Next up for Linux: handhelds

Next up for Linux: handhelds

Even as it gains ground in the server and desktop PC markets, Linux is also developing as a platform for handhelds and other wireless devices, as well as traditional embedded applications.

PocketLinux from Transvirtual Technologies Inc. of Berkeley, Calif., and Ebedix from Lineo Inc. of Salt Lake City provide platforms for developing slimmed- down implementations of Linux and complete applications for handheld and embedded devices.

Many devices already support Linux in handheld and mobile configurations.

Agenda Computing Inc. of Irvine, Calif., just released VR3, a Linux computer about the size of a Palm Inc. handheld. It has built-in contact and schedule management functions as well as e-mail and fax software. Users can communicate with computers or other devices via its infrared port or its synchronization cradle, as well as via an optional 56K modem. It's priced at $249.

Linux also runs on several handheld devices. Porting projects have brought Linux to devices such as Compaq Computer Corp.'s iPaq handheld computer, though Compaq does not officially support the project. The LinuxCE porting project, at www.linuxce.org, is working on adapting Linux to other Microsoft Windows CE and PocketPC devices.

'Kevin Jonah

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