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rob_figlabs
I don't know if everyone was aware, but the user guide we produced for the Cx000 models running Sharp's ROM is available for free online here:
Figlabs User Guide

If you want you can get a printed copy along with on-device help here: Printed manual
GadgetGuy
QUOTE(rob_figlabs @ Oct 5 2005, 07:01 AM)
I don't know if everyone was aware, but the user guide we produced for the Cx000 models running Sharp's ROM is available for free online here:
Figlabs User Guide

If you want you can get a printed copy along with on-device help here: Printed manual
*


I have found a much better ( AFAIK ) guide here (PDF version, can be printed easily, and is free) here: http://www.trisoft.de/en_c3100howto.htm

The figlabs manual describes details ( for a fee- if you want to print) which are really easy to figure out. The Trisoft one is much more useful, since it discusses details related to synchronization, backups, conversion to English etc...

Also, Trisoft provides for free the download to convert your Zaurus to English (plus many extras )
rob_figlabs
QUOTE(GadgetGuy @ Oct 5 2005, 01:35 PM)
The figlabs manual describes details which are really easy to figure out.
*

I think this is the point - everyone who buys a zaurus doesn't necessarily have the time or the ability to work these things out. Which is why we made our manual - not for the hackers like you and me but for the other people.
GadgetGuy
QUOTE(rob_figlabs @ Oct 5 2005, 07:49 AM)
QUOTE(GadgetGuy @ Oct 5 2005, 01:35 PM)
The figlabs manual describes details which are really easy to figure out.
*

I think this is the point - everyone who buys a zaurus doesn't necessarily have the time or the ability to work these things out. Which is why we made our manual - not for the hackers like you and me but for the other people.
*



That is a good point. The question is: would a "non hacker" buy a Zaurus in the first place? I would think not...

Still: if there are "non hacker" types, who do not want to learn about linux, who do not want to use their Zaurus inside -out : for those your guide can be of great help... I agree with that
Meanie
well both the figlab and the trisoft manuals have areas where they shine and areas where improvement is needed. however, if there was some collaboration between the two, then the combined effort would create something really great and useful for the community.
rebski
Thanks for making this available. There is a lot of useful information in there.
bam
the most useful book I've found is Meanies Book smile.gif
TRIsoft
Rob,

nice guide and well done.

But why haven't you simply asked us before you copied nearly all images
from our documentation?

You should make an update (a customer from us told us that we made a
mistake): Look at inserting the battery. The poles (+) and (-) are wrong.
It's corrected in our last version (here). Sorry for this.

Also on ...ug-specifications.php you say:
QUOTE
...Lithium Ion battery Trisoft: EA-BL11 provides 7 hours of use on ...

?? huh ?? rolleyes.gif

OK, serious now: We know that our guide ignores the applications and
concentrates on handling and hardware. You have done a very good
job on this part and we like it.

Public offer here: How about some official code-sharing between us?
This will be an improvement for you, us and our customers.

///TRIsoft

Marc Stephan + Robert Fischer
rob_figlabs
QUOTE(TRIsoft @ Oct 6 2005, 10:11 AM)
But why haven't you simply asked us before you copied nearly all images
from our documentation?
*

Marc, Robert - we absolutely would have asked if we had used your images, but I scanned all those images in myself out of the C3000 manual and photoshopped them a bit to clean them up wink.gif
Thanks for pointing out the errors,
Cheers
scheck.r
The best combination(IMHO) is Trisoft's Manual for Hardware and Meanie's Zbook3k(awesome) in pdf for dealing with the rest (applications, configurations, network, formatting,...).
Plus Trisoft even provides a NAND Backup already full of useful apps, converted to english.
scheck.r
I like very much Figlabs user guide too, just sad it cannot be printed fro free as a pdf file.
GadgetGuy
QUOTE(scheck.r @ Oct 6 2005, 04:23 PM)
I like very much Figlabs user guide too, just sad it cannot be printed fro free as a pdf file.
*


It is quite easy to download and convert into one file, if that is what you need...

You could just use copy - paste into a Word document, takes probably 10 minutes.
Maybe I will do it one day, and I will convert it into a PDF, so that others can use it .

Of course, it would be easier if Figlabs would follow Trisoft's and Meanie's example, and would share it with the Zaurus community...
markm_figlabs
QUOTE(TRIsoft @ Oct 6 2005, 01:11 AM)
Public offer here: How about some official code-sharing between us?
This will be an improvement for you, us and our customers.


Marc, Robert,

Our objective is to make the most usable and useful Zaurus possible for our customers - both in terms of software and user-guide, so we welcome your offer.

We'll contact you to see what we can do together.

Thanks

Mark
rob_figlabs
QUOTE(GadgetGuy @ Oct 7 2005, 03:15 AM)
if Figlabs would ... share it with the Zaurus community...
*

GadgetGuy, I respectfully refer you to the post that started this thread wink.gif

QUOTE(rob_figlabs @ Oct 5 2005, 01:01 PM)
I don't know if everyone was aware, but the user guide we produced for the Cx000 models running Sharp's ROM is available for free online here:
Figlabs User Guide
icruise
I think he meant that you should make a printable version freely available.
GadgetGuy
QUOTE(icruise @ Oct 7 2005, 11:12 AM)
I think he meant that you should make a printable version freely available.
*


That is exactly what I have meant.
markm_figlabs
Here's the challenge

We're trying to make a business from selling the Zaurus. The problem we face is that we start with one hand tied behind our back - namely we can't possibly compete on price with purchasing direct from Japan, so how can we compete with these guys?

Our approach is to improve the product, giving our customers a better user experience. These ehancements are currently:

1. Providing our customers with a good, responsive and helpful service.
2. Providing a good user manual and the best English conversion we possibly can (both of these have taken a lot of time and effort to date and we're still working at them).

We are also in the process of enhancing some elements of the software that we think are not as good as they could be. But today all we have to compete with a cheaper import from Japan is customer service (which you don't know about until you've bought from us) and a better English conversion and manual.

We are devotees of Linux, open source contributors and very sensitive to issues of sharing with the community - it was for these reasons that we made the user manual available on-line in the first instance (we could have chosen not to do this at all, but we felt it was appropriate to).

Over time we'd like to think we would have more differentiators and consequently would be able to share more with the community.

If you can think of a better way to make this a sustainable business then we would be genuinely happy to hear it.

Best regards

Mark
GadgetGuy
QUOTE(markm_figlabs @ Oct 7 2005, 04:17 PM)
Here's the challenge

We're trying to make a business from selling the Zaurus.
*


Trisoft succeeds ( at least it seems like it)... Maybe you should team up with them?

I would assume, there always will be people, who prefer the (local) service and support: this is your market. And there will be those, who want the lowest price and do not expect support: these will obviously not want to buy from you.

I do not really see the problem. There are two segments - so the issue is to target only the first (and get the support - WOM - of the second)...

I personally would not have been able to buy a C3100 from a reseller like yourself. The only option was for me: get one from Japan directly - or get none. So I got one from Japan (and I take the risk of no support). I seriously considered US resellers (for the service and such) - but my budget did not allow it...

But I am sure, that there are others, who prefer the local support: these are the ones to sell to. How to find them? I could help - feel free to PM me. I have my own consulting business ( just starting up ) and could help to identify how to target your most profitable segment...
polito
I second what GadgetGuy says about those who aren't really expecting support. They would generally not buy from you.

I always end up buying some high-end laptop that is never really supported by the vendor when it comes to putting linux on it and so I have to hack around to get things working. But basically I do all that I must in order to get it working. I never expected any support from Sharp (I bought Sharp laptops, namely the Actius MM20 and Actius PC-AL27, very nice... both of them) and never got any. They never said they'd support it so it didn't matter.

Depending on whether you've got the time and/or ability to create very useful applications, y ou may be able to get business simply from providing better software or customized solutions. Either way, Sharp Zaurii won't ever really be an "in" thing like an iPod. I personally don't care for the iPod so much but it just works for most people and it looks cool.

Unfortunately the Zaurus looks cool, really cool in fact, but not everything "just works" and usually do anything neat or what people would expect standard these days (bluetooth support) isn't and doesn't work out of the box.

EmperorLinux has made a nice business for themselves by taking laptops that may not normally work very well (or at all) with Linux and created custom kernels and software sets to make them work perfectly (or very nearly). Things that cause people lots of trouble (suspend/resume, hibernation, etc) on laptops under linux are handled by EmperorLinux so end users don't have to bother with it. Many people buy their laptops just for that reason. The end-user may very well be capable with linux systems but just not want to bother with the headaches of getting a laptop running right.

Might want to check them out. I personally have never bought a laptop from EmperorLinux but I have thought about sending in my MM20 for a depot install. I just never got around to it biggrin.gif
markm_figlabs
Agreed...

There are two possible markets:

1. those that don't want the support
2. those that do want the support

but maybe there's also a third - people that want the support but don't want to
pay for it - do they belong to group 1 or 2? (This can be a problem with segments - they're
rarely clean cut - they overlap and people swap between them)

Nevertheless let's assume in this instance that the segments behave
themselves and they fall into the two groups, so we should target the
second, get the first onside...so what's a good way of doing that?

Our thought process at the time was:
- Focus our efforts on usability - like polito, we liked the Zaurus, thought
it looked cool, but felt it needed 'finishing' to grow the market. And (as
we can all appreciate) the finishing work can sometimes be the really
time-consuming stuff...the 20% of the functionality that takes 80% of the
time.
- And we also needed to make the usability emphasis tangible for the people
that are looking for support by providing something on the site - our
initial thought was the user manual which would lead people into looking at
us.
- One of the problems with this is that the people who don't want the
support can still get it ..online. But (so the argument goes with the two
segments) of course they don't need support so what does it matter? So
really we show the guys that do need support that we've added some value to
the box (e.g. user manual) and this helps differentiate us from other
resellers. And if by chance the odd one or two from the 'don't want support
group' use the online manual...great..we'll get the word of mouth support.
- At some point you have to draw a line in terms of how much you make
available for free..the PDF seemed another step (although over time the
value changes, and we can see a point when the PDF gets made available for
free as a new piece of value is added..a timing thing as the market becomes
more sophisticated and we get to support more R&D).

Do you think the thought process is flawed?

At the time - another approach we thought about was to keep the things we're
doing inside the company's 'walled garden' and offer to build a customer's
machine for a fee and provide a hardback user manual as part of that
package. But in this case we're providing little back to the community.

As I understand it, this has some similarities with the EmperorLinux model -
but given the price of the device, our industry positioning and possible
adverse word of mouth...it wasn't appropriate for Fig Labs.

I guess this is a common issue in Open Source (even if the Sharp ROM isn't
quite as open as we'd like): how to cover the costs of upfront R&D effort,
make the code freely available..but not free.


Genuinely interested in your thoughts and thanks for giving your opinion.

Mark
tyndyll
QUOTE(markm_figlabs @ Oct 10 2005, 11:37 AM)
Agreed...

There are two possible markets:

1. those that don't want the support
2. those that do want the support


You're forgetting the third market, those that want the device and don't want to pay for it smile.gif

As someone who is currently considering taking the plunge and getting one of these (and arguing regularly about whether to just get a cheap notebook instead) I've got to say I appreciate both versions of the books. I don't use Linux a great deal and have some concerns about doing so. Not all hackers use Linux and so an Idiots guide is a handy way for me at least to get involved...

By the way if any of the Figlabs chaps want to do me a cheap deal I'm all ears smile.gif
The_Poet
If anyone wants an instructional designer with editing experience, I am more than willing to offer my services. I'm not knocking any of the manuals, and as a linux newbie and zaurus beginner (still) I appreciate ALL of the files, manuals, and upgrades I can get...but if I might point out something that is representative of a clean-up edit:

"We know you'll be itching to start playing with your new toy, sorry device, so we'll be brief. If you do nothing else with this User Guide, we suggest you at least do the following:"

The way the above quote is written, it seems like you are saying that the toy is a sorry device. If you are going to stay with the familiar attempt at humor, try this instead:

"We know you'll be itching to start playing with your new toy - sorry, device - so we'll be brief. If you do nothing else with this User Guide, we suggest you at least do the following:"

Hope that helps a little.
icruise
Heh heh. I do sometimes think it's a sorry device when I can't get something to work. wink.gif
markm_figlabs
QUOTE(The_Poet @ Oct 12 2005, 06:34 AM)
"We know you'll be itching to start playing with your new toy - sorry, device - so we'll be brief. If you do nothing else with this User Guide, we suggest you at least do the following:"

Hope that helps a little.
*



It does, thanks.

Mark
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