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PMP doubles as personal Linux desktop

May 31, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Asian Linux distributor TurboLinux today announced the “global launch” of its combination PMP (portable media player) and Linux boot device. When plugged into a PC, the “Wizpy” player launches users into their own localized, personalized Linux-based operating system environment.

(Click for larger view of TurboLinux Wizpy)

TurboLinux initially launched the Wizpy in Japan in February, in conjunction with a “Wizpy Club” online service providing file storage, firmware updates, and other network services. Now, TurboLinux says it will distribute the Wizpy in India, North America, Europe, Asia, India, and Oceania, beginning in mid-June, concurrently launching an English-language version of the Wizpy Club.

Turbolinux says Wizpy will save users from lugging laptops, and from risking data on unattended home and office PCs. It will also enable them to use public PCs at cafes and libraries without leaving any traces behind, according to the company.

Another advantage for travelers is the ability to take a localized, native-language PC environment with them. The Wizpy's media player interface supports Chinese, French, and 12 other languages. Presumably, its Linux environment includes locale settings for each of the device's target distribution areas.

TurboLinux Wizpy
(Click to enlarge)

What's a Wizpy?

The Wizpy is a small PMP (portable media player) measuring 3.3 x 1.6 x 0.5 inches (84 x 42 x 12mm), and weighing 2.1 ounces (60 grams). It has a 1.7-inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display, a USB port, stereo headphone jack, and a built-in microphone.

As a PMP, the Wizpy supports DivX video; Ogg, MP3, and AAC audio files; and JPEG photos. It appears to be based on solid-state flash storage, rather than on a hard drive, since it weighs only 60 grams (2.1 ounces). Turbolinux has not yet specified the device's capacity, however.

The Wizpy comes pre-installed with the Turbolinux distribution for PC desktops. The environment includes a browser, email client with RSS reader and “quick search,” text viewer, voice MP3 recorder, IP telephony client, office software, and a media player supporting album art, ID3 tag editing, and other advanced features.


The Wizpy is expected to ship in mid-June, through TurboLinux India and distributors that include Source One Network Inc. (SON), in North America; eSys Information Technologies (eSys), in South Asia; and Ferosys, in Asia and Oceania. The device sells for 33,800 Yen in Japan (about $278), with global pricing “expected to be equivalent,” according to TurboLinux.

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