Re: Gnome and Zaurus

> From: "R. Sean Hartnett" <cinnur attbi com>
> Been looking around a bit for my eventual successor to my Palm Pilot and
> the Sharp Zaurus has caught my attention, .
> Anyone playing with the new Sharp handheld Zaurus, which runs Linux, and
> interacting it with the Gnome desktop?
> I am curious if anyone has info about syncing and other such file
> transfers and uses, just like the Palm can sync and interact with Gnome.
> Also interested if the Zaurus can sync with Evolution?

Right now I believe under Linux you can only use and sync with the
desktop program written by Trolltech. The current Zaurus data files
are XML so a sync program could easily be written to sync with
whatever you want; however, the next version of the Zaurus software
will use a "database" to store the data so there's not much point in
spending the effort to parse the XML now.

If you weren't aware, the Zaurus uses software written by Trolltech
and the Qt widget set so you will probably find KDE programs before
GNOME programs.

I bought one for $400 and am relatively happy with it, but it's not
quite ready for the average person on the street in most people's
opinion. I didn't buy it for the normal PDA (calendar, addressbook,
todo list, etc.) functions. I bought it because:

1. it ran my favorite operating system so I could write my own little
programs in the environment I'm familiar with (well almost, I had to
learn the basics of Qt since previously I've only used GTK and years
ago, Motif).

2. the processor and memory were powerful enough that "interesting"
applications start to become possible

3. the keyboard is definitely cool

4. I could write/run Python and Java programs on it.

I've never owned a PDA before, but most people that have say the Palm
applications are much more polished. Syncing under Linux may require a
kernel recompile (your desktop kernel) to enable "Ethernet over USB"
or you can buy a CF network card for it.

I gave a talk on the Zaurus at my local Linux User's Group meeting
last month that contained the details of above and much more. You can
find my "notes" at:

If you're curious about what other people have to say, look at the
Zaurus mailing list archives, link at:

A recent thread with the subject:
Things that annoy me this week with my Zaurus...
contains a number of "issues/concerns" and there are many other
earlier threads about limitations/drawbacks.

A short summary is: the hardware is great, but the software needs some
work. If you can hold off, I'd wait for the next generation since I
expect it will be much better. If you absolutely want to have one so
you can tinker with it, go ahead, but expect to be disappointed with
the built-in applications.


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