Palmtop NetBSD
Subject:   The Jxx is an awesome machine!
Date:   2003-06-08 20:16:56
From:   anonymous2
For those looking for a Unix machine that fits in their pocket, I definately reccomend checking out a machine from the Jornada 7xx line- the 710, the 720 or the 728. The 710 is the same as the 720, but without the built-in 56k modem; the 720 has 64MB instead of the 720's 32 MB of RAM.

Unlike the Zaurus SL-5x00 or even the SL-C7x0, the Jornada 7xx has a truly great keyboard- something you can touchtype on. I do so almost as fast as I do on any notebook or desktop keyboard. Most of this, I imagine, is in mechanics of the keyboard- the Zaurii have keyboards with mechanisms which are not designed for long stretches of typing; the J7xx's keyboard uses the same kind of mechanism as most laptops.

I personally use Windows CE instead of NetBSD on my J720. You can also get Linux, although that isn't as mature as NetBSD. I've hesitated trying out either NetBSD or Linux because a) last time I checked there was no power management for either of them; and b) I can do all the Unix stuff I want directly in Windows CE, without having to hop on to the bleeding edge. On my J720, I use or have used: Perl/Tk, Squeak Smalltalk, LaTeX (with a nice front end- something you can't get even for the Zaurii!), Python, Ruby, XFree86, IRC, SSH, FTP, FTPD, VNC, REBOL, Apache, Telnet... I can play MP3s and OGGs off of the nice big (and cheap at $70) 2 GB PCMCIA hard drive. Coupled with that kind of storage, zealous Unix enthusiasts could find a really badass machine in the Jornada. :)

A lot of these cool Unix ports can be found at Rainer's site:

revaaron {at} hotmail {dot} com