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I'm looking to buy my first PDA and as a linux developer, would prefer a linux based PDA since I am very familiar with linux. I could buy an Ipaq and put familiar on it, but would prefer not to do any kernel hacking and end up with a paper weight. I really only need to take notes, VNC and ssh (client) in emergencies. WiFi is a must.

I've been looking at the PocketPCs but there doesn't seem to be much demand / support for ssh or vnc on the platform. Correct me if I'm wrong. PocketPutty for the PocketPC doesn't seem to be 100% ready and development has stopped on it. On the zaurus side, I like the idea of a integrated keyboard. How is it to type on in ssh? I'm not talking about writing a thesis, just basic adminstration commands.

I found that the 6000 was released in March of this year, but can't find much information about it. There are different models apparently, but I can't decipher the differences between the L and the W, etc. Sharp's website is terrible as is and I can't find much information about the clamshells either. Where are all the user sites for the zaurus 6000 or C860? Did these devices just not catch on? I know Sharp isn't exactly promoting these devices. Even on this site where I would expect to be the hub for info on the zaurus, the FAQ doesn't have the 6000 listed anywhere on the page.

Also, I'm concerned about applications and stability. I am a seasoned linux veteran, but I don't want to have to be tweaking the thing all the time. How is the stability of the zaurus?

Please point me in the right direction.
I'm probably more than a little biased here, but I found the C860 to be a great PDA to go for. Its far (FAR) smaller than the 6000, clamshell so it folds up smallish (I hang it on my belt using a camera case), and has a simply brilliant keyboard for typing on (Definately the best PDA one I've ever typed on and I've used quite a few).

The downside is of course the 6000 comes with built in WIFI and a usb host port whereas the C series you need to buy a CF WIFI card. This didn't bother me much as I leave the CF in my belt pouch and put it in when I need to (WIFI sucks power when on).

- Bundabrg
Sorry, didn't respond on stability.
I've not used the Sharp ROM, or many of the other roms. I've used only pdaXrom and OpenZaurus (and GPE a bit... good potential).
On the C860 I was a little bit disapointed initially by the fact that everything wasn't so 'slick' as my palm apps in integration, but over time I've really been impressed by the software that is available. I've still not quite managed to give up my palm, but I think its close.

In the end, I've opted for an X environment (using pdaXrom) since that is what I find most useful (Same software as on my laptop and desktop). It really is nice to have a full laptop equiv on my belt. Also, having 121Mb of usable flash means being able to install LOTS of stuff. Also, plugging in a 1Gb SD card means I should not run out of space anytime soon.

I work in IT, and thus being able to ssh from anywhere via wireless to anywhere and fix/analyze things has been very useful.

Also, scanning for open unencrypted networks has resulted in more business for me as these networks are screaming for an IT administrator ;-)

- Bundabrg
As far as the CF wifi, would you have to use a SD card for more storage? USB isn't a concern for me, though it would be nice.

I am also in IT and definitly _NEED_ ssh and wifi. Main uses are note taking, ssh, vnc (hopefully), email/web browsing, wifi scanning, and of course gaming (simple games like tetris).

Since the C860 is not available in the US, how difficult is it to get a C860? I've seen dynamism's site, but thier product page is lacking. They have it priced at $850, which I would pay. Is this the way most americans get the C860?

I recently bought a C860 from for about $550 including shipping. and are very popular, and charge a bit more. Dynamism is the most expensive, but they have a US "office" and claim to offer better support and faster turn-around on repairs (and cover shipping costs for repairs).

In the end, I went with the importer (pricejapan) because saving $200 upfront was worth it to me.

What about external foldable keyboards for these guys? Are they available and do they work?
Thanks for the info guys. I finally found some good information. I'm going to go with the 6000L since I will be needing a full sized keyboard anyway. It's at amazon for $400 right now. I'm going to get the targus universal irda keyboard and run the 6000L in landscape all the time. I will be typing A LOT and don't think I can type that well with my thumbs. Also, I don't like that I would like having to use an external wifi card. The importing / translating bothers me as well on the C860.

Are there any applications for syncing pop mail to thunderbird (mbox format )? If not, I'll write one as I would definitly need that as well.
QUOTE(calico-jack @ Oct 14 2004, 01:29 AM)
Are there any applications for syncing pop mail to thunderbird (mbox format )?  If not, I'll write one as I would definitly need that as well.

If you run Thunderbird on the Zaurus, I don't know why you'd need to sync it. Just pop your mail off your server normally. If you want to just synchronize a mailbox without regard to the mail client, you can use something like fetchmail to retrieve the mail from a POP server and store it to an mbox which Thunderbird or any other MUA (mail user-agent) can read.
hmmm... missed the purchase... of well..

I am also in IT.
ssh is probably the most used app on my Z.

I have the 700/760 and 5600.
I can tell you that the 700/760 is FAR superior (in my opinion) in terms
of the keyboard.

I can type upwards of 40wpm on the 700/760. The same is not true
with the 5600.

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