Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Porting "Industrial" PDA?

On weekend on local second hand hardware resale board I spotted offer for an industrial PDA with a builtin barcode scanner. Second-hand PDA prices are generally crazy in this part of the world, but this was barely reasonably priced, and it included bare WinCE 4 OS (not PocketPC or Windows Mobile), which made it rather useless in hands of layman, and thus offered some room for bargain.

Being a big fun of "scientific organization of life", I contemplated getting a barcode scanner for quite some time, but anything besides pop supermarket "gun model" USB/RS232 is rather pricy/unavailable here. So, after all, I went with buying the piece. It was announced as PXA255, I checked that fact on vendor site, and didn't bother to check it during hand-off, but soon caught the fact that it's merely a StrongArm. Checking vendor's site closer, I understood that sloppy guys had a StrongArm device, which they later upgraded to PXA, added "-foo" to the name of model, and killed old one from the site. Lart such vendors, what can I say... Either way, the winner is PD-264 from Italian vendor EIA. I even wanted to call a guy to return it back, but then reconciled it as a good opportunity to revamp SA support in HH.org kernel. And unlike h3600 which I had before, PD-264 offers such opportunity in comfort - it has CF & SD slots, plus 64Mb RAM and 32Mb ROM. It lacks any networking interfaces though, and UART is taken by the scanner, so it's not that cool in the end, and debugging may be hard actually. Still, I got a barcode scanner with a whole PDA builtin cheaper than my previous favorites in shopping list, FLIC Bluetooth scanner, or Baracoda Pencil.

Now, this would be my first PDA I port from scratch (vs picking up existing port for maintenance), and I'm going to blog the process here, as it was raised many times that there should be a howto for newcomer porters. (Though I checked Michael Opdenacker's presentation, and it's [still] quite good, keeping in mind that it's presentation, not howto).

1 comment:

futaris said...

Don't suppose you'd like to let us know where and how much you paid for this device...