Sharp Zaurus SL-C760 and Zocalo

For some time I have been playing with a new toy: a white Sharp Zaurus SL-C760 (it’s the white one which is on the right).

Ben NanoNote vs Zaurus SL-C7600

It is slightly smaller and lighter notebook-style PDA than my SL-C3200 but it is still larger than the Ben NanoNote (the NanoNote is still my main pocket computer – I use other devices mostly as toys).

I was somewhat surprised that someone is still actively developing software for the Zaurus. There are nice tools, for example the December image viewer and the Zocalo RSS reader.

Zocalo RSS Reader

I still use the console-based SnowNews RSS reader on my NanoNote. The Zocalo runs in the Zaurus GUI (it’s based on the Qt toolkit) and it of course looks better. It is also optimised for the hardware controls of the Zaurus. Actually it is very comfortable to use the Zocalo both in landscape and portrait modes of the convertible Zaurus screen. The only problem is that I didn’t find a way how to open article in WWW browser without use of GUI icon (maybe there is a shortcut for this operation but I didn’t find it, yet).

Snownews on Ben Nanonote - specific feed

I use this Zaurus only sometimes and a RSS reader and the FBreader are the most used applications. Of course the Zaurus can be used for more tasks. There is a (rather simple) word processor and a spreadsheet and the TeX and the Gnuplot are also available, for example.

The main limitation of my machine is the wireless access (there is no build-in WiFi chip – one has to use a PCMCIA card – and wireless-related software is old) and very old WWW browsers. So the online access is insecure and the only practical use of the WiFi is access to RSS news and public WWW sites.

Sharp Zaurus SL-C760 and Zocalo

PDP-11 for a (big) pocket

Do you think that PDP-11 computers can only work in a conditioned rooms? And that they are not portable. Well, you are almost right. But in the Soviet Union everythink was possible. They even had a portable PDP-11! It was called Elektronika MK-90.

Well, it is a bit limited machine: it has a LSI-11-compatible CPU and it run an ancient version of the BASIC interpreter. No UNIX can be used here because of a very limited memory (16 kB) and storage (up to two MPO-10 battery-backed memory moduli of 16 kB each).

Portable PDP-11 computer

Anyway, it is a cool little computer with graphical capabilities and other nice features. Ant it runs on four AA batteries.

So I finally have my very own PDP-11!

PDP-11 for a (big) pocket