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> Intel X86-based Development
daniel3000
post Jul 28 2006, 07:41 AM
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Hello,

wouldn't it be better, instead of using another XScale processor, to wait for intel making the first reliable steppings of their planned x86 PDA processors?
That would allow to run a much larger variety of software, beginning with simpler systems like MS-DOS, over Windows 95 and XP, up to "normal" Linux distributions.

We'd not be tied to special software versions, compilig of the apps especially for the PDA etc., but just use the stuff we can buy or download as binaries.

It was posted here some time ago I think, but for those who don't remember:
http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/06/27/intel_sells_xscale/

(Also search google for "intel sells xscale")

Personally, I have used the HP 200LX (x86-based palmtop developed in 1993 with 186 8MHz CPU and 640kB RAM, running DOS) for about 8 years, before I switched to the Zaurus in 2005.
The Zaurus is great in terms of screen, speed, touchscreen, Multimedia etc.
But the 200LX was far superior when it comes to usability of thousands of available software programs, downloadable for free from the Internet.
With the zaurus, I could never reach the level of productivity I reached with the HP in even a shorter time than I have the Zaurus now. And that's only due to missing software.

I can not even say the Zaurus is more flexible due to the Linux system.
DOS is also VERY flexible when it comes to configuration and batch programming, if you only know some hidden tricks.

If I hadn't migrated all my PIM stuff etc. to the Zaurus already, I'd seriously consider to switch back to the HP.

Would waiting for a PDA-x86 processor be an option for this project?

daniel
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Ferret-Simpson
post Jul 28 2006, 08:01 AM
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If you read that thread, they're looking at chips that can run vista by 2010. . .

The PocketPenguin-One, Pocket-Penguin Two. . I can see maybe dealing with that sort of processor.

The current idea for the PPZ is just to create a powerful hardware platform on which people can run the software needed for that level of productivity.

I am more productive on my Zaurus Sharp Rom 5600, than I am on any of my Desktop PC's.

More in point, the PPZ is more POWERFUL than any of my PC's. It's designed to basically be everything the 3200 SHOULD have been instead of a 3100 with an extra 2GB. I can't put up witth dodgy ports and reverse engineering for another 3.5 years until intel release a good enough chip to make it worthwhile, and to be honest? I can't STAND x86. I've been moving to ARM for a while now, with RiscPC's, the Zaurus, I've been looking at Iyonix gear. . .

If everything goes ok with the current generation, and we get it built, and a few people actually BUY the ruddy thing, then I doubt very much that we'll hesitate for a moment before releasing the PP1, the PP2, or the PP3.

Currently, every single PDA manufacturer, from Sharp, to HP, to Dell to Acer to Sony to HTC are selling us out with incompatible closed source gear which does only the bare minimum needed to sell it to the punters and I HIGHLY doubt that will change just because Office 2011 (Office BFD?) can run on Microsoft's pet project 4 years from now. After all, we've got OpenOffice right now!

The PPZ supports several components of the proposed GPLv3, including End-User-Modification support. By Early next year, we should have a Top-Of-The-Range device with the Full phone capabilities and full gaming capabilites and the full anything else you can imagine that Sony, Sharp, HTC and the rest are keeping from us so they can keep us in our grasp.

Maybe one day, we'll go to x86. But it won't be as fast as with getting the PPZ out. And even then, since when have Intel been good about getting Open Source support? We'll have to work with shoddy sources from big companies who sign deals with them etc etc etc.

Besides, I like freescale. They made the Amiga chips. 68060 baby YEAH!

EDIT: This one's a big note.

We're not using XScale. XScale sucks big time. We're using Freescale chips which have good Manufacturer-Provided support, better quality, and higher specifications than the XScales.

I mean come on! The closest thing to the iMX31 currently available from the Intel side is the 270/624. And what do we have over that? Better support for just about everything, an FPU, an integral 3D accelerator, DDR266, and 800x600 external monitor support!

Intel, can Go. . To. . . hell.
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Da_Blitz
post Jul 29 2006, 08:15 AM
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Wow, some people know how te really annoy me smile.gif

basically i really hate the x86 chips. so that would be no on a x86 PDA, besides have you seen how much power thier low power chips actually consume, then you have to factor in all the extra IO chips. we might be able to get an all in one equivelent of what we are working with but thier are somthings that we need that x86s are known to not normally have (see SPI)

arm is one of the most power efficent processors you can buy (i belive they made the top 3 in some of the docs i read)

to run dos we would have to chuck a whole lot of the PC spec into the design which i dont want to even think about (i know arm chips better than any x86)

if you are looking for x86 i would recomend an UMPC

software for the Z dosent exsist because no one has compiled it yet, the x86 dose make it easier because it is so widly used

if i did a desktop version of this is would be bassed of a power PC chipset, however there are open source and linux friendly power pc makers out there

QUOTE
Intel, can Go. . To. . . hell.


might want to tone it down a bit
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koen
post Jul 29 2006, 08:24 AM
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QUOTE(Ferret-Simpson @ Jul 28 2006, 04:01 PM)
Intel, can Go. .  To. . . hell.
*


You mean Marvell?
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Ferret-Simpson
post Jul 29 2006, 09:06 AM
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Sorry DB!

And I meant intel, not Marvell.

Intel designed the Xscale chips, they're just selling them off to the Marvell company.

And it's intel that are building the new Nano-x86 processors.

Meh. I haven't liked intel since I first heard the acronym "TCPA" And yeah, that goes for AMD aswell.
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Da_Blitz
post Jul 30 2006, 07:12 PM
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well you probbely havent worked out the the security i am putting in it is a "TCPA" clone, thats what the security features were set up for in the first place

after all i do refer to it as "secure boot"
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Ferret-Simpson
post Jul 31 2006, 01:27 AM
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If you remember we already had this discussion in the old topic. And I explained that in this version, WE have the keys, and WE control what software is installed.
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Da_Blitz
post Jul 31 2006, 01:43 AM
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i biring it up again because intel dosent control the keys or amd, it is an OEM thing not a manufacturer

besides the latest cxx00 series have that stuff built in anyway, the advantage we would have is that it has internal flash which it boots from which would make our current security model alot easier and secure

back on topic after thinking about it i may do a x86 project but most likly not for a pda. we will see how well this turns out first smile.gif
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Ferret-Simpson
post Jul 31 2006, 02:14 AM
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Another point towards going for this one first. . Freescale chips are about a fifth of the price of Intel chips, and usually have alot more features. So if this hardware flops (Which it won't O.O) Then we won't have wasted nearly as much money as if we used Intel chips.
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Da_Blitz
post Jul 31 2006, 03:25 AM
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umm... yeah...

i feel really assured now wink.gif
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Ferret-Simpson
post Jul 31 2006, 03:27 AM
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XD

Well, when you've built the thing, you'll have the proof!

Now. . I'm sure round here there's a book called "How to make friends and motivate people. . ."
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danboid
post Aug 10 2006, 09:54 AM
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I know DB really really doesn't like x86 but what about the AMD Geode? I don't know how it compares in price but I should imagine it should pack as much punch, if not more, than the ARM11, no? Anyone got benchmarks comparing the two?

DOS better than Linux though? laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

If there is a DOS app with no Linux equivalent then you have bochs and dosemu. Can you run Linux/Unix apps under DOS? Can you multitask under DOS? 640k memory is fun to work around eh? I admit DOS is still much better for games than Linux but as an OS there is no comparison- Linux is infinitely more powerful and versatile than DOS will ever be AND its portable and open source- but you know this already right?

As for the games thing though, the PS3 will come with Linux pre-installed so this should have a big impact in the world of video game development. It should mean more commercial titles will get ported to x86 Linux and should also be a big boost to homebrew game devel.

Intel aren't so bad with respect to open source- they're one of the few (only?) options people buying new hardware have if they want open source 3D grahics drivers although there is talk now of ATI open sourcing their drivers.
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daniel3000
post Aug 10 2006, 11:59 AM
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QUOTE(danboid @ Aug 10 2006, 07:54 PM)
DOS better than Linux though?  laugh.gif  laugh.gif  laugh.gif  laugh.gif  laugh.gif

If there is a DOS app with no Linux equivalent then you have bochs and dosemu. Can you run Linux/Unix apps under DOS? Can you multitask under DOS? 640k memory is fun to work around eh? I admit DOS is still much better for games than Linux but as an OS there is no comparison- Linux is infinitely more powerful and versatile than DOS will ever be AND its portable and open source- but you know this already right?
*


DOS compatibility would be important for those people still using (and being addicted) to the DOS-driven HP 200LX palmtops. I used sucha machine myself for almost 8 years. THere is software for this machine which is far superior to a lot of Windows equivalents.
I dare to say Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet applications is better than any spreadcheets I have seen which runs on the Zaurus (well, regarding features, OpenOffice Calc may be richer, but it is much slower).
I have never seen a PIM program for the Zaurus which is so simple but powerful as PIM/PE for the 200LX.
Same with mindmapping: MM/LX is very good (I have participated in development, BTW). VYM may be a good mind mapping software as well, but it is very inconvenient to use on the Zaurus.

I could add a lot more examples here.

Before I have started the pdaXrom setup a few days ago, I seriously considered going back to the 200LX and abandoning the Zaurus.
But I like the brilliant display and the slightly smaller form factor of the Zaurus. Touchscreen is also nice to have. So I gave it another chance with pdaXrom.
So far I think this will be the way to go.

daniel
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danboid
post Aug 10 2006, 02:21 PM
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For a speadsheet- why would you need anything better than gnumeric? Runs great under pdaXrom but even faster on 2.6 based OZ/GPE!

PIM- Have you tried out the latest gpe-PIM esp. gpe-calendar? Its superb! PIM is pretty much nailed down now for the Z.

The c3x00 models are the best computer since the Amiga IMO! When you have a 2.6 kernel with bvdd quality video acceleration you will agree I'm sure! If I could have 128MB+ RAM in it and USB 2.0 host I would bin my PC without blinking biggrin.gif
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daniel3000
post Aug 11 2006, 12:44 AM
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QUOTE(danboid @ Aug 11 2006, 12:21 AM)
For a speadsheet- why would you need anything better than gnumeric? Runs great under pdaXrom but even faster on 2.6 based OZ/GPE!

PIM- Have you tried out the latest gpe-PIM esp. gpe-calendar? Its superb! PIM is pretty much nailed down now for the Z.

The c3x00 models are the best computer since the Amiga IMO! When you have a 2.6 kernel with bvdd quality video acceleration you will agree I'm sure! If I could have 128MB+ RAM in it and USB 2.0 host I would bin my PC without blinking biggrin.gif
*


I have used Lotus 1-2-3 for quite complex things using macros, menues and database functions for conditional average calculations etc. Now sure if gnumeric supports all that.
e.g. here:
http://www.daniel-hertrich.de/lxgluc

I'd love to simply import the 1-2-3 sheet into gnumeric and continue to use it but I doubt this will be possible. Excel was not capable to do that, at least.

I'll try to set something like that up in gnumeric soon.


I have not used gpe-PIM. Have looked for screenshots on the Internet, but couldn't find any, so I cannot say for sure. But I think there simply is no PIM approach for the Zaurus like that one we used on the 200LX. It was a completely different approach: Having as ASCII file which you write a journal into using a text editor, denoting todos and appointments using special ASCII tags.
A GUI applications evaluated the ASCII file and took into from the tagged lines in order to display appointments graphically and in order to calculate todo lists using due dates, urgency tags and importance tags.

Once you got used to it (that might take a long time) you were much more efficient on it than in any other PIM I have seen where you have to enter PIM data into input dialogs, hopping from one field to the next etc.

The best PIM I have found for the Z so far is KDEPIM/PI. But even that one does not reach the capabilities of PIM/PE on the LX. It has a nicer display, though, and displays faster under some conditions.

daniel
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