When I bricked my Zaurus C700 my only consolations were that I owned an older SL-5500 model and that I would be visiting Japan later in the year. The SL-5500 is okay for typing up basic documents, but for coding I really miss the larger screen real estate and keyboard. Both models lacked speed and memory and copy folders from my work to the PDA was only really possible when dealing with a Unix machine that could handle ssh. Unfortunately, I had to work with Windows PC’s as well.
I have so much work to do at the moment that I would like to make use of my train travelling time and even doing some coding in bed. I want something that can hook up to a Windows machine, yet also runs a Unix/Linux OS for development purposes. It should also be highly portable.
Initially I thought of a Apple 12" iBook, but was not impressed when I played around with it. All the cheap notebooks seem to have miserable battery life and are large in size.
Then I took a look at the latest Zaurus handhelds – the C1000 and C3x00 models. They seem close to perfect! Much the same size as my dead C700, they are faster and have more memory. They run Linux, so I should be able to run Apache+PHP and MySQL for development purposes (on the older models this barely left enough memory over for other activities). The C3x00 include inbuilt 4 Gig hard drives, useful for storing music or photos while travelling, as well as more software.
Most useful of all may be the ability of the Zaurii to act as both a USB host and slave. The latter means that it will appear as an extra drive and I can just drag and drop file and directories across – very useful for copying my work across at the start or end of a day. The USB host facility enables peripherals including keyboards, external hard and CD drives and USB ethernet to be connected to the Zaurus. The only thing missing is the ability to connect the Zaurus to an external monitor.
I now want the Zaurus before I leave for overseas, as I believe that it will prove very useful for keeping in touch with the rest of the world, as well as handling photos from the digital camera. The built in Japanese/English translater could also prove useful in that country.
I’ve listed some online Zaurus resources below that I think may be useful for purchasing and setting up the Zaurus.
Buying a Zaurus
- C3000 user’s experience and resources (Australian!)
- Zaurus FAQ