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AllLinuxDevices: PocketLinux Pulls the Plug on Helio Support

Apr 10, 2001, 15:35 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Hall)

"...Late last August, we carried a PocketLinux project summary by Jim Pick. At the time, the project had set its sites on a multitude of handheld platforms. Working demos already existed for the immensely popular Compaq iPaq, work on the Helio was just getting underway, and Pick wrote that there were hopes a variety of WinCE-based devices would also be included over time. VTech even announced that they planned to use PocketLinux as the default OS for the device some time this spring, replacing VT-OS, which the devices currently ship with. The project also had 250 of the devices available for sale to developers interested in working on an "open PDA."

"At Fall COMDEX in Las Vegas, we reported on PocketLinux, where an iPaq demonstrating MPEG video playback and wireless instant messaging was running. A Helio was also present at the booth, and on the strength of that demonstration we picked one up to do a review. The compelling thing about the Helio was its low cost. For $150, the devices packed a good punch, with plenty of memory and processor speed. It was clear they'd never provide the eye candy of an iPaq, but the possibilities presented by a single platform running across several different classes of PDA were interesting."

"Unfortunately, once we had PocketLinux running on our Helio, it was clear that a lot had to be done to provide a PDA anyone would take to for anything besides the novelty of running Linux on a handheld device. It ran, but not usually for very long. We stayed with the project, looking for improvements, but development for the Helio seemed to have stalled."

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