[sword-devel] Sword for palmptops

Dan Williams drw at handhelds.org
Wed Jan 12 08:20:52 MST 2005

On Wednesday 12 January 2005 07:03, Krzys i Iwonka wrote:
> Hello
> In the nearest time I want to buy palmptop with the main reason to use it
> with Sword (Qtopia) environement. My question: is it necessary to buy one
> of iPAQ series or this project should work with others as well? I mean
> that other are usually much cheaper (as I noticed). How much RAM space I
> need to store mainprogram    10 x Bibles   5 x commentaries   5 x
> dictionaries?  Is it possible to import standard  modules to a PocketPC
> version?
> Thank you
> Krzysztof Nowak

If you want to install Linux on your handheld, there are only a few different 
brands and models supported.  PDA's unfortunately are usually custom 
designed, and one model can vary dramatically from another from the same 
company.  Even though the specifications of PDA's sound very similar (same 
processor, memory, etc.) they are usually dramatically different to the 

HP Ipaqs - Familiar Linux (http://handhelds.org) - It usually takes awhile 
before the newer models are supported.  Check out their projects page to see 
the models supported.

Sharp Zaurus - OpenZaurus (http://openzaurus.org) - The Zaurus PDA's come with 
Linux already installed along with the Qtopia user interface.  OpenZaurus is 
a distribution which provides much more software, and it supports all models 
except the latest SL-C300.

There is also support for Siemen's Simpad web tablets (http://opensimpad.org), 
but these are somewhat rare.

I have had over time a couple of different Ipaqs as well as a Zaurus, and both 
OpenZaurus and Familiar are fairly mature distributions (though they do have 
their rough edges).  They both offer a choice of user environments, known as 
GPE (http://gpe.handhelds.org) and Opie (http://opie.handhelds.org).  Opie is 
similar to Qtopia, and Qtopia apps are usually compatible with it.

If you are going to take a first step into using a PDA with Linux and cost is 
a concern, I would look for a used HP/Compaq 38xx or 39xx series PDA on 
E-bay.  These models are well supported by Familiar Linux, and offer a good 
set of specifications.  I would recommend one with a SD/MMC or CF slot for a 
memory card.

As for storage space, the Flash ROM (as listed in the PDA specs) is what is 
used as a hard drive, and this is where all programs are installed.  The base 
install of Linux and Opie (I have not used GPE in a long time) is around 13 
MB.  If you have a PDA with 32 MB of Flash, this will leave enough room to 
install the Sword library and QPSword or Dagger and a few Sword modules (use 
the raw zip version of the modules, not the Windows version).  

What I do is install all of my modules on a memory card which I keep in my 
PDA.  This allows you to use many more modules (including the big ones like 
the Webster's dictionary), while still leaving space on the device itself for 
other programs.  The space for a module varies greatly (I would guess between 
and few dozen kilobytes to over 40 MB for the dictionary), so the space 
needed will depend on which ones you want to use.  But if you bought a 64MB 
memory card, you will be able to install probably almost everything you could 


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