[SATLUG] Re: mobile devices with linux

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Sun Jul 27 01:57:46 CDT 2008

On 7/26/08, K. Reginald Buckner wrote:

>  I know about 10 years ago palm and HP came out with the Palm Pilot and the
>  HP Ipaq. In the last few years what has happened with Linux in the Pocket
>  PC/Internet Tablet market?

The last of that generation was the HP hx4700.  I own three of them, 
two of which are still in kernel developer hands, and one is rattling 
around here somewhere.

>  Is this were Windows Mobile Rule and there is no Linux or MAC OS X there?

In terms of what it actually out there in the field today, I'd say 
the leading implementations are the Nokia 770 (and other members of 
that family), and the Neo 1973 running OpenMoko.  Both products can 
be bought today.  Heck, there are people working on porting OpenMoko 
to the hx4700, even.

In terms of what is coming, there's a lot of phone vendor support for 
LiMo, because that's a nice bag-o-technology that the vendors can use 
any way they want to build anything they want, and to "service" their 
carrier customers and provide all the 
lock-em-down-and-keep-em-barefooot-and-pregnant-in-the-kitchen type 
of features that carriers are so desperate for.

OTOH, there's Google Android which is getting huge amounts of press 
attention, and by virtue of sticking closer to the "Free as in 
Freedom" concept, seems to be something that would be much more 
interesting to people who would actually want to use their phones and 
have their phones be portable across carriers, as opposed to those 
who would be happy to take whatever semi-digested pabulum the 
carriers might want to force-feed them.

>  Do you want a mobile linux solution?

Oddly enough, I do.  The iPhone gives us a very clear sense of the 
potential in the market, but Apple keeps hobbling it with their NDAs 
and by actively making the product incompatible with GPL software. 
The hacker community keeps re-opening the iPhone, much to Apple's 
dismay, and gives some of us a good sense of what the iPhone could be 
like if Apple really wanted it to succeed.

So, I strongly support a real challenger that is truly open.  Either 
it will win and bury the iPhone, or they'll force Apple to open up 
the iPhone in which case everyone will win since the iPhone will come 
closer to achieving it's true potential and those who are 
ideologically opposed to using an Apple product regardless of what it 
is will still have a viable alternative.

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>

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