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Linux On Handhelds

By in News
Sun May 07, 2000 at 11:03:49 AM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

WirelessDevNet.com is running two articles on Linux for handheld devices: Microwindows: Enabling Graphical Apps On Embedded Linux Devices and Linux For Handhelds: Fact Or Fiction?.

Linux on the desktop may have to overcome the timidity of end users however the internals can be completely hidden on a handheld device. In a marketplace where Handspring produced a lower-cost device and immediately began outselling Palm, it seems to be only a matter of time before a large manufacturer goes with the lower-cost/higher-reliability Linux OS.


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o Microwindo ws: Enabling Graphical Apps On Embedded Linux Devices
o Linux For Handhelds: Fact Or Fiction?
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Linux On Handhelds | 33 comments (33 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Linux on handhelds sounds interesti... (2.00 / 1) (#23)
by Strongtium90 on Thu May 04, 2000 at 04:16:39 PM EST

Strongtium90 voted 1 on this story.

Linux on handhelds sounds interesting. But, I always hear this "Lower cost" argument. This is bunk, there are a lot of companies that have figured out the quirks of shoehorning stuff onto little computers. I guess the Yopy will prove if this is all viable.

The notion of putting Linux on a ha... (2.50 / 2) (#11)
by RobotSlave on Thu May 04, 2000 at 05:10:13 PM EST

RobotSlave voted -1 on this story.

The notion of putting Linux on a handheld recapitulates the design philosophy of WinCE.

Maybe it's just me, but handheld de... (1.00 / 1) (#1)
by sakico on Thu May 04, 2000 at 07:09:13 PM EST

sakico voted -1 on this story.

Maybe it's just me, but handheld devices seem overreported. Aren't laptops mobile enough?

before posting, please check your g... (1.00 / 1) (#18)
by thelaw on Thu May 04, 2000 at 07:34:23 PM EST

thelaw voted -1 on this story.

before posting, please check your grammar and punctuation.

I want a Linux PDA!... (1.00 / 1) (#22)
by jhillyerd on Thu May 04, 2000 at 07:43:45 PM EST

jhillyerd voted 1 on this story.

I want a Linux PDA!

echh, I don't care, post away...... (1.00 / 1) (#2)
by davidu on Thu May 04, 2000 at 10:07:38 PM EST

davidu voted 1 on this story.

echh, I don't care, post away...

Actually, I find PalmOS to be VERY ... (2.00 / 1) (#6)
by fluffy grue on Thu May 04, 2000 at 10:22:22 PM EST

fluffy grue voted 1 on this story.

Actually, I find PalmOS to be VERY reliable, but that's mostly because the people who code for it tend to actually be responsible, helped a lot by the PalmOS API hiding a lot of stuff from the developer and having all storage be in a nice, pervasive database format. However, the point is well taken; Linux could easily be adapted to a handheld arena (given some similar methods of abstraction, such as, well, using a pervasive database for all data storage, rather than thinking about things in terms of a disk or the like).
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

Let us analyze the word "Linux" ... (2.00 / 2) (#24)
by PresJPolk on Thu May 04, 2000 at 10:28:19 PM EST

PresJPolk voted -1 on this story.

Let us analyze the word "Linux" Lin - from "Linus Torvalds", the originator of Linux. ux - from "UNIX", the popular multi-user, sometimes server-oriented operating system. Now, I don't know if Linus has anything against handhelds, but why would one want to run linux on one? Would the idea be to port GNU ls? to run KDE? to use DevFS? to host kuro5hin.org? Until such things are actually useful on the handhelds (and they're certainly getting to be powerful enough; Linux started on the 80386), Linux is just overkill. If you really want a useful subset of the POSIX API, to write apps for a tiny computer, I'm sure something better than linux can be found.

I think Linux is trying to be too m... (4.00 / 1) (#16)
by Marcin on Fri May 05, 2000 at 12:41:01 AM EST

Marcin voted 1 on this story.

I think Linux is trying to be too many things at once..

I've got nothing against Linux, don't get me wrong, but I think it's trying to be too many different things and not being 'the best' at any of them. Note that this isn't the same as saying it's bad at all of them, it's very good at everything it's trying to be (as far as I am aware these are Server, Desktop and Embedded), but the OSs that specialise for their niche usually end up 'better' as far as the masses are concerned.. ie. *BSD for Server, Windows (NT/2000) for Desktop (bring on the flames! ;)), and PalmOS for the handhelds.

Feel free to correct me, and i'm sure you all will, but that's just how I feel from using Linux and from the stories i've read comparing linux to other operating systems.
M.

I want to hear what others say.... (1.00 / 1) (#12)
by Didel on Fri May 05, 2000 at 01:33:54 AM EST

Didel voted 1 on this story.

I want to hear what others say.

What's to discuss? The writeup's a ... (1.00 / 1) (#8)
by pwhysall on Fri May 05, 2000 at 07:55:24 AM EST

pwhysall voted -1 on this story.

What's to discuss? The writeup's a bit brief.
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown

nice links for the interested... (1.00 / 1) (#10)
by el_vez on Fri May 05, 2000 at 08:26:01 AM EST

el_vez voted 1 on this story.

nice links for the interested

The question remains: are the stre... (2.00 / 1) (#21)
by leshert on Fri May 05, 2000 at 02:31:10 PM EST

leshert voted 1 on this story.

The question remains: are the strengths of Linux (that's Linux, mind you, not "open-source operating systems in general) really applicably to a handheld device? Remember that "geek factor" shouldn't be a reason here.

+1 for good idea, -1 for failing to... (2.00 / 1) (#13)
by adric on Fri May 05, 2000 at 05:40:28 PM EST

adric voted -1 on this story.

+1 for good idea, -1 for failing to, well, do anything with it in the abstract...

And -1 again for not mentioning the Yopy

Finally! A palm-like device that ru... (1.00 / 1) (#25)
by DrNyck™ on Fri May 05, 2000 at 07:26:45 PM EST

DrNyck™ voted 1 on this story.

Finally! A palm-like device that runs Linux! Is this the start of something good??
Sue me for anything that may seem stupid... I am new and trying to settle in (if you can say).

Analysis and conclusion and researc... (1.00 / 1) (#4)
by kraant on Fri May 05, 2000 at 08:20:30 PM EST

kraant voted -1 on this story.

Analysis and conclusion and research I want more of it dammit
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...

WTWU?... (1.00 / 1) (#5)
by skim123 on Fri May 05, 2000 at 09:18:55 PM EST

skim123 voted -1 on this story.

WTWU?

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


Is there data on handspring 'outsel... (2.00 / 1) (#9)
by dieman on Fri May 05, 2000 at 10:32:30 PM EST

dieman voted 0 on this story.

Is there data on handspring 'outselling' palm? Last I checked, handsprings customer support sucked ass, as palm is generally willing to kiss your feet and send out a replacement within 24-48 hours. Ill pay more if it means excellent service. Also, linux cant be on everything, get over it. palmos is decent, I would love something that could be midsize, like what the WorkPad c50's (wince semi-laptop things) are. but with linux on it.
---
blah

It's OK, but I'm waiting for better... (1.00 / 1) (#7)
by TomG on Sat May 06, 2000 at 12:24:59 AM EST

TomG voted 0 on this story.

It's OK, but I'm waiting for better Linux+handheld news.

I'm a text-more person.... (1.00 / 1) (#3)
by RangerElf on Sat May 06, 2000 at 12:55:11 AM EST

RangerElf voted 0 on this story.

I'm a text-more person.

If only for the fact you can out co... (1.00 / 1) (#19)
by Saint Zero on Sat May 06, 2000 at 01:55:51 AM EST

Saint Zero voted 1 on this story.

If only for the fact you can out cool your friends... "Yeah, it's running Linux." "No, Really!"
---------- Patron Saint of Nothing, really.

Obviously, applications need to des... (1.00 / 1) (#15)
by Camelot on Sat May 06, 2000 at 10:02:39 AM EST

Camelot voted 1 on this story.

Obviously, applications need to designed with handhelds in mind. This is the reason why Palm, for example, has been so successful.

While I do not see the immediate benefits of having a Linux PDA, since my Palm III is more than enough for me, I do understand the possibility that a PDA running Linux might do things differently and have very different different uses than a Palm. Palm is still, primarily, an organizer. A Linux PDA (and Win-whatever-is-today) are slated to become portable minicomputers.

Re: Obviously, applications need to des... (none / 0) (#29)
by Commienst on Mon May 08, 2000 at 09:44:12 AM EST

"A Linux PDA (and Win-whatever-is-today) are slated to become portable minicomputers."

More like wish they were portable minicomputers, which they never will become. Minicomputers will always be far more powerful have much more screen real estate and much better input devices. The yopy will fail miserably.

Palm are not idiots, they know what they are doing. If I was them I would be looking at these new WinCE PocketPCs and laughing; a 133mhz or higher processor, bloated windows applications ported to WinCE instead of rebuilt for the PDA market, 32mb of ram plus 32mb rom, 1600 color display. These beasts have battery lives measured in minutes not hours. Why would a PDA need a 133mhz processor? Well if you go porting desktop programs to a PDA like Yopy and the WinCE developers are instead of rebuilding from the ground up. If only they would realise their products are PDAs and keep their goals on stuff like ease of use, speed, usability and battery life instead of trying to fluff extras like MP3 playback, mpeg playback, etc.

[ Parent ]

Isn´t this old news, really ? After... (1.00 / 1) (#20)
by ejf on Sat May 06, 2000 at 12:17:12 PM EST

ejf voted 0 on this story.

Isn´t this old news, really ? After all, Torvalds works at Transmeta ;-)
--- men are reasoning, not reasonable animals.

Linus the f****ing hypocrite (none / 0) (#27)
by Commienst on Sun May 07, 2000 at 09:40:42 PM EST

Did Linus not say that all software should be open source (absurdly over idealistic)? He works at Transmeta adapting linux for PDAs yet where is the souce code Mr. all software should be open source?

In my opinion the QNX would be much better for portables than linux. I tried the QNX OS on a disk a while back and I was amazed; they fit their Micron GUI, web browser, notepad, TCP/IP networking all on a floppy they would have much less trouble adapting that to the confines of a PDA than linux.

[ Parent ]

Don't just link to an article. Writ... (1.00 / 1) (#14)
by Decklin Foster on Sat May 06, 2000 at 05:11:33 PM EST

Decklin Foster voted -1 on this story.

Don't just link to an article. Write something up.

Eh. The handheld market lacks inter... (1.00 / 1) (#17)
by Wodin on Sun May 07, 2000 at 04:04:09 AM EST

Wodin voted 0 on this story.

Eh. The handheld market lacks interest

It's not just cost (3.00 / 1) (#26)
by bgdarnel on Sun May 07, 2000 at 11:32:30 AM EST

It's true that Handspring Visors sold very well because they were cheaper than Palms, but their functionality was a superset of the functionality of Palm's devices (same OS plus expansion slot). Compare this with the DaVinci Royal, which was very cheap ($100), but used its own OS. A Linux PDA would need more hardware than Palms have, and so would cost more. They would probably be cheaper than WinCE devices, but I believe they would lose out to Palm for the same reason that WinCE has.

Re: Linux On Handhelds (1.00 / 1) (#28)
by Mr. Quick on Mon May 08, 2000 at 08:09:02 AM EST

i think this is jumping on the bandwagon. half the people that i know that have palm pilots use them to store phone numbers and email addresses and that's it. PDA market to boring right now, it'll get better and cooler tho. peace.
Thanks, they're called pants.
You make the best use of out it (none / 0) (#30)
by Commienst on Mon May 08, 2000 at 09:59:53 AM EST

You can do a lot more with a PDA than that. Any tool is only as good as the use you get out of it. If you choose not to find uses for a tool of course it is going to be a waste for you.

Personally I use my Palm IIIc a lot I have my county map on it, a few guitar tabs, some of Platos writings, compass, english to greek dictionary, spellchecker, graphing calculator, spreadsheet, PCB Editor for electronics and a mini arcade of games (asteroids, battleship, checkers, connectfour, chess, Scorched Tanks, Joust).

[ Parent ]

Re: You make the best use of out it (2.00 / 1) (#33)
by Mr. Quick on Thu May 11, 2000 at 12:36:43 PM EST

i totally agree with you. two camps when it comes to pdas: those who know how to use them and those that don't. sounds like you got your's figured out. peace.
Thanks, they're called pants.
[ Parent ]
Quesion on Visor (none / 0) (#31)
by Notromda on Mon May 08, 2000 at 12:57:52 PM EST

I've been thinking about etting a Pilot, but just heard about the Visor... (I know, I'm waaaay behind) What's the pros and cons of the two? Any experience with the Visor?

Re: Quesion on Visor (none / 0) (#32)
by orabidoo on Mon May 08, 2000 at 02:37:16 PM EST

it's more or less the same as a Palm, but thicker, not rechargeable (runs on normal batteries), cheaper, and with an expansion slot. If you're going to use its power a lot and run many programs on it, it's worth it for the expandability; if it's just a fancy organizer & notebook (like i do), the palm is thinner and lighter and does the job just as well.

[ Parent ]
Linux On Handhelds | 33 comments (33 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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