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> Form Factor - Handheld Pc, Or Zaurus-style?
kahm
post Dec 1 2006, 09:12 AM
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QUOTE(Ragnorok @ Dec 1 2006, 08:52 AM)
- I agree Hiro's keyboard is thumb-typable, and that can be an advantage in certain situation, like on public transportation.  Living the hinterlands of the USofA, there is no public transportation here, so I basically never use Hiro for thumb typing.


Well, I do use the Z as my PDA, so for the majority of the time its a "whip it out, make a note or contact, etc" sort of thing for me.

QUOTE
- Not saying you're wrong, or I'm right.  Just pointing out differences.  A keyboard I can actually type on is significantly more desireable for me, and significantly less desirable for you.  This whole deal will be a series of compromises.
*


There is always going to be usability differences. Since you're a "set it down and tupe on it" sort, ave you ever consided a "Tiny Laptop" instead of a PDA? I pocket my Z, but for sitting down and doing stuff I usually use my Libretto - which I can touch type on. It's about 8 inches wide and ~980g vs 4 3/4 inches and 300g for the Z. THis "pocket penguin" is likely to be noticably heavier than the Z and somewhat larger (Extra features needing a bigger battery and larger keyboard needing a larger size).

The only downside to the Libretto is cost - I got mine open box at a steep discount, which made it a little easier to swallow. Something a little better might be one of the new Kohjinsha laptops - same size and weight as the Libretto, 7" 800x480 screen, fanless operation and good battery. It's like an 8", X86 Zaurus (The screen even rotates into tablet mode - no touchscreen though.) Costs ~ $820US.
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Da_Blitz
post Dec 1 2006, 10:28 PM
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i find if my hands are cold it gets hard to push the buttons on a cx000, i think i would prefer rubberized buttons personally but i have no problem thumb typing on the cx000 keyboard
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Ragnorok
post Dec 6 2006, 05:33 PM
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- I do often set Hiro down, but not always. Now, for instance, I'm sick in bed, and using the keyboard like a thumb board. I'm holding the unit with my left hand and typing with my left thumb and right middle finger, with the stylus between my first and second fingers ready for tapping. I can easily reach the G key with my left thumb, and I have small hands for a guy. If the F key were where the G key is now, the entire keyboard could be made slightly wider, with larger keys, and it would be equally usable in this manner. If I hold Hiro by each edge and use both thumbs I can very easily reach the J key with my left thumb and the S key with my right. I feel a much larger keyboard would not even slightly hamper its use as a thumb board, but it would dramatically improve its use on a table.
- I don't really want a 'tiny laptop' because I, too, often "whip it out" and take notes, phone numbers, acquire data in traffic, etc.. Size is a definite constraint for me. I've mentioned somewhere that the size of a SL-6000 is just about absolute maximum. Any larger and I won't carry it 24x7, and it will be a waste. (shrug) I'd just keep Hiro ... he's an excellent compromise on all fronts. (happy smile)
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Da_Blitz
post Dec 7 2006, 01:28 AM
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i have really been looking into the diffrent sizes we can make this thing and i do quite like the psion, it is a bit big however but as of late i am finding the Z to be a bit small

i think in a perfectt world i would carry multiple devices depending on my need:

* bluetooth watch, basically a small watch with a oled screen or equivelent, a tilt sensor (only turns on when yoou are looking at it) and bluetooth + buttons. the idea is that its used for messaging and status (as well as ttime) and basic acknowlagment. (ie sms incomming, caller ID, lithium ion battery exploading)

* Z sive or psion size (or both wink.gif) for basic "whip it out" for stuff that requires a hevier "terminal" can be used independently (notice i mentioned "terminal". utlises syncing hevilly. has bluetooth and phone and wifi and forms the ccore "long range communications block" ie phone networks (wifi = medium range and bluetooth = short range) ideally with VGA out, usb and stereo out so as to be capable of using a VGA monitor for thin client apps (more on that llatter) or for when you need more desktop real estate (and lets face it who dosent)

* laptop size: basically any thing with a 7" to 12/13" screen. dooes the heavy lifting has more ram and hard drive and is intended to be a storage repository and main work unit, same as above with no phone but perhaps a MAN wireless option such as WiBro or heavy use of mesh networking (ie perhaps 2 wifi cards, overkill i know but dont want them then dont buy them)

it all mainly revolves around the Z design with the watch and the laptop filling specific roles where the Z/psion form factor is under/overkill. allows you to have better tools for the job rather than one size fits all

on the laptop the ephisis would be on battery life. i have been looking at samsungs huge flash chips (8GB chips) i just wish i could get a price for them.

but i think my original question still stands, psion or ZZZ form factor (see the name of this thread after all) i llike the psion or to be more acurte i like a wider Z, it has its problems howevre in that it would no longer be pocketable (hence the watch to partially make up the "pull out" gap, coupled with voice recording i think it would work)

however a couple of points are touched on in diffrent thrreads as its more complex than "deciding" there are pros and cons for each. but i do like the psion keyboard, its just so sexy wink.gif

sorry about the repeating letters, knoppix dossent like my keyboard (linux dosent like it ethier its probblely the keyboards fault as its reseetting the usb bus 2 times a seccond, hence the key repeats)
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freizugheit
post Dec 7 2006, 01:46 AM
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Will the forthcoming ultra thin 12" Mac Book Pro fit for your desired form factor?

With virtualization software, like Parallels, you can install your desired OS, from Mac OSX, Linux to Windows Vista, etc... in this machine.
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Da_Blitz
post Dec 7 2006, 02:07 AM
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actually i saw a core 2 duo laptop with 1G of ram and 100G of hard drive space in the 12" form factor for AU$2000 on special. it waas almmost perfect (1.7KG)

i think for me its more about wieght and depthx width rather than thickness, everything seems to be getting to thin these days and it causes my hands to cramp quite badly as well as bieng dificult to hold, i dont mind smaller but reducing somthing in only one dimension can cause serious problems

also i boolive there are better was of solving the problem with phones, why would you want such aa ting phone when you can keep o long battery life one thats fairly powerful in your bag/pocket and just use a bluetooth headset?
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Ragnorok
post Jan 26 2007, 07:54 PM
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- I can't say I agree with the PDA-sized unit being a "terminal". I've owned PDAs for fifteen years now, and I have yet to sync one with anything. The reason I like Hiro so much is he's a full-blown computer. A teeny tiny one that's not very powerful by laptop standards, but stunningly powerful for something slightly larger than a pack of cards. I expect the Pocket Penguin to make Hiro look inferior as a teeny tiny computer, not as a slave to some other system. I'll get Winbloze Mobile if I want something that should be a computer that's barely functional without a desktop.
- What I've seen appears to be in line with with my desires. Sure, it *can* be used as a 'terminal', even an X terminal, and that's certainly a very nice thing to do. But it should stand alone just as well as anything.
- Naturally I want connectivity. That's to surf on the go! (grin)
- Perhaps I'm just off on a tangent. Apologies in that case...
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Da_Blitz
post Jan 27 2007, 07:10 AM
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no i agree with you on that. its just the way i said it

basically i expect that it will be used as a primary device but if you are someone that carries the laptop version in your bag and you leave it with wifi on in low power mode then you can use that as your main machine (because it has better specs) and use the Z with vnc to interface to it

however you can use it in its own right. actually i was hopeing that most people will leave it with the network on usb enabled and run a webserver with javavnc on it so that when you plug it into a machine you can then use that machine as a terminal for it smile.gif

i dont think that mobile computing and some other closely related areas has been fully explored. i think that having all your data moved from one machine to the next is the way to go

on a tangent there is a funny thing you can do under linux with usb flash disks, you know how everything is in a users "home" dir on linux. well with pam_mount and another module for doing ssl work for certs within pam you can set it up so that to login a user simply plugs in there usb drive, and types a password. at which point they are in there familiar enviroment

what goes on behind the scenes is, pam_mount mounts the usb drive as /mnt/usb then the ssl cert in /mnt/usb for the user is decrypted using the users pass if this pases then /home/<user> gets symlinked to /mnt/usb. login begins as normal

of corse if you have an ssl cert then you can check it against an ssl service to see if they can login or replace the ssl part with another certification method (AD for example) but the main part is that you can set it up to put the users files on the flashdisk

what i amtrying to do in the long run with this hardware is 4 steps beyond that smile.gif
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Ragnorok
post Jan 29 2007, 05:28 PM
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- Roit! Thanks for clarifying. I thought we were in sync, and we are. Darn that synchronization ... everyone wants it! (dr00l)
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Da_Blitz
post Jan 29 2007, 06:40 PM
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but what type of syncing?

for my "rig" i guess you would call it (ie the devices i mentioned) i was thinking that tehy mount /home off the one device to keep the data consistent, or look into a distributed filesystem (network bassed) with local caching support. or the good old rsync. that syncs when changes are avalible.

ideally we would have somthing that keeps a list of what files are changed and when the other hosts are in site it changes all copies at the same time however when the other hosts are offline it caches the changes, but i bet rsync can be hacked to do that

now to do it in a low power way
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speculatrix
post Jan 30 2007, 02:35 AM
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QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jan 30 2007, 03:40 AM)
but what type of syncing?
...
ideally we would have somthing that keeps a list of what files are changed and when the other
*


do you think PVFS might be a bit overkill to keep the Z in sync with network file store?
http://www.parl.clemson.edu/pvfs/
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Da_Blitz
post Jan 30 2007, 03:50 AM
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i have been reseraching distributed filesystems

i dont think this will support disconnected opperation, or "pulling the plug" disconnection

the andrew fliesystem or coda are probbelly better examples, the andrew one has a caching feature where you tell it you are disconnecting in x mins and use this much space and it caches files that you use

i think rsync is a more workabel souliton at this point however it dosent fit 100% i see 2 distinct usage senarios that require slightly diffrent software. and several variants of course

pvfs is alright in a disconnected enviroment when ou are hauling everything with you and its on, andrew for laptops where you might be disconnected for a day or two but the scenario we are looking at is wierd because all users are peers, there is no server

basically there isnt a one size fits all at this point
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zeigerpuppy
post Jan 30 2007, 07:08 AM
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QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jan 30 2007, 03:50 AM)
i have been reseraching distributed filesystems

i dont think this will support disconnected opperation, or "pulling the plug" disconnection

the andrew fliesystem or coda are probbelly better examples, the andrew one has a caching feature where you tell it you are disconnecting in x mins and use this much space and it caches files that you use

i think rsync is a more workabel souliton at this point however it dosent fit 100% i see 2 distinct usage senarios that require slightly diffrent software. and several variants of course

pvfs is alright in a disconnected enviroment when ou are hauling everything with you and its on, andrew for laptops where you might be disconnected for a day or two but the scenario we are looking at is wierd because all users are peers, there is no server

basically there isnt a one size fits all at this point
*


How about DRDB - this is probably going to be real overkill!
http://www.linux-ha.org/DRBD/FAQ#head-8999...10b29c853563d11
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Da_Blitz
post Jan 30 2007, 06:32 PM
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that support online faliure but not both devices running at the same time, if anything its underkill

it depends on what you need to sync as well, if its contacts and apointments and a few files then opensync will suffice. it can also resolve diffrences on both devices with and without human interaction (like activesync but it actually works and is stable as well as os independent)

its a more specilised version of rsync in many ways.

but what do we need to sync. i am assuming that it would be the users home dir. basically thier settings, notes and mail dirs.

mail can be handeled by setting up a mail server on one and telling all devices to talk to that one machine but this is inflexible and requires you to carry that machine at all times (alright if its you watch wink.gif) another way is imap and its support for the server to be the authoritve source. this seems ot work well but requires a server with imap accounts (not a problem see soulotieon latter) another way is opensync with the mail dir forders. there is the posibility of 2 mail messages on 2 devices bieng named the same thing however

needs thought is all, i am leaning towards the imap aproch. esecially if we can do the push mail thing as well (its a feature to help sell it wink.gif)

now for a question about how you handel media files, me personally i create a user called music, moives and anime and let home folders be set up for them. that way it makes sharing with samba easy as you set the perms to 777 and the ownership to the catagorey (ie music). then allow a samba login of music or mhatever or better yet anon guest accounts where guest is mapped to the dir owner (music) this means a comprimise can only accses the shares files smile.gif if samba changes to the guest UID like i think it does

the reason i mention it is if you have more than one pearson on the machine its easy to share music with eachother, it helps simplyfiy networked filesystems and makes backups alot easier. in our case these are all pluses for this device. when a new user is created i have a symlink pointing from thier /home dir to ../music or ../moives so that they automatically start using it.

thats my take on it. as i said it makes sharing ona network easier as i was thikning about a networked fs with disconnected support and union fs to combined all the barnches. the idea was to use nfs but it cant really support bieng disconnected, samba is better ubt i think andrewfs is probelly the best at this point in time but not by much. this is becauseit effectivly combinds unionfs into itself and merges all visible servers

i really need to look at andrewfs some more. one of the intresting things i have heard bieng done with it is using it to refer to docs on a local machine. ie if you /home is on andrew fs (via a symlink so /home/user is a symlink to /andrew/www.userdomain.com/home/user) then any any files you produce that refer to a local internat source will work regardless of the computer you are on. in somthing like what i hope to achive this feature is highly sort after

end bable smile.gif
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Ragnorok
post Feb 6 2007, 07:43 PM
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- Dat were a joke! Syncing means nothing to me personally, so in answer to your question, I'd want to sync nothing. Software simplified. (cheshire grin)
- This andrewfs thing looks interesting, but can it do ssh? I'd not be using any "url-style" mounts except back to my own server, and that won't happen without ssh. I'd rather do all that manually, if I'm jonesing for a file I don't have.
- But that's just me. I'll bow out of this sync stuff...
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