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> The perfect Linux PDA
padishah_emperor
post Mar 30 2004, 02:34 PM
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Yes, and?

I've had probably more PDAs, it means nothing beyond the fact that none of them measured upto MY needs, I don't understand your point. So I reiterate my view, my C860 is MY perfect handheld. You do not seem happy judging by your posting, if you don't like the Sharp hardware or software - don't use it, buy something else.

As long as Sharp make these Linux based PDAs, they will NEVER make them more available to 'mass market', it will always be a niche thing, just as they will NEVER put windows on it (eek!). If you don't get that, I don't think you ever will (and I do not mean that in the pejorative sense). There are plenty of machines to choose from, with different pluses and minuses, Sharp have (to my knowledge) never targeted these Zaurii at the PDA/organiser market, they were developed for Linux enthusiasts as 'Personal Mobile Tools' and a pain to get a hold of, mine was imported from Japan, I think that is the point, if you want a 'good PDA' or something for the mass market, go for a Palm or PocketPC. If you want a UNIX workstation with PIM functionality with a convenient form factor, then go for a Zaurus, the command line comes with the territory and is a powerful and superior way of getting things done fast.

If there ever was a ROM which was locked down that did this and that like PocketPC, then it would be as bad as PocketPC, why buy a Linux machine and then want it to be a Windows-like experience?, just by a PocketPC in the first place.

Sharp have got it right, if you disagree, don't use it, to buy a Zaurus, you have to go out on a limb to get one (esp. here in the UK), they've got it right in the software with a commercial Qtopia environment, the open source community has it right by producing varied ROMs with different features, variety is the spice of life, choice. And you have the choice whether to go that route, or go for PocketPC/Palm if you like that sort of thing. Sharp will make the odd machine available outside Japan, but will never compete with the others, nor should it, and I support that decision.

I think our wires are getting crossed, so I am not going to post further on this thread, or it could decend into a shouting match and I have no time or patience for that. I hope you merely understand my belief as I do yours.

:-)
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grey_moon
post Mar 30 2004, 02:54 PM
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from what ive read the zaurus does very well in the japanese market, and hopefully it will do well in the chinese market too and show sharp that the non-japanese consumer does want a linux pda!
its a shame it never did that well in the usa and the uk, but to be honest i think they should have gone for a big push on the clam shell model as they went head to head with the 5X00 series against pocket pc and palm which is well established in the western markets. the sony ux will show if clam shell pdas go down well or not...
Also it seems to me that the uk and usa consumer are soooo slow to take up on new concepts or technologies, hopefully thats also changed with our must have gadget generation. but it does seem that us uk gadgeteers get battered with the big stick of expense when we want to buy something new, anything electronic its seems to just as cheapp to fly to another country and buy it and u get a holiday too...
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padishah_emperor
post Mar 30 2004, 04:02 PM
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Well it limits greed if nothing else, eh?

Sharp keeps it's head down in this part of the world, no need to anger the Microsoft beast. With the Z being a major product in Japan, they make enough money to keep the project going, but I had a Zaurus MANY years ago. No linux and more like a databank, I don't think the policy of making it globally available will ever change. I like being on the fringe, that's where the Z is at.

Wouldn't change it for the world.

Anyway when people (with PocketPC and Palm) say "that's so neat, where can I get one?" I love saying "You can't, it's exclusive and for advanced users". ;-)
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amrein
post Mar 31 2004, 12:18 AM
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:cry:
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lardman
post Mar 31 2004, 06:26 AM
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QUOTE
As long as Sharp make these Linux based PDAs, they will NEVER make them more available to 'mass market', it will always be a niche thing


@padishah_emperor:

Actually I disagree with you. I don't think Sharp got it right. I think that had they produced a more polished system (and it's certainly possible) then more people would have bought the device, etc.... I would still have bought one, knowing that I could program it myself, but by having poor software initially they have limited their market which isn't a good plan imho.

I love my Zaurii, but it would be nice if they were a little more polished - it doesn't annoy me that much (not enough for me to actively do something about it), but I do think about it from time to time. However as I'm not paid to make polished apps for the Z, I'm quite happy to just get along with the functionality (as long as the lack of polish doesn't annoy me too much).


Si
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nilch
post Mar 31 2004, 07:21 AM
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I think there were a few one time posters who said that they were returning their Zauruii - cause it didnt function as well as they expected (as easy as Palm's) and because it was too damn hard to tweak what with conf files and all that thingie going on with the zaurus.

So apart from some hardcore users like us all, many newbies actually returned their Zaurus-es. That shows that had Sharp bettered their software, many more people (at least those who did buy) would have kept their zaurus's.

But I am optimistic as long as Sharp doesn't pull away totally from this market. Like the initial Palm's, the first breed of software always has rough edges. And subsequent version of Sharp ROM has bettered their apps (not the basic ROM, but Apps) in small little ways. I guess it will take certain iteration before the software matures to a newbie-usable level. Plus with companies like Lycoris and IBM behind the Qtopia movement - I only think it can get better, not worse. So lets hang on to this sweet device whicle the softare gets sweeter - thanks also to the developers and ROM designers - like Cacko, tkc etc.
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padishah_emperor
post Mar 31 2004, 09:53 AM
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Yes lardman, nilch, I acknowledge both of your points, but, Sharp do not make these as PDAs do they? It may be a little rough around the edges, but you can say the same about Slackware, Fedora, SuSE, BSD, Debian, Solaris etc...

If I was a Linux v1rgin, I don't think the Z would be suitable, if I wanted a PDA designed for PIM/Sync, I would not buy a Z.

I quote from the ShirtPocket website (all copyrights acknowledged and disregarded):

"Firstly, we would simply like to point out, that we would not recommend this device for the Novice User or Someone that simply wants a simple PIM (Personal Information Manager) device. This is a powerful tool, hence it is advisable to have at least some experience with such devices."

and

"Sharp don't actually call the C750/860 a PDA, but instead call it a Personal Mobile Tool."

I believe the same was true of the 5500, I had one and never expected it to be a good PDA, it was an excellent pocket computer, in the true sense. The 5000 was almost exclusively a developer's tool.

But I agree with you both, the software will evolve if we support Sharp and encourage them to continue, also it is in our interests that it stays a major force in Japan.

Unless Microsoft are legally restricted, or they choose to pull-out from the PDA sector, Linux machines will not get a foothold, I do not believe we could see that kind of shift for many years.

Time will tell.
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mentat_bashar
post Mar 31 2004, 10:42 AM
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This all seem's a little Vain to me, i am a new Zaurus owner and i think it's the best portable computer ever. I tend to think of the "Z" as a powerfull linux box. Not a pda! I have been involved with computers since the get-go, The "Z" is a reminder of when computing was for people who wanted to get there hands dirty. For me it's perfect in every way, but thats me! you all seem to be dissapointed,? why not cherish what you have ,i do everyday..
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derekp
post Mar 31 2004, 12:09 PM
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QUOTE
... you all seem to be dissapointed,? why not cherish what you have ,i do everyday..


Here's the reason for disapointment.
I have the capability to make the Zaurus do most of what I want. However, there are some things that are out of my abilities. For example, hardware. It would be nice to see, for example, Logitech's KeyCase available for the Zaurus. However, they are not going to release one because the market isn't there for them. Same thing with some software apps. I can't go out and do a bunch of survays to put together a good street mapping application. I'd rather use Street Atlas USA (they have a handheld component available). But they won't release a Zaurus port, unless there is a large enough market.

So, by Sharp screwing up on making the thing easy/powerful enough for Joe Average, it keeps them from selling enough units to encourage Jim Manufacturer to produce products that I want to buy.
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padishah_emperor
post Apr 1 2004, 04:22 AM
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That's nit picking ;-)
You cant please everyone all of the time, but I've just had a look at the Keycase, it's a good idea. But there is a flexible keyboard: http://www.man-machine.com/FX100.htm for 5500, as well as the pockettop one.

I don't know about a solution to your mapping requirement.


mentat_bashar: (Dune is soo cool) You ask too much for some people. But you *know* I am humbled to have my C860, the Z reminds me of the days of Spectrums, Dragons and Commodore 64's - get ya hands dirty computing
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