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Sharp Plans To Pull Zaurus From U.S. Market

timothy posted about 10 years ago | from the darn-shame dept.

Handhelds 302

Eugenia writes "Facing stiff competition and low sales, a Sharp representative has informed InfoSyncWorld that the company has decided to fully withdraw its Zaurus SL line of Linux-based handhelds from the U.S. market and focus on its home market in Japan. The recent similar withdraws of Sony and Toshiba pretty much left PalmOne and RIM fighting alone HP and Dell in a saturated PDA market inundated with U.S. brands. People don't seem to be willing to pay a premium for gadgets and alternative systems, and primarily in the corporate market customers prefer to buy from the same suppliers as for their corporate hardware."

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Saturation (1, Insightful)

someonewhois (808065) | about 10 years ago | (#10560037)

I don't know ANYONE who uses a pda... personally I don't think they're all that useful.

Re:Saturation (5, Funny)

Babbster (107076) | about 10 years ago | (#10560099)

One does tend to find PDA use slightly less common behind the McDonald's counter.

Re:Saturation (1)

MBraynard (653724) | about 10 years ago | (#10560209)

One man's flamebait another man's +5 funny.

WARNING: THIS POST IS OFFTOPIC (1, Offtopic)

Babbster (107076) | about 10 years ago | (#10560295)

Someone does seem a little quick on the -1 trigger. I posted two comments which I thought were vaguely amusing (here and in the solar minimum post), took off my karma bonus (because of the lack of content), and both were pounded down to zero. It's probably my fault - my sense of humor is pretty dry and often a little too mean...and maybe even not very funny. :)

(Yes, I know this will be modded offtopic - I can probably handle the hit)

Re:WARNING: THIS POST IS OFFTOPIC (1)

FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) | about 10 years ago | (#10560495)

I think there are a lot of moderators who are either ignorant of the moderator guidelines or choose to ignore them. (IE. concentrate on modding up, not down) In my opinion, Slashdot would benefit from a competency exam for potential mods before they get their points. But in the big picture, it's not that big a deal, really.

Re:Saturation (1)

Sentosus (751729) | about 10 years ago | (#10560101)

Thank goodness that you represent the entire market. They should have been listening to you all along.

We use them constantly at work and with the Treo, you have no reason not to have it with you.

Re:Saturation (2, Funny)

jrockway (229604) | about 10 years ago | (#10560112)

I use a PDA. I use it to manage my schedule (along with iCal) and use it at work to take notes when I'm in remote computer labs. If only I could get 802.1x & Clarify CRM support...

It is easier than using paper and plus people know you're a computer nerd. :)

Oh editors, you spelled "stuff" wrong...

Re:Saturation (1)

fembots (753724) | about 10 years ago | (#10560115)

That's not saturation [reference.com] , we're not talking about cell phones here.

mod parent up (0, Flamebait)

Luke727 (547923) | about 10 years ago | (#10560163)

PDA's are for faggots who want to look hip and accountants and managers. Everyone else just thinks they are so fucking important and have so many friends that they need to store them in a database should the need arise to contact one. So, in conclusion, see this [xdfgf.com] .

Re:Saturation (4, Insightful)

Total_Wimp (564548) | about 10 years ago | (#10560193)

I don't know ANYONE who uses a pda... personally I don't think they're all that useful.

Can't seem to swing a dead cat in my office without knocking a PDA out of someones hand. They seem to like them a lot. I've personally tried several and given them all up in place of a Nokia series 60 smart phone (6620 now... used to have a 3650).

Advantage of the phone? It's always with me. I never seamed to have my PDA when I needed it the most, but since my cell phone is always in my pocket and connected to the net in some fashion or another (argue symantics all you want, but I'm always on the GSM network) I'm now always able to get the PDA data I need when I need it.

Mail? - automatically notified
Calendar? - I always get my reminders
Contacts? - are you kidding? You gotta have them in your phone anyway
Notes? - voice, text and instant photo notes (very handy when you need to copy something quickly)
Games or web on the john? - no one questions the phone since they never see it (try that with a newspapaper)

I think the real truth is Sharp saw the future and the future is everone having a PDA on their phone. If you notice, PDAs aren't really Personal Digital Assistants anymore... they're tiny computers (litterally with the OQO). The reall PDA market comes with cellular service.

TW

asgf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560044)

lo fp

Yes but... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560045)

Did it used to run Linux?

Sigh... another of the "great Linux hypes- er I mean hopes" bites the dust!!!

LOLOL

Linux is great.. (3, Interesting)

dcstimm (556797) | about 10 years ago | (#10560047)

But you need to be ultra competitive feature wise for a Linux enabled pda to take off. I am a linux nut and I see no need for a PDA that runs linux on it. hell maybe if it had a ethernet jack on it and a full size keyboard, oh wait thats a laptop...

Re:Linux is great.. (3, Insightful)

Carnildo (712617) | about 10 years ago | (#10560075)

I'd have bought a Zarus PDA if I had been able to find one that had the features I was looking for: a greyscale screen, low weight, no backlight, and a long battery life. Oh yes, and one that didn't cost $400+.

Instead, I got a $99 Palm Zire 21. Meets my needs exactly.

Re:Linux is great.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560155)

Well, fuck you, Carndildo.

I bet the girls love you, hero of the greyscale.

Re:Linux is great.. (1)

madstork2000 (143169) | about 10 years ago | (#10560457)

The old Agenda VR1 met those specs 3 years ago.

Re:Linux is great.. (4, Informative)

Colonel Panic (15235) | about 10 years ago | (#10560078)

hell maybe if it had a ethernet jack on it

Actually, it's pretty easy to put a CF Wifi card in one (I've got an SL-5500) and use it to surf the web and check email when you're out and about. They're a lot smaller than a laptop and much easier to carry around.

Oh, and full size keyboards are available.

Re:Linux is great.. (2, Insightful)

elid (672471) | about 10 years ago | (#10560109)

I see no need for a PDA that runs linux on it.But you see a reason for a PDA to run Windows? If they run Windows, why not Linux?

Re:Linux is great.. (1)

MCZapf (218870) | about 10 years ago | (#10560140)

It's the apps that he's probably worried about, not the OS. I've never used a Linux PDA, but are the apps at the same level as those in Windows-based or PalmOS-based PDAs?

Re:Linux is great.. (2, Interesting)

Total_Wimp (564548) | about 10 years ago | (#10560292)

It's the apps that he's probably worried about, not the OS. I've never used a Linux PDA, but are the apps at the same level as those in Windows-based or PalmOS-based PDAs?

You're kidding, right? Apps on PDAs are pot-luck at best. No platform really has dominance, especially not the "Windows-based" ones. This has a lot to do with the fact that there are too many different processors, screens and interfaces making it difficult to design to a common platform in the same sense that Macs and PCs are common platforms.

Come to think of it, "Windows-based" PDAs suffer from many of the same disadvantages that Linux suffers from on the desktop(lack of standardization). I wonder if anyone will ever make a series of PDA or smart-phone platform standard enough to build up a decent base of apps. Trust me, just because it says Pocket PC, Palm or Symbian does not mean that app is going to work.

TW

Re:Linux is great.. (3, Interesting)

radish (98371) | about 10 years ago | (#10560315)

PocketPC is Windows in name only, there's very little common ground from a code point of view.

My question is this: Why should the consumer care what OS is on the device? Why should they pay a premium for an alternative OS? People buy PDAs by functionality and if your Linux/PocketPC/PalmOS/whatever based solution doesn't have the right functionality it won't (and doesn't deserve to) survive.

Personally, I used to be a Palm boy but not have an iPaq 4155, which is tiny, and has built in bluetooth and wifi. Yes it's less reliable than the palm and obviously has worse battery life. But the wireless options and screen quality sell it to me. Personally I couldn't give a monkey's what OS it runs provided I can sync to my desktop PC, and run my GPS nav software.

Re:Linux is great.. (3, Insightful)

JPriest (547211) | about 10 years ago | (#10560139)

This was a pure case of.
1) Build a product
2) Make it run Linux
3) ??
4) Profit!!

I don't understand how it failed.

Re:Linux is great.. (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | about 10 years ago | (#10560336)

I am a linux nut and I see no need for a PDA that runs linux on it.
That's because you're not a PDA nut...

Re:Linux is great.. (2, Insightful)

bwy (726112) | about 10 years ago | (#10560489)

I am a linux nut and I see no need for a PDA that runs linux on it.

I am a Linux nut and see no reason to run a proprietary OS that requires large, expensive development cycles such as Palm OS/Win CE/etc. when a perectly good embedded Linux platform exists which can run thousands of apps already written with minimal or no changes.

Re:Linux is great.. (2, Informative)

linuxtelephony (141049) | about 10 years ago | (#10560518)

One thing about the Sharp PDA that made me want it was the USB interface that could work as a host or peripheral. All of the other PDAs I've checked out had peripheral only USB interfaces, meaning I could not plug it into my cell phone for wireless data.

Funds have kept me from getting the 6k, and now when I have the funds, it looks like I'll be unable to get one. We'll see.

Anyone know of a decent, powerful PDA with USB host capability built in? Otherwise I'm left with something like an IPAQ with a USB host card instead of just a simple cable from the device to the cell phone.

Either that, or I'll go back and look at the Samsung i700 now that the WM2003 upgrade is available.

Either way, it looks like Sharp's loss, or at least an ebay purchase.

hmm (0, Troll)

tsalaroth (798327) | about 10 years ago | (#10560072)

"stuff" competition?

Re:hmm (1)

AssTard (684911) | about 10 years ago | (#10560082)

Yes, I was wondering the same thing. So there's stuff that competes. What a revelation! Christ.

Price (4, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | about 10 years ago | (#10560079)

As stated, people don't seem to be willing to pay a premium for gadgets and alternative systems.

Moving people from MS to Linux is difficult enough because of the technical differencesalone, and did I mention the OS is free?

So why would people pay more money to try Linux?

If a PDA costs $400 running Windows, people already have the perception that a Linux-based PDA should cost $200 less because the OS is free.

Re:Price (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about 10 years ago | (#10560223)

Maybe not 200$ less, but if they care, it should be less, should it not? If not, then don't complain about a "microsoft tax" that adds a whopping 5% to the cost of new laptops.

Re:Price (1)

Deorus (811828) | about 10 years ago | (#10560290)

> don't complain about a "microsoft tax" that adds a whopping 5% to the cost of new laptops

Laptops differ in the way that they don't need an OS out of the box.

Penguins... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560083)

Shoot em .. then yum yum, if you can stand the fishy smell.

Had One, Still Prefer The Treo (5, Informative)

datastalker (775227) | about 10 years ago | (#10560086)

The Zaurus line is a great one; I've had three models (5000D, 5500, 5600). However, my Treo does everything that the Zaurus can do, and comes with a phone! Since the Treo is a non-MS device, it also satisfies my desire not to support Microsoft. Of course, the Treo 650 [internetnews.com] will be even better. ;)

Your website is fucking retarded. (-1, Flamebait)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | about 10 years ago | (#10560110)

Great, a google-scraper. That's no more informative or useful than those amazon click-through referral sites.

Re:Your website is fucking retarded. (1)

acxr is wasted (653126) | about 10 years ago | (#10560156)

lol

I was just about to say the same thing. Utterly pointless.

Re:Your website is fucking retarded. (1)

mithras the prophet (579978) | about 10 years ago | (#10560174)

Whoa you are right. The things people do...

Re:Your website is fucking retarded. (0, Offtopic)

datastalker (775227) | about 10 years ago | (#10560271)

Well, how much money does your website make in a month? I'm making a lot of extra money, so if that's "fucking retarded", well, I guess it just must be then.

A new one every six months? (4, Insightful)

Mr2cents (323101) | about 10 years ago | (#10560291)

PDA's are just another gadget that gets outdated after a year. Maybe I'm growing old/less competetive, but I don't want to buy these new thingies all the time.

"How long will it last?" is the first question I ask myself, and the faster it will be outdated, the less money I'm willing to spend on it. My previous computer was a dual PII, it cost me a fortune but that money is gone. My last PC was a cheap AMD homemade, it works fine and with the money I saved I bought a telescope. I've always wanted one, and a telescope can last much longer than a PC that loses it's value instantly.

Re:A new one every six months? (0, Redundant)

ars (79600) | about 10 years ago | (#10560376)

[blockquote]PDA's are just another gadget that gets outdated after a year.[/blockquote] I quite don't agree - I've had my Palm V for 4 maybe 5 years now, and it works quite well. So far the only reason I have to replace it is that it is physically falling appart. I upgraded to 8MB, but other then that it's working great for 5 years now - I sometimes use it more then my PC. I store mostly databases (for example client billable hours), and PIM type things in it. Also lots of books (fiction, and reference).

Re:A new one every six months? (1)

ars (79600) | about 10 years ago | (#10560388)

PDA's are just another gadget that gets outdated after a year.
I quite don't agree - I've had my Palm V for 4 maybe 5 years now, and it works quite well. So far the only reason I have to replace it is that it is physically falling appart.

I upgraded to 8MB, but other then that it's working great for 5 years now - I sometimes use it more then my PC. I store mostly databases (for example client billable hours), and PIM type things in it. Also lots of books (fiction, and reference).

Re:Had One, Still Prefer The Treo (1)

datastalker (775227) | about 10 years ago | (#10560466)

The story at the Internet News link seems to be down... here's one [engadget.com] from EnGadget.

I still use mine (2, Informative)

CovertPenguins (788845) | about 10 years ago | (#10560092)

Great mp3 player with a built-in calendar, addressbook, a console, and 802.11b! You mean for work? No, I don't use a PDA for work anymore.

SL-5x00 (5, Informative)

chaffed (672859) | about 10 years ago | (#10560093)

I was up till recently a SL-5500 owner. It was a great PDA. However Sharp's software support was terrible. They had great hardware with great function but poor software support.

The OSS community took-up the slack the best they could by releasing revised ROMs and even roms built from the ground up like Open Zaurus [openzaurus.org] .

Another issue I had was lake of sync support. The sync feature was flaky at best.

So I really think it's a bad move on sharp's part to discontinue US sales. The zaurus is one of those devices that almost was and still can be the killer device.

On a side note. The Zaurus is the best handheld I have ever used for WiFi site surveys!

For what? (1)

wombatmobile (623057) | about 10 years ago | (#10560189)

The zaurus is one of those devices that almost was and still can be the killer device.

Killer? You mean, widely adopted?

For what?

I'd buy a palm IF (3, Insightful)

slashdot_punk (813387) | about 10 years ago | (#10560104)

...it had the features of the $300 model and cost $75.

I just don't feel like buying an old model or paying $300.

I'd rather buy a remanufactured laptop for $300.

Too bad... (3, Informative)

Colonel Panic (15235) | about 10 years ago | (#10560107)

The Zaurus (I've got a 5500) is a cool little device. Stick a CF wifi card in it and you can check your email and surf the web when you're out on the road. It's a lot easier to pack a Zaurus than it is to pack a laptop. Most of the time the Zaurus is just fine for this purpose.

PDA's are old technology (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560111)


why bother with a big clunky PDA when i can now get the same functionality in my cellphone [sonyericsson.com] ?

the PDA has now been surpassed,the clever manufacturers discovered that there is no real need for it anymore, need something bigger than a cellphone, then a tablet PC should fit the bill

iam sorry to see PDA's go but thats progress for you

I've owned 3 and they aren't all they are hyped 2B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560114)

I've owned 3 PDAs thus far, 2 Pocket PCs and 1 Palm. They always tempt me by the idea but I get them and never ever use them.
I think the ultimately the phone and Smartphones are where the real market lies (not something as large as Pocket PC/Treo phones either)

Old news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560122)

Somehow this doesn't sound like news to me. In fact, I remember reading about Sharp pulling out of the U.S. PDA market a while back on Slashdot.

Re:Old news? (1)

erick99 (743982) | about 10 years ago | (#10560188)

I remember that as well though I couldn't find a reference via Google or CNN or Google News. It is interesting, though, that Sharp just made an announcement this past Friday about a PDA with a 4GB hard drive:

Today, Sharp is leapfrogging the competition again by announcing a Zaurus model with a built-in hard drive, something no Palm or Pocket PC offers yet.

The SL-C3000 will have a 1-inch hard drive that can hold 4 GB of data. It will also have 64 MB of RAM and 16 MB of Flash ROM.

Trend (3, Insightful)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | about 10 years ago | (#10560123)

It seem to be a trend... Japan get all the cool toys while US (and Canada) markets show 'not enough demand'.... don't we like cool toys? Seen it happen with PDAs, Minidisc players (only some models are sold here, the coolest ones are Japan only), Cellphones...

Re:Trend (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 10 years ago | (#10560202)

No, it's just that America has no middle class anymore. The poor can't afford this stuff and there aren't enough rich.

Re:Trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560393)

Can I play, too?

Let's redefine it like this: anyone who makes less than US$10,000,000 per year is poor (after all, they can't afford 5 muliti-million dollar mansions like John Francois Heinz-Kerry -- so they *must* be poor).

Now that I've changed the definition, I can say things like you. SEE! SEE! The middle class is gone! Only my interpretation is *worse* than yours -- the middle class is gone and almost all of the rich are gone, too! The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

Now let's come back to reality. The "poor" in America have microwave ovens, a car or two in the driveway, and plenty of spare time to watch television. So please take your class warfare mongering and go home (i.e., back to socialist europe). Thanks!

-1. Living on another planet (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560397)

No, it's just that America has no middle class anymore. The poor can't afford this stuff and there aren't enough rich.


Which is of course, why SUV sales are at an all time high, and people are moving into $300,000 homes in suburbia in high quantities.

Re:-1. Living on another planet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560488)

$300K?!? around here (So. Cal.) that's a 1 bed fixer-upper shack. :-(

Re:Trend (1)

notthe9 (800486) | about 10 years ago | (#10560452)

Absolutley, Japan clearly has many more rich people...

Re:Trend (1)

Gogo Dodo (129808) | about 10 years ago | (#10560347)

This isn't a new trend. It's been going on for years. Japan is way ahead of the US in terms of the latest gadgets. However, if you want one, some companies will sell it to you [dynamism.com] .

Re:Trend (4, Insightful)

rho (6063) | about 10 years ago | (#10560360)

Eh? Cool toys?

Japan has "cool toys" because real estate is prohibitively expensive in Japan. Nobody ever saves for a $250,000 McMansion in Japan because there's no place to build it. So they live in 600 feet square apartments and have lots of "cool toys". Our toys are a new Rototiller and a John Deere lawn mower. I have no idea which is "cooler".

As for me--this is just me, of course--I'd rather own my house than have a Sharp PDA for no other compelling reason other than it runs Linux. Go Japan! That's how you become a world power!

Re:Trend (2, Interesting)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 10 years ago | (#10560494)

Japan get all the cool toys while US (and Canada) markets show 'not enough demand'

Hm, well when I tell you the truth I get modded down as Troll or Flamebait again (See my recent moderations).

USA is on the decline. You have what, 290 million inhabitants? Japan has 120 million. The "avaraqge" american is poor. The avarage Japaneese is rich, even richer than an avarage european.

Most /. ers do not buy cool stuff. How often do I see posts like: Macs are overpriced, and can get the parts and build my own PC for much less with more performance ...

Well, I find a Mac more geeky ... and the average japaneese guy finds having gadgets more geeky than an average american or european. And everybody has the money (or thinks to have it) to afford them, unlike here.

Most stuff is tailored for teh japaneese market and then adapted for USA or europe ... that makes them even more expensive and unaffordable.

OTOH, the opposite is happening as well, how often did I try to mail order something in teh US which was not available here for an obscure reason. Guess what: they did not even mail it to me!! To much hassle with customs and export laws.

angel'o'sphere

Definitely a saturated market (4, Insightful)

happyemoticon (543015) | about 10 years ago | (#10560132)

To date, I only have known two people who own PDAs - my boss and one of my friends. I don't even see many people at my unversity who own them - but I know a bundle who are married to their laptops. If they can't sell a gadget to college students, good luck selling it to anyone at all. My money is on pda/cellphone combos and blackberries.

Re:Definitely a saturated market (1)

DoorFrame (22108) | about 10 years ago | (#10560342)

I have one. I have had one since I was in college a few years ago and found it impossible to keep track of scheduling without one. I find them quite handy.

phone integration (2, Interesting)

asv108 (141455) | about 10 years ago | (#10560134)

Any more, most of the PDA's I see people carrying are also cell phones. I see a lot of people carrying Blackberries, Treos, and PocketPCs with phone capability. What is the advantage of carrying two different devices? From what I can tell the sharp line offered no phone capabilities and the wifi option drained way too much power to make it practical.

Why some people need a separate PDA and phone (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 years ago | (#10560326)

What is the advantage of carrying two different devices?

Some people have poor vision and thus need a PDA with a large screen. Some people have small hands and thus need a small mobile phone. One physically can't put a big screen in a small phone. Of course, it'd be possible to put two screens on a PDA, but Nintendo probably has the patent on dual-head PDAs.

Re:phone integration (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 years ago | (#10560462)

that the pda does the pda functionality better.

no other reason really... i know a guy who uses a bluetooth phone and a zaurus with bluetooth sd-card. nice for web on the go, does it much better than the series60 phone he has.

I'm still just using my phone for the on-the-go stuff(I got a tungsten t here now that i could use but haven't bothered yet to configure it properly enough to make sense to carry around).

Re:phone integration (1)

notthe9 (800486) | about 10 years ago | (#10560501)

I carry both a PDA (RIP Toshiba) and a cell phone, adn perfer it that way. I just don't like the combo models. They seem to suffer both as phones and as PDA's. I use mine to read articles, occasionally surf the net wirelessly for free, play the occasional game, and constantly as an mp3 player. I would feel like an idiot walking around with a PDA up against my face like I've seen so many, and I don't know that I have ever seen a phone with the kind of functionality and design my PDA has. I think Toshiba had a real knack for designing the things. I kind of like the idea that Palm had going with a good PDA with phone capabilities only through headset, and the Tungsten is well designed, but I would not want to be caught without the headset, and I don't really like PalmOS (though I haven't given it much thought since my Palm III.)

So I defately am sticking with two devices for the time being.

No! (1)

Jacer (574383) | about 10 years ago | (#10560145)

I was really looking forward to purchasing the new model with embedded hard drive! Does anyone know if an import is possible, and if it is, will there be an OpenZaurus build that fully supports it?

Re:No! Easy there, it'll be alright (1)

Scud (1607) | about 10 years ago | (#10560317)

I'm sure that Dynamism won't let you down.

As far as Sharp pulling out of the western hemisphere, all I see that is news here is that they've bothered to announce it. Sharp made a half-hearted stab at resurrecting their US site and then dumped it.

Nothing has changed, and this "news" won't impact the community whatsoever.

BTW, pdaXrom rocks!

You know... sometimes a pocket sized pad of paper (3, Insightful)

slashdot_punk (813387) | about 10 years ago | (#10560161)

...works better.

No batteries. Inexpensive. High resolution. Withstands 6 foot drops and coffee spills. Easy to see. Integrated stylus drawing surface. No messing around with handwriting recognition that only works 90% of the time. No pokey built in keyboard. No need for an external keyboard. Tabable pages. Can use any stylus: ball point, gel, or graphite.

Paper pad cost: 75 cents
PDA cost: $50 to $400 plus $2.25 for batteries.

Re:You know... sometimes a pocket sized pad of pap (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 10 years ago | (#10560215)

Shhh! If this gets out it will ruin the market!

Re:You know... sometimes a pocket sized pad of pap (3, Insightful)

bluGill (862) | about 10 years ago | (#10560302)

For you maybe. I cannot read my own handwriting 80% of the time. If electronics could get close that would help. And since I can see instantly that it gets it wrong I could correct the mistake then when I still knew what I meant to write. Course I don't trust hand writing recognition to understand my scratching.

I tried a paper organizer once, ended up knowing that something once started between 9:00 and 10:30. Maybe, unless I crossed it out, hard to tell. I wasn't even sure where, 1.5 hours is a long time to spend wondering the halls, examining each conference room to see if someone realized I was wondering if this was the right one, knew I should be there, and told me to join.

Eventually my school tested me. They found that at best I can write like a second grader. That is at best. Don't tell me to practice, that is about as useful as telling someone in a wheelchair to walk. I physically cannot do better.

Re:You know... sometimes a pocket sized pad of pap (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | about 10 years ago | (#10560427)

The best part is people don't bother to steal it and you don't worry about babysitting it. One less thing to stress over.

Another linux pda in the works (2, Interesting)

I_am_Rambi (536614) | about 10 years ago | (#10560172)

I heard a few weeks ago that this was going to happen, just could find any information about the discontinuation of the line. From my sources, I have been told that there is another linux pda from another company on the way. I do not remember what the company is off hand, but another is coming.

Persoanl rant

I wish sharp would do this, but o well. I love my zaurus, Just wish there was some linux software for syncing....

This is a good thing. (2, Interesting)

Dwedit (232252) | about 10 years ago | (#10560185)

The Zaurus is a really really bad pda. Especially if you want to develop for it and you don't run linux on your desktop computer, I would think at least someone would have built some .exe file you can get for free and start cranking out software, but nobody has even bothered with that! Even the TI-83 calculator has development tools available for windows.

It has extremely crappy arrow keys, totally unsuited for any type of games, as well as a cramped keyboard that likes to press neighboring keys. The battery life is terrible, and the battery dies completely if the unit is suspended and kept away from a power source for an extended amount of time.

It has a tiny amount of software available for it. Half of the programs for it either fail if you don't use openzaurus, the other half fail if you do.

It's only useful for playing Day of the Tentacle. That's it.

Re:This is a good thing. (3, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | about 10 years ago | (#10560260)

Developing under cygwin for the zaurus is doable. On-device development is definitely better than ANY other handheld. More importantly, good programs have already been ported from the desktop & it is somewhat easy to do this.

It is the best handheld-computer out there.

I agree that it is a bad PDA. Not really really bad (there are great apps & the keyboard is a huge plus for data entry). The mark of a good PDA is excellent PIM software that syncs (Palm wins, but you can install good PIM software on the Zaurus & sync is great...under linux & passable under other OSs). Outstanding battery-life is a HUGE plus. To be short: if you want a PDA, get a grey-scale Palm. If you want a good toy to hack with, get a Zaurus.

Re:This is a good thing. (1)

Scud (1607) | about 10 years ago | (#10560463)

The Zaurus is a really really bad pda. Especially if you want to develop for it and you don't run linux on your desktop computer

And the mark of a good PDA is that you can develop software for it on Windows??? Are you kidding?

You do realize that we are talking about a linux PDA here don't you?

As for your other rants, I think just the 5000/5500 has the memory loss problem (which if you run OZ isn't a problem I hear).

My battery life and keyboard are just fine, but I have an 860. I used to have a 5500, and I would sorta agree with you on some of your points. But at the time it was outstanding.

What about the clamshells or the 6000? What's wrong with them?

As for software, there seems to be a bunch over at http://www.killefiz.de/zaurus/ some of it is unsupported, but much of it has seen at least one update this year. Not to mention all of the activity over at ZUG (http://www.zaurususergroup.com)

ack, free market fails me again (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560187)

Too bad, the Zaurus was a great development platform, for stuff like inventory tracking, or mobile "cash registers" with bar code reader and credit card swiper, and stuff like that. Expensive, yes, but very flexible due to the rich and creamy Linux+Java center.

I hope it is still possible to import them with english OS.

Definitely a niche product but not sure what to replace it with that isn't mostly closed-source.

If only Apple made an OS X tablet or handheld. :-(

whats the advantage ? (3, Informative)

vluther (5638) | about 10 years ago | (#10560191)

Whats the advantage of the SL 5 series over an ipaq ?

I used to have the SL5000D, it was a cool gadget, but even syncing with Linux/Evolution was a chore/pain.. and was actually done by someone else, there was no support from Sharp directly.

Secondly, the cost/market for a PDA that costs $500 is very little. How many top of the line ipaqs etc are bought ? I've seen a steady decline of models even from Compaq/HP along with Toshiba/Samsung.. maybe the smartphone market is to blame as well ?

I have an AT&T MpX200 this is an awesome phone, which syncs with an exchange server.. period. No tweaking, nothing. MS Smartphone 2003 (I upgraded, I know the default is 2002), is a great OS for a phone.

MS PocketPC Phone Edition on the other hand, sucks. I tested the HP iPAQ 6315 when it was pre-released to T-Mobile customers, for $499 the phone wouldn't even turn off when I pressed the off button. And, I had to do a hard reset on the phone 3 times in 2 days.. Needless to say, the phone was returned immediately.

The operating system alone is not a driving factor for a device to sell, QA and easy to use features are. The Zaurus 5000 was cool, but it was hard to sync, the iPAQ Phone sucks, but has really cool features.. too bad they don't work.

I'm waiting on the Motorola Linux Phones to be released in the US so I can compare them.

But, an OS alone does not sell a device.. most users do not, and should not care what OS the device is, and should not be used to advertise in marketing a brand new device. Wether the OS is free or not should also never be a factor in pricing the product.

just my HO.

Related question for blackberry developers (0, Offtopic)

pavon (30274) | about 10 years ago | (#10560205)

Now that Qutopia is likely out of the market, and RIM is now attempting to compete directly with the other PDA developers, we are left with PalmOS, PocketPC, and the blackberry OS as the main PDA operating environments. Which leads me to ask:

What is development like on the blackberry, compared to PalmOS? How nice are the APIs and documentation. How open are they in terms of licencing of the OS and viewing code to base applications? What choices of development environments are there? Is there as vibrant of a developer community surrounding it as with the other platforms. I know some of these questions could be answered by RTFWWW, but it would be nice to hear about experiences that developers have had with the platform.

Same mfg for PCs and PDAs????? (1)

winkydink (650484) | about 10 years ago | (#10560214)

...and primarily in the corporate market customers prefer to buy from the same suppliers as for their corporate hardware."

That would explain why I see so many IBM PDAs in the corporate world.

Not.

Sharp never really tried in the US anyway (3, Interesting)

wobedraggled (549225) | about 10 years ago | (#10560220)

I had a Zaurus when they first came out over here (5000d) and it was a great little gadget with great potential, but Sharp hardly pushed it over here at all, and never brought over the much nicer and sleeker Clamshell design. You get what you pay for, and you sell what you push. Bye bye Sharp at least one us will miss you.

US 1, Japan 0? (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 10 years ago | (#10560225)

Does this mean that (American) Dell and HP have beaten Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba (Japanese) in selling tiny consumer electronics devices in the US? That market 0wn3rship is being fought out by viciously innovating American competitors? Where are the "American Engineering Extinction" pundits while the new paradigm firmly assumes an American twang?

Re:US 1, Japan 0? (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 10 years ago | (#10560242)

No, it means that we're just getting really good at importing electronics from China and marketing them. More to the point, China is getting pretty good at making them.

Re:US 1, Japan 0? (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 10 years ago | (#10560329)

So is this a replay of the 1970s, where American TV makers outsourced their inventing and manufacturing to rebranded Japanese companies, which then cut out the expense-adding American corporate layer and 0wn3ed the market, through today? Beating away the German (and British, French, etc) competitors? Like cameras before them, and cars after that.

Re:US 1, Japan 0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560337)

Is anyone buying Dell or HP handheld computers either? Might be US 0, Japan 0.

Re:US 1, Japan 0? (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 10 years ago | (#10560366)

Well, we certainly seem to be buying PalmOne and RIM PDA/smartphones.

Re:US 1, Japan 0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560467)

Yeah, I'm really enjoying my real American electronics that are made in India, designed and packaged in Europe, and marketed in the US!

Living the American dream!

Re:US 1, Japan 0? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 10 years ago | (#10560502)

But the corporation that's keeping the profits is American. After they've paid their taxes, the shareholders can buy other American products. That's keeping all the American workers employed.

PDA Needs (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560228)

I saw the zaurus and I must admit that I was impressed. Unfortunately the price tag wasn't something I could afford. Anyone know a decent low-cost PDA with built-in keyboard, adequate speed/memory/storage, runs linux and can go wireless? Preferrably something that would sync up with kmail or evolution or something like that, too.

I'm in the demographic that can't quite justify an expensive PDA but if there's a relatively cheap one that has all the "geeky" linux capabilities, I'd probably get one.

Re:PDA Needs (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 years ago | (#10560355)

*Anyone know a decent low-cost PDA with built-in keyboard, adequate speed/memory/storage, runs linux and can go wireless? Preferrably something that would sync up with kmail or evolution or something like that, too.*

used zaurus(can go wireless, built in keyboard..).. there isn't that much choice with those requirements.

Re:PDA Needs (1)

voop (33465) | about 10 years ago | (#10560492)


Anyone know a decent low-cost PDA with built-in keyboard, adequate speed/memory/storage, runs linux and can go wireless? Preferrably something that would sync up with kmail or evolution or something like that, too.


I was looking for that too, after having used a Psion series 5x for a long time. The Psion did all I needed, but no wifi, no bluetooth and no usb. So I looked....

Sony went ahead and released the Clie UX50, which had the gadget-factor, features and size -- but what I thought was a horrible keyboard. Still, with no other alternatives in my neck of the woods, I sprang for one almost right when they came out.

It's expensive, and the keyboard is not optimal, but it's much less bad than I've thought. And I swear by that PDA. I've gotten a quite good type-speed on the keyboard with exercise ;)

I am in a job where I travel a lot. I usually bring a laptop to be able to get real work done while in transit or in the hotelroom -- but it is nice to just grab the stuff I need onto my PDA when I head off to meetings etc. and still be able to check email (over whatever is available: wifi or a cell-phone) while out.

Incidentially, the Clie also replaces the mp3-player and the portable DVD-player which I used to drag along while flying somewhere.

When my Sony burns out, I'll spring for another one in the same price-range. The usability/price-factor is quite high for me. It replaces several devices, and the price for the PDA is lower than the price for those devices combined.

I hope that someone will make a PDA/Smartphone in the same format as the Clie. That is: a Clie UX50 with build in GSM/CDMA capability. Bluetooth headset, of course. That'd be cool -- I could dump my cellphone.

I'm waiting, SonyEricsson....;)

The current generation of smartphones do not have (at least not what I have found) WiFi -- which is paramount to me, and the reason why for the moment, smartphones aren't for me.

I want to integrate a (-1, Troll)

haX0rsaw (687063) | about 10 years ago | (#10560229)

anal pleasuring device (tm). This way, I will have at least some use for one of these devices!

The Usefullness of PDAs (1, Insightful)

nukem996 (624036) | about 10 years ago | (#10560235)

I have had a PDA since 6th grade, the Palm m100. I now have the Palm Tungsten T2. I keep everything in it. My entire schedual and everything I have to do is on it, I sometimes take some quick notes, I have a dictionary and a few games to pass the time. I would be really disorganized without it. I too am a big Linux advocate, all I use is Linux. I would of gotten the Zaurus if it wasnt so exspensive and I do think it should be a bit cheaper. The thing I really like about it is all the features it has, and how many Linux programs (gaim xine etc) have been ported to Zaurus. Its too bad Sharp didnt push it more, next PDA I was thinking of getting it.

Re:The Usefullness of PDAs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560458)

Heh.

I had a Commodore 64 when I was in the 6th grade. It wasn't quite as portable, but I think it was more useful than most of the PDAs I've used ;)

Re:The Usefullness of PDAs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560498)

I would of gotten the Zaurus...

Your friendly neighbourhood Grammar Nazi here to say that you really meant "would have".

When spoken, the contraction "would've" sounds like "would of", but it isn't. :)

(I leave it to others to debate the use of "gotten" rather than "got". I accept both now)

Re:The Usefullness of PDAs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560511)

Maybe you should pay more attention in your classes instead of playing games on your Palm?

what they really need and havent been making.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10560274)

is the ultra usefull device for the 21st century. And my that I mean a universal remote control function and an IR bulb bright enough to work accross a room. Integration (as a remote) with a household pc system would be nice also. Also nice- decent built in memory so it can work as an MP3 player. standard batteries would be nice too. And those cell phone palm like thingies- is there a reason why it costs 500$ with activation? Couldnt they get it down to like a 200$ option????? As it is paying 500 for a PPC (or whatever the linux version is called) is tough to justify considering I can get a new laptop for under 700 with a huge 15 display and a 60 gig hard drive. Now if the Zaurus had a decent hard drive, and a bigger screen and was more of a swiss army knife... then it might be more likely to pique my interest. Personally, I really liked my Sharp Tripad from several years back, NYTImes just did a piece about an OQO in their tech section, looks like its close to what I want, although the price is still crazy..

PDAs don't fill much of a real need (1)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | about 10 years ago | (#10560276)

People don't seem to be willing to pay a premium for gadgets and alternative systems, and primarily in the corporate market customers prefer to buy from the same suppliers as for their corporate hardware.

How is this news? Consumers always choose the path of least resistance. It's basic economics.

I got an IPAQ and I like it. (1)

mekanizer (823259) | about 10 years ago | (#10560284)

But everytime I show it to someone, the first question I got is : "How much did you pay this thing?". And anything over 100$ they are like "bah... gadgets, don't need those...". But still, they look amazed when I show them I can browse the web "freely" with it.

Sharp gets it wrong AGAIN. (1)

RonVNX (55322) | about 10 years ago | (#10560403)

The problem isn't the price. The problem is the lack of RAM that belongs in a device like the Zaurus. Lots of us want to buy one, but we're waiting for these guys to get it right. DUH.

It's only overpriced because it's underequipped. Add more RAM, and the price won't matter.

There's Blood in the Water (1)

CyNRG (176230) | about 10 years ago | (#10560428)

The Great White shark of cool stuff is really quiet about this market. Is it possible that Sharp, Et Al, have realized that Steve simply isn't going to let the market exist that Apple created with the Newton, and have zero market share of it now.

It is only logical, from my weird view, that Apple has learned how to give good value for the money you spend on gadgets. Case in point: iPod. Expensive and totally worth it. If the average consumer sees real value for their money, then they find the money to spend. It simply has to work AND be very cool.

The iPod has 92% of the hard drive based handheld music player market, and 65% of the over all handheld music player market.

One small step for Apple, one giant leap for PDAs?

Pure speculation on my part.

Watch out Palm.

Scouring eBay (1)

mchappee (22897) | about 10 years ago | (#10560471)

I've been dying to get one of these ever since my Ipaq was stolen. Keeping track of meetings and tasks on Post-Its is no way to go through life. I've been hitting eBay regularly but just can't get an auction to close at the right price. Maybe people will be less likely to bid now that Sharp is pulling out. BTW, if you're selling, I'm buying (maybe).

Matthew
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