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Handhelds Hardware

The Inside Scoop on Yopy 78

jsse writes "Linux.com has an interview with a Yopy programmer Young Hoon Kim. He told us what we can do with this promising Linux PDA - like running Apache on it." A little light on substance, but several interesting points. As it stands, the iPaq is really the only Linux handheld candidate at this level (with high end features like a color LCD). This one is due out later this year.
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The Inside Scoop on Yopy

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    The correct url for the LART project is http://www.lart.tudelft.nl/ Check it out, it's cool :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    About everything he says the Yopy will or should be able to do, the iPAQ running HHLinux has been able to do for months. The iPAQ exists, it takes less time to install HHLinux or one of the other distros on than it does on a desktop. There is even a company in Germany selling iPAQs with Linux pre-installed. I really wonder if the Yopy will ever hit the market. They have been promising a release for over a year and a half. I heard Samsung dropped it, G.Mate is now on their own. The Yopy really had a lot of potential. Compaq just beat them to the punch. By the time the Yopy is released (if ever) the new "gee-whizz" iPAQ will be out with a faster CPU, 16 or 24 bit color, more RAM, more ROM, advanced batteries and an improved button design. Meanwhile, Rob, the iPAQ is (about) the only Linux handheld with the features you mentioned. The Yopy is vapor. I hope it doesn't stay vapor, competition is good. Visit handhelds.org Cpt_Kirks
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yopy in the news

    http://slashdot .org/article.pl?sid=00/04/27/0858200&mode=thre ad [slashdot.org]
    http://linuxtoday.com/stories/17660.html [linuxtoday.com]
    http://www.geeknews.org/news/fe b00/newsitem090.html [geeknews.org]
    http://www.palmstation.com/ view_article.py?article=1786 [palmstation.com]
    http://www.pdabuzz.com/Features/Yopy.html [pdabuzz.com]
    http://slashdot .org/article.pl?sid=00/02/27/1027237&mode=thre ad [slashdot.org]
    http://www.pcworld.com /pcwtoday/article/0,1510,15486,00.html [pcworld.com]
    http://www.ch ip.de/PC2D/PC2DB/PC2DBA/pc2dba.htm?id=323&ress ort=20 [www.chip.de] (German)
    http://www.twomobile.com/new_032200_y opy.html [twomobile.com] (obviously they didn't credit the source of the pictures and video footage!)
    http://ore illy.linux.com/pub/a/network/2000/05/05/magazine/L inuxPDA.html [linux.com]
    http://www.handheldmed.com/code/news /yopi1.htm [handheldmed.com]
    http://www.gnn.de/0005/7603.html [www.gnn.de] (German)
    http://www.p cwelt.de/content/news/newprodukte/2000/05/xn090500 003.html [pcwelt.de] (German)

    Company sites, product information

    http://www.sem.samsung.co.kr/ eng/product/digital/pda/ [samsung.co.kr]
    http://www.gmate.co.kr [gmate.co.kr]

    Links to other Yopy and general Linux-PDA ressources

    http://www.palmtopmagazin.de/board/linux Discussion about Linux-PDAs (German) [palmtopmagazin.de]
    http://www.palmtopmagazin.de/news/linux [palmtopmagazin.de] Linux-PDA news (German)
    http://www.theyopy.de [theyopy.de] German Yopy fan site
    http://www.handhelds.org [handhelds.org] Linux-Development for Compaq iPaq
    http://www.yopy.org [yopy.org] Another Yopy fan site

  • by Anonymous Coward
    m08593 wrote:
    I think the Yopy would be better off going with XFree86 4.0 as well. (And calling its window system the "W Window System" is nothing short of confusing, since X11's predecessor was called "W".)

    Well if you had bothered to check the FAQ, you would have read the following statement.
    It's at http://www.yopydeveloper.org/faq01.html.

    11. What kind of Window System is used in Yopy?

    Currently we are using W window system. It is developed by Torsten Scherer, Kay Roemer, Eero Tamminen in year 1996. It uses much less memory and storage than X window system, so it is very suitable for mobile computing systems. We modified and optimized the window system for high-end PDA environment such as our YDK. We plan to support more window system in the future according to mobile computing specs and X-window porting project is in progress now.

  • That would be true, if I ran BeOS. However, I don't run BeOS.
  • by drdink ( 77 )
    Just what we need, people cracking into wireless PDAs. I can see it now, a guy sitting in a meeting with his PDA in his pocket, and it gets rooted and the attacker plays an X-rated MP3.
  • by drdink ( 77 )
    It melts in your mouth, not in your pants. M&Ms said so.
  • Go here [slashdot.org], check the boxes labeled "timothy" and "michael", then click on the button labeled "savehome". Then you will be saved.
  • I feel it you be handy for sharing information to a group of people that need it all at once. Like at a group meeting, before you start the meeting you set your device on the table and everyone logs onto your pda web engine...I think this might be handy, rather than just just beaming docs via IR, you can have it in html with interaction.
  • I don't know if you use a handheld, but the last thing I want to have to do with mine is "graffitti" in commands via a CLI. Yes, Linux/BSD work weel as servers and for some desktop applications, but how does that make it suitable for a PDA? As an analog, consider the crappiness of the Windows CE/Pocket PC interface which uses the same metaphor as Microsoft's desktop and server(I use the term loosely) OS's. So, should we adopt the X11(whatever interface standard there is) for a PDA and commit the same comedy of errors of Microsoft?

    So, on what do you basis such statements that the ultimate of PDA would be bash and X11?
  • The main reason I am jonesing for a color PDA is the better visibility. I find the glare on a black and white screen extremely intense -- particularly in daylight and conference rooms filled with horrible florscent light. In both of these conditions, my Palm Vx is almost unusable without contorting myself into a pretzel. Color screens are far more resistant to these problems, although not immune. Also, while the backlighting on the Palm is decent, color is still best in the dark.
  • Can you read? I didn't say "fuck the colorblind". I said "all options need to have a color-free fallback for the colorblind". They *shouldn't* have to get a different product.
  • not really... the command line is just a program that runs on top of the kernel. It's not strictly neccesary; you can have a gui app running with no shells in sight. That said, the nice thing about using linux on a PDA is that you still have a commandline available if you want it. It's not dependant by any means, though.
  • Agree completely. We've had ours (work) for a while - after we finagled it thru customs (damn FCC) - and it's a pretty neat device. Fast, smooth, and the development kit comes with _EVERYTHING_.

    It eats battery time for breakfast tho. Biggest weakness, IMO.

    Cheers,
    Brian

  • Hey nice sig man !
    For the ones who never heard about the genius from Belgium called Noel Godin, the man responsible of bakery crime on Bill Gates [mindspring.com], I urge you to go to his official web site :
    www.gloupgloup.com [gloupgloup.com].
    Those guys are looking for team members in the US and Europe, so go and join the bakery alliance !
    It had to be said, although it's completely off-topic.

  • Use it as a marketing tool.

    If you are selling an "intranet web application", promoting Linux as a lower TCO alternative, put together a demo suited for the screen size and fire up a browser. If they have a LAN, plug it into their hub and browse from the client's workstation promoting the "power of Linux".


    Obviously this would work best if part of the "solution" required mobile access which you would solve using a YOPY (802.11 or something). Your sales person could do it all with two of the units, without having to muck about with a bulky laptop, without having to rely on your modem connection or the potential client's internet connectivity.


    As for the common user/developer, I would bet that there are more people familiar with "web programming" (who the hell coined that anyway?) using scripting langauges (perl, python, ruby, etc) than there are whatever GUI tool kit the YOPY primarily uses. I know the browser enviroment can be lacking, but prehaps it can have a place for the not-so-hardcore-geek that might want a schedualling app they can access locally and also have a nice big screen view when they plug the PDA into their lan at home.

    Dorao
  • PDAs are currently too big and solid, IMHO.

    Once they boil them down the size of a back pocet and make them from a material that is both flexible and durable they will remain a pain in the ass.

    Luckly this is not too far off with plastic transistors under development.
  • "In other words... COLOR on a handheld is just another of the bells and whistles. Just like MP3 players, you have such a small ammount of storage and short battery life, it's completely useless." I'm not sure if your tolling but: Color is very useful in GUI. Like icons, they can easly symbolise something, without taking up much space.

    I do see your point though. Personaly, I prefer B&W PDAs, casue they smaller, and battery life. But I'm sure color will get better in a few years.

    "All the Windows CE and Palm handhelds are just toys. For people that really need a device which fits in your pocket, and still does everything your desktop can (short of watch videos) buy a Psion 5mx. Fully featured Word processor, agenda, database, spreadsheet, terminal, and tons of great freeware for astronomy, chemistry, xpdf, calculators, encryption, electronics and more. Save yourself some wasted money and frustration. "

    Yeah, the Pison has always tempted me. If the Palm Vx wasn't so small, I would have gotten a Psion revo +.

  • That could also cause certian goat problems when browsing /. though.

    Scary though...

  • If you check the web site it states an April 10/11 release date.
  • Perhaps Apache is a bad example of what a PDA can run?

    Think ricochet (not per-minute) and a web-cam.

    Hmm, actually, since that's only 128K that wouldn't be a very good solution, you'd want to run a cron to upload the picture to a real webserver with a faster connection.

    OK, fair enough, I can't come up with a useful use for apache.

  • You wouldn't want to run apache on the PDA. Even Jennicam doesn't run the webserver at her house. Follow her lead, write a cron job to send the data to a well connected webserver, and run apache (or preferably something more lightweight if all you're doing is HTML) there.
  • Throw in a Web Cam and your all set!
  • You mean like the fact that (as far as I understand from their website) you can buy the thing now (if you're a student or you're buying three)?
  • I never understood why people are so obsessed with COLOR displays on their handhelds. Anyone who has owned a COLOR handheld knows that your Li-Ion or Ni-MH batteries (which are quite large) will be drained in about 3 hours.

    I get 5-6 hours on my Prism, which goes back in its HotSynch cradle each night, so battery life is a non-issue. And don't give me any crap about "what if I go camping for four days?"

    What's the benefit of COLOR anyways? You can view pictures in B&W and still understand fully what you are looking at.

    This sounds like a diatribe again color media in general, rather than color PDAs in particular. Yes, you can fully understand what your looking at, but color's more enjoyable -- which is an important factor in a photo album, to name one example.

    The only advantage of COLOR is the ability to watch videos.

    You already alluded to another advantage, which was to look at pictures. People always love it when I show them my latest Eyemodule 2 pictures. The Prism also has adaptor modules for CompactFlash and SmartMedia, so you can take you digital "film" straight from your standalone digicam and pop it right into the Prism for instant gratification.

    As far as videos, I can use the Eyemodule 2 for shooting Quicktime, which shoots 5-second lengths (1 mb) by default, but can also shoot to memory capacity. I've actually been surprised by how much I use the video feature. Last night I shot a jazz band playing (no sound) as a short loop, and the motion adds another dimension to still photo: you're capturing a reprentative behavior, so the loop's entirely adequate; you don't need long lengths of video in many cases.

    Yes, it's largely a novelty, but a fun novelty. I also play games with the Prism. Can we still be friends?

    In other words... COLOR on a handheld is just another of the bells and whistles. Just like MP3 players, you have such a small ammount of storage and short battery life, it's completely useless.

    The main reason I upgraded to color is that the Prism, in conjuction with the Stowaway keyboard, is now my primary mobile writing instrument. I can now go a couple of weeks without ever turning on my laptop. When I'm out, most of the lighting conditions I'm in (cafés, for instance) are inadequate on mono PDAs -- at least, when looking at the screen for long intervals. And I don't want to use the backlight all the time. The best contrast on a monochrome handheld is no match for the worst true black-on-white text on a color handheld. Text on color screens is much, much more readable.

    All the Windows CE and Palm handhelds are just toys. For people that really need a device which fits in your pocket, and still does everything your desktop can (short of watch videos) buy a Psion 5mx. Fully featured Word processor, agenda, database, spreadsheet, terminal, and tons of great freeware for astronomy, chemistry, xpdf, calculators, encryption, electronics and more.

    You should get a job in marketing at Psion -- oh, that's right, they don't do marketing. Psion lets it customers do the legwork.

    I have a word processor (WordSmith), spreadsheet (TinySheet) and database (HandDBase) on the Prism. There's terminal software available, as well as tons of freeware in all the categories you mentioned.

  • don't you know that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity?
  • Sure thing... one pocket Linux workstation coming right up.

    MyLinux PLW project [azpower.com]

    -John

  • Your priorities are correct in addressing what attracts the current user to a Palm or CE device. IMHO, to get more BUSINESS folks to use them -- recall, deep pockets -- is getting the device to SECURE its contents. They develop legs way too easily, so how do I keep the nefarious types from reading the company and personal secrets I store on it? An OS like Linux easily runs everything locked using a single password! Why would I want Apache? So I could run web-based email yet keep a local copy of my messages accessable! Ditto for any other data I access from an intranet -- Apache would cache the sales data locally so I use my precious wireless comm time booking the sale! And why not do all apps web based from Apache to make the interfaces nearly identical on hand-held & desktop! Finally, the 'Zen of Palm' (simple is good) is a weak cop-out! My C-64 running GeoWorks could do nearly everything my desktop today does in ~ 200K (RAM plus diskette) -- wordprocessing, spreadsheet, & presentations. So how is it a Palm ships with 10x the ROM and it lamely presents itself only as a PIM? BTW, I'd love to run a micro-Linux on my Palm IIIxe to do what I just described. Any recos?
  • What would you do with apache on a PDA? I know it's just for putting the hardware through it's paces but I want some suggestions for nefarious purposes...

  • The only bad thing about the Ip is that it comes with Win CE.. Sure you can remove it from the flash chip but you are still paying for it.. and who here at /. wants to pay for a MS OS?

  • I have been dying for a Yopy since I first read about them! I want [ drool ], gasp, I need !
  • This is just what I've been waiting for. Now I can take my PDA out of my pocket and tell people that I pay money by the minute to host a website from my pants
    you want a wigwam in your pants? ;)

    seriously.. I kinda like the way my Ipaq (or rather the Ipaq I'm borrowing from work) is running linux. hehe.. the best thing is that I'm the only one around that is using linux, so I'll probably going to get to keep the little thingy.
  • Will wireless be available for this? I'm getting a Palm VIIx soon and I am intrigued by the SSH terminal application available for it. I think it would be very...weird...to administer my server from anywhere, without wires, on something that fits in my pocket. Now, although I can do this on the palm, it would be a lot more fun to do it on Linux, considering I have a Linux server. And, BTW, there's NO WAY I'm going to be administering it with Telnet!

    --
  • Dunno about this one, but PocketQuake is up on CE. The sources are posted so if anyone wants to hack it for a PocketLinux port, they have the material.
  • The power of my old, overclocked, 486 running linux, all in a little handheld. :)

    Sweet! I want one of those.

    Imagine running a webserver that is up 24/7, that is in your pocket. You wouldn't have a problem administering it.

    D/\ Gooberguy

  • Actually, I bet it would overheat and melt in your back pocket.

    Ouch!

    Mental note: If you are ever planning to run your webserver on a handheld, remember to carry a fire extinguisher with you at all times...

    D/\ gooberguy

  • Well if you had bothered to check the FAQ, you would have read the following statement.

    No need to get all huffy about it. My point is simply that they shouldn't be bothering with "W" at all: they end up spending a lot of time trying to solve a problem that just doesn't exist. If eventually they offer XFree86, they'll have two window systems on the same platform. How is that for memory overhead, usability problems, and developer confusion?

    And all that effort is invested because people mistakenly believe X11 is big and slow. A 200MHz RISC chip, as found in the Yopy, was the top of the line graphics workstation just a few years ago; X11 was developed for, and ran fine on, machines with less than 1/10th the power.

  • Personally, I'm waiting for an output device that doesn't rely on eyes. Direct imaging into the brain would eliminate all problems that anybody has with screen sizes or image quality.
  • If you managed to rig a webcam to it, you could stream your daily life via an Apache on it. Get one of thise tiny cameras that is almost invisible and somehow connect it wirelessly to the PDA. Then mount the camera on a shirt button, put the PDA in your pocket, and stream the world.
  • Does anyone think that entering the PDA arena with what's been going on is such a good idea? Palm, the real leader, is in major trouble.

    Palm showed that there's a market. They've also shown that they have no clue how to evolve that market to capture new audiences and sell new units to their existing clients. That makes it a very good time for others to move in and take over.

  • What's this big hangup Linux PDA people have about being able to run Apache, ssh, bash etc.?

    In order of importance stuff like that is way lower than other PDA requirements such as:

    Handwriting recognition & pen support, Battery life, Form factor, Organizer apps, Usability & convenience, Speed, Durability and build quality, Price, Peripherals, 3rd party support

    If the substantially lacking in some of these areas, then you'll be the proud owner of a piece of shit. Whether it's running a Linux kernel or not is irrelevant.

    Now that PDAs have become mainstream enough that the majority are being sold at Best Buy, Circuit City, et cetera, one of the most critical points is how well it demos. I'll say that without a bright, colorful display, half of Palm's potential customers are going to be grabbing and trying the colorful iPaq on the next shelf over.

  • I agree about your points with Linux as a PDA OS but I think you're a little impartial regarding Pocket PC (Win CE) and Palm OS. Palm's are great - I have one, but it's not in the same league as, say, a Compaq iPAQ running Pocket PC (which I also have). A Palm is more like an organizer.. calendar, memo and some cute apps.. A Pocket PC is really a handheld computer.

    You can get Visual C++ Embedded Edition from www.microsoft.com (msdn really) for free and the API is almost identical to the normal Win32 API - including MFC! No other PDA platform can compete in development tools and the step from Win32 to Pocket PC (Win CE) is very short. The same evening I had installed VC++ EE, I was already coding apps for Pocket PC without any problems.

    As far as usability goes, I think the Palm OS is easier to use and learn than Pocket PC, but calling Pocket PC bloated is exaggerating..
  • All the Windows CE and Palm handhelds are just toys. For people that really need a device which fits in your pocket, and still does everything your desktop can (short of watch videos) buy a Psion 5mx. Fully featured Word processor, agenda, database, spreadsheet, terminal, and tons of great freeware for astronomy, chemistry, xpdf, calculators, encryption, electronics and more. Save yourself some wasted money and frustration.

    I'm trying to wean myself off slashdot posts, but I can't resist, here. The reason that I carry a palm and not a more fancy machine is that the palm is actually useful for what it's designed to do. It stores my appointments, phone numbers, things I have to do, the odd idea or program sketch, and it's handy to store GPS data on.

    The reason it's NOT a toy is that it's the correct form factor so that it sits in my pocket or on my belt, and I never think about taking it with me. Anything bigger, I don't take with me all the time, which makes the device basically useless. I had a Palm Pro that I bought the week it came out, and I recently bought a IIIxe to replace it's worn out screen.

    I had a Hewlett Packard 100LX before then, but it was a little big to take with me everywhere. The Psion has the same problem. My solution to this problem was to use the device that best suits my needs - a PDA in a palm-factor, without the bloat, is PERFECT if you take it everywhere with you. When I want to code, or write something, I'll take my Vaio, hopefully I'll be getting a Picturebook soon, which is even better. Use a device that's designed for the application. Jack-of-all-trade devices work, but they don't do everything well, and when they go, you lose everything. I'd hate to have a cell phone, mp3 player, PDA and GPS all in one. Break / outdate one, replace 'em all!

    And if you're talking about great software, that's one of Palm's biggest strengths - that, and a supported developer community that has free tools that - get this - work in Linux AND Windows. That's the reason I'm betting on palm in the long run.

    In other words... COLOR on a handheld is just another of the bells and whistles. Just like MP3 players, you have such a small ammount of storage and short battery life, it's completely useless.

    Egad! Again, you're not using the device for what it was designed to do. My rio 500 is great, 128 meg is plenty - the solid state aspect means it works when you're skiing, etc, and won't skip. But it's not a friggin MP3 repository! I have some scripts that download stuff automatically in the AM to the Rio, and if I want to change the music, well, that's what the Vaio in my briefcase in the car is for. As far as short battery life, off a good energizer, a Rio will run for a whole DAY off a AA battery!

    As far as color goes, it's nice in the dark for Navigation apps, which I write, but it does wash out in the day. I suspect you're not informed on the battery life, either. The new color palms still measure battery life in weeks, and the people on comp.sys.palmtops.pilot with m505's report less battery life, but weeks is still fine with me. (Although my IIIxe gets months..)

  • Regarding comments about webservers on YOPY,
    If the YOPY stays on all the time, your batteries will run down fast. Until the YOPY gets one of those miniature gas turbine jobbies. Like there is a webserver for the palm but nobody is using it apparently.

    But aside from that, why wirelessly? cool, but maybe easier with wires? Would be useful for serving that video up to an online server that wouldn't mind getting slashdotted, on a dedicated line that would be nice. USB would be nice too if not available.

    Re previous comment on infrared at conference table, if Palm is anything to go by you will only have one person connecting at a time, so wireless might be better there.

    Would like to hear more about stats as far as how many connections per second and how fast a frame rate could theoretically be pushed through a YOPY. Seems with Linux there would be a lot better spec than the Palm software-wise. The problem if any is going to be with cheap tiny hardware I think.

    One note about serial interface - I've spent some time hacking a Palm (Clie) connection through hotsync cradle to different platforms. It seems a serial cable has a different pin layout which makes it tricky.. ordinary serial cradle is cua0 on my box while a serial cable worked on stty. Windows 2000 RAS seemed not to want to let the Palm out of its vicinity while pppd with proxyarp worked great to give the palm its own ip address (oooh scary on a YOPY maybe).

    You can telnet to your box from the YOPY shell probably, but I don't understand why you have to use a serial cable to see it, shouldn't you be able to have a shell in X? Finally MochaPPP is a windows ppp server that might work with the YOPY, but it is tough to debug and is only meant for win95/98. It does not seem to work (for me anyway) on NT, and it took ages to discover that it did not work on a Sony Vaio. The Vaio has wierd conflicts. Maybe possible for a Vaio guru, nuff said. If anyone has an idea about doing an ip bridge so you can surf from YOPY (or Palm) through Windows2000 to the net, please post.

    I should think P2P would take on a new meaning with a wireless enabled YOPY. You might even conceivable make a string of pppd connections so a whole mess of them could be online through proxyarp ip bridges! Whoooeeee! (Oh so that's what Bluetooth was made for..) Hey, hook your car engine or washing machine up to the net by wireless from net to YOPY and serial cable connection from YOPY to appliance! Yikes! Hmmmm.
  • But can we play any Quake games, especially multiplayer, with this PDA? :)

  • Sure, but only if pulled off skillfully and effectively, which is a very difficult prospect. I don't think there's anything that's so compelling about the Yopy to make it worthy of snatching that opportunity. Maybe if they were to lower that price point or something.

    "I may not have morals, but I have standards."
  • Good point, but do you really think Yopy is going to evolve the market with their $400 device? I think it'll be the ones who get the color screen and enough RAM to store a bunch of stupid arcade games down to a price point of a decent cell phone these days. It'll take a while, granted, but that'll sell like hotcakes. You need to be able to lose five of these things in a year and not really be hurting. The Yopy's just not on track to do this.

    "I may not have morals, but I have standards."
  • This is just what I've been waiting for. Now I can take my PDA out of my pocket and tell people that I pay money by the minute to host a website from my pants. ...oh, wait. Perhaps Apache is a bad example of what a PDA can run?

  • The Yopy seems to be practically vaporware . . . vaporhardware
  • That would be true if all things were equal, but the iPaq costs twice as much as most PalmOS models.
  • The kernel really doesn't matter. I could write a security app or build a security module into any kind of PDA. I've even seen SSH for Palm & CE devices.

    And PalmOS uses a single password for convenience, but it's no trouble to write apps that don't use this mechanism, implementing their own instead.

    The problem with people doing PDAs around Linux is they're too tied up with bash, etc. It really doesn't matter what Unix tools you put on the thing if it's going to sit on shelves because the PDA software stinks. Get the basics right and THEN think of porting Apache and whatnot over to it.

  • My Psion 5mx is RIGHT-NOW in my pocket. As I've said, it's likely a bit smaller than an iPaq and I know plenty of people carrying one of those around.

    Besides, I bet a barbie phone would fit in your shirt pocket too, but what good is a toy at any size? The only people I know carrying around a Palm use it as a glorified alarm clock (which could fit on their wrists).

    ---=-=-=-=-=-=---

  • I can see I need to talk much simplier to you as you don't get the point at all...

    A map looks fine in 16 shade B&W. Just because people are used to COLOR doesn't mean it's needed. I don't have an agenda, people are just stuck on the idea that color is somehow needed.

    For viewing pictures, B&W is just fine to see what you are looking at... But the real problem seems to be that your digital camera should have a better screen. Pushing that duty on a handheld will make it more difficult as you've got to carry both around and transfer pictures every time you take a photo. Besides, it would be nearly impossible to connect your camera to a handheld directly as you need the same connection (serial/USB) the handheld sync software on your camera, as well as the drivers and software to interact with the camera.

    ---=-=-=-=-=-=---

  • Most cameras don't use CompactFlash cards so I assumed as much. And the truth is, 320x240 is actually smaller than the screens on some cameras I've seen.

    As far as GPS and maps... There are GPS and maps for Palm & Psions. There are plenty of ways to differentiate other than using different colors. And most importantly, like I said, it is being done, so your claim doesn't hold much weight.

    ---=-=-=-=-=-=---

  • It's on a waste on money nd frustration if you do anything serious on it. From simply taking notes, phine numbers, to using SSH to connect to remote machines, java programming, making databases, etc.

    If you're using it as a picture viewer and a map, that's a different story... Again, it qualifies as a toy.

    ---=-=-=-=-=-=---

  • Depends on the display. It was a big problem for me to be unable to see my screen in even indirect sunlight. I would be outside in the shade, shielding the display from the sunlight, and straining to see what time it was.

    As far as contrast, I never attempted it with my Palm but with a Psion it's trivial to change from 2-16 grays. Besides that, the Psion screen is much clearer in the first place, and much bigger. In fact, my Psion 5mx is 640x240 and still the same size as an iPaq.

    ---=-=-=-=-=-=---

  • Linux on the PDA doesn't really rely on the command prompt. Check out PocketLinux [pocketlinux.com]. It's really quite cool.
  • I have a PalmVx and must admit that I really like the long battery life. But I am always finding myself drooling over the color displays at Best Buy. I think it has less to do with the "color" and more to do with the contrast and vibrance that a color display implies. Current black and white LCD's available on most handhelds are neither black nor white. They are varying degrees of squash. If I had a display that was truly black and white, THEN I'd be happy with it. For now I can only dream of having a sexy color display.

  • I think it can be argued that there are reference works that require color that do not count as toys. Same with maps.

    I agree that B&W is fine for most things but you seem to have a serious anti-color agenda.
  • There are plenty of complex maps that need color to be rendered properly. Give me a break... 16 grays is just *not* enough for representing *some* kinds of data, no matter how heated you get. You can try to trivialize that by calling those applications "toys" but it doesn't make you look any better. When was the last time you used a modern GPS for urban navigation? Those displays get awfully cluttered. Color would be an improvement.

    Besides, it would be nearly impossible to connect your camera to a handheld directly as you need the same connection (serial/USB) the handheld sync software on your camera, as well as the drivers and software to interact with the camera.

    Bull. My camera writes to CF cards. When I fill a card up I'd like to review the images in a palmtop so I can trash the duds. There's no need to carry a cable around, or to mess with the palmtop after every shot. Camera sync software? Anyone who knows what they are doing gets the image right off the camera memory card. Since you don't know anything about digital cameras don't tell me how to use mine.

    It would be nice if the camera had a better screen but that's life. No camera comes with an iPaq-type screen.

  • Why color? Here's just one reason.

    I have a digital camera. I would like a PDA with a good color screen so I can pop in the camera's memory card and evaluate the photos I just took. The camera has a display, but it is very small and suitable only for framing a shot. Even if you zoom in it is often hard to tell if an image is a keeper, or if it's just a bit to blurred to hang on to. An iPaq-like screen would make it possible for me to manage my images in the field without lugging a laptop around.

    There are also pocket database applications color would be great for. I like aquariums. I would love to develop a pocket aquarist's guide that shows fish images in full color and displays the temp, pH etc. that they need. It would be great reference to have while shopping in a fish store. I can see how people who were into plants might like something similar.

    Here's another one you overlooked: maps. A detailed map is far easier to view in color than in greyscale. If I had a color PDA with a lot of memory I would have maps for my whole city in it.

    Color has a lot of uses.

    Alas, all the color PDAs are overpriced so I am hanging onto my Palm III. (wasted money and frustration? Not.)
  • YOPY stands for 'Young People's Yard' and it is the representative brand of G.Mate for its mobile computing platform. YOPY implies "A ground where ideals become reality for young people who dream of another world and have strong adventurous spirits." The red triangle, which is the main point of the logo, signifies the next stage in the wireless Internet. The pictogram is creating the image of 'the next generation is making its dreams come true through the Internet.'

    After hearing *that* recommendation - wow boy - do I ever really want it now. can you imagine; this device's red triangle actually represents the next stage in wireless internet! Gotta have it. Gotta have it. Buy Buy Buy.

    Welcome to Marketroid Speak 101. Mr. Kim, if you hadnt noticed, there is a bit of a 'backlash' against brand advertising. It is representative of a world-wide movement of anti-corporate-globalization. Read 'culture jamming' or 'no logo' - not as an invitation to devise more subversive/cutting edge brand image plans. Marketroid speak like the above repulses me. It very literally insults me.

    Give us (your target audience for a device like this / first-adopter-tech-fetishists) a little less advertising speak and alot more tech. Give us the benefit of the doubt - challenge us. Keep the lowest-common-denominator sales ploy for a more appropriate audience... or please for their sake, drop the advertising and try and educate them.

  • There are other linux PDA's... LART [tudelt.nl] is a do-it-yourself PDA whose specs are almost identical to the iPaq! (same processor, board etc.) And there's a company that ships them assembled and everything..
  • Has anyone else noticed how good Taco's posts look in comparison to the endless cascade of michael and timothy? I think this is intentional! Taco, please, fire michael and timothy (or at least don't make/let them post as often) and we'll never make fun of your spelling again!
  • I think if you actually gave the Linux PDAs a try, you might think somewhat differently. The applications aren't quite as streamlined yet, but the platform and UI work like a charm. They could catch up with the Palm in a fraction of the time it took the Palm to get where it is now; all it takes is attracting a few core developers.

    A standard unix startup includes device initialization, filesystem integrity checks, etc. and then login. In other words, it's designed to set up everything, then allow the user to work. In a handheld, I want to be able to work NOW.

    Both the Palm and a Linux handheld "boot" after a hard reset. After that, they suspend when you turn off the power and come on instantly when you turn it back on again. Linux can and does initialize devices on the fly.

    My Palm is terrific because it's small, quick, and streamlined. Data entry is simple, synchronization is simple, and it works well with my iBook, Windows PC, and Linux PC.

    The AgendaVR is smaller than the Palm, it is as quick and responsive, it has multiple choices for data entry, and sit ynchronizes very easily. You don't even need any proprietary apps or protocols--it uses rsync.

    the only benefit I see is (theoretically) easier development because a Unix programmer should be able to easily write code for a Linux-based PDA like the Yopy. But writing Palm code is already pretty simple,

    I've done some porting to the AgendaVR. It took me 10 minutes to get a frame and SSL capable web browser with mouse support cross-compiled and running on the AgendaVR from its original UNIX sources. Other applications ported as easily. Some will benefit from slight modifications to their UI, but that's it: all the libraries and environment are there. Porting to Linux handhelds is orders of magnitude simpler than PalmOS or WinCE in my opinion.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 27, 2001 @10:58PM (#194155)
    YOPY is quite powerful and seems to run fast and smoothly. I've been tinkering with one for a while now, and it's well designed. It could be a little smaller and lighter, but it is comparable to the Compaq IPAQ, so I guess I can't complain. If you want "back-pocket" PDA, get an Agenda... it's really tiny but slow as molasses.

    The CPU can handle most X games fine. I had Doom running a while back, with no problems. Quake shouldn't be too far off.

    Biggest problem is battery life... power management seems screwy in the current YOPY kernels...
  • by drdink ( 77 ) <smkelly+slashdot@zombie.org> on Sunday May 27, 2001 @10:18PM (#194156) Homepage
    If I had a PDA, I would want something like BeOS on it. Linux is nice and all, but it is heavily command-line driven. Unless you cake X on top of it (which would require a hell of a lot of resources and X hacking), you're just stuck with a command line. I would much prefer a GUI like BeOS which is lighter weight, faster, and better suited for such a purpose. A touchscreen+scribbly writing+keyboard would make a nice BeOS PDA.
  • by mattdm ( 1931 ) on Monday May 28, 2001 @05:14AM (#194157) Homepage
    The only advantage of COLOR is the ability to watch videos...

    Not at all! Color is important for the trivial normal day-to-day PDA tasks like calendars and todo lists. Why? The screens are so low resolution that it's necessary to have another way to code information, and color is ideal. Take a look at the calendar app on PalmOS. Without color, the month view is completely useless for anything other than "yup, the 28th is a monday". Any days with scheduled items get a little black dot -- which means almost of them, in my case. There's really not room for more meaningful icons -- take a look at the Datebk3 replacement app to see how cluttered, ugly, and nonfunctional that can get. With color, different events can be blue or green or whatever. Same with the todo list -- sure, one can waste a column with a number for priority -- but why not just color code them? More instant impact, and no extra screen space required.

    (Obviously, all options need to have a color-free fallback for the colorblind, but that's no reason to waste this ability for everyone else.)

  • by Trumpet ( 42631 ) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @11:27PM (#194158) Homepage
    Don't get me wrong... I like linux. I'm running it at work and at home on couple machines.

    Why, though, would you want this in a handheld device? A standard unix startup includes device initialization, filesystem integrity checks, etc. and then login. In other words, it's designed to set up everything, then allow the user to work. In a handheld, I want to be able to work NOW. Initialize the IR port when I want to use it. Don't waste my time (and battery life) initializing it before I can work. When I'm done, shut it down as soon as possible.

    This just-in-time device management is something that linux doesn't really have. While the device might be good for linux if it make that kind of management possible, I'm not sure that I believe that linux is good for a handheld device right now.

    One of the arguments against CE is that Windows just doesn't scale down to a handheld device - a device like a Palm (or the late, lamented Newton, for that matter) that has an OS designed from the ground up specifically for handheld devices has big advantages over a downsized PC.

    I'm not sure one way or another here. I own a Palm Vx (and I had a Palm III before that), and I used to have a Newton MessagePad 100, and before that a Sharp Wizard (with the touchscreen). I've used CE, and it's okay, but bloated as hell. All in all, I've been using some type of pocket device since about 1991 or so. The Wizard was great for it's time, but there was no easy PC synchronization at the time, and the pen was just for drawing and selecting on-screen buttons - it couldn't do even rudimentary data entry. On the other hand, it had separate batteries for operation and memory backup, and could go 6+ months of pretty regular use before you had to replace the battery. And it was pretty thin, so it worked well with a coat pocket.

    Newton was a revelation when it came out. I saw it and immediately had to have one. The speed was OK, the battery life wasn't too bad (fresh batteries every couple of weeks), but it was bigger than the Sharp it replaced. The OS was smart as hell, despite the mediocre recognition (which got better with time) - it's still the only device where it was intuitive to tell it "schedule lunch with Bob tomorrow" and it could figure out what you meant! They were still too big when Apple Steved the whole Newton line, but if Newton had been allowed to keep on going it very well might have left CE stillborn at the high end and larger form factor.

    My Palm is terrific because it's small, quick, and streamlined. Data entry is simple, synchronization is simple, and it works well with my iBook, Windows PC, and Linux PC. It's not as smart as my Newton was (natively), and I can't use real handwriting (Grafitti was originally a Newton software package before the Pilot existed), but it's small enough for the shirt pocket (the Holy Grail), and the battery life is the best since the Wizard. CE is a blivet in comparison.

    CE still uses an old-fashioned filesystem metaphor, stores apps separate from executable space, and crams much of an interface designed at least for a 640x480 display into 1/4 the real estate. Despite improvements in the new version, how can that satisfy the needs of the computing/PDA mainstream? I'm afraid that Yopy will be the same. It's nice-looking hardware, but I don't see how Linux works any better than PalmOS or even CE as a PDA operating system. I'd much rather see Linux running on a system in the class of the CE "Jupiter" mininotebooks or even the handhelds rather than the palmtop-class hardware - I think the effort needed to put a usable distro onto a PDA isn't going to be worth it. I hope I'm wrong.

    I just don't think Linux's strength lies in the PDA space - the only benefit I see is (theoretically) easier development because a Unix programmer should be able to easily write code for a Linux-based PDA like the Yopy. But writing Palm code is already pretty simple, and a lot of Win32 expertise can be re-used on CE (which, unfortunately, is a strength of CE). Sadly, I see Yopy getting squished in the market and that can't help the Linux cause at all - hopefully a failure won't hurt it, either.
  • by MustardMan ( 52102 ) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @10:55PM (#194159)
    Um, no.

    Linux PDA builds are not CL-dependant at all. And none run a big bloated X either. Most run W or the embedded version of graphics toolkits, like QT. And those that do run X run something like Xfbdev [handhelds.org], which weighs in at 600KB. There's also a linux version of graphitti called Xscribble [handhelds.org] which most find to be superior to graphitti.

    Linux on PDA's is nothing like linux on the desktop. This is actually one confusion that makes me think maybe the whole GNU/Linux thing would be a good idea after all. Linux is just the kernel. Take away the bloat of most distributions, trim the kernel way down, and you have an graphical interface in a few hundred KB, but with the freedom to port most of your linux apps if you should have the desire. I know of at least one person who's using this flexibility to take advantage of the low power draw of an IPAQ to build a wearable computer. If the applications like PIM's were up to par with what's available for palm, linux would have the potential to be MUCH more useful on a PDA.
  • Does anyone think that entering the PDA arena with what's been going on [slashdot.org] is such a good idea? Palm, the real leader, is in major trouble. Why would you want to enter the market now, especially with something targeted from $400 to $600, when anyone who's going to pay that probably already has a PDA? Crazy... don't be surprised to see this one fail, especially if they're hoping that the strength of linux alone will float it, because it didn't float indrema. Different sectors, granted, but linux alone does not a business plan make.

    "I may not have morals, but I have standards."
  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Monday May 28, 2001 @08:17AM (#194161)
    What's this big hangup Linux PDA people have about being able to run Apache, ssh, bash etc.?

    In order of importance stuff like that is way lower than other PDA requirements such as:

    • Handwriting recognition & pen support
    • Battery life
    • Form factor
    • Organizer apps
    • Usability & convenience
    • Speed
    • Durability and build quality
    • Price
    • Peripherals
    • 3rd party support

    If the substantially lacking in some of these areas, then you'll be the proud owner of a piece of shit. Whether it's running a Linux kernel or not is irrelevant.

  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday May 28, 2001 @01:26AM (#194162) Journal
    Baring the rhetoric in the above post, there is one thing people might be interested.

    Mame runs on the Psion handheld. Indeed it is in black & white but you can play packman, asteroids, and all the rest. Just the sheer number of Mame ROMs makes Psion the master of the handheld gaming market. There's also a gameboy emulator, but it pales in comparison to EMame.

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  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday May 28, 2001 @12:47AM (#194163) Journal
    Palms are toys. If you want to SSH, you better get damn good at graphiti, meanwhile Psions have a full keyboard built in... In a package no bigger than an iPaq. Meanwhile, you can run any Java applications on a Psion so there's no end to the posibilities.

    If you want to browse the web, you can use Psion's free web brower which supports javascript and frames, or you can download Opera and use that if you need SSL.

    If you ever need to make a document, under Psion you can type it up, insert a spreadsheet, graph, clip-art, sounds, and more. Like I've said, Palms are toys.

    You can port anything you want. Psion's OS, (EPOC) has a wonderful free development kit & emulator for download. A few open source apps have been ported, such as xPDF.

    Lets also not forget that Windows CE has quite a few Open Source Apps ported to it as well. Don't have the numbers to compare, but I'd bet it rivals Palm as far as the number of projects ported.

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  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @11:20PM (#194164) Journal
    I never understood why people are so obsessed with COLOR displays on their handhelds. Anyone who has owned a COLOR handheld knows that your Li-Ion or Ni-MH batteries (which are quite large) will be drained in about 3 hours. Meanwhile, there are plenty of Black & White handhelds which last for months on two off-the-shelf AA batteries, or rechargable AAs if you prefer.

    Now even if that doesn't turn you off... What's the benefit of COLOR anyways? You can view pictures in B&W and still understand fully what you are looking at.

    The only advantage of COLOR is the ability to watch videos... But again, WHY? If you have 32Megs of ram, you'll have about 30 seconds of video, provided you do nothing else, and the video will still be quit choppy and it's a tiny screen anyhow.

    In other words... COLOR on a handheld is just another of the bells and whistles. Just like MP3 players, you have such a small ammount of storage and short battery life, it's completely useless.

    {RANT}
    All the Windows CE and Palm handhelds are just toys. For people that really need a device which fits in your pocket, and still does everything your desktop can (short of watch videos) buy a Psion 5mx. Fully featured Word processor, agenda, database, spreadsheet, terminal, and tons of great freeware for astronomy, chemistry, xpdf, calculators, encryption, electronics and more. Save yourself some wasted money and frustration.

    {/RANT}

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  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @10:42PM (#194165)
    Sounds like a good discreet way of making a pr0n site without your wife knowing anything about it

    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" - Ogden Nash

  • by m08593 ( 455349 ) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @10:51PM (#194166)
    People frequently say: "Why would I want Linux on a handheld?" "Why bother with X11?" "Why bother with bash?" I think it's pretty clear that if you designed a handheld OS from scratch, it wouldn't quite look like Linux with X11 and a bunch of command line apps sitting around.

    However, even something like the AgendaVR (66MHz MIPS) is powerful enough to run Linux 2.4 with XFree86 4.0 quite comfortably. And the benefits of having standard Linux running on it are significant. You may not want to actually use normal desktop linux applications or command line programs while tapping away on your machine. However, having a standard environment makes a lot of libraries and tools port very easily. And because you can log into your little handheld and even run X11 apps in both directions, debugging gets really eas.

    For the AgendaVR, it took me maybe an hour to set up the cross-compilation environment, get PPP up and running, and read the documentation. After that, porting applications and tools to the AgendaVR was a snap: it took maybe 10 minutes to get a web browser and a scripting engine cross-compiled for the AgendaVR.

    In that regard, I'm wondering whether the Yopy is doing the right thing by going with a different window system. If the AgendaVR can run XFree86 4.0 without problems, it should fly on the Yopy with its faster processor and bigger memory. I think the Yopy would be better off going with XFree86 4.0 as well. (And calling its window system the "W Window System" is nothing short of confusing, since X11's predecessor was called "W".)

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