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      That’s very cute, but how does it help me? I have an old Jornada, but it’s a cute old retro device to me. Even back in the day, they were clumsy (I especially like the uncanny valley keyboard) - there’s a reason why Palm was fairly dominant in that market back then.

      (Also, iSH. QED.)

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        It seems like it could be a good audio player, since you can fetch files from your own collection and organize them arbitrarily with scripts. Can’t do that on an iPhone.

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          My music library is on my server; I could organize it better there. I have a billion devices capable of playing music already.

          I think a lot of people have a hard time admitting something just isn’t useful anymore, as twee as it might be.

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            If you don’t care about propagating listening information from your device back to your server, I’m sure your phone is perfectly adequate.

            I think a lot of people have a hard time admitting the shortcomings of modern devices.

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          I don’t know about the “with scripts” part but there are plenty music players that let you have a local library and organize those however you want. It is a myth that the only music options for iOS are subscription based streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, etc.

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            I don’t know about the “with scripts” part but there are plenty music players that let you have a local library and organize those however you want.

            Only manually though, not automatically based on listening patterns I’m guessing?

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      Finally, a phone where I can text my boo using Microsoft Excel.

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      If anyone else is wondering, yeah it has a headphone jack.

      Also OP, do you know if the available wireless network cards let you connect to a modern WiFi network?

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      Hey, I had one of these! I used it all the time from 2003-2008ish, and it was retro then. When I was 13 I would use it to record and listen to music from my GBA games. I actually managed to compile some Java games I wrote to run on it, slowly.

      I didn’t realize it could run Linux, but now I want to dig through my boxes of old electronics and see if I can find it… if it even still runs.

      This thing was probably the reason I never liked the idea of all-screen smartphones, never wanted an iPhone, and stubbornly insisted on only buying phones with physical keyboards until they stopped making them. They really don’t make devices like this anymore.

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        After reading the post I took a look at https://lineageosdevices.com, and the first thing on the list was an F(x)tec Pro1 X (crazy name!), which sports a keyboard! Here: https://wiki.lineageos.org/devices/pro1x/

        I loved my Nokia N900. I’m not sure if it’s just rose-tinted glasses, or if I’d really be as happy with a proper phone with a physical keyboard in 2023, but it’s absolutely tempting. But then, part of the appeal of the N900 was Maemo/Meego – having a full Debian install available was just awesome.

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      When I was a kid I knew someone who had one of these (several over the years in fact) and they just seemed magical. Every time they would come and visit I would manage to get my hands on it for at least a few minutes. What’s crazy is how we’ve never really replicated that in more modern devices, although GPD and Reform are probably the closest I can think of at the moment.

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      Really great times, here my jornada running jlime with orinoco wifi pcmcia card attached https://pub.dgv.dev.br/HP_jornada_(running_JLime_Linux).jpg in ~2006.

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      I also use retro tech (a Palm OS handheld) regularly - not every day, but at least a few times a week. It’s amazing, I love using this tech in ways that it wasn’t originally intended, I can even write silly little utilities on-device in Lua! If I can use it to do things I’d ordinarily jump to a smartphone for I’m happy, plus it’s fun (for a certain definition of the word) to use. Seeing more people do fun things with hardware that otherwise would have been thrown in the trash over 10 years ago is great!

      That said - would I recommend doing this to anyone? Hell no! These devices are slow, clunky, and won’t do what most people want. It’s all well and good to talk about your retro tech and what it can do (G-d knows I enjoy doing so), but 99.999% of people who have iPhones don’t want to be able to write software on them - so phrasing it as “look what I can do that you can’t!” feels silly, even given this audience :P

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      It’s a bit weird to think that, and I’ve absolutely no clue if I am accurate here, but wouldn’t the closest thing to a small powerful handheld that you can hack on be something like a Steam Deck or one of the raspi+keybaord+battery devices? Since these things seem to actually be done there’s definitely a market for them.

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        Depends on what you want and exactly how small. For me a small Chromebook fits the bill. They tend to be light and handy, though they won’t fit in my pockets. I need a keyboard that I can actually touch-type on though.

        It is easy to install the Linux subsystem. The Chromebooks with 8GB of RAM tend to be more expensive though. I’m not sure if that is feasible for modern GUI development though. Allegedly you can enable Vulkan via Crosstini, so that may be suitable.

        Alternatively, you can buy a used Chromebook that can be flashed with Mr Chromebox’s BIOS, and then you can install a standard Linux distribution. Be warned: you may or may not have good support for things like suspend-to-RAM. That’s definitely been a problem with my old Acer R11 Chromebook.

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          I’d say the PineBook Pro might be a good choice too if you’re looking at Chromebooks.

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            I have a Pinebook Pro and it’s like the anti-Chromebook; It’s good at everything except running a web browser. Sadly, much (most?) of my day-to-day requires a web browser so I don’t use it much.

            Also, the device is pretty much abandoned and the firmware never solidified. It still can’t reboot or come back from sleep.

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      You can develop, compile and run native software on it. It has a C and C++ compiler, Python is available as well…

      For non-GUI apps, you can get close to this on iOS using a-Shell. I use it pretty regularly, though my iOS device of choice is an iPad Pro with a keyboard, not an iPhone. “Close” because the version of clang that a-Shell includes compiles to wasm, not to native code (to comply with iOS’s sandbox model). It also bundles a Python interpreter.

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      Does anyone know of any platforms like this available now?

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        Yes, the MNT Pocket is pretty much a successor of the N900: https://mntre.com/media/reform_md/2022-06-20-introducing-mnt-pocket-reform.html

        It’s open hardware, and the indie lab / company that produces them has a track record of delivering their promises.

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        PinePhone with the keyboard case is not too far off.

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        N900 with postmarketOS can do all of the “things your iphone can’t”, and it also has functional wifi, a modem, etc.

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          postmarketOS supports a bunch of devices, you might even have one laying around!


          You can also take the work from postmarketOS and port it over to mobile-nixos, they work pretty similarly. I’ve now ported mobile-nixos to a few old devices and I love it. I now have an ebook reader, a games console and various phones running NixOS.

          The user interfaces are never quite right, but it’s great to have a bunch of powerful ARM-based devices with full access to NixOS.

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            I’m a bit surprised no one has brought up the pinephone yet (or the pro, since that’s the one that’s got usable hardware specs). It has a keyboard case, is relatively modern ARM, and moderately good firmware/software support (YMMV).

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          modem is 3G, so it won’t work with U.S. carriers at least. there may be a few countries which still have 3G carriers but I don’t know which.

          still a great suggestion though.

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          I love my N900, but it’s also really starved for RAM, even back in the day. I can’t imagine how well a modern Linux stack would run on it.

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            it runs alright as long as you don’t try to use the “modern” web :D

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        remiss not to mention the DragonBox Pyra, though “available” is a stretch:


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      Congrats on owning an HP device that you like and has endured so long. My experiences with HP hardware were quite the opposite. When I was the technical director for a startup SaaS company acquired by a big corp, they made us get off our reliable Dell servers and onto their HP servers. Nothing but trouble with them. I also owned a HP laptop that fizzled on me in less than 5 years. You could visually see the cheap capacitors on the motherboard had blown.