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is the journada 680 still worth to get?

marko Page Icon Posted 2021-06-12 3:29 AM
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Was looking for a Journada, which I had many years ago; and found some at good price; although with the 720 available, it seems that most people suggest to get that.

Since the 720 is newer and use a newer CPU, even if it run at the same speed of the 680, it should be faster; but beside that, what else do you give up when picking a 680 ?
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ax0n Page Icon Posted 2021-06-12 4:44 AM
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I had them both.
My 680e had 16MB of RAM. Jornada 720 has 32 MB.
680e had a 133MHz SH3 CPU. 720 has a 206 MHz XScale StrongARM SA1110. And it FEELS tons snappier.

The lower case on the 680e expands out when you snap a PCMCIA card in. The CF slot is kind of clunky, too. It's under the PCMCIA slot. The 680 has a plastic "foot" on the other side to level it out when a PCMCIA is inserted. That foot gets broken or goes missing on a lot of used models. So the 720 just feels a bit more refined as well.
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2021-06-12 7:15 PM
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Hey, is that marko of BE-300 fame? Welcome in any event to HPC:Factor.

I've had both as well (the 680 was my first H/PC back in 2005), but I also have a 728, which I'd recommend over both if you can track one down. It has 64 MB RAM as opposed to the 32 of the 720. In any event either the 720 or 728 are better than the 680 for several reasons:

1) the better exterior physical design as mentioned by ax0n;

2) the faster processor as mentioned by ax0n;

3) the ARM processor (specifically StrongARM SA-1110, not X-Scale) gives you more options for running Pocket PC software on the larger H/PC screen, with lots of Pocket PC 2000 and Pocket PC 2002 software (both of which were based on Windows CE 3.0 just as the 720/728's Handheld PC 2000 was) written for ARM-based Pocket PCs (even some Windows Mobile 2003 software will work with the RedGear compatibility layer);

4) the newer Windows CE version (CE 3-based H/PC 2000, as opposed to the 680's Handheld PC Professional which is based on Windows CE 2.11), though there are ways to make many Pocket PC programs compatible with the SH3 processor to work; and

5) much better sound quality of the 720/728, plus a stereo headset jack (the 680 suffers from terrible sound distortion from its speaker and has no headphone jack).

The 690 (I still have one of these too) has 32 MB of RAM, but suffers from the same external design and sound quality flaws as the 680.
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marko Page Icon Posted 2021-06-12 11:21 PM
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ax0n - 2021-06-12 4:44 AM

I had them both.
My 680e had 16MB of RAM. Jornada 720 has 32 MB.
680e had a 133MHz SH3 CPU. 720 has a 206 MHz XScale StrongARM SA1110. And it FEELS tons snappier.

The lower case on the 680e expands out when you snap a PCMCIA card in. The CF slot is kind of clunky, too. It's under the PCMCIA slot. The 680 has a plastic "foot" on the other side to level it out when a PCMCIA is inserted. That foot gets broken or goes missing on a lot of used models. So the 720 just feels a bit more refined as well.


Oh wow; I thought the weirdness with the PC card pushing down was something only on the 680E, but instead is also on the 680. I guess the 720 is the way to go then, now more than before
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marko Page Icon Posted 2021-06-12 11:27 PM
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CE Geek - 2021-06-12 7:15 PM

Hey, is that marko of BE-300 fame? Welcome in any event to HPC:Factor.

I've had both as well (the 680 was my first H/PC back in 2005), but I also have a 728, which I'd recommend over both if you can track one down. It has 64 MB RAM as opposed to the 32 of the 720. In any event either the 720 or 728 are better than the 680 for several reasons:

1) the better exterior physical design as mentioned by ax0n;

2) the faster processor as mentioned by ax0n;

3) the ARM processor (specifically StrongARM SA-1110, not X-Scale) gives you more options for running Pocket PC software on the larger H/PC screen, with lots of Pocket PC 2000 and Pocket PC 2002 software (both of which were based on Windows CE 3.0 just as the 720/728's Handheld PC 2000 was) written for ARM-based Pocket PCs (even some Windows Mobile 2003 software will work with the RedGear compatibility layer);

4) the newer Windows CE version (CE 3-based H/PC 2000, as opposed to the 680's Handheld PC Professional which is based on Windows CE 2.11), though there are ways to make many Pocket PC programs compatible with the SH3 processor to work; and

5) much better sound quality of the 720/728, plus a stereo headset jack (the 680 suffers from terrible sound distortion from its speaker and has no headphone jack).

The 690 (I still have one of these too) has 32 MB of RAM, but suffers from the same external design and sound quality flaws as the 680.


Thanks for the welcome! And no, I am not "that" marko Just a generic one

The 728 is not an option sadly; 32 mb would be really nice to have; plus their color scheme is more appealing that plain blue

Faster CPU and better design are totally a win; compatibility is also another great win for the 720. I have been away from the CE world, so I lost a bit of knowledge there; but from your explanation seems that I can run basically most of the CE library on the 720 thanks to the ARM processor, which is great.
New OS, also great thing to have; and audio definitely is a plus, especially with a audio jack.

At this point I think it is clear that going for the 720 make more sense. This is the way! Thanks for clarifying things for me!
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HPC:Fan Page Icon Posted 2021-06-13 11:11 AM
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marko - 2021-06-12 6:27 PM

This is the way!


This is the way.

Welcome aboard, glad you got some useful info. What you plan on doing with the 720?
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joval Page Icon Posted 2021-06-13 4:01 PM
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CE Geek: Great post/summary! Longest one from you I've seen in ages. Can you point me in the right direction on what is required to get ppc apps running on the J720? Can you get Opera mini 5 to run on the J720?? Thanks in advance!

Marko:
I can add couple of things. I had a 680 some time ago, it was very limited.
1. Now, the J720's PIE4 browser is "almost" obsolete but still very useful unlike the J680 browser( I still have a winCE 2.11 based MP800 ... that same browser is worthless). PIE4 can render HTML4 and CSS.. so using the H-bomb app or just a text editor you can practice/learn to create Html/Css/ web pages. There is no javascript scripting so interactive web pages are limited. PIE4 can still log onto Http: sites and with an ethernet card or wep wifi you can use it to control ESP32 microcontrollers to turn things on or off or to monitor temperature and humidity, etc. So that's a plus.

2. The J720 can be easily upgraded to a J728 in function with a 64MB ROM card. I purchased a few on Ebay last year for $20 from this guy: biba@thaddeus.com ...he may have more. 64Mb is a nice improvement especially if you want to do the following:

3. Thanks to-Dev_Null/ Stefan the J720 has a very good Devuan port that when combined with a Raspberry Pi opens all the doors/ reincarnates the J720. Full web access/youtube videos with sound, etc. I'm posting this from a J720 I have dedicated as a Devuan/ethernet/RasPi4 micro desktop "hybrid" which can be run for many hours off battery, or in my case, plugged in 24/7. You can surf the net and download web pages, PDF's, tutorials,send emails, etc and view them later in WinCE mode as a dual boot option. So you can go to starbucks or go on a hike/ camping without fear you will lose or break your bulky, pricey tablet or laptop.

So, I concur... the J720 is by far the most versatile powerful option,especially if you like to tinker with the software options.

Just my 2 cents worth... Yes, Welcome aboard!

joval
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2021-06-13 8:54 PM
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I don't recall ever getting Opera Mini to run on the 720/728.

Getting Pocket PC apps to run was always just a matter of adding the right DLLs, in particular aygshell.dll.
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ntware Page Icon Posted 2021-06-14 12:36 AM
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I would say that the easiest and most straightforward way to get PPC running on 720 is by using Redgear (you can find it here on HPC Factor
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marko Page Icon Posted 2021-06-14 5:32 AM
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HPC:Fan - 2021-06-13 11:11 AM

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marko - 2021-06-12 6:27 PM

This is the way!


This is the way.

Welcome aboard, glad you got some useful info. What you plan on doing with the 720?


Thanks First of all, I want to see how feasible it is as portable journal writer; for documents mainly, so I can type while I can't use my laptop.

Most of its features are probably obsolete; but it can be a useful alternate device for limited office productivity. I wish there was an IDE to write code on it, either for Python or C/C++; that would make it quite an appealing device, since I can't really code on ipad and similar sadly (unless you are connected to internet, since the compile and execution is done remotely).

Another interesting usage would be by installing Linux on it; I could have some simple text apps to do some work; mostly scripting in shell and similar, but I am not sure if the device is powerful enough.

I guess once I get it, I can start to play with it and see what I can really do with it. In the worst case, even if I open it now and then to use it a bit, is enough to justify its purchase
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marko Page Icon Posted 2021-06-14 5:44 AM
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joval - 2021-06-13 4:01 PM

CE Geek: Great post/summary! Longest one from you I've seen in ages. Can you point me in the right direction on what is required to get ppc apps running on the J720? Can you get Opera mini 5 to run on the J720?? Thanks in advance!

Marko:
I can add couple of things. I had a 680 some time ago, it was very limited.
1. Now, the J720's PIE4 browser is "almost" obsolete but still very useful unlike the J680 browser( I still have a winCE 2.11 based MP800 ... that same browser is worthless). PIE4 can render HTML4 and CSS.. so using the H-bomb app or just a text editor you can practice/learn to create Html/Css/ web pages. There is no javascript scripting so interactive web pages are limited. PIE4 can still log onto Http: sites and with an ethernet card or wep wifi you can use it to control ESP32 microcontrollers to turn things on or off or to monitor temperature and humidity, etc. So that's a plus.

2. The J720 can be easily upgraded to a J728 in function with a 64MB ROM card. I purchased a few on Ebay last year for $20 from this guy: biba@thaddeus.com ...he may have more. 64Mb is a nice improvement especially if you want to do the following:

3. Thanks to-Dev_Null/ Stefan the J720 has a very good Devuan port that when combined with a Raspberry Pi opens all the doors/ reincarnates the J720. Full web access/youtube videos with sound, etc. I'm posting this from a J720 I have dedicated as a Devuan/ethernet/RasPi4 micro desktop "hybrid" which can be run for many hours off battery, or in my case, plugged in 24/7. You can surf the net and download web pages, PDF's, tutorials,send emails, etc and view them later in WinCE mode as a dual boot option. So you can go to starbucks or go on a hike/ camping without fear you will lose or break your bulky, pricey tablet or laptop.

So, I concur... the J720 is by far the most versatile powerful option,especially if you like to tinker with the software options.

Just my 2 cents worth... Yes, Welcome aboard!

joval


You spoke of microcontroller...you have my full attention I remember reading somewhere that these devices were used by companies not only as personal organizer and portable office productivity replacement, but also as field devices. It has a serial port in the back (that look like a USB I believe); which open up possibilities to drive "things", if there is a driver or just using the serial protocol. Not sure if there is any way to use I2C or SPI on it, like you would do with a Raspberry pi for example; but the thought of being able to do something like code and drive a microcontroller, it is quite a nice usage for it!

I am not much into html nor CSS sadly; used to work with old html in the late 90s but it was never my favorite thing to do I am more of a C/C++ guy, and recently picked up python and love it for how simple it makes everything. I am curious how can I couple a 720 with microcontrollers or devices to program at this point; maybe with web based editors, since the device is too weak to run any sort of decent IDE? This is quite surprising, considering that I used to have a ZX spectrum many years ago, and that thing was a 1 MHz computer with 48K and yet you could do quite a lot

So I can upgrade the rom easily? I will be on the lookout for it!

Indeed what I love of the Jornada is the form factor. Bought a Planet Computer Gemini and it was a great idea but the implementation was horrible. There is something about having a physical keyboard in a clamshell design that just bring me memories of my young age and the dream to own one of these devices that look directly from an episode of Star Trek Linux is definitely something I will try on it; and it is intriguing to couple the device with a RPI; although the beauty of it is that I don't have to carry other things with me. I wish there was a way to put a Pi zero in the 720 case to use it as extra module

Can't wait to get my hands on it; tinkering is mostly what I do with anything I own, and old hardware is somehow more accessible in many ways, compared to new one; because it is what I grew up with.
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ax0n Page Icon Posted 2021-06-15 3:07 PM
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I have 3 Jornada 720s. One runs WinCE HPC2000 all the time. I use it for journaling -- just writing a few sentences about my day to day non-work projects. I usualy make one text file per month, then note the day of the month and write a few sentences about my projects. Like yesterday I modified my camper/wheelchair van so it can haul a bunch of cargo, for instance, and the day before I fixed a tire for a friend and built a nice carrying case setup for my quadcopter.

I Run PocketDOS (to me, worth the $25 or whatever) on my Jornada 720, and I use the DOS software to program old Motorola radios, I play old DOS games, use WordPerfect and LotusWorks to look over old journal entries I wrote back in the 1900s.

I use the tasks app to keep track of my personal to-do list. I actually have an HP 320LX as well and I use the tasks app on it as a shopping list LOL. It gets used frequently for that and little else, honestly.

My second J720 is used for Unix. I have a bunch of CF cards with Linux and BSD installed:
* 2GB card with an old version of jLime that works well with a Dillo browser, PDF viewer etc. I always liked the X11 UI for jLime.
* 2GB card with a Debian install from 2008 that I rarely use
* 4GB NetBSD 6.1 which I use most often.
* 16GB CF card with NetBSD 9.2 (the most recent release) but I don't use it as much because there aren't any software packages available for the old ARMv4 architecture yet.
* I just bought an SD-to-CF adapter and threw Stefan's Devuan Linux port onto an SD card. It runs well but doesn't support my wired ethernet cards. I'm still warming up to it, but it's so nice to finally have found a GNU Userland and a Linux Kernel that's less than a decade old. So it has that going for it and I'm happy I found it here last week.

A note on NetBSD:
On my main NetBSD 6.2 CF card, I have X11 with RatPoison window manager, and a bunch of software on there such as minicom, xPDF, VNC/RDP clients. NetBSD is the only OS I've seen with full support for all of the PCMCIA SCSI, WiFi and wired ethernet cards I own. A lot of Linux kernels don't have full hardware support for a broad range of cards. I do a lot of programming (just tinkering) and a lot of text-mode stuff (like lurking on IRC) with it. I use an Adaptec PCMCIA SCSI card occasionally for attaching external hard drives, CD drives, burners etc to the Jornada -- but usually I'm trying to bootstrap or troubleshoot an old SCSI computer when I'm doing this. I have NQC installed and have used it to program my 1st-generation LEGO Mindstorms microcontrollers. I mess with Arduino-type stuff, but most of that requires USB which I don't have working on my Jornada yet. But I do occasionally code on the jornada then sync it up to a git server I run in my home, then use my desktop to do the actual programming. I do a lot of messing about with devices having only serial consoles (servers, routers, etc) and thus I often use MiniCom on my Jornada as a serial terminal, though I also got an old demo of TermForce working on my 300LX for the same purpose, so I can use WinCE for the same kind of tasks.
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_dev-null Page Icon Posted 2021-06-16 10:24 AM
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ax0n - 2021-06-15 3:07 PM


* I just bought an SD-to-CF adapter and threw Stefan's Devuan Linux port onto an SD card. It runs well but doesn't support my wired ethernet cards. I'm still warming up to it, but it's so nice to finally have found a GNU Userland and a Linux Kernel that's less than a decade old. So it has that going for it and I'm happy I found it here last week.




Please tell me the brand and name of your cards, so i can compile kernel modules for you!


Stefan
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munchausen Page Icon Posted 2021-06-16 10:43 AM
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If it's of interest I did make a patch for the 3.4.0 Linux kernel for the jornada 680 a couple of years ago to build under newer gcc https://pastebin.com/1BrT4X7K

IIRC everything basically just works.

The kernel source is here git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/kristoffer/linux-hpc.git

Some context is available in the zipit IRC channel logs, a few of us were playing with jornadas back then https://mozzwald.com/irclog/zipit/2018/05/21

My personal gripe with the 6xx machines is that the CF card sticks out underneath. Otherwise they are really nice, and the Linux support is really good (although it needs a newer kernel).

Edited by munchausen 2021-06-16 10:54 AM
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