OESF Portables Forum

Everything Else => Sharp Zaurus => Model Specific Forums => Distros, Development, and Model Specific Forums => Archived Forums => Cxx0 General discussions => Topic started by: Anonymous on May 25, 2004, 12:34:42 pm

Title: Is the c860 right for me?
Post by: Anonymous on May 25, 2004, 12:34:42 pm
Hi, I\'m currently drooling over the 860 and I\'ve read quite a few reviews but still have some questions that I\'d like to ask in regards to this beauty.

Firstly, I\'m a technical person (elec engineer) and I\'ve had brief experience with Linux and various programming languages such as C and Java while I was still a student in university a couple of years ago.  I\'m not afraid of command prompts (grew up on DOS), I\'ve mainly been using the Windows platform but want to extended my knowledge of the Linux platform.  So here\'s my situation:
1) I don\'t have a spare box lying around
2) I don\'t stay at home often but between work I have spare time to kill, so I want something mobile.
3) I know what the 860 is capable of and I\'m definitely NOT looking for a PDA to manage my appointments etc.      

So with that here\'s my question:
q1)  How viable is the 860 as a Linux platform for someone to learn and play with?  Would it be easily damaged by bad installations etc?  I\'m really planning to tweak and hack it but don\'t want it to turn into an expensive brick.
q2)  I currently live in Japan, and I have fairly solid grasp of the language but a dictionary tool is always handy, so one of the attraction of the 860 is the dictionary.  How good is the dictionary tool included with the 860?  How would it compare to a dedicated electronic dictionary?

That\'s it for the moment, thanks for any inputs.
Title: Is the c860 right for me?
Post by: ScottYelich on May 26, 2004, 09:51:55 am
I think you\'re even more of a candidate for the zaurus than I am -- and I have three of\'m.

With the sharp rom -- you\'ll be mostly protected from killing the base os, until you learn enough to be dangerous.
If you get your device and have a 250mb cf/sd and *immediately* do a nand backup -- you\'ll never have to fear.
If you don\'t do this immediately, you can always nand-restore with an image provided from the net.  In either case,
the device sounds perfect for your needs.

Title: Is the c860 right for me?
Post by: bluedevils on May 26, 2004, 10:53:51 am
You might want to call on stubear as he is located in japan and might be able to comment on the dictionary.  I haven\'t read any complaints though.

For learning linux, the qtopia and pdxroms are good to start with.  pdxrom is better to give you the look and feel of linux.  If you wanted to go hardcore linux, you would have to go with the Debian install.
Title: Is the c860 right for me?
Post by: raduga on May 26, 2004, 11:23:43 am
The ROMs people here refer to are different sets of flash;  containing OS parts, kernel, and other juicy bits.   The native ROM from Sharp is localized in Japanese, though much of the localization can be changed to English.

The Sharp ROM uses Qtopia from http:///www.trolltech.com which is a
GUI targeted for PDA and other embedded devices;  it\'s nice for PDA
functionality, but isn\'t a Linux/Unix standard interface, and tends to run
only software written specifically for the Zaurus.

The CaCko QT ROM starts from the Sharp ROM and fixes a number of bugs
and adds extra funtionality; while dropping a few things like the Dictionary.

The CaCko pdaXrom uses X11 - the standard Windowing GUI for Unix;
and it can run (after recompiling) most Unix software.  If you want a small, ordinary Linux box to experiement with,  pdaXrom is a good bet.

The command-line interface is very similar for all.

All the non-Sharp roms are experimental, and under development.
There\'s a small chance of leaving your Zaurus unuseable from a bad flashing, or from badly placed instructions in the command shell,
but in nearly all cases, re-flashing will fix things.

One thing to note- the keyboard *is* small, if you have small fingers you\'ll find it more useable.   I\'d say its better for a second-computer than a primary one;  but is really serviceable for either.
Title: Is the c860 right for me?
Post by: Stubear on May 26, 2004, 09:02:41 pm
A1) While the zaurus runs linux it isn\'t a standard linux setup - there are a number of differences between the filesystem layout on the Z and your standard linux setup - these aren\'t too difficult to overcome but may be a tad confusing if you expect the Z to be setup like RedHat. The Z is designed to run qtopia and therefore a lot of standard linux tools are missing by default, these can be easily installed though. If you want the purest linux experience on the Z then pdaXrom is probably your best bet - although this negates Q2 as there is little Japanese support for pdax and the dictionary and translator won\'t run on pdaxrom - also you lose the lovely CRIM (handwritten kanji/kana input). So to summarze you will be able to learn things like bash scripting, compiling etc on the Z but you will have to do a bit of experimenting to get everything you want to work.

A2) There are 2 seperate programs on the 860 that can be used as a dictionary - sljisho and translator. Sljisho is aimed at Japanese users and as such is a great Japanese-Japanese dictionary and works quite well as a Japanese-English/English-Japanese dictionary - altough I favour Zten with Edict as my main dictionary. The translator works amazingly well for its size. It is equal to altavista\'s bablefish and a little short of excite.co.jp\'s translator for Japanese to English - it helps if you have a little Japanese knowledge and are used to talking to Japanese english students when working out what it has translated sometimes but overall its quite understandable. English to Japanese is also understandable although my wife (nihonjin) says that its a little strange sometimes. If you are studying knaji then you will also want to get KanjiNirvana which is a great knaji lookup tool.

All in all the Sl-Cx60 is a great little tool that I wouldn\'t be without now.

Title: Is the c860 right for me?
Post by: Anonymous on May 28, 2004, 12:27:19 am
Thanks for all the inputs!  I took the plunge and bought the little beauty yesterday and I\'m having a blast with it atm.  Now I just need to build a list of accessories that I need for this thing.  First will be a decent size storage card.
My impressions: I think I\'ll be taking Stu\'s advice and stick with the Sharp ROM because I\'ll be using the J-IME quite often, and I\'m comfortable enough to use Japanese style menus.  I found the dictionary tool very powerful, it works especially well for kanji because of the hand recongition, with some minor adjusting to the interface I think I can ditch my old electronic dictionary and carry this way more powerful tool instead.  I found the keyboard to be quite adequate for typing (I do have small hands) and I have already used it to make some quite notes and prints for work already.  

Again, thanks for the inputs, and I\'m glad to become part of the Zaurus community.
Title: Is the c860 right for me?
Post by: Stubear on May 28, 2004, 12:45:54 am
I\'ve posted a script on the forum a couple of times before that will convert the menus to EEnglish while retaining all the Japanese compatability. You can search for it or if you need I can post it again once I get home.

With the inbuilt dictionary and translator laong with kanjinirvana and zten I no longer have a need fro my Canon WordTank - the zaurus is so much easier to use.

Depending on where you are located you might want to use www.kakaku.com to find the cheapest SD/CF cards around - best prices are in  Akihabara (of course) followed by Den-Den town in Osaka.

Title: Is the c860 right for me?
Post by: mpak on May 28, 2004, 02:58:13 am
Who much you bought it?
Title: Is the c860 right for me?
Post by: juergen on May 29, 2004, 04:49:24 pm
mpak,hello mpak, your question touches my problem, where to get sl-c760/860 on low price. juergen :?: :shock:
Title: Is the c860 right for me?
Post by: rikiya on May 29, 2004, 07:20:58 pm
Like Stubear pointed out that his wife thinks it\'s a bit wierd, it is a bit wierd. It\'s kinda too formal and when you use a slangish word that\'s used as words in Japan, it converts it into crazy things sometimes. It\'s probably because in Japanese you would usually write and type without spaces etc. It won\'t be a lot fo problems though
Title: Is the c860 right for me?
Post by: houkoholic on May 30, 2004, 08:02:44 am
Ok I\'m the starter of this topic and I\'ve now register.  

] mpak
I bought my 860 at a local electronic store for about 62,000yen inc tax (I live in Kyushu, so no access to Akihabara), not the cheapest according to kakaku, but certainly acceptable because even if I order from the cheapest online store, the p&h would\'ve just push the price up to around the same level.

] Stu & rikiya
Thanks for the info, but I actually haven\'t used the translation software at all so far but mainly sticking with the dictioanry.  Not showing off or anything but I\'ve passed lv2 Japanese proficiency test so I\'m not really looking at something that \"does it all\" for me, but rather a tool to just help every now and then to look up words when I\'m studying and stuff.