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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 03-19-2007, 07:23 AM   #1
vees
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whatever happened to the Sharp Zaurus SL-5600 PDA?


Hi,

I have finally decided to invest into a PDA and after some thinking I think I want to get the Sharp Zaurus SL-5600 and install OpenZaurus on it. But I do not see the Sharp Zaurus SL-5600 PDA on Sharp's website, nor do I see it on Amazon. Has this PDA been discontinued?

There are places which sell it used, but my concern is that the batteries sold on old units will be worn out. This is even a risk with new batteries which might have never been used, but which have been produced many years ago.

Can anyone please point me to a good place to purchase one of these PDA?

Thanks,

VS
 
Old 03-19-2007, 08:45 AM   #2
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EBay is the only place you'll find them, and they are still great. Don't worry about the batteries, they are easily replaced (and available). However, you might want to consider an Nokia N800 instead.
 
Old 03-19-2007, 08:46 AM   #3
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Last I read about the Zaurus 5600 was that it was discontinued in the United States and most other countries. I believe that they are still available in Japan along with a handful of newer models there as well.

I've read that there are some wholesalers that you can still purchase them from here in the States, but only if you are willing to purchase them in large quantities (such as would outfit an entire company).

Supposedly, sales of the unit were virtually non-existent in the United States because at the time of their original release, not many people were interested in a PDA that ran a Linux OS for that amount of money.

Unfortunately, if you are set on having one, you're probably going to have to go to Ebay or a Re-man dealer.
 
Old 03-19-2007, 09:58 AM   #4
vees
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macemoneta
EBay is the only place you'll find them, and they are still great. Don't worry about the batteries, they are easily replaced (and available). However, you might want to consider an Nokia N800 instead.
thanks for pointing me to your excellent review of the Nokia N800. This looks very, very interesting indeed. But I wonder if I would not get a better deal (financially speaking in terms of quality/price, bang for the buck) with the N700.

What do you think?
 
Old 03-19-2007, 10:00 AM   #5
vees
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linville79
Last I read about the Zaurus 5600 was that it was discontinued in the United States and most other countries. I believe that they are still available in Japan along with a handful of newer models there as well.

I've read that there are some wholesalers that you can still purchase them from here in the States, but only if you are willing to purchase them in large quantities (such as would outfit an entire company).

Supposedly, sales of the unit were virtually non-existent in the United States because at the time of their original release, not many people were interested in a PDA that ran a Linux OS for that amount of money.

Unfortunately, if you are set on having one, you're probably going to have to go to Ebay or a Re-man dealer.
no way I will touch ebay - I had some bad experience with them. I will see the kind of price I can get around though. Thanks!
 
Old 03-19-2007, 10:13 AM   #6
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The Nokia 770 is available (from a reputable dealer, like Buy.com) for $274, while the Nokia N800 is $363. You'll have to decide if the additional functionality (dual SD expansion, FM radio) is worth the difference to you. Nokia has indicated that they won't be adding new features to the 770.

Last edited by macemoneta; 03-19-2007 at 10:15 AM.
 
Old 03-19-2007, 03:33 PM   #7
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can you tell me whether the N800's Maemo OS supports APT and has an applications repository in /etc/apt/sources.list like Debian does.

I just don't understand why there is a compatibility issue between the N770 and N800 if they are both Debian based.
 
Old 03-19-2007, 04:25 PM   #8
macemoneta
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Yes, apt and /etc/apt/sources.list are used. I haven't found any documentation that specifically outlines the issues, but from what I understand, about 20% of the software is binary only (proprietary device drivers, same issue as the Zaurus). As a result, only Nokia can port that portion of the code.
 
Old 03-19-2007, 05:09 PM   #9
vees
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do you know whether it is possible to drop that proprietary stuff and/or change the entire OS on this device?
 
Old 03-19-2007, 05:19 PM   #10
macemoneta
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Realistically it's not. Just as with the Zaurus, removing the proprietary drivers removes required functionality. Usually in these devices, the proprietary drivers provide wireless (802.11b/g, Bluetooth), Secure Digital (the only available storage) and sometimes even the display driver.

I'm not aware of any Linux handheld device that is 100% open source, unfortunately.
 
Old 03-19-2007, 07:55 PM   #11
vees
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Thanks a lot for the info. I will try to get the Nokia N800 as it looks to be way better than the iPAQs or Plams, and as the price difference between a new N800 and a second-hand Zaurus SL-5600 does not justify going for the older Zaurus (not to mention that the batteries issues is also a concern). Too bad that there are not new SL-5600 still available on the internet for a really cheaper price (something in the 150 bucks range). Contrast this with, for example the price here: http://www.novatechgadgets.com/shzasllipda.html. 399.99 for a REFURBISHED unit (check the small print at the bottom of the page). They're nuts!

Its just weird that Sharp decided that it would be cheaper to completely stop the production of a unit which seemed to have an active community of supporters, but then, this is also what happened to the Apple Newton (not that I like anything Apple ever did - but there are others who sure like it a lot). There is even an Newton community still out there but Apple just ignores them. Also - I just can't imagine that Sharp sold its entire worldwide stock of SL-5600s but I cheked amazon.com amazon.co.uk amazon.fr amazon.de and even amazon.jp and nobody sells this any more.

weird world out there...

also, it is weird that nobody would try to put out a 100% free PDA as that would dramatically decrease the costs per unit not only due to some licensing issues, but because a manufacturer could basically not even have to bother with software or support issues. Just install a basic desktop and a synaptic-like application downloader and that's it. I wonder how much cheaper a 100% free PDA would be?

Again - thanks for all the info,

VS

Last edited by vees; 03-20-2007 at 08:22 AM.
 
  


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