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Linux-powered handhelds, Ipods, mini-TIVO's, etc.

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Anonymous
September 9, 2004 1:35:06 AM

Archived from groups: comp.lang.php,alt.apache.configuration,comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

Hello there,

Are there any out-of-the box handhelds that run Linux/Apache/MYSQL and
PHP? Does Redhat, Suse, or Gentoo support any handhelds?

I know the Zaurus comes close, but I've heard people have problems
running LAMP applications on it.

It would be cool to be able to run any LAMP application on sourceforge
on a handheld computer.

That way the LAMP developer community could build cool applications
for future ipods/tivos/etc.

What would be the best way to build a Linux-powered ipod-like device?
Can this be done with off-the-shelf hardware?

The more places Linux runs, the better off we all are!

Please advise.

Thanks!
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 9:27:40 AM

Archived from groups: comp.lang.php,alt.apache.configuration,comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

Oops! jollyrogership@yahoo.com (Ranger West) was seen spray-painting on a wall:
> Are there any out-of-the box handhelds that run Linux/Apache/MYSQL and
> PHP? Does Redhat, Suse, or Gentoo support any handhelds?
>
> I know the Zaurus comes close, but I've heard people have problems
> running LAMP applications on it.

I would suggest taking a look at the article "The Hard Way / How Not
to Build a Linux PDA" <http://www.linux-mag.com/2004-05/hard_01.html&gt;
written by someone involved heavily with the Zaurus efforts, which
have essentially failed.

There's a lot of merit to "small" computers running things like
Knoppix, but I don't see any of the handhelds being much more than
toys.

There are enough apps out there to let Linux users "sync" Palms with
plenty of applications that that's an eminently usable platform even
if you "haven't any Windows around."

I can sync the main apps against JPilot, as well as GNU Keyring, and
can happily use either Palm or JPilot GUI to control them. I run
Plucker to put 'news' on my Palm, which makes good 'bathroom' reading.

_None_ of the "Linux-based" PDAs have provide the equivalent
functionality of:
- Syncing against a 'desktop' for calendar/todo/address/notes
- Password management
- Document storage

Furthermore, the "Linux-based" PDAs have generally had _horrible_
interoperability with Linux, because the vendors didn't have enough
known Linux-based customers to _truly_ care about having Linux-based
sync/'desktop' apps.

The Zaurus only very marginally evades that being entirely true for
it, and Jason's article explains the fairly deep problems with it as a
platform.

If you have enough hardware to run a full-scale Linux distribution
complete with X and such, that's one thing. But that really means
something rather larger than a PDA.
--
(format nil "~S@~S" "cbbrowne" "ntlug.org")
http://linuxfinances.info/info/pims.html
"Moebius strippers only show you their back side." -- Unknown
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 11:27:42 AM

Archived from groups: comp.lang.php,alt.apache.configuration,comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

On 8 Sep 2004 21:35:06 -0700, jollyrogership@yahoo.com (Ranger West)
pecked out:

>Hello there,
>
>Are there any out-of-the box handhelds that run Linux/Apache/MYSQL and
>PHP? Does Redhat, Suse, or Gentoo support any handhelds?

Royal was supossed to have one. Never came out of the gate, though.

>That way the LAMP developer community could build cool applications
>for future ipods/tivos/etc.

Not relating to handhelds, but i noticed two things recenlty.

1. DirecTV has a Tivo-like thing that does HDTV and runs Linux (don't
know which distro).

2. While flying on Delta Song this summer, the in-flight
movie/satellite system was booted as the plane took off. It ran
RedHat.

>What would be the best way to build a Linux-powered ipod-like device?
>Can this be done with off-the-shelf hardware?

Build one.

--

kai
www.gamephreakz.com || www.perfectreign.com || www.filesite.org
kai at 3gproductions dot com

"friends don't let friends use windows xp"
Related resources
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 2:33:58 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

On 9 Sep 2004 05:27:40 GMT, Christopher Browne <cbbrowne@acm.org> wrote:
> _None_ of the "Linux-based" PDAs have provide the equivalent
> functionality of:
> - Syncing against a 'desktop' for calendar/todo/address/notes

Nearly there:
KDE-PIM/PI: http://www.pi-sync.net/
KitchenSync: http://www.killefiz.de/zaurus/showdetail.php?app=964

> - Password management

Lots of those:
http://www.killefiz.de/zaurus/showdetail.php?app=568
http://www.killefiz.de/zaurus/showdetail.php?app=176
http://www.killefiz.de/zaurus/showdetail.php?app=130
....etc

> - Document storage

Maybe I do not see what you are getting at here, but what's wrong with a
real file and mime type system for storing/opening/editing documents?
Also, all the latest Sharp ROMs present the Zaurus as a removable drive to
the PC through Samba. The SL-C860 can even be set to present itself as a
standard removeable USB drive. Either way you can drag and drop files
without requiring any extra propriertary software.

> If you have enough hardware to run a full-scale Linux distribution
> complete with X and such, that's one thing. But that really means
> something rather larger than a PDA.

Do you count this as a full-scale distro: http://www.pdaxrom.org/ ?

At the end of the day Sharp does most things to make a profit. While it
may be a multi-billion pound company, it didn't get that way by constantly
subsidising loss making parts of the business with profit making parts and
I guess somebody high up wasn't willing to make the initial investment
high enough to get a good momentum going. There also seems to be a lot of
politics between Sharp Japan, USA, and Europe, which resulted in extremely
fragmented releases of Zaurus models around the world.

The features of the Sharp PIMs were not great, but then neither were
Palm's initial offering. Where Sharp really messed up is they didn't make
the sync and PIM framework open and easily extensible so 3rd parties could
easily make improved apps without breaking compatibility. Also the
marketing of the Zaurus was minimal to say the least. At the height of
sales, if I mentioned "Zaurus" or showed my Zaurus to even
geeky/linux-using friends, they still initially responded zaur-what??

Had Sharp nailed these issues, then it might have been a different
outcome, but it's always easy to say these kinds of things in hindsight.

My ha'penny's worth.

--
Colin Pinkney
September 9, 2004 5:23:54 PM

Archived from groups: comp.lang.php,alt.apache.configuration,comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

Jason Perlow's article in Linux Magazine could be about any number of
manufacturers holding the naive notion that they can profit from keeping
their interfaces secret and selling accessories to a captive audience.
It usually ends in failure or at least an insignificant market share.

Another blunder is in thinking that people with a fondness for something
(e.g. Linux, Star Trek, cameras, etc.) will accept any garbage that is
thrown into the market place. It ain't so; but they never seem to learn.

Christopher Browne wrote:
> Oops! jollyrogership@yahoo.com (Ranger West) was seen spray-painting on a wall:
>
> I would suggest taking a look at the article "The Hard Way / How Not
> to Build a Linux PDA" <http://www.linux-mag.com/2004-05/hard_01.html&gt;
> written by someone involved heavily with the Zaurus efforts, which
> have essentially failed.
> --------------------------------CUT---------------------
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 9:33:50 PM

Archived from groups: comp.lang.php,alt.apache.configuration,comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

Christopher Browne wrote:
>
> If you have enough hardware to run a full-scale Linux distribution
> complete with X and such, that's one thing. But that really means
> something rather larger than a PDA.

Like an OQO? I really want one, pity they STILL haven't released it.
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 11:51:51 PM

Archived from groups: comp.lang.php,alt.apache.configuration,comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

Russell <russell@mitre.org> wrote in message news:<chq6vm$jc5$1@newslocal.mitre.org>...
> Jason Perlow's article in Linux Magazine could be about any number of
> manufacturers holding the naive notion that they can profit from keeping
> their interfaces secret and selling accessories to a captive audience.
> It usually ends in failure or at least an insignificant market share.
>
> Another blunder is in thinking that people with a fondness for something
> (e.g. Linux, Star Trek, cameras, etc.) will accept any garbage that is
> thrown into the market place. It ain't so; but they never seem to learn.
>
> Christopher Browne wrote:
> > Oops! jollyrogership@yahoo.com (Ranger West) was seen spray-painting on a wall:
> >
> > I would suggest taking a look at the article "The Hard Way / How Not
> > to Build a Linux PDA" <http://www.linux-mag.com/2004-05/hard_01.html&gt;
> > written by someone involved heavily with the Zaurus efforts, which
> > have essentially failed.
> > --------------------------------CUT---------------------

Hello there,

On the comp.os.linux.advocacy board, I got the following reply:

From: Rapskat (rapskat@mailblocks.com)
Subject: Re: Linux Handhelds Running Linux/Apache/MYSQL/PHP?: Linux IPODS?

View this article only
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
Date: 2004-09-09 09:36:42 PST

On Wed, 08 Sep 2004 21:30:08 -0700, Ranger West wrote:

> Hello there,
>
> Are there any out-of-the box handhelds that run Linux/Apache/MYSQL and
> PHP? Does Redhat, Suse, or Gentoo support any handhelds?
>
> I know the Zaurus comes close, but I've heard people have problems
> running LAMP applications on it.

The Zaurus doesn't just "come close", it's right there. I've had no
problems at all running LAMP apps on the Z. The Z uses Opera as its
browser, and if one can get around the screensize issues, it runs the same
as a full size desktop system.

Frankly, I'm a little surprised that the Z hasn't really took off. I
suppose many people who are looking for just a PDA have little knowledge
or need of the full capabilities of this little gem.

With what you are referring to, it really has nothing much to do with the
client, but the server. The server system is the one that handles the
heavy lifting, all the client does is display the results, which is the
beauty of LAMP apps.

Unless you mean actually using the Z *as* a LAMP server? In that case,
though I'm sure it could be done, one must ask the question, "why?"


> What would be the best way to build a Linux-powered ipod-like device?

That's a huge fish to tackle...do you mean software or hardware wise, or
both?

> I hope this isn't off topic for this group--the more places Linux runs,
> the better off we all are!
>
> Please advise.

You may want to take a peek here...

http://www.linuxdevices.com


> Thanks!
Anonymous
September 10, 2004 8:04:26 PM

Archived from groups: comp.lang.php,alt.apache.configuration,comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

On Wed, 08 Sep 2004 21:35:06 -0700, Ranger West wrote:

> Hello there,
>
> Are there any out-of-the box handhelds that run Linux/Apache/MYSQL and
> PHP? Does Redhat, Suse, or Gentoo support any handhelds?

Plenty:

http://www.linuxdevices.com/
Anonymous
September 13, 2004 2:04:10 AM

Archived from groups: comp.lang.php,alt.apache.configuration,comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

In comp.sys.palmtops filesiteguy <abuse@127.0.0.1> wrote:
> 1. DirecTV has a Tivo-like thing that does HDTV and runs Linux (don't
> know which distro).

TiVo has a TiVo-like thing that runs Linux, too. It's called a TiVo. ;^)
(In case anyone out there didn't know that yet)

-bill!
bill@newbreedsoftware.com Man, some trip this turned out to be.
http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/ All we caught is a tire, a boot,
New Breed Software a tin can and this book of cliches.
Anonymous
September 13, 2004 2:04:11 AM

Archived from groups: comp.lang.php,alt.apache.configuration,comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

William Kendrick scratched out in the sand

> In comp.sys.palmtops filesiteguy <abuse@127.0.0.1> wrote:
>> 1. DirecTV has a Tivo-like thing that does HDTV and runs Linux (don't
>> know which distro).
>
> TiVo has a TiVo-like thing that runs Linux, too. It's called a TiVo. ;^)
> (In case anyone out there didn't know that yet)

Actually no I didn't. I have one sitting in a box right next to me. I need
to get ahold of DTV so I can finally get rid of E* after three years. :) 
--
kai - kai at 3gproductions dot com
www.gamephreakz.com || www.filesite.org
"friends don't let friends use windows xp"
Anonymous
September 13, 2004 2:13:59 AM

Archived from groups: comp.lang.php,alt.apache.configuration,comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

In comp.sys.palmtops Christopher Browne <cbbrowne@acm.org> wrote:
> _None_ of the "Linux-based" PDAs have provide the equivalent
> functionality of:
> - Syncing against a 'desktop' for calendar/todo/address/notes

The Zaurus does. Unfortunately, Sharp/Trolltech/whoever focused so much
on supporting Windows syncing, that not much has come out on the Linux end
of things. I live without it, though.

I usually keep ALL my PIM stuff on my PDA, and don't try to keep my
desktop in sync. Even when I used a Palm III, I never sync'd it.
(I backed it up, and installed new apps, but never actually copied my
addressbook, to-do list or calendar into an equivalent app. on the desktop.)


> - Password management

Huh. I've used _two_ different password management programs on my
Zaurus. I'm currently using SafeDee.


> - Document storage

Not quite sure what you mean here.


> Furthermore, the "Linux-based" PDAs have generally had _horrible_
> interoperability with Linux, because the vendors didn't have enough
> known Linux-based customers to _truly_ care about having Linux-based
> sync/'desktop' apps.

One nice thing about the Zaurus is you can run VNC on it. Then use your
desktop's monitor, keyboard and mouse to interact. In a sense, it would
LOOK as if your addresses, to-do list, etc. were all on your desktop,
but they're simply being 'served' (so to speak) off the Zaurus.

I'm sure any other Linux PDA capable of exporting its display (X11, Qtopia,
etc.) could do the same. (I exported X off my Agenda VR3 when I was writing
games for it, for example.)


-bill!
bill@newbreedsoftware.com Man, some trip this turned out to be.
http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/ All we caught is a tire, a boot,
New Breed Software a tin can and this book of cliches.
Anonymous
September 19, 2004 8:02:13 AM

Archived from groups: comp.lang.php,alt.apache.configuration,comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

On Thu, 09 Sep 2004 07:27:42 -0700, filesiteguy <abuse@127.0.0.1>
wrote:

>On 8 Sep 2004 21:35:06 -0700, jollyrogership@yahoo.com (Ranger West)
>pecked out:

>
>>What would be the best way to build a Linux-powered ipod-like device?
>>Can this be done with off-the-shelf hardware?
>
>Build one.

Where do I get the parts?
Anonymous
September 19, 2004 9:07:33 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 04:02:13 -0700, I live on Outlook wrote:

>>Build one.
>
> Where do I get the parts?

BUILD, not assemble.

You want a micro-ITX board of some sort, a good amount of flash for your
OS to sit in firmware, and some sort of replaceable media slot, SD or CF
is probably going to be the best solution right now.

From there, you just mock up a case for it, using whatever you might have
on hand (plastic, repurpose a case from some other device, or use metal,
if you know someone good enough to help you stamp and form it around your
device; remember to use standoffs!.

That should give you what you seek. I leave it up to you to figure out
the circuits you'll need to build to give it the proper power output for
your needs.
Anonymous
September 22, 2004 5:38:48 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

In article news:<pan.2004.09.19.21.07.33.502909@gnu-designs.com>, David A.
Desrosiers wrote:
> On Sun, 19 Sep 2004 04:02:13 -0700, I live on Outlook wrote:
>
[snippage restored]
> > [filesiteguy wrote]
> > >[Ranger West wrote]
> > >>What would be the best way to build a Linux-powered ipod-like
> > >>device?
> > >>Can this be done with off-the-shelf hardware?
[end of restored snippage]
> >>Build one.
> >
> > Where do I get the parts?
>
> BUILD, not assemble.
>
> You want a micro-ITX board of some sort ...

No such animal -- I assume you mean mini-ITX (17cm square) or nano-ITX
(12cm square) ... either of those would be rather large for "a
Linux-powered ipod-like device", and would require rather a large battery.

I'd suggest starting with an iPaq or a Sharp SL5xxx linux-based PDA. The
Sharp devices don't make particularly good PDAs OOTB as the PIM software
is rather rough-and-unready, but they make fair MP3 players and have both
SD and CF (type II) slots so the storage options are plentiful. Battery
life isn't too good but at least the batteries are removable so you can
carry a fully-charged spare.

Cheers,
Daniel.
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 10:25:57 PM

Archived from groups: comp.lang.php,alt.apache.configuration,comp.sys.palmtops (More info?)

Christopher Browne wrote:
> I would suggest taking a look at the article "The Hard Way / How Not
> to Build a Linux PDA"
> <http://www.linux-mag.com/2004-05/hard_01.html&gt; written by someone
> involved heavily with the Zaurus efforts, which have essentially
> failed.

Almost two years ago I posted on why I hadn't yet bought a Zaurus
(<URL:http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=slrnb2u470.ugk.yle...;).
Sadly, every reason still holds in late 2004, including the advantages
a truly-usable Linux PDA that also filled my needs would have.

I've owned a Sony Clié UX50 for a year. I thought hard about buying a
Zaurus C760 instead, but am glad I didn't take the plunge.

> I can sync the main apps against JPilot, as well as GNU Keyring, and
> can happily use either Palm or JPilot GUI to control them.

[...]

> _None_ of the "Linux-based" PDAs have provide the equivalent
> functionality of:
> - Syncing against a 'desktop' for calendar/todo/address/notes

Amen. While I respect the fact that not everyone needs synching (I was
like that as a student), those of us who need synching need it
*badly*.

--
Yes, I'm to blame for comp.sys.palmtops.pilot instead of .palm or .palmos.
!