New User Guide
NOTE: This document is designed to present the basics, to help a new user ease into his/her Zaurus. Please help expand it. Try to remember what you wish you had known when you first unwrapped your Z, and include it here for others.
Care and Feeding
Many users install screen protectors to help protect the screen
There are several different types of rechargable battery technologies. Each type has its own quirks and care procedures. What you've been told to do for one type of rechargable may not apply to others.
The Zaurus's use Lithium ION batteries. To maximize the life of these, the best practice is to not keep it fully charged (especially if stored), and not fully drain it before charging
Keyboard (Clamshell models)
These models have a small, integrated QWERTY keyboard. However, many common keys are missing, and there are others whose function isn't clear.
|Zaurus Key||Function or PC equivalent|
|Fn||Pressing this activates the alternate functions which are printed on the keyboard above the key in a different color.|
|OK||Seems to be equivalent to Enter|
|/,||In the Sharp ROM, this functions exactly the way it's printed, producing a comma if pressed alone, or a forward slash if pressed with shift.
In Cacko, this is reversed. The reason is the forward / is a commonly used key, and it's natural for most people to not have to push shift to access it.
|left Japanese key||Switches between Hiragana and Katakana. In some ROMs this may become Left Alt?|
|right Japanese key||Switches between normal Roman letters and Japanese input. In some ROMs this may become Right Alt?|
The Zaurus Operating System is based on Linux. This is stored in NAND Flash RAM but is commonly referred to as the "ROM". There are several ROMs that may be installed that have other features.
If you purchased your Zaurus from Japan, you will probably want to convert to another language, usually English. The Sharp ROM can easily be converted to English, see Converting the Sharp ROM to English.
This next section should be moved to a separate discussion of ROMs:
Another popular option is to replace the Sharp Rom with "Cacko". Cacko is based on the Sharp rom, but features:
- 100% English
- Updated versions of the default Apps
- More device drivers
- Compressed filesystem, freeing up more space on the internal flash for your own needs
It's important to note that QTopia is not based on XWindows (X11), unlike most Linux desktop environments. Some of the ported applications do depend on X, and will not run in plain QTopia. X is available to be installed on QTopia.
Qtopia can run in either portrait (PDA-style) or landscape (desktop-style) modes
Navigating in QTopia
The QTopia desktop (palmtop) is a familiar environment. Applications are represented by icons, and there is a bar across the bottom of the screen with a QT menu button in the bottom left corner, and a system-tray thing on the right. A button to the right of the QT button allows you to bring up an on-screen keyboard or handwriting area on screen.
However, there are some key differences between QTopia and the typical desktop environment:
- Only one window can be displayed at a time, and there's no minimize-like functionality
- There's no obvious way to right (or middle) click
Suspend / Resume
Booting a Zaurus takes several minutes, not convenient for an on-the-go device. Fortunately it can be instantly suspended or resumed. To suspend, simply select the menu option. On the clamshell models, closing the shell puts it into suspend mode (unless there's a frozen app that doesn't suspend properly, see the section on app recovery)
IPKG is the Zaurus Package manager format. Many software packages are distributed in this format. It's similar to RPM on desktop Linux, except that it doesn't warn about dependancies when installing.
Feeds are places on the internet where a net-connected Zaurus can automatically install packages from .
There is commercial software available for Zaurus models.
Many packages require other packages to be installed to run. These are often libraries. Make sure you install all the needed dependancies before running your software.
SDL is "Simple Directmedia Layer", it's a library that many Zaurus packages, especially Games and Emulators, depend on. There are quite a few SDL ipkgs floating around. But some are more optimized for the Zaurus than others. Some will barely work at all. The best SDL packages to use are:
- (TODO: Add links to known good SDL ipkgs)
Since many Zaurus packages are directly ported from Linux desktop programs, they may depend on keys that the Zaurus does not have. Keyhelper is an app that allows you to specify alternate keys to use.
Keyhelper is included in Cacko, but needs to be installed seperately on the Sharp rom. See Introduction_to_KeyHelper for more information.
There are several options to getting your Zaurus connected to a Network/Internet
Your Zaurus can piggyback off of your desktop PCs net connection. See Connectivity for instructions on how to set this up. Instructions are given for Windows, Linux and Mac.
Zaurus models can work with various CompactFlash ethernet adaptors, and current models can use USB adaptors as well See Ethernet_Card_Support for CompactFlash and USB_Ethernet_Support for working USB devices
Various CF WiFi cards can be used with the Zaurus. See Wireless_Card_Support for details. It's also likely that USB WiFi adaptors can be used, there is a lack of success stories to date. CompactFlash is probably preferable for this, since nothing needs to dangle out of the Zaurus.
If you only have dial up access, see Modem_Card_Support
The oesf wiki is a great place to find information, in particular, the pages listed below present alot of information that is helpful to new users: