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

IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

3 Pages V   1 2 3 >  
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> The Ultimate Zaurus Software: Picsel Browser, a little review with a little video ;-)
DRDR
post May 7 2005, 04:53 AM
Post #1





Group: Members
Posts: 46
Joined: 3-September 04
Member No.: 4,448



Hi,

I own a C860 and I wanted to use it as an always be there and ready to use notebook replacement. Which means I always wanted to view PDF, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files without size limitations. Plus I wanted to show large image files and browse the web without limitations.

The Picsel Browser for Zaurus software just does this. Although it is only available in Japan and I did not know too much about it I bought it. As I am extremely impressed by the performance of this little piece of software I decided to write this little review:

What does the Picsel Browser for Zaurus do?
It enables you to view PDF, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Text and Image (including WMF) files. It can also show HTML and Flash files and it can be used as a Web-browser. It runs on the C860 clamshell models (and maybe some others, I do not know).

Where does it come from?
It comes from Picsel Technologies and costs around 100 Euro in Japan. It is available in the Sharp Online Shop.
If you are using a language converted Zaurus, the user interface will also be in English after installation. At least in my case.

What does it look like?
It is delivered and dongled to a 256 MB card. This means that it can only be run with this card inserted in your Zaurus.
The user interface is pretty cool. It relies on icons and miniature views. Except in the preferences menu no text is used. This means it is pretty intuitive to use and looks neat.

How does it work?
Apparently the Picsel Browser renders every file type into some kind of vector graphics. So every file type you open is presented to you in a similar way:

Click onto the file's icon and the document will be displayed completely on your screen. By tapping and moving the stylus the document can be moved like a sheet of paper. The developers even implemented some kind of physics engine. This means that you can actually push the "paper" (=document) around until it stops moving due to some virtual friction. Nice! With some different taps you can use the stylus to zoom in and out of the document. When panning and zooming around a document the render process becomes visible in the form of pixelated aeras. These areas become sharp pretty fast so that they don't prevent you from an efficient use.

Web pages are also like all other supported documents, except that you can click onto hyperlinks and form elements. Text input into forms works as well. Linked files which can be shown by the picsel browser are specially marked on document. Unfortunately no popup windows can be launched. But maybe it can be done and I haven't found the way to do it yet.

If Flash animations are embedded into the web page, they will be shown embedded into the page just like graphics. This way web pages on the Zaurus do finally look like web pages on our - less powerful ;-) - grown up computers. Unfortunately and apparently not all Flash animations can be shown. I also was not successful in interacting with animations. So it seems that interactive user elements (e.g. a button) cannot be accessed in flash animations.

Is it useful?
Yes it is very useful. Even the biggest files are rendered flawlessly and most of the times completely. I produce a lot of PDF-documents intended for print out. They include a lot of high resolution bitmaps. The Picsel Browser just zooms into these bitmaps and shows them in all their beauty. The rendering of the documents is so good that it comes close to a sheet of paper. No artefacts and no pixels around. The developers use an extremely good antialising algorithm. Did you ever imagine that you can actually display and read a whole DIN A4 page on a PDA screen? That's finally possible!

What can be improved?
What I would really like to have:

* search function for text
* being able to comment documents with the stylus
* open popup windows in web pages and save files linked in web pages
* view videos
* being able to use my own SD-card
* support for powerpoint animations (these are rendered into the page)
* a 6 GB microdrive (ok, just a joke;-)

Final Words
The Picsel Browser for Zaurus finally uses the power of the Zaurus to its best. It is the first software I have seen which makes it possible to actually read documents on the PDA screen without getting a headache. It's really cool. Its user interface design and performance is unconventional and welcome in todays boring nofun reasonal world. So if you like a cool software for a cool gadget go get it even if it seems to be a bit expensive! ;-)

As seeing is believing I have created some screenshots and a video clip (7,2 MB). It would be nice if I could attach this clip as well. Thanks!

EDIT:
I deleted the attached screenshots and attached a 5x-speed version of my original review video. In case more attachment space becomes available and someone wants to see it, I can also post the realtime speed higher resolution video.

EDIT EDIT:
Changed title to something more curious. Note: The video file is in MPEG4. It can be shown on the Zaurus using mplayer/kino.

EDIT EDIT EDIT:
Removed some spelling errors and tried to introduce some grammar. ;-)
Attached File(s)
Attached File  dr_review_picselbrowserforzaurus_fast.zip ( 1.39MB ) Number of downloads: 723
 
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
w14
post May 7 2005, 05:56 AM
Post #2





Group: Members
Posts: 180
Joined: 7-December 03
Member No.: 1,049



DRDR,

You say you have to use the supplied 256MB SD card. Does this software use all of that space? If not, does it prohibit you from using the empty space for something else?

Cheers,

Mike.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DRDR
post May 7 2005, 06:26 AM
Post #3





Group: Members
Posts: 46
Joined: 3-September 04
Member No.: 4,448



It only occupies 30 MB or so. The remaining space can be used like you want. I use it to store application and data. Unfortunately now that I can view all my data I need a CF-card to store it, which is usually occupied by the Bluetooth or the Wifi card.
Attached File(s)
Attached File  card.JPG ( 25.97K ) Number of downloads: 195
 
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
ArchiMark
post May 7 2005, 10:39 AM
Post #4





Group: Members
Posts: 1,015
Joined: 25-June 03
From: Silicon Valley
Member No.: 208



So can you only buy it if you are in Japan?

Thanks,

Mark
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DRDR
post May 7 2005, 11:32 AM
Post #5





Group: Members
Posts: 46
Joined: 3-September 04
Member No.: 4,448



QUOTE(ArchiMark @ May 7 2005, 06:39 PM)
So can you only buy it if you are in Japan?


No, just use a business like conics.net to buy it for you and to send it to you. Worked fine for me.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
stuey
post May 10 2005, 10:06 AM
Post #6





Group: Members
Posts: 10
Joined: 16-November 04
Member No.: 5,486



<Dodgey Question> is there any way to copy Picsel to a bigger SD card ?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
kahm
post May 10 2005, 10:20 AM
Post #7





Group: Members
Posts: 657
Joined: 29-September 04
Member No.: 4,809



QUOTE(stuey @ May 10 2005, 12:06 PM)
<Dodgey Question> is there any way to copy Picsel to a bigger SD card ?
*


Probably not - not at least without quite a bit of work. They deliberately bind it to the SD card for copy protection purposes.

I've got Picsel on my Sony Clie - it is a little strange to use, but potentially useful.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DRDR
post May 10 2005, 01:18 PM
Post #8





Group: Members
Posts: 46
Joined: 3-September 04
Member No.: 4,448



The Picsel Browser itself comes as an IPK (see Sharp Picsel Update, where you can download it). You can install this IPK (the update extracts some files, one of them is the IPK) and run it without problems. Even help files are included. When you run it, the browser shows the help document. Shortly afterwards a popup window appears, telling you that no Picsel SD-card could be found.

As it would work without major code rewriting maybe someone from Picsel or Sharp can tell us if there is any solution in the pipeline to use bigger or own storage? This would sure be nice!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
d.maddock1
post May 11 2005, 10:17 AM
Post #9





Group: Members
Posts: 40
Joined: 20-October 04
Member No.: 5,113



I downloaded the above mentioned ipk and played around with it. From what I could tell, the program searches for license information in a particular file (license.pli, I think) on the card. I would guess that with this ipk installed and an SD card with a legitimate license file, it would work. Obviously, I haven't tried this because I don't own the program.

Also, it may be possible to change the location that the program looks for said license file with a hex editor to somewhere off the card. You would still need to own a valid license to use it though.

It would be interesting to know if this worked, but I'm not willing to spend that much money for Picsel to find out. I liked it when I had a clie, but it came free :-).

Don't expect Sharp or Picsel to allow you to move it because that would allow someone to easily distribute pirate copies.

Dave.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DRDR
post May 11 2005, 11:03 AM
Post #10





Group: Members
Posts: 46
Joined: 3-September 04
Member No.: 4,448



QUOTE(d.maddock1 @ May 11 2005, 06:17 PM)
It would be interesting to know if this worked, but I'm not willing to spend that much money for Picsel to find out.  I liked it when I had a clie, but it came free :-).


How did it perform on the Clie?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
d.maddock1
post May 11 2005, 03:34 PM
Post #11





Group: Members
Posts: 40
Joined: 20-October 04
Member No.: 5,113



QUOTE(DRDR @ May 11 2005, 02:03 PM)
How did it perform on the Clie?
*


I had a clie ux50. Picsel was cool, but it ran sluggish on the ux (as did Netfront). The ux's cpu is significantly slower than on my c860. That was one of the big reasons why I switched to the Zaurus.

d.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
kahm
post May 11 2005, 03:38 PM
Post #12





Group: Members
Posts: 657
Joined: 29-September 04
Member No.: 4,809



QUOTE(DRDR @ May 11 2005, 01:03 PM)
QUOTE(d.maddock1 @ May 11 2005, 06:17 PM)
It would be interesting to know if this worked, but I'm not willing to spend that much money for Picsel to find out.  I liked it when I had a clie, but it came free :-).


How did it perform on the Clie?
*



I've got it on my TJ35. It performs rather shockingly well given the memory and architecture of the Palm. It seemed somewhat marred by slow startup times and one of the weirdest interfaces I've seen outside of a video game.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
stuey
post May 11 2005, 10:39 PM
Post #13





Group: Members
Posts: 10
Joined: 16-November 04
Member No.: 5,486



I've asked Conics..

"we can order the Picsel browser for you, but The Sharp website advises the SL-C1000 has problems with the Picsel browser.
(SL-C860 & SL-C3000 is has no problem)" ?

Anybody know whats up with the C1000 and Picsel?

At $170 + its too costly a risk fo me ;-)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kedge
post May 12 2005, 10:14 PM
Post #14





Group: Members
Posts: 42
Joined: 29-June 04
Member No.: 3,857



@DRDR,

I have a little offtopic question.

In your review (really nice made) I saw you have the zaurus sky explorer installed on your Z. Some time ago I tried to run this app aswell but no success. I have a C750 with Cacko 1.22 and Jeode Java. At first the options specified in the runzaurus-sky-explorer file weren't recognized. I removed them but now I get the error "java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: zaurusskyexplorer.ZuarusSkyExplorer".
Can you help me?
Maybe we should open a new thread for this.

Kedge
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DRDR
post May 13 2005, 07:08 AM
Post #15





Group: Members
Posts: 46
Joined: 3-September 04
Member No.: 4,448



QUOTE(Kedge @ May 13 2005, 06:14 AM)
I have a C750 with Cacko 1.22 and Jeode Java. At first the options specified in the runzaurus-sky-explorer file weren't recognized. I removed them but now I get the error "java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError:


I also use Cacko 1.22+the hotfix+Jeode+J2ME. The sky-explorer runs without any problems and without any file and configuration changes. Sorry, I don't know what's wrong in your case.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

3 Pages V   1 2 3 >
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: 29th August 2014 - 04:15 AM