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November 2, 2000

Nano-X development toolkit for Linux on the IPAQ

Century Software Embedded Technologies is announcing a freely redistributable binary distribution of our Nano-X based PDA operating environment and toolkit for the iPAQ. This distribution provides a fully functional screentop, web browser, terminal emulator, popup keyboard and handwriting recognition as the basis for development and execution of other Nano-X-based graphics applications for the iPAQ.

Screenshots are available at:

The binary distribution is available in RPM format for both the iPAQ itself and for x86-based Linux desktops running X11. The iPAQ binaries are downloaded onto the iPAQ using the serial link and replace the original operating environment. This package is available at:

The desktop X11 binaries allow the evaluation and demonstration of the entire iPAQ environment within a 240x320 window on the desktop under KDE or Gnome. This is accomplished using the Nano-X X11 screen driver with all applications compiled for x86 rather than ARM. This package is available at:

The Nano-X operating environment for the iPAQ includes the following technologies:
  • The Nano-X Project graphical windowing environment, including touchscreen calibrator, popup keyboard and handwriting recognition, based on Nano-X-0.89pre5. ( http://Nano-X.org )
  • The ViewML Project embedded internet browser, an HTML v3.2 compatible web browser with a 2Mb ram footprint, based on viewml-0.18. (http://www.viewml.com)
  • The FLNX Fast Light Tool Kit widget set and libraries, based on flnx-0.14. (http://www.viewml.com)
  • A specialized "ScreenTop" window manager, developed by Century Software, handles the look and feel and operating environment for the PDA. The ScreenTop is customizable with a configuration file that allows various directories to be searched and displayed as icons, as well as specifying custom titles and icons for various applications. In addition, the ScreenTop handles the PDA taskbar and controls the appearance of the applications on the display.
  • A set of applications including a terminal emulator, load monitor, clock, battery monitor, backlight switch and date/time, developed by Century Software.
We will be setting up a specialized mailing list to handle discussion of this distribution, check out:
http://embedded.centurysoftware.com/products/mailinglist for details.

Although this distribution is free, Century Software plans on producing a commercially available, supported product in the near future with enhanced documentation for less technical people to develop embedded graphical software applications for PDAs and webpads.
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