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My Content
12 Jul 2008
The video (at the end of the page) and the specifications you will found here are enough to understand what I can feel now:


2 Aug 2007
I run Qemu like this :

# /usr/bin/qemu -kernel '/home/camrein/rpm/bzImage-2.6.21-qemux86-blinky-3.0.bin' -append 'root=/dev/hda' -boot c -m 512 -hda '/home/camrein/rpm/poky-image-sdk-qemux86-blinky-3.0.rootfs.ext2' -net nic,vlan=0 -net user,vlan=0 -localtime -soundhw sb16

After kernel, X11 start, then the calibration process begin. No way to have my ps2 mouse recognized. I can't click nor move any pointer. Any solution other than removing /etc/X11/Xsession.d/30xTs_Calibrate ?

Without 30xTs_Calibrate the mouse won't work, just the keyboard sad.gif

Some help is welcome. smile.gif
6 Jun 2007
Via CEO Wenchi Chen revealed a business card-sized motherboard billed as the "world's first industry-standard form-factor for PC/phone convergence," at Computex today. The "mobile-ITX" board measures 3 x 1.8 inches -- half the size of Via's "pico-ITX" form-factor -- and runs Windows XP Embedded or Linux.

5 Jul 2006

When I run all those Desktop Environnement, from Gnome to KDE, from QTopia to GPE... I found that all of them are not completely usable. A lot of thing is missing and there is a long road before having a very good and usable Desktop Environnement for PDAs. What are your expectations? Have you got screenshots of what you would like (or love) to see running on your Zaurus? Something already alive?

I ask because... well... there are people who listen... and sometimes...

Any good solutions from other device? Good ideas?
I only got questions and no real answer.
19 Dec 2004
Well guys, I'm in trouble.

Since Linux in the 90's, I have never really worked on an Open Source project from the ground. Just submitted a few patches or advices when I could. My big concern today: I don't understand what people are trying to do with Linux on PDA and smartphone. And this, in the hardware as in the operating system.

For me there are three processor worlds that could share the PDA/smartphone market. There is certainly more but I only see 3 interesting.

1. The standard PC 80x86 processor world. The spreader one. A device with the Zaurus design but with full 80x86 PC compatibility can certainly be a great success (as long as it would be under 1000$). A kind of Zaurus with PC laptop internal e.g. a 500Mhz x86 processor, 64Mo RAM, 4Go internal hard drive, 640*480 swivelling screen, full Linux, 8h or battery life... or perhaps better specification (if possible at this price). As long as it is presented like a PDA, the press won't compare its performance with last laptops but with other PDA (well... if you teach them to not mess up between both kind of device... because of few of them are really stupid). With a device like this I would be completely free to do whatever I want and I won't have any cross-compiling issue.

2. The ARM processor world. Spread in PDA mobile phone and embedded device. This kind of processor has had great success. The press never messed up because they can't install Windows or MSOffice on it. Give me a device with the Zaurus design and I would buy it without thinking too much. Well... oops... I already bought one wink.gif hehe..

3.The PowerPC world. Not very successful in embedded market but well know with names like PowerPC G3,G4,G5 PowerBook or previous models... I never understood why IBM for example haven't released a Zaurus like device with PowerPC processor. If they could release a device with Linux in I would be happy and would think about buying a Mac to avoid cross-compiling headache for example. (With little brainstorming you can find a lot of advantage in the PowerPC PDA/Smartphone market).

So at present, the Zaurus is the only interesting PDA because of its price and its hardware design (swivelling screen, 640*480, touch screen, keyboard, SD+CF, and now internal hard drive.). The OQO is the second one in my list because of its PC compatibility. Even if the OQO price is too high, it is a full PC with PDA size. There are other small PC around, mainly in Asia market, but they won't fit in my pocket. They don't have swivelling screen nor touch screen nor 8 hours of battery life... For the PowerPC market... IBM has only released a product draft but never get far with it. Apple never wanted to release a Palm like device. We could ask why. Perhaps because of money issue, hardware issue or operating system issue.
Whatever, for the smart phone market, only the ARM processor as succeeded so far.

<< --- out of subject -- >>
I had the strange idea a few months ago to create a kind of "FORUM GAME" with PowerPC founding fathers. A game where I wanted to ask IBM to take up a challenge: PDA creation! A Zaurus SL-C3000 PDA with PPC processor + bluetooth + Wifi + rpm based Linux distribution. Something like "Well... you talk a lot. I defy you to create this device. You like to talk about small invisible things like processor transistors or like to talk about “blue” computers with big calculation power? Prove your knowledge! Give us what we ask for! Put your foot in the PDA & phone markets." ... than I wanted to give two designs (two 3D scale models), one for the PowerPC PDA, the other for the PowerPC smart phone.

<< --- back to the main subject -- >>

I don't know why PowerPC and x86 compatible processors haven't been used in PDA. The Psion Series 3, 3a, 3c and 3mx where 80186 compatible processors for example (necV20, necV30 and necV30mx from 1991 to 1995)... but then all PDA manufacturers begun to use only ARM compatible processors. The power consumption is still so high on x86 compatible processors? What hasn't this evolved quickly?

My open source concern with Linux on PDA and smart phone is not only hardware. I'm still waiting for PDA projects with great exchange between developers. OpenEmbedded, pdaXrom, Sharp, Trolltech, TheKompany haven't given me the great developer experience. I was expecting the same kind of exchange I could have with other Open Source projects. I'm not a simple user with basic needs like “ movies MP3 icecandy ssh and a distribution release each years”. I was thinking or real exchange between developpers. First I thought I had completely misunderstood the community so I tried to help a distribution like Mandrakelinux to see how it works (the internal). Well, Mandraksoft try to protect themselves from been forked but they accept quite well help and good advices from the community. So I'm not made! The Linux PDA market is driven differently! This is why there are so little contributions from the community!

If you are not only users but also developers and have fill the Zaurususergroup forums with wishes than you now know the great list of feature you will have to add by yourself. You have a great change to receive no help from other. It's better when you work on your own wishes list, less when it's the wishes list of someone else. It could be a ants job if more people could get evolved but they won't... if they see this market like a dupe market (like I do).

Guys, you are just wallets and nothing more! I don't know what other are trying to do but for me at present, companies are trying to become the only providers of open source software. I wasn't aware of this enormous war underground. It's a pity!

Here how I see the Zaurus/iPaq market for example:

_ OpenEmbedded. Many years... and it is still a mess. Still a lot of bugs in packages. The used build scripts still have issue. They are are hard to understand out of the box, they need a lot of memory (640Mo minimum and big swap space), they need powerful processor and... you need to build all packages. When you ask the developers to freeze the software version and begin to fix source code or submit fixed binary packages in feeds... they always reply that they can't because there are other groups using OE for their projects. What groups? Why not forking OE in BitKeeper and have a stable release to work on? Why not using the same package number as Suse Debian or Fedora and takes advantage of the existing distributions fix and submit patches to package maintainers and original authors? And well... all those developers working on it and we only get this? They are full time on IRC! Don't tell me that they are doing something else! Well, I would be the manager of this kind of team, I would show a big dismissal plan with a big smile. Shareholders would have loved it!

_ The OPIE project! the Open Platform Integrated Environment! What a mess! Every developers have run away! At present, OPIE is still used to fight against Trolltech Qtopia. It uses ice candy icons and beautiful screen shots to try to cover up the lake of interest from its developers and the big list of bugs. Remember the women in red in Matrix movie? You got it. Well... all remaining members are for me responsible for the OPIE fiasco. More than this, they are now waiting for Qtopia 2.x and Qt embedded 4.0 to try to mess up those new versions too. Really, do you really see something in OPIE that couldn't be build on top of Qtopia? Need to fork Qtopia and loose Qtopia compatibility for OPIE?

_ GPE? Well guys... most developers have run away too! It could be more interesting with a better X11 server. The current server flicker a lot and is quite slow on Zaurus SL-C760 or on iPaq 3870. Most applications are unfinished and nobody want to help because something doesn't smell good in the project. The same kind of feeling of discomfort I can feel in familiar (the iPaq HP Linux distribution). I don't know what is wrong... but the feeling is strong. Only a few applications has make it to an interesting state (Contact for example).

_ Trolltech Qtopia and the now traditional “Soon! Keep turned!” from lpotter (Trolltech employee).
They never tried to open Qtopia to third party toolkit. I can understand those commercial reasons... but nobody can prevent the open source advance. You can only slow it down. This is exactly what they tried to do. At present, if you run a X11 server with client in rooless mode, you should be able to use both world without problem (mean Qtopia and X11/GTK/.. applications without licence issue.. as long as your server doesn't link to Qte or Qtopia). Just one thing: Qtopia 2.1 is like vapourware. The same kind of strategy MS used to prevent people to switch to something else. Opie with its ice candy is certainly what Trolltech didn't want to see coming for Qt-X11. If the Qtopia 2.1 vapourware is a trap for the Opie developpers waiting for it... welll... good lucke. Learn to tell the true. You will see how far curstomers like to ear it.

_ pdaXrom distribution. Well, exactly what I want on my Zaurus: full laptop power in my hand. It would be very good if external people could help the project. Because they know how far people could try to mess up an Open Source project, they are still trying to prevent “hidden spies” to make a mess of their distribution. PdaXrom is so much protected that it is loosing all potential community help. Well... if you think of the kind of help sent to OPIE or GPE, you can easily understand and excuse them to be so protectionist. But they miss: (1) better and automatic bug report handling (2) patches submission (3) new pdaXrom packages source submission (4) new software built specifically for pdaXrom. I only have one hope: one day, they will switch to bugzilla, use an rpm based package manager and rpm based build system for their distribution.

_ Someone have news from TheKompany? It has died? Other projects have succeeded in disgusting them? Well, I think that there was not enough money to make around Sharp device. They are mainly a software company, isn't it? Well... companies go away... developers go away... and there is much and much users (user only I mean)... :/

_ HP/Compaq and their well know iPaq and handhelds.org. Well, first, they wanted to build a Linux PDA complete suit of software around their iPaq. Instead of completing the kernel port for their first supported models, they tried to add kernel support for new iPaq. Many people bought their device because of the Linux support (me at least) but the Linux kernel port wasn't stable and new device was released to fast. Other device from other manufacturers then come and grab people attention with minimal Linux port. At the same time, GPE and OPIE was becoming more messy with great management. Then HP tried to create a kind of kernel porting school to grab attention and receive help to port Linux on their new device but without luck. Now, handhelds.org is experiencing strange shut-down with vapour explanations. Well... as long as there is no good Linux port for iPaq... I can understand that they don't want to support projects like OPIE GPE familiar or Open Embedded any more.

_ Sharp! Well, they don't mind! They tested the US and EU market with SL-5000,5500,5600 and SL-6000. This was a flop. They know that they can sell device in Asia without changing anything on Qtopia 1.5... so done it! As long as they don't see a real opportunity to introduce new Zaurus device in Europe or US, they won't try to force this product line to comeback in those markets. Why should they? Even Sony stopped to produce Palm Clié PDA (and then focussed on Asia market)!
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