OESF | ELSI | pdaXrom | OpenZaurus | Zaurus Themes | Community Links | Ibiblio

IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

2 Pages V   1 2 >  
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Which Zaurus?, Zaurus on film-sets: which is best?
Daryl Watson
post May 28 2006, 09:18 PM
Post #1





Group: Members
Posts: 14
Joined: 28-May 06
Member No.: 9,995



I have a very naive query:

I've been working on film-sets, often outdoors, where my job involves taking down notes on the shots filmed and varous takes etc. to be used by the editors. I'm on the move constantly, and use the small moments of time between set-ups to type the notes.

To solve the mobility problem (and legibility due to poor handwriting), I've been entering the data using a Psion series 5mx, with has served me well. It has:
- good battery life,
- screen visibility in daylight and night
- easy to use qwerty keyboard
- portablity (carried in a case work on the hip)
- no boot-up time once running
- hardy enough to withstand the dusty conditions of the Australian outdoors.

The screen however has faded and is causing eye-strain. A second problem is that I switched to a Mac powerPC G4 (running OS X 10.4.3), and the process of converting the psion files to excel is not as simple as it was on my pc (not that it was really that simple). I need to copy the files, convert them (where I lose the file formatting) then reformat the files. At the end of a long day the last thing you need is a drawn out process to get your files printed and finally wrap up.

I need to update to a newer handheld computer that has the same or similar attributes, but additionally, is simpler to use with the mac. Ideally if I could plug it in, open the file so that it appears on the Zaurus as it does on the Mac, and print it to .pdf that would be perfect.

The Zaurus series looks great, and if it has similar usability plus a few extras I'd be happy to pay the extra money.

I'm considering either the 860 or the 3200 models.

Could anyone tell me whether these models share the attributes described?
And whether these models go the extra distance - and would be able to simplify the problem of printing my documents through my mac at the end of the day (to both .pdf and my paper printer). Are there other benefits also?

Thanks alot for any advice on this matter!

Regards,
Daryl
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
adf
post May 29 2006, 12:10 AM
Post #2





Group: Members
Posts: 2,821
Joined: 13-September 04
From: Wasilla Ak.
Member No.: 4,572



6000 is a "brick" has best visibility in daylight, slightly larger screen.
3200 is a clamshell has a usb port
860 is the basic clamshell..very nice, no usb
I think somone got printing going from pdaxrom. look for stuff on cups (common unix printing system) on zaurus.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Daryl Watson
post May 29 2006, 12:23 AM
Post #3





Group: Members
Posts: 14
Joined: 28-May 06
Member No.: 9,995



thanks, I'm finding out a bit more scouring the web as well.

the usb support on the 3200 would be great, esp for dumping and tagging digital photographs from my camera, and reviewing them on the larger screen, as well as plugging directly into the mac.

also does anyone have a hancom sheet file they could send me? or a file from a similar spread-sheet program that can run on a zaurus? if i have an example i can try to open it on the mac and see how far I get - or is this just a crazy approach?

btw - i'm a total newbie to linux, so i might be missing some basic concepts (like i won't be able to open these files under mac osx)!




QUOTE(adf @ May 29 2006, 05:40 PM)
6000 is a "brick" has best visibility in daylight, slightly larger screen.
3200 is a clamshell has a usb port
860 is the basic clamshell..very nice, no usb
  I think somone got printing going from pdaxrom. look for stuff on cups (common unix printing system) on zaurus.
*
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DaemonsGR
post May 29 2006, 05:46 AM
Post #4





Group: Members
Posts: 237
Joined: 28-December 05
Member No.: 8,801



You sould also know that you can run OpenOffice on Zaurus.
btw I think for you 3200 is the best choice...

Tasos
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ferret-Simpson
post May 29 2006, 07:29 AM
Post #5





Group: Members
Posts: 573
Joined: 8-June 05
Member No.: 7,295



I'm also poking you towards 3200. For anything dealing with Cameras, the 6gb Hard disk will be a blessing, and the USB host support will enable you to plug in an External Hard disk, too.
Ferret.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
scheck.r
post May 29 2006, 09:34 AM
Post #6





Group: Members
Posts: 320
Joined: 5-December 04
From: Paris, France
Member No.: 5,776



QUOTE
also does anyone have a hancom sheet file they could send me? or a file from a similar spread-sheet program that can run on a zaurus? if i have an example i can try to open it on the mac and see how far I get - or is this just a crazy approach?

btw - i'm a total newbie to linux, so i might be missing some basic concepts (like i won't be able to open these files under mac osx)!
Gnumeric is a spreadsheet application running on zaurus.
This software is free and is available for Linux and Windows(and also Mac OSX apparently see http://gnumeric.darwinports.com/), it can save files in Excel and openoffice format too. So I think you can expect Mac to open gnumeric files if they are saved the "right" way.
QUOTE
the usb support on the 3200 would be great, esp for dumping and tagging digital photographs from my camera, and reviewing them on the larger screen, as well as plugging directly into the mac.
On zaurus you can install gthumb and gphoto2, that way you can just plug in your digital camera in the USB port of the Z and you can then view directly your pictures on the Z without uploading them. See http://www.oesf.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=17161&st=15

I have read that the Z's keyboard is very good but not as good as on the Psion.

Development and support is better on the newer devices e.g C3200.

I think PDF printing is not yet as easy as on Desktop, see http://www.oesf.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=19136&st=30

Note that all I am talking about is refering to PdaXrom and not the default SharpROM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
desertrat
post May 29 2006, 09:41 AM
Post #7





Group: Members
Posts: 742
Joined: 15-October 05
From: Gulag, Siberia
Member No.: 8,322



QUOTE(Daryl Watson @ May 29 2006, 05:18 AM)
To solve the mobility problem (and legibility due to poor handwriting), I've been entering the data using a Psion series 5mx, with has served me well. It has:

Damn good machines those Psions, sadly mine suffered from the same fate as yours - the display kind of faded away (all of a sudden, not gradually). IMO you're not going to be able to find anything as stable and as useable as the Psion. But a Zaurus comes close smile.gif

QUOTE
- good battery life,

I don't think there's anything in the market that'll match the Psion's battery life. My C3100 gives me about 7-8 hours (if I don't use any peripherals - ie wireless or usb ethernet).

QUOTE
- screen visibility in daylight and night

Here, any modern device will beat the Psion hands down. The Z's display is easily visible indoors and I use the lowest brightness setting. Outdoors in strong daylight you'll probably have to crank it up to full brightness.

QUOTE
- easy to use qwerty keyboard

Again, short of a fullsize notebook, nothing matches the Psion's keyboard. However the Z's keyboard is not bad, reminds me a bit of HP calculator keys. But it's going to be thumbs operation only.

QUOTE
- portablity (carried in a case work on the hip)

The Zs are smaller and slightly lighter than the Psions so no problem there.

QUOTE
- no boot-up time once running

It depends on what you're running. Using the standard Sharp rom, you can expect practically instant on. For me, using pdaXrom, and with a fair number of apps running (kopi, kapi, firefox, sylpheed, dillo, mysql, apache etc) it takes 5-10 second.

QUOTE
- hardy enough to withstand the dusty conditions of the Australian outdoors.

No idea about that smile.gif

QUOTE
A second problem is that I switched to a Mac powerPC G4 (running OS X 10.4.3), and the process of converting the psion files to excel is not as simple as it was on my pc (not that it was really that simple). I need to copy the files, convert them (where I lose the file formatting) then reformat the files. At the end of a long day the last thing you need is a drawn out process to get your files printed and finally wrap up.

For spreadsheets you can run Gnumeric on the Z. If Gnumeric runs on OSX then you're all set, there's no need to fiddle with file conversion etc (that's the beauty of the Z, you can run exactly the same apps as you do on your desktop - if you're using a Linux desktop that is smile.gif). Otherwise Gnumeric saves in a fair number of file formats so there should be one that you can use on the Mac. For wordprocessing you can use Abiword and the suituation is very similar.

QUOTE
I need to update to a newer handheld computer that has the same or similar attributes, but additionally, is simpler to use with the mac. Ideally if I could plug it in, open the file so that it appears on the Zaurus as it does on the Mac, and print it to .pdf that would be perfect.

You can "print to pdf" directly on the Z itself smile.gif
http://www.oesf.org/forums/index.php?showt...ndpost&p=126760

Or you can print via the network.

QUOTE
Are there other benefits also?

The main benefit for me is that I essentially have a computer that can run full desktop applications and that it fits in my pocket.

-- cheers
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
iamasmith
post May 29 2006, 10:51 AM
Post #8





Group: Members
Posts: 1,248
Joined: 6-July 04
Member No.: 3,928



Personally, I would say that if your camera supports the kind of menu driven uploading to USB on the go type devices that mine does (Canon IXUS 750) I would say that an iPod is a simpler storage medium with higher capacity, just spend a few more $$$ on the USB converter that lets you plug in the Camera.

If you choose to go this route then the document issue (spreadsheet etc.) is possibly best handled with a combination of OpenOffice on a Zaurus and NeoOffice on the Mac if you don't want to buy MS Office. NeoOffice is based upon OpenOffice but is Coacoa based and free.

-Andy
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Daryl Watson
post May 29 2006, 03:07 PM
Post #9





Group: Members
Posts: 14
Joined: 28-May 06
Member No.: 9,995



Wow, thanks everyone for the great advice.

So I'm leaning closer to the 3200, and see that I have several options to solve my needs,
but when compared to other models the psion still stacks up remarkably well!

I have a couple of other concerns about the 3200.

One attribute I forgot to add is that the psion never crashes (maybe once in all the time I used it) and I've never lost data on the machine.

I've been looking at the forums, and maybe it's because people generally post with a problem, but it appears as though zaurus is a machine prone to all kinds of hiccups!

Is the Zaurus reliable? Does it crash often? Has anyone suddenly lost data on these machines due to mulfunction? (I don't see myself altering the set-up too much once I have it working).

Secondly, when I used the psion I had to open and close the case frequently, this stressed the ribbon, but I had little choice. So when I came across a site that suggested opening the zaurus 3200 very carefully, it made me wonder: how fragile is the neck of this model? Do you think it can withstand being open and closed frequently? Is it strong or is it prone to breakage?

Thanks for the input!

Regards,
Daryl
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
adf
post May 29 2006, 03:18 PM
Post #10





Group: Members
Posts: 2,821
Joined: 13-September 04
From: Wasilla Ak.
Member No.: 4,572



re reliability: The general run of posters on this forum seem to be people who like to play with their Zaurii (?). I'd take the posts with a grain of salt. On the ohter hand some systems, like cacko and pdaxrom beta 1.1 are very stable (I'd talk about OZ stability but have't used it much lately-- I just don't have enough info). Some testing release stuff(labelled as such) tends to get.... interesting at inopportune moments.
Cacko is made for stability and backwards compatablilty
pdaXrom labels a "stable" branch (currently beta 1.1
OZ... is usuall some sort of beta so far.. but getting to be pretty good betas. Coredump smooths these out in "hentges" releases, as far as I know.

Stability will depend a lot on your choices. The hardware is good, there are good stable kernels available...

My 3100 seems strong enough at the neck. I don't snap it open like a star trek communicator, or swat bugs with it, but treated like a piece of complex electronics, it does just fine
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
nilch
post May 29 2006, 06:48 PM
Post #11





Group: Members
Posts: 668
Joined: 3-December 03
From: US
Member No.: 1,034



Coming from a end-user (and not primariliy a hacker or PDA geek), I can vouch for the stability of the Zaurus provided you are not switchhing ROM's and installing beta or bleeding edge experimental software.

I am using the C1000 and its been stable as a rock. Only once in a while (like once in 3-4 months) do I have to hard-reboot the whole thing.
I should mention that the Cacko ROM is a stable Sharp like ROM with additional features. Then there is PDAXROM, Sharp ROM, OZ ROM, Hentges ROM etc etc. So try initially to find which one best fits your needs and then stick to it.

At least whatever be the grouse against the Zaurus (like lack of software, un-polished apps,) etc, lack of stability is certainly not one of them.

As for data loss, it is not problem at all, since even in the case of an accidental hard reboot, ther is no data loss. This is because of the NAND RAM. And if you use external SD/CF cards for storage, then you are even more safe (unless the SD card crashes) - look up details on SD card compatibility and problems before you buy.
The most damage I have had on my Zaurus after 2 years of regular usage is scrapped paint on the hinge. But then again, thankfully I haven't dropped my Zaurus on hard floors or dunked them into water wink.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Daryl Watson
post May 29 2006, 07:19 PM
Post #12





Group: Members
Posts: 14
Joined: 28-May 06
Member No.: 9,995



So I guess the next question is where to buy?

I've heard excellent reports from PriceJapan, especially for their speed of shipping, but my only concern then is resetting the 3200 to english mode.

I've checked out Meanie's site that looks really helpful, but being a little bit plebian (but I can follow instructions!) maybe I should dig around and find a model converted to english, although this may be more expensive option.

Getting closer...any thoughts?

p.s. I live in Australia.

Regards,
Daryl
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Cresho
post May 29 2006, 07:56 PM
Post #13





Group: Moderators
Posts: 1,619
Joined: 29-October 03
From: Los Angeles
Member No.: 809



go to my zaurusthemes. on the news page, there is a link that restores your pda to something that can get you started. it will not disapoint since its already configured with tons of stuff. Then you can choose where you want to go. just remember that if you are going to be reflashing back and fourth, if you restore the zaurus rom without going into the nand screen, it will whipe clean your internal drive.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ferret-Simpson
post May 30 2006, 02:46 AM
Post #14





Group: Members
Posts: 573
Joined: 8-June 05
Member No.: 7,295



On an unrelated note, sorry, You might want to look at his themes too when you get the thing. I am really digging UMICONS on a 5600/SHARP. Only bug, is that like any theme, it doesn;t like my landscape. |sighs|

You'd probably be best flashing over to PDAXROM. It's a very stable system, and is better designed for use as a mini desktop, since to be fair, It's just a minature Desktop OS, as opposed to an OS customised for PDA's.

Hmmmm. . . need to see if PDAX is out for 5500. . . .
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
raduga
post May 30 2006, 07:29 AM
Post #15





Group: Members
Posts: 132
Joined: 2-March 04
Member No.: 2,125



QUOTE(Daryl Watson @ May 28 2006, 09:18 PM)
- good battery life,
- screen visibility in daylight and night
- easy to use qwerty keyboard
- portablity (carried in a case work on the hip)
- no boot-up time once running
- hardy enough to withstand the dusty conditions of the Australian outdoors.


in comparison to the 5mx, a Zaurus has -
- 2-8hr battery life ( 2hr with wifi and backlight at max, 8hr if HD is spun down, and
backlight is minimal) and needs a proprietary Li Poly battery pack

- Screen is useable (but faint) outdoors in cloudy weather, or with indirect light;
unuseable in direct sunlight. Indoors its much, much brighter and clearer
than the psion

- Keyboard is very useable, but small (5mx is the best handheld keyboard
I've ever seen - you won't find one comparable anywhere)

- Smaller, but weighs about the same

- takes some time to boot; but hardly any battery drain when just suspended
so you can just put it to sleep most of the time when not needed

- (IMO) it feels a bit chunkier, and more fragile. My 5mx seemed well-nigh
indestructable; OTOH, the 5mx case cracked, but the Zaurus' is intact.

Despite these caveats, the Zaurus is a more than worthy successor.
You'll notice the screen is *far* better, if a little smaller; overall everything works faster.
I miss the stylus, keyboard, and AA batteries (all of them unique to the Psion, afaik)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

2 Pages V   1 2 >
Reply to this topicStart new topic
2 User(s) are reading this topic (2 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 27th December 2014 - 07:52 AM