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Re: Linux/MIPS on a PDA?

To: linux-mips@fnet.fr
Subject: Re: Linux/MIPS on a PDA?
From: ralf@uni-koblenz.de
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 17:46:48 +0100
In-reply-to: <199801200840.IAA00233@gladsmuir.algor.co.uk>; from Dominic Sweetman on Tue, Jan 20, 1998 at 08:40:50AM +0000
References: <Pine.LNX.3.95.980119230946.15218A-100000@omicron.omegacs.net> <199801200840.IAA00233@gladsmuir.algor.co.uk>
On Tue, Jan 20, 1998 at 08:40:50AM +0000, Dominic Sweetman wrote:

> Windows CE for MIPS requires memory management, which is good.  None
> of the PDA processors don't have floating point hardware, which could
> be bad.  NEC's CPUs are R4x00 (64-bit MIPS) and the Toshiba/Phillips
> are R3000-derivatives (32-bits); Linux is likely to be more familiar
> with the R4x00, but the differences are pretty localised.
> 
> And of course you've got to persuade Linux to run with whatever puny
> memory they have - perhaps 8Mbyte of flash + 8Mbyte of RAM and no
> disk.
> 
> Good luck, and I think you'll need it.

Actually from the technical point of view things aren't that bad for such
a bad point of view:

 - some time ago somebody stripped a Linux kernel completly such that it was
   possible to boot it without swap on a 1mb 386.  We should be able to do
   the same in 2mb.
 - operation without fpa still isn't supported
 - There is some GUI library available that is much leaner than X.

It think over the thumb it shouldn't be too hard to provide 4mb to application
programs with a nearly as complete API as we have now; even more with more
effort.

Talking about memory managment, anybody keen on porting Linux to the R4640
which only has base/bounds pairs for code/data?  Would bring us closer to
a Cray port ;-)

> [And in my opinion, PDA's are useless without a usable input device,
>  and tiny keyboards are useless.  So I'm waiting and watching pens
>  and voice, and if necessary prepared to wait a long time.  But
>  you don't have to agree...]

Which is why I had to buy a Intel laptop, grmpfff...
(Or how much many buckazoids would a Sparc laptop have cost me ...)

  Ralf

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