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ksignorini
Hello all!

These look to be excellent boards! (This is my first post.)

I am very, very interested in buying an SL-5600 in the next few days but I have a couple questions, first. I've done tons of reading already, but can't find the answers to these questions.

1. If I go with OpenZaurus/Opie (as I would need to in order to sync with TrollTech's Qtopia desktop for Mac OS X) am I able to backup and then re-install into OZ/Opie the application programs that come stock from Sharp--specifically the Microsoft Word compatible word processor and the Excel compatible spreadsheet? (Hancome Office?) (Note: I definately do not want to lose the programs that ship with the unit just because I need to install OZ/Opie. I think I saw a post on how to do this somewhere but can't find it anymore.)

2. In regards to #1 above, how do I do this? (Or where do I find instructions?)

3. In order to compile Linux apps to run on the Zaurus, must I use a cross-compiler or is there a native compiler for the device (or would this be stupidly slow and clumsy so don't even consider it)?

4. I've seen this site: http://www.killefiz.de/zaurus/ Are there any others like it? Or is this the definitive site for Zaurus applications?

5. Can any of the applications from the site mentioned in #4 run on the SL-5600 no matter which ROM (Sharp, OZ/Opie, etc.) is being used on the device? That is, are applications typically dependent or independent of the ROM being used?

6. How fast is the Zaurus? I mean, how fast does it feel? Does it take a long time to load an application? Is using the machine responsive? Say, loading a web-page with the wireless card installed--does it draw the web pages fairly quickly or just as fast as my desktop machine or am I going to have to wait long, long seconds before a page renders?

7. What else can you tell me before I go and buy a unit?

Thanks so much. I would appreciate any help that anyone can offer!

Kent!
lardman
QUOTE
1. If I go with OpenZaurus/Opie (as I would need to in order to sync with TrollTech's Qtopia desktop for Mac OS X) am I able to backup and then re-install into OZ/Opie the application programs that come stock from Sharp--specifically the Microsoft Word compatible word processor and the Excel compatible spreadsheet? (Hancome Office?) (Note: I definately do not want to lose the programs that ship with the unit just because I need to install OZ/Opie. I think I saw a post on how to do this somewhere but can't find it anymore.)


The 5600 is not as well supported (in general) as the other machines (5500/5000D, Cxxx) as not many developers have them. That said there is a release of OZ for it and things are getting better as more 5600 owners try things out.

You will not (without a lot of effort) be able to run exactly the same Hancom apps under OZ (due to their use of Sharp's proprietry libs). You can, however, run the slightly older (and imo not much different) version which came with the 5500 2.xx ROMs without much trouble.

QUOTE
3. In order to compile Linux apps to run on the Zaurus, must I use a cross-compiler or is there a native compiler for the device (or would this be stupidly slow and clumsy so don't even consider it)?


Both are available, cross-compilation is far faster (and easy using OE).

QUOTE
4. I've seen this site: http://www.killefiz.de/zaurus/ Are there any others like it? Or is this the definitive site for Zaurus applications?


That's pretty much it, however there are lots of apps out there which aren't on the site.

QUOTE
5. Can any of the applications from the site mentioned in #4 run on the SL-5600 no matter which ROM (Sharp, OZ/Opie, etc.) is being used on the device? That is, are applications typically dependent or independent of the ROM being used?


Most stuff will run on any ROM. Almost anything (bar the apps packaged with the latest Sharp ROMs) will run on OZ.

QUOTE
7. What else can you tell me before I go and buy a unit?


Although I don't have one, I'd recommend you didn't buy a 5600. They only have 32Mb or RAM (and I've seen people reporting memory shortage problems) and some of them have a PXA250 processor which has a cache bug. I'd recommend a C machine (not a c700 though as it also only has 32Mb of memory), or an sl5500 depending on what you want to do.


Si
lardman
QUOTE
It seems from all the posts, that 3.5.1 has many issues with running older software. Can you comment on that for me?

Am I wise in going for the 5600 and just wait OZ out until more apps are available?

Oh, and while I'm at it, what are these "compat" libraries I hear about all over the place?


Compat libs are required to convert C++ fn calls so that apps compiled with GCC3.xx can use libs created with GCC2.xx. Note this only applies to C++ libs and apps. They work fine and this is not a problem.

I'm not sure which apps OZ3.5.1 has issues with, certainly nothing I've been using. Can you give me some examples and I'll try to say whether they are impossible or just not being done correctly.

I'm still pretty anti the 5600, as I said above I'd get a different machine.


Si
ksignorini
QUOTE
You will not (without a lot of effort) be able to run exactly the same Hancom apps under OZ (due to their use of Sharp's proprietry libs). You can, however, run the slightly older (and imo not much different) version which came with the 5500 2.xx ROMs without much trouble.


What are these "compat" libs I hear about? How does that all work?

As long as I end up with a word processor and an Excel compatible spreadsheet, that's what matters.

Are there any other available packages that work well?

QUOTE
Although I don't have one, I'd recommend you didn't buy a 5600. They only have 32Mb or RAM (and I've seen people reporting memory shortage problems) and some of them have a PXA250 processor which has a cache bug. I'd recommend a C machine (not a c700 though as it also only has 32Mb of memory), or an sl5500 depending on what you want to do.


So the 5600 has 32MB of RAM, but how much does the 5500 have?

Also, how fast is the processor on the 5500? Is it fast enough to play video on the unit?

Is there anything else on the 5500 that I should be aware of if I decide to go that way instead?

I mean, I would prefer newer technology but only if it's going to be supported. Doesn't it make sense that the community is going to support the 5600? Or not?

Thanks again so much,
Kent!
lardman
QUOTE
So would you suggest I simply go out and get 5500 instead?


Yes, however in that case you'll also want to get an SD card for storage (as most of the ROM will be full with the base OZ system) and I don't like RAM disks.

You should probably see what others have to say, best not to base a decision on the advice of one person whom you don't even know; especially as I don't know everything (yet ;-))

QUOTE
So the 5600 has 32MB of RAM, but how much does the 5500 have?


64Mb - by default (with the Sharp ROM) this is split into 32Mb of RAM (for running things) and a 32Mb storage partition (RAM-disk). With OZ you can choose your split (and I use 64-0 -> no RAM disk, all for running things).

QUOTE
Also, how fast is the processor on the 5500? Is it fast enough to play video on the unit?


It's a 206MHz StrongArm processor. It's not as fast as the PXA processors which are clocked at 400MHz, but it's not half as slow either (do a search for 'benchmark' - I ran some tests a while back).

QUOTE
I mean, I would prefer newer technology but only if it's going to be supported. Doesn't it make sense that the community is going to support the 5600? Or not?


Newer is a C machine; the 5600 was a bit of a flash in the pan IMO. Not many people have them in comparison to the number who have 5500s. A 5500 will probably be better supported in general due to the larger number of people (and especially developers) who have one. The only issue with the 5500 is that because of its SA processor it uses the ARM4 instruction set whereas the PXA processors (which are in everything else) use ARM5. Some people have started to produce ARM5 only packages to optimise their speed (pdaXrom packages for example).

QUOTE
As long as I end up with a word processor and an Excel compatible spreadsheet, that's what matters.

Are there any other available packages that work well?


The old versions work fine, but I'm not sure that any of them as completely compatible. You'd have to ask someone else, I don't cross much stuff over (though I do use hancom-sheet on OZ). Other possibles are AbiWord and Gnumeric which are both X11 based - you'd have to use eithe OZ+GPE or XQt to run these. I'm not sure whether they run yet.


Si
dz
QUOTE
I mean, I would prefer newer technology but only if it's going to be supported. Doesn't it make sense that the community is going to support the 5600? Or not?


Not necessarily. I have a 5600 and a clamshell. Many people have the 5500 and stick with it because it runs so good. If they are going to upgrade, they would either go for the 6000 or clamshell models throwing the 5600 out of the loop.

When I got my 5600 it was a huge hassle getting it up and running like everyone elses. It was rare that anyone had one and those that did were just as out of the loop as I was. I ended up getting a c860 though and now everything's excellent.

If I had to pick, I'd say go for the 5500 as well. My 5600 just sits here now on my desk. I use my c860 everyday though. The community support makes a huge difference.

I agree with lardman in saying go for the 5500 over the 5600.
lardman
http://www.oesf.org/forums/inde...51&hl=benchmark

Benchmark comparing C750 to sl5500. Probably not very useful but should give you an idea of the speed difference. Not sure whether the 5600 has graphics acceleration like the C machines though. The 5500 doesn't.

http://www.oesf.org/forums/inde...55&hl=benchmark

Might be worth a look too (and the link within it) for a general comparison.

Hope that helps a bit,


Si

P.S. Not overly sure about movie playing. I know it works on all the machines, but I couldn't give you a comparison of the speed/quality/etc. Probably best to ask that question in a separate thread.
Chaos
It really depends on what you need the Z for...

If you want a real full laptop replacement (or close), then go for the C760 or C860.

If you want something that's more of a toy (something that has lots to play with), go for either a 5500 or a C760/C860.

If you want something that can take a beating (dropping, etc.), and do PIM, web-browsing, etc., go for the 6000 (beware - not well supported yet, and the thing is reportedly HUGE - as in the physical size).

The 5600 is nice if you want something a little faster than the 5500 (the about 200 Mhz difference does change things, if you use one of the "Special Kernels" or compile one yourself with the PXA250 cache bug workaround turned off), but don't want to spend the money to import a C760/C860 or buy a (now unavailable from most US stores) 6000.

So really it comes to personal preference/use.

Personally if I was buying a new Z today (I got my 5600 a year ago, around the time the C-series was beginning to make an appearance), I'd probably head for a 760 or 860. But since I already have the 5600, it'll do me just fine. smile.gif
Zar2Cool
I guess I will be the only one to stick up for the 5600. I have had mine since they came out. I had a software issue at first, but since it's been out for a few years, not any more. You get a real speaker in the 5600 and not a beeper like the 5500. Everything is not stored in RAM like on the 5500 so you don't loose it if the battery goes dead. (You can install some non-Sharp ROMS to SD so that might not be an issue.)
But the best thing is battery life. The 5600 has over twice the batter life of the 5500 and it's just usable for everything I do with it. At work, I often plug it into the office network and use the 1GB SD card I have in it for network storage. I get about 6 hours of it like this. Last night I forgot about it and left it on with the wireless card in. Found it after 1.5 hours of Halo with half the battery still left. I have a friend with a 5500 and he takes the charger with him.

As for memory. 32 is a bit low and you have to watch what you do. a 8MB swap file solves 90% of the problems. A few massive web pages will overload it, but things like EBay are fine.

As for speed, I am running Sharp ROM 1.0 because it works so well for me. Apps do take some time to load over the ready right now of the PALM, but I can live with that.

I would only give up my 5600 for a 6000, and only if it has BT and WF.

-zar
Tehas
I too will stand up for the 5600. I've had mine over almost 18months. I use it daily to synch with Outlook to keep my calendar and notes with me at meetings. I have the Special Kernel running with the Overclocking feature turned on as well.

Some times I think about trying OZ or one of the other ROMS but I'm using it daily and would not want to have the downtime nor do I want to go back and re-install of my applications.
lpotter
I have several Zaurus versions on my desk. I prefer the 5600 to a 5000d or 5500, as it has more flash space, and can hold more applications. Not to mention it has a mic and speaker built in.
ksignorini
Further to some of my follow-up thoughts in this thread--just to get this clear in my head:

I still have not received my Zaurus yet (it's on its way), and I'm sure the answer to this will be obvious once I start playing with it, but what I would like to know is whether or not it is a trivial operation to simply install an application (and run its executable) on (from) an SD card?

I understand that it gets mounted as a drive on /mnt/somemountpoint, but can an application be installed there and run from there? I must assume this is quite simple to do. Or do I have to install the app in main memory somehow then move it to the card? Or what? In fact, how does the app install process work (remember, I'm trying to get a handle on this before actually seeing a Zaurus--I'm just too excited to wait!)

If so, then it makes best sense to me to use a 64-0 type memory scheme where 64MB is used for running apps and everything gets installed (and consequently all documents get stored to) the SD card. Am I far off here?

Thanks,
Kent!
lardman
QUOTE
If so, then it makes best sense to me to use a 64-0 type memory scheme where 64MB is used for running apps and everything gets installed (and consequently all documents get stored to) the SD card. Am I far off here?


This is what I do, and I'd recommend it.

QUOTE
I understand that it gets mounted as a drive on /mnt/somemountpoint, but can an application be installed there and run from there? I must assume this is quite simple to do. Or do I have to install the app in main memory somehow then move it to the card? Or what? In fact, how does the app install process work (remember, I'm trying to get a handle on this before actually seeing a Zaurus--I'm just too excited to wait!)


You can install ipk (package files) from feeds (local, or via http/ftp, etc.) or from a local filesystem. Personally I always use the command line, but using the package manager is similar in that you choose your destination and which file, etc.

One thing to note is that if you want to install things to your SD card is must be formatted as ext2 (as fat doesn't support symlinks and all the permissions).

So I have copied a file to my CF card (/mnt/cf) then install it to my SD card (/mnt/card) like so:

# cd /mnt/cf
# ipkg install -d sd someipkg.ipk

where the '-d sd' is saying to install to the sd card (the various names for the install points are in /etc/ipkg.conf, in lines starting with dest).

Hope that helps a little.


Si
ksignorini
Excellent! Thanks!

Kent!
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