Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Linux-Based OS For Palm Hardware 163

slash.monster writes: "I was reading through Canadian Newswire today and came across this. Quoted from their press release: 'Linux DA O/S replaces the Palm O/S within the actual handheld device but still remains fully compatible with Palm's hardware, proving that Linux DA O/S is a flexible and powerful operating system. Using the open source Linux kernel, Empower Technologies has designed Linux DA O/S to be the first Linux compatible O/S scaled down for the Motorola Dragonball CPU platform used by Palm handhelds.'"

"I've got a Palm Vx, but I'm gonna get some friends to check this out. Should be interesting to see if thier claims are true." There is a free DEMO (their caps) version to download, says the release, but the final version will be payware.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Linux-Based OS For Palm Hardware

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Now I can exploit the true speed my Linux Palm OS emulator. My Palm OS apps will never be faster!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I want palm OS on a desktop.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This sounds really great.
    Now all I have to do is hook this up to my scanner.. oh, umm, nevermind.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @08:37AM (#76351)
    OK, I can understand a repeat story here and there, but this is getting *ridiculous*. I don't even think it's that important of a story, but for the last few weeks you'd think its the top thing on everyones mind. Speaking on behalf of all the readers, we have read it once, twice, three times, we understand, "The Page Cannot be Displayed". Why does this article have to be posted every hour? I think we're all well-versed by now that, yes, the page we are looking for is currently unavailable. And while it is also true that the Web site might be experiencing technical difficulties, and rumors abound that we may need to adjust our browser settings, is there any reason to continue to pound it into our heads? Your tips section does no good either. I have clicked the refresh button, the same story loads. Your information that some sites require 128-bit connection security does come timely as security is very important in this day and age, but I think if we've read it once, we've read it 1,000 times, literally. So let's go for a little more communication between the editors or something, because by this point surely we all know, "The page cannot be displayed".
  • I want to see screenshots of the apps. If I can't seamlessly move from PalmOS Phonebook to LinuxDA Phonebook, then LinuxDA is *NOT READY FOR RELEASE TO ANYONE*.

    Make it seamless from v1.0, or make a lot of disappointment. Maybe they've got a good handle on this issue, but in case they dont: it needs to be addressed as a priority from LinuxDA Version 1.0 onwards...

    I want to know what sort of tools for development on LinuxDA are available *now*. Are they as good as the PalmOS tools that are available too? If it's not super brainfart easy to develop apps for the LinuxDA environment, without any monkery, then it should be... as soon as possible.

    I look forward to checking this out a bit more when the download becomes available. As a developer for Palm, this sort of thing is very interesting...
  • I don't presume it because it's different, I just don't want to move to PalmDA and have difficulty with my *HUGE* contact databases on the new environment.

    It's sorta like the MS Word/.DOC situation, you know what I mean? It's not the app that matters, its the fileformat.
  • Right now, there's no Perl. Once Perl is installed, everything is balanced in the world.

    --
    WolfSkunks for a better Linux Kernel
    $Stalag99{"URL"}="http://stalag99.keenspace.com";
  • The linuxda website has a minimal info page at http://www.linuxda.com/products/os.html [linuxda.com]

    I really wonder, though, if my Palm m100 is someplace I want to run Linux. PalmOS works fine, and does the intended job. If it ain't broke....


  • Umm, you aren't paying attention very well. That license applies to the site in general. It also has a neat little phrase in it :

    "non-commercial internal use only unless specifically licensed to do otherwise by Empower Technologies Inc .

    So, if I download a linux kernel, that is something that would have to be GPL'ed, which is a specific licence to do otherwise.

    --
  • I don't mean that the app does not need documentation. I'm saying that putting it in RTF and PDF files is silly.
    HTML or text files would have worked just fine.
    Also it would have been better for them to package the files as a .ZIP instead of .EXE so Linux and Mac users could extract and use them.
    Why do I need to *install* 3 stand alone files?

    I'm sorry that I did not do a good job of communicating my point(s).
  • by Partisan ( 3249 ) <jfox@rawtruth.net> on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @11:05AM (#76358)
    Disclaimer: I have not used a Palm device in over a year. I don't have one to test this on.

    Inside the 4.6 MB are 3 files, the ROM @ 983K, and RTF file for the install docs @ 1.9MB and a PDF for the OS manual at 1 MB.
    Pretty silly to have 3MB of docs for a 983K ROM. It smacks of Windows Bloated thinking.

    The install guide is pretty basic. Backup your exiting OS and then flash the new ROM...

    The OS guide is simple and basic. If you've used a Palm then you don't need it.

    I could find nothing in the docs that tells me why this is any better than PalmOS. There are plenty of screen shots, but nothing that makes me think this is Linux. It just looks like a generic PDA GUI.

    There's no sign of X or GNU or anything else you'd expect to see on any Linux box.

    According to the docs the demo is missing alot of stuff that's in the full package. It looks like the PC side (Palm Desktop) is missing. There's no games either.

    There is no mention of connectivity besides with the desktop and beaming stuff to other Palms. They don't even mention 'email'.

    Based on what I've seen I'm underwhelmed by the whole thing. If I had a Palm I would not waste my time installing this on it.

    Of course when somebody really installs it maybe they'll see something exciting about it that I've missed from the docs.

    My guess is the company really just wanted to load test their servers so they unleashed this to get us to /. them. Pretty sneaky!
  • But once you have received the binary, not only are they obligated to provide the source, but you can redistribute it without any obligation to them. Your only obligation is to the GPL.

    They can only control reverse engineering and distribution of their code. In other words, code which is not a derivative of any GPL software. Their calendars, address books, perhaps even their handwriting recognition can all be theirs, but the kernel and the kernel's port to the hardware is certainly GPL, ditto for gcc cross compilers, special implementations of languages etc. I won't however get into the thorny issue of binary modules. That's a whole other mess.

    This may mean that all the good stuff is legitimately protected... like how to flash your palm, handwriting recognition or the conduit sync software.

  • by cdipierr ( 4045 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @09:28AM (#76360) Homepage
    Sorry, IIIe's didn't have a flash ROM (kept costs down), so no, it won't work on a IIIe.
  • Check out the many open source PalmOS apps at http://www.palmopensource.com/ Don't forget the nifty VNC client for Palm http://www.harakan.btinternet.co.uk/PalmVNC/index. htm
  • I just grabbed a copy and unpacked it using the Windows-only unpacker (nice choice...) and got the licensing agreement window telling me I couldn't distribute any derivative works of whatever was in there. That sounds like it goes 100% against the GPL...
  • And the Agenda isn't slow?

    I have one, and in a lot of ways it's a neat toy. But using it for real work is nearly impossible, partly because of the ridiculous region-context-dependent handwriting recognition, and partly because it is slow, slow, slow.

    It's really too bad that they decided to run X on it--not that I have any hard data, but I suspect the performance would be a lot better if they'd used something like GtkFB.
  • I should add this, which makes this look like an even smaller operation than it already does:

    $ whois linuxda.com
    [whois.crsnic.net]

    Whois Server Version 1.3

    Domain names in the .com, .net, and .org domains can now be registered
    with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
    for detailed information.

    Domain Name: LINUXDA.COM
    Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, INC.
    Whois Server: whois.networksolutions.com
    Referral URL: http://www.networksolutions.com
    Name Server: ANTARES.STARCON.COM
    Name Server: STARRUNNER.STARCON.COM
    Updated Date: 17-apr-2000

    >>> Last update of whois database: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 01:56:11 EDT

    The Registry database contains ONLY .COM, .NET, .ORG, .EDU domains and
    Registrars.

    [whois.networksolutions.com]
    The Data in Network Solutions' WHOIS database is provided by Network
    Solutions for information purposes, and to assist persons in obtaining
    information about or related to a domain name registration record.
    Network Solutions does not guarantee its accuracy. By submitting a
    WHOIS query, you agree that you will use this Data only for lawful
    purposes and that, under no circumstances will you use this Data to:
    (1) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission of mass
    unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations via e-mail
    (spam); or (2) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes
    that apply to Network Solutions (or its systems). Network Solutions
    reserves the right to modify these terms at any time. By submitting
    this query, you agree to abide by this policy.

    Registrant:
    LEUNG, PAUL (LINUXDA-DOM)
    UNIT 120, 13551 VERDUN PLACE
    RICHMOND, BC V6V 1W5,
    CA

    Domain Name: LINUXDA.COM

    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Billing Contact:
    LEUNG, PAUL (PLJ76) aem_admin@AMIPO.COM
    LEUNG, PAUL
    UNIT 120, 13551 VERDUN PLACE
    RICHMOND
    BC
    V6V 1W5
    CA
    604 649 8883 (FAX) 604 278 3102

    Record last updated on 17-Apr-2000.
    Record expires on 16-Dec-2001.
    Record created on 16-Dec-1999.
    Database last updated on 18-Jul-2001 21:35:00 EDT.

    Domain servers in listed order:

    STARRUNNER.STARCON.COM 207.230.244.2
    ANTARES.STARCON.COM 208.181.131.6


    -
  • by Syberghost ( 10557 ) <syberghost&syberghost,com> on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @11:31AM (#76365) Homepage
    Learn to use the tools, children:

    $ whois empower-technologies.com
    [whois.crsnic.net]

    Whois Server Version 1.3

    Domain names in the .com, .net, and .org domains can now be registered
    with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
    for detailed information.

    Domain Name: EMPOWER-TECHNOLOGIES.COM
    Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, INC.
    Whois Server: whois.networksolutions.com
    Referral URL: http://www.networksolutions.com
    Name Server: ANTARES.STARCON.COM
    Name Server: STARRUNNER.STARCON.COM
    Updated Date: 13-feb-2001

    >>> Last update of whois database: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 02:02:47 EDT

    The Registry database contains ONLY .COM, .NET, .ORG, .EDU domains and
    Registrars.

    [whois.networksolutions.com]
    The Data in Network Solutions' WHOIS database is provided by Network
    Solutions for information purposes, and to assist persons in obtaining
    information about or related to a domain name registration record.
    Network Solutions does not guarantee its accuracy. By submitting a
    WHOIS query, you agree that you will use this Data only for lawful
    purposes and that, under no circumstances will you use this Data to:
    (1) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission of mass
    unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations via e-mail
    (spam); or (2) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes
    that apply to Network Solutions (or its systems). Network Solutions
    reserves the right to modify these terms at any time. By submitting
    this query, you agree to abide by this policy.

    Registrant:
    LINUX DA INC. (EMPOWERTECHNOLOGIES2-DOM)
    Unit 120, 13551 Verdun Place
    RICHMOND, B.C. V6V 1W5
    CA

    Domain Name: EMPOWER-TECHNOLOGIES.COM

    Administrative Contact, Billing Contact:
    LINUX DA INC. (LD2286-ORG) no.valid.email@worldnic.net
    LINUX DA INC.
    Unit 120, 13551 Verdun Place
    RICHMOND, B.C. V6V 1W5
    CA
    604 278 3100 fax: 604 278 3102
    Technical Contact:
    WorldNIC Name Host (HOST-ORG) namehost@WORLDNIC.COM
    Network Solutions, Inc.
    505 Huntmar Park Drive
    Herndon, VA 20170-5142
    1-888-642-9675

    Record last updated on 13-Feb-2001.
    Record expires on 18-Jan-2002.
    Record created on 18-Jan-2001.
    Database last updated on 18-Jul-2001 05:14:00 EDT.

    Domain servers in listed order:

    STARRUNNER.STARCON.COM 207.230.244.2
    ANTARES.STARCON.COM 208.181.131.6


    -
  • As I understand it, uClinux hasn't been all that popular on the Palm because of the memory management limitations of the DragonBall CPU's

    Look here at their FAQ:
    http://www.uclinux.org/pub/uClinux/FAQ.html#2-5 [uclinux.org]

    I can't figure out if Linux DA has the same or similiar problems though.

    Does any one have the skinny on this?

  • by DJerman ( 12424 ) <djerman@pobox.com> on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @01:55PM (#76367)
    How many times do we have to go through this. The GPL states that you don't have to give away the code unless the person already has the binary, it also stats they they don't have to be available together.

    Until you get it right, apparently :-)

    The GPL states that you must OFFER the source code with the distribution. Your offer may refer to another method of actually obtaining the source code, but the consumer must be appraised of his or her rights at the time of distribution. (term 3b)

    In addition, it must be accompanied by a copy of the GPL. (term 1 included by reference in term 3)

    Therefore if the operating system comes to you without a copy of the GPL, or without a written offer to provide the source code or notice of where the source code can be obtained, then one of the following two statements must be true:

    1) It's not Linux-based, and therefore although it may be distributed legally it's advertised fraudulently.

    2) It is Linux-based, but it's being distributed illegally, as the copy of the GPL and offer of source code is required in order to comply with the terms of the GPL, and you may not distribute a derivative work of Linux unless you distribute it according to the terms of the GPL.

  • I tried the exact same thing, got the same error and the blank screen. I also noticed that the emulator was using up all my CPU...it seems its gone into some infy-loop.

    anyone else try this?

    Ghoul
  • You can't wrap the GPL in an EULA and absolve yourself of all responsibility to the code developers. That's why Microsoft doesn't like open source, because they have no way of making it proprietary.
  • IANAL but I don't see how this is a legal breach of the GPL, a person voluntarily gives up their rights.

    You are somewhat correct. The GPL allows developers to change the license of their code if they are in 100% agreement with each other about the changes. This is not the issue at play.

    This product is using a Linux back-end, and Linux is GPL'd. When they officially release they will have to provide the Linux kernel developers with any changes they made to the GPL'd Linux kernel code. When a company makes a decision to use code produced under a certain license, they agree to abide by the terms of that license. If they do not furnish their code changes (as the GPL states they must), it can be said to be a breach of their implied agreement to the terms of the GPL.

    Short Answer: "No. They can't write a clause into their EULA to trump the GPL."

    Does that clear things up?
  • Authors (ie copyright holders) changing licencing is not "allowed" by the GPL. The GPL has no say in the matter, as copyright holders they (collectively) are not bound by the GPL, they already have full rights to do whatever they like with the code.

    This is precisly what I said.

    "The GPL allows developers to change the license of their code if they are in 100% agreement with each other about the changes."

    All this means is that a product that is licensed under the GPL can't have its license changed without the consent of everyone who has contributed code. This needs to be mentioned as the viral nature of the GPL makes changing the license on a piece of software, in practice, difficult to acheive.

    Quit being so bloody contrarian.

    The sole reason an EULA can't limit the rights granted by the GPL is that the GPL forbids it.

    If an EULA could trump the license on any piece of software, it would be the death of the industry. If you release a shareware product, I could write a new license for it, distribute it, and start making your money.
  • No it isn't, you said "The GPL allows" which would suggest to someone who doesn't know better that there is a clause in the GPL that allows authors to change their licencing. This is not the case, they have that right simply because they are the copyright holder(s).

    The GPL doesn't explicitly deny changing the license, therefore "the GPL allows..." is a perfectly correct thing to say, even if it's not 100% clear to you.

    Why don't you go eat a Vegemite [vegemite.com.au] sandwich, you daft Aussie?
  • ...your post has stirred the desire for Vegemite, perhaps I'll buy some tomorrow if I still feel this way.

    So Australians actually enjoy consuming Vegemite? The web site seems to imply that Vegemite should be appriciated more for its health benefits, as opposed to its taste or colo(u)r.

    What exactly is in [vegemite.com.au] Vegemite, anyway? It seems to be some sort of bizarre yeast-extract brown toast paste, that doesn't look at all appitizing, even in the publicity photos. Even more bothering is the fact that Vegemite is produced by Kraft, a company that we in America still trust to make edible food products, despite the fact that they're pushing cancer sticks on us, and what appears to be toxic waste in their Austrailian market.

    Hmmmmmm...

    That's it! It's cigarette tar!

    If I have seemed pedantic with you it is because I am being pedantic.

    * Shrug *

    If you're looking for something wrong with my posts, you're bound to find it. Nothing new...
  • After all, you can have VNC running on a Palm [berkeley.edu]. X couldn't be much worse...

    -B

  • by Wee ( 17189 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @08:45AM (#76375)
    There's a lack of details in that press release. Which is fine for a PR, I guess. But a couple thoughts struck me:
    • Is there any sort of compatibility layer between their OS and Palm apps? If not, why would I want to run their OS if I can't get apps for it? Are there many Linux apps for the Dragonball?
    • How does it handle syncing? If it can't hot sync, then it's all over...
    • What sort of DEMO is it? If I install their demo and it ceases to work after 30 dayss or some such, I wouldn't be too happy. If it's honesty-ware (install it, if you keep using it pay up), then I would.
    • How much is it going to cost? A $100 price point will dig their grave.
    • Does their OS come with a set of GNU utils? Gotta have things like less or the OS isn't very handy.
    • What sort of graphics/GUI/WM/whatever package does it use? If it's some form of X then I'd be happy...

    And I have a bunch more questions that a lot of other people will ask. But if anyone has any details, please share. I've been wating to dust off my old Palm (aye, there's a joke in there somewhere). If this is cheap enough and has enough functionality, I might just try it.

    -B

  • can't find info on whether this needs to be put in the firmware, or if the visor can run it out of RAM
  • I just sent Empower an email asking how they plan to handle licensing of the modifications of the GPLed Linux kernel. It will be intersting to see what the response will be.

    As long as they're not violating the kernel license I might pick this up for my Palm. As someone else pointed out the cost of the Palm + Linux DA might be cheaper then one of the Linux dedicated PDAs.
  • I just did a page on this very thing:
    http://mmdc.net/p/ssh.html

    Hope this helps -
    Jim in Tokyo



    MMDC Mobile Media [mmdc.net]
  • I see that some other posters have touched on some of these questions; namely, what sort of licensing this product will be released under. I understand that the majority of their code is probably internally developed applications and libraries but I would think you'd still have some hint of derivative works and some of those might be linked to GPL or LGPL libraries/code... it just seems a little odd, to me. I hope to hear back from them with regards to the licensing questions I've asked (via fax, phone, and email) but we'll have to see on that one.

    The biggest concern here for me is that they are positioning their firm to license out their code to embedded product designers/manufacturers- I'd personally hate to blindly license some product for a firm that is later found out to be violating IP laws, as that would most likely have some negative impact upon my company and my products. To me these people seem to smell kind of like MOSIX, at least at first blush. I hope that my first suspicions are incorrect!
  • From the Linux DA web site:

    What is Linux DA?

    Linux DA refers to the suite of Linux-based software developed by Empower Technologies Inc., an innovative company based out of Redmond, Washington.

    Well, that explains the licensing...
  • Just because they use the kernel, actually, especially in a palm device, does not mean they used *ANY* other GPL libraries....
    Unless you expect to find a 'unix-like' system on it....
    But they could easily be using the kernel in other ways.

  • by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @10:33AM (#76382)
    These guys did NOT port Linux to the palm; it's already been done. They may have put something together to make it install easier, they may have developed some-palm type apps,which would be god...

    But, given the propaganda-like marketroid speak they use, I'd say they are mainly trying to cash in looking like a linux player.

  • This is precisly what I said.
    No it isn't, you said "The GPL allows" which would suggest to someone who doesn't know better that there is a clause in the GPL that allows authors to change their licencing. This is not the case, they have that right simply because they are the copyright holder(s).
    Quit being so bloody contrarian.
    Quit giving shitty licencing advice.

    Enough people misunderstand the GPL already without yet more misinformation being spread by people such as yourself. If you are going to give licence advice you should be sure that what you say reflects exactly what the licence says, not just the general "vibe" of the licence.
  • The GPL doesn't explicitly deny changing the license, therefore "the GPL allows..." is a perfectly correct thing to say, even if it's not 100% clear to you.
    The GPL has no bearing on the copyright holders at all. It is in no position to allow or deny them the right to change the licence. What you wrote is therefore misleading and incorrect. My concern is not that you be 100% clear to me, I think I have a fairly good understanding of licensing issues for a layman and can therefore understand what you are trying to say. My concern is that people who have not invested the time to look into these issues and get a good understanding themselves may see a post such as yours and come to incorrect conclusions.

    Licencing issues are of fundamental importance to the workings of Open Source/Free Software and as such I think it is important that people be presented with correct information and that incorrect or misleading information is corrected where possible. If I have seemed pedantic with you it is because I am being pedantic. Something as important to the community as licencing deserves pedantry, not vague statements.
    Why don't you go eat a Vegemite sandwich, you daft Aussie?
    I'm neither Australian, nor daft. Having said that, your post has stirred the desire for Vegemite, perhaps I'll buy some tomorrow if I still feel this way.
  • The GPL allows developers to change the license of their code if they are in 100% agreement with each other about the changes
    Authors (ie copyright holders) changing licencing is not "allowed" by the GPL. The GPL has no say in the matter, as copyright holders they (collectively) are not bound by the GPL, they already have full rights to do whatever they like with the code.
    When they officially release they will have to provide the Linux kernel developers with any changes they made to the GPL'd Linux kernel code
    They do not have to give "the Linux kernel developers" (whatever that means) anything. The only people they have to distribute source to are the people they have distributed binaries to.

    The sole reason an EULA can't limit the rights granted by the GPL is that the GPL forbids it. If they do impose such an EULA they are either in breach of licence (the GPL) or (if they claim not to have agreed to the GPL) in breach of copyright (for distributing the software without licence to do so).
  • That "license" agreement is for the web site, not LinuxDA.
  • by Webmonger ( 24302 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @09:00AM (#76387) Homepage
    Perhaps it's the first complete distro, or something, but I highly doubt they did all this by themselves. Remember ucLinux [uclinux.org]?
  • It doesn't prevent the developer from creating their own closed source extensions and charge for that, no? Perhaps that is what they are doing and you can just download the linux kernel and there's your source from wherever you linux people download it. :)

    ---
  • A Linux set top box? There's TiVo.
  • A Linux kernel IS an OS. Maybe you meant that someone would add assorted GPL applications, much as a Linux kernel isn't of much use without bash, tar, vim, ld, init...
  • Does the GPL require allowing distribution of binaries? Ask them for a copy of the source code and see their response to that.
  • But this is the first commercial Dragonball distro whose press release was written under a full moon! That's unique!
  • Does it have graffiti? If not, it's a big step down from PalmOS and what's the point?
  • I really wonder, though, if my Palm m100 is someplace I want to run Linux. PalmOS works fine, and does the intended job. If it ain't broke....

    You can stop wondering. The m100 (and 105) don't have a flash rom, so you can't upgrade the OS on it. Palm.com's comparison chart [palm.com] of all their models shows which of their current models have a flash rom.

    "Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done".
  • A score of 2?!?!?! Come on, this is funny, and deserves at least a 4!
  • by eric2hill ( 33085 ) <ericNO@SPAMijack.net> on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @05:34PM (#76396) Homepage
    "Pretty silly to have 3MB of docs for a 983K ROM. It smacks of Windows Bloated thinking."

    Bullshit.
    The more documentation the better. I'd much rather open up an organized, searchable PDF than go searching through 5 years of newsgroup posts to find out how to change the default color of the pointer thingy. Poorly documented applications better come with very well documented code.

  • That's the funniest damn thing I've seen all day.
  • No, the kernel is (mostly) GPLed. Linus does have a somewhat more liberal interpretation of the linking issue than many others, though. As for the impact, AFAICT, LinuxDA is, in fact, in violation of the GPL, though it's a messy issue and I'm too tired to think about it clearly right now.
  • ok every body stop downloading it. Its my turn I'll let you know when you can slashdot it again :)

    Good thing I have wget :)

  • But the serial cord and the keyboard uses the same hotsync port. Sucky i know. You can only have a connected keyboarded palm III if you use IR for the network connection, which doesn't sound like much fun. Wonder if you can hack a splitter off the keyboard?
  • Inside the 4.6 MB are 3 files, the ROM @ 983K, and RTF file for the install docs @ 1.9MB and a PDF for the OS manual at 1 MB. Pretty silly to have 3MB of docs for a 983K ROM. It smacks of Windows Bloated thinking.

    I once read the following quote:

    Documentation is like sex; when it's good, it's great; and when it's bad, it's still better than nothing.

    --
    Matt Meola AFØD
    Bailey, CO
  • by British ( 51765 )
    Any chance this could run on my super-old "professional" PalmPilot? I mean, I can't seem to find any software for it since it's PalmOS 1.x(or is it 2?)
  • It doesnt' matter too much to me. I got it for free, and it once ate a set of batteries after a day(and I didn't even use it).

    Oh yeah? Well I got a DavinCi DV3! Okay, not much of an improvement, but it was 50 bucks.
  • daBears, daBulls...
  • Anyone know about compatibility with the various Handspring models?
  • by staplin ( 78853 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @09:14AM (#76409) Homepage Journal
    They list a price tag of $39.99 for the "Consumer" package, and $59.99 for the "Professional" package. Both are available for the Palm IIIx/IIIxe and Palm Vx.

    (Seems to me that this is a severely limited subset of all the Palm platforms that are out there...)

    The Consumer pacakge comes with your standard apps, ToDo, Expense, etc, and the Professional package adds their SDK.

    Of course, they have no screen shots or other means to evaluate how well the apps replace those available with PalmOS, and no details on how to install. I'd want those details before I'd commit $60, even if I did get a free t-shirt from their amazingly annoying blinking ad.
  • Perhaps they are refering to the applications software that seems to be the meat of the product. I tried finding out more about it but stopped after I saw the big honking !!!! BLINK !!! tags on the store page.
  • That "license" agreement is for the web site, not LinuxDA.

    Perhaps, but in that case it's rather misleading. Read it carefully. They write about ''software found on [this site]''.

    But yes, probably that's just a mistake and the Linux kernel will be free and GPL as usual, but all the softwares on top of it will not. Probably you can't even develop software for it without their cossstly SDK. Much use, not.

  • by magi ( 91730 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @08:44AM (#76413) Homepage Journal
    There is a free DEMO (their caps) version to download, says the release, but the final version will be payware.

    Pay...ware? Linux? Me not understand?

    The site www.linuxda.com says:

    SINGLE COPY LICENSE The materials at this Site are copyrighted and any unauthorized use or reproduction of any materials at this Site is prohibited. You may download one copy of the information or software ("Materials") found on Empower sites on a single computer for your personal, non-commercial internal use only unless specifically licensed to do otherwise by Empower Technologies Inc. in writing or as allowed by any license terms which accompany or are provided with individual Materials. This is a license, not a transfer of title, and is subject to the following restrictions: you may not (a) modify the Materials or use them for any commercial purpose or for any public display, performance, sale, or rental; (b) decompile, reverse engineer, or disassemble software Materials except and only to the extent permitted by applicable law; (c) remove any copyright or other proprietary notices from the Materials; (d) transfer the Materials to another person. You agree to prevent any unauthorized use or copying of the Materials.

    Excuse me, but I thought Linux is under the GPL license or something?

    Dada.

  • You said:

    How does it handle syncing? If it can't hot sync, then it's all over...

    This is exactly why I don't have an iPaq (well not the only reason!) and if I did I would not have flashed Linux on to it. Having apps that run on it is one thing but the whole idea behind handhelds is synching and I have seen no mention of this on ANY Linux handheld website. So far all I have seen was is it possible to run Linux on blah blah blah. What use is it if it can't synch???? Also if developing synch software, don't forget we'd like to sync with Windows too (well, gotta have a calendar running in Background sometimes when your handheld is outta juice....and your playing Windows games..;) ). Also we all can't afford wireless access, so an avantgo client would be great too. If none of this is in Pocket Linux or the Linux DA stuff, I have NO interest. Avantgo and synching a calendar are far more important then my handheld running Linux.

  • There's another adage that comes to mind. One popularised by a footwear manufacturer.
    Just do it.

    --
  • How many times do we have to go through this. The GPL states that you don't have to give away the code unless the person already has the binary, it also stats they they don't have to be available together.

    So, once you download the binary, you can send them an email saying "hey, I have the binary of your software, it's GPL, please give me the code"

    Then, if they don't give you the code, that's when they are violating the GPL.


    --

  • While the Linux part may be free, and you might be able to get the code for it from them (well, not might, you should). The stuff they wrote to get it on the Palm, plus anything they wrote that's not part of the actual kernel (i.e. not touching GPL code) doesn't have to be released to you for free.


    --

  • ...coming right after CmdrTaco's rant of the month?
  • I'm impressed, I suppose, but we have to look deeper. For instance, on their site (www.linuxda.com [linuxda.com]), under "Software [linuxda.com]", (and I have to admit, this is kind of funny), they have...

    ... a big blank page!

    So I guess people haven't come lining up in advance to code for this new platform yet.

    They say they've got a GUI and handwriting recognition and an SDK and so forth, which is nice. No talk about hotsync hardware, which I find interesting. They claim to have their demo up for downloading in 90 minutes, so fine, we can see the rest for ourselves then, but I have a few big questions...

    How much of linux is there besides (presumably) some of the kernel? libs? shells? networking?

    And, can they, and will they, do app-level compatibility with palmOS?

  • Listen to this guy. He says "If it's some form of X then I'd be happy..."

    Huh. Huhuh. Huhuhuh.

  • by jaxon6 ( 104115 )
    i imagine that this will be useful for a terminal machine. just plug one end into the serial cable, the other into the machine. with one of those ethernet adapters (palm has some, right?), you could get a little ssh/telnet client going, would be sweet. then you'd need one of those little folding keyboards, but it would work. and i hope the battery life stays up there too. this kind of thing just might make me break down and buy one.

    might

  • by SuiteSisterMary ( 123932 ) <slebrunNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @04:07PM (#76425) Journal
    Holy Budda. The Linux/Slashdot community has just become a 'great nation;' it's advanced enough to discriminate against random people based on their origin. This is one of several posts trying to insinuate (or flat out claim) that being in Redmond is somehow damning. It frightens me. The mistakes of others indeed... Why do I have a sudden image of a rainstorm, a muddy road, and a wrought iron gate. As I look up the gate, I can make out words: "Arbeit macht Frei (wieleicht Bier) Software"
  • A humorus way of saying that the site has been slashdotted. The AC is using IE for his web browser, and the default message when a page cannot be loaded gives some "helpful hints" to troubleshoot your connection.

    Very humorus indeed! :)

    -----------------
  • d00dz!!!

    imagine a Beowulf Cluster of these!
  • Linux DA is the dominant software platform for the Consumer Electronics Industry.

    Ummm What? Ive never heard of "Linux DA", how did it slip past and become *the* "dominant sw platform"?

    Lies, Damn Lies and Marketing. I hate PR speak...

  • It'll never pan out. Linux will never be mainstream enough. *cough*
  • Their website says 'except as provided in the licenses of individual components' or somesuch, so theoretically the GPL trumps their whole EULA. But to be sure, this is at least very confusing.

    Bryguy
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @09:14AM (#76444)
    Strange, on Empower Technologies' site, they list the address of their HQ office at :

    Empower Technologies Inc.
    Redmond, WA
    USA
    Tel: 425.881.0909
    Fax: 425.881.0889

    Funny, they have no street address. Furthermore, they're listed as "Empower Technologies / Rdm" on the yellow pages.

    The only reason I can think of for them not wanting to state their address is because they're ashamed of it, or because they strategically want to hide it. And the only address I'd be ashamed of or I'd want to hide strategically in Redmond is "1, Microsoft Way".

    I wonder if ... no, it cannot be ! Maybe Empower Technologies is an offshot from Microsoft trying to take the palm market over using ... LINUX ! ARRGH SOMEBODY STOP THEM !!!

  • yeah, I know. but usually, people who plan to give out the source wouldn't want to have a bunch of emails to deal with, so they post it. And these people aren't. And there's no way everything GPL just compiled without changes and they only added external non-GPL stuff to it. So I find it slightly surprising that there's not even a mention. You'll notice my original post didn't accuse them of GPL violation -- it just expressed a large amount of incredulity for any plans of theirs to stay within the GPL. I could be wrong and all. In fact, I'd like to be. forgive me if I have a large dose of cynicism toward companies I haven't heard of before.
  • by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @08:38AM (#76446)
    OK, it's Linux, right? which means GPL. SO, where are GPL info? not on the site. There's not a copy of the GPL, not a mention of it, and they provide an email address for licensing info (sales@linuxda.com [mailto]). Legal info is here [linuxda.com], and does not suggest GPL at all. Of course, the software won't be availble for 1 1/2 hours as of this writing, so it might change, but I have to wonder what's going on. I think that if (when?) binary-only copies appear I'll send an email. Anyone care to correct any of this?
  • It'll never pan out. Linux will never be mainstream enough. *cough*

    I realize you're trying to be funny, but the "Linux will never be mainstream" claim is referring to Linux on the DESKTOP, not a PDA, where the OS is basically irrelevant.

  • by DVega ( 211997 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @12:15PM (#76448)
    What can Linux do on a Palm device that PalmOS already does admirably well?

    Multitasking [uclinux.org]

    Also multihreading [uclinux.org]

    ---

  • Has anyone gotten this to work in the emulator? All i get is an debug message about an application wrighting to 0xFFFFFA36 and a blank screen.
  • If YOU accept their EULA then YOU are bound by it no matter that THEY are violating the GPL.

    StoneWolf

  • Wouldn't it be a riot if they did this without considering the license, and always just assumed that they would be able to sell tons of copies? We'd have the egg-on-his-face CEO, the conniving developers who didn't bother to mention the GPL while they ported and hacked, and the shamed-out-of-work designers. "We didn't know!" they'd say.

    They'd be the new poster child for the Microsoft anti-GPL FUD campaign.
  • I doubt it will work on the HandSpring, the OS is burnt onto ROM. from what I gathred, it can be patched with software, but not completely upgraded, the same (you'd think) would hold true if one wanted to replace the palm OS with linux:
    here [palminfocenter.com], and here [epinions.com].

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong about this, I've got a visor I'd love to try it out on.

    (1) Technical sounding language,
    (2) Credibility by association, and

  • UNIX is about 30 years old and ran on machines much slower than a Palm. There is, in fact, lots of software that runs on such systems. Furthermore, who says that a Palm running Linux would be used as a PDA? It's a great little embedded system at a reasonable price. The only problem with it for such applications is PalmOS.

    The above reply is so wrong on so many fronts:

    1. What sane person would want to run decades-old text-based applications on something with no keyboard and a 3" screen? If you have to play Zork on it, it's been ported to the PalmOS already.

    2. Linux bears ittle resemblence to the Unix of 30 years ago, which was written in DEC PDP-7 assembly language, had no pipes, and no support for networking, among many other basic differences.

    3. I've been doing embedded system development since 1980 and the Palm is *not* an embedded system. It may be something that some hobbyist could duct tape to some homemade robot, but that does not make it into an embedded system.

    4. There is no problem with the PalmOS and it is perfectly suited to the device. If you doubt me, explain the plethora of small, efficient, graphical apps that are readily available for it.

    This is just another look-what-we-ported-Linux-to project. It does not serve a useful purpose. There is no glaring deficiency in PalmOS or the apps available for it. Now tell me what you need it to do that it cannot.

  • Now tell me what you need it to do that it cannot.

    make me seem like a '1337 h4x0r!

    Good reply and a great one-line summary of the real reason that many people are hyped about this.

  • by fmaxwell ( 249001 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @08:45AM (#76463) Homepage Journal
    Imagine having the raw horsepower and storage of a Palm combined with the user friendliness of Linux! Let's not forget about the wealth of Linux applications that have been optimized for a Dragonball CPU, a 160x160 grey-scale LCD display, and no keyboard.

    Who cares if you can't use standard Palm apps and lose all of the functionality of the Palm as a handheld organizer? It's all worth it when you can enter ls -l with the stylus and watch cryptically named files scroll past (in a smeary, LCD kind of way).

  • Multitasking can be very useful once you fit more than one application on the screen. This is not generally done on the Palm or even on the Agenda VR3. However, I've been working with a different GUI that encourages multitasking. Take a look at these pictures (this is a work in progress, so these don't represent how it'll look when finished):

    Pic1 [att.net]
    Pic2 [att.net]

    You might say that it's not worthwhile running multiple applications at once due to the small screen. I agree that it isn't practical to run two full applications at once. But how about a spellchecker/dictionary that has a small UI running at the same time as your typical Notes application. Or a search box that looks up names and email addresses for you.

    -Sean

  • It says "Linux-like" and "Linux compatible", and it has a penguin on the top of the page. My guess is it is not Linux, and they are trying to pawn off their proprietary clone onto the people who like Linux.
  • Damn. That sucks.

    Before I read your reply I tried downloading... their server is seeing a bit of /. effect I guess cuz it could only cough up about 1.8k/sec...

    ___
  • by kilgore_47 ( 262118 ) <kilgore_47@yahoNETBSDo.com minus bsd> on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @09:00AM (#76472) Homepage Journal
    The demo can be downloaded in exactly 1 hour from right now right here [linuxda.com].

    Does anyone know if Palm IIIx compatibility means Palm IIIe compatibility? Because if it doesn't, my interest level is dropping fast.

    (proud Palm IIIe owner ;-)

    ___
  • by codebunny ( 310383 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @08:37AM (#76475)
    see:
    http://www.linuxda.com/legal.html

    hmmm, they don't sound the most open source of people. Presumably they'll have to release the kernel part under GPL but I dare say all the other stuff (address box, calender etc) were developed in house and so they can license them any damn way they like - much like Tivo in fact.
  • And I am very excited about this news. I got my palm for $160, and most Linux handhelds are a little more expensive then that :)

    This means I can install Linux without changing hardware. I wonder if the Linux OS for Palm comes with dual boot for the current Palm OS. A dual boot handheld....that would be awesome!
  • What can Linux do on a Palm device that PalmOS already does admirably well?
  • errr..rather, What can Linux do on a Palm device that PalmOS DOESN'T already do admirably well. There, much better.
  • If you go to the linux store you see that they are chargeing 59.99 for it... and it comes with sync software.http://www.linuxda.com/store/index.html
  • I already have SSH and telnet client apps under PalmOS. I can use a serial cable to terminal in or I can use IR and a cell phone to get internet access.

  • by cr133d0g ( 466555 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2001 @08:38AM (#76506)
    Now I'll be able to hook my Palm up to my HP 3300C scanner....oh, wait a sec.....
  • I just finished downloading and installing the image into my TRG Palm III. Of course, since the TRG units have a different offset to load the kernel, the image would not work.

    I called linuxda customer support, and was connected to a gentleman called Michael. He was very pleasant, and I explained that I needed the source code (as required by GPL) to correct the issue and make the image work for me.

    Verbatim :

    Michael : "We have the image available for download. The source code is not going to be available."

    Martin : "I am aware that your own programs are not under the GPL, however are you aware that you must release the source to the kernel and changes you have made to it, as well as the source code to any other GPL programs that may be in the image?"

    Michael : "Yes, we are aware of it. We will make the source code for that available in a few weeks."

    Martin : "Are you aware that this is something of great concern to both the linux and open source community?"

    Michael : "We are aware. We want people to download [ the image ] first."

    Martin : "Allright. Let me give you my email address, I would like to be notified as soon as the source for the GPL code becomes available."

    Michael : "Yes, I will do that. Please send email to support@linuxda.com"

    -----

    In my opinion, the people in charge at Linux DA may not have realized how strong community backlash is when source code is not released. It would probably go very well for us if we sent a POLITE email to support@linuxda.com requesting that the source code for GPL code used be made available as soon as possible.

    A possible form letter to use :

    To Whom it May Concern,

    I am a user/developer of open software. It concerns me greatly that your company has released a binary-only image of GPL'ed (Gnu Public Licence) software. Releasing and distributing GPL'ed software without simultanious release of the source code is in violation of the GPL licence.

    I respectfully urge you to release and make available for general download the source code to any GPL code and modifications/patches your company has made to the code as soon as possible. As a user and/or developer of open source software, it is important to both myself and the community at large that the terms of the GPL be adhered to both in the sentiment, and letter of the law.

    Sincerely,
    (insert your name)/(email address)

If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.

Working...