bergman on 10 Jan 2009 12:57:37 -0800

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[PLUG] Sharp Zaurus (Was: Re: [On-T] Speaking of cell phones)

In the message dated: Sat, 10 Jan 2009 15:43:18 EST,
The pithy ruminations from Art Alexion on 
<[PLUG] [On-T] Speaking of cell phones> were:
=> --===============0329702469==

=> I was just offered an English language Japanese Sharp Zaurus with a Linux
=> kernel and a QT/KDE interface.  Has anyone used one? Is it just a museum
=> piece, or can I actually do anything useful with it at this point?

I had one (two, actually) for several years, and recently went to a Nokia N810 

I'm tempted to tell you that it's just a paperweight, so that you'll give it to 
me. :)

Depending on which model you have, it can be a terrific device. Look into the 
OpenEmbedded Software Foundation ('re doing a great job at 
maintaining and updating the software base. If it's a 5000 or 5500, I'd 
probably skip it...they have a very good form factor, but the slowest CPUs in 
the lineup and very limited memory. The SL6000 (my second Zaurus) is great, as 
is the C1000 (though that's too big to put in your pocket).

Issues with the Zaurus: lack of replacement hardware (batteries, in 
particular), some proprietary hardware (the camera and Wifi chipsets required 
proprietary binary drivers, but this has been largely reverse-engineered), lack 
of support from Sharp & 3rd party software houses (this has been largely 
overcome by the OESF folks and others), difficult to find (or hack together) 
the USB connector (uncommon type).

Advantages: it'll run a full release of a reasonably-modern Debian-based 
distro, including things like OpenOffice....but very slowly, great displays, 
good keyboards (for a device that size).



Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --
Announcements -
General Discussion  --