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  1. new series of mobile products from Psion

    THE FOUNDER OF Psion, David Potter - has told The Business that his company
    is planning a series of mobile products that will utilise Linux as their OS.
    Potter was quoted as saying, "We believe that the open-source operating
    system Linux opens the door to new possibilities in the mobile sector." This
    statement comes mere days after Psion has sold its share in Symbian to Nokia
    and its software arm, Psion Software, to Visto.


    http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=14164



  2. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    GeirG wrote:
    >
    > THE FOUNDER OF Psion, David Potter - has told The Business that his company
    > is planning a series of mobile products that will utilise Linux as their OS.
    > http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=14164


    How much of Linux can be loaded on a diskless PDA ? It will be interesting to
    see how they package the software (and how much software they manage to fit).

    From a hardware perspective, they really need a readable screen. If the only
    way to have readability, backlight and touchscreen is to get a colour TFT
    screen, then so be it. The PDA should have option for wireless ethernet or
    GPRS (or both). It would need a USB port that can switch between server and
    client. (PDA connects to PC, or camera connects to PDA).

  3. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    Quoth JF Mezei :
    [munch]
    >How much of Linux can be loaded on a diskless PDA ? It will be
    >interesting to see how they package the software (and how much
    >software they manage to fit).


    New hard-disk technology allows platters of about 1.5cm. That's small
    enough to fit into a PDA, I'd say.
    --
    __________________________________________________ __

    ~~ Paul Gilham ~~
    __________________________________________________ __

  4. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    Look@replyto.header wrote:

    > Quoth JF Mezei :
    > [munch]
    >>How much of Linux can be loaded on a diskless PDA ? It will be
    >>interesting to see how they package the software (and how much
    >>software they manage to fit).

    >
    > New hard-disk technology allows platters of about 1.5cm. That's small
    > enough to fit into a PDA, I'd say.


    in a PCMCIA or CF port. If other don't it, it's certainly because battery
    contraint are too high. Don't expect Psion to build device with 'dangerous'
    hardware without market experience.


    regards
    AM Christophe

  5. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    JF Mezei wrote:

    > GeirG wrote:
    >>
    >> THE FOUNDER OF Psion, David Potter - has told The Business that his
    >> company is planning a series of mobile products that will utilise Linux
    >> as their OS. http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=14164

    >
    > How much of Linux can be loaded on a diskless PDA ? It will be
    > interesting to see how they package the software (and how much software
    > they manage to fit).


    A complet Linux router can run on a floppy (1.44 ko).
    If they build a linux distribution for PDA, they won't put a desktop one
    like a complete Debian, Mandrake or Fedora. They use 90 Mo with a simple
    command line installation and 350 Mo after KDE installation.
    But purged, Debian can fit into a compressed 16 Mo with X11+ Gnome 2 + IceWM
    + web server + ftp server + php + telnet server + mysql server database +
    applications. See the Yopy PDA if you don't trust this.

    Anyway, if Psion guys sell a new PDA, they will use their own little Linux
    distribution. Something think so everyone from Linux, Windows or Mac can
    use it, like it, and use their SDK. The core is not the main issue. The
    graphical environemment is!

    _ X11 + GTK + QT/X11 + some Gnome libraries? What windows manager?

    _ QT/Embedded + Qtopia + X-QT and VNC serveur + GTK + some KDE or gnome
    libraries? Default Qtopia and QT/E layout or Psion curstomized?

    - X11 + GTK + wxWindows? Use wxBasic to replace OPL? Use wxWindows as it is
    a multi-plateform toolkit (on Windows/Linux/Mac as QT). And it is also
    integrated into Borland builder 10... But no application nore environnement
    for PDA are already build. wxWindows was an university production at
    beginning... (10 years ago) and evolve a lot since.

    - X11 + GTK + VCF (virtual componant framework). VCF is a good libraries
    set for Windows, make object re-usable. But it has a bad linux GTK
    implementation (not the author fault but the one that haven't done the port
    correctly). And there're no applications nore environnement for PDA.

    - other toolkit. They are so much. Only X11 GTK QT QT/E Qtopia above have a
    'reputation'. Other are experimental or not eyes candy.

    Only (X11 + GTK + QT/X11) or (QT/E + X-QT + GTK) can give a way to port
    easily desktop linux applications. Other solution are rising or never
    really explode.


    > From a hardware perspective, they really need a readable screen. If the
    > only way to have readability, backlight and touchscreen is to get a colour
    > TFT screen, then so be it. The PDA should have option for wireless
    > ethernet or GPRS (or both). It would need a USB port that can switch
    > between server and client. (PDA connects to PC, or camera connects to
    > PDA).


    And you forget about the consumer irDa port.
    My Zaurus SL-C760 use a 640 * 480 * 65535 colors screen and works during 8
    hours with a little 3,7V 1700ma battery. The PDA is 2/3 of a Psion 5mx and
    there's still a lot of space for a bigger battery.
    So in the hardware side, they don't have the choice: they will use improved
    specification better than Zaurus SL-C860 one / + bluetooth/Wifi/GPRS for
    enterprise and consumers.

    Only problem: do software selling enterprise like TomTom will follow? Where
    can they go if the new PDA has not software set? Will they try to sell
    Linux and hide their source and trategy? ...


    regards
    AM Christophe

  6. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    AM Christophe wrote:

    >If other don't it, it's certainly because battery
    > contraint are too high.


    Read: If other best seller PDA haven't use those hard disk, it's certainly
    because of battery contraint, price, ...

  7. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    AM Christophe wrote:
    > _ X11 + GTK + QT/X11 + some Gnome libraries? What windows manager?


    It would be very cool to have a palmtop support X windows. I could just open
    the WORD app onto my X terminal with real keyboard and real screen :-)

    I think that it is likely that PSION would need to develop their own X window
    manager, X windows server and X window client (but make them application
    program compatible with popular ones). Why ? Because you don't really want
    buttons, menus and all other widgets to appear as big and as "decorated" as on
    full feldged implementations of X systems.

    On the other hand, when you consider that for EPOC32/Series 5, PSION
    compromised a lot of handheld usability it had developped for the Series 3 in
    order to get fancy hiearchical menus, all sorts of button bars etc. So it
    wouldn't be surprising to see them try to implement a full
    KDE/Gnome/CDE/whatever implementation.

    X does have an interesting advantage in that it will automatically add scroll
    bars to dialogs if they won't all fit on one screen.

    > - X11 + GTK + wxWindows? Use wxBasic to replace OPL?


    I have a strange feeling that PSION today is a totally different company that
    is totally unrelated to the PSION that we knew. It is Teklogix that drives the
    show. PSION is only a holding company in the UK. So it would not surprise me
    to see OPL totally forgotten (and what a shame that would be).

    On the other hand, one might see an onboard Java compiler, as well as Java
    execution environment. This would be far more marketable than OPL.

    > - other toolkit. They are so much. Only X11 GTK QT QT/E Qtopia above have a
    > 'reputation'.


    You forget the industrial strength Motif.

    > Only problem: do software selling enterprise like TomTom will follow? Where
    > can they go if the new PDA has not software set? Will they try to sell
    > Linux and hide their source and trategy? ...



    This is where Teklogix comes in: since it is a industrial device only company,
    it can start off by writing industrial applicatiosn on the new palmtop and
    sell those to industry (3270 terminal emulator, interface to inventory
    applicatiosn etc etc). This would allow teklogix to survive longer before
    consumer applications materialise.

  8. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    JF Mezei wrote:

    > AM Christophe wrote:
    >> _ X11 + GTK + QT/X11 + some Gnome libraries? What windows manager?

    >
    > It would be very cool to have a palmtop support X windows. I could just
    > open the WORD app onto my X terminal with real keyboard and real screen
    > :-)
    >
    > I think that it is likely that PSION would need to develop their own X
    > window manager, X windows server and X window client (but make them
    > application program compatible with popular ones). Why ? Because you don't
    > really want buttons, menus and all other widgets to appear as big and as
    > "decorated" as on full feldged implementations of X systems.
    >
    > On the other hand, when you consider that for EPOC32/Series 5, PSION
    > compromised a lot of handheld usability it had developped for the Series 3
    > in
    > order to get fancy hiearchical menus, all sorts of button bars etc. So it
    > wouldn't be surprising to see them try to implement a full
    > KDE/Gnome/CDE/whatever implementation.
    >
    > X does have an interesting advantage in that it will automatically add
    > scroll bars to dialogs if they won't all fit on one screen.



    X on a PDA is a kind of jocke as PDA loose refresh speed as the need to use
    the network stack to display X windows (bad day for graphical
    applications). Anyway, as it is the standard on desktop...

    Here is my prefered solution: QT/E + Qtopia + X-QT

    http://xqt.sourceforge.jp/040128-2.png

    (X-QT = X protocole under QT/E)

    Only (big) contraint: QT/E is GPL or commercial licenced so everyone wanting
    to build closed source software will have to buy a QT commercial licence.

  9. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    Hi JF,

    thus spoke JF Mezei:
    > How much of Linux can be loaded on a diskless PDA ?


    There are already Psion 5mx's out there, running Linux.
    Just kick Google with "psion +linux" ...

    Greets, Dirk

  10. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    "Dirk G. Straka" wrote:
    >
    > Hi JF,
    >
    > thus spoke JF Mezei:
    > > How much of Linux can be loaded on a diskless PDA ?

    >
    > There are already Psion 5mx's out there, running Linux.
    > Just kick Google with "psion +linux" ...
    >
    > Greets, Dirk

    And all this is rather ironic, considering how downright
    hostile Psion have been toward efforts to get Linux going on
    the Series 5, netbook &c.

    James

  11. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    JF Mezei wrote:

    > GeirG wrote:
    >>
    >> THE FOUNDER OF Psion, David Potter - has told The Business that his
    >> company is planning a series of mobile products that will utilise
    >> Linux as their OS. http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=14164

    >
    > How much of Linux can be loaded on a diskless PDA ? It will be
    > interesting to see how they package the software (and how much
    > software they manage to fit).


    Enjoy:

    http://linux-7110.sourceforge.net/

    It's really really sad that the series 5xx only comes with the one CF
    slot, as Linux on the series 5xx *does* support CF ethernet. Dammit!

    Maybe someone knows if there exists such a beast as a combo
    ethernet-flash memory CF card? That would really make it worth while to
    run Linux on the mx.
    --
    Karel "de Jazz" Jansens

    Spinoff shows that should not even be considered:
    "LAPD Turquoise".

  12. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    In article <1vkZb.25808$zm5.7672@nntpserver.swip.net>,
    AM Christophe writes:
    >X on a PDA is a kind of jocke as PDA loose refresh speed as the need to use
    >the network stack to display X windows (bad day for graphical
    >applications). Anyway, as it is the standard on desktop...


    Mmm, you do not know what you are talking here...
    X does not require a network stack.
    For instance, quake under X was running faster than its msdos version on
    the same hardware (using unix sockets, not network sockets).

    However, X requires separate memory space for the client and server, so
    this intrinsequely consumes more memory and is not adapted to a PDA
    environment. Thus linux on mobile devices typically do not use X but
    graphical system sharing graphic memory with the applications.

    So X is not slow... but it is too big :-)

    --
    Colas Nahaboo, ILOG R&D Sophia Antipolis, http://colas.nahaboo.net

  13. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    The *only* thing wrong with EPOC OSwas that it was not open source!

    I love the idea of Psion getting back into PDAs, as their design and
    form-factor is still head and shoulders above everybdoy else. But I don't
    think they need adopt Linux. Why not just make EPOC OS open source? Then we
    could all carry on using the software we know and love.


  14. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    Ric wrote:
    >
    > The *only* thing wrong with EPOC OSwas that it was not open source!


    No. Open Source is not necessary for success. Windows being a great example of
    proprietary system.

    Where EPOC erred is in proprietary file system they refused to document, as
    well as the use of their proprietary communication protocol which they also
    refused to properly document (although some code did escape into the
    wilderness years ago, there wasn't formal documentation available).

    I don't care for the kernel being open source or not. But I care about file
    formats, general routines to access/parse the files and the communications
    protocol either being standard (TCPIP/ NFS and/or FTP), or being fully documented.

    Consider that the NCP protocol on EPOC32 was greatly reduced in functionality
    compeared to the original (which was bidirectional and have lots of near
    "start a process on the remote machine" hooks.) What is left could have easily
    been done with NFS or FTP. Had PSION ditched its proprietary protocol, it
    could have delivered the machines with a TCPIP stack that was ready from day 1
    (remember that initial machines do not have built-in TCPIP, and you need to
    relload it whenever you re-initialise your machine).

    Consider that PSION had to take the code for NCP on EPOC-16 and convert it to
    run on EPOC32 , probably rewrite in it C++ because that the the soupe-du-jour
    during the .com era.

    The Psion 5 had a very proprietary nature to it. But it wasn't because the OS
    wasn't open source, it was because PSION wanted the box to be very proprietary.

  15. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion


    "GeirG" wrote in message
    news:c134ho$980$1@tyfon.itea.ntnu.no...
    > THE FOUNDER OF Psion, David Potter - has told The Business that his

    company
    > is planning a series of mobile products that will utilise Linux as their

    OS.
    > Potter was quoted as saying, "We believe that the open-source operating
    > system Linux opens the door to new possibilities in the mobile sector."

    This
    > statement comes mere days after Psion has sold its share in Symbian to

    Nokia
    > and its software arm, Psion Software, to Visto.
    >


    That is just so bizarre it is unbelievable.

    This is the man who started out as a market leader, and rather than face the
    challange of competion in the PDA field threw it all away in search of fools
    gold in telephony.

    Now he's had to sell up because they couldnt keep up with the big boys there
    and he's desperate for something to try, he's talking about trying to return
    to the PDA game, without the asset that made his pda's great, epoc and the
    apps.

    This is not a strategy, its just empty talk from someone who lost the way
    three years ago. Why oh why did they not develop the pda's. There were many
    of us who would have paid a premium price for modern hardware and epoc's
    continued development..

    Instead I've got an ipaq, for which I've never felt the affection I had for
    my trusty 5mx, sadly deceased...



  16. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    JF Mezei wrote:

    > Ric wrote:
    >>
    >> The *only* thing wrong with EPOC OSwas that it was not open source!

    >
    > No. Open Source is not necessary for success. Windows being a great
    > example of proprietary system.


    Now, when you write "great", what exactly do you mean? Because I know a
    fair lot of people who would use all sorts of adjectives to describe
    Windows, and none of them even comes close to being a synonym of
    "great".

    --
    Karel "de Jazz" Jansens

    Spinoff shows that should not even be considered:
    "LAPD Turquoise".

  17. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    the Entity Formerly Known as Jazz wrote:
    > Now, when you write "great", what exactly do you mean? Because I know a
    > fair lot of people who would use all sorts of adjectives to describe
    > Windows, and none of them even comes close to being a synonym of
    > "great".


    I didn't say Windows was great. I said it was a great example of a proprietary system.

    You can also state that Windows is a great example of marketing winning over quality.

    It is also a great example of a monopoly allowing such terrible product
    quality, marketing features forcing open all sorts of holes for viri to use
    etc etc.

  18. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    On Fri, 20 Feb 2004 17:53:16 -0400, "Iain"
    wrote (more or less):

    >
    >"GeirG" wrote in message
    >news:c134ho$980$1@tyfon.itea.ntnu.no...
    >> THE FOUNDER OF Psion, David Potter - has told The Business that his

    >company
    >> is planning a series of mobile products that will utilise Linux as their

    >OS.
    >> Potter was quoted as saying, "We believe that the open-source operating
    >> system Linux opens the door to new possibilities in the mobile sector."

    >This
    >> statement comes mere days after Psion has sold its share in Symbian to

    >Nokia
    >> and its software arm, Psion Software, to Visto.
    >>

    >
    >That is just so bizarre it is unbelievable.
    >
    >This is the man who started out as a market leader, and rather than face the
    >challange of competion in the PDA field threw it all away in search of fools
    >gold in telephony.
    >
    >Now he's had to sell up because they couldnt keep up with the big boys there
    >and he's desperate for something to try, he's talking about trying to return
    >to the PDA game, without the asset that made his pda's great, epoc and the
    >apps.
    >
    >This is not a strategy, its just empty talk from someone who lost the way
    >three years ago. Why oh why did they not develop the pda's.


    The answers are available at www.cantos.com, in the interviews with
    Potter and the Chief Exective of Psion, following the sale of their
    share of Symbian.


    Cheers,
    Euan
    Gawnsoft: http://www.gawnsoft.co.sr
    Symbian/Epoc wiki: http://html.dnsalias.net:1122
    Smalltalk links (harvested from comp.lang.smalltalk) http://html.dnsalias.net/gawnsoft/smalltalk

  19. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion

    Gawnsoft wrote:
    > The answers are available at www.cantos.com, in the interviews with
    > Potter and the Chief Exective of Psion, following the sale of their
    > share of Symbian.


    Interesting intereviews. Strange for to to hear the founder of PSION
    "mispronounce" his own company's name :-) Here in Québec, the P has always
    been pronounced.

    The way I read it, Teklogix was seriously falling behind, stuck with a mismash
    of architectures. The sale of PSIOn's stake in Symbian will generate the cash
    needed by Teklogix to produce a new generation/family of products on a new
    unified platform. In other words, re-invent a more modern version of SIBO/EPOC
    architectures (aka the linux based one). If there is cash leftover, they'll
    widen the enterprise market to include mobile computers for mobile sales
    forces. (aka: Netbook equivalent).

    Personally though, I suspect that mobile saleforces will go to laptops. And I
    am not sure there is much room left for series-5 or netbook form factor for enterprise.

    What is not clear to me is whether Psion's purchase of Teklogix was beneficial
    to Teklogix or not. Would Teklogix have done better staying on its own ? up
    until now, what has Psion done to help Teklogix ?

  20. Re: new series of mobile products from Psion


    "Gawnsoft" wrote in
    message news:q0bd30d5l25nurlf9e8d8d4r53ap2rf5ci@4ax.com...

    > The answers are available at www.cantos.com, in the interviews with
    > Potter and the Chief Exective of Psion, following the sale of their
    > share of Symbian.
    >


    You're absolutely right. The answer there is that this is a thread about
    nothing: There are no plans to return to consumer devices.



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