Author Topic: Is The Z, Archos Pma, Etc Dead?  (Read 10859 times)

iwantprogress

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Is The Z, Archos Pma, Etc Dead?
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2007, 05:26:51 pm »
btw not saying i disagree that linux is not a priority.  but the z was made, and the hplx was made, and if there are no reasons why they are no longer made, then there might be a reason they will be made, if you get what i mean.

of course, device after device comes out with nothing like the z's gestalt, so there is a reason there somewhere.
what i have: hplx, debian desktop.

what i want: sl-c3200-ish with flush-ish wireless ip to desktop and preferably slightly updated other specs.  nice pims, gnu- or xemacs, unix shell tools, an apt-get-ish feed, and some type of disk encryption.  i do not want a phone.

why: linux (necessary), thumb typable (critical), smallish, lightish, reliable, big open source ecosystem.

Meanie

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Is The Z, Archos Pma, Etc Dead?
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2007, 07:07:30 pm »
Quote
btw not saying i disagree that linux is not a priority.  but the z was made, and the hplx was made, and if there are no reasons why they are no longer made, then there might be a reason they will be made, if you get what i mean.

of course, device after device comes out with nothing like the z's gestalt, so there is a reason there somewhere.
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Cyberdoc1971

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« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2007, 07:56:19 pm »
Quote
Quote
btw not saying i disagree that linux is not a priority.  but the z was made, and the hplx was made, and if there are no reasons why they are no longer made, then there might be a reason they will be made, if you get what i mean.

of course, device after device comes out with nothing like the z's gestalt, so there is a reason there somewhere.
[div align=\"right\"][a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=166330\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a][/div]

yeah, patent!
[div align=\"right\"][a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=166333\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a][/div]

Not sure how off-topic we are, or if we are, but please elaborate about patent.
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speculatrix

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Is The Z, Archos Pma, Etc Dead?
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2007, 03:51:15 am »
the only mass market product I see which rivals the Zaurus is the HTC universal:
http://pdadb.net/index.php?m=specs&id=149

which does run linux quite well now:
http://handhelds.org/moin/moin.cgi/UniversalStatus

... although it's had good reviews it's never been massively popular, because I think it's too big to be comfortably used as a phone - though now people have to use hands-free (typically bluetooth) headsets  in their cars, I think there *might* be a gradual shift away from people expecting to hold their phone to their ears, so oversize smartphones such as the uni could catch on.


sadly, whilst the replacement for the uni has some interesting features, it's only QVGA again. anyone who thinks the uni is/was a pinnacle of smartphones for running linux might want to get hold of one before they vanish!
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Da_Blitz

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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2007, 06:23:15 am »
thanks for the heads up on the uni, i have been thinking about it for awhile

in terms of feature set, if you have to explain what linux is for mor than 2 minutes then people are not intrested and its a strike against the product, if you say "ins not microsoft" its a strike against the product, if you say "its free" then its also a strike against the product

in my experience, very few people believe that a quality product like linux could be given away for free and believe microsoft, while expensive can do no wrong. when you tell them about microsofts bad track record (on multiple fronts) they just go "huh?", its at this point that i remember i am more informed about IT happenings than most people and that if some of the issues hit the front page of a normal news paper only then would people care

so i would say menie is right, and also so its a marketing thing, linux is effecitvly in the same position as the "free tibet" movement (saw them today, thats why they are an example) you see people advertising it but most people dont care, extending that idea, they say they dont care until they try somthing else and realize its not microsoft
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nilch

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« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2007, 02:02:22 pm »
This topic is really getting pretty conplex - naturally so, since there are a lot of reasons involved - social, technological, functional etc for which the Zaurus is losing ground while devices like iPhone, and smartphones (Touch, Moto Q) etc are so much more prevalent.

While the Zaurus does a lot of thinks pretty well, it missing one major mark - its not a phone. That single ommision I beleive makes it a niche market device - more so with Linux on it. A phone is coveted by everyone - much more than a PDA. Hence largish devices are trying to converge to a smaller foot-print device like a smartphone or an iPhone to be able to cater to the phone-PDA market. That gives the mfrs a bigger market to play to.

And if we look beyond the techy, geeky goups, how many people really need a FTP server or Web server running on a PDA, or even understand its potential ?
As long as a manufactuirer can plug in a decent Opera or Safari on a phone and add some PIM, it becomes denoted as a "computer" as well as a phone. No wonder the dumb-masses will consume that - since it actually fulfills their "mobile computing" needs (essentially music , picture slideshows, video player, DOC editors and a browser) as well as server as a fashionable phone.

Now do you visualise the Zaurus as a phone, forget being fashionable ?So yes, while the iPhone, touch and Q's are moving away from the Z'is form factor - on the other hand, the HTC Shift, Uni's and UMPC's are moging up to a smaller but functional laptop replacement with more power to run full fledged OS's.

And that is where the Zaurus should have moved up to - cause it had the potential to become a great UMPC. Instead it got stuck in the PDA segment - which is essentually dead.

So no point in blaming the gurus and marketing  - cause both those factors are very dependant on what the general masses will consume.
They will not consume a uber PDA in these days.
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desertrat

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« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2007, 03:06:36 pm »
Quote
... and believe microsoft, while expensive can do no wrong. when you tell them about microsofts bad track record (on multiple fronts) they just go "huh?",
It's sad and disgraceful how MS's dirty habits are influencing other manufacturers and the way people think about technology in general. I was looking at a PMP the other day and within a few moments of playing around with it crashed, "thoughtfully" the manufacturer gave the unit a reset button. When I pointed out to the salesman that the unit crashed he said "yeah, when it crashes just use the reset button" and then he continued "it's software, windoze does that all the time and 'all it takes' is a 'quick' reset to put things right again". I was thinking WTF.
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T3_slider

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« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2007, 04:39:04 pm »
Quote
It's sad and disgraceful how MS's dirty habits are influencing other manufacturers and the way people think about technology in general. I was looking at a PMP the other day and within a few moments of playing around with it crashed, "thoughtfully" the manufacturer gave the unit a reset button. When I pointed out to the salesman that the unit crashed he said "yeah, when it crashes just use the reset button" and then he continued "it's software, windoze does that all the time and 'all it takes' is a 'quick' reset to put things right again". I was thinking WTF.
You definitely have a point there. That's in line with some UMPC manufacturers including a dedicated Ctrl+Alt+Delete button (If you need one, there's a problem). I've been using Linux since February (yes, I'm a bit of a newb), and Linux has never crashed on me once. Ever. I managed to crash X Windows exactly once in all that time, but Linux was still running and I just issued a startx and all was fine again (to be fair, I was running KDE on a very old PC with a 333 MHz processor and a crappy video card). Now that I don't use Windows at all, if I had a device that crashed on me every two seconds I would not consider it acceptable.

My Z occasionally closes open apps upon resume (only when I have a lot open -- ie Firefox with many tabs open) because it basically runs out of memory on resuming, but that's it. My Palm T3 never crashes unless an app is specifically responsible (although it would be nice if only the app crashed and not the whole OS). The Z is an oddball in the market and the T3 is pretty old now -- back from the era where Palm actually made stuff that worked instead of making fancy bricks.

My new dumbphone that I just got a few days ago has already frozen the front-mounted LCD on more than once and all it has to do is sit in my pocket waiting for a call. The phone still functions, but I have to open and close the phone to get the front LCD to turn off -- and if it's sitting in my pocket I can't tell if the screen is on or off and the battery starts dieing. Such is the future of gadgetry, unfortunately.
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iwantprogress

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Is The Z, Archos Pma, Etc Dead?
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2007, 05:01:57 pm »
nilch> They will not consume a uber PDA in these days.

is it really the case that people won't buy a non-phone thumbable pda?
what i have: hplx, debian desktop.

what i want: sl-c3200-ish with flush-ish wireless ip to desktop and preferably slightly updated other specs.  nice pims, gnu- or xemacs, unix shell tools, an apt-get-ish feed, and some type of disk encryption.  i do not want a phone.

why: linux (necessary), thumb typable (critical), smallish, lightish, reliable, big open source ecosystem.

amrein

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« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2007, 07:33:40 pm »
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Is The Z, Archos Pma, Etc Dead?

Here is how I see it:

To still be alive, a PDA or PDAphone need to have customers, faithful customers,  good press with good review and companies working on solutions arround it. It needs to evolve to meet customers expectations, press expectations and partners expectations.

- Customers buy the product, the accessories, the applications and they talk about it all around. The users are the one that make your company and product stay alive because they bring you the money.
- Press and reviews show how the product works. They show you how the device can be useful. They bring you news of the market and show you how to solve your every day needs. They even create new expectations on hardware and software.
- And to finish, companies bring you new software, new accessories, new services...
So, don't you think that the Z, the Linux Archos, (...) are just missing all of those points?

You buy a Zaurus. Are you happy with it? How are you using it? Are you happy with the software and the hardware list in the device or on the net? Is it easy to use? Will Joe six packs, your neighboring, be happy with it? If one of your answers is no, this market is in trouble. People who are not happy with this device won't talk about it. If you still want to promote it, will you really interest other people? ssh, apt-get, startx, "mv image-yoyo-1234.zaza /mnt/cfcard/image.img", reboot, kill sound-at-poweron, freeze, reboot, modprobe...? If they can't get it, they won't buy it and the company won't have the needed income to continue. You just loose because this is not a mass market but a to small one.
The press has similar expectation than advanced users. They also react like your Joe six packs. Even if they have advanced skills, they will think about their audience first. Mainly they want to have useful devices and want to report to Joe six packs (the one that bring them money) "This device is good to solve your issue. You need to buy it, it won't disappoint you". If you don't feed the press with good device hardware and good software solution, they won't publish good reviews and won't promote it at all. More than this, as they have their hands grafted on their Pc keyboard and are used to other devices, they will always have a nasty review about your device as long as your PDA keyboard is trying to mimic a full Pc keyboard for example, or if you don't have good synchronization solution, or good PIMs, .... They won't think a lot. They won't tell their readers "without this keyboard, you will need to type slowly with a stylus or mark you device with fingerprints"...
People expect good hardware upgrade and a lot of good and easy software and the Zaurus and other hardware and software expectations are not fulfilled since many years. There is no big market for companies to work on (no money to do if you prefer). There are no big news around the Zaurus either (software and hardware) nor a big user base.

And the result of all this? All those devices are dying!
Well, who should we blame?
« Last Edit: August 17, 2007, 07:49:01 pm by amrein »

Cyberdoc1971

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« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2007, 12:07:44 am »
Wow! Amrein, that is the best explanation that I have see so far, it basically defines my disgust with the current market, as well as other companies dirty tactics to influence decent companies to get out of the industry.
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adf

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« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2007, 12:13:21 am »
well--actually, I really like my Z.
it could be faster< hve real docking, etc... but on the whole it suits me.

Something to consider about the markets is that smartphones are really getting better, and laptops are getting cheaper.  e $500 laptop is gonna be much more powerful than my Z, and a good smartphone is still more portable.  Part of what limits the appeal of the Z is that it doesn' do much "outta the box" with out some work, knowhoaw and a community--  Also, are any umpcs anything but niche geek-toys?
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Da_Blitz

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« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2007, 07:09:29 am »
ever since switching to Linux i have hated the whole "reset to fix" methodology of windows

i just have to accept the fact that i am far outside the statistical norms for these products,  and that what i want out of my equipment is most likly not worth investing the effort into when they can get a larger market by dumbing it down and letting the user  work around thier system rather than the other way around

most of the comercial stuff out there is a bit too user friendly for me, i like to push my hardware/software to the limits. an example would be the hamachi VPN tool vs openvpn, sure i could have the vpn up in mere minutes with hitmachi (or whatever it was called) however i like to
a. know how it works
b. do it right
c. design it correctly
hence i chose openvpn, sure it takes a bit of extra effort but i know its the correct solution for me, custom tailored, thats why i like gpl software. it normally has the most knobs  (btw in this case the "correct" solution was to connect all 3 sites using openvpn and do routing so that even if one node is bieng hammered you can still log into the other nodes and join the vpn, overegineered... yes cool... yes possibly save me one day... defiantly)

thats what the zaurus and most linux platforms have, the ability to mold the system into something we want, all my systems use heavily modified keyboard layouts (dvorak) and key bindings (all the Fxx keys are bound to windows management functions). most people merely interact with a computer, we as a community defiantly go a lot futher

speaking of smart phones, if someone calls me the power management stuff hangs and it dosent sleep, hence giving me bad battery life. yes its a wince PDA
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nilch

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« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2007, 11:44:46 am »
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nilch> They will not consume a uber PDA in these days.

is it really the case that people won't buy a non-phone thumbable pda?
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Its just that a Uber PDA these days has morphed into a what is generally called as a UMPC. Juts a PDA with limited (moddable) function, is I guess a dying breed. Instead a UMPC (like the Shift) is moving towards a PDA + PC function combination.

So users have a choice between a phone+PDA (for those wanting a phone device) or a PDA+PC combo (for those wanting a power packed portable device), so then why would anyone ( the "common user") choose just a PDA in these days ?


This is what I mean in my post.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2007, 11:49:51 am by nilch »
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T3_slider

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« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2007, 03:38:19 pm »
Yes, but UMPCs aren't doing very well. I've never seen a UMPC out in the wild -- the smallest laptop I've seen is a Libretto. The masses just aren't geeky enough to spend that kind of money on something when they could get a laptop for much less. Maybe in 20 years everyone will have a very small UMPC that does everything they need and then they can just hook it up to a docking station when they get home and use it as a full PC. But that day has not come, and right now all of these gadgets are for geeks. There just isn't a market for it yet.
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