News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

Port $20 wireless messaging device to Linux — win a job

Jul 9, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 15 views

Peek has issued a challenge to developers, asking them to port its low-cost, email-and-texting handheld to Linux. The first developer to demonstrate a Linux version of the bare-bones ARM7-based “Peek” device will win a “mini-consulting gig,” says the company.

The Peek handheld was introduced last year to much acclaim, including winning the "Gadget of the Year" award from Time. Its popularity stems largely from its simplicity of operation, but it is also lauded for its low price: only $50 for the original Peek Classic — currently being offered by Amazon for just $20 — and $80 for the new Peek Pronto.

The service costs have generated even more interest. Use of Peek's high-speed wireless data network, providing unlimited email and text messaging, costs only $20 per month for either device.

The Peek Pronto
(Click to enlarge)

Both devices are based on a Texas Instruments (TI) ARM7-based LoCosto processor designed for "ultra-low to entry-range wireless handsets," according to TI (see diagram below). According to a blog post by Peek (link below), the chip is compatible with uClinux.

TI LoCosto block diagram

(Click to enlarge)

Peek's porting invitation page includes some helpful links to get started, along with this challenge: "I'm hoping one or more of you out there in the world can get Linux running on the Peek." The first to do so will win the undefined "mini-consulting gig."

Introduced in March, the Pronto version of the Peek measures 4.0 by 2.7 by 0.4 inches and weighs 109 gr., says Peek. It offers a 2.5-inch QVGA screen, a QWERTY keyboard, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It also includes a cellular data-only radio that runs on T-Mobile's network.

The Peek Pronto is said to offer the following features:

  • Push email
  • Unlimited email and texting
  • Compatibility with Microsoft Exchange
  • View images/PDF/doc files
  • Access to up to five email accounts
  • Ability to search for emails on the device
  • 50 percent improvement in speed of the software
  • Larger font size option

The Peek Pronto

(Click to enlarge)


The Peek challenge to port Linux to its Peek device may be found here. More on the Peek devices should be here.

For a compendium of recent PDAs and handhelds, check out our "Linux PDAs, PMPs, PNDs, and other Handhelds Showcase," here.

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.