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Linux Operated Devices: Now In The Market

Aug 18, 2007
The OpenMoko-based FIC Neo1973 is "the World's First Integrated Open Source Mobile Communications Platform", the smartphone is expected to compete against the Windows Mobile, Palm, Symbian and now OS X operating systems on mobile phones. Based on the initial specs, it will be released with EDGE, like the iPhone, instead of the faster 3G or HSDPA , I am having doubts if Europe and Asia will find it interesting.

Also, Motorola is showcasing their MotoRIZR K6 as a mobile phone that runs "New Linux operating system that incorporates kJava." They also introduced two Linux-based mobile phones. Linux and Java will be running in some models of the "Razr2" and "Rokr". LinuxDevices has reported, that the Razr2 will come with the following features: "Crystal-talk" adaptive technology for auto audio volume adjustment. The talking phone features for use by the blind, in cars, etc. Auto answers SMS, 2MP camera and the use of personal video-conferencing. On the other hand, the MotoRokr Z6 will be the "first Linux phone to support all of Microsoft's Windows Media technologies." This news comes as a welcome surprise considering that Motorola used to deliver Linux-based phones mostly in Asia. The deployment of Linux-based Motorola phones in the US will help get more developers to support it. I wonder how it will affect the OpenMoko initiative.

Another Linux-based phone gets announced. This is based on a report on Gupp Technologies' Phreedom VoIP phone which has GSM support running on Linux. Phreedom sports a Treo-style QWERTY keyboard, 2.5" 320x240 256K-color display, GSM+GPRS, 320MB memory and 5 hours of talk time in its WiFi mode. One would wonder why there are different Linux-based mobile platforms but there seems none that can support 3G or HSDPA *and* wifi and VoIP in one device.

Let us move on to other devices. Linux is still playing catch-up in as far as hardware is concerned. However, pcHDTV, this is a company that makes HDTV tuner cards, that seems to concentrate on Linux only. At US$129, it sure is an affordable solution for Linux.

It was a surprise to find out that a particular Linux-based digital video recorder is from my home country, the Philippines. The company, called Neugent, created a digital video capture card and packaged it as a surveillance/security dvr system. Whilst the product looks really promising, it would have been better if they release the video capture cards as a separate PC add-on card.
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The author writes about linux photoshop and blogs at http://www.hackitlinux.com/.
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