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> Configuring 3200 For Office Use, Advice needed on ROM and other config
IanB
post Aug 7 2006, 11:29 PM
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I'm just about to get a 3200 which I'd like to use as a basic "portable desktop", so I'll need to configure it. But I'm getting confused about the various ROM/X/Qt/Opie/GPE/workstation/super/jumbo installations.

The eventual basic functions I'm looking for are:
* English language
* stable setup (not bleeding edge)
* USB ethernet and wireless networking with a Netgear broadband router (preferably using WPA-PSK for wireless)
* appears as USB storage device to Windows/OSX
* automounts USB storage devices
* word processor which reads/writes Word and OpenDoc files (and preferably old OpenOffice files)
* spreadsheet which reads/writes Excel files (and preferably old OpenOffice files)
* good package management (for upgrades)
* jpg viewer
* pdf viewer
* voice recording up to 30 mins
* conversion of recordings to mp3
* mp3 player
* prints to Canon Pixma iP3000 (I know there's a Linux driver for this)
plus GnuCash would be nice but I can manage without.

As a starting point, what are the pros and cons of the various ROMs/distros in terms of supporting this kind of functionality? And what are the pros and cons of X/Qt/Opie/GPE/etc.? As much as possible I'd like to keep things simple, using a package manager where I can, so there's less chance of me screwing up and it's easier to upgrade.

Ian
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adf
post Aug 7 2006, 11:49 PM
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cacko with pdaXqtrom will be the most straightforward, but I think it might not do some of what you want. Oz is likliest to hit all of your targets, but will require some tweaking and a good bit of talk with the devs (who are actually pretty helpful).
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IanB
post Aug 8 2006, 12:14 AM
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I've just thought of more basic functions I'd like (in case these make a difference to advice):
* Midnight Commander (preferably with the boxes and lines displaying properly!)
* Firefox (my online bank is a bit picky about what browsers it regards as secure)
* mail server which works with mailfilter
* email client which works with local mail server
* leafnode
* package manager which does most of the mail server and leafnode installation for me!
* simple security-config app (e.g. shorewall)
* address book which can import/export in fairly standard formats (e.g. comma-delimited)

Presumably my choice of ROM/distro will be strongly influenced by their support for the hardware functionality I'm after (USB networking, automount, voice recording, etc.) -- but obviously the ROM/distro also makes it easier or more demanding to get the apps I want up and running easily.

Ian
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desertrat
post Aug 8 2006, 07:25 AM
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QUOTE(IanB @ Aug 8 2006, 07:29 AM)
I'm just about to get a 3200 which I'd like to use as a basic "portable desktop", so I'll need to configure it. But I'm getting confused about the various ROM/X/Qt/Opie/GPE/workstation/super/jumbo installations.

I've been using pdaXrom beta3 for ages now and have been very happy with it. It is a portable "desktop" and for short trips it has replaced my laptop.

QUOTE
The eventual basic functions I'm looking for are:
* English language

I think most if not all non-Sharp roms will have this as default smile.gif

QUOTE
* stable setup (not bleeding edge)

The system stays up for weeks. All the programs I use regularly are pretty stable (and I do use a lot of programs) with the exception of Firefox which sometimes terminates inexplicably (mind you, Mozilla and Firefox does that on my desktop too smile.gif)

QUOTE
* USB ethernet and wireless networking with a Netgear broadband router (preferably using WPA-PSK for wireless)

I use two types of USB-ethernet dongles (pegasus and rtl8150) and an Ambicom CF wifi (in WPA-PSK mode).

QUOTE
* appears as USB storage device to Windows/OSX
* automounts USB storage devices

Yep.

QUOTE
* word processor which reads/writes Word and OpenDoc files (and preferably old OpenOffice files)
* spreadsheet which reads/writes Excel files (and preferably old OpenOffice files)

Abiword does a credible job in handling MS Word but doesn't do OpenDocument.
Gnumeric does a good enough job with Excel files but doesn't do OpenDocument.

If you need to use the old OOo file formats then you can always run OOo itself. It's a resource hog and takes 2-3 minutes to startup but is surprisingly useable once started.

QUOTE
* good package management (for upgrades)

pdaXrom has a gui package manager but I prefer to use the cli (faster and more informative).

QUOTE
* jpg viewer
* pdf viewer

A number to choose from: xzgv, feh, gthumb, gqview. the gimp(!). Any of them are a lot better than the ones that I managed to find for the Sharp rom. For pdf, I use xpdf.

QUOTE
* mp3 player

xmms, mplayer

QUOTE
* prints to Canon Pixma iP3000 (I know there's a Linux driver for this)

Cups works for me for printing over the network. Never tried direct printing (don't have a usb printer).

-- cheers
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IanB
post Aug 9 2006, 03:36 PM
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What are the practical advantages and disadvantages of pdaXrom compared with Cacko+pdaXQTrom?

In particular do either of them offer better/easier support for: wifi cards; presenting the Zaurus to Windows/OSX as a USB storage device; automounting USB storage devices; voice recording; cups printing; or range/management of packages?

Ian
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daniel3000
post Aug 10 2006, 12:14 AM
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Hello Ian,

I also aim to use the Zaurus as a "mini laptop" for office use.

For 1.5 years I have used Cacko 1.23 ROM which needed, in order to satisfy my needs, a lot of tweaking, and even then it did not everything I wanted. For example there was no good Excel compatible spreadsheet (yes, gnumeric under pdaXQTrom, but that was too slow for serious use IMHO).
QTopia is kind of heavy and slow at all.
See the details of my setup here:
Zaurus productivity setup with Cacko

I'm now in the process of switching to pdaXrom 1.1.0beta3.
So far this seems to be far better than Cacko for my needs.
One downside so far: Fonts and layout is not optimized for "PDA usage" of the Z, i.e. depending on the condition of your eyes you may want to adjust a lot of font sizes, window sizes etc.
But aside from that, pdaXrom is much more suitable for such a productivity setup.
I don't know in particular if it will meet your printer requirement, but I think all other requirements are met as far as I can see it after 3 days of heavy configuring.

pdaXrom is lightweight, fast and much more straightforward (i.e. much better to overlook system-wise) than Cacko. Much less specialities to deal with, much more like a normal X setup.
And of course much more software available for productivity purposes, which is still actively developed.
My experience with Cacko / Qtopie is that there is a lot of "medium-quality" software available, which has been developed up to a certain state and then the (lone) developer has lost interest and abandoned the product.
Under X there is much more high-quality software available wihch is still developed by a bunch of professional developers.

Example:
The stageOne outliner under Qtopia is a quite good outliner (missing some important fetures, though), but the developer doesn't seem to eb interested in either continue developing or releasing the code.
Now I'm looking for a good outliner under pdaXrom and have found (and got recommended) some VERY interesting projects I have to evaluate now.

Example:
Email client. The QTopia email client meets the basic needs but has some significant drawbacks (opening the attachment dialog needed 10 minutes for me because it scans the entire hard drive for file which could be attached).
So I have instaled mutt on the console, which worked very nicely, but also had a few drawbacks which I could not solve, e.g. special characters couldl not be processed and displayed properly due to locale problems under Cacko.
Addditionally, the setup needed many, many hours because it consist of a lot of components which partially had to be compiled fist.
Now under pdaXrom I have sylpheed-claws, which has every feature I need, is graphical, has no problems with Umlauts etc. and setup needed a few minutes.


I would strongly recommend you to have a look at pdaXrom.
People here are very, very patient and knowledgable if you need help.
Also, pdaXrom seems to be very stable and convenient to use now (the beta3, not beta4!). So it's not the "bleeding edge" anymore.

When I have finished my setup, I will document it in a similar way as the Cacko setup above.

daniel
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koen
post Aug 10 2006, 12:18 AM
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QUOTE(desertrat @ Aug 8 2006, 03:25 PM)
QUOTE
* word processor which reads/writes Word and OpenDoc files (and preferably old OpenOffice files)
* spreadsheet which reads/writes Excel files (and preferably old OpenOffice files)

Abiword does a credible job in handling MS Word but doesn't do OpenDocument.
Gnumeric does a good enough job with Excel files but doesn't do OpenDocument.

*



The abiword and gnumeric in OZ can do OpenDocument.
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IanB
post Aug 10 2006, 03:53 PM
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QUOTE(daniel3000 @ Aug 10 2006, 01:14 AM)
I would strongly recommend you to have a look at pdaXrom.


OK, I've installed pdaXrom. I'm now looking forward to your web page explaining how to make it work! In the meantime, I'll experiment a little.

Ian
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InSearchOf
post Aug 10 2006, 04:08 PM
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QUOTE
OK, I've installed pdaXrom. I'm now looking forward to your web page explaining how to make it work! In the meantime, I'll experiment a little.


His page pertains to Cacko Rom.... not pdaxrom

Late
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adf
post Aug 10 2006, 04:19 PM
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OZ does have a ton of plugins for abiword< and a newly (I hear--haven't tried yet) working cups with webbrowser front end working and all.

the gpe pim apps (now also available in pdaxrom) willl help some with the pdaishness of the thing.

One thing I had issue with in pdaxrom (haven't seen an equivalent in OZ, though one must exist) is reference. zbedic on cacko is fast. qbedic in pdaxrom has long load time (has to load all the qt libraries).
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daniel3000
post Aug 11 2006, 12:32 AM
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QUOTE(InSearchOf @ Aug 11 2006, 02:08 AM)
QUOTE
OK, I've installed pdaXrom. I'm now looking forward to your web page explaining how to make it work! In the meantime, I'll experiment a little.


His page pertains to Cacko Rom.... not pdaxrom

Late
*



Soon there will be a pdaxrom page, too biggrin.gif
However, it may take a few weeks until it is up. I'm also just at the beginning.
I could send you my plain-text notes about what I did so far, if you are interested.

daniel
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koen
post Aug 11 2006, 02:20 AM
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QUOTE(adf @ Aug 11 2006, 12:19 AM)
OZ does have a ton of plugins for abiword< and a newly (I hear--haven't tried yet) working cups with webbrowser front end working and all.
*


See http://linuxtogo.org/~koen/screenshots/nbp-cups.png and http://linuxtogo.org/~koen/index.php?path=screenshots/

That's OZ 3.5.4.1 + updates (so effectively 3.5.4.2) on a netbook-pro using e17 as a windowmanager. Nothing self compiled, everything comes straight from the OZ feeds.
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kurochka
post Aug 11 2006, 12:11 PM
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QUOTE(adf @ Aug 10 2006, 04:19 PM)
One thing I had issue with in pdaxrom (haven't seen an equivalent in OZ, though one must exist) is reference.  zbedic on cacko is fast.  qbedic in pdaxrom has  long load time (has to load all the qt libraries).
*


Is there any plan to compile zbedic for pdaxrom or OZ? Zbedic for me is the most important application for Z.
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adf
post Aug 11 2006, 04:21 PM
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there is an fltkbedic for pdaxrom, apparently. I haven't tried it< but you might look it up and see what is said about it. It would have been a good solution to the bedic/xrom problem--but I bailed on pdaxrom shortly after the beta4 release.
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scheck.r
post Aug 12 2006, 04:28 AM
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QUOTE(IanB @ Aug 11 2006, 01:53 AM)
QUOTE(daniel3000 @ Aug 10 2006, 01:14 AM)
I would strongly recommend you to have a look at pdaXrom.


OK, I've installed pdaXrom. I'm now looking forward to your web page explaining how to make it work! In the meantime, I'll experiment a little.

Ian
*


see meanie's web page on pdaxrom
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