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ELJOnline: Quest for PDA Utopia: Qtopia?

Apr 05, 2002, 17:30 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Timotej Ecimovic, Manica Son)

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"Like most geeks nowadays, I've been contemplating buying a PDA. I own a desktop and a laptop, but there's still that urge of having something in my pocket to play with wherever I go. I am not a big fan of Microsoft operating systems, so the WinCE platform wasn't really in play. I decided against the usual choice, a Palm, because it seemed too expensive for its limited hardware. For a while I toyed with idea of getting a Compaq iPAQ and installing Linux on it. Again, I decided I was too old and too lazy for compiling and recompiling drivers, adjusting applications and making the whole thing work, so I didn't get it after all.

"And then, just as I was about to give up on my mission, Sharp came through with its Zaurus SL-5000D, a stylish, light, Palm-shaped device with a tiny pull-out keyboard, impressive hardware and a very reasonable price. And the best part: it is based on open-source embedded Linux. Trolltech, the company behind Qt, developed a windowing system and graphic user interface for Zaurus, called Qtopia, from scratch. To my satisfaction, I found that Qtopia provides a high-level graphical interface on top of Qt/Embedded, which directly interfaces with the framebuffer hardware device. Qtopia also provides an application layer with several services for application development. It was a dream come true and a neat present wrapped in one..."

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