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Messages - neuroshock

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General Discussion / Lack Of Intrest In Forums Lately
« on: December 12, 2006, 10:52:21 am »
Hey folks,

(Yes I really am still alive.)   I just dropped by for the first time in seemingly forever and instantly tripped over this post. It's a meaningful one in my opinion. Because of health issues I'm away for looong periods of time and then binge on the forums for a few months while I'm able, so it's not so noticeable to me as it is to most of the regulars and developers who drop by here daily year 'round for one reason or another. Here's a few thoughts of my own that somebody might find helpful about this subject.

1. Sometimes no news is good news!
As mentioned before these lulls happen between model releases and can be a general indication of the "maturity level" of the most popular Roms. Unless prompted by new hardware, or by the discovery of a way to significantly improve performance or useability the devs tend to work on integrating new peripherals and cleaning up old problems in their latest release.
Ironically what realllllly irks me is the opposite: When new hardware comes out and every ROM distribution and it's brother shifts gears to supporting the new hardware and starts firing ROM releases and hotfixes etc. out for all of us to cry over.  You know what I'm talking about I'm sure... where it looks BEAUTIFUL but has over two dozen "small" but completely mind numbing glitches that make it unuseable for all but the top 3% elite of us (me NOT included - I'm in the other 97%!) Then you see a million quick how-to's that may fix the problem if you just understood the post/Linux/programming/etc. ad nauseum a little  bit better than you ever will. =(
So again, at least for the most common platforms we currently have stable and useful Roms, (Usually in multiple flavors.)

2. Support the devs and the newbies!
I can't say enough about this and how important it is. We have tried again and again and again to come up with a business or volunteer based model that would produce enough income to financially support even a SINGLE person/developer so that we could get a TRULY end user friendly complete product.  Until something changes it just isn't gonna happen I'm afraid.  So for the developers to keep working on these things and moving things along the three best things you can do to help them is to:
Send them MEANINGFUL thank-you's and kudo's for thier hard work! Take the time to do it right and be sincere...think how much time they've spent on YOU.
Send them CASH if you use their product or even if you don't but can see that their work is pushing the future of the Zaurii forward!
Send them FEEDBACK on their work. HELP them! If you find a bug take the TIME NEEDED to document it RIGHT and submit it WHERE THEY CAN FIND IT via bugtracker or whatever system that developer prefers! For those of you who program if you write a little bit of code or a script that makes things easier for you, send it along with documentation to the Dev of the Rom you're using! You could save him a MASSIVE amount of time by fixing something he won't have to! It's good to also post it where other users can use it but the Devs just don't have time to read a thousand posts to find a truly useable workaround or new nugget of an idea- send it directly to him!

2b. A GREAT way to increase posts is to adopt a newbie.  I've done it often, and it's really rewarding and fun. As a matter of fact a few of you "old hands" were some of those very same newbies I adopted once upon a time.  Ironic how quickly our roles switched and those newbies now school me regularly! Find some poor blubbering completely lost newbie poster and introduce yourself, answer his question and patiently explain the way we do things here and how to correctly use the site.  It won't take long till he won't need you to hold his hand anymore and he can continue on his own...but those first baby steps after buying your first Z are fraught with confusion and doubt!
If each of us were to do this even every other month or so our ACTIVE membership would shoot through the roof.  But all too often I have to grimace through posts that whine and complain about newbies asking dumb questions and people mocking those who are new and naive.  I realize some of us crawled from the womb with encylopedic knowledge about the Linux in general and the Zaurus and every ROM ever released, but most of us came out simply looking for our next meal and pooping our diapers, so be PATIENT with us! I'll NEVER forget how overwhelmed I was when I first logged in to this forum and found out that I could actually change the OS/ROM in my SL-5500! It took me TWO WEEKS to figure out how to reflash it and a MONTH to figure out that the ROM was so new nothing but the basic apps worked yet!

3. This forum is first and foremost a repository of knowledge.
There's been some good comments about sweeping garbage posts and outdated information away and I believe that is wise.... but let's NEVER forget that EVERY piece of info on this site was current to a particular ROM release at one time and there are MANY quiet users who don't post but still use those old ROM's and are satisfied with them who still rely on that information. So PLEASE don't delete it entirely, but rather keep it as out-dated documentation somewhere easy for non-cutting edge users to find.

4. When you make a post take the time to enter as much relevant information as possible so future generations of users will have that info and can put it in context of time/date, ROM release, Hardware platform etc. because EVENTUALLY your exciting new post will be the very "old trash" that drags us down and confuses everyone. If you qualify and document your situation in your post it will ALWAYS be relevant to someone in the future that may stumble into your very footsteps!  

5. Be happy!
Keep the posts upbeat and kind as much as possible.  Mosts posts get made in a moment of utter frustration and are therefore laced with negativity. Likewise be gentle when responding to someone who is already obviously frustrated.  A few sarcastic or ridiculing words spent because the previous poster overlooked the obvious (we ALL have at some time or another) can push ppl from frustrated to embittered.
NOBODY wants to spend time on a set of forums where everyone is always negative and bitter or where the browser is afraid of posting for fear of ridicule!

So really- if we want more posts and more progress we should keep the encouragement of the Devs up, adopt some newbies, be careful and conscientous in our posts and try to keep a positive attitude.  I know it sounds all Boy-scoutish and stuff but it's true.

By the way....when's the next Z due to be released? =)

WOOOooooHOOOOOo!  My first megapost since at LEAST last summer! I never could make a "brief" post... maybe one day. (Don't hold your breath though.)

Nice to see you all again folks, I won't be on much probably until mid-January but it's good to see you all again anyway!

Happy Holidays

Nokia Tablet / Is Porting It's Progs To The 770!
« on: March 01, 2006, 01:42:46 am »
Hey Again,

A quick update - I recieved an email response from Shawn which can be found at the bottom of this post for anyone interested. Oh and I take back the personality comment I made about Shawn -- he was VERY polite and in sunny spirit's this time. That'll teach me to be overly critical!

About the screen lighting issues mentioned:
Hmmm. I hadn't heard about that yet.  But as soon as you started describing it I immediately conjured the memory of how the SL-5500 had a dark spot at the top right of the lcd display that irked the snot out of me the whole time I used it.  I'll have to look into it and see if it's a deal-breaker for me.

About the comments on's software:
I guess it's a YMMV thing. Myself, my wife and both children use many of the tkc apps very rigorously, my wife even runs her business out of them exclusively. I can see however that if you were primarily looking to tkc for Video playback and such it would be dissapointing- it's their weakest app as far as I'm concerned.  The games, email, PIM progs are all first rate with very little competition at their level imho. I can't really say anything concerning Rekall - it's the only one of their apps that I do not own.  It's MUCH more expensive than most of thier offerings and seemed to be massive overkill for my uses.
The negatives that I can think of off the top of my head are things like data sync'ing in the PIM's - it only works on the SL-5500, which would be completely unaccpetable except for the fact that with most ROM's available for the Zaurii right now it is an almost universal problem affecting every other PIM suite I can think of as well to one degree or another. The other negative is that they seem totally unconcerned about releasing thier products in packages that would run off of the most popular Zaurii Rom's in use today.  I think he could GREATLY expand their sales if they would simply recompile for the other OS's and work towards porting them to pdaXrom etc.  But for now anyway it looks like I'm still stuck with Sharp/Cacko if I'm going to be able to enjoy my investments in their software. =(

I'm still glad to see they are porting to the Nokia 770.  It shows good health in the developer's eyes to Nokia in general.  I still may end up buying a 770 even with the negative issues simply because I think they'll get those things wrinkled out in future products - I just can't convince myself that a company that is working so hard to help the grass-roots community would turn a deaf ear to the grass-roots complaints and suggestions for improvements in their physical product.  And I must admit - compared to Sharps side of things the Grass is DEFINITELY greener on the Nokia 770 side of the fence!'s that email:

At 01:10 AM 2/25/2006, you wrote:
>I'm a longtime customer of your embedded products, (I believe I've
>purchased every available embedded offering you've ever released for both
>the SL-5500 and the clamshell models.)  Naturally I was very excited to
>find that you announced on your website on December 5, 2005 that you were
>in the process of porting your embedded offerings to the Nokia 770
>platform!  I can't seem to find any further information on your site about
>that though.  Can you please tell me what kind of time frame we may be
>looking at for the release of these versions?  Also which apps are you
>working on porting first?

Actually we just finished our game tkcPanels (got distracted with a
bunch of VOIP work the last 2 months) yesterday and made it available
for sale, but I'm not announcing it until I get the screenshots up,
just waiting on the webmaster right now.

>Thank you very much, I will be posting your response in the Nokia 770
>forum at the OESF Zaurus forums website so that others will know what's up
>and hopefully generate some excitement for both the 770 platform and
> as well. I think you guys can REALLY fill a whole that is
>left in the PIM and productivity software area for the 770 right now.
>There is GREAT sales potential if you can beat others to the market as
>you'll have complete dominance in this niche. At the VERY least it's
>definitely exciting news - I hope you guys can pull it off.

well, we're trying to figure out what applications make sense for us
to port, I didn't think PIM would sell well on the Zaurus and it
ended up being our biggest seller, so I guess I'm not that great and
understanding the market .  I'm also trying to arrange with nokia
so that we can sell the devices and at least make them available for
a bit cheaper than at other places, and/or include some piece of
software.  Anyway, I appreciate your enthusiasm, and we'll do stuff
as fast as we can, but remember, these are total re-writes of the
applications, there is virtually no code that can just be ported
because the 770 is C based and not C++, it's a bit slow going.


>Hope to hear from you soon!


Shawn Gordon

Be Safe All,


Nokia Tablet / Is Porting It's Progs To The 770!
« on: February 25, 2006, 03:59:18 am »
Hey folks,

I've been watching the 770 stuff carefully for the last little while as I'm looking to it for my next venture purchase. My antiquated RCA REB1100 is aging ungracefully lately and I've had my eye on the 770 as a Ebook reader on steroids upgrade.  One of the things I've been dissapointed about was the lack of PIM and productivity software available for it right now.  I know they aren't positioning themselves in the market against pda's directly but at >$350usd I would REALLY like to get some productivity work out of the thing when I do get around to buying one as well as fun and games.

Soooo I was VERY excited when I checked in for some software upgrades at and found that they are busy porting their embedded programs to the Nokia 770 platform!  This is HUGE great news as offers PIMS and productivity software that is every bit as good as ANY software on the market for any of the Zaurus models!  Okay, I know it's sad but I own EVERY embedded piece of software for both the SL-5500 and clamshell models that they offer.  Together they account for about 60-70% of the progs I currently use on my Zaurii. So yes they do cost money (no freeware here) but they are all very reasonably priced for what you get - I've never regretted a single purchase I've made with them yet.  The moment they get the basic PIM's ported I'll be a  new 770 owner.  The rest of their embedded offerings being ported will be just the icing on the cake. =)

By the way - I have no connection whatsoever to in any way shape or form. I AM as I said already a very happy customer however.  The only negative about the company I can think of is that if you ever need tech support you will find that the gentleman who responds to all emails (I think he's also the president) is named Shawn and while you'll get good support you'll find he has all the personality of a rock. The good news is however that you purchased the program and intellectual support of their product not someone to make you feel good about yourself.

Maybe I'll be a 770 owner sooner than I thought!


Software / Rts Games?
« on: February 25, 2006, 03:40:07 am »
Could someone list some good real time strategy games for the Zaurus.  I use a SL-C1000.  Something like Starcraft or Age of Empires would be nice.
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There is a native RTS game that was originally written for the SL-5500 that I had running on my SL-6000L for a while so it probably runs under your C1000 just fine.  It's called Strategic Assault, there is also an expansion pack available called Forest Fire. They are both written and available through EON games and are very reminiscent of the original Command and Conquer and C and C Red Alert.  If I remember correctly you can buy both directly from EON games and should still be on sale through for $6.99 and $4.99usd respectively. The game isn't quite up to Starcraft or AOE quality but is definitely worth buying as cheap as it is and I myself have spent many hours playing it while trying to avoid boredome while the wife is shopping, etc. While it is a tad below today's standard of top level pda games, when it originally came out years ago for the SL-5500 it was dang near "miraculous" quality for a handheld pda game!  Not a world shatterer but fun enough to play for sure.  The only con I can think of was that it seemed to have a bit of a steep learning curve because of the stylus interface rather than a mouse interface.  You'll have mastered it by the second or third mission though.  Oh and DO get the expansion pack.  It adds a lot to the game.

That's the only natively written RTS game I've ever found for the Zaurus line.  I've never used any of them myself but there are several PC RTS games that have been ported or run via a emulator on the VGA-class Zaurii.  Starcraft and One of the original Warcrafts (warcraft 1 or 2) both have ports that are at some level of beta developement or farther.  I think one of them is called "Stratagus" (spelling?).  I think maybe that Sid Meyer's original Civilization may be ported or emulated on the Zaurii as well (bear in mind that this isn't a RTS it's a turn based Strategy game.)  I've never personally used or ran any of the above on my various Zaurii but at one time or another there was a lot of posting activity on the forums here about all of the above so let your fingers do the walking through the search link and you should uncover them fairly easily now that you know what you're searching for.

A last word - there are some REALLY great commercial grade games of various styles available through EON Games and for purchase that are just about free!  Most also run on EVERY Zaurus ever made so don't be automatically "put off" just because a particular game was originally only supposed to run on the SL-5500 - Give 'em a try, most have free demo's available for download so you can try before you buy!  Candy Cruncher, Mighty Charms, Interstellar Flames (REALLY fun 3d shoot 'em up game that looked better than most 233 pentium mmx era PC games of the same genre AND you can play in multiplayer mode for some head to head action), Jack the Uni-Psychle (GREAT FUN), and Motocross Stunt Racer a few just off the top of my head. Oh and there's a gob of good games that you can buy from as well that are very polished and fun by anyones standards.

There has always been a pretty powerful bias against commercially available software here through the forums - probably a natural extension of the fact that most Linux users are pro "free-ware" enthusiasts as well.  While I'm all about the basic concepts behind "free-ware" and "open-software" it is just rediculous to rob yourself of such great programs as are available such as the games listed above and the programs available through other commercial software houses like that can be purchased for next to nothing!

So go try 'em. You'll be glad you did! Hope this helped some.


For Sale / Wanted / Want To Trade Zaurus For My Treo 650 Gsm
« on: February 19, 2006, 03:18:05 am »
Here's a quick heads up update.  Only moments after making my previous post I received this PM from the gentleman in question:

(title)  Lay off the idle Threats!!!, Today, 07:38 AM

If you have read any of the threads on this manner, you would see that the truth is someone has made a victim of tlacour and myself. I have had some investigations going on in private to clear up this matter, so I would appreciate you not to make any threats against me or my family. I do have respect for those who are wheelchair-bound, I used to be after a nasty wreck years ago, which took years of phyical therapy to walk again. Also, my wife is a parapalegic as well.

A few things I might note-
1.) I read all the pertinent posts on this forum and the one that is referred to outside this forum earlier in this thread before making my post.  If the reported facts in each of these posts are true then you have either screwed at LEAST 4-9 different ppl in that many deals over a period of a year and a half or you have somehow managed to become "victimized" in your online dealings 4-9 times.
There's an old saying in Military Intelligence:
One time is chance, Two times is happenstance, Three times is enemy action.
In your case either your simply the most masachistic and worst trader of all time or there's a serious problem with how you do business.

2.) Well since you're being so nice about it I suppose I could change my mind and not mail you the vomit... *boggle*  Geez dude...I guess I was wrong maybe I AM much more intimidating in a wheelchair. A fairly easily spooked gentleman for sure!  *sigh* It's ok sir, I promise not to bark your shins etc. with the footrests.  

3.) You should not respect nor disrespect a person because they are in a wheelchair.  Just because they are in a wheelchair does not mean that they warrent respect.  Remember there is a real live PERSON in the wheelchair.  You should look through the wheelchair and disrespect or respect the person based solely upon their character, the wheelchair makes no difference.  I'm sure you wife feels the same way.

4.) My original post was in general meant to be vociferously humorous. However I was serious about it when I said that criminals of this kind should be brought to justice.

So if indeed you are as innocent as you claim you've nothing to fear. If not then I'm the LEAST of your worries!  It is concerning that I googled using your proper name and your avatar name and have not found a thread that purports even a single positive thing about you. I have however found no less than 5 threads with nothing to say but negative things about your trading practices. If your innocent you should REALLY get started with some damage control and put some serious effort into finding  who is "victimizing" you.  At the very least you should quit acting like someone who's guilty and start acting like you are both concerned and innocent. But having some "investigations going on in private" is definitely NOT the way to correctly prove you are innocent!

A few GOOD ideas would be to:

1. Go visit your local police station and explain your story and provide them with all documentation from any transactions involved as well as these posts and threads.  Leave your full contact information with them.

2. Contact the FBI.  You've already been reported, it would be to your benefit to rush forward and give them the same materials and story that you left with your local police station.

3.  Send the names, addresses, and detailed contact information of the police officer who took down your story and of the FBI officer that you spoke with on the phone with to each and every person that was "co-victimized" along with you.  This will not only help assist them with getting all the facts and issues straight but it will reassure the others who were "victimized" in this scandel.

The only reason that I can think of not do do any of these things is that you are indeed guilty.  So go jump in the car and clear your good name.

Whether you are innocent or guilty I most sincerely hope that you will find swift and sure justice!

Oh well....back to being humorous.  I must confess after giving it more thought.  The idea of sending you a bag of vomit does seem to be in bad taste.  

Be Well All!

For Sale / Wanted / Scott Melrose Ripped Me Off!
« on: February 19, 2006, 02:09:24 am »
The guy is STILL monitoring this thread... I'm seeing his name on the active viewing members list as I write this very post. 2:13am EST Sunday February 19, 2006.  I couldn't sleep....and the good news is that this guy is starting to worry about this bad enough that HE CAN'T sleep either!

That's always good news.  By the way, I live in Eastern North Carolina myself.  There's not but so much that I can do as I'm disabled and currently confined to a wheelchair.  But if there is ANYTHING that anyone can think of that I might can help with please let me know. I'm more than glad to chip in and help out.

He's scared. Let's keep him that way.


For Sale / Wanted / Want To Trade Zaurus For My Treo 650 Gsm
« on: February 19, 2006, 01:57:02 am »

Well the good news is that I live in NC and I'd be more than willing to go bounce this guy off the walls a few times in the name of justice and right.

The bad news is that he PROBABLY will be less than intimidated when I show up on his doorstep threatening him with my wheelchair. I MIGHT could pull it off if things improve a bit and I can graduate back up to my walker but alas this is one of those times where it really sux to be disabled.

I'll refrain from joining in the preaching myself as my view and tolerance level of this sort of stuff is known throughout the community already. However this guy needs a good measure of justice and there's no doubt about it. By the way, does anyone know where Graham even is in NC? I'm in the Eastern part of the state and have never even heard it mentioned before so I'm assuming it must be somewhere west of Raleigh.  If it turns out it's close enough I'm not above calling my best friend to drive me over there on a day trip and getting lots of nice photo's.  It would be more than interesting to find out who this guy really is, where he works, and such.

LOL...I just read what I just wrote!  I bet I'm the only wheelchair vigilante in the world.  Maybe they'll make me into a comic book hero one day. =)

Oh well, thinking about punks like these make me even more nauseated than I was before I started reading this thread- I think I'll go puke and mail him the results. Hrmmm...I wonder if that is prohibited by US postal service rules?


C1000/3x00 Hardware / Nevermind. It's Been Fixed.
« on: December 27, 2005, 08:18:05 am »
Stop renaming the topic, editing posts that were written several days ago and then later removing them. It is really annoying. Dont say things in the first place if you find you are wanting to remove your post afterwords. The converstations between Neuroshock and Cybersphinx are helpful in revealing misconceptions. Please dont remove useful information.
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Thank you. I was wondering about that myself. Irritating, I had to go back through my email just to find this post now. I thought the author of the initial post was the only person (other than the moderator) who could change thread names.At this point I'm either assuming the Mod has chosen to do this for some reason or someone knows something that I don't.  Either way I plan on copy/pasting EVERY post (yup even the ones I find irritating) and post them on my website and create a link to it in a new thread in case anyone needs/wants to refer to it in the future.

Imho, no-one's posts should be edited by anyone other than the Moderator or him/her self (the author) for any other reason than clarity or accuracy issues with exceptions only given to extreme racial/cultural/personal slander as we've seen unfortunately from time to time. While I disagree with him Cybersphinx and myself have both brought up valid points and the whole point of a forum is to be able to share and find information, facts, and opinions on topics and altering them without notifying the reader in the post or making the post difficult to find is a disservice to the community.


C1000/3x00 Hardware / Nevermind. It's Been Fixed.
« on: December 25, 2005, 05:54:28 am »
hmmm, bummer, was hoping to set up a swap partition but I believe that the z needs the files on hdd1 to operate properly, but I will double check.
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     He's incorrect concerning the Swap Partition. A Swap Partition must have a format like any other partition even though it's rudimentary in comparison. Even if the partition only has one file as he is inferring the file must still be addressable. If indeed the scenario you were hoping for was as you mention above then you are still correct that it won't work even though Cyber is wrong. IF you could install the file at all it would only be through a loopback device and loopback devices do not get initialized usually until much too late in the boot process to accomplish your goal. Even when they do get initialized they of course are given a unique device identification by the OS and since it cannot be hda1  because that identification would already be taken it would never work anyway.  From outside the folder before the loopback is initialized the files in question would just be jibberish.  Still sharp thinking to have contemplated the idea to begin with but in the end....still bummer. You're right it would have been a cool way around the Partition situation on the C3100.

     As for the rest of Cyber's replies - Please. Do us all a favor and grab C3100, C3000 (whichever you own is fine) and a  3, 4, or 6gb Retail Hitachi Microdrive and make yourself a script to do thorough benchmarking.  Then take your script, process, and results and post them here so that others can see your results and can easily verify that your testing process has integrity and that your results are duplicatable. I know you truly honestly believe I am completely off my rocker with every claim I've made and that all of the reasons that the computer industry still does these things is because we are mired in tradition and habit. But until you can illustrate otherwise there's no point in replying to every patient reply and explanation I make that you once again "think" I'm wrong. I'd love for you to catagorically prove me wrong and in doing so allow me to get ahold of the performance gains for myself that you say can be had by placing our most used partitions on loopback devices located on extended partitions that themselves sit on logical partitions with a physical location late on the physical drives geometry.

     Besides - if your benchmarking bears your claims out then I won't have to rework the awkward partitioning strategy that Sharp has forced upon me once we know how to get rid of the dependence on the first two vestigial partitions - if it turns out that way I'll already HAVE the optimal performance setup and can relax that I'm already as optimized as I can be. But you won't. About the best result you can hope for is to demonstrate while your way DOES cause a performance hit, it is minimal enough that most people aren't heavily affected. But as for me - every little bit of performance that I can squeeze out of my Zaurus is worth the effort. Especially when its just a matter of partitioning.

     Throughout this thread I have very carefully replied with post after post patiently and as clearly as possible I have explained how these issues directly affect Real World performance on our Zaurii as well as gone into enough detail that anyone could follow the history, development, implementation, and Zaurus specific software/hardware issues that are at the heart of the problem. My explanations are sound, well presented and reflect my own experience as a robotic engineering technician in a manufacturing facility that did (and still does) fabricate proprietary commercial computing devices that are centered around ATA IDE HDD's and the experience of the engineers that designed these devices.  We worked directly from the recommendations that were presented to us by engineers from IBM, Seagate, and Quantum who actually designed the drives themselves. The claims I've made are also validated by EVERY associated manufacturer in the last decade.

     Despite all this you still believe that I'm absolutely - almost catagorically wrong in regards to each and every one of them.  Believe it or not, I actually don't have a problem with this at all – you are of course entitled to your opinion.  What I DO have a problem with is that members with less experience will inevitably stumble across this post and in their desire to better the performance of their Z's they may be tripped up into being completely misled by someone who simply disagree's based upon untested theories and who offers a vigorous argument to the contrary and singlehandedly stands in opposition to every manufacturer, engineer, and benchmark that has been established concerning IDE ATA-33 device interface since its inception as well as everything currently known in the community about how the device is integrated with Zaurii. This runs completely counter to the reason that these forums exists - we are here to help other users by sharing proven facts and realistic solutions to Real World problems. If it were not for this I would have quit posting in this thread quite a while ago, but it's the junior members who'll be hurt by misleading claims not the senior experienced ones and I remember all too well how often I was tripped up by similar sincere but incorrect claims during that steep learning curve we all went through as a new Zaurus owner!

     So please, before you repost time and time again on a subject matter that is well established in the community that you disagree with please take the time and make the effort to do the benchmarking, find Engineers, Technicians, Manufacturers, personal life experience, or SOME form of factual evidence to support such a broadsweeping claim that everyone in the industry is wrong because they are myopic and mired down in tradition and historical "habit".  It's one thing to make a claim against a theory or idea someone is presenting that is yet unproven. It's quite another to single-handedly defy every bit of conventional wisdom regarding a well documented and researched field and then back it up by saying that you know for sure that they are wrong and backing yourself with a theory you've postulated but never tested even for yourself.

     You may be right. You very well may indeed be the next "David" that slays the tradition-bound "Goliath" with his theoretical "sling".  Just remember - David couldn't have done it without a stone. Get your Zaurus, Get your Hitachi Microdrive, Make your scripts, do your benchmarking, post your process and controls and then your results so they can be checked for integrity and found duplicatable.  Alternately find a Manufacturer, a IDE Design Engineer, or SOMEONE from a creditable background that will verify your claims in each of these areas and have them present evidence that as a whole the industry has been sincerely misguided in their conclusions. But until you can and do, we'll just have to go with the hardearned knowledge we currently have.

     To YOU the reader of this thread and post - as I urged in my first posting. If you wish to learn more concerning these issues you can find much of it right here on the forums just by doing simple word searches. Bettery yet choose one of the several techniques that are also well documented on the forums here to test drive and processor/system performance in the areas related to the issues in this thread.  Share your process with others here on the boards so they can also help to check and make sure your process was clean and then let the results speak for themselves.

      I've exhaustively and as clearly and as patiently as possible explained, defined, and clarified every aspect and angle of the performance issues I originally presented. If I have not been clear enough or if my explanations lacked logic or reason then I present my sincerest apologies to the community here. I have honestly given the best effort possible to illuminate the facts and present factual, reasonable evidence on this subject. Regardless I offer it freely to all with the hopes that some may benefit from it.  I was quite excited at the beginning of this post when the opportunity presented itself for me to be able to share pertinent information that would actually help others in a real and tangible way. I am very weak in so many other areas (programming, cross-compiling, etc. etc. etc.) that it felt great to be able to offer something back to the community that I take so much from.  

     That feeling has been quite extinguished at this point. I find myself completely demoralized by Cybersphinx's reply's as they seem more aimed at denouncing the legitimacy of my claims than they are in finding evidence to the contrary and facts to back it up. If I cannot present facts in such a manner as to convince one person of evident truth's concerning such a well founded topic matter as this then I obviously should bow out of this issue entirely and let the facts either speak for themselves or let someone else speak for them. This will be my last post in this thread.  I didn't expect this thread to devolve to a "I'm right"/"You're wrong" fest.  I'm not into the verbal combative posting thing so I'm calling it quits before it boils all the way down to a flaming match.

     I think I'm gonna drop back to being a "quietly watch from the sidelines" member and quit publicly posting altogether, It’s just not worth an argument over the most fundamental facts imagineable.
HOWEVER:Thanks to everyone who participated in a positive way in this thread and gave meaningful information that furthered it. As it managed to pull a LOT of good information forward I still cannot make myself regret having started it. However having said that, there is ZERO chance of  any further posting from me on these forums. I lack any desire whatsoever to spend as much time as I do in my posts in the attempt to make sure they are clear, well researched, and comprehensible just to have it all drowned in pointless confrontation. I realize there are many members who are more knowledgeable and much more brief and yet also still more concise in their posts but I do the best I can. I'm finally starting to understand the frustration and reluctance to post in length that the developers and more knowledgeable members feel. All too often their posts immediately become riddled with reply's from ppl who are disagreeing just for the sake of disagreement and producing theoretical but completely impractical evidence as test cases to prove their stance. Any good that can possibly come from my posts is far outweighed by the diatribe that must be endured as a result.

I come away from this post feeling like I just told my best friend that I believed the world to be round rather than flat.  I know my theory of the world being round sounds totally crazy, but If one more person tells me I’m incorrect and that it truly is flat then I’m going to run and jump right off the edge of it just to get away from them!

Whoever wants the last word can have it. You've already had mine.

Be Well My Friends,


C1000/3x00 Hardware / Speed: Md Vs Sd
« on: December 23, 2005, 06:51:20 am »
Just a side note, you forget to mention linux's file caching system that can cause performance increses (if i remeber corectly it caches the allocation table for faster acsess)

Ack, you're completely right I did forget and your completely right it sure does.  Also it watches the cache for similar addresses in data calls and will reprioritize them slightly to pick up data from the same general area while it's already in that location to help minimize mechanical performance impact. It doesn't always work perfectly since the Allocation Tables don't always reflect the actual physical placement track data.  It simply takes it for granted that sequential (or nearby sequences is more accurate), are actually nearby sequences on the platter.  This can also of course be skewed if the drive is heavily fragmented, (which doesn't happen too often for us linux users so long as we have at least 16% of our drives free.)

Wow, the thought of using Riser4, (btw is it Riser or Reiser - I've seen it both ways?), on my Z is just plain exciting! My software side abilities aren't up to "rolling my own" but if you can coddle me through it I'll gladly post benchmarks (which I'm sure will lead to an immediate flurry re-formatting in the community! I know I'm MORE than ready to see this become a reality.)

I've also thought about playing around with the possibility and performance impact of using the various CF/SD/USB storage solutions in a software RAID implementation.  With USB devices coming into their own on recent Z's it's a theoretical possibility.  I'm not sure about performance gains- unless you split the data across different busses I'm not sure any performance increase is possible.  Also the increase of the software overhead of managing the RAID may offset any gains seen.  But at that time it'll be WELL worth trying and It'll take a team of Clydesdales to keep me from giving it a go and seeing where the chips fall. =)

Thanks Again!,


C1000/3x00 Hardware / 5gb Compact Flash Deal?
« on: December 22, 2005, 05:11:39 pm »
Funny thing, the only way I can access (I finally did!) is by mounting in an external Compact Flash adapter WITH a powered USB hub. It seems that it may be a power related issue then, perhaps becaused higher power requirements for the Seagate vs. the Hitachi.
Any other stories out ther?
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Good stuff,
     we might can get some mileage out of this deal after all.  Are you still getting the seek messages with it in the external reader with powered hub?  If not it's obvious that the microdrive is needing either more voltage and/or amperage than the native CF slots on our Zaurii can offer.
     Still, I'd buy it for that price even if I had to use my external usb CF adapter and self powered usb hub to make it work right. Please let us know about those errors.
     Oh and good eye, thanks for the heads up and group info on this one. This could help a lot of ppl grab what they couldn't normally afford. The "used" aspect still bothers me but some times ya just gotta take the risk to win the prize.

Be Good All!,

C1000/3x00 Hardware / 5gb Compact Flash Deal?
« on: December 21, 2005, 04:57:09 am »
I bought one from them, and though it is recognized by my 3100, I get all sorts of Drive Seek errors in dmesg, so it doesn't seem to be able to read the disk, even after duplicating the internal hard disk and mounting it either in the external CF or the internal CF. Has anyone had any success with the factory rom and the 5 Gig ST1?
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None. I spent a total of about 7 hours so far trying to get it to work. The only Microdrive brand I can openly recommend for compatibility right now is Retail version Hitachi's.

It's sad because there are some HUGE great deals to be had right now on some of these Seagates.



C1000/3x00 Hardware / Speed: Md Vs Sd
« on: December 21, 2005, 04:48:27 am »
The seagate drive should be faster however the new 3GB/4GB/6GB/8GB drives from hitachi are also faster and lower power than the old ones by about 33%, also a bit of register tweaking on your zaurus can yield a huge speed increse (more than double) for reads and writes to the micro drive
Really?!? Could you please give me a link etc. to where I can find out more about the register tweeking? The thought never crossed my mind- this info just made my day!

i cant give you numbers however i will say this, when you read and write to the microdrive you take a performance hit to RAM bandwidth as the CF card and the SDRAM are on the same bus, bieng that the CF card is so slow it upsets the bus quite a bit (enogh for intle to publish a data sheet on it)
Wow, good info. Hmm. I wonder if the performance hit of the bus issue is so severe as to make it more worthwhile to put the Swapfile/Partition on the Sd card instead despite the bandwidth limitation of MMC compatibility mode.  Someone should test this- I will eventually if no one else does by the time I can get around to it.  Good thought indeed. I may have to re-evaluate my opinion of never using an Sd card for a Swap Device when a Microdrive is available if benchmarks bear that out. Kinda hard to predict- the MMC compatibility performance crunch is just a bear to offset. But the truth is always in the numbers.

BTW we steal so much knowledge from you guys that take the time to post reply's that are knowledgeable on the Zaurus development side of things that we often forget to be grateful. I'll take this opportunity to say- Thank You! We just don't say it often enough.


one problem with the SD card is that you are using it in MMC card compatability mode which is no where near the top speed of the SD card, you only get the performance benifit when you are loading data onto it from your home machine. linux most likly wont support SD cards at full speed because of the SD card association liscencing fee which asks for a token amount for each pecie of hardwarte shippped

if its speed you want then MD, want to swap the filesyste? then SD, if you want to watch moives then i would recomend putting it on the SD card to avoid the performance hit and get better playback resaults
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C1000/3x00 Hardware / Speed: Md Vs Sd
« on: December 21, 2005, 04:37:15 am »
After reading the topic on "partioning scheme" here i have decided i want to partition my C3000 to give me about 2GB of internal space for program installation and leave 1GB of FAT space to be used for USB mass storage when conecting to Windows and such. I am not sure exactly how to partition this off but that is left for another topic. What i would like to know is if the 4GB MD is faster/slower to read and write from than what a 1GB SD card would be. I want to use alot of this space to install X/Qt and apps on. If the SD card will give me significantly faster read and write times then there is not much reason in doing this except for being able to eject your SD card and all your programs will still run.

I think i will still partition my drive, but i would really like to know if one is faster than the other. If some one knows how to just test this with something like the "dd" comand then i can just test it myself and post my results. I saw a post along time ago about testing the speed of SD cards but i did not find it so i am not really sure how to test it myself. Thanks for all the help.

Also Neuroshock if you read this post, do you know if the retail version of the 6GB 1.  Seagate MD has faster read/write  and access times than the original Hitatchi MD. Also what about power consumption?
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     Sure. Let me make a few definitions about performance before I comment so I make sure we're all talking about the same things. The speed issues that affect all this are:
     Read Access Times (How long it takes the storage medium to find the data it's trying to read- Rated in Milliseconds),
     Write Access Times (How long it takes the storage medium to actually start writing the data to storage after the request is issued - Rated in Milliseconds), and
     Data Throughput (The amount of data the storage medium can move from/to itself once Access time is over and data actually begins moving - Rated in Megabytes per Second).  
To avoid confusion you will also find references to two kinds of Data Throughput –
     Burst (How much data the device can  deliver to the system in very short or initial data transfers) and
     Sustained (How much  data the device can deliver to the system from the storage medium for extended periods of time.)  
Please note that in Flash Memory (and therefore all SD and MMC cards) there is effectively NO Read or Write access times because since they have no major moving parts they don't have to worry about spinning up or moving the head across the physical platter to get to the info etc. like Microdrives Do. Pretty much Data Throughput is the only performance issue I'm addressing that affects SD and MMC cards.
There, that should cover the basics.

Let's do 4gb original embedded Microdirve vs. the Retail versions of Hitachi Microdrives (4 and 6gb versions) first.
     The whitepaper specs of the 4gb OEM version of the drive are almost identical to the published Specs on the Retail 4 and 6gb versions, however, in performance tests on the microdrives in Real World benchmarks the retail version outshone the OEM version in my C3100 by about 10%-18% in all tests I have conducted.  My hunch is that this is due to Sharp modifying and hard-coding some firmware options on the 4gb drives for reasons I'm not currently aware of. I'm still trying to find a way to browse to the Firmware and Hardware's configs of the controller on the MicroDrive itself but haven’t succeeded yet. But regardless of the reason for the poorer performance if you upgrade it to the Pexagon Incorporated retail versions of the Hitachi Microdrive then you will get SOME performance increase, but probably not enough in most situations for the average user to feel compelled to spend $100-200usd that it costs to buy them at the time of this writing. Remember just because the Drive itself is possibly up to 18% faster - the speed of your system as a whole will probably increase about only about 5-6% MAX. So the big picture benefits are pretty marginal in my opinion unless you’re just a performance Zealot like myself.

     I have not tested battery drain issues between the two drives, but it should be insignificant as their wattage seems to be identical.  Also the battery drain rate issues that affect us here are all Microdrive issues and so are applicable to both evenly. However in contrast if you wish to compare battery life between the Microdrives and Sd cards the Sd card will win hands down every time since it has no moving parts.

     As for deciding whether to install X/Qt on Sd or Md it ends up being a personal judgment call in the end. Perhaps these facts can guide you into forming an educated decision on performance impact of the choices you have:

     Sd performance is limited on the Zaurii because Sharp forces us to run in MMC compatibility mode. Since Access times are insignificant this simply means in real world terms that your Data Throughput is going to be MUCH lower using your SD card in your Zaurus than what most new, 1gb SD cards are truly capable of. Also if you haven't already bought a 1gb Sd card, then consider buying one that is at least rated around 10x-12x as you will see data throughput increase by doing so.  Don't pay a lot of extra money to buy an Sd card that is way above 10x because it will gain you NOTHING further in speed increases.
Be aware that The CF slot on the Zaurus has no such performance restrictor and therefore outperforms SD cards neatly when it comes to Data Throughput.

     As mentioned in my term definitions the Sd card has access times that are for all practical purposes nonexistent so whenever the system asks for Data movement the Sd card can begin transferring the data RIGHT NOW unlike the Microdrive which has to both spin up if it's not already spinning and move mechanical parts to get to the right place the data is stored on the platter. So SD has an edge in Access times.

     Please know right up front that because of the software AND hardware sides of the Sd card issue as Sharp has implemented them in the Zaurus, Data Write Throughput is always much slower than Data Read Throughput. This makes the SD card a fairly decent place to install programs to since there is much less writing to, than reading from, the storage medium once the programs are initially installed. This also makes Sd cards a seriously inferior place to install a Swap Partition or Swap File as compared to ANY CF card (either Microdrive or Flash Memory) since this has a LARGE amount of Data Writes 100% of the time that it is being used by the system because your physical memory has been exceeded.

Quick Recap of Sd card pro's and con's:

-----  Sd = MUCH faster at finding where to get/put data on the drive (Access Times) than Md's.
-----Sd =  A fairly good place to install Programs.

----- Sd = Write Data Throughput is always lower than Read Data Throughput.
----- Sd =  These cards seldom live up to their speed potential on Zaurii because Sharp has shackled us with MMC compatibility mode in it’s Sd implementation.

     I’m specifically speaking about the Hitachi 4gb and 6gb Retail Version Microdrives.  
Data Read Access times and Write access times, unlike the sd cards on Zaurii, perform equally in basic Real World terms.  As mentioned earlier it takes much longer for Microdrives to begin Reading or Writing data because the physical parts must travel to where they need to be. Always try to remember that Microdrives are quite literally tiny Hard Drives like what you use in your Desktop computer and suffer/benefit from the same issues they do.

     Data Throughput in most Microdrives will knock the snot out of any Sd card in a Zaurus because of the MMC compatibility issue. Current Microdrives have EXCELLENT data throughput when compared to a CF Flash Memory cards as well.  Only the fastest and most expensive CF Flash Memory cards have higher Sustained Data Throughput than these Microdrives. As far as bang for the buck Microdrives are a faster/better way to go for equal amounts of storage when compared to CF Flash Memory cards.

     Microdrive Spin-up time is an important consideration when comparing Sd vs. Md. On a cold data call the Microdrive will be powered down to save on battery drain and the drive has to spin the platter up to speed before it can begin to even start the Data Seek. This is mostly noticeable when you first click on a program that is installed on a Microdrive as it has to wait for the disk to be spun up if it’s not already. On a C3000 you should be used to this.

     Data Seek (both read and write) times are MUCH longer than Sd cards not because of  the device format (CF vs. Sd) but rather because the Microdrives are majorly mechanical and parts take time to move around- Sd cards are always Flash Memory and never suffer from this limitation.

     Facts concerning Pro’s of  Sd cards and Microdrives. (quick recap):

Sd Pro’s:

-----Sd cards have basically Data Access times of  Zero as compared to the much greater Access times of the Microdrives.
-----Sd cards drain the battery MUCH slower than Microdrives do.
----- Sd cards do not have to spin-up when they enter “sleep” mode.

Microdrive  Pro’s:

----- Data Throughput (both burst and sustained) are much better than Sd cards on Zaurii.
----- Microdrives are usually MUCH less expensive for the equivalent amount of storage on an Sd card.

     Now those are the cold facts.  But like most things when you implement them into Real World situations the facts on paper can be very misleading.

Strategies to get the best out of and from both technologies:

     Everyone always harps on the spin-up and Data Access time penalties when dealing with a Microdrive in a Zaurus. The Data Access time even though it is Huge when compared to Sd cards are still not a huge impediment.  This is because the Data Access time on the Microdrives is about 12 milliseconds. 12 Milliseconds is only a tiny part of a single second. Most users simply don’t notice the cumulative impact of this in Real World applications.  A better way to describe Data Access on Sd and Microdrive mediums would be to say that while Sd cards have NO Data Access delay, Microdrives have a tiny Data Access Delay. That would be keeping the perspective of the issue more true to life.

     The Spin-Up issue can also be minimized depending on usage. The concept here is to try to get things setup so that the Microdrive has to Spin-up from a stationary position as SELDOM as possible.  Remember, if it’s already spinning then this penalty simply doesn’t exist!  To do so you can apply a strategy that seems to be contradictory to normal performance usage – You try to run the installed programs AND have the Swap File/Partition all on the same Microdrive.  If you do this then any data call that is made will go to the Microdrive and the Microdrive will stay spun up more of the time. The fact that you would also be using this in a C3000 where much of the OS and other programs are also run from the Microdrive then my guess is in Normal Usage the Microdrive would probably VERY seldom get caught spun down during high intensity program usage like X/Qt.  In Desktops you wouldn’t want to do this because it would degrade Swap performance, but Desktops don’t face the massive spin-up issue to begin with.

     Please note that this very same strategy will NEGATIVELY impact your battery life since the drive will stay spinning more often. It’s something to bear in mind.

     The memory buffer that is installed on the Microdrive also helps minimize the raw impact of Data Access, Data Throughput, as well the Spin-up issue.

     The bottom line of all this in my estimation is that Microdrives perform MUCH better over all than people give them credit for if you use a good Strategy along with them. Just about any benchmarking you wish to do will confirm my overall opinion when applied to Microdrives that are being used in Zaurii with resource greedy programs like X/Qt.

So here’s my final advice:

     If you’re most worried about battery life then install X/Qt and it’s apps to an Sd Card that is rated at 10-12x speed or more. You should also consider formatting the Sd card with ext2/3 in order to keep from having to use a loopback device and taking the associated performance hit.  This will make the card unusable/unreadable in Windows environments. You should then make a Swap File or Partition on the Microdrive and enable it only when your physical memory in your Zaurus is depleted.

     If you’re concerned only about performance issues or are much more concerned with performance than you are battery life then choose to upgrade to a Retail 4gb or 6gb Microdrive and Partition it similarly to how I finally ended up doing in the other post you referred to. (Add an ext2/3 extended partition and a Swap Partition in another extended partition). PLEASE NOTE that my instructions and success were based on the fact that I had a C3100 rather than a C3000 so proceed with care. This will be the least optimal solution for battery life. I think you’ll be surprised and discover that it won’t eat as much battery duration as you would initially think though.

     Of course there are several variations you could go with in between those but these are the two extremes.

     If you TRULY want to go the PURE performance route then replace the interior Microdrive with a 4gb or larger High Performance Flash Memory card, and partition and use it identically to the pure Microdrive choice. Good cards for this would be the current Lexar 80x 4gb Professional Series CF card or the Newest flamethrower that Sandisk has thrown on the market in a 4gb capacity or larger- I can’t vouch for the Sandisk, but my 80x 1gb Lexar CF card is very impressive from a performance perspective indeed.  Just make sure you choose a CF Flash Memory card with the same or better Sustained Data Throughput than that of the 6gb Hitachi Microdrive. This is EXPENSIVE but the FASTEST option right now.  It should also have much better battery life than compared to the equivalent Microdrive solution and should be fairly equivalent to the battery life expected when using the Sd card choice.

     Here are a few links to the products discussed in this post and some links to some products I can recommend for performance and reliability:

Hitachi Microdrive 6gb General Specs- (the 4gb card is identical in every way except size)
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Hitachi Microdrive 6gb Datasheet Specs- (the 4gb card is identical in every way except size)

This link has a link to a comparison chart of Lexar’s CF Medium. I can personally recommend the Lexar CF Professional 80X CF cards.  They work beautifully in Zaurii and are screaming fast.  Also note that Lexar’s ratings (80x in this case) are the minimum SUSTAINED data rate rather than the BURST data rate that many CF card manufacturers use to identify their speeds. Using Burst data rates to class a CF card is just simply deceiving imho. Lexar’s honest. If they claim it will go 80x, then it will. Here’s the link:

Here’s the detailed view link to the Lexar 80X Professional Series CF card:

This is a similar link to Lexar’s SD Platinum card lineup. I can personally vouch for the 40x Platinum card and the 80x Professional Sd card (which is elsewhere on their website.)

Here’s a link to what is supposed to be the fastest Zaurus compatible 4gb CF card on the market today (133x).  I’ve seen where others have successfully used this card but have never used one myself. This link is just offered for research purposes I cannot speak for its compatibility or performance.

I think that about covers it – If you have any specific questions just give me a yell and I’ll try to help if I can.


6000 - Tosa / Noia Theme For The Sl-6000
« on: December 20, 2005, 01:00:46 am »
Hey guys,

Nobody crucify me here- but I've NEVER tried to install a theme on any of my Zaurii. Ever.  Will these work with pdaXrom?  Do they work with all Roms or just Sharp's?

This one and the Gant one are just eye poppers and I'm getting ready to redo my SL-6000L now that I've got my C3100 in enough shape to take over most of my day-to-day duties, and I'd like to include a theme change.

Thanks all!,

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