Archive Index (1999-2012) | 2013-current at | About  

Century upgrades Linux PDA software stack

Nov 20, 2001 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Salt Lake City, UT — (press release excerpt) — Century Embedded Technologies today announced the release of PIXIL PDA v1.1, a commercial-ready PDA solution based on Linux, Microwindows, and Century's PIXIL Operating Environment (PIXIL OE). Significant enhancements include a new look-and-feel, Bluetooth support, and a companion desktop Personal Information Manager (PIM). PIXIL PDA also includes support for email, web browsing, and games.

PIXIL PDA v1.1 advances standard applications for organizing personal and business information. All applications interact through Centurys PIXIL Applications Registry and Interprocess Communications Mechanism, allowing applications to share and search data without having to use the same data format. “Our inter-applications communications technology allows new applications to be added to the PIXIL platform and have their data shared between all applications, regardless of the new applications data formats,” said Gregory Haerr, CEO of Century Embedded Technologies and Microwindows project leader.

PIXIL PDA v1.1 is based on the recently announced open source PIXIL OE that easily adapts to modern pervasive devices with multiple form factors and connectivity requirements. Providing a base platform for solutions, PIXIL OE offers developers a Linux standard for smart connected devices. The complete PIXIL PDA v1.1 flash memory requirement is less than 6.5MB.

Applications Management

PIXIL's screentop applications manager, which provides application launching, file management and the registry, has been enhanced to allow complete customization of the screentop, with settings stored in an XML-compatible format. Handwriting recognition has been enhanced, along with a graphical system configuration utility, providing user access to newly included power management, time/date, and display settings.

The new PIXIL Desktop boasts a complementary set of applications that share data with their PIM counterparts resident on the handheld device. PIXIL Desktop provides a comprehensive solution that will maintain addresses, scheduled appointments, a to-do list, and notes, synchronizing the user data between the PIM suite and desktop. The PIXIL Desktop also has a graphical update utility that allows the PDA system to load updated software and facilitates the addition or removal of programs with simplicity and ease.


PIXIL PDAs new connectivity options include support for Bluetooth, a graphical network configuration utility, and enhanced support for 802.11b. Most Compact Flash and PCMCIA wireless networking cards are supported. The graphical network configuration utility simplifies connectivity and allows quick configuration to multiple wireless Internet connections as well as a direct connection to a network. Internet connectivity via serial PPP is supported through direct line or modem. Ethernet connectivity is supported through Compact Flash adapters with dynamic DHCP or fixed addressing. Network system startup and shutdown is enabled through the graphical interface, allowing easy connectivity for novice users.

Internet connectivity and email access is also supported in PIXIL PDA 1.1. The included ViewML Internet Browser offers a lightweight, small footprint web browser with a runtime memory requirement of less than 2.5 MB.

Configurations and Availability

Century offers two configurations for PIXIL PDA v1.1. A binary-only configuration provides commercial-ready deployment capabilities on top of the open source PIXIL OE platform. A second configuration, known as the PIXIL PDA Certified Platform, includes porting to a new environment by Century Embedded Technologies, producing a supported system image with complete source code for a fixed fee.

PIXIL PDA 1.1 is available now. Supported architectures include x86, PowerPC, StrongARM, MIPS, and SH.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.