Pandora As A Pda


may88

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Just looking to clear the space in my pocket currently occupied by my Sony Clie. This is religiously transported in my trousers but its usage has twindled to an occational alarm clock, a keyring server (encrypted password db) and a vexed server.

I love the "always on" and wonder if the pandora can do this too, but it's the Calendar "alarm" feature I'd miss most.
It would need a daemon always running (mostly sleeping) whilst in a dormant state to be time aware so it could wake up and some the alarm.

Any ideas anyone?
 

javaJake

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I'm also looking into this, with Google Calendar. It may be a bit messy, but I'm thinking about coming up with a simple notification app that does a little ditty whenever an event that's been marked to "Pop-up" is nearly due. Some kind of cron script, most likely. Another Edit: Or I'll use a calendar program ported to the Pandora and set it up to sing a jingle.

As for task lists, that's already covered by Google Calendar. Yahoo! :D

The part that's going to aggravate me the most is contacts, because I don't have a central app that I go to. Most likely, being the Google fan that I am, I'll end up using Google Contacts.

Writing memos will be as simple as opening a doodle program or text editor. Mail will also be a piece of cake, especially if it's paired with IMAP.

Did I miss anything? :p

Edit: Offline functionality comes standard nowadays with most of Google's products, so no need to fear about consistent internet. The only one mentioned that will not work offline is Google Contacts.
 

dockthepod

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Offline functionality for Google stuff assumes we'll have a working Google Gears. I know on my N810 there was kinda one but it's old and doesn't work with anything anymore.
 

Sphinxter

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Securing your information should be job one of a PDA. More worried on how to replace the, 'off and lock', security features of my aging palm and how to protect what's on the cards in case of loss without the process being more trouble than it's worth as it drops from device level to file level.
 

mindlord

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Sphinxter posted on May 26 2009 at 09:02 PM said:
Securing your information should be job one of a PDA. More worried on how to replace the, 'off and lock', security features of my aging palm and how to protect what's on the cards in case of loss without the process being more trouble than it's worth as it drops from device level to file level.
format your cards as ext2 or ext3... Average Joe theif would insert them in normal Win32 machine and get the "This card isn't formatted" warning and conveniently delete your sensitive data for you. :) Then you can just password lock your Pandora.
 
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viridior

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Sphinxter posted on May 26 2009 at 09:02 PM said:
Securing your information should be job one of a PDA. More worried on how to replace the, 'off and lock', security features of my aging palm and how to protect what's on the cards in case of loss without the process being more trouble than it's worth as it drops from device level to file level.
eCryptFS, https://launchpad.net/ecryptfs
 
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God Ginrai

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mindlord posted on May 26 2009 at 09:54 PM) [quote="Sphinxter posted on May 26 2009 at 09:02 PM said:
Securing your information should be job one of a PDA. More worried on how to replace the, 'off and lock', security features of my aging palm and how to protect what's on the cards in case of loss without the process being more trouble than it's worth as it drops from device level to file level.
format your cards as ext2 or ext3... Average Joe theif would insert them in normal Win32 machine and get the "This card isn't formatted" warning and conveniently delete your sensitive data for you. :"] Then you can just password lock your Pandora.[/quote]ext3 would be a bad idea, wouldn't it? I would think that having a journaling filesystem would not be good for a media format such as SD.

-God Ginrai
 
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Sphinxter

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viridior posted on May 26 2009 at 07:08 PM said:
Sphinxter posted on May 26 2009 at 09:02 PM said:
Securing your information should be job one of a PDA. More worried on how to replace the, 'off and lock', security features of my aging palm and how to protect what's on the cards in case of loss without the process being more trouble than it's worth as it drops from device level to file level.
eCryptFS, https://launchpad.net/ecryptfs
Good suggestion, it would need to cover /tmp /var and the swap device too if it has one and be in place before any thing accesses them, can automount a personal folder on connect with ssh, so you might boot, enter passphrase to mount, use normally, open term, ssh to localhost, passphrase again, run the pda application, exit. That might work, but not in vfat. Maybe pda applications that will work with encryption would be better.
 
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valhalla

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God Ginrai posted on May 27 2009 at 04:57 AM said:
ext3 would be a bad idea, wouldn't it? I would think that having a journaling filesystem would not be good for a media format such as SD.
in theory it is a bad idea, in practice I've used ext3 on a few CFs and SDs for a while (many months) with many reformats, and I've yet to see a problem.

I wonder how ext4 will do.
 
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valhalla

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Sphinxter posted on May 27 2009 at 05:27 AM said:
Good suggestion, it would need to cover /tmp /var and the swap device too if it has one and be in place before any thing accesses them, can automount a personal folder on connect with ssh, so you might boot, enter passphrase to mount, use normally, open term, ssh to localhost, passphrase again, run the pda application, exit. That might work, but not in vfat. Maybe pda applications that will work with encryption would be better.
Usually there will be no swap on pandora: it is better not to put it on the nand and on sd it would be so slow as to be painful; I don't even want to think how an encrypted swap would be.
Even if you have to use it (on SD) sometimes, e.g. for big compiles, if you need to keep personal information private you can just keep it off, and take care not to access personal informations when it is in use.

I would look at pda applications that only write in the home partition, possibly in a specific directory, so that you can just encrypt an SD and mount it there.
 
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Tor

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The problem with Pandora as a PDA is about the same as the trouble with the Nokia tablets as PDAs I think. Or well, the situation is slightly better for the Pandora because on the Nokias some of the central UI parts have been closed (and still are, but this is changing). With those closed parts it's tricky to replace some of the stuff with 3party versions and still get it integrated in the status parts of the UI. But that's not us.

PDAs do several things:

o They are 'always on'. No problem, that. Pandora can do even better than the Nokia tablets here, with its bigger battery. And we've got non-volatile storage, unlike most PDAs except the later Palms with NVRAM. The really old PDAs (the first Pilots) could outbeat us, going for weeks and weeks on a couple of AA batteries. We'll have no problem competing with later PDAs though - they only last for a week and a half or so, at the best of times. I charge my PDA at least as often as I charge my Nokia.

o PIM (calendars, todo-lists, contacts, all integrated seamlessly). This is the big one. There's nothing available for the Nokia tablets that come even close to what a Palm can do (I'm not really familiar with WinCE devices, except that it looks like a pain to use when I watch others). If there had been some free software that could do it then we could use it on the Pandora, but GPE and the like is a far cry from what PDA users (and the OP Clie user) are used to. If you just need something at the level of slightly better than what comes in simple phones, then GPE and the like will do. If you come from the other direction, then no.

o PDA applications "start" instantly. No wonder that, as they're really in RAM at all times (on Palms at least. The file system is RAM, and there's execute-in-place. WinCE PDAs also have the file system in RAM, but at least traditionally the application first had to be loaded into the "RAM" RAM part to execute. Still quick though). A Nokia tablet can start an application in a couple of seconds at best, for others it takes longer (e.g. Python GTK applications). Pandora has a much faster CPU and should be quite a bit better here. The way to handle the 'instant on' problem on Nokia tablets is of course to just start a bunch of apps and just switch between them, this'll work even better on the Pandora with 256MB RAM.

No, the major one is the PIM stuff. The alarm part of PIM shouldn't really be a problem, even though it's never worked reliably on the Nokia tablets for some reason. That's strange, because they've really got the framework for that, hw and operating system wise. The Noka tablet alarm system can even boot the devices on time, something afaik the Pandoras can't (but I could be wrong here). But when there are other issues with the alarm system it'll simply not be used much.

But getting good calendar/contacts/todo/etc.etc. with good integration seems to be tricky. Or there would've been something top quality out there already. Which isn't the case, which is why I still carry a PDA along with my Nokia tablet.
 

Tor

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QUOTE
Usually there will be no swap on pandora: it is better not to put it on the nand and on sd it would be so slow as to be painful[...]
(my emphasis). I've seen something like this stated here many times, but in my experience it isn't true. I have set up a swap file on a class 6 SDHC card on my Nokia, just to test it, as many Nokia tablet users have reported that it's good stuff. And it does work well, in the sense that it doesn't slow down the device, it just improves the situation in marginal memory cases. Some even report that it makes the device snappier to use, this is probably just imagination though in my opinion. The point though is that it is definitely not any kind of painful experience.

Niow, with twice the RAM (compared to the Nokia tablets) the need for swap on SD will be even less, but if you need it it should work reasonably well, even though it's not any kind of magic bullet.
 

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There was some discussion about alarm functionality (link). I never heard a definite answer though. Can the pandora be programmed to wake up from sleep mode at a given time?
 
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Thegerg

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mmmm pda i finally get to replace my axim X51v... but it's gona be the same thing all over again like it was with the axim 4 years ago. A 14 year old with a high end pda get's a lot of attention...
 

javaJake

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Tor posted on May 27 2009 at 06:28 AM said:
But getting good calendar/contacts/todo/etc.etc. with good integration seems to be tricky. Or there would've been something top quality out there already. Which isn't the case, which is why I still carry a PDA along with my Nokia tablet.
I agree here. You'd have to step it up to Evolution or the Mozilla suite or something big and bulky for all the features. Not fun.
I figured I'd just use software that syncs with other computers, thus Google. It makes it tons easier to manage my schedule, my e-mail, etc. Maybe someone will create a thinner (than the browser) client for Google software using their API.
 
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viridior

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Sphinxter posted on May 26 2009 at 11:27 PM) [quote="viridior posted on May 26 2009 at 07:08 PM) [quote="Sphinxter posted on May 26 2009 at 09:02 PM said:
Securing your information should be job one of a PDA. More worried on how to replace the, 'off and lock', security features of my aging palm and how to protect what's on the cards in case of loss without the process being more trouble than it's worth as it drops from device level to file level.
eCryptFS, https://launchpad.net/ecryptfs
Good suggestion, it would need to cover /tmp /var and the swap device too if it has one and be in place before any thing accesses them, can automount a personal folder on connect with ssh, so you might boot, enter passphrase to mount, use normally, open term, ssh to localhost, passphrase again, run the pda application, exit. That might work, but not in vfat. Maybe pda applications that will work with encryption would be better.
I wouldn't recommend using ecryptfs as the root filesystem, however you can easily incorporate your /home and other data that you want encrypted (that doesn't do a lot of read and writes constantly) in conjuction with unionfs and have filesystem fluidity. eCryptFS has been supported since (I believe) 2.6.19 which everyone falls under (might need to do a kernel recompile"]. This was only suggested as an answer to the question about PDA security.[/quote]
are used to. If you just need something at the level of slightly better than what comes in simple phones, then GPE and the like will do. If you come from the other direction, then no.
You aren't restricted to GPE, there are many other variants out there with more or less options and likely something thats tweaked enough for your liking. Don't restrict yourself to assuming that you will only have whats available on Angstrom when its released. I wouldn't even assume your restricted to Angstrom ;)

QUOTE
o PDA applications "start" instantly. No wonder that, as they're really in RAM at all times (on Palms at least. The file system is RAM, and there's execute-in-place. WinCE PDAs also have the file system in RAM, but at least traditionally the application first had to be loaded into the "RAM" RAM part to execute. Still quick though). A Nokia tablet can start an application in a couple of seconds at best, for others it takes longer (e.g. Python GTK applications"]. Pandora has a much faster CPU and should be quite a bit better here. The way to handle the 'instant on' problem on Nokia tablets is of course to just start a bunch of apps and just switch between them, this'll work even better on the Pandora with 256MB RAM.[/quote]If your not restricting yourself to the default OS, there are some good guides to using a real-time kernel and XIP if you want to go that route. Might be some good benefits, I've looked into it a little but have yet to take the plunge down that route. I would be glad to talk to you about this more if your interested in getting started.

the need for swap on SD will be even less, but if you need it it should work reasonably well, even though it's not any kind of magic bullet.
I'm been switching between using a 4MB and 8MB swapfile on my beagleboard for Gentoo Pandora development. (need to up this a bit more if your going to recompile a toolchain) and it works well. Linux kernel is pretty smart at figuring out what resources are available and use them accordingly, I wouldn't assume that I'm smarter then most of those guys. Truthfully, after many hours of compiling off and on, I generally don't see swap filling up past 50% unless I throw an aggregious compile at it. And thats reguardless of swap size, it just stretches out the compile time.
 
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WizardStan

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Tor posted on May 27 2009 at 06:37 AM said:
(my emphasis). I've seen something like this stated here many times, but in my experience it isn't true. I have set up a swap file on a class 6 SDHC card on my Nokia, just to test it, as many Nokia tablet users have reported that it's good stuff. And it does work well, in the sense that it doesn't slow down the device, it just improves the situation in marginal memory cases. Some even report that it makes the device snappier to use, this is probably just imagination though in my opinion. The point though is that it is definitely not any kind of painful experience.
I can't find the link right now (it was to Bob's Hardware or something) but a benchmark chart showed that the fastest SD cards on the market were still slower than the average hard drive at random access I/O. That's where the belief that SD swap would be slow. And in theory, it is. In practice, it's hard to say. Maybe it really does take twice as long to swap something out of memory, but two times 1/16 of a second is still imperceptibly small. Maybe once you get up to swap sizes in the dozens of megs you start to notice a difference. Experimentation required, but I honestly don't think it will really add any benefit. Unless you're a tab whore like me that likes to keep 100 or so Firefox tabs open at the same time...
 
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God Ginrai

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WizardStan posted on May 27 2009 at 09:49 AM) [quote="Tor posted on May 27 2009 at 06:37 AM) (my emphasis said:
. I've seen something like this stated here many times, but in my experience it isn't true. I have set up a swap file on a class 6 SDHC card on my Nokia, just to test it, as many Nokia tablet users have reported that it's good stuff. And it does work well, in the sense that it doesn't slow down the device, it just improves the situation in marginal memory cases. Some even report that it makes the device snappier to use, this is probably just imagination though in my opinion. The point though is that it is definitely not any kind of painful experience.
I can't find the link right now (it was to Bob's Hardware or something"] but a benchmark chart showed that the fastest SD cards on the market were still slower than the average hard drive at random access I/O. That's where the belief that SD swap would be slow. And in theory, it is. In practice, it's hard to say. Maybe it really does take twice as long to swap something out of memory, but two times 1/16 of a second is still imperceptibly small. Maybe once you get up to swap sizes in the dozens of megs you start to notice a difference. Experimentation required, but I honestly don't think it will really add any benefit. Unless you're a tab whore like me that likes to keep 100 or so Firefox tabs open at the same time...
On my Linux install I have about 130 tabs saved in FireFox atm. I find that the TooManyTabs plugin is very useful. Otherwise I would probably have around 180 tabs.[/quote]-God Ginrai
 
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