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Re: Graffiti and Linux PDA's

__/ [Karel "de Jazz" Jansens] on Monday 17 October 2005 17:55 \__

> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> __/ [Karel "de Jazz" Jansens] on Monday 17 October 2005 15:16 \__
>>>... , Palm finally discovered you cannot
>>>make a decent smartphone with anything but a multitasking OS -- even a
>>>crappy one. The WinCE-Treo should be seen as a stopgap measure to
>>>prevent too much market loss until PalmOS 6 is -- finally -- ready.
>>>Grapevine talk has it that Palm is even considering a --shock! horror!
>>>-- _Symbian/UIQ_ version of the Treo. Know they no shame?! :)
>> Say what?!?!
> Relax. It's only a rumour sofar.
>>>>I started to explore alternative paths and the Nokia 770 is one of
>>>>these. I have just been reminded that it would not be surprising if
>>>>Nokia dumped that rusty Symbian altogether and implemented a port of the
>>>>existing GUI to run on the Linux kernel. From the article above, it sure
>>>>seems as if the codebase will be made available for other devices as
>>>>well. I think the device will be ready by Christmas, so expect a
>>>>homebred Linux distro for mobile devices. It can then be sold to other
>>>>vendors which will mark yet another revolution -- the entry of Linux
>>>>into the mobile phones, handheld PDA's, tablets, etc. First the servers,
>>>>then the desktop and soon a penguin in everyone's pocket
>>>The Linux operating system of the N770, Internet Tablet 2005 software
>>>edition, is basically a taylored version of Debian GNU/Linux and will
>>>most certainly become available for anyone (well, they have to, haven't
>>>they?). ...
>> Yes, I read about that and thought to myself "why in the earth Debian?".
>> But let's not make this a flamebait...
> Maybe because Debian is a rock-solid distro? If you're going to put
> Linux in a PDA, you're not looking for last-second gizmos, right? You
> want something that needs rebooting approximately once every decade.

I know the feeling, but there are many other distros out there which are
quite solid. The Debian community affiliated with a business PDA just does
sit right IMHO. If you were to use SuSE, for instance, being a
Novell-affiliated distro (licensing issues?), I think you would be better

Then again, I run two Ubuntu (Debian codebase), so I shouldn't complain.

>>>... One of the most important exceptions will be the handwriting
>>>recognition software, which is proprietary and commercial (my personal
>>>guess is it's a port of Decuma Alphabetic, based on the screenshots I've
>>>seen), so there is still scope for Open Source developers there (hint!
>>>hint!). Personally, I would love to see a port of the ParaGraph engine,
>>>of Newton and PenOffice fame.
>> I am very upset with the Xerox-Palm conflict over Graffiti and hope
>> something is done to prevent YAA (Yet-Another-Adaptation). Luckily I have
>> a Tungsten that is still Graffiti 1 in its core.
> I've had a Palm IIIc with Graffiti1 and I thought it sucked.
> I have a Sony Ericsson P910i with Jot (Graffiti2) and I think it sucks
> (but less so).
> I have a Fujitsu Stylistic 3400 with PenOffice HWR and I like it a lot
> (besides the fact that I have to run Windows 2000).
> I also have a Newton MessagePad 2100 with Rosetta and ParaGraph HWR and
> I think that one can only be topped by TTI (Telepathic Text Input).

Writing is somewhat of an antiquated method for input, which we have either
been led to take for granted or is also perceived as a selling point, for
new users in particular (less technologically inclined, that is).

I think there are still big steps to be made because even handwritten text
upon paper (higher tolerance) can never be as fast as input using keyboard
by a skilled and experienced typist. With Dvorak layout, that speed if even
further improved. How we can take advantage of the fact that we have 10
fingers and incorporate it into miniscule PDA's input, I don't know yet.
That alone might be a million dollar idea, but would involve a learning

>>>As for the delay, that might actually prove to be a blessing in
>>>disguise, as the rumours of a significant drop in price ($250 according
>>>to some!) are becoming more and more persistent.
>> Wow! For quite some time I have been trying to find predictions of the
>> cost to no avail.
> Officially it's still going to be $350 + taxes, which still would be a
> great deal.

Indeed. The only Deterrent, to me at least, is still the size. I can't
imagine ever taking it into the gym or pull it our of a shirt's pocket in
the street. I sometimes begin to lead myself into thinking that tablets are
a step back, which should be avoided by all means.

>> Let's not forget some existing Linux PDA's.
>> Summary/overview (largely out-of-date):
>> * http://www.linuxdevices.com/articles/AT8728350077.html
>> The expensive type:
>> * http://www.archos.com/products/overview/pma_400.html
> The Archos is reputedly very slow and it only has a QVGA screen. ...

I think the picture at the front page says it all. It's about vanity, not

> ... True,
> it has a 30 GB HDD, but I prefer solid state storage for pocketable
> devices. Besides:
> will be an interesting companion for my Nokias.

I have never seen any of these before. Interesting, in my opinion, because
you can avoid lugging around a heavy LifeDrive and still have the high
capacity, possibly in your pocket rather than your hand.

>> And lastly, the more affordable:
>> * http://www.powerplaydevices.com/products/ppvs_info.html
> Looks interesting. There doesn't seem to be much software for it though...

True, but if you were to recommend a simple, cost-effective PIM to a friend
who is new to PDA's, why not point the stick at that direction? Think of it
as a Zire - (minus) software + penguin.


Roy S. Schestowitz      |    Windows XP: Dude, where's my RAM?
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