Comments on: An open letter to the Linux community from PalmSource

The following is a verbatim copy of a open letter to the Linux community issued by PalmSource. Read on for more information about the new acquisition and FAQs about how PalmSource will use the new resources and the new Palm OS Cobalt version of Linux. This letter also explains some of the more technical details about how the mobile version of Palm OS Linux will work.
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palmOS and Linux

drw @ 12/9/2004 2:03:23 AM #
More posturing, reshuffling. Instead of buying BeOS long time ago, perhaps they should have bought a linux distro.

Walk into any electronics store. The space formerly occupied by PDA's now displays handheld music players (ipods), media players, and portable dvd players. I see no reason why all this capability couldn't be built into something the size of a tungsten c.

If Dell comes out with an x50 with a built in thumbpad, I'll port myself over to the ppc camp. Getting bored with both palms(ONE/OS). (and no, I'm not a troll)


RE: palmOS and Linux
mikecane @ 12/9/2004 8:41:01 AM #
What do you mean, "thumbpad." Do you mean that pad the hp hx has? What advantages is there to that? Have you tried it? I found it very difficult to master and, franly -- for me, at least -- just not worth the effort.

RE: palmOS and Linux
LiveFaith @ 12/9/2004 10:17:24 AM #
That HP is so long that it needs a luggage extension handle and little wheels on the bottom of it.

Pat Horne;
RE: palmOS and Linux
mikecane @ 12/9/2004 10:27:50 AM #
Oh stop. It's the boxiness that does it in:

Toshiba GENIO e550g: 4.9" x 3.0" x 0.62" - 6 oz

hx: 5.17" x 3.03" x 0.59" - 6.6 oz

The GENIO was a gorgeous machine. The hx is not much larger than it was, but all those hard angles make it look huge.

Hear it straight from the a$$es mouth

The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/9/2004 3:40:05 AM #
Nagel's press conference -

Nagel's PalmSource, Inc. Investor Relations Conference -

For all those who love ATM action...

Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

RE: Hear it straight from the a$$es mouth
Strider_mt2k @ 12/9/2004 5:58:30 AM #
Did this guy run over your dog or something?

Either you have serious reason to hate this man, or you're gonna have his baby, one or the other.

You, my friend, are obsessed.

Okay, we get it. He's an evil man who must be stopped.

I'm highly entertained by this stuff and even I'm getting tired of it.

RE: Hear it straight from the a$$es mouth
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/9/2004 4:02:28 PM #
Take care, Sweetie.

Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

love it.

rmiller5 @ 12/9/2004 4:48:05 AM #
I was a heavy palm user and minor developer until I bought a Zaurus about 18 months ago -- because I do prefer Linux overall. The Z hasn't had the stability, maturity or speed that I need, and now I'm looking forward to having both worlds at once.


RE: love it.
peterg22 @ 12/9/2004 7:49:56 AM #
I'm wondering.. if the Palm OS is just going to be a software layer does that imply that it'll be possible to remove it and just run the PDA as a native Linux "box" ? Hmmmm..

If you can't do it mobile, it's not real computing !
RE: love it.
mikecane @ 12/9/2004 8:43:58 AM #
>>>If you can't do it mobile, it's not real computing !

Damn, that's a brilliant line. Thank you.

RE: love it.
tompi @ 12/9/2004 12:37:39 PM #
I think the responses to the following two questions answer that pretty much in the affirmative: Palm sits on Linux in a Linux-compliant way, and you even can call Linux APIs from Palm software.

Given the power of modern devices, there seems little reason to remove it; you can probably switch to full-screen Linux applications and/or run X11, Gnome, or QtE run along-side Palm if you like. Personally, I think Palm's applications are the best of the bunch right now and their data formats are well-documented, so why not actually use them?

Q. Will you enable developers to port or write "native" Linux applications that run under Palm OS for Linux?
A. Yes. Given the open source nature of Linux, developers will be able to write applications directly to the Linux core. There are many development tools for the Linux community that will address the needs of this audience very well.

Q. Will Palm OS as implemented for Linux be able to run on a variety of Linux distributions (i.e.: standard versions of Linux distributed by other companies)?
A. We plan to make our software layer compliant with the Linux standards, so it should be portable to a range of Linux distributions, as long as they are configured for use on mobile devices.

Here a headline:

rsc1000 @ 12/9/2004 10:45:01 AM #
Q. Will this delay delivery of devices running Palm OSŪ Cobalt?
A. No. Palm OS Cobalt version 6.1 is already finished, and the software is in the hands of licensees. Samsung has announced they are creating products based on Palm OS Cobalt 6.1, and other licensees are working on Palm OS Cobalt-based products as well. We expect shipment in 2005.

So Samsung is developing a Cobolt device. In a wierd twist - they will actually be ahead of the pack (instead of making palm os phones with 1-2 yr old versions of the os). Maybe they will step up to the plate and become the next Sony for the palm os platform - except in the much more lucrative smartphone market. Has PIC mentioned this Samsung announcement? or is this new?

RE: Here a headline:
mikecane @ 12/9/2004 11:15:34 AM #
It's new. I noticed it too. But what has Samsung actually put out with past POS? Eh?

RE: Here a headline:
alexp @ 12/9/2004 11:26:54 AM #
Sprint is still offering the now-way-overpriced Samsung i500 smartphone, running Palm OS 4 on a 66mhz Dragonball processor.

I believe the i500 was released around the same time that POS 5 devices were hitting the market, perhaps even after. I don't have any specific timelines, but I remember that was one reason I opted for another Palm device instead of this Samsung phone.

It is a good move.

RhinoSteve @ 12/9/2004 1:46:21 PM #
I like this concept. If they do this right, all of the "does this device work with Palm OS?" issues now becomes a Linux device driver issue. Third party device driver support has been a weak spot for the Palm OS since they moved away from 68K and not allowing easy OS patches.

Thus, you can now take the UI and kernal of the Palm OS, throw it in as a handful of Linux threads and do whatever the heck you want with device driver work. This can really open up the OS for many exotic and vertical hardware devices. In fact, "X&V" has been about the only place that PPC OS has done well since you can get oddball hardware easily working into PPC.
RE: It is a good move.
atrizzah @ 12/13/2004 2:37:06 PM #
Excellent point

Peace Out

Samsung VAPORPHONE running Cobalt planned!

The_Voice_of_Reason @ 12/9/2004 4:09:58 PM #
Samsung will show prototypes in 2005 and then cancel the phone in 2006, right after showing prototypes of a PamOS 7 phone. See a pattern?

Ask yourself: When was the last Samsung PalmOS smartphone released? Right now Sprint is STILL selling an ancient Samsung phone with 66 MHz Dragonball processor, 16 MB RAM and NO expansion slot. For just $600. In the meantime, we've seen 2 or 3 Samsung prototypes that never materialized.

A promise of a Samsung phone means absolutely nothing.

Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

RE: Samsung VAPORPHONE running Cobalt planned!
Sleuth255 @ 12/10/2004 9:04:52 AM #
POS Cobalt is actually a better fit for converged phone devices because of its enhanced security. That's why the first Cobalt device will be a converged phone/pda and why we may never see (want) Cobalt on a regular PDA.

People won't be able to remove operator branding on Cobalt equipped phones you see....

yeah, i'm with drw

echodots @ 12/9/2004 9:09:29 PM #
Yeah, I agree with drw, total posture. It's not like we're going to get any interesting IP from palmOS, just code that the OSC already has. Personally, I'm a Sharp Zaurus tester and Blackberry user (I know, a wild mix; the blackberry is for work (and a POS if you ask me)) so I wouldn't mind seeing some property given to the community to help broaden it's (open source) functionality and userability (not that I'm saying it's completely subpar at this moment... I'm just saying).

Another side point. Isn't it funny that just when the chinese government is cracking down on US companies selling it's products to them, everybody (IBM, palm, etc.) starts moving it's chess pieces in a strategic manor to 'one up' the gov. so to speak and to seize an opportunity while they still can. hhmm. Smart move I guess.




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