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My Content
22 Jul 2006

you might be interested to take a look at


to learn more about an E-Ink device which runs on Linux with X-11 and matchbox, uses an xscale processor and seems to be binary compatible to Zaurus.

It's intended purpose is to be used as an electronic reader. It comes with viewers for PDF, XHTML, graphics, text and APABI (to be continued with updates).

It is also a WACOM pen enabled device, which means that has a touchscreen and a WACOM pen. It can display 16 grayscales with an 768x1024 resolution.

It has integrated WIFI for a conncection to the IREX content delivery system. By using the supplied docking station it can also connect to Fast Ethernet or can appear by USB as a mass storage device to other devices.

It also has a SD and CF slot which can be used both at the same time. It also has an USB connector which can be used to plug USB memory sticks into the device.

So far we have been able to find out the following stuff about the internals of the device:

* X11 with matchbox
* able to run some apps from the Zaurus ARM utils, which leads to the impression, that it is binary compatible to the Zaurus
* USB host and client
* root access through ssh is possible when the network is up (which was initially only the case during connections to the content delivery service but which can now be brought up by viewing and interacting with a specially prepared PDF file)
* browser is minimo

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6 May 2006

In case that you are in search for a big sister to your beloved Zaurus, take a look at this e-Ink device, which will be available in a few weeks:

MobileRead Posting
19 Dec 2005

I am trying to use a Fast Ethernet and a WPA W-LAN access with my C860 an Cacko ROM 1.23. After some trouble I got the WPA and the Fast Ethernet CF card running. While the cards are recognized and running, I got the following problems:

* Fast Ethernet:

Link established but I can only ping my own IP adress. Nothing else can be accessed.

* W-LAN:

The difficult WPA encryption stuff works allright. But the connection is disconnected, because of an DNS error.

I assume that both errors are resulting from the same problem: I can't get out of my machine. Could someone please enlighten a linux rookie what the problem could be? Thanks!
7 May 2005

I own a C860 and I wanted to use it as an always be there and ready to use notebook replacement. Which means I always wanted to view PDF, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files without size limitations. Plus I wanted to show large image files and browse the web without limitations.

The Picsel Browser for Zaurus software just does this. Although it is only available in Japan and I did not know too much about it I bought it. As I am extremely impressed by the performance of this little piece of software I decided to write this little review:

What does the Picsel Browser for Zaurus do?
It enables you to view PDF, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Text and Image (including WMF) files. It can also show HTML and Flash files and it can be used as a Web-browser. It runs on the C860 clamshell models (and maybe some others, I do not know).

Where does it come from?
It comes from Picsel Technologies and costs around 100 Euro in Japan. It is available in the Sharp Online Shop.
If you are using a language converted Zaurus, the user interface will also be in English after installation. At least in my case.

What does it look like?
It is delivered and dongled to a 256 MB card. This means that it can only be run with this card inserted in your Zaurus.
The user interface is pretty cool. It relies on icons and miniature views. Except in the preferences menu no text is used. This means it is pretty intuitive to use and looks neat.

How does it work?
Apparently the Picsel Browser renders every file type into some kind of vector graphics. So every file type you open is presented to you in a similar way:

Click onto the file's icon and the document will be displayed completely on your screen. By tapping and moving the stylus the document can be moved like a sheet of paper. The developers even implemented some kind of physics engine. This means that you can actually push the "paper" (=document) around until it stops moving due to some virtual friction. Nice! With some different taps you can use the stylus to zoom in and out of the document. When panning and zooming around a document the render process becomes visible in the form of pixelated aeras. These areas become sharp pretty fast so that they don't prevent you from an efficient use.

Web pages are also like all other supported documents, except that you can click onto hyperlinks and form elements. Text input into forms works as well. Linked files which can be shown by the picsel browser are specially marked on document. Unfortunately no popup windows can be launched. But maybe it can be done and I haven't found the way to do it yet.

If Flash animations are embedded into the web page, they will be shown embedded into the page just like graphics. This way web pages on the Zaurus do finally look like web pages on our - less powerful ;-) - grown up computers. Unfortunately and apparently not all Flash animations can be shown. I also was not successful in interacting with animations. So it seems that interactive user elements (e.g. a button) cannot be accessed in flash animations.

Is it useful?
Yes it is very useful. Even the biggest files are rendered flawlessly and most of the times completely. I produce a lot of PDF-documents intended for print out. They include a lot of high resolution bitmaps. The Picsel Browser just zooms into these bitmaps and shows them in all their beauty. The rendering of the documents is so good that it comes close to a sheet of paper. No artefacts and no pixels around. The developers use an extremely good antialising algorithm. Did you ever imagine that you can actually display and read a whole DIN A4 page on a PDA screen? That's finally possible!

What can be improved?
What I would really like to have:

* search function for text
* being able to comment documents with the stylus
* open popup windows in web pages and save files linked in web pages
* view videos
* being able to use my own SD-card
* support for powerpoint animations (these are rendered into the page)
* a 6 GB microdrive (ok, just a joke;-)

Final Words
The Picsel Browser for Zaurus finally uses the power of the Zaurus to its best. It is the first software I have seen which makes it possible to actually read documents on the PDA screen without getting a headache. It's really cool. Its user interface design and performance is unconventional and welcome in todays boring nofun reasonal world. So if you like a cool software for a cool gadget go get it even if it seems to be a bit expensive! ;-)

As seeing is believing I have created some screenshots and a video clip (7,2 MB). It would be nice if I could attach this clip as well. Thanks!

I deleted the attached screenshots and attached a 5x-speed version of my original review video. In case more attachment space becomes available and someone wants to see it, I can also post the realtime speed higher resolution video.

Changed title to something more curious. Note: The video file is in MPEG4. It can be shown on the Zaurus using mplayer/kino.

Removed some spelling errors and tried to introduce some grammar. ;-)
Attached File(s)
Attached File  dr_review_picselbrowserforzaurus_fast.zip ( 1.39MB ) Number of downloads: 732
3 Apr 2005

I searched the forum (and the web) and couldn't find an answer to the question whether the Picsel Browser for Zaurus can be installed in english language. I also would be very happy if someone could post some screenshots of the application in action and tell us his experience.

In detail I would like to know:

* Does the Picsel Browser feature a search function for Word- & PDF-documents?
* Are all Powerpoint features supported? If not: Which are?
* How is web-browsing compared to Netfront?
* Are webpages with Flash animations rendered correctly?
* Can documents be edited in any way?
* Are there any supplieres different from the Japanese Online Shop?

Apparently it is a unique and powerful application nobody does no nothing about. I would like to change this with the help of you.

Kind regards,
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