Favorite PDA?

110119011023.jpgRecently, I have been looking around for a PDA. Not that I really need it: it’s been so many years I’ve kept on using paper for my agenda, or to take notes and maitain my todo list… Anyway, although I never had a PDA so far, I always loved them. So I started to wonder why I don’t a PDA yet, and while at the same time I love them!? I think I love them because it’s kind of an ideal device. It brings the concept of *personal* computer to its highest. You can bring a PDA everywhere you go, and now it’s even supposed to have the capability to communicate with the rest of the computer world. So why the hell I still don’t have a PDA!!? Actually, I think I had already two “ideal PDAs”… Once was a Toshiba Libretto 100CT that I used at the early Mandrakesoft times, because I spent much time travelling on train between my home and Mandrakesoft’s headquarters. The 100CT is a marvelous machine, very outdate though. I could run Mandrake Linux on it, and catch emails (and even browse the web a little) by connecting it to my cell-phone. It was very small so I could just put it inside my document bag. But I had to abandon it because it was too limited in performance and it’s been harder and harder to load it with an up to date Linux system. One year ago, I  was eventually seduced by a small “ultra-portable” ASUS laptop that I can still carry with me everywhere I have to go to meet people for the Ulteo project. It’s very nice, has wifi and is very fast. I couldn’t find an easy way to connect it to the net through my cell though. Which is kind a regression compared to my Tosh. But still it is not *really* what I would imagine as an ideal  Personal Digital Assistant. So I started to look around for an ideal PDA. And I discovered a strange world where I couldn’t really find what I need. First deception was that most of these PDAs are now provided with the Microsoft Windows Mobile OS, which is something I obviously can’t support. Some others are provided by other proprietary OSes but seem to rather limited as well (or did I miss something?).  I could find a few appliances that run Linux (such as a Nokia…) but as far as I understand, most of the time it is loaded with a limited version of Linux that can run their exotic processor. Of course I heard of the Yopy a few years ago, and I put great hopes in it. But it turned to be rather deceptive. Another aspect of the PDA world is that nowadays the frontier is thin between the ones that do only agenda, the ones that are a real PC, the ones that can communicate through wifi and or gsm/gprs/umts, the ones that provide a GPS and a map, the ones that can take pictures or videos. Sometimes they provide several of these options at the same time, but I’m not sure I even saw any that offers *all* the options at the same time. So I’m really stuck at a point where I couldn’t choose what fits my needs: a PDA that would be not too big (I could bring it in my coat), that would offer a small keyboard (or virtual keyboard on the screen), that would offer wifi access, that could connect to gsm/gprs(/umts) directly or through a cell-phone, that would have a camera, and that would offer me a real (preferably Linux) OS where I could run a real webbrowser (even with java plugin), a VNC viewer and a ssh client.  And that could play ogg/mp3 files of course. So if you have a PDA to recommend or share you experience with a Linux PDA, just tell me! 🙂

Linex, the success of a regional policy

Linex, a version of Linux, has been successfully developed and deployed in the educational field by the regional government of Extremadura, Spain, Europe. Discover how this project, by getting rid of the Microsoft dead end, has made Extremadura one of the most equipped region in computers and Internet access : watch this Euronews video (English) (French version).

Classmate PC: 400USD laptop for education by Intel

Classmate PCEquipped with a Celeron M 900 MHz, 256 Mb DDR2, 1-2 Go Flash memory, Intel 915GMS video chipset, a 7″ screen (800×480), a waterproof keyboard, Wi-Fi 802.11g and Eth ports, the Classmate PC weights 1.3 Kg and costs 400USD, more than the OLPC’s XO. Anyway, this is a major initiative, espcially because Intel is behind it and because it’s targetted to the south-American education sector which should allow an easier access to computing for millions of students and teachers. What else? It’s preloaded with XP and/or Mandriva Linux and/or Metasys Classmate. The choice apparently depends on needs and region. I can just hope that the price varies depending on the installed OS.

About me (cliquer ici pour la version Française)

Gaël DuvalI was born in 1973 and got my Master’s degree in Computer Sciences (Systems & Networks) at University in 1997. In 1998 I created the popular Mandrake-Linux system which was the first Linux distribution to care about ease of use (7 years before Ubuntu actually). Then I co-founded Mandrakesoft which went public in 2001. Mandrake-Linux later became Mandriva Linux with the aquisition of Conectiva in Brazil, it was acquired in 2010 by a Russian Investment fund.

There is a chapter about the early story of Mandrake-Linux and Mandrakesoft, and how we took part of the Linux & Open Source revolution, in this excellent book “Rebel Code” by Glyn Moody (here at Amazon, here at Google Books for a preview).

Starting from 2007, I’ve developed the Ulteo project, a multi-platform application and desktop delivery solution for corporates, with partners. The project was aquired in 2014 by AZNetwork SAS.

In 2015 I’m working on building a “Startup Factory” with partners, called “NFactory”, launching September 2016. I also have new projects linked to mobile development, Artifical Intelligence and chatbots in my spare time.

I’m generally performant at envisioning and bootstraping new projects from mostly nothing.

I’m especially interested in participating in potentially disruptive projects in the software industry (AI…) and/or in the “energy field” (photovoltaics, electricity storage, electric cars).

Since 2016 I’m an Advisor for the CommonSearch: project, a radically transparent search engine for the web.

In 2017 I started eelo.io, a mobile phone OS and associated web-services with respect of user’s privacy. This is a non-profit project, in the public interest (see the crowdfunding campaign here).

Contact: Please feel free to contact me by email at gaelduval at indidea dot org, if you want to discuss something or just say hello! 🙂

Find me on:

– LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gaelduvalprofile/

– Twitter: https://twitter.com/gael_duval

– Facebook (pro): https://www.facebook.com/gaelduvalprofessionnal

– Facebook (perso: close friends & family): https://www.facebook.com/gaelduvalperso

– Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GaëlDuvalprofile/

And on Wikipedia (yes!)

Personal interests:

– Music (listening, playing guitar, piano & drums, recording/producing) & Arts
– Wine (tasting, producing)
– Physics/Astronomy…
– many others actually 🙂

Official pictures of Gaël Duval ! (images licence: CC BY-SA 4.0)gael_duval_officiel

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