Itsy Pocket Computing Project

Paul Fernhout kfsoft at
Tue May 26 03:03:54 UTC 1998

Tim -

Thanks for pointing out Itsy. What a great concept! Too bad DEC is not
announcing marketing plans. I'd expect them to be expensive at first (as
with most things made in small runs). 

It sounds like what the Newton MP2100 could have been if Apple had just
released the hardware memory maps & other specs to let people get a
simple OS on it with a standard C compiler (like the Pilot has). :-( 

Since Itsy runs Linux, I would assume Squeak for Linux should run on
Itsy with only a few minor modifications -- maybe even just loading in
the WinCE changes for running on a monochrome screen with a stylus.
Linux looks like overkill for it -- but at least it is an open standard.
What might be really interesting is a native Squeak port like for the
Mitsubishi chip.

Itsy will have the same problems Squeak on the Newton would have
regarding battery life. The Arm processor gets battery long life by
going to sleep frequently. For example, from the website slide show for
Itsy, running continuously, Itsy gets about one hour of battery life. A
totally event driven Squeak would be a real plus for conserving battery
life. I don't know how they expect to do text-to-speech or voice
recognition and have decent battery life. Of course, once those methanol
fuel cells for cell phones come into production in a couple years
(hopefully -- mentioned in a recent Popular Science issue), battery life
concerns for PDAs might practically be a thing of the past.

Tim Olson wrote:
> Hey, folks, wonder if someone can get Squeak running on this:
> Looks like its goals of open hardware/software for handheld systems might
> mesh nicely with Squeak directions.

-Paul Fernhout
Kurtz-Fernhout Software 
Developers of custom software and educational simulations
Creators of the StoryHarp(TM) Audioventure Authoring System
Creators of PlantStudio(TM) Botanical Illustration Software

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