The penguinista's PDA

By Rawn Shah, LinuxWorld.com |  Hardware

Compaq has taken the penultimate step to releasing a Linux handheld computing device. The company announced its support for the Linux operating system on its iPaq H3600 device, known as the Open Handheld. After four years of development on the Itsy project -- initially begun in Digital's research labs that later became part of Compaq -- Linux lovers everywhere will soon have their own PDA. And what's more, the Linux handheld can show up the rest of the market's competitors.



The device not only has a standard Linux distribution on it but also features advanced features such as X Windows, networking tools, an MP3 audio recorder and player, and even an MPEG video player. It even beats the parts off competitors such as Palm's new IIIc color PDA; the H3600 is lighter, more colorful, and sports audio and expansion slots.



The device weighs 6.3 ounces, which makes it lighter than the Palm IIIc by half an ounce, but it is less than a tenth of a centimeter longer, wider, and thicker. The active matrix screen has 12-bit color, giving it 4,096 colors, which is better than some other handhelds, although it is has the same 240x320 screen real estate as most competitors.

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