[nflug] The Ultimate Linux Handheld

Joe nflug at etrumeus.com
Thu Aug 30 15:19:52 EDT 2007

On Wed, Aug 29, 2007 at 06:23:42AM -0400, Richard Hubbard wrote:
> Does anyone have any experience with either of these?  Do they come with 
> a development environment?  Or at least some decent interpreters 
> (perl/Tcl/Tk/bash/csh/ etc)?  I like the idea of the 770 myself...(less 
> than $150 at Buy.com)

I got an n800 as a birthday gift this summer (a pre-emptive
gift, mind you, as I was fixin' to buy it anyway).

I don't expect one would want to do development *on* the device
itself.  Rather, one would want to cross compile for it, using
the SDK at maemo.org.  But I have seen python 2.5 packages
available for use on the device.  I wouldn't be surprised to
find Perl there, or available.

The default install has busybox, and so far I haven't braved the
heart transplant that would entail replacing busybox with all
the full-sized standalone packages whose role busybox fills,
though I did get a glimpse at the magnitude of that task when I
made to install bash, and saw that bash then conflicted with
busybox.  I suppose I could try to stick a copy of it down in
/usr/local somewhere for occasional invocation of the full

Mind you, to do anything in a console, you have to add an
aftermarket xterm program of some type--osso-xterm seems to be
the thing to use.  With that, ssh (openssh or dropbear, take
your pick), a keyboard, and a nearby usable access point, I've
been able to log in to my workstation of persistent state
(WoPS), reconnect to my ongoing Gnu screen session, and continue
doing work as normal on my normal network-accessible remote

Anyway, I've taken two trips--one by air, one by road--on which
I normally might have taken the laptop, but left the laptop
behind in favor of just the n800, and it did me just fine.  They
were both personal trips--if I travelled for work, I think it
would really depend on what I were doing whether I'd get away
with leaving the laptop behind.

My current "round tuit" harebrained scheme involves trying to
trick out an NSLU2 with USB devices to serve as the hub for all
the functions that the n800 can't do or do easily (connecting
via RJ-45 to ethernet, to keychain drives and other external
drives via USB).  Then, the N800 and maybe the keyboard would
stay in a pocket, or in the onboard carry-on, while in transit,
and the NSLU2 and other accoutrements would go into the
planeside check-in or full check-in bag, for use at the

I'm not sure how much of that is practical, though--it really
depends on whether there are real, free drivers for the various
attachments to the NSLU2 versus just stuff that works on 32-bit
x86 with binary blobs through ndiswrappers.  Yuck.

In any case, it's sure to be a nightmare of wallwarts and


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