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MS3FGX 06-07-2004 08:11 PM

Opinions on the Sharp Zaurus SL-5500
I am thinking of getting a Sharp Zaurus SL-5500. Does anybody have this PDA, and would you recommend it or not?

I really want it for AIM, IRC, network testing (ping, tracert, ettercap if that is possible, etc), mount SMB shares to play music and maybe movies from, and being able to log into machines with SSH. I am aware I will need to buy an additional NIC Compact Flash card for this.

Since I want to do AIM, IRC, and SSH, the QWERTY keyboard is a big plus.

Would any Zaurus owners suggest this PDA for what I want to do with it?

Oh, and keep in mind that the SL-5500 is going for around $200 on eBay, so the price is certainly right.

rootboy 06-09-2004 01:11 AM

As a recent ex-5500 owner (donated to my bartender), I would strongly recommend that you go for at least the 5600. The 5500 is slower and has several annoyances that the 5600 got rid of.

Have you checked out the clamshells? (I have the 860).

And have you been by ?


MS3FGX 06-09-2004 03:38 PM

What kind of annoyances are we talking about? They would have to be pretty annoying to justify double the price.

I'm not personally concerned with the speed. As it is, the 5500 is a good deal faster than my current laptop, which I use now to do what I want to do with the Zaurus.

rootboy 06-11-2004 09:10 PM


Originally posted by MS3FGX
What kind of annoyances are we talking about? They would have to be pretty annoying to justify double the price.
The big one is that you lose your settings when you lose power. Obviously resyncing with your desktop will make everything better (as will re-entering by hand), but it's, well, annoying :)

But that's not to say that you wouldn't enjoy a 5500. It's durable as all heck. I dropped mine the first day that I owned it, which knocked the screen off center (and it's still off-center to this day), but it never missed a lick. And there is (at the moment at least) far more software for the 55/5600 than there is for anything else.

But I still think that I would go for the 5600.


MS3FGX 06-13-2004 07:33 PM

The big one is that you lose your settings when you lose power. Obviously resyncing with your desktop will make everything better (as will re-entering by hand), but it's, well, annoying

Yes, that certainly would suck...

I was under the impression that there was a battery backup for your data when the main batteries died? Does this not work? Or does it simply not give you enough time to get back an recharge the main batteries?

I remember my old Palm Pilot could only retain data for 20 minutes after the main batteries died, and it was always a stressful situation when I had to run around finding batteries before 20 minutes was up.

acidraven 06-17-2004 08:38 PM

the settings Problem can be fixed by Changeing from the Sharp ROM to Open Zaurus I personly haven't played with it yet (Mine in in the process of being shiped Will be here Wed next week I can't wait) But OpenZaurus has made the FlashRom R/W and saves it's settings there insted of the RAM. There is a New Sharp rom out and I don't know if it changes anything but from what I can see it's basicly the 5600 rom ported to the 5500 (the few minnor changes that would need to be done between the two) I got a Wireless NIC becuse I have a wireless router that I picked up (was cheaper than the wired one after rebates) worst case for a few programs is SSH to your linux Destop and Run the programs in Console mode. But many programs have been ported to Zaurus I use Centericq a console program on my desktop but thats becuse I am always SSHing Home from friends computers anyways. But from what I have read the Zaurus is a decent PDA. I like the fact that you Have booth CF and SD slots (But it can only use SD Memory cards)

350 Mhz Slackware 9.1 (Not Completly Curent yet so not 10rc1) running Dropline
Sharp Zaurus 5500 On the way with 802.11b CF card 128 CF, and Planing on getting 256mb SD when I get the money.

Brain Drop 06-20-2004 11:40 AM

I really like my zaurus, it goes everywhere with me. Sometimes I can't find it and get scared.

I recomend the openzaurus, very versatile. I have my /opt and /usr partitions on a 256 sd card so all of my onboard memory is used as ram. This makes for a very nice setup and does away with all the symlinks you normally get when installing software. I use mine alot for writing/compiling my java assignments for school. Vim works great with syntax color and code indenting. Kopi compilier works nice with jeode for compiling. This is while I'm laying in bed listening to mp3's stored on my desktop. Does a nice job with movies as well once you get them to the right size/sound (ogg works best)
Also makes for an easy way to play mp3's in your car if you get one of them little fm transmitters that you plug into the headphone jack.

MS3FGX 06-20-2004 10:29 PM

Well, it sounds like a good deal, despite the battery life.

And it seems OpenZaurus fixes some of the problems rootboy mentioned.

But what are the downsides of installing OpenZaurus? Nothing is perfect after all...

Brain Drop 06-20-2004 11:06 PM

Occasionally a package wont work with it (rare though) and batt meter needs a patched kernel to work proper(may even be fixed already, i dont know)

cant think of anything else, lots of benefits thought, more configurable, turn off documents tab to speed up turn on, other things. check out for some depth of info.

rootboy 07-01-2004 09:54 PM

Huh, I didn't know OZ would do that.

When I had my 5500 OZ was the only way to go :)


gregj_be 07-20-2004 08:43 AM


Since December 2003 I proudly own a Zaurus 5500. It's really great. The downsides? You have to tweak and fiddle around with OZ (forget the Sharp rom). I first installed OZ 3.2 but then installed 3.3.5 (I can't really remember why). That was a bad move. Suspend takes ages and the sound server is dead. Recently I upgraded to 3.3.6-Pre1. It is much better than 3.3.5, but you have to have the compat libraries. Now it works perfect. Opera, Hancom Word, etc. So I either stick to OZ 3.2 or go directly for 3.3.6-Pre1.
The OZ site has a very useful faq section. Study it in detail! Read also:
I also moved all my /opt /home and /usr directories and the subdirectories of /root to the sd card as it is described in the user guide.
There are loads of applications ported to the Zaurus. VNC, smb, java... you name it!
Good luck!


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