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Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 (Page 1/3)

Posted: February 14, 2003
Written by: Kevin Metz

The Zaurus ROCKS!

I just acquired the wicked-cool Zaurus from Sharp - one of the many objects of my techno-lust. And you're saying, "Yeah... so?". That just means you're probably in love with your iPaq and PocketPC 2002. When's the last time you had to flash it? A week... a few days? Sorry, don't mind me. I had an iPaq and won't be going back (tried getting Linux on it too). So I won't stomp on your parade. I'm just going to continue extolling the virtues of the Zaurus.

First, you need to understand I'm a Linux (Unix) geek from way back when. I learned Unix when it was on a 386 and took 20 floppies to load (Anyone remember SCO Unix?). So I've had the command line running in my blood for years now. So when I found out the Zaurus ran Linux... WHOO-HOO! (Needless to say I wanted one). Budget constraints prevented me from buying one for quite a while, but let's just say it's good to have friends that like to help ya out (and vice versa). So, now that I've got one, let me talk about it.


-Strong Arm CPU, 206 MHz
-16MB Flash, 64MB SDRAM
-Reflective TFT LCD w/front light, 3.5" with 240x320, 65,536 colors
-Retractable keyboard (well...its got a sliding cover)
-CF slot, SD slot, IrDA, serial/USB
-(CF - Compact Flash, SD - Secure Digital)

Basically, just about everything a growing geek needs!

What Does This Thing   Run?

What exactly does this thing run? A version of the Linux kernel (2.4 series) and what's known as "Embedix". Basically, it's just a specific version of the kernel for embedded devices, as well as apps and all to go along with it. If you're a true Linux hax0r and you want to run the really cool stuff on it, download the OpenZaurus image and tweak to your heart's content! Sitting on top of all this is Qtopia. This was designed by the cool people at TrollTech. This makes the Zaurus look just as cool and slick as all those other PDAs out there.

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