[aprssig] Xastir on Google G1?

Greg D. ko6th_greg at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 28 00:18:58 EDT 2008

> From: steve at dimse.com
> To: aprssig at lists.tapr.org
> Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2008 23:37:46 -0400
> Subject: Re: [aprssig] Xastir on Google G1?
> On Oct 26, 2008, at 10:20 PM, Greg D. wrote:
>> Anybody know enough about this new toy to know if xastir would be an
>> easy port to it?  With a built-in GPS, it could be an interesting
>> platform.
> If you have not used one of the new generation of smart phones that
> started with the iPhone, you will probably be very surprised by how
> quickly it becomes indispensable. With it comes a whole new
> expectation of the content you view on the device/
> I don't have specific knowledge of the G1, but I suspect it is not too
> different in general terms from the iPhone. xastir could be ported to
> the iPhone, and probably without too much difficulty, but I'd consider
> it a waste of my time.  Let me see if my experience with the iPhone
> might help you frame your needs a little better.

Hi Steve,

I see your point.  New device, new paradigm.  The device is not the computer; the 
Internet is.  So, here's my dilemma...  Consolidation!

I currently have several PDAs, and (believe it or not) no cell phone; wife and kids do, 
but I've managed fine without one, thank you.  But, back to  the PDAs, and the 
paradigm thing.  My first PDA, and still the one I use the most, is an HP 100LX.  Its a 
real computer (though an old one), in that the paradigm it runs on is that it's the center 
of the operating model.  It is the calendar, it is the database, it is the phone book, it is 
my notepad.  It has a serial port that I can use when the Server's ethernet link goes 
down.  The big box on my desk is not it's master, not something to be slaved to 
(commonly called "syncing").  It's not just a container to carry around stuff that belongs 
elsewhere.  It also helps that it has a very functional keyboard, large display, and that 
its battery life measured in weeks instead of hours, yet still fits in my back pocket.  I 
like all that, and its paradigm.

My second most used PDA is a slightly newer Palm V.  It gets used mostly because it has 
a significantly better satellite prediction program (PocketSat vs FodTrack), and because 
AdvantGo runs on it, so I can download various news things for reading off line.  (It's 
version of Solitaire is also better, but that isn't a pressing factor.)  Its other functions are 
so limited (and IMHO crippled) by the adoption of the slave/sync model, that they are
useless, not to mention the lack of a keyboard and limited screen space, but the battery
life is pretty good.  It has a hard shell (after-market), so it is more back pocket friendly.  
If I go somewhere non-work related, I usually grab it.

I also have an HP Jornada 680, that I can "dual boot" to either the built-in 
WinCE 2.something O/S or JLime, an amazingly well adapted version of Linux.  This PDA 
has the advantage of an add-in WiFi module that works with the odd hot-spot, and I've
used it for email and a little web surfing, though the surfing is limited by the old-vintage 
browsers (IE 3 or Dillo).  I've got both the standard and extended battery, so this puppy 
can run all day, but it will not fit in your pocket (except maybe a jacket).  I use it rarely 
because of this.  Otherwise, it would be used much more often.  (But make no mistake, 
WinCE is a verb...)

Finally, I have a Kenwood TH-D7a/g, and a GPS module that I'm attaching to it.  
Communications from anywhere, which turned out to be really important on a recent 
vacation to the no-bars Mendocino, California coast.  (I'm referring to the RF bars, here, 
not the dark smoke-filled kind...)

Each of these platforms has some specific uses, advantages and issues, and different usage 
models, but there are clearly too many of them.  What I'd really like is one PDA that does it 
all (don't we all?), and having a phone attached is probably an inevitable thing that I will 
need someday.

So, my hope was that the G1 could be that end-all PDA.  Xastir, in hindsight, was more of a 
test question...  If it can do that, then a lot of the other stuff is probably a matter of time and 
porting, since the basic hardware appears to be sufficient.  (Well, perhaps except the battery 
life.)  But now you have me thinking again about the paradigm thing.  Is there a way to
re-map the tasks I need accomplished, or at least some of them, into an Internet-centric world, 
at a price that I'm willing to pay?  Am I ready to submit myself to become the slave of 
someone's profit model?  That's a really good question...  thanks for putting things into 

Greg  KO6TH

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