More portable Linux

Can you say "built-in wireless"?

People are cramming Linux into everything. There is Linux for phones, Linux for cameras, Linux for (as documented on These Very Pages) the iPod ... and now there's a Linux build for the Nintendo DS.

Unlike the iPod install that gave you rock-solid digital recording and a nice selection of games, this version does a big load of nothing. It boots, and (as of this week) it can use the touch-screen as a keyboard. Beyond that, well, you can say "hey, I booted Linux on my DS" and then turn the thing off and go back to playing games. It is, for all intents and purposes. useless.

Useless now, anyway. In the future, who knows? The DS has bigger and better screens than a Palm, more screens than a Palm, better sound than a Palm, a very nice touch screen, cheap storage, and (best of all) built-in high-speed wireless. There are a zillion small applications for Linux that could be ported over - everything from date books to web browsers to email. Can a gaming machine moonlight as a rugged clamshell wireless PDA for 200 bucks?


Posted: Wed - June 22, 2005 at 12:16 AM