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Linux webpad draws enthusiastic mini-review

Oct 20, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

[Updated Oct. 24] — The PepperPad 3 appeals to both computer neophytes and Linux hackers, suggests CarryPad Editor Steve Paine in an enthusiastic mini-review. Paine praises the device's user-friendliness, as well as its open, hacker-friendly, x86-based architecture.

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Paine says that within minutes, the PepperPad can be happily connected via WiFi and browsing the web. At the same time, the device is based on Fedora Core 4, and has a built-in xterm that can be invoked through a special key sequence. This makes it trivial to install virtually any open-source software, using yum and other automatic software installation utilities. Paine suggests using this capability to turn the Pad into an offline WikiPedia viewer.

Additional points of praise include 3-hour battery life, outstanding thumbwheel, TV-out, general ruggedness, kitchen- and bathtub-readiness, and a generally ergonomic design.

Quibbles include some “dumbed-down” applications, such as limited IMAP support in the email client, some awkwardness switching between the device's joystick and its touchscreen stylus, and no infrared receiver capabilities.

PepperPad Spokesperson Sean Sosik-Hamor confirmed that despite sophisticated “learning remote” sending capabilities, the PepperPad lacks software support for receiving commands from infrared remotes. He explains, “An item on our wishlist is to make the Pad 3 controllable via a remote, similar to Apple's Front Row. The hardware is hooked up and it's just a matter of getting the time to write the code, or having some enterprising Linux hacker implement it themselves.”

Despite picking a few nits, Paine clearly considers the PepperPad to be one of the more evolved “ultra-mobile PC” (UMPC) devices available.

His complete mini-review can be found here.

More technical details about the PepperPad can be found in our detailed Device Profile, here.


 
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