux OS.

Sharp demonstrated the Zaurus running AmigaDE applications a while back. Here's [amiga.com] the link.

Amiga have also been signed by Psion [psion.com] to provide its AmigaDE system for their NetBook products.

--
Ben.

206 mhz Strongarm VS 200 mhz pentium? (1, Redundant)

BroadbandBradley (237267) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399349)

what kind of 'punch' does a strongarm processor provide in comparison to a desktop with a pentium of about the same speed? My desktop is a PII 266, yeah I've got more ram than the PDA, but will my apps I use on my desk run at similar speed on this PDA?
I'm starting to think it's either time to upgrade my desktop, or consider using an embeded OS to speed things up.

Re:206 mhz Strongarm VS 200 mhz pentium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399425)

PDA apps are written with a PDA in mind (small screen, no hard drive, limited ram, limited storage), so most are good speedwise. However, since the linux operating system is being used, that negates these factors.

Re:206 mhz Strongarm VS 200 mhz pentium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2401980)

errr.... what?

I dont follow your logic. How is it that just because its linux it negates the gain made by PDA apps because they're small and fast?

Anyway the Linux used in PDAs is generally Embedded Linux, meaning it's been cut-down to the bone too (i.e. smaller/faster).

Niz.

Re:206 mhz Strongarm VS 200 mhz pentium? (1)

Doomdark (136619) | more than 12 years ago | (#2402047)


However, since the linux operating system is
being used, that negates these factors.


Well, Linux was
originally created as a unix-clone that runs
efficiently on low-end (usually single user)
systems. Thus, performance and efficiency were
important when doing architectural / design
choices; scalability and scheduling fairness
(for example) were of lesser importance (and
that bit when trying to make kernel SMP-friendly)


Now,
obviously OSes designed specifically for ultra low-end embedded market (QNX?) are likely to
be even more efficient, but really, StrongArm
with ~200 mhz clock frequence has plenty of
power to spare, especially when it's only feeding
tiny display (like you said). OS overhead is
likely to be negligible.

Re:206 mhz Strongarm VS 200 mhz pentium? (1)

ConsumedByTV (243497) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399426)

Strongarm is a RISC based processer which of course means that it is related to the big-endian architecture. A 200mhz CISC processer is nothing in my real world experence. But your miles may vary. But this is A PDA, so you will probley like it alot more than a 200mhz p in your fanny pack.

Re:206 mhz Strongarm VS 200 mhz pentium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399504)

Do you even understand what big-endian means?

Alpha and SHx are little-endian RISC processors. Certain MIPS processors, and StrongARM can run either in little-endian or big-endian.

Re:206 mhz Strongarm VS 200 mhz pentium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2401100)

A 206MHz StrongARM is weak, and can be either big or little endian.
RISC has nothing to do with byte order, anyway.

Re:206 mhz Strongarm VS 200 mhz pentium? (2)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399574)

I loaded Linux on my 200MHz iPaq, and it ran vastly slower than a 200MHz Pentium Pro machine that I have. I didn't do any official benchmarks, but it felt like it ran on par with a 66MHz 486.

I would guess that the performance difference has to do with issues such as tiny cache, lack of parallelism and pipelining in the CPU, slow narrow memory, software framebuffer, etc.

Re:206 mhz Strongarm VS 200 mhz pentium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2401587)

My iPAQ with HHLinux runs at least as fast as my old, PII 266 laptop.

I wish someone would bring out a keyboard like that for the iPAQ. It could snap on the bottom, like the cradle. A d-pad and some game buttons added in wouldn't hurt either.

Cpt_Kirks

I'll definitely buy it... (3, Funny)

UserChrisCanter4 (464072) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399351)

if the ad campaign here is as funny as the japanese one [utexas.edu] .

Re:I'll definitely buy it... (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399371)

I had a dinosaur attached to me once. Then his semen dried, cracked, and released me from his juicy grip.

That wasn't a dinosaur... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399902)

It was Shoeboy in a Barney costume. BTW, where the fuck is Geekizoid?

Re:I'll definitely buy it... (1)

fliptout (9217) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400074)

Geez, no wonder I'm having trouble viewing some ece pages right now :P

Looks good. (5, Interesting)

proxima (165692) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399353)

Sharp looks like it is actually trying to be a bit innovative with a PDA, unlike many manufacturers. First of all, the reflective TFT color display is good choice - consumers and business users seem to have this desire for color (I personally own a Visor Platinum with a grayscale screen, I love the battery life).

I don't really see what Java and Linux bring to a handheld device. Development isn't that difficult for the Palm OS, even Pocket PC, which have each picked a niche in the handheld market (the Palm OS for basic PIM functions with lots of little add-on software, Pocket PC for built-in support of Office documents and multimedia). I have spent some time thinking about it, and the advantages of Linux (multitasking, different processor support, open source) don't seem as important in the handheld market. At least not yet. If Palm OS and the Pocket PC platforms weren't mature, I would definately think that using Linux would be a much better choice. Unfortunately, it is still quite immature, as one can quickly tell from reading through the Linux development mailing lists of the Agenda [agendacomputing.com] . Not to say it isn't useful, but on the same hardware it seems to be slower than the Palm equivalents, from the reports I have read.

Moving on, the choice of compact flash and lithium ion battery was very wise. Better than a proprietary expansion slot, in my opinion, but somewhat more limited. Handspring's sprinboards are capable of doing so much more than memory expansion and modem/ethernet devices - like a remote module, GPS, cell phone, wireless internet, etc. I am not sure how many of these things the compact flash design on this palmtop could support - with something sticking out the top. Seeing as this has a 206 Mhz processor and a color screen, the good rechargable battery will be quite needed. It would be nice if these are easily removable, so that those who don't get a chance to charge for quite some time will be able to pop in a second battery.

The sliding keyboard seems nice, but obviously useful mostly for "thumb-typing". Handspring just announced a clip-on sort of keyboard for their devices that does a similar thing - SnapNType [palmgear.com] . One thing that I wonder about this Sharp device - will it support handwriting recognition? The site claims the color screen has "touch panel support". Handwriting recognition is fairly difficult to code, as the Agenda creators have found. Grafiti is nice, especially for those that have learned it, but there is some sort of licensing with it.

All in all, this looks like a promising Linux handheld. They learned from the Agenda's mistakes, by including USB connectivity, a rechargable battery, and compact flash slot. With all these features it will definately be in the price range of the already-mature color Compaq's, which means a limited consumer base. I look forward to hearing how well the developer models work.

Re:Looks good. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399438)

Yawn! Gee, thanks for telling us all a bunch of stuff we already knew.

Re:Looks good. (1)

rbeattie (43187) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399495)


Java is 100% about selling it to the corporate market. If you can sell the idea that your code-monkey's who just got all certified in Java to run your website can now swap over and start developing enterprise-wide handheld business applications, you're on to something. Also, any application you develop for this device with Java will be incredibly portable to any other device with Java like the iPaqs (same story as always with Java - it may not be 100% true, but it's good marketing.)

I should say that I use Java as my only programming language No C for me. To me the advantages are really clear that I can get up to speed programming on this device much faster than I could for the PalmOS or PocketPC.

-Russ

Java code monkeys (0, Troll)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400012)

public class SlashdotBitchfest {
public static void main(String[] args) {
String s = "Code monkeys are what make Java performance suck. ";
s += "You can spot a code monkey because they write stuff like this. ";
s += "Java handles String concatenation really badly ";
s += "and each += involves an array copy ";
s += "and the creation of a new immutable String object ";
s += "because a+=b is really syntactic sugar for ";
s += "\nStringBuffer temp = new StringBuffer(a);";
s += "\ntemp.append(b);";
s += "\na = temp.toString();";
s += "\nso you waste resources quadratically ";
s += "and kick the garbage collector into overdrive. ";
s += "You're supposed to allocate memory for a single StringBuffer instead ";
s += "and append() stuff to it in succession. ";
s += "But this isn't obvious. ";
s += "And the fact that += works at all means that ";
s += "the code monkeys will always use it. ";
s += "\"It saves me typing!\" they whine. \"And it WORKS, doesn't it?\" ";
s += "Stopping them is hopeless. ";
s += "\nJava's automatic Unicode support is a bitch too. ";
s += "Half the time you don't need it but you get it anyway \"for free\", ";
s += "but all those Unicode conversions take time! ";
s += "\nEven something like String.toUpperCase() is expensive. ";
s += "(You would think that Sun would be doing this in a loop: ";
s += "\nif (\'a\'=myChar&&myChar=\'z\') myChar-=(\'a\'-\'A\'); ";
s += "\nbut they don't do that. It's more complicated! ";
s += "String.toUpperCase() is actually testing for the German \"ß\" ";
s += "so it can convert it to a pair of letters \"SS\"! ";
s += "It also worries about Chinese characters, Arabic, all that stuff. ";
s += "For Strings that only need to be machine-readable, ";
s += "this is an unnecessary performance hit ";
s += "because you aren't going to have Kanji and Swedish characters ";
s += "in things like database identifiers. ";
s += "\nBut Sun has deprecated all non-Unicode stuff from its API. ";
s += "So often you have to use byte[] arrays ";
s += "or write your own non-politically correct ";
s += "ASCII-only String conversion routines. ";
s += "\nIt IS possible to write very efficient Java code ";
s += "but to do so requires some expertise ";
s += "and you have to pay very close attention to the code you're writing. ";
s += "Code monkeys don't do this. ";
s += "They have no idea what they're doing. ";
s += "Inefficient Java programs are really easy to write ";
s += "because the API hides many details from you ";
s += "and so you often don't realize the performance impact of your decisions. ";
s += "In fact the JVM gets blamed a lot for the lousy performance of ";
s += "many Java programs, but the real culprit is the API which in many ";
s += "places makes too many decisions on its own. It caters to ";
s += "lazy people who don't like to learn how to do things the right way.";
s += "\nWe found a long String concatenation series like this ";
s += "in one of our most frequently called routines, in its innermost loop. ";
s += "Thousands and thousands of += appends were being used to build up a ";
s += "huge String that kept getting copied, replaced, and garbage collected ";
s += "with each +=. Once we fixed it, we got something like a 5000% ";
s += "performance increase. \nGo figure!";
System.out.println(s);
}
}

Re:Java code monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2400681)

Geez, only a retard or perl code monkey would write code like this!
s should be declared as a StringBuffer set to to 1k characters and then append stuff to it. Or use a array of chars and create a string.

Compiler should take care (1)

harmonica (29841) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400877)

Even if you write lousy code like that, a good compiler notices the many +=s with no side effects and creates one large String from it at compile time. The StringBuffer approach you mention is just needed if you create a large String dynamically.

Re:Compiler should take care (1)

Doomdark (136619) | more than 12 years ago | (#2402095)

Just curious; is Java-compiler actually allowed to do that? I'd guess a JIT/native-compiler would be allowed to do that (if it can figure out there are no side-effects, going through constructor and append-methods of StringBuffer), but not javac?
Then again, I remember String and StringBuffer having some interesting smugs way of avoiding unnecessary copies (ie. sharing array for as long as possible), and perhaps even that could prevent excessive array allocations/copies.


Hmmh. Time to check out java decompilers again. :-)

Re:Looks good. (2, Informative)

jelle (14827) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399650)

"I don't really see what Java and Linux bring to a handheld device. "

"One thing that I wonder about this Sharp device - will it support handwriting recognition?"

I can help you a bit with those two questions with one url: xscribble [handhelds.org]

Re:Looks good. (2)

proxima (165692) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399756)

Perhaps it was a little strongly worded. I can see some advantages of using Linux and Java - the incredible ease of software development and the ability to create programs that run on both the PC and a handheld identically (for business use). However, there are some disadvantages to having a full-featured multitasking OS with a programming language that is notoriously slower than good C/C++ code - speed. Speed means a lot in the handheld world, and the harder a handheld has to use the processor, the shorter the battery life is. This is where the Palm apps shine. They aren't complicated, but they do the job and they are written to be extremely small and optimized. Thus Palms (and Handsprings, and TRGs, and Sonys) need the smallest amount of RAM and processor compared to the other handhelds available on the market. They can manufacture the things cheaper and with longer battery life.

Obviously this Sharp is aimed for the high end market. My main point was emphasized in my last paragraph - this high end market is already cluttered with mature devices like Compaq's and HP's. This is not to say the new Sharp handheld won't meet with some success, but that it will need to mature much more quickly in order to be successful, because too many high-end mature options exist now. Like I said, a few years ago this type of software would have a much better chance before Pocket PC got off the ground, and while Palm was even more primitive (not to say that it is a bad thing, like I mentioned, I am a very happy Visor Platinum user).

It requires more than just software to support good handwriting recognition - the touch screen must be sensitive enough to work well. I had an old Tandy handheld quite some time ago that "supported" handwriting recognition. The software was bad, but the touch-screen really was not designed to handle handwriting well. One could tap through things well, but the handwriting was quite inaccurate, caused by both hardware and software.

I cannot speak for xscribble, but I do know that the Agenda team had to revamp the handwriting recognition recently because it didn't work well (perhaps someone closer to the project could elaborate). I don't know if they based it off of xscribble code or not.

Re:Looks good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2401476)

"First of all, the reflective TFT color display is good choice - consumers and business users seem to have this desire for color (I personally own a Visor Platinum with a grayscale screen, I love the battery life)."

On the other hand, from all the bitching on the GBA newsgroups, some people are going to be pissed that theres no backlighting.

Why thye chose Opera?` (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399385)

Mozilla zealots would have had us believe that mozilla would be an ideal candidate for a browser on this platform. Interesting then that Sharp has instead gone with Opera.

Re:Why thye chose Opera?` (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399404)

WTF. Mozilla could easily run on this machine. HAVE YOU TRIED IT LATELY.


I have a recent nightly running like greased lightening on my p150mhz with 32mb ram. Shut yer trap.

Re:Why thye chose Opera?` (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399439)

use IE6 pinhead.

Re:Why thye chose Opera?` (1)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400357)

Opera tries to be small, Mozilla will work on that later. Mozilla is probably more stable though.

Re:Why thye chose Opera?` (1)

pigeonhk (42292) | more than 12 years ago | (#2401372)


Mozilla is way too large both in footprint and running memory still. It's slow too.

Nanozilla on nanoX might be a lot better but that's a different story.

What this article really should've said: (-1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399392)

Bill Kendrick writes: "ZDNet reports that Sharp is getting ready to make its Linux-based PDA available to developers in the next few weeks. They'll include a 206MHz StrongARM, 32MB (in the cheaper, developer edition), a JVM, the Opera web browser, and a slide-out keyboard. A profile of the device is available at LinuxDevices.com." We've mentioned this before, but it looks like it'll be here soon...of course no one will buy it and only shitty companies like Sharp would use Linux on their PDA. Everyone else would have a real OS.

love the input options. (2)

motherhead (344331) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399415)

Wow, touch screen support for future implementations of graffiti or handwriting recognition software and a dropout keyboard. That is just plain polite. As opposed to say... this [slashdot.org] .

Doomed! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399420)

You ever watch a suit fiddle with a linux presentation? No?? I wonder why not... "Hold on a second, Ive got to recompile my kernel..."

Just how many times is this story going to be posted? Do we really need to repeatedly read about some doomed and soon to be forgotten PDA? I think not!! HAHA!! LOSERS!!

More of the same boring slashdot news... (-1, Offtopic)

Qwaz (250711) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399424)

Talk about what matters...

NASCAR! http://forums.pentameter.org

Who gives a fuck (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399511)

If I wanted to read advertising I'd watch TV, turn on the radio, or read spam. News folks, news. No, advertising it NOT news.

Please pardon. (1)

Hagabard (461385) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399540)

My taken of English do not have to gush so as to I must send that fact in the first place. The PDA in issue is undeniably excellent in the relative use of OS technology underlying since I have an unit of demo that I have obtained through my brother-in-law that works in the zone of search and development of Sharp. Thanks.

Re:Please pardon. (1)

pbryan (83482) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399744)

I think, perhaps you translating the Japanese in English the Babel fish [altavista.com] the place the way. Use several of the words where the cod the translator who is automated causes and those which are not the way the hole is seems the way, chooses and chooses you use.

good and bad (1)

AssFace (118098) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399545)

I'm a total sucker for shiny sliding things with buttons (I own both of these: 8860 [nokiausa.com] and 8890 [nokiausa.com] ), and this certainly fits the bill - I want one - but I really have no clue - I mean I have a handspring Visor and I rarely use it - the screen is just too damn small to do much with aside from keep numbers and stuff...

but as long as they keep making shiny things, I'll keep buying them.

now off to get some tin foil.... oooooo

maybe someone can answer this (1)

blonde rser (253047) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399573)

I've read the article and I didn't see it touch on this. With the sharp unit will I be able to compile my favorite text editor or compiler or interpreter to work with on the unit... I don't know about anybody else but there are tons of times where it would be nice to sit back in a cafe and play with a ruby interpreter on a pda. For now I guess I'm stuck with scheme on my palm

Ruby on PDAs (was:maybe someone can answer this) (2)

Bill Kendrick (19287) | more than 12 years ago | (#2401141)

I haven't played with it myself, but 'miniRuby [dtdns.net] ' is available for the AgendaVR3 [agendacomputing.com] PDA (which also runs Linux).

Then again, NetHack [delorie.com] and Apache [orasoft.org] are available on the Agenda, too. ;)

StrongARM comments (5, Interesting)

horza (87255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399628)

1) No, because it runs at 206MHz does not mean it comsumes a lot of power. It draws 0.7W [intel.com] .
2) It is RISC rather than CISC, and having used a 200MHz StrongARM desktop I can tell you it FLIES. Much faster than a P2-266
3) You use gcc to compile on StrongARM because Linux runs on StrongARM (well obviously). ARMLinux has been around for years running on Acorn machines. You can also cross-compile to StrongARM using a x86 box - just ./configure --target=arm-linux when compiling GCC.
4) You can even use them for Beowolf [dnaco.net] ;-)

Phillip.

Re:StrongARM comments (2)

A Commentor (459578) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399905)

2) It is RISC rather than CISC, and having used a 200MHz StrongARM desktop I can tell you it FLIES. Much faster than a P2-266

Do you have any hard numbers to confirm this?? RISC processors at the same speed as a CISC processor are typically SLOWER because they do LESS work per instruction than a CISC processor.

Are you really comparing the speed of the processors or how the overall systems 'feels'... It's an invalid comparision, if you are comparing a fully installed Linux system on a P2-266, with all the extra processes and X, etc), to a stripped down StrongARM system with minimum processes and much smaller graphic display.

Re:StrongARM comments (2, Interesting)

spiro_killglance (121572) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400038)

"Do you have any hard numbers to confirm this?? RISC processors at the same speed as a CISC processor are typically SLOWER because they do LESS work per instruction than a CISC processor. "


This would be true if RISC and CISC today ment
what they used to me. In fact many of todays so
called RISC machines have more powerful instruction sets, with for example three operand
instructions with multiple addressing modes. Mean while the
major architectual inivations from risc processors
like pipe-lining and superscalar are on all modern
microprocessors. For more info see this ars-technica article [arstechnica.com] .


All this, plus the AMD vs INTEL megahertz wars, leads to a curious roll reversal where so called
RISC chips do more work per MHz, while so called
CISC chips (actually only the x86 is called CISC
these days), have the highest clock rates.

Re:StrongARM comments (2)

horza (87255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400157)

RISC processors at the same speed as a CISC processor are typically SLOWER because they do LESS work per instruction than a CISC processor.

That would be true if CISC instructions all executed on one clock cycle (as RISC instructions do) but that isn't true. CISC processory do MORE work per instruction. In fact, some (little used) CISC instructions can take hundreds of clock cycles. Advantages of having one cycle per instruction include efficient pipelining. The Intel Pentium is a strange hybrid. It has a RISC core which works on its own microcode, and 90% of the silicon is actually a hardware translator which converts the x86 CISC instructions to the Intel RISC microcode.

My basis was using a 200MHz RiscPC running RiscOS. From turning the machine on to the desktop running takes less than one second.

Phillip.

Re:StrongARM comments (1)

Aerolith_alpha (85503) | more than 12 years ago | (#2401165)

As far as I see it most processors have a 'RISC' core--its the ALU :P

Re:StrongARM comments (2)

ReelOddeeo (115880) | more than 12 years ago | (#2402253)

"Do you have any hard numbers to confirm this?? RISC processors at the same speed as a CISC processor are typically SLOWER because they do LESS work per instruction than a CISC processor. "

Less work per instruction, not less work per clock cycle.

RISC, with simpler design, are easier to put more functional units onto a chip of the same size with the same technology to deposit the same number of transistors per chip. Therefore RISC can do multiple instructions per clock with proper instruction scheduling. That is, as long as you can keep all the functional units busy. Thus, the compiler's instruction scheduling can make the difference between lousy and excellent RISC performance.

Re:StrongARM comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2400329)

Aaah, I think you'll find that the ARM chips in PDAs and the ARM chips in desktops are different. PDA chips are lower powered, lower spec'd chips that are nowhere near as powerful as their desktop equivalents, even running at the same MHz. Also, bear in mind that in a PDA, the CPU does everything - IO, display, memory handling, sound... so you tend to get performance variations based on what you're running.

Plus, perception of speed does not relate directly to CPU MHz. My old Amiga ran a 68000 at 4.6MHz, but it sure as hell felt faster than any PC I've ever owned, including the 1.4Gig Athlon I'm typing this on.

Although, having said that, you'll all be pleased to know that for PocketPC-based PDAs with the same hardware spec as this device, you can get an awful lot of emulators; ZX Spectrum, Gameboy, Gamegear, Genesis, SNES. So yes this is a powerful bit of kit - way more powerful than anything else you can hold in your palm (fnar!), but not up to desktop speeds... yet...

Re:StrongARM comments (1)

GeorgieBoy (6120) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400978)

Note that StrongARM also does not have a floating point unit - this will cause a significant performance hit in some apps.

As a sidenote, I've also noticed that floating point (on Linux and QNX, at least) seems to operate in big-endian, while other math ops are done little-endian. Test it for yourself, I verified it with a very small C program.

Re:StrongARM comments (1)

u.hertlein (111825) | more than 12 years ago | (#2401174)

As a sidenote, I've also noticed that floating point (on Linux and QNX, at least) seems to operate in big-endian, while other math ops are done little-endian.

Wouldn't that be due to the (industry standard) IEEE-mumble way of encoding floats and doubles? So it's not a big-endian vs. little-endian thing but a completely different encoding?

Re:StrongARM comments (1)

pigeonhk (42292) | more than 12 years ago | (#2401380)

3) You use gcc to compile on StrongARM because Linux runs on StrongARM (well obviously). ARMLinux has been around for years running on Acorn machines. You can also cross-compile to StrongARM using a x86 box - just ./configure --target=arm-linux when compiling GCC.

Just a quick comment. Cross-compiling is not always as easy as it is. A lot of softwares out there are not packaged properly for cross compiling, even they're using stuffs like automake, autoconf, etc...

Secure Digital Expansion Slot?? (1)

GuanoBoy (196948) | more than 12 years ago | (#2399664)

Is this what I think it is, namely for the "secure digital music initiative"?

I see a slot for headphones, but I don't see a claim for "plays MP3s".

Re:Secure Digital Expansion Slot?? (1)

GuanoBoy (196948) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400330)

My bad, the headset port is for "listening to MP3 audio files".

But, is the "secure digital" expansion slot still a concession to the copyright nazis?

Zuarus PDA is AmigaDE enabled. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399704)

The main opertating system on the Zaurus PDA is based on technologies developed by the Tao Group [tao-group.com] . The Japanese version of the Zaurus PDA doesn`t have a Linux kernel at all. The common application layer is provided by the Tao Group. The OS is very good but this is not a fully open source solution by any means. It is all simple hype to create support for such products. For many other products which are so called "Linux Powered" counts that they are unfoundedly hyped as Linux devices. Think of it is Linux with X a viable solution in lowly powered low memory environments? NO WAY

Using Linux pieces does make sense though as you can use them freely and even gives you more news coverage. These devices are extremely cool, but NO way are they true Linux devices.

TVision uses Tao/Amiga's OS solution as well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2399813)

Infomedia`s multimedia conference set-top box the TVision [infomedia-network.com] uses the same OS as well. Many Japanese mobile phones use or will use a Tao layer on top of the iTRON kernel as well.

Re:Zuarus PDA is AmigaDE enabled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2400363)

There is NO TAO in the Zaurus. They threw TAO and amigaDE out on its ass because the company isnt stable. The java is from Insignia, not TAO. Everything on that unit going forward is Lineo and Qt embedded, which includes the multimedia stuff developed in house with trolltech. Think KDE on a iPaq. You'll hear some announcements on it in a few weeks when their updated developer site goes live.

Also the US version has a better keyboard and button design than the japanese version.

bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2401005)

Sharp just invested a couple extra millions into the Tao Group. :)

The Japanese version still comes with Tao`s intent as so will the European and US versions. LOL

X on a PDA (was:Zuarus PDA is AmigaDE enabled.) (1)

Bill Kendrick (19287) | more than 12 years ago | (#2401148)

Think of it is Linux with X a viable solution in lowly powered low memory environments? NO WAY

Actually, my 66Mhz, 8MB RAM Agenda PDA running Linux 2.4.10 and XFree86 works QUITE well, considering.

What can I say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2400034)

&nbsp; &#160; &#32; <br>
&#32; &nbsp; <b>Linux Rules &#160; <br> &#32; </b>

MPEG4 movies listed under features? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400078)

Are they talking about stock MPEG4 ala mickeysoft, or are they talking about DivX ;-) ?

On http://developer.sharpsec.com/ [sharpsec.com] one of the listed features is "Headset Port", and the subtext is "Stereo headset port for listening to MP3 audio files or MPEG4 movies". Anyone know what that means in this case?

Re:MPEG4 movies listed under features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2400553)

It's "mpeg4" not divx or MS mpeg4, but similar to both. In Japan, they sell a tiny video capture device to plug in your vcr and hardware encode video clips on smart cards, so you can play them back on the Zaurus. Very cool actually. Zaurus has been big in Japan since before we ever had palms.

Re:MPEG4 movies listed under features? (1)

glenkim (412499) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400901)

Man, with the limited storage space of the PDA's memory, you're not gonna be able to store big files, so what's the point? You're not going to watch a full-length movie, probably just something lame like a cumshot from a porno.

Re:MPEG4 movies listed under features? (2)

Jagasian (129329) | more than 12 years ago | (#2401789)

Well, considering that IBM and others make 1GB Microdrive CF cards, you could store at least a few high quality MPEG4 movie such as the Matrix or Star Wars Ep1. Considering that you could recompress the MPEGs for such a low resolution (of the LCD screen), you could probably fit allot more.

There's no room in the marketplace (2)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400182)

Sure, it's got some interesting specs, but there simply isn't room in the marketplace for this PDA. It's not a gaurantee of failure, but it's close enough -- this device would have to unseat MS' PocketPC or the Palm to really be worth bothering about. And by the sounds of it a colour Handera 330 would remove most of its market. (CF II and SD slots, QVGA.) The keyboard's cute, but it looks like it wastes a lot of space that coulb be better used for Flash RAM or battery life. If only it had Bluetooth built-in or some other particularly interesting technology. Just having a Linux core really isn't enough of a hook.

Anyway, this is not the time, economy wise, to be trying to introduce a completely new product in a genre of questionable usefulness. My TRGpro spends only about one in five days out of its drawer, and I really like it, I just can't find a use for it that justifies lugging it around. (Particularly now summer is on it's way.)

Re:There's no room in the marketplace (2)

macpeep (36699) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400834)

I don't know.. I just came back from Japan and the Sharp Zaurus is the PDA that had sold the most there. I personally didn't like the slide out keyboard all that much, but I must say that on a whole, it's a very nice device. Tao's Java VM and media API's are very good indeed, so this really has some potential!

On a slightly unrelated note, bluetooth was *everywhere*. This truly amazed me. Just about every device and manufacturer had shitloads of bluetooth stuff!! It seems the reports of its death are greatly exaggerated, at least over there!

Needs better connectivity (2)

hey! (33014) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400370)

I think this thing needs either a serial port or a second CF slot.

The USB is a nice touch, but it looks like it might get in the way of the CF slot.

I see the real possibilities in a Linux powered device like this is in integration into larger system and field based data collection. There's no way anybody is going to break into the PalmOS/WinCE dominated world.

The problem is when you start assembling systems to do things like field surveying systems, the features you get don't add up (e.g. you need a huge CF card to hold your maps files, but then yo have no way to connect your GPS). I do a lot of (simple) stuff with GPS hand PDAs -- I think every PDA should have a serial port!

Re:Needs better connectivity (2)

alhaz (11039) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400665)

I think this thing needs either a serial port or a second CF slot.

There's no reason to believe you couldn't get a serial port dongle that clips onto the docking port as are available for palm pilots.

Two CF slots would make it rather large, but the prototype I've played with does have an MMC slot in addition to the CF slot.

The USB is a nice touch, but it looks like it might get in the way of the CF slot.

What the heck are you looking at? There's no USB port on the device except for the USB what runs through the docking connector.

Regardless, like most (all?) strongarm handhelds it's probably using the built-in USB on the strongarm chip itself. That means that it's target-only. The SA1110 is a USB device, not a USB host. You can't attach USB peripherals to it as it is a USB peripheral.

SA1110 usb also isn't very fast, it's a design limitation. But how fast does it have to be to copy a few megs of data to the host computer?

There are usb chips available that can be interfaced to the SA1110, but I haven't heard of a PDA that has one, given the voltage requirements. A USB hub has to be able provide 500mA of +5v to each device. Not practical for something that fits in your pocket.

The problem is when you start assembling systems to do things like field surveying systems, the features you get don't add up (e.g. you need a huge CF card to hold your maps files, but then yo have no way to connect your GPS). I do a lot of (simple) stuff with GPS hand PDAs -- I think every PDA should have a serial port!

It does have a serial port. The docking interface may provide the serial buffer chip but that's no big deal to build into a dongle. It just doesn't have a DB9 right on the case, which is perfectly reasonable.

Like i pointed out before, it does have an MMC slot on the side. MMC cards are not as cheap as CF or SmartMedia but they do exist, and if push came to shove you could put a 64 meg MMC card in the side and stick something else in the CF slot.

Keep in mind that while CF can be implemented as a storage-only interface, in order to be capable of hot-swap it is generally implemented as sortof a small formfactor PCMCIA. There exist LAN cards, modems, video confrencing cameras, and all manner of peripherals available in the CF formfactor. It's just like pcmcia, but smaller.

Re:Needs better connectivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2400673)

I guess you didn't look closely enough at the device. The USB port is at the opposite end from the CF slot. The SD slot is also quite useful. I have the Japanese model which has the same form factor as the US model and it is infinitely more "portable" than the iPaq. I use a 64K PHS card in the CF slot while accessing software/data on the 64Mb SD card. With the new PinM@ster card you can even use it as a voice phone.

This PDA model has been proving itself in Japan for a year already. Linux can only make it better!

Remember the Yopy? (1)

CommanderRamius (526986) | more than 12 years ago | (#2400759)

As one who is stuck with the Samsung Yopy, I was wondering if I could use Lineo's Linux.... The Yopy has the same processor but I'm not sure about the board architecture..... It does have a nice screen though and I have X and 2.4 working... so far...

Sharp's Open Operating Website (1)

Fat Vegan (527022) | more than 12 years ago | (#2401446)

I tried to register as a Sharp "developer" and on submitting the form (http://developer.sharpsec.com/join.cfm) I got an Microsoft/msSQL/Cold Fusion error message.
Looks like Sharp have not embraced the Open Source movement beyond PDAs yet...
Guess they have to start somewhere

Developer Registration Prob (1)

ScumBiker (64143) | more than 12 years ago | (#2401576)

I got the following when I tried to register (gotta love M$ products coughMSSQLcough(yes, I'm on IE6. I'm at work)):

Error Occurred While Processing Request
Error Diagnostic Information
ODBC Error Code = 37000 (Syntax error or access violation)

[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Can't allocate space for object 'Syslogs' in database 'Zaurus' because the 'logsegment' segment is full. If you ran out of space in Syslogs, dump the transaction log. Otherwise, use ALTER DATABASE or sp_extendsegment to increase the size of the segment.

The error occurred while processing an element with a general identifier of (CFQUERY), occupying document position (19:2) to (19:49).

Date/Time: 10/08/01 09:20:41
Browser: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 4.0; Hotbar 3.0)
Remote Address: 168.236.254.1
HTTP Referer: http://developer.sharpsec.com/join.cfm?Blue=RE
Template: D:\Inetpub\wwwroot\developer\join_writerecord.cfm

Please inform the site administrator that this error has occurred (be sure to include the contents of this page in your message to the administrator).

When do we get a Linux PDA for engineers? (1)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 12 years ago | (#2402178)

When is someone going to offer a Linux PDA designed for engineers instead of the marketing department?

There is already a plethora of PDAs for accountants and salespeople, but the niche for engineers remains largely unfilled. What a perfect spot for Linux! Give us something that will do the math, do the analysis, hook up to networks, and crunch the data without costing us $5,000.

Our group is very interested in a PDA network analyzer that can compete with the Flukes. Yet every damn PDA comes out as a clone of Palm. Get a clue folks... even the Palms aren't selling!!

It seems to me that a Linux-based PDA with appropriate interfaces (10/100 ethernet would be perfect) would find several niche markets. Out of the several Linux PDAs (and our firm has a couple of them) this Sharp is the ONLY one which has any useable connetivity. I wonder if the OS (based on Lineo's) is up to the challenge.

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