Linux on Compaq iPAQ
aqua at devin.com
Thu Jul 12 16:26:56 PDT 2001
On Thu, Jul 12, 2001 at 11:27:06AM -0700, Colin Marquardt wrote:
> I just wanted to check if any NBLUGer had succeeded, tried or at least
> thought about putting Linux on a Compaq iPAQ.
I've done so quite a number of times lately as part of a research effort at
work. It's pretty straightforward, and the documentation provided by
handhelds.org, et al, is decent as far as flashing a fresh image into the unit
goes (be prepared to wait awhile, unless you use an ether piggyback).
Quick summary of my impressions, if you want it:
Familiar: rudimentary, but easy to start from and add packages to. Not much
in the way of applications yet, but most of the libraries &c are in there to
port from the Linux desktop (X, gtk, python, fltk, etc.) UI is a lot like an
fvwm-era *nix desktop, and sofar underadapted to PDA usage (a well-suited wm
would help a lot.)
QPE: The QPE distro that runs atop Familiar is quite slick in most respects.
It's clearly a tech demo rather than an actual product, but you can do a fair
amount with it in a limited PDA-ish sort of way. The UI is a lot like WinCE
run together with KDE1. Does several things right that Wince gets wrong, and
the HWR is probably the best of the lot. A good bit in the HWR is that the
user can edit the strokes, and so could move over time from the stock strokes
(basically 2nd-grade printing) to faster ones.
PocketLinux: Transvirtual's embedded-Kaffe proof of concept. Quite seamless
for the most part. UI is pretty well suited to a PDA in form, though it's
built with XML on the DOM, so in a sense the whole thing is a Java browser and
appletviewer. By far the slowest ipaq distro. Worth looking at, if you look
through the code a bit to get a feel for how it works. Includes the least-PC
Flash movie I've ever seen in a tech demo product. :)
Devin \ aqua(at)devin.com, 1024D/E9ABFCD2; http://www.devin.com
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