Sunday, March 16, 2003

Gadget Time

Zaurus PDA
My Palm V has finally become unusable - the internal rechargable battery seems to have a life of less than a day, so I've been hunting for a replacement. After a lot of research I've ended up getting a Sharp Zaurus 5500 along with a Socket low power CF card.

I spent a long time lusting after the Sony/Ericsson P800 but the lack of any 802.11b card or flat rate affordable GPRS bundles in the uk finally put me off. Sharp are releasing an improved version of the Zaurus (5600) in the Asian and US market at the end of March so I decided to pick up the current version at a bargin price.

My first impressions have been very good. Getting the wireless card working was trivial, and the supplied version of Opera is fine for casual browsing. I've found the ability to drop down to the linux shell to use familiar tools like ifconfig useful for getting home/office connectivity sorted out very helpful.

The built in software seems OK, maybe a little less intuative than the palm. However the inclusion of Personal Java gives me a development platform where I can "scratch any itch" with any missing functionality. I've already had some success getting the MIDP application Punch up and running for project time management. I'll write up how I created a deployable package to do this at a later date.