Embedded Linux, despite the recent adulation it's received, is
still slow in turning up in things you can pick up off the shelf.
In the next couple of months that picture will change slowly but
surely. The Agenda handheld, for instance, will be available later
this month, and the company's accepting pre-orders now.
Just this week, though, several announcements were made that
indicate there's plenty of motion in the sorts of projects that
form the building blocks for Linux in the embedded space. Of
particular interest are the ongoing improvements to Microwindows,
which recently added support for features that will make it
particularly useful for handheld devices. Hot on the heels of the
newest release came news that Mozilla has been made Nano-X-capable,
meaning the browser is now also able to turn up in Internet
appliances and handhelds:
Microwindows 0.89pre3 announced
Greg Haerr has announced a new prerelease of Microwindows.
Microwindows appears in the Freepad project, and is a target for
the ViewML browser project. The latest release rolls in some
bugfixes and adds some enhancements to the included Nano-X window
SiS Accomplishes the First-Ever x86 Platform for LinuxBIOS
"In contrast to traditional BIOS, the LinuxBIOS takes less than
32KB of flash memory and enables the whole booting process within 8
seconds. These two leading-edge features are considered to be the
keys of the future Internet Appliance (IA)."
PeeWee Linux 0.52 Released
PeeWee Linux is an attempt to make the configuration and
installation of a Linux operating system on an embedded platform as
painless as possible. Based on Red Hat 6.2, PeeWee Linux provides a
gui configuration tool, USB capabilities, and X support. Single
floppy systems may also be built out of PeeWee Linux.
In addition to the variety of projects making announcements,
there was a spate of news about the first laptops using Transmeta's
Crusoe. From a speed point of view, the chip's performance isn't
startling, and even comes up looking a little anemic, but momentum
is building all the same, as the week's headlines indicated:
ZDNet: Intel's low-power Crusoe challenger
"The chips, which consume less power than current mobile Pentium
IIIs with Speedstep Technology, are being moved into production
sooner than originally planned to counter Transmeta's low-power
Crusoe processor, which began shipping in notebooks in Japan last
The Register: NEC shows off Transmeta notebook
"NEC claims the laptop can run up to 11 hours on a single charge
because of the processor, the kind of LCD screen it has used, as
well as the high-capacity lithium polymer battery. The reflective
LCD screen doesn't need a power hungry backlight."
Wired: Transmeta Chip No Speed Demon
"Sony and NEC launched the first notebooks based on Transmeta's
revolutionary new Crusoe chip, but preliminary benchmark scores
seem to indicate the much-ballyhooed chips are no speed
Cobalt continues to be the source of no small amount of
curiosity. Sun recently announced their intentions to purchase the
server appliance company, but no one's exactly clear on whether Sun
intends to keep the company intact as a "Linux company," or move
their appliances over to a Solaris-based OS.
Cobalt Mum on Sun's Plans, Rolls out Qube3 Appliances
"There's been a lot of speculation on the future of Cobalt now that
Sun has announced its intentions to purchase the company for $2
billion. During a rundown of the company's new Qube3 server
appliance, we asked about the future of Linux at Cobalt, and found
out no one's ready to talk yet."
And the Indrema took one step closer to availability with this
reminder from CEO John Gildred:
The Indrema Developer Network is Coming!
"The Indrema Developer Network (IDN) will allow today's independent
game developers to access Software Development Kit tools and
additional information about the Indrema console -- L600."
We previously reported on the Indrema Developer Network, a joint
production between Indrema and CollabNet:
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