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Handhelds Hardware

Rumors of the Upcoming iPaq 120

Simon writes "Check out these new iPaqs" Apparently some information leaked about the next generation: 64 megs of memory on board, expansion slots (and word of a wireless card too). I'm still hearing good word about Compaq continuing the fine Linux work they've been doing on these devices, (stretching back to the now-legendary Itsy, first mentioned on Slashdot way back in May of 98.) Having now used one for a few weeks I have to say its a solid little handheld (I don't like the WinCE GUI as much as the PalmOS GUI, but I like the apps better).
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Rumors of the Upcoming iPaq

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  • by Raleel ( 30913 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @05:32AM (#379071)
    It is damn near impossible to get the 3650 currently. I've had mine on backorder for a month. Now vendors are hiking up the original price because of the demand...I saw them going for upward of $900 on
  • by morie ( 227571 )
    They look great, but will probably be more expensive then ever.

    The thing I really hope for is that the release will lower teh price of the current Ipaq, so I'll be able to buy that one.

  • I remember when the I-Opener, Websurfer, and others were the next big thing. What happened? Why is the iPaq the popular model suddenly? Is it purely the "Hack-a-bility" factor? If that's the case goto [] where they shows hacks and kits...
  • by LaNMaN2000 ( 173615 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @05:41AM (#379074) Homepage
    Directly comparing memory and storage available between CE and PALM OS based devices is very misleading. CE has a larger memory footprint and the files created in the Pocket Office applications consume a relatively large amount of storage.

    Also, I find the vertical CE interface to be very difficult to get accustomed to. The only hands-down benefit of CE is that you do not need to learn Graffiti!

  • by pouwelse ( 118316 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @05:42AM (#379075) Homepage

    As a researcher working closely with the Compaq people I know there is even more to come. We are working on stuff that will be superior to the longrun technology of TransMeta and the SpeedStep technology of Intel. download research paper [].

    The iPAQ people are very Linux friendly, check out the website backed by several Compaq people []. With a wireless link on the iPAQ such as GPRS (European GSM packet solution) it is possible to browse the Internet with your favorite browser.

    With XScribble [] you can use it just like your PalmPilot. To only difference is the increased weight, better display and powerfull processor.

    Johan (

  • There were tons of the current Ipaqs running Linux
    at Linux Expo, unfortunately there did not really
    seem to be much in the way of real apps running on
    them. What is the state of the Linux environment
    for these things, is it fragmented by the distributions available or is there some common ground that people can start writing to?

    I'll buy one of these things as soon as I can boot
    Linux on it and run at least the same basic apps
    that I can on my palm, ie. a datebook, addressbook
    memos, etc.
  • by referee ( 191944 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @05:54AM (#379077) Homepage
    One difference that I know I'll appreciate is it's pc card slots that will "allow it to hook directly into a corporate network." I would love to load some network tools onto one of these. Nothing like going to a downed site and fixing the situation with your PDA.
  • Hell I just sold mine for $600, after owning it since last August! One thing to consider however, is that the 3600 series was Compaq's first go at this new model. In their mind, those who got a hold of it were just a bunch of beta-testers.

    Supply issues aside, I don't think they ever intended to satisfy the great demand for the first iPaq. Have you ever looked at the PocketPC newsgroups. All people do is complain about hardware issues and ROM crashes. If everyone who wanted one *got* one, they'd be in much the same position as Sega was after they launched SegaCD, as far as customer relationships go. In other words, they're just playing it cool. The new model will undoubtedly be more widely distributed.

  • I should know; back before I quit CompUSA, the 3650 was about as rare as the PS2 (back when Sony shipped 6 units per 3 weeks). We had to guard the four units on hold while holding back the tide of "Do you have the iPaq?" from the brainless lemmings.

    I don't miss those days of "Do you have the iPaq?" and "Do you have the PS2?" at all. In fact, I think that I should've replied, "Do you have a legitimate reason for seeking that item, other than the sole comfort of possessing it?" Seriously, for all those people who want the iPaq for the sole purpose of an address and appointment book, go get a Palm; they're cheaper, more efficient, and more reliable.

  • Isn't a handheld wireless device an internet appliance too in a sense?
    I dunno why I'm even bothering replying to an AC.
  • by Zoltar ( 24850 )
    I really have to wonder why. Who are they targeting with these? I would buy one if it was priced at lt. $100 but otherwise I just don't get it. Not when I can buy a fast (low end) desktop for ~$500. Sure it's not mobile, but they need to look at the big picture when they price these things. I just can't see spending three or four hundred dollars to have a little tiny screen with limited functionality. I mean basically it's a mobile phone number and address book. At least that's what the majority of people who I know that carry them (actually palms but it's the same difference) use it for.

    Now don't get me wrong, these are cool and I think they are great. In fact I would love to have one, but realistically I can't justify the money.
  • I was in shock yesterday when I saw a CD at the office for SQL 7 for WinCE. WTF???!?!??!
  • Yeah that must be it. Oh yeah your mom said hi.
  • hmm. iPaq. iMac. which is better for the everyday consumer? which is better for the everyday business user?
  • I have had the Ipaq for about a week and love it.
    The PocketPC GUI isn't really that bad. Even tho it is fun to telnet to my Agenda linux based PDA in linux, I find the PocketPC apps a little more easy to use.
  • dos was nice, Win3.1 was good, Win95 was O.K. (although late), Win98 reboots well and now ME. There seems to be a trend here.........

  • I've been trying to get an iPaq for a month now, and can't find them for less than $600 on eBay. How dare they talk about a new model when they can't even fill the orders on the current model? Apparently it's because of a shortage of the color screens (hence their release of a greyscale version), and they say they won't be caught up for another 4 months or so. How will this new model's production affect that?

  • here on []. It is an interesting overview of the special characteristics and constraints of developing games for the PocketPC, making the case that PocketPCs are one of the best handheld game platforms currently extant.

    Personally I think licensing debates are just about the most boring possible topics of discussion. Still, I think that in some cases they're warranted. In the article (on the last page), the author says something to the effect of the quake and doom engines are available for free under the GPL, so you can use them in your games. True, but he doesn't mention the source-release clause(s) of said license, which I doubt many game developers will want to abide by. OTOH, the author does provide a link to id's technology licensing page [] (interesting reading in of its own right), where it states that for $10,000 you can use a non-GPL (i.e. normal, closed-source) license. I'm not exactly sure from reading their page if you could use the engine unmodified along with your own non-engine code and content (maps, characters, et al.) and be abiding by the GPL while releasing a closed-source, commercial game (maybe if you said it uses the engine and where to get the source?). Maybe they mean the LGPL? Either way, $10,000 is a pittance compared to some other costs a (commercial) game developer faces.

    "Overrated" is "overfuckingused".
  • The iPaq runs on Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system.
    More like, WinCE runs on the ipaq, or infests it, depending upon your point of view.

    BTW, that's a honkin big advertisement in the article, I think it covers as much acreage as the relevent text. Very nice touch, CNET.


  • Like you have so much money to waste, you insist on always buying the latest gadget of the day, why not spend that hard earned money for something more usefull (beer for instance).
  • by sheldon ( 2322 )
    I have a Compaq Aero 2130 I upgraded to PocketPC. If I want contacts, I push the 'contacts' button and my contacts pop up.

    It's the little button on the bottom that looks like a rolodex.

    If you have trouble finding it, go ask your mother.

  • Just a fantasy, of course, but with 64 megs of ram, and with minidisc hard drives coming down, could one of these things be engineered to take a full version of a regular OS?

    Granted, It would have to be a stripped down or older copy, but somehow I wonder if Win 3.11 would be better than WinCE. If nothing else, it would tweak appropriate noses in Redmond

    And of course, the possibility of an X-windows setup on a palm is entertaining as well. (and probably well in hand)

  • by Cycon ( 11899 ) <steve [at]> on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @06:26AM (#379093) Homepage
    Does anyone know if the Palm OS Emulator [] runs on the iPaq under Linux? It seems to me that one could have the best of both worlds with that much RAM; the power and flexibility of linux with the application support of the palm.


  • Nope.

    1st Law Of Networking: Loose ends are bad, termination is good.

  • I was in shock yesterday when I saw a CD at the office for SQL 7 for WinCE. WTF???!?!??!

    Hey, if Oracle can make Personal Oracle for win95... ;-)

    Realistically though, probably it's either just the client tools to hook up to a real MSSQL database or the equivalent of Personal Oracle (in other words like Access but probably a little more robust and with an interface that the Oracle or MSSQL using business analyst will be comfortable with; plus might be easy to export database records this way such that it's trivial to reimport them into a "real" Oracle or MSSQL installation. I'm not a DBA so all this is basically conjecture on my part.).

    "Overrated" is "overfuckingused".
  • I *believe* the I-Opener was just bought out by someone this past week. Atleast, that's what I thought I read in the local newspaper the other day...

  • by Subliminal Fusion ( 253246 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @06:32AM (#379097)
    As much as I don't like about MS, I've been quite happy with WinCE. If all you want is a planner/organizer a palm will do the job, but if you want multimedia capability the CE devices blow the Palms away hands down. Just to scratch the surface, CE/Pocket PC devices can play MP3 files, video, wav, doom, record audio, emulate a gameboy, etc. If you don't want those features, don't use 'em, but they're available. If you want to do any of those things with a Palm device, you're gonna have to shell out extra cash for an add on module, or you might just be completely out of luck. The Compaq devices all store the OS in Flash-ROM, so you can upgrade/change OS/whatev. I'm sure that you could even run the PalmOS on it if you wanted (I know for a fact that there are emulators for the PalmOS that run within CE but haven't heard about anyone re-flashing an I-paq with the PalmOS)... My only real complaint about CE is that it slows/locks at random times... I'm using an older version (2.11 on an HP Jornada 430se), and from what I've heard 3.0 is quite a bit better. Regardless, it doesn't matter much, as what you're really paying for is the hardware. Now, I'm not really a fan of Compaq for PCs, but their pocket-pc devices are by far the best out there. The vast majority of the complaints I've heard about 'em is that the paint rubs off (which is a valid complaint, but rather petty in the scheme of things). If you absolutley loathe MS, just re-flash the ROM with Pocket Linux []...
  • by daveym ( 258550 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @06:33AM (#379098)
    You know what I would LOVE to see incorporated in every PDA? An automatic phone dialer. I assume that it would be simple to put into a PDA, and would take up very little space.

    I (and most people, obviously), don't want my PDA to be a cell phone--it's wayyy too large for that. I would love, however, to click on a phone number, and then have the PDA dial it for me.

    Concentrate on simple functionality first!

  • They actually have a new model just out that is like the current Ipaq but is black and white instead of color. The price is just over $300.
  • I bought a higher end Compaq Win CE device and it sucked... Slow and promised nothing important and costs close to 600 dollars. If you wanted a cool mp3 and contact book, forget it.. When I played one mp3 the thing came to a crawl. Space disappears so quickly, before I knew it, I was trying to dig up another 4 megs more for system memory.. Then I wanted to get it on the network without having to use the cradle and it's lame software.. but then you have to buy a Network card for it, which is another 100+ dollars. I guess I was expecting too much from it, but for that price I didnt think I was expecting the world... My answer? Buy a cheap celeron/amd notebook for 700-800 and you'll be much happier... but if you want one expensive date and calendar Win CE unit, this might be for you...
  • Check out Qt/Embedded at Trolltech []'s home page.

    It's a version of Qt built to use the Linux framebuffer.

    Anything that compiles on the normal Qt X11 will compile on this. Awhile back, someone even ported Konqueror to it. Qt is very much a standard in the Linux world, and this extreme portability to an embedded platform is amazing. Trolltech also has a window manager / environment program to launch and manage applications with. Looks a bit like WinCE, at least the coloring. :)

    I don't know of any handhelds currently that are using this (or that might use it), but it seems like a very good choice for a standardized X-less handheld.

  • My company, Century Software, (shameless self plug []), has been working for many months to bring Linux and the graphics engine Microwindows to the Ipaq platform ( []). Amid the kernel tweeking (thanks to the fine folks at [], and basic graphics apps (load monitor, clock, keyboard, scribble, etc...), we have also tried to create some PIM apps (e-mail, etc...), and I have developed a few observations.

    1) - Kernel work is sexy, designing PIM suites is not. A majority of the members of the open source community are willing to do kernel and driver work on their spare time, but precious few are willing to make a datebook without compensation.
    2) - Thus, it falls more to companies that are able to pay engineers to work on PIM applications. However, these days engineers are expensive, and the companies are unwilling to pay an engineer 40 bucks an hour, and then turn around and give the suites away. Thats has nothing to do with open source or code sharing, thats just business.
    3) - Because of this, the only other solution would be for the companies to try to sell the PIM suites (either on a royalty basis to corporations, or directly to the consumer). And then they come right up against Palm, Microsoft, and the other big giants that have more organized marketing networks and market share.

    The solution? You got me! Many kudos and $$ to the company that figures it out first. Until then, at least I can still play Doom on my Ipaq!!!
  • check out the windows XP on handhelds

    this is what would run on them out of the box and they would most likely use an Xscale CPU because of the mips

    check out 07 []
    for more Stinger shots aka XP on low powered wince devices


    john jones

    p.s. configure that wince kernel or lose all data protection (-;
  • It's the MSDE engine. The MSDE supports all the functionality of the "full" installation, minus some replication functionality IIRC. MSDE is actually fairly cool for a "small footprint" database. You can take a MSDE database, and do a DB_ATTACH in SQL and you have a full DB. App syntax doesn't need to be changed either. Designed to be used with a mobile device so a mobile user can have a local DB (then set up replication when he plugs in to the LAN). I saw an app that used this one time and it was slick.
  • Oracle also makes Oracle Lite for WinCE/Palm.

    I've looked into it somewhat, but decided just to play with the built in Access/ADO functionality.
  • I have a Compaq Aero 2130 which I upgraded to PocketPC(v3.0).

    It's much improved, the device is nearly twice as fast and the user interface is much improved.

    Unfortunately I believe Compaq was the only company to produce a device with swappable ROMs, so the older HP and Casio owners are screwed. :(
  • This isn't a bad idea at all. Damnit, I want one! :)

    Another idea that occured to me, but wouldn't be very practical, is a VNC viewer. But viewing a 1600x1200 on an iPaq would entail a lot of scrolling... But there are always the "export" functions and stuff; nothing stops you from launching a processor-intensive app on your Sun E10000 and viewing it on an iPaq... :)

  • How will this new model's production affect that?

    Unlikely to be any different. OTOH this may explain why Compaq only have 4% of the handheld market.

    "Palm controls more than 60 percent of the retail market, and Palm OS licensees control another roughly 30 percent of the market"

    I find it greatly amusing that Palm OS and licencees account for 90% of the market, when two years ago at the 1999 CES, in Las Vegas, a few handhelds were under the Microsoft tent claiming CE would rule the market. 10% of the market, which includes non-CE handhelds, is quite a statement that MS doesn't always carry a market by name. A harbinger of things to come? []

    Personally, I don't have a handheld and don't plan to get one for a while, which will likely run linux, as I'd rather have one of these things to develop on than do all that quasi-business stuff i could do on the back of business cards I keep in my wallet.


  • Ok, right, simple functionality is there. Now lets add more good stuff. The IPAQ can be used as a phone, by using a service like dialpad, along with a Ricochet 128k dedicated wireless modem []. Sure, most Palm (and clone) owners are quick to slam any PDA that has more functionality than their Palm Pilot... but I know many people who would love to be able to surf the REAL web (no wap crap) and talk on the phone with one hand held device.

    The IPAQ has that functionality, and the upcoming version of the IPAQ will do it even better. If all you want is simple functionality, then get yourself a piece of notebook paper and a pencil. Both together are small and lighter than any PDA. They can both be used to obtain simple useful functionality.
  • by bwzippy ( 218127 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @06:55AM (#379110)
    I hope the day will come when MS can integrate all of their products..something like CE+ME+NT...

    I guess that would give us something like Windows CEMENT - Hard as a rock, dumb as a brick.

  • Yup. That would be me. Of course I can't really complain as I picked up my 430se (16megs of memory, 133mhz SH3 processor, 12-bit color (they claimed it was 16-bit, but there's some limitation that limits it to 12-bit, and there was actually a lawsuit over it all...)) for $250 from Office Depot just as the Pocket PC devices were comming out. I'm stuck with 2.11 but I've still been quite happy with it. Hopefully I'll be getting a Compaq iPaq before long.
  • The only hands-down benefit of CE is that you do not need to learn Graffiti!
    Question: Are they teaching Graffiti in schools, yet? I can't imagine there are not classes, when you consider there were once (still might be) classes for shorthand.


  • One small correction: Stella is not the NES. Though both use the same CPU, the Stella is the Atari 2600, if I remember correctly. I know Stella is one of the Ataris around the time of the 2600. Anyway, the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) has never been referred to as "Stella".
  • Well, the Newton used to generate touchtone sounds when you double-tapped a phone number, if that's what you're thinking of.
  • 10% of the market, which includes non-CE handhelds, is quite a statement that MS doesn't always carry a market by name.

    Give it time. What was netscape's share of the market? How many years did it take Microsoft to obliterate them? Just wait until everything in Windows get tied into CE. Wait until you can sync a letter via infrared from Word (or something equally inane and ubiquitous). Just wait until Outlook and Outlook Express suddenly no longer sync with the Palm. Just wait until MS buys Palm.

  • Not on my WinCE handheld. Buy (!) and install caligrapher and you simply tap the box you want to write in and write anywhere on the screen in natural fully joined up handwriting. I can fit about 5-6t words on the screen. As soon as you stop writing (about 1 second) it instantly converts all of the text. Even with really poor handwriting like mine it acheives really good accuracy (>95%). It also includes spell chacking. Pretty good I think.
  • shit. and I just posted so I can't mod you up. someone please mod parent post +1 funny.
  • You can write in a smallish input area, around the same size as the graffiti area... in that area you can use graffiti or something similiar but slightly different.

    Or you use transcriber which lets you write anywhere you want on the screen. You can adjust the angle you write at with it. With transcriber you can write a single word per line, multiple words per line or entire phrases spread out across multiple lines. You can write in print or in cursive with it. With a little tuning it can recogonize even some of the worst handwriting you can throw at it.

    The fact is WinCE 2.0 was atrocious. WinCE 3.0 is actually pretty decent... and transcriber is by far the best handwriting package ever put into a small portable device. As long as Palm continues to win the war, WinCE will grow by leaps and bounds to try and catch up.

  • by Jagasian ( 129329 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @07:09AM (#379119)
    Ok, a 12 or 16 bit color screen, 64MB of ram, a 206mhz CPU - all extremely low power. Throw in the dual PCMCIA expansion and you can hook this thing up wirelessly to the net. I know you kids use gigahertz PCs nowadays, but the 206mhz StrongArm is no pushover, as far as CPUs go. It sips power while cranking through computations (the ARM architecture is highly praised for its elegant design).

    Anyway, my point is that this thing is a low end desktop computer, expect that it is also extremely portable and power efficient. Saying that it is just a mobile phone and an address book implies that you have a lack of imagination. You are spoiled by power hungry, heavy polluting desktop PCs, and you have forgotten how to see the possibilities of anything with a sub-gigahertz CPU.

    Computing and geeks is about seeing the possibilities of a piece of machinery.
  • HEY COWARD, thanks for the info... BIG HELP, instead of just making fun of me, maybe you'll realize that, I DID READ THE BOX.. you CAN NETWORK it with the cradle you dumbass.. maybe you should be less crucial and read a little closer.. I simply wanted an alternative and that alternative would cost 100+ dollars.. and a NICE PDA? the joke is on you now... for 600 dollars I think I'd get alot more than 64 megs and a glorified date application.. but if you think otherwise, then I think you're delusional. But then again you're just trolling.. hence the Anon Coward bit.. Get a life and get off Slashdot, sorry charlie.. hah
  • by spullara ( 119312 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @07:13AM (#379121) Homepage
    On WinCE I use Microsoft Transcriber which is probably the best hand writing software I have seen. It takes up no screen space because you can write anywhere on the screen and it recognizes print or cursive. Whenever I show it to a PalmOS user they want to get an IPAQ. I have to explain to them that the market for these devices is split between people who want a mini-organizer (Palm), people that want a mini-computer (IPAQ) and people that want a paperweight (the other CE handhelds). Browsing the internet is a breeze with landscape mode and IE (with JavaScript support!). With the 1G microdrive I carry my entire CD collection around with my IPAQ, I have wireless ricochet 128K access, a land-line modem for when I am out of town and there is no ricochet, and a wireless LAN card for when I am at work and home. For trips I typically rip and encode DVDs for the IPAQ so I can watch them on the plane, they take up around 220M each. In combination with the map software its perfect when you are visiting another city. I could go on and on about how much better CE is than PalmOS but it will never convince anyone who wants a mini-organizer. "If I can see farther it is because I am surrounded by dwarves." -- Murray Gell-mann
  • I should know; back before I quit CompUSA,

    Why'd ya quit, if ya don't mind me asking?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The current iPAQs have a PCMCIA sleeve as an option, and it works well with the Lucent or Cisco 802.11 cards.
  • Uh, you did NOT '[buy]a higher end Compaq Win CE device' as evididenced by your post. Mike "Mine's played MP3's and Quake at the same time with no real slowdown" Miller
  • Was the Contacts button on the WinCE device broken? The iPaq and the Jornada both have one, I'm not sure about the Casio.
  • Too easy to prove harm to consumers if they cut off connectivity or bought out palm and killed the OS. With all the attention they're strong-arm and perfidious tactics have brought them they shouldn't make such a move. Not saying they're not stupid and would do it anyway, for Bill's ego, but either would be a very unwise move.

    Two years is a _very_ long time, tech-wise. This may be the one market MS should concede and work with Palm instead of against.


  • If I remember correctly, Alan Cox wrote a WAP -> telnet gateway or something. He then did a bit of network maintainence from his Nokia 7110...
  • Motten Ar Din!!
  • This [] isn't quite what you asked for, but I thought it was interesting. PilotCE, PalmOS Emulator for WinCE.
  • Start using a banner ad filter; it makes CNet so much easier to read :)
  • Linux has been ported, and there are a good number of apps that have been confirmed to work including one of the best E-Mail clients I've seen work on a palmtop. (Althea) If I had the money I'd buy one. Plus when run on a desktop you don't have to worry about that silly hybris virus.

    For a stable IMAP e-mail client for X check out

  • I think C|Net's looking for a few bucks to be dropped into their virtual tip jar (ala Amazon). ;-D

  • I've got a Palm IIIx and at work we recently got a iPaq 3630. I find Graffiti far easier to use than WinCEs' recognition. Graffiti is based on a simplified alphabet which is very fast to draw, WinCE's is a slightly simplified alphabet so there is still something to learn. On PalmOS the strokes can be any size (as big as possible for ease of use) but under WinCE the sensitive area has two lines, which letters such as 'e' and 'm' _have_ to fit within (one's called the baseline, I've forgotten the other). Not doing that effectivly breaks the recognition! Also there are seperate areas for lower- and upper- case letters. All of this complicates the process far too much, IMHO.

    And I won't start bitching about the UI... :-)
  • by PopeAlien ( 164869 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @07:39AM (#379134) Homepage Journal
    Although this is true, its kind of like saying 'linux sucks', 'MacOS sucks', etc etc.. The base winCE does definately suck compared the palm OS, but there is a lot more possibility there. Using plugins like Jimmy's Landscape [] you can turn the os on its side and use it width-wise. Since I started using transcriber for input, my WPM has probably doubled, and nothing beats listening to mp3's, while browsing the web at 320x240 colour all in a device the size of a palmIIIc.

    For people who allready have an ipaq, you can add more storage using cf or pc cards with the add-on sleeves. For some reason, compaq made the add-on sleeves fat and ugly for this slim nice device, so there are lots of people out there doing modifications to 'slim' the sleeve - the nicest I've seen is this one at []

  • Perfect. You have just proven my point. You are going to pay a premium price for what?

    mp3's? Okay, thats a valid use. What's the sound quality like, how many mp3's can you store on it at one time? What is the battery life going to be if I want to listen to mp'3s all day long? I'll get a walkman and listen to tapes for next to nothing if I want mobile music.

    Portable gaming machine? Okay, another neat app. So I'm going to play quake and doom on this little tiny screen? And that will be fun how???? Sure that's cool, but it's a gimick. What else...tetris??? come on...

    ebook reader? Okay, another neat use. I'm going to read a book on that little tiny screen? No. I don't even read books on my PC with my nice big screen and my cushy chair. It's a strain on my eyes and not nearly as enjoyable as a dead tree.

    My point isn't that they aren't cool, or that they haven't created a demand for them... I just think for my $$$$ it's a toy and an expensive one at that. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with anyone buying one.
  • Not to be redundant, but that's great!

    How long until we see a reference to Windows CE/ME/NT in the media?

  • by Griim ( 8798 )
    That is so 5 minutes ago
  • by Laven ( 102436 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @07:42AM (#379138)
    People are already hacking the existing iPaq by adding another DRAM and flash chip, effectively doubling their RAM and flash storage. They had all 64MB RAM working fine under Linux, but WinCE would not recognize anything past 32MB. Check it out []
  • I really dont get the hype over the Ipaq. I had one for around 2 months. After problems with dust getting behind the screen I sent it back for repair 2 weeks after the ipaq was returned the screen flipped out on me and I had to send it back again. The second time it was returned to me I ebay'ed it. Bought a casio 125, 64 compact flash, a serial keyboard and still had enough cash left for dinner. So far I have had no problems with the Casio no dust, 16bit color vs 12bit, 8 way direction pad vs 4 way, multiple button press vs single button press, etc.... Plus the casio turned out to be highly overclockable so now it runs at 200mhz too. Everyone told me that it was unusable outdoors, thats simply not true..sure you may need to adjust the contrast but its plenty readable. Maybe im missing something but I just dont see whats so great about the Ipaq anymore. Granted it looked cool, but i dont see asthetics outweighing functionality.
  • I for one haven't really understood what the big deal is with being able to run Media Player on WinCE devices. Sure, you could upload your Lord of The Rings movie trailer to it, but then you would not have any RAM left to do anything practical , e.g. store your contact lists, calendar, etc. Same goes for MP3s if you are going to put enough of them on there to make it worthwhile (32 MB+).

    Playing media on these devices seems more like something people do for bragging rights than out of actual need or practicality. It is much more economical to just buy a dedicated MP3 player if you want one.

    Not to mention that your battery life would go to shit if you were using your CE device to play MP3s/movies. CE is a battery hog already just doing basic tasks (from what I hear) without chewing up 100% CPU playing pr0n mpegs on it.

    Although, the idea of being able to watch pr0n *anywhere* might be a real plus, LOL.

    And FYI, there are several Gameboy emulators out there for the Palm such as Liberty [] and GameboyEMU []


  • And of course, the possibility of an X-windows setup on a palm is entertaining as well. (and probably well in hand)

    1. It's not 'X-windows', it's the 'X windowing system', or 'X' for short. 'X-window' might also be acceptible, but it should never be written with an 's' on the end.

    2. There have been setups of GNU/linux and X running on the Ipaq H3600 [] since june 2000. (X is not yet running on palms, afaik).

  • by jheinen ( 82399 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @07:58AM (#379142) Homepage
    mp3's? Okay, thats a valid use. What's the sound quality like, how many mp3's can you store on it at one time? What is the battery life going to be if I want to listen to mp'3s all day long? I'll get a walkman and listen to tapes for next to nothing if I want mobile music.

    My iPaq has better sound quality than my portable CD player, and it's LOUD. With a 2GB microdrive I can store my entire mp3 collection. Batttery life is no worse than my CD player, and it recharges rapidly.

    Portable gaming machine? Okay, another neat app. So I'm going to play quake and doom on this little tiny screen? And that will be fun how???? Sure that's cool, but it's a gimick. What else...tetris??? come on...

    Graphics quality is actually very good, even with the little screen. Doom is perfectly playable. There is one problem with it not being able to recognize multiple keypresses, but that may be fixed via a ROM update. What's really fun is using a stowaway keyboard. Doom works great with that. I play tetris all the time on mine as well.

    ebook reader? Okay, another neat use. I'm going to read a book on that little tiny screen? No. I don't even read books on my PC with my nice big screen and my cushy chair. It's a strain on my eyes and not nearly as enjoyable as a dead tree.

    The eBook reader is probably one of the best things about the iPaq. I have now switched almost entirely to reading books using it. I've read about five books so far on it, and I have about six more stored on the thing that I'm currently reading. The clear type technology makes the print quality VERY good. It's easy on the eyes, and more convenient than a paper book. I would say that in terms of time spent using the thing, the majority has been for reading books. Baen [] offers a subscription-based sci-fi book club that has tons of titles.

    As for demand, Compaq can't keep them on the shelves. The iPaq is currently the most popular PDA in terms of sales growth out there. They've been going on eBay for as much as $1500. Everyone who has seen mine immediately wants to buy one. It's a desktop machine the size of a Palm III.


  • Amid the kernel tweeking (thanks to the fine folks at, and basic graphics apps (load monitor, clock, keyboard, scribble, etc...), we have also tried to create some PIM apps (e-mail, etc...), and I have developed a few observations. [...]

    2) - Thus, it falls more to companies that are able to pay engineers to work on PIM applications. However, these days engineers are expensive, and the companies are unwilling to pay an engineer 40 bucks an hour, and then turn around and give the suites away. Thats has nothing to do with open source or code sharing, thats just business.

    It may be the case that nobody is working on or giving away PIM suites for your chosen platform, but that doesn't mean nobody is doing it. Agenda Computing []'s Agenda PIM suite [] is available (later versions in CVS) and it's been ported to the iPaq as part of the Familiar distro []. Heck, you folks support fltk on Nano-X, right? So do the port yourself!

    PocketLinux [] is giving away their PIM functionality too.

  • I wouldn't mind having some of those extra features, but even if I don't use them the fact they are there does cost me something - battery life. I can use my Palm V for up to a month before I need to recharge it.

    Also, what's the form factor? I had an old Palm Pro (similar to a Palm III in form factor) and I didn't really use it much because I didn't have it with me all the time. I can keep a steel-case enclosed Palm V in the pocket of my jeans or slacks comfortably and so I actually use it all the time now, and not just for the organizer features.

    If you want a toy these things are fine, but if you want something useful I still haven't seen anything that equals a Palm (though they're getting a lot closer!).
  • WTF... I said I paid 600 for it and yes, it was the higher end HP journada (Spelling) one.. I know they have one for 750 dollars, but 600 for a PDA I think is slightly pricey. I used the WinCE media player and it was a dog. Did you have more memory? I don't know what you were trying to prove but All I stated was that the model I spent 600 on was slow. Maybe you spent more of your daddy's money to get the better model, but the one I has wasn't good at all... Next time, maybe you should say which one you bought and then make a GOOD comparision Mr "I have a better model than you and it works great" Miller...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    But how long does your battery last when doing all this? Playing DVDs and mp3 must eat a lot of power.
  • The "Fat and Ugly Sleeves" are actually a minor benefit. The PCCard sleeve has an additional battery, allowing the iPAQ to last longer.
  • A lot of people want that extra functionality. If you offer up a device and tell me that it's a contact database or time scheduler I'd laugh and point out the $30 Casio's that you can buy that achieve the same purpose and have for many years. If I am going to carry this thing it'd better be pretty full featured: Possibly an MP3 player, DEFINITELY capable of holding good maps (see PocketStreets and such. I can get a section of map in MapPoint and download it to a CE PDA), and preferably robust enough that it can be expanded to allow for versatile other functionality.

    The Palm's-are-fast argument usually revolves around a Palm doing very little versus a CE device doing a lot. i.e a tiny grayscale screen versus a larger full-color display (obviously the latter represents enormously more data that has to be moved around). Simply comparing could be apples to oranges. Like the old saying about which is faster : A sports car or a dump truck. Then measure with 50 tonnes on each.

    yafla! []

  • After several intense multi-million dollar months of market research they chose the name "iPaq". The revolutionary use of the letter "i" before the word "Paq" (spelled with a delicious Q instead of CK) gives this device the necessary punch to compete in today's wired world. Kudos! discarded names were as follows: iPalm Pilet iDe-Vice iThing
  • Psion handhelds also generate DTMF tones when you hit a key combo. It works really well, but I find that I tend to forget people's phone numbers if I use it too much, so I use it sparingly.
  • That's odd, because I've owned an iPaq since September and never had it crash. The only bug I've found so far (and an annoying one it is) is that it sometimes turns itself on. Other than that, I'm really happy about this great unit.
  • I am not worried that there isn't code available today, that I can greedly download and use. This is about consistant open source development of a PIM suite that can compete on a level footing with Palm and Windows CE. This is about the availablity of programmers that are willing to dedicate their time toward a PIM suite that well designed and easy to use, instead of a kernel driver.

    I have to tell you, I don't want to spend my time on PIM suites. I would rather do low level work. If it comes between writing an dummy proof IMAP client and fixing the AI on Freeciv, Freeciv wins in a heart beat. I think that most open source programmers are like me.

    Don't get me wrong, the Agenda distribution is good and I hope it expands throughout the open source world. But remember that the Agenda is a hardware company. Their money doesn't come from the software, it comes from the hardware, so they can afford to develop and freely distribute applications that will sell their hardware, but only to the point where it will still be worth the expense. And their support for the software will wavier as the support for the Agenda waivers. When the Agenda has run the course, those apps will dissapear. Thats because the Agenda floks are not in the PIM market, they are in the hardware market.

    Fortunately, they have released those apps to the open source market, so maybe we can get a team to grab them and run with the ball. However, my inital point still stands. Who will continue to improve and develop the Agenda PIM if the company decides to go another route? Will they be able to get enough open source programmers to handle it, or will it slide because of lack of interest?
  • Try installing the Transcriber software. This lets you write anywhere on the screen.
  • spullara said:

    I could go on and on about how much better CE is than PalmOS but it will never convince anyone who wants a mini-organizer.

    Hear, hear! The iPaqs sound like they're wonderful, amazing devices. Compaq truly deserves kudos for them.

    But! They fail my most important test: they won't, no way, no how, fit in my back pocket.

    I had a Newton MP100. Really neat device, but it was too much of a bother to carry around. (Years) later I got a Palm III. After a week, I sent it back and got a Palm V, which I've been using for about a year, now. I use it, many times daily, because it's the exact same size as the paper calendar I used to carry and does fit, quite nicely, in my back pocket.

    Is the iPaq a better platform? Very likely. But the Palm is Good Enough®, whereas I'd never actually take the iPaq with me anywhere.

    Now, an iPaq in a Palm V form factor....


  • Sure Palm users can claim 1 month battery life, but how much are you using your device a day? Less than an hour I'd imagine (probably more like 20-30 minutes). If CE users used their devices that little, they could get very close to the same battery life on similar devices (don't even try and compare a black and white, palm V to a beautiful color iPaq). What people totally ignore when they give numbers like that is that it *DOESN'T MATTER!*. You drop your device in its cradle/docking station nightly and the batteries recharge while you sleep. The iPaq uses a Lithium Polymer battery and I've heard real-world battery life ranging from 3-6 hours (for intense, constant multi-media use) to 8-10 hours for PIM functions. In terms of usefulness, there are a lot of gimmicks on CE, but the PIM functionality matches (or excceds) the PalmOS (IMHO).

    As far a form factor goes, the iPaq is the slickest looking, and one of the smallest (useful sized) device I've seen. It's only slightly bigger than the Palm V, but the screen is larger, there's a combo speaker/joy-pad on the front, etc...
  • On Compaq's site [] they have a description of the upocoming product.

    I must say though, I own the iPaq - and it's a great product. But this new iPaq seems to only differ in the base size of RAM. mine has 32 megs, the new one is 64 megs. Every other feature listed, wireless, expansions etc... all are already available for the original iPaq pocket pc, including dual pc card expansion sleeves.

    So basically they're upgrading the onboard RAM from 32 megs to 64. Remember that the OS is on a seperate flashable drive. that 32/64 number is the total free RAM when you get the device, although you'll use up a big chunk installing software - 10megs for quake. ;)

    By the way, the ipaq is a nice size until you put a expansion sleeve on it - like the popular compact flash sleeve so you can have more storage space. Once you add the sleeve the iPaq won't fit nicely in your pocket, unless you've got cargo pants. So you'll need a bag for it - so you might as well be carrying a laptop, that'll have about the same battery life. ;)

    Joseph Elwell.

  • I've been following the mail list on [] for a while now, and I plan on buying an iPaq as soon as I can. It seems to me that the basic problem is not that there aren't a lack of applications (everyday it seems somebody reports that they have compiled and are running some standard Linux application on thier iPaq, like QuakeForge for instance) but rather most people are waiting for a stable base distribution for the iPaq before packages are prepared and released for the general public.
    Although anybody can and does compile and run pretty much anything they want to on thier iPaq, in an effort to not reinvent the wheel the major developers on have settled on distribution called Familiar. Since there are constant major improvements (deep sleep and a flashdisk journalling fs, for example) everybody seems to be just waiting until Familiar gets stable, and I get the impression that as soon as that happens then all the regular users will immediately jump in with prepared application packages.
    Also, the open PIM software from [] is becoming the quasistandard PIM package on the iPaq.

  • Why is this offtopic? I'd think that the fact that Macromedia Flash runs on the PocketPC would be clearly on-topic for a discussion of iPaq's...
  • I've been pondering between Palm III, Vx, and iPaq lately. It's a tough choise. Why? Let's see.

    iPaq wins, of course, clearly with about everything except battery time. I'm not sure about exactly how long the iPaq batteries last (they don't mention it anywhere), but I think it's something like 3-4 hours of active use. In deep sleep mode the batteries last a few days (?), I think, except with Linux they last only about 8 hours because of problems with the sleep mode.

    It that's true, it effectively makes iPaq at least very troublesome, or actually useless. No taking iPaq to work without the cradle, or to long lectures, or even to a local LUG or PUG meeting. No thanks, I need a real PDA, not a toy. Palms last for weeks (or at least days).

    After that, the 32 MB DRAM, where your DOOM port and other cool stuff were installed, goes empty, right? Useful, eh?

    The important stuff can, of course, be stored in the Flash ROM. But, you have to store the damn operating system there too! Thus, with 32+16MB memory, you end up with maybe a few MBs of permanent user memory.

    Of course, if you fail the bootloader installation (for Linux), you have a nice new $500 paperweight (well, ok, I think Compaq will fix it, but I guess that takes weeks if not months?).

    Besides, it's (1) immoral to buy Microsoft garbage, (2) insane to buy it when you don't even want it, and actually throw it away permanently in the first day (after using it to load Linux). Well, I guess it has to be done first by those who develop it, but it feels so damn bad...

    The sensible, non-developer solution would thus be to get a Palm (or whatever) first, and play with that until Compaq sells iPaqs with preloaded Linux (or something like that). The difficult decision is: To be or not to be an active developer?

  • by Hanno ( 11981 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2001 @11:04AM (#379166) Homepage
    Seriously, I'm looking forward to having Emacs on my palmtop device.

    (Now how did I have to scribble that control-shift-5* combination again?)

    (* German keyboard: Search & replace in Emacs)

  • []

    It says it's for HPC Pro, but it works just fine on my iPAQ (StrongARM). I can connect to and control my windows and linux VNC servers.

    Also, you can get a CompactFlash NIC (instead of PCMCIA) - I have one from Hawking that I picked up for about $60. Connect to the corporate LAN, surf the web, etc.


  • Compaq offered an upgrade path for the Aero. $99 bought me a ROM upgrade and 8Megs of extra RAM.

    Most of the other makers did not, they would let you trade your old one in for a rebate towards a new one, but usually it was only like $100 off.

  • With the 1G microdrive I carry my entire CD collection around with my IPAQ

    Which means you either have about thirty CD's in your entire "collection," or you've encoded a rather large collection at approximately 17kbps.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

  • As a researcher working closely with the Compaq people I know there is even more to come. We are working on stuff that will be superior to the longrun technology of TransMeta and the SpeedStep technology of Intel.

    I love it when people say stuff like this. First come out with the product, THEN compare it to existing technology.

    How do you know that Transmeta is not already coming out with improvements that are "superior" to their own technology?
  • My only real complaint about CE is that it slows/locks at random times...

    I think this sums things up quite nicely.
  • You had a close guess on my rate of usage (then again, I sometimes go two months without recharging...). But why doesn't it matter? I tell you right now that with all of the other devices I have (cordless phone, cell phone) that what happens there is I set it up to charge, and thgen I forget it when I leave for work! Right now my palm goes on a counter with my wallet every night and it does not get forgotten (apart from sometimes when I forget it the one night I did drop it in to recharge).

    The advantage of the Palm is that it really can go with me EVERYWHERE, also on long trips, with an absolute minimum of fuss. If you were going to go on Survivor, would you take a Palm V or an iPaq? When I went on a week-long cruise I didn't have to think about how I'd recharge it or anything, it simply was there when I needed it.

    As for the form factor, the Palm III was not a lot larger than the Palm V but it was enough that I couldn't really carry it in my pocket. With a hard case, will the iPaq fit comfortably in a jeans pocket with keys? I would almost buy the argument you have for battery life if I can really carry it with me everywhere in a pocket.

    I agree that the iPaq looks nicer, I'm just saying that as a tool it simply is not as reliant. I'll take functional over pretty any day. If I want an MP3 player, I'd really prefer a seperate device (like my watch :-) ).
  • I'm quite annoyed at the current handheld situation. I want to buy a handheld computer, rather than a palm. But there's no way i'll buy a WinCE machine because wince is yuck, microsoft is evil, and I want a machine I can do some real development on.

    Compaq - I know for a fact that QNX has been successfully run on your machine. I think I remember someone saying that BeIA could as well. So why can't we have options to buy units with these OSs on them? You're crazy. You've got a good unit that appeals almost exclusively to the geek market. Except that it runs wince, and geeks (I hope I can speak for people here) generally *hate* wince and everything associated with it.

    If you were to get something - anything - else, you'll sell more units and encourage more of a developer community for the unit. Think about being able to just telnet into the thing from your workstation and type away. And having good *free* tools. Without awful windows API cludge ribbish (ugh). What's more, you (still speaking to Compaq, 'ere) already have an association with Be which you're using to develop machines for parts of the rest of your iPaq range.

    If you were to release a BeIA or QNX option instead of wince, I'd go out and buy a unit tomorrow.

  • No RAM left to do anything practical?! Try the 1 GB microdrive hard drive that plugs into the CF port of your favorite Win CE device for starters. Plug in your head phones and your Win CE device is also now the coolest portable mp3 player out there. If you don't want that, you could use a 192MB CF card - it should be enough for starters.
  • I think this sums things up quite nicely.

    I don't think so. I have both a Palm IIIx and a Compaq iPAQ and the Palm locks up way more (and crashes) than the iPAQ. In fact, I think my iPAQ has only locked up once, and that was when trying a beta of the new Sun Java VM.. The Palm crashes and has weird glitches every other day. I recently upgraded the Palm OS (not a free upgrade btw) to Palm OS 3.5 and that helped things a little.

    I think you're jumping to conclusions a little too fast just because it's a Microsoft product.

    Oh.. I almost forgot.. Coding for a Palm sucks bigtime compared to coding for Windows CE, which is almost exactly like coding for Win NT! Microsoft has *free* tools for Win CE; both Visual Basic and Visual C++ - including visual GUI builders for both.

  • You know what I would LOVE to see incorporated in every PDA? An automatic phone dialer.

    Excellent idea! []


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