Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Zaurus SL-5600/SL-5500 Comparison Whitepaper

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the handhelds-to-desire dept.

Handhelds 117

Bill Kendrick writes "A cool as the Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 Linux-based PDA is, there are definitely some quibbles about battery life, software and syncing. Fortunately, it seems the folks at Sharp and TrollTech have been working on it for the new 5600 model. Sharp just posted a whitepaper (PDF) comparing the two models. (Newer kernel, no more root-privs-for-everything, JFFS2, dropping slow XML for PIM stuff, and USB-IO syncing, to name a few.)"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Zaurus SL-5600/SL-5500 Comparison Whitepaper (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573738)

Zaurus SL-5600/SL-5500 Comparison Whitepaper

More cleverly hidden racist comments from Slashdot.

Can the editors of slashdot please disclose how many of your staff are minority? I emailed my resume and never got a response. I am also a black female... Coincidence? I think not.

Re:Zaurus SL-5600/SL-5500 Comparison Whitepaper (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573749)

Women aren't allowed to use computers, bitch. Maybe you should get back in the kitchen before your master catches you and whips your ass.

French "journalist" asks question @ news conf. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573843)

A mincing frog "journalist" asked a question at Gen. Franks' news conference in Qatar. It's amazing that the cowardly French would ever show their ugly pugs any where near military men and women.

Does anybody know why the pussies posing as French "men" haven't just given up in self-disgust and blown their fucking brains out to spare the world the nausea of seeing and listening to them?

Attention French pussies: you make us sick. See how real human beings conduct themselves and act to remove islamofascists such as Saddam Hussein from power. See how real human beings act to remove the tormentors of innocent men, women, and children. See how real human beings live and realize that you, as a nation and a people, have NEVER been real human beings, merely collaborationist pigs, oinking for the scraps thrown to you by Nazis, Ba'athists, and the other detritus of human history.

Re:French "journalist" asks question @ news conf. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5574907)

Hahaha you're calling the US Army real human beings? They're a bunch of murderous barbars, and their leader is no different to Saddam Hussein.

Re:Zaurus SL-5600/SL-5500 Comparison Whitepaper (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573755)

Give me a fuck, nigger

hahah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573741)


moron va lairIE's patentdead PostBlock(tm) device (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573742)

... being obsolete, carpet posting despite va lairIE's patentdead PostBlock(tm) device,, stock markup/bank frauds, Godless greed/fear based ?pr? scriptdead MiSinformation "ADvertising" campaigns, etc...

we'll all be 'obsolete', if the pathology is not intervened on.

"We should all look into the real motives of those who now own the world, beyond the nation states, even beyond oil contacts, market profiteers, and, of course, "democratization" of "rogue" nations notwithstanding. The reality is that a small power elite has become the only "necessary" section of the human species to keep the corporate entity growing and replace biological intelligence. And this itself will hold only for a "transitional" stage. It will hold true only during the tranfer of purely biological evolution to something less dependant on narrow physical and chemical conditions of life and consciousness. It's like the human species is giving birth to something else, a cosmic monster that will supersede it. Once the corporate entity has become able to function and grow without even the outlet of consumer markets, as it has somehow for a large part already, it won't need any longer the alibi of a product to manufacture or a service to render in order to exist. Already, many corporate entities don't even bother. Purely financial/speculative "businesses" thrive around the world, and nobody knows exactly what they are providing as far as human livelihood is concerned. At some point in the near future, even the Bushes and their Carlysle clique may become irrelevant, and that may be our only consolation. Put simply, I think the human species is on the verge of having run its course in the history of evolution."

we're suggesting more frequent consultation with yOUR creator, during times of fear, uncertainty, & doubt.

Fuck you (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573747)

Dessimat0r 0wnz j00 all []

First post :P

Re:Fuck you (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573762)


I am an agent of the Patriarchal War Machine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573748)

I awoke in my bedroom this morning to the sounds of music blaring from the upstairs apartment. As I got up and started to make coffee, it gradually increased in volume and intensity, until it was practically rattling the windowpanes. I went upstairs to see what was happening. As my knock went unanswered, I opened the door and found one of the upstairs tenants sitting in the living room playing "War Pigs" at top volume. "That music is a little loud", I shouted over the din. "What are you talking about?", he retorted. "Good God, man, don't you know there's a war going on?". "Oh, yes...this terrible war..", I muttered. For a minute, I thought we were going to have a replay of the bathtub scene from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but he continued. "Bush has started World War III! Can't a guy listen to a few protest songs?". "You should play them in the village green", I suggested. "People will hear them there. But there's nobody else but me and you in this apartment". "Fine", he said. "Keep everything quiet. That's just the way to keep the war machine moving".

The moral of this story is that there is no moral, because the only people who will read this are Slashdot posters, and nobody cares about their opinions. So if you want people to listen to your message, make sure you pick a group of intelligent, receptive, unbiased people, which does not include a herd of Linux dorks or the guy living downstairs.

Does it come with a full version of Mozilla ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573750)

How about the fonts ?? It doesn't use X does it ?

Re:Does it come with a full version of Mozilla ??? (4, Informative)

mwa (26272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573974)

How about the fonts ?? It doesn't use X does it ?

Fonts are fine for PDA use. They don't run X (unless you add it!), they run embedded-QT. The 5500s included Opera as a browser, although I prefer konqueror-embedded.

In fact, I prefer OpenZaurus [] in almost all ways. They've had jffs support for some time, and it's a simple process to mount /home on a 256M SD card. With that config, my 32M 5500D has more available RAM than a Sharp ROM configured 64M 5500.

Re:Does it come with a full version of Mozilla ??? (1)

styopa (58097) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575132)

The one major benefit for using Opera as opposed to Mozilla is Opera has been doing a lot of work on their rendering engine for small devices. The problem with Mozilla (and IE for MS devices) is that they try to render pages as if it were still a full size screen. I suggest you take a look Opera's web page about that technology, it is pretty slick.

I still use Galeon/Mozilla at home but when I get a Zaurus I want a browser that is designed for the 320x240 screen.

Battery comparison (4, Interesting)

giminy (94188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573754)

Gee, that's a terrific battery comparison chart. They're "comparing" both units under completely different operating conditions. At least they come right out and say it, but this gives absolutely no indication that they've fixed the 5500's weak battery life. Bummer.

Re:Battery comparison (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573820)

Yes they fixed the battery life. Including a battery that's a little over 2 times the size of the old one.

Re:Battery comparison (3, Insightful)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574769)

speculation would be that the xscale processor supports operational modes that the strongArm processor does not (shutting down parts of the processor that are not in use, idle sleep, etc) and the fact that the two processors run at very different speeds, which affects anything else running on the processor buffers.


the 5500 gives up 3-8 hours of battery life. (2, Informative)

q2a (519813) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575131)

Geez guys, learn how to use your pda already.
Zaurus battery life is based on TYPE OF USE people! []
I only have to charge once or twice a week.
And yes, theKompany and OpenZaurus kicks palm booty.

I can't wait! (4, Interesting)

WestieDog (592175) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573759)

I ordered one of the $170 dollar 5500's off of HSN. I don't care how bad it is compared to the 5600, $170 for a pda with 2 expantion slots that also happens to run linux! I can't wait too boot and get to a shell! :)

Re:I can't wait! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573804)

I'm curious what might be upgradable from the 5500 to 5600. Any ideas?

Re:I can't wait! (4, Funny) (645325) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573842)

Exactly. Slap a CF 802.11b card in there, and surf the web on the crapper. The Information Superhighway is truly upon us.

And if I drain the battery doing that, I've got more problems than I thought...

Re:I can't wait! (5, Informative)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573873)

Just a recomendation on what cf 802.11b card to look at...

I have used both the SMC 802.11b cf card and the Socket Low Power 802.11b cards. The Socket definately draws less power, and my experience is that it has an equal range.

The down side of the Socket is that none of the built in wireless apps, nor any of the wireless apps (other than the text mode wireless tools) know how to communicate with the card, nor do they recognize it as a wireless network card.

The driver for the card is on the server as spectrum24drivers (link is untested, set up your ipkg installer to get the drivers via your usb connection, or pull them down, get them on a cf or sd card and install from there.)

One of the local Office Depot stores is where I got my Socket card this week, There is a $30 mail in rebate, bringing the price down from 149 to 119 after the rebate.

My experience with the SMC card was I would get about half an hour of live time with the card installed. With the Socket card I am getting much closer to 2 hours, if not 3. Considering that I only get about 4 hours of live time without any network interface, I am fairly impressed.

If you drain the battery with this card, while sitting on the crapper, you really do have more problems than you thought.


Re:I can't wait! (3, Informative)

druske (550305) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574447)

I wrote a review [] of three wireless cards with the Zaurus last year: Linksys, SMC, and Socket. The Socket did look to be the most promising in terms of battery life, though the range seemed a bit shorter. Of course, at the time the drivers were in pretty bad shape. The SMC was my choice at the time.

The antenna housing on older Linksys cards is something to watch out for --- it completely blocks the stylus silo. (I had a pic up showing that, but the review site seems to have screwed up the links to the photos.) I've heard that this problem has been fixed on newer Linksys cards.

In any case, check out the battery life comparison in that review --- you'll see that active communications (using VNC) really took the punch out of the SL-5500's batteries.

Re:I can't wait! (1) (645325) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575430)

Anybody have any idea how much the CF 56k modems draw? Despite my comment above, I'll be trailing a 24' phone cord to the can for awhile. DSL and wireless are gonna have to wait till I'm smoke-free for three months...

Re:I can't wait! (2, Informative)

rangerx (131113) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574882)

The Socket low power wifi card works out of the box in the new SL5600 and C700 units :)

I am still waiting for the C700 to use the PXA255 chipset though.

Re:I can't wait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5576173)

I think you overpaid. has d-link cards
for $40 after rebate.

Memory Area (4, Funny)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573763)

Program Memory (Work area)

SL-5500: 28.1MB
SL-5600: 29.1KB


Re:Memory Area (3, Funny)

AlCoHoLiC (67938) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573815)

Oh boy, don't you know that "29.1 kb ought to be enough for everybody" ?

Re:Memory Area (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573828)

heh.. even siemens mobile phones got more mem for cheap java apps but at least its not segmented.

explanation (1)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575449)

The 5500 has 64mb of ram while the 5600 has 32mb of ram. By using an alternative distro such as OpenZaurus [] you can use all of that ram. The sharp rom makes a ramdisk for program storage.

why are there differences in s/w? (3, Interesting)

g4dget (579145) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573765)

Shouldn't the 5600 software just install on the 5500? I mean, the 5500 has more RAM, and it's trivial to put in lots of flash. Does that mean Sharp is not going to provide an upgrade?

Re:why are there differences in s/w? (4, Informative)

twitter (104583) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574009)

Shouldn't the 5600 software just install on the 5500? I mean, the 5500 has more RAM, and it's trivial to put in lots of flash. Does that mean Sharp is not going to provide an upgrade?

There might be differences between ARM and Xscale [] . I wish I knew.

In anycase, the white paper looks like it's simply describing the difference between the software out of the box. There's a wealth of "upgrades" out there to use, even whole distros for the ambitious:

  • OpenZaurus
  • Debian Zaurus

Ordinary software packages availiable include useful things like a terminal.

I've seen the Open Zaurus working and it's very neat with working GUI, productivity suit and CF wifi. It is essentially a full replacement for the sotware that comes with the 5500, but you can keep and reinstall that software too.

The Debian project looks less developed but is working on cool stuff like an X interface. They have a kernel and root system set up, and a working X. It would be fun to work on.

Ironically, my Zaurus has a better processor than my much bigger laptop. It would be borg the two together, X to export aps to the laptop and disk storage in return. I expect to be able to do this latter than sooner.

Re:why are there differences in s/w? (1)

ancukiewiczd (614805) | more than 11 years ago | (#5576559)

The XScale is an ARM; thus, logically there can't be any differences between an ARM and an XScale.

Perhaps you meant the differences between the XScale and StrongARM. Buse the same ARM instruction set with the XScale having a few added instructions (which are usually totally useless, and thus irrelevant). Thus, they're perfectly compatible.

Re:why are there differences in s/w? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5577012)

That's not quiet true. The XScale lacks some instructions that the StronARM has and needs to emulate them. That can give you a big performance hit.

Where is everyone? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573785)

Zaurus SL-5600/SL-5500 Comparison Whitepaper
HandheldsPosted by CmdrTaco on 15:15 Saturday 22 March 2003

Pictures from Seattle's Classic Gaming Weekend
GamesPosted by CmdrTaco on 14:25 Saturday 22 March 2003

New Animatrix Trailer Available
MoviesPosted by CmdrTaco on 6:15 Saturday 22 March 2003

Trigun Coming to Cartoon Network
AnimePosted by CmdrTaco on 4:15 Saturday 22 March 2003

Microsoft: We Make Hackers Obsolete
MicrosoftPosted by CmdrTaco on 2:23 Saturday 22 March 2003

The XFree86 Fork() Saga Continues
XPosted by CmdrTaco on 1:22 Saturday 22 March 2003

Farscape Finale Tonight
TelevisionPosted by CmdrTaco on 0:29 Saturday 22 March 2003

Your Rights Online: Library of Congress to Hold DMCA Hearings
NewsPosted by CmdrTaco on 23:32 Friday 21 March 2003

A Positive Outlook on the Software Industry
Technology/ITPosted by CmdrTaco on 22:41 Friday 21 March 2003

Web Site Hacks Rise as War Rages in Iraq
SecurityPosted by CmdrTaco on 21:51 Friday 21 March 2003

BBC on Website Slow Downs
The MediaPosted by CmdrTaco on 21:00 Friday 21 March 2003

Brian Hook Interview
GamesPosted by Hemos on 20:07 Friday 21 March 2003

Where is all the Slashdot staff that get paid by the ads and the subscriptions? Is business going so bad that they all need to moonlight? Or are they simply lazy bastards expecting to get paid for doing nothing but showing up whenever they feel like it just to post a story without even bothering to spellcheck and check for bad links?

shit (2)

mrscorpio (265337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573791)

The whitepaper shows that the 5500 can only record at 22khz using the mic input. Is this a device limitation, or software? Because I really want to use this [] when it becomes available (which will use the CF slot for input and a mic jack on the add-on itself), but it's not going to be worth it if the highest sampling rate available is 22khz :( Does anyone know anything?


Re:shit (1)

nacs (658138) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575443)

THe mic input on the 5500 is monaural (not stereo). It is a hardware limitation of the input connector only. 22khz is enough for voice recording for which it was intended.

This shouldn't affect you however since you'll be using the input on the CF card itself.

Re:shit (1)

mrscorpio (265337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575672)

Coolio, thanks.


Why George Bush? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573792)

The population of the US is nearly 300 million, including many of the best educated, most talented, most resourceful, humane people on earth. By almost any measure of civilised attainment, from Nobel prize-counts on down, the US leads the world by miles. You would think that a country with such resources, and such a field of talent, would be able to elect a leader of the highest quality. Yet, what has happened? At the end of all the primaries and party caucuses, the speeches and the televised debates, after a year or more of non-stop electioneering bustle, who, out of that entire population of 300 million, emerges at the top of the heap? George Bush.

My American friends, you know I love your country, how have we come to this? Yes, yes, Bush isn't quite as stupid as he sounds, and heaven knows he can't be as stupid as he looks. I know most of you didn't vote for him anyway, but that is my point. Forgive my presumption, but could it just be that there is something a teeny bit wrong with that famous constitution of yours? Of course this particular election was unusual in being a dead heat. Elections don't usually need a tie-breaker, something equivalent to the toss of a coin. Al Gore's majority in the country, reinforcing his majority in the electoral college but for dead-heated Florida, would have led a just and unbiased supreme court to award him the tie-breaker. So yes, Bush came to power by a kind of coup d'état. But it was a constitutional coup d'état. The system has been asking for trouble for years.

Strange (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573795)

Anybody notice that the entire god damned front page is only stories from Taco? Did his wife kick him out of bed or what?

Re:Strange (2)

seinman (463076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573863)

That would make sense, except that there are two Ask Slashdots posted by Cliff. One of them just a few articles down from this one.

Re:Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573936)

Besides the fact that this is how it usually is on Saturdays, I bet a lot of the crew is sleeping/taking a day off after a rather hectic series of days trying to keep things afloat during war "coverage."

Re:Strange (1)

onomatomania (598947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5576218)

That would probably be because he's wearing the Daddy Pants [] at the time.

Re:Strange (1)

mreategu (650767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5577297)

Well, seems that he created, I guess he has the right and reason to do it...

Great advantage (2, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573798)

now it have 4 new themes! Finally something that I can say clearly that is better in the new model!

Woo Linux (1)

DaLiNKz (557579) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573803)

me want me want - really i wouldnt mind a PDA, any type that works and runs something better then WindowsCE.. :S

Re:Woo Linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5574265)

the word is THAN you useless fuckhead

Non-root privileges? (2, Interesting)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573812)

What issue exists with running as root on a PDA? It seems like a non-issue to me.

I mean it's a PDA: personal digital assistant. It's not like it's a multi-user workstation or an network server. Why wouldn't I just run as root?

Re:Non-root privileges? (5, Informative)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573848)

> Why wouldn't I just run as root?

Why would you ?

Seriously though, if you're logged in as root, you can do an end-run around lots of the mechanisms that make Linux as stable as it is. If you're a nonprivileged user, AND provided the kernel is doing it's job properly, it shouldn't be possible to make the thing crash.

depends on what you mean by crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5574002)

It's pretty easy to make a UNIX so unusable that it might as well have crashed.
perl -e "while (1) { fork() }"
is the classic. Filling /tmp or / to the brim works well too. Many many UNIXs will crash in this case. In most others, you'll just have many of the processes and daemons die due to lack of error handling for
or file creation calls.

Re:Non-root privileges? (2, Insightful)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574137)

Its a PDA. It just needs to do very simple tasks. If you are asking it to do more, you really should get a serious computer/laptop.

Re:Non-root privileges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5576146)

I regard my Zaurus as more of a "real computer" than a PDA. Its CPU, while lacking hardware floating point, is still nearly 50 times faster than the first computer I could do really useful stuff on (an Amiga). It has 64 times the RAM of an Amiga, and I've got a compact flash card that is bigger than the first hard drive I had.

I can run Common Lisp programs on it, for pity's sake! Can you imagine going back in time to the 80s and handing an MIT professor a Zaurus, explaining that it's a 200 MHz machine with 64MByte of RAM, running a unix-compatible environment? He'd come in his pants.

You youngsters don't realise just how much you can do with a 1MHz microprocessor and 64KByte of RAM, let alone 200MHz and 64MByte...

Re:Non-root privileges? (3, Insightful)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573894)

There are several servers available for the Z, including but not limited to ftp, apache, and samba. With both ftp and samba, since you are effectively root, there is noting preventing joe random hacker from downloading, editing and uploading your /etc/ files and making the device do lots of things you would otherwise not be planning on.

Who needs a root-kit if the device does everything as root?


Linux syncing (4, Interesting)

ciryon (218518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573822)

What ever happened to the KDE sync program that would sync QPE/Opie based Linux handhelds?

One thing I'd like to see is some company selling OS upgrades that lets people throw away Microsoft Pocket PC/Windows CE and replace with Linux. But then there must be a good syncing solution for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.


Re:Linux syncing (4, Informative)

mtnharo (523610) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574178)

It does exist. It is called KitchenSync. Currently, it is part of the CVS tree for kdepim, and is scheduled to appear in KDE 3.2 You can have a look [] at the latest available tarball here. It works well enough. Currently it syncs to Agenda V3 or Qtopia/Opie based handhelds, and supports syncing addressbook, todolist and calendar to KAddressbook and KOrganizer. Works as expected, but it is still pretty much alpha quality. With enough time, this program should be able to sync just about anything to your desktop. A big thank you to the KDE and people working on this.

The C700 is much nicer (5, Informative)

mocm (141920) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573827)

with its 640x480 super crisp display and its morphing ability. I hope they will sell it outside of Japan. Sharp had a lot of them at CeBIT, not a single SL-5600. They know it's much nicer.
Here are some links:
My Zaurus Info page []
Conics Shop for ordering outside of Japan []
Sharp's Japanese Zaurus Page []

Re:The C700 is much nicer (4, Informative)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574000)

There is a place that will sell you an English C700 for $700.

Purchasing information:
The Sharp Zaurus SL-C700 ships direct to you from Japan, arriving in about 3 business days. We do accept returns within 5 days, and subject to a 15% restocking fee. (Returned units will be sold at a discount on our specials page.) For the latest delivery info, please call a sales representative at 800-711-6277. Please see our pricing page for ordering information.

The MAJOR drawback to the C700 is crappy battery life, only about 4 hours. Thats not much better than most laptops.

Re:The C700 is much nicer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5575715)

It certainly is but it will never be sold in the US because our idiotic press has a fetish for keyboards to be of 100% size. It's what killed off the Psion, the HP 200LX and the entire class of WinCE handheld pcs.

I find this rather ironic given the fact that it's the same idiots who are now praising the pathetic keyboards of the Clies and Blackberries. Back in 1997 I could do everything except play video on my HP LX which is now "cutting-edge" tech on the toy-factor (non-clamshell) computers: make telephone calls, manage phone address books, receive and send text messages, use the net and much more.

Palm and Microsoft have destroyed the handheld market. Things were much better and developing much quicker before they entered it. I long for the days of Newton and 200LX

Re:The C700 is much nicer (2, Insightful)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5576349)

You know those products were on the market and still would be except that Americans weren't buying them. I wish they still were. I'm sort of considering buying a Jornada 720 to run Linux. I did just buy a Zaurus. I can actually type fairly quickly on it's keyboard, although obviously not the 80wpm I can type on a normal keyboard. It's also kind of a pain to type anything other than letters.

The thing is, most Americans aren't interested in sub-notebooks and palmtop computers. They want electronic datebooks, so that's what Palm and MS give them. When Americans buy computers, they want BIG BEEFY AMERICAN COMPUTERS WITH HUGE AMOUNTS OF STORAGE AND THE FASTEST CPUs. Sounds a lot like the American automobile market vs. the Japanese.

Me, I wish I'd bought a Jornada 720 or something similar when I started college, so I could write code in class. Frankly I hate handwriting recognition. My handwriting sucks. And the screens on pocket pc's is just too small and narrow for real text editing. The 640x240 screens on the original win CE machines was much better, IMO. Of course if manufacturers would just turn their pocket PCs 90 degrees... I think that would be a much better form factor. I'd rather be able to read a line of text without wrapping, and scroll a little more often.

PDAs are still cutting edge. I think we'll be seing a lot of changes in the coming years.

Re:The C700 is much nicer (5, Informative)

Guylhem (161858) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574067)

The battery life is not a problem - you can fit in a 5600 battery after doing some shaving ;-) Just go to the Zaurus C700 hardware forum [] .

Regarding the low memory, some of us are trying to upgrade it to 64M. The problem is not hardware now (read - hardware hackersl could replace the 32M of RAM by a 64M chip) but software. We are trying to make the XScale recognize that much RAM. It may involve kernel and bootloader hacking since the easy solutions like mem=64 did not work. Any help is welcome.

And for those who may say the CPU is too slow, I personally did overclock mine to ~450 Mhz, and the RAM to ~150Mhz.No problem of any kind. I did also enable the Cache (disabled by default by Sharp for a risk of bug on some hardware revisions) so I can now play divx full screen at 20 fps without any problem. It is certainly better than carrying a huge laptop in the plane!

I just need the bigger 5600 (b500) battery a friend is bringing back from Japan and I'll be most happy with my Zaurus C700 PDA ;-)

PS: if you want to get one, check the C700 FAQ [] . We are filling it with tips from the forum.

Re:The C700 is much nicer (1)

gearheadsmp (569823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575296)

You might find it a good thing to contact some of the developers at the OpenZaurus [] project - they have experience compiling custom Kernels for the Z, which involves setting it for the 32mb SL-5000D and 64mb SL-5500.

Re:The C700 is much nicer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5574304)

You little German prick !!!

Re:The C700 is much nicer (1)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575478)

with its 640x480 super crisp display and its morphing ability. I hope they will sell it outside of Japan. Sharp had a lot of them at CeBIT, not a single SL-5600. They know it's much nicer.

Then which is the eMail address or "petition page" (anyone on broadband -who's not a spammer- set up this one?) to convince Sharp that there's a market for the C700 (or even an improved version in this form factor, e.g. with more memory and wireless "connectivity") in Europe and the U.S. as well?

Sharp must have noticed there's been considerable interest at CeBIT, but (unless they are in short supply for their displays or something) they probably just don't realize yet how many people are yearning to get this type of device, even more so as the competition seems to fade with no new products in Psion's pipeline.


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573833)


..and we run!

..and we run!

..and we run!

..into the arms.. OF AMERICA!

Re:OUTSIDE IS AMERICA! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573891)

Hey, this is something you _STUPID AMERICANS_ can suck.


SL5000 (1)

rf0 (159958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573837)

I bought one of the first Zaurus in the shape of the the SL5000 and wondered if anyone has any figures for the battery life on it? I do find the a WLAN CF/SD Card and backlight I will get 90 minutes if I'm lucky. If worse comes to worse I just plug it into the mains :)


where the demand IS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573844)

Does anyone wonder why there isn't on the market parts to make their own handhelds? This is part of the reason why embedded devices haven't taken off like pc's have. I'd like to see a parts market in handhelds, like you have one for pc's. If standardized parts were made available and a full fledged embedded linux distribution available, the market would really take off. I'd like to see at the very minimum, a "kit", is anyone here old enough to remember the old heath kits?; they were really cool!

Re:where the demand IS (-1, Offtopic)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574007)

Look up the PC-104 spec.

A poem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573859)

Here is my ass
Which you may kiss.
Take time and aim well
You don't want to miss.

For if you aim low
And your lips they do fall
Then you will find
You'll be sucking my balls.

If you aim high
Despite your true heart
Sucks to be you
Now you're eating my fart.

Make way for the new Zaurus (2, Informative)

jalfreize (173125) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573861)

One thing they've done differently is the memory.
Its flash+RAM based, instead of being ROM+RAM-based.
That should effectively provide more space (if they write all persistent data to flash when the unit is shut down), and better battery utilisation.
This is a cool device, and a couple of my friends have the original 5500. One of them, who does testing for EMC, used to mount his test volumes over NFS, and start off his test scripts over telnet, all over the 802.11, while he sat in boring meetings.
Not as much software out there, compared to the palmOS platform, though.

Re:Make way for the new Zaurus (1)

pacc (163090) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575542)

Flash+RAM if what they mean is a move to permanent storage and applications executions space seems like a move towards a more PC-like setup.

Without better support for XIP (execute in place) Linux have seemed to fit less well on portables needing more memory than necessary.

Now with support of applications executed from CF cards and the like (and maybe a Swap partition) wouldn't this make us run in circles around standard PDA's.

Of course this doesn't mean that this is the best way to do things on a PDA. Is the Sharp solution backing away from what's really suitable for a handheld or has the new approach been made possible by getting closer to XIP?

another poem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573870)

my cunt is a'drippin',
your lips are a'sippin',
my ass is a'crappin',
your mouth is a'lappin'

all that comes out of an oracifce
you eat for a main course-ifice
poop and pee, all a'yummy
Sitting proud inside your tummy!

Battery Life (3, Interesting)

druske (550305) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573877)

Why do you suppose they didn't compare battery life under similar conditions? Most of the specs for the 5600 look great, and the battery life on its own doesn't look bad either, but this paper gives no basis for comparing the battery life of the 5500 and the 5600.

Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 55 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5573944)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 55 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5575406)


5500 firmware upgrade? (5, Interesting)

caraiman (659379) | more than 11 years ago | (#5573981)

When is Sharp going to provide a firmware upgrade for the 5500? The latest firmware still has bugs. Here are a couple of examples:
  • Although you can configure multiple SMTP accounts, the mail client only uses the one configured first
  • Every now and then the soft eject for a CF card doesn't work and you have to physically take it out
In addition, since Sharp has already worked on a new kernel, PIM, etc., it would be great if existing 5500 owners could benefit from what their software group has done since the latest firmware upgrade came out.
The hardware changes on the 5600 are not a radical shift from the 5500 (unless, of course, you buy into the MHz hype). I bet that not many people will ditch their 5500s and invest in 5600s primarily to fix problems that could be resolved through a firmware upgrade.

Re:5500 firmware upgrade? (5, Interesting)

dybvandal (535813) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574315)

they are actually quite radical .. for example the mmc/sd chip is now integrated btw: the opensource community is trying to get 2.4.19 to run on the 5500 but the old mmc/sd module needs an update ... which is impossible because the community does not have a license from and sharp doesn't have the "resources" to take care of it for us nor is it offering any assistance in getting one of the community the rights to do it himself .. this is where i am pissed

Most improvements seem to be in the software (3, Interesting)

vlad_petric (94134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574003)

... then I'm wondering why are they not releasing an updated ROM for the 5500 as well?

As a (relatively proud) owner of the 5500, I can tell you for sure that there's a lot of room for improvements.

Re:Most improvements seem to be in the software (1)

Iguanaphobic (31670) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575048)

Patience. There are some minor hardware differences, they have promised a port ASAP.

Browser? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574089)

A question... Does anyone know what web browser it uses? Certainly would be nice to know if there's an Open Source browser out there with decent performance and stability.

Re:Browser? (2, Informative)

ouzel (655571) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574190)

The 5500 came (comes) packaged with a version of Opera. You can also install an embedded version of Konqueror. See here [] for more software than you'll know what to do with :-)

Re:Browser? (2, Informative)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574280)

From what I understand, the SL-5600 uses Opera6 as the default browser.

I have a SL-5500 which comes with Opera 5 as it's default browser.

Downloadable browsers include Konquer and Links-ssl.


Re:Browser? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574845)

Hmmm... Well I would imagine that Konq would be quite slow, even on the 400MHz model (my Psion is 35MHz and that's more than I need :-) )... BTW, that goes for Konq-embedded as well.

As for Opera, I admit I didn't try 6, but as of 5 it wasn't very stable for very long. Do you have any problems with it crashing, or perhaps do you not use the browser enough on the handheld that you would have a problem. I guess it's a moot point anyhow... I strongly dislike Opera's preferences, bookmarks, tab system, etc.

Re:Browser? (1)

ouzel (655571) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574985)

I sold my SL-5500 a few months ago and honestly can't remember how quickly Konq and Opera loaded. But I know I'd remember if it were really slow because it would have annoyed the heck out of me. :-)

The Zaurus is an amazing machine but I found that I spent most of my time giving it care and feeding, instead of using it to be more productive. It was also my first PDA. After a while I realized I'd be a lot happier (and more productive) just using a laptop, which is what I did.

Speaking of productivity, you arcade fans will be happy to discover that MAME has been ported [] to the Zaurus. Works great!

Re:Browser? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575172)

I found that I spent most of my time giving it care and feeding, instead of using it to be more productive. It was also my first PDA.

This seems to be a universal problem. My first was a Windows CE device. I wised up and got a Psion, which happens to be pretty much the only handheld that you can be productive with. WinCE devices are just useless tech toys, and Palms are glorified alarm clocks. I'm not sure where Linux handhelds fit in, but I'd bet it's in the same area as WinCE.

BTW, MAME has been working on my Psion for several years now :-)

Re:Browser? (1)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5576847)

I would give dillo a shot. I just built it on my desktop and with -O3 it's memory footprint is only 6 megs. Yeah Opera is probably less. It may have some other features to reduce it's memory usage. I know people are using it on Ipaq's running Linux.

Re:Browser? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5576898)

I just built it on my desktop and with -O3 it's memory footprint is only 6 megs.

Hmm, maybe you didn't strip the executable? It's still in early devel so install doesn't strip automatically...

In case you haven't yet guessed, I've used Dillo a great deal. However, until it has the ability to copy text from a webpage, and save an image within a webpage, I don't have the slightest interest in using it. It's just too much of a hassle to switch to a different browser when I need those features, which is very often.

In addition, Dillo is still unstable and crashes after some time. Because it's GPL'd, the SSL patch floating around can't be integrated, so it goes unmaintained for the most part. The bookmark system is too limited at this point (no folders, edit the text file to delete). After those issues are cleared up, I just might start using it.

There are other features I'd wish to have as well, but aren't completely required... I disable javascript on my browsers, but sometimes you do need it. Tabs are a very nice feature if implimented well (unlike Opera). A preferences dialog would be an improvement. And additionally, I would be much happier contributing if it wasn't under the GPL.

CPU is discontinued? (4, Informative)

Snarfvs Maximvs (28022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574205)

According to the whitepaper the 5600 uses Intel's PXA250 XScale chip, which this article [] seems to imply may well be discontinued already!! Hopefully the new PXA255 is a drop-in replacement. In that case the new 5600s will be even faster since the 255 uses a faster memory bus. If it's not a drop-in expect a delay while Sharp figures out what the heck to do!

Re:CPU is discontinued? (1)

gearheadsmp (569823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575366)

Yeah, it says:
Intel is going to stop producing the PXA250 soon, if it hasn't already. Handheld makers must switch to the new chips by March 28. The new chips will cost the same as the current ones.

Which means Sharp won't be making handhelds with the PXA250 pretty soon.

OpenZaurus is better (5, Informative)

Tepar (87925) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574371)

I dropped Sharp's OS a couple of months ago in favor of OpenZaurus, and found nothing but improvements. (Almost) every complaint I had about the original software was addressed:

1. The calendar app is much more stable. My one remaining issue is with repeating appointments: if you modify a repeating appointment on the Z, it'll duplicate itself and you'll have two appointments in the same spot: one with the old info, and one with the new. If you instead modify the appt. with the Qtopia Desktop software (Linux--I never use the Windows version), you don't have this problem.

2. I used to lose all my to-dos everytime I synced with the Sharp software. Fixed.

3. You can get ipks from the Zaurus Software Index ( to preserve the Jeode environment as well as the Hancom apps and Opera, so you can still use them on OpenZaurus. These utilities will convert them to ipks which you can copy to your machine. When you install OpenZaurus, you can just reinstall these apps as normal. I can testify that the Jeode one works: I don't have a need for the Hancom apps or Opera, so I never reinstalled them.

4. The theme feature is there in OpenZaurus, so if you're using it, you've already got what Sharp gives you in the 5600. I'm using the Liquid theme.

5. There's a nice Today app in OpenZaurus that gives you a snapshot of your day--both to-dos and calendar appointments.

6. I haven't encountered a 3rd party ipk that I used to use in Sharp's rom that doesn't work with the OZ rom.

7. I had to upgrade Sharp's rom to use a 128MB SD card. This also broke my connection to the Linux version (some "security patch" was also included in this upgrade that prevented the Linux Qtopia desktop from connecting, and also disabled ftp). Installing OZ fixed all of these issues.

8. OZ includes OpenSSH by default, so it's much easier to get into the Z and copy files.

9. The Sharp ROM crashed all the time. And I mean ALL THE TIME. I don't have that problem with OZ.

To get to the point, I would recommend to anyone who runs Linux and is purchasing a 5500 right now to save yourself the headaches and replace the default ROM with OpenZaurus. If you back up Jeode, Hancom, and Opera, you won't lose anything by doing it, and you'll have a much more stable PDA.

Re:OpenZaurus is better (4, Insightful)

krow (129804) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575067)

Personally I found that Open Zaurus:
1) Crashed more often
2) Email application was more primitive
3) The backup didn't work at all
4) The application to install packages looked nicer but screwed up for more often.

I went back to using the normal ROM's for this reason.

Maybe someday...

Re:OpenZaurus is better (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 11 years ago | (#5576155)

Speaking of Jeode -- the damn thing (evm, that is) is almost perfect for XWT [] -- The only class I've found that doesn't exist with evm's AWT implementation is BufferedImage. So close...

I only wish (1)

floydman (179924) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574553)

if they could add a GSM module to the damn thing, now that would make it sell like fire

ls -R / (1)

snitty (308387) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574649)

I can't tell you all how useful it was to see the entire listing of files on the SL-5600, in fact, I think that should come in all white papers.

Re:ls -R / (1)

bstadil (7110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574842)

It is not quite as dumb as you indicate. The screen is quite small and having it as a non nested printable reference is handy. Second on the mailing list you will note quite a few references to how the file structure is laid out. Its handy to point to a document on the web while you do this.

Application Support (3, Informative)

jaaron (551839) | more than 11 years ago | (#5574697)

What I find interesting is that they've dropped the XML format for their PIM applications. Now they're using something called DTM:

DTM (DaTa Manager) is a set of modules that provide database functions to the applications. ... However, all the default PIM applications on the SL-5600 now adopt and are managed by the DTM (PIM database). Thus, and 3rd party PIM applications that access the XML files on the SL-5500 PIM applications will not run as expeected. ...

This does not spell out well for third party developers who now have to have compliant apps for the 5500 and the 5600. It sounds like they're using something like the pdb format for palm. If they're going to change, I wonder why they didn't go with a standard like iCalendar [] (RFC2445) at least for the PIM apps.

Product info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5574881)

Could be cool, but be aware that it contains "Embedix" technology, a product of our pals at SCO/Caldera/Lineo (or whatever the name is this week). If people are serious about showing there displeasure with SCO, consider that before making a purchase.

Using a newer kernel; SD card support? (3, Interesting)

iabervon (1971) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575128)

So far as I know, the only driver for SD cards is closed-source and only available for 2.4.8; does anyone know if the 5600 supports them, or just the MMC version?

Re:Using a newer kernel; SD card support? (2, Interesting)

shimpei (3348) | more than 11 years ago | (#5576950)

The answer is yes, assuming that the 5600 is indeed identical to the B500 sold in Japan. The driver is still closed-source AFAIK.

Mine's been... (2, Funny)

0x7F (158643) | more than 11 years ago | (#5575744)

sitting unused in the docking cradle for a while now. Let's check up on it.
tpope@marge:~% ssh snowball
Linux snowball 2.4.6-rmk1-np2-embedix #11 Tue Oct 29 14:43:28 CST 2002 armv4l unknown
root@snowball:~# uptime
10:34pm up 70 days, 17:23, load average: 4.00, 4.00, 4.00
Wow. Let's see a PocketPC do that!

Re:Mine's been... (1)

fzammett (255288) | more than 11 years ago | (#5577019)

Sitting unusued in a docking craddle?

A PocketPC wouldn't crash either. Trying to take a pot sot without anything to back it up?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?