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post Dec 9 2005, 07:54 PM
Post #1

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Joined: 10-February 04
From: Virginia, USA
Member No.: 1,794

In case Guylhem did not see it in the thread about video acceleration in 6000 >> hardware, I would like to donate to Guylhem's rom, but I need assurance that he has not lost interest in his rom development. I will donate $50.00 thru PayPal to get him going again. And another $50.00 once the network setup apps work, right-handed fonts in rotation, and power button (hardware) button suspends. Anyone else?

But, please let us know we are not donating to a project that has been abandoned. Just say the word, and $50.00 is set aside for you. I realize that you need a reason to provide such a generous gift to people you do not even know, and I, for one, am willing to put my money where my mouth is.

I feel that others would also be willing to donate to development of a better rom. I think your rom holds the most promise for 6000's.

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post Apr 2 2006, 06:21 AM
Post #2

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Joined: 17-March 04
Member No.: 2,365


I have in fact not enough time to do everything I want. And while the rom experiment was a great experience, I realised it was only a "first step" - something else is needed. It was not wasted effort, for I learnt many things.

The 6000 is great hardware, and was 99% ready for end users, but even with all my efforts I could not support every missing feature (say video acceleration) and some out-of-the-box features (like fast bluetooth support, to allow A2DP audio) for this 1%.

As the old adage says, 1% of the features requires 99% of the effort.

Trust me, I spent hours and hours working on the 6000, for many reasons. But in the end I realised there would ever be restrictions on what I could do that would take enormous amounts of energy to be removed.

So my approach for the last months has been to rethink of the problem, and look at the options. I explored every "rom" or approach, and concluded pdaxrom was a good model - as good as it could be due to the restrictions.

The Sl 6000 was quite close to perfection, say 99% close, but lacked :
1- stable and 100% supporting 2.6 kernel
2- software we do no have to hack (the keyboard support was a nightmare) but which is simply documentated, and even better - free software !
3- a good integration with existing free software distribution (not reinventing the wheel)

Embedix was the #1 pitfall, the aging Qtopia privately hacked by sharp was the #2 pitfall, and Sharp was the #3 pitfall. I would add a #4 pitfall : the insane price.

All this resulted in an enormous complexity, which made the Zaurus impossible to deal with even for linux experts -there were far too many differences.

Sharp/Embedix/Qtopia quickly hacked together various existing pieces, creating bugs to work around other bugs, and make us live an hell with that. Add to the mix that I do not know enough c++ to code missing applications, and the SL6000 story future could be guessed.

But I don't give up so easily.

Therefore, as I told you before, I decided to rethink the problem and see what we could fix. I went in the other direction :
#4 : we need customer off the shelf hardware. The cheaper, the better. Somebody made plenty suggestions, and I purchased some hardware and did some tests. What I found is the Zaurus were at best glorified pocketpcs -compared to the current offer, and their insane price.
#3 : we must have total management of the sourcecode. Replacing Sharp by OE is not a solution - OE are better, but not up to what I think good enough. Requiring Gigs of hard disks and days of compile time will never win my favors. Yet parts can be reused, so it is at least better.
#2 : even if it pains me to leave qtopia/opie, they are simply impossible to deal with - at least for me. Either I try again to teach myself C++ or I chose a C based solution
If I teach myself C++, I must recode every braindead application to be more user friendly- a daunting task. Starting from scratch is better.
#1 : this is the selection factor - some customer off the shelf hardware for which we have a 100% working 2.6 kernel

Following all this requirements, I have been working with a fellow board member from Germany, and we are ready to announce you a new solution within 1-2 days. It will be a commercial solution ( we want to start a business, because this effort is not manageable as a hobby) but it will be totally free software and very open to the community.

It *will* be different - *very* different from what you all know, and maybe shocking to some, especially considering my past declarations. But the work on it will be much easier for everybody, and it will allow me to deliver much more than my SL6000 project could ever do.

This will be a commercial effort, for which I will try to get clients on board -so if you need a commercial free software handhelds, please get in touch with me - we are investing a lot in the venture, and having good reference clients will be welcome !

Don't worry- there will also certainly be a solution for the SL6000 in a short future, but the focus has changed. I want to do more than a rom. I want to reorient my life and my consultancy business around my dreams of the "best" free software pda people gloat about here.
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