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Full Version: To buy or not to buy...c 860
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bikerferg
Greetings All: Am stalling and would ask further advice for the body of knowledge. I am really interested in the c 860, like its clam shell style, keyboard, etc. I need a pda to do PIM stuff on syncing to Outlook (not email) also Word and Excel file compatability. I believe c 860 can do all this. Or would I be better with a Palm pda or the like? I am not Linux experienced, though may set up system just to play around. I don't want to "brick" a unit. If installing a new rom allows for greater versatility that would be great. If would be good to have it all in english, and run needed programs and utilities. Should I go for it or go other pda?? Thanks to others who have already given advice (yodabob and others good people) ..thanks...Steve
Omicron
I just passed the decision making process myself and bought one. I previously owned (actually still do) a Sharp 5500 and also tried other PDA's.

Although I am not a linux expert, The reason I decided to stick with Sharp/Linux, plunk down the huge $$, and go for an "unsupported" import is:
1) The relatively few people that know this machine, KNOW this machine...I mean your amount of expert help is phenominal. (except me of course). So support is not an issue...warranty works but shipping is costlier than domestic.
2) I discovered once I setup the 5500, I rarely needed to update it and/or go out on the web for more stuff. Right now I am in the midst of configuring it exactly for my needs...making sure it does all I want, and as well as I need it to do it.
3) The raw functionality and capabilities of the machine are amazing. That coupled with item one (above) means that if you have a good idea for something, someone is probably already doing it or porting it....or might if you ask.
4) I love my 5500, but with the low resolution (which was already bigger than most palms) and lame keyboard (again most palms don't even have one) I deceided that although I am spoiled by having two features better than the palm, I wanted them even better than that. With that said, the screen and keyboard are FANTASTIC. This much I KNOW you will love....the hardware ROCKS.

My conclusion so far (while I am in the setup phase) is mixed. I switched to CACKO QT ROM and I highly recommend it (you can overclock in a snap and it's got nice bells and whistles...and you don't have to learn anything new...looks like Sharp's ROM but better).
My main concern is a lack of native (Landscape) games, lack of a good alarm clock program, and the seemingly lack of it's ability to play movies as well as my 5500 (I know that last one seems very strange, but my 5500 plays movies very well and so far I haven't gotten anywhere near the performance (frames per second)...but remember the screeen is FOUR times larger and the processor is only TWO times faster).

These issues are really specific to me, and I am confident I will solve them to beyond my satisfaction. As for you, the c860 seems to fit the bill for you right out of the box. The hardware alone is worth the added convience and the word/excel functionality is right there (although I have no idea how good hancom is, becuase I have yet to use it much, but it sure looks the part).

Hope this helps.
padishah_emperor
QUOTE
and the seemingly lack of it's ability to play movies as well as my 5500 (I know that last one seems very strange, but my 5500 plays movies very well and so far I haven't gotten anywhere near the performance (frames per second)...but remember the screeen is FOUR times larger and the processor is only TWO times faster)


If you have existing movies for your 5500 you will need to redo them, the C860 plays video perfectly, 320x240@24fps no problem, no frame drops (or not noticable at least). It just has to be encoded properly and you need to use mplayer, or Kino2 setup properly. Video at this resolution when encoded properly, video looks fantastic, any higher though and it won't work well.
Omicron
Interesting.....

What setup do I neeed to do for KINO (already installed in my ROM).

My goal is 640 x480 movies....but I will try the lower setting...Do you have a link to the process you use to make them?

I have my own for the 5500, but perhaps a proven C860 would be better place to start.
padishah_emperor
You cannot do 640x480 video, my 750MHz PC can barely manage 720x576 which is only marginally bigger. But 320x240 fullscreen is great, as for encoding tips, there are plenty of threads on that, I am currently using .wmv files, 320x240@24fps wmv1 Video, MP3 audio, although I am about to change all my scripts because I am going over to pdaXrom. I want to try MPEG-4 video and OGG audio. I may create a web page or write a how to.

In Kino2 check the following in the Preferences:
Core:
Drop frames = check
Direct access to FB = check
Video/Fullscreen:
Enable overlay = check
Enable doublebuffering = uncheck
Enable QVGA = check

YMMV
Omicron
QUOTE
QUOTE
and the seemingly lack of it's ability to play movies as well as my 5500 (I know that last one seems very strange, but my 5500 plays movies very well and so far I haven't gotten anywhere near the performance (frames per second)...but remember the screeen is FOUR times larger and the processor is only TWO times faster)


If you have existing movies for your 5500 you will need to redo them, the C860 plays video perfectly, 320x240@24fps no problem, no frame drops (or not noticable at least). It just has to be encoded properly and you need to use mplayer, or Kino2 setup properly. Video at this resolution when encoded properly, video looks fantastic, any higher though and it won't work well.


One question....

WHY can't I use the movies made for the 5500? They are set up 320x240 already...but your right they look awful...but WHY is that?
padishah_emperor
I've found for optimal performance on the target hardware and software, it's alway best to encode specifically for it. There are more factors involved than screen size alone to consider, bitrate, audio etc.

Also I always encode for space efficiency rather than picture quality, I aim to achieve 1-1.5 MB/per min of video.
Omicron
QUOTE
I've found for optimal performance on the target hardware and software, it's alway best to encode specifically for it. There are more factors involved than screen size alone to consider, bitrate, audio etc.

Also I always encode for space efficiency rather than picture quality, I aim to achieve 1-1.5 MB/per min of video.


So what settings and what process do you use? Also what output format (mpeg, avi, etc?)

I just tried 320x240 at 200kbs and it looks awful...

Could you PM a link to perhaps a 5 min section of video, so that I can see what is achievable? (ie: what you consider acceptable)

Is there a FAQ for making movies specifically for the C860? So far I have seen very little sucess where as my movies for the 5500 come out outstanding....even at the same 320x240 !!

I must be doing something wrong, but I don't know what it is.
padishah_emperor
I have been using wmv files, that may change though. If you use windows there is a tutorial for making video to play on Sharp's video player.

http://www.double.co.nz/zaurus/

I use debian, I encode video with mencoder

mencoder [INPUT_FILE] -o [OUTPUT_FILE.wmv] -ofps 24 -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=wmv1:vbitrate=192:vhq -vf scale=320:240 -oac mp3lame -lameopts cbr:br=128 -srate 44100

This is for kino2. That's from memory, it may not be right, lowering vbitrate to 64, srate to 32000 and br to 96 will create smaller movies. I can't test right now.

Check other threads on this site or maybe start a new one as this is off-topic now. :-)
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