Sharp Zaurus

Linux Chronicles VIII, on the Sharp Zaurus...and the Commodore 64...

OK, I really want to buy a Sharp Zaurus. It will be on sale in March or April, supposedly, and is a Linux based PDA. I want one.

It reminds me of the Commodore 64. I wanted one. I wanted one real bad.

I recall looking at them with my wife when I was young. I would go and drool over them at the store, and then park myself and my wife at the Wendy's hamburger joint across the street in our home town of Cincinnati, Ohio. They cost I think about $350. I had the money. But I was thrifty (raised lower middle class), couldn't think of a practical excuse for buying one, and besides I had a young wife and kids to support. I never bought one.

I wish I had bought one. By the time I got around to buying my first computer, an original IBM PC (which of course cost much more, around $2000+ I think), I loved my new hobby and have loved it ever since. But my first real love was the unbought Commodore 64.

Just think, if I had bought the Commodore 64, I might be a rich, retired, computer software entrepreneur by now. ;-)))

Anyway, I think I will buy a Sharp Zaurus. I've never used a PDA (despite two real old hand-me-downs at work from a colleague). The Zaurus, while expensive at about $550, is reported to have a real tiny keyboard (I can't even imagine actually using Palm's hieroglyphic "alphabet"), a wired or wireless email capability, and many other cool features. Did I mention it has a cool color screen? And that it comes from a real player in the consumer electronics market?

But the real attraction is its Linux roots. And the fact I can pretend to program its Linux command line interface (assuming I can find it beneath all that colored iconographic snazzy user interface) using Python. I can't wait.

I intend to cover everything about this neat Linux gadget in the Linux Chronicles. Including my failures in programming it. Heck, probably including my failures in even using it effectively. (My work laptop's screen just died. I really *need* email while traveling on business. But I am dreaming of using a Sharp Zaurus instead of a laptop for email on business trips...and for playing with Linux)...

I will certainly keep you posted....;-)))) Life is too short to miss the next Commodore 64....

Ron Stephens
February 12, 2002