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> Some Z Questions, things are moving in the zaurus world!
post Nov 15 2007, 04:29 PM
Post #1

Group: Members
Posts: 21
Joined: 8-May 07
Member No.: 16,294

recent activity (debian porting) makes me feel like there is a lot of
life in this platform.

fyi, i am severely disabled. all typing and clicking is painful. in
fact, that is why i am going to get a z. your answers will help me to
thumb type a little while lying down.

a long time ago, before linux, i contributed to unix and multiplatform
open source software, but i am not in a position to do so now.
therefore, i am just a user, not a developer, but i am comfortable
with debian at the shell level.

i read faqs but i still have a few questions. please don't feel like
you have to answer them all. this is easier for me than multiple

1. is sound the only thing not yet working in debian?
(i'm impressed.)

2. i want debian because i run it on my desktop, but a lot of
people worked hard on pdax, angstrom, etc., so i'd like to
know what i will be missing.

3. do you think that one of the debians will be installable
via a single set of instructions (i.e. no searching around
for solutions to various issues like backlight, wm, etc.)
within a few months? remember, debugging equals typing.

4. by that time, do you think that i might be able to know
exactly which wifi cards and sd memory cards to get? i
want stable drivers that will still be supported after
future debian upgrades (because debugging equals typing
and because reselling mistakenly purchased items on ebay
is not a simple activity for me).

5. is an sd card necessary? will i need a desktop card

6. does which distro i use matter for choosing wifi and sd
cards? my router uses wpa2 personal, i think. i will get
a zaurus sl-c3200. and in the future might want a flash
hd in place of the 6gb.

7. i assume i want a flush-ish wifi card for ease of thumb
typing. and a low power one so no power cord, recharge
overnight. and that bluetooth would be slow or kludgey.

8. which debian is looking most likely to be supported in the
future or best for me? please pm me with your opinion if
you don't want me to reveal it (assuming anybody knows
yet). the reason i ask is that narrowing down the list
will reduce typing.

9. anybody know of a thumb typable equivalent to the z now or
soon? (i doubt it, to judge by this forum.)

a. do you have ideas for how to remote control desktop x
applications, such as entering into desktop browser url
bar? i can use the desktop's mouse while lying down, but
not its kb.

if any of these are in the faqs, i hope you will forgive me. i did
not find the answers. it took weeks to write this post and months to
even start. it is not a matter of being too lazy to look them up.
also, it takes me a long time to do things, so if i don't reply
immediately, it doesn't mean i don't greatly appreciate your answers.
one of you replied to my sig before via pm and it was very helpful.
and finally, i don't mean to offend anybody, such as people who like
other distros, with this post. i simply cannot afford to do much
typing on this forum, as much as i would like to participate. if the
z works, then i can participate (only) slightly more. and yes, i
believe in giving back.


p.s. most likely uses are:

1. running emacs (which is a very nice operating system smile.gif)
2. pim, if emacs pims don't suffice
3. reading pdfs, because they are unreadable on the desktop
(enlarging them to make them readable makes them too big)
(ideally having desktop iceweasel open them on the z)
4. remotely controlling the desktop, such as entering text in
the url bar in desktop iceweasel.
5. displaying .pnm scans (feh)
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post Nov 15 2007, 07:30 PM
Post #2

Group: Members
Posts: 2,350
Joined: 30-July 06
Member No.: 10,575

1. My impression is that most stuff works with Debian, at a similar or slightly better level than pdaXrom, but with a different set of quirks. I haven't really used it, so somebody pleas correct me if I'm wrong.

2. pdaXrom especially (Angstrom covers many devices) is specialized for the Z, so you're more likely to be heard if a major change needs to be done. My impression is that people can't or aren't really changing Debian on the Z ATM (see #1 for disclaimer), just doing small fixes.

3. It sounds like there's a motion going on where you can just flash a kernel and untar a Debian rootfs to your microdrive and be on your way, with most of the basic tweaking done for you. (see #1 again)

4. SD cards generally work AFAIK, especially if you stay at or under 1 GB. For wireless CF, I know the Ambicom WL1100C works well, supports WPA, etc. on most distros/ROMs.

5. I believe an SD reader is necessary to install Debian ATM, but wuth the #3 thing, it may not be. Either SD or CF will be necessary, though, and having a reader helps a lot.

6. Like I said, the WL1100C seems to work with all distros/ROMs easily and supports WPA. I think there are one or two other cards that are in a similar boat.

7. Wifi cards all stick out soume, my Ambicom about 3/4 of an inch. I've heard it's among the smallest cards, and the power draw doesn't seem to be too bad. No clue about bluetooth, but there are flush bluetooth cards (socket cards, to name one).

8. I'm not really sure what you're asking. Do you mean which ROM will be supported best? I'd say Debian or pdaXrom, not Angstrom from a post hrw {?} made recently concerning Angstrom devs likely moving away from the Z, IIRC.

9. The new Nokia N810 is close, but it's OS choices are limited, and I've heard it's keyboard is lousy. The next iteration may be better. It also has more RAM, FWIW.

a. You can use VNC or SSH with X11 forwarding, or VNC over SSH. I personally like SSH, as it is easy to set up (little typing IIRC) and is secure. You also avoid the overhead of VNC.


1. Works on pdaXrom (no idea how well), no idea for Debian, but I assume it works fine.

2. I believe pdaX users like Kopi and Kapi. Debian should have anything you want.

3. There are PDF viewers. They can be slow, however.

4. Easily done with SSH or VNC.

5. Feh works very well in pdaX, no idea on Debian, but I assume it's fine.

Hope that helps. If you want links, I can grab some for you and save you some time (quite a bit of time from the sounds of it).
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post Nov 25 2007, 06:26 PM
Post #3

Group: Members
Posts: 283
Joined: 1-October 07
From: Blacksburg, SC, USA
Member No.: 20,773

Been running Debian EABI for a bit now on a C1K. Everything works, including sound. Its very cool, speeds on par with PdaXrom ... about as hard to configure as pdaxrom too. Quirks aplenty (like debian on an unsupported laptop ).
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