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Linux Business Handhelds Hardware

Internet Devices Get Their Own Ubuntu Version 87

Posted by samzenpus
from the your-own-personal-linux dept.
Barence writes "A version of Ubuntu targeted specifically towards mobile internet devices (MIDs) has been released by Canonical, although there is presently only one product on the market which can use it. According to the company, the pithily titled Mobile Internet Device Edition 8.04 has been optimized for use with handheld internet platforms, and designed to run smoothly on Intel's Atom chips as well as with small touchscreen displays. This follows Canonical's announcement earlier this month that it would be creating a version of Ubuntu for netbook devices such as the Asus Eee PC and the Acer Aspire One called Netbook Remix."
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Internet Devices Get Their Own Ubuntu Version

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  • Canonical are one of the big movers and shakers in the OSS world, and that they are putting so much effort into putting OSS on as many devices is possible is good to see. Of course it could be a futile effort IF Nokia buy out Symbian and open up it's source.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Xygon (578778)
      Symbian's OS might be great once open sourced, but the breadth and depth of applications built for Linux, as well as the design of Symbian OS for handhelds, not MIDs, says to me that it's a long ways from being better for this type of platform. Symbian can grow from small to larger, but I myself would rather have a full featured OS on my MID than a phone system turned OS.
    • Re:this is great (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @10:02PM (#23944143) Journal
      I could certainly be wrong; but I'm strongly inclined to doubt the viability of Symbian on the MID. Symbian is, to be sure, superior to Linux in terms of small footprint and low resource demands. However, Linux is far more general in terms of design and body of available software.

      Looking at the history of Palm OS, I am inclined to believe that expanding a specialized OS is harder than slimming a general one. Back in the day, Palm OS was hilariously superior as a handheld system. It ran practically forever on pitiful hardware and a couple of AAA's, and the system of "conduits" was a fairly elegant structure by which a handheld could function as an extension to a desktop computer. Over time, though, Palm OS didn't grow very well. Features like a network stack(sync over network was a nice feature; but just wasn't the same thing as actual network access, which never really meshed with the Palm OS structure) and interaction with mass storage devices with user visible filesystems just didn't fit with the old structure of tying data directly to applications.

      Even now, with the benefit of significant advances in silicon and battery technology, it would be hard to get a linux system to match the old Palm OS devices in their areas of strength; but the fact that Linux has by nature features that Palm OS could never really integrate properly has proven to be more important. In the case of Symbian, I would also note that Nokia's own N770, N800, and N810 "Internet Tablets" are Linux, rather than Symbian, devices.

      Since the purpose of a MID is to bring a limited number of the functions of a full computer to a handheld device in as close to their full form as possible(e.g. webbrowsing, not general purpose apps; but full webbrowsing, not cut down mobile phone crap), Linux is a pretty natural candidate; being, as it is, modular enough to shrink down while offering pretty much any computer function ready for the taking.
      • Microsoft's error (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DrYak (748999)

        However, Linux is far more general in terms of design and body of available software. {...} Linux is a pretty natural candidate; being, as it is, modular enough to shrink down while offering pretty much any computer function ready for the taking.

        And this is where Microsoft somewhat missed the point with their offering.
        On one hand they have a windows vista which is a large resource hog and just can't be crammed inside a small device.
        On the other hand they have WinCE/Pocket PC which, well has *windows* in the name, and has some related elements in its API, but well, is just an entirely different beast which : both doesn't give the advantage that a derivative of an OS has in terms of features and is a descendant of a handheld system which limits its

      • by TeknoHog (164938)

        I am inclined to believe that expanding a specialized OS is harder than slimming a general one.

        See also: DOS + Windows 3.1 -> Vista.

  • by allanw (842185) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @09:13PM (#23943813)
    How about Ubuntu: Toaster edition?
  • by toppavak (943659) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @11:43PM (#23944893)
    to hear from someone with a bit more understanding of the reason the builds posted for MID are specific to Menlow and McCaslin and whether / why these builds would or wouldn't work on more generic intel hardware such as present in the current eeePCs not to mention how difficult would it be to get it to run properly (just install the generic i386 kernel?).
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by gwniobombux (941420)
      From Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded FAQ: [ubuntu.com]

      # What's the difference between UME packages and regular i386 packages?

      • For the kernel there are a few changes to support the LPIA architecture better (TODO: check with Amit). For the user applications, they have a special rule to enable or disable resources when compiled for LPIA. We may use the hildon interface and/or disable something that we don't have/don't need. We want to improve usability for small screens and fingers.
  • The devs just wanted half-naked women calendars [wikipedia.org] on as many mobile devices as possible.

  • I have a strong suspicion this is going to get flamebaited, but seriously, although I use Ubuntu every day, and have enormous respect for Mark Shuttleworth (he appeared on our podcast: http://zatechshow.co.za/episode-14 [zatechshow.co.za]), I don't think Ubuntu is ready for mobile environments.

    You can blame the lack of hardware support and other vendors if you like, but the fact remains that the user experience for Linux laptops is pretty damned iffy. Power management isn't, hibernate and suspend sometimes works, sometimes do

  • Mobile Internet Device Edition 8.04
    May I humbly suggest: MIDOS?

You can tell how far we have to go, when FORTRAN is the language of supercomputers. -- Steven Feiner

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