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2002 Mar 15 17:03

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Re: [vox-tech] familiar review
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Re: [vox-tech] familiar review

On Fri, Mar 15, 2002 at 12:28:27PM -0800, Gabriel Rosa wrote:
> I didn't like the default install very much, so I went ahead and ditched the
> window manager (ios) and installed icewm. I also went thru the graphical
> package manager (very excellent) and installed vim and bash (essentials) and
> a lot of PIM stuff (lots of options, some taken from agenda IIRC),

Yeah - I heard that Agenda had been adopted/ported for Linux-on-iPAQ,
at least as an alternative.  Did you need to install FLTK, too, or were
the binaries statically-linked to it.

> dillo and some small utilities.

Dillo's great. :)  Until I got my Zaurus (which has embedded Opera and
now Konqueror/embedded - both awesome), I was really paying attention
to ViewML (FLTK-based), Cheetah and Dillo browsers.  I was really hoping
one of them would get ported to the Agenda's smaller screen and
stylus interface.  Oh well... it's moot now :)

> Everything works really nicely, the anti-aliased fonts look _nice_. And I
> mean _nice_ :)

Yeah - I heard you mention you've got AA'd fonts in the terminal.
That's one thing the current terminal lacks on the Zaurus (it's just
KDE's Konsole).  Fortunately, both Opera and Konqueror support AA'd fonts.
I think some of theKompany.com's apps support the available AA'd fonts, too.

> After the near-full install I still have 1.4mb left on the / partition,

So "/" is flash?  Is it mounted RW or RO?

> and half of the 32mb of ram mounted as a ramfs. As soon as I get the
> cha$$$nce, I'll probably get a nice 64/128 CF card to go with it,

64MB CF is only about $50 bucks at Fry's.  You can probably find something
somewhere cheaper.  Do you have the appropriate sleeve (or whatever) to
use a CF card?  If not - how much do those run?  I can't imagine it'd
be much, since it seems like it should just be some kind of pass-thru
with a different form-factor.

BTW - Recently, people started pointing out PCMCIA->CF adapters, which
will allow CF-based PDAs (like Zaurus & iPaq) to use any old PCMCIA card. :)

> so I can carry some tunes around. It'll probably make a nice MP3 player,
> since you can shut the screen off completely, although not as nice as the
> Clie with dedicated DSP.

What MP3 player are you using?  The one that Trolltech wrote for the
Zaurus is suitable, but it's currently lacking some useful features
like forward- and backwards- seeking within a song.

It supports MP3, MPEG1/2 and with a plug-in, MPEG4.  There's a MOD
plugin, but it sounds like it only works on iPaqs running Qtopia.

Fortunately, theKompany.com is coming out with a product which will be
a complete solution for all audio, video and image viewing needs.
(And has built-in MOD support.)  I'm eagerly awaiting that. :)

> One of the things that really impressed me is how easily the screen rotates
> from landscape to portrait (both directions each), and how the hardware
> (screen, audio, apm, launch buttons) worked out of the box.

Can you rotate the screen while everything is running?  Do all apps.
rotate?  Under Qtopia, screen-rotation affects the next application(s)
you launch, so I can have a right-side-up (portrait) terminal, and
a sideways (landscape) web browser.  (It also supports all 4 degrees of

> It also comes with an onscreen keyboard and xstroke, for handwriting. xstroke
> seems to understand my grafitti characters, so I'm assuming the default
> config is grafitti (there's a .conf in /etc you can change with character
> mappings).

Eek... Are there tools that'll let you retrain it?  The Agenda originally
used Xscribble, and then moved to Xmerlin, which was WAY better.

At least with the latter, you could run an application on your desktop
to teach it your own strokes.

On the Zaurus, the handwriting is /fully/ trainable (ie, you can even
remove default strokes, rather than just create alternatives), and
is managed on the device.

If Xmerlin is available for iPaq (I'd be surprised if it wasn't), I strongly
suggest trying it out.  In the meantime, though, I would like to check
out Xstroke and see how it compares.

> Suposedly familiar is binary and library compatible with the debian arm
> packages, but I still need to try that out.

Sounds about right. :)

> Overall I have to say this rocks. Being a geek I wouldn't mind having a newer
> model with more storage (I think the newer ones have 64mb flash/64mb ram, or
> 64mb flash/32mb ram, or similar), but 16mb seems to be more than enough for a
> good config.

I'm ok with the 32MB in my Zaurus, but that's only because someone came
out with an entirely SD-card-based ROM, so rather than having 16MB of RAM
and 16MB of storage (like Sharp's 1.10 ROM), or ~27MB of RAM and ~5MB of
storage (like their 1.11 alternative), I've got ~32MB of RAM and 64MB of
storage. :)

Of course, after installing almost 20 IPKG's, including 3 really
large games, a VNC server, and Konqueror, as well as a 5MB text-to-speech
program and a 20MB install of GCC, I've only got about 12MB of space left.

Thank goodness for the CF card - where I can store all my MP3s and
such ;)

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