On Tue, Jun 15, 1999 at 01:29:38PM +0100, Jon Kelly mentioned:
> Noone complained when they decided to use linux on that car mp3 player, did
> they? To say that linux is ONLY for the things you listed would mean that I,
> and a lot of other linux users, should STOP using Linux.
That was not the point I was trying to make. Paul was wondering were there
any handhelds that could run Linux. He has correctly come to the conclusion
that there aren't. For good reason. The things people use handhelds for,
and the things they do with computers running Linux are very, very
different. So the hardware and operating systems for that hardware are
The pilot doesn't have a mouse or a keyboard. The pen could be used to
emulate a mouse/keyboard (stuff like PalmTelnet does this) but that's
limiting in that regard. The PalmOS was written with specific tasks in
mind, and I think there are many things that it can do that Linux can't,
which is why I decided to buy that, rather than an old laptop with Linux on
it, for lugging around.
Linux has many many features that handhelds don't need - the pilot doesn't
have memory protection for instance. My pilot crashes about once a week,
when an app decides to do something funny, and trash the OS. I don't mind,
because there is no concept of loading an application, nor a filesystem, so
all the stuff I'd typed in before the crash is still there.
> Okay, so linux on a handheld wouldn't be a *workstation*, handhelds were
> never designed for this. Mind you, linux wasnt initially designed for what
> it's being used for now. Reading the AST vs Linus debate in the back of
> "Open Sources", it showed me linux before I discovered it, linux as a
> *hobby*. Linux started off seeing if they COULD put a UNIX system onto a
> home computer. I guess if they put Linux onto a handheld, it'll be be just
> to show that linux can be put onto a handheld. I guess the first thing to
> come along would be "Can we?" THEN the "What now?"
Not a bad idea. But think about it. The Pilot doesn't have a use for
something like "printf", never mind how alien the concept of a tty would be
to a handheld, so it's not as if you could port your applications to it. X
was designed with 1152x882 resolution screens. X on a 180x180 monchrome
screen would be truely horrid. I think it's cute, and it's probably
interesting that people have managed to get a linux kernel initalising on
a Pilot, but it's hardly useful.
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