Yes, I do have one of these. It is cool to have a real Ubuntu tablet. But don’t expect any wonders.
A few first impressions and notes:
- It isn’t fast. The performance is rather average. But it was expected, I think. So no problem here.
- There is a XMir to run full Xorg-based applications. But they look ugly (no theme is applied on them).
- One cannot use virtual keyboard for these Xorg application. Just a Bluetooth one (so no Firefox or OpenOffice.org in the tablet mode…).
- There is no way to switch layouts of the hardware keyboard at the moment. One can use, for example, a Czech keyboard (and it works well) but it is niot possible to change it to an English one in an easy way. It is delcared as a work in progress.
- One cannot install more Xorg applications in an easy way. This isn’t nice. So you will be limited to the Gimp, the Firefox, the OpenOffice and the Gedit.
More on that topic later. I don’t say that I’m not happy with my tablet. But there is a bit more limitiations that I expected.
I have realised that I use my Palm III relatively frequently. Aclually, I have it sits on my desk all the time. There are some applications that I used imore frequently in the past (the EasyCalc or the DopeWars) and I also limited to use its PIM functions (a calendar, a to-do list or the notetaking appliication). I also don’t read e-books on the Palm as frequently as I did before ten years.
But I still have some use for this tiny computer. It is used to store of passwords as I don’t want so save some of them in the machines connected to the Internet (well, one can use any Zaurus for that, too).
I also use it for some BASIC programming. It’s mostly done for fun as the pen-based input is slightly complicated for this use. Anyway, I have (and use) a portable keyboard for the Palm. It makes code writing much faster. I have an older version (0.6) of the SmallBASIC installed. It can be used to write not only text-based programs but also for graphical ones (but not GUI-based). The speed of interpretation is not guite good (its fast enough for most of my needs, much faster than BASIC on my Elektronika computers).
But the main use of the Palm is a bit different. In these days I often don’t have too furf the web. So I do batch download of several pages of my interest and then read them on the Palm. I use Plucker application for this. The web pages can be converted to the Plucker format by the jPluck application, for example (yes, it uses Java, it is slow, old and unsecure). Of course, it is necessary to do not include the images due to space limitations of the Palm (the Plucker supports images, even color ones – but my Palm screen on ly recognises a few shades of gray). Then the pages can be transferred to the Palm via the pilot-xfer tool.
The reading is easy, the Plucker viewer is quite straightforward. It has several nice features: the parts of the viewed texts can be copied to the Palms integrated Memo application. And the unaccessible web links can be exported too.
The text export is prety usefull if one has to try some basic codes, for example from i-logout.cz. And the link export is even more usefull – the memos can be synchronised (I’m lasy to use command line tool for that so I use the JPilot) with the desktop applications and then opened in the WWW browser. I’m doing this with some action servers: I copy results of my standard search routine to the Palm for offline viewing and when I have the time then I open just the interesting items on the desktop.
But don’t worry, I’m not going to abandon my Linux gadgets and use the Palm exclusively: this text was written on the Zaurus during in a train…
Sometimes it is needed to convert some modern office formats (docx, xlsx) to something that can be read by older devices (odt, ods, rtf, doc, xls,..). The LibreOffice can be used for that. There are some discussions related to the topic.
So if you have a LibreOffice Calc (and an Unix shell) installed then you can convert a bunch of XLSX files to older XLS with this script:
for aa in *.xlsx ; do localc --nologo --convert-to xls $aa ; done
Obviously, the localc is the LibreOffice Calc program. Other programs can be used accordingly (for DOCX the Writer, for PPTX the Impress):
for aa in *.docx ; do lowriter --nologo --convert-to doc $aa ; done
for aa in *.pptx ; do loimpress --nologo --convert-to ppt $aa ; done
I have made a better screenshot of the RockWork software on my Ubuntu Touch phone. The funny thing is that the smartwatch screen (which you can see) is simply the latest screenshot of the real watch (the RockWork has a nice functionality for saving of screenshots from the connected watch).
It seems that most of things works: upgrading of a Pebble OS, software installations and configurations, phone’s calendar integration with the TimeLine, and more. I don’t use the Pebble for notifications so I cannot comment how good it is. I just synchronize the smartwatch with my phone once per few days. For this type of use the RockWork is even better than the official smartphone application.
The official app can also put weather forecast to the TimeLine which I miss a bit.