RealTime IT News

Socket Helps Connect Linux-based PDA

Looking to expand the functions of its Zaurus product line, Sharp Electronics Wednesday said it has hooked up with Socket Communications .

The partnership guarantees that Newark, Calif.-based Socket's CompactFlash plug-in accessories are compatible with Sharp's Linux-based family of PDAs.

Included in the deal are Socket's Bluetooth Connection Kit, WLAN Card, Low Power Ethernet Card, 10/100 Ethernet Card and Single Port Serial Card. The company is also making its compatibility and drivers available.

The latest line of Zaurus PDAs include a QWERTY keyboard, an Intel XScale processor and dual expansion -- both CF type I/II and SD/MMC card slots. The $500 to $600 devices have been running the Linux operating system since July 2002.

Sharp says the "mobility" add-ons will be helpful to its sales, service, healthcare and transportation customers who want to access their Linux applications from the corporate servers.

Building off of its partnership with Sharp, Socket said it has worked with Cranberry Township, Penn.-based SDG Systems to create the MobiliScan HS Bar Code Scanner, which combines data acquisition and data processing in one unit.

Also, the AerLink Network Phone Card (NPC) provides tremendous flexibility in staying connected with the world. The AerLink NPC connects between Zaurus and a data-capable cellular handset, providing access to the Internet in most areas where users can make a cellular call.

"Zaurus users and developers need CF [Compact Flash] accessories to support a growing number of applications, particularly in vertical markets," said Sharp Mobile and IT Solutions Group associate vice president Steve Petix. "Socket's comprehensive family of mobility friendly products has an excellent reputation and offers mobile professionals the capabilities they need to be productive any time, anywhere."

Socket did not say when its new Compact Flash cards would be available for the Zaurus system.