Agenda Computing Unveils Linux Handheld

BOSTON (08/15/2000) - Agenda Computing Inc. revealed its handheld PC based on the Linux operating system Tuesday to the open-source programming community at the LinuxWorld trade show in San Jose, California.

The demonstration of the Agenda VR3 will hopefully serve as a signal flare to attract Linux software developers before the product hits the market at the Comdex trade show in October, said Roger Richards, president of Agenda.

"We wanted to introduce this to the open source community. We believe we have months of time for this community to modify the thousands of Linux applications on PCs to work with the VR3," he said. "We believe that this handheld has the hardware and memory that (Linux) applications will need in the future."

The Agenda VR3 four-ounce portable computer uses a 2.25-by-3.25-inch (160-by-240-pixel) grayscale liquid crystal display screen and a 66MHz processor. It comes with 8M bytes of RAM and from 2M to 8M bytes of flash memory, depending on the model. A 33.6K-bps (bits per second) modem is optional. The VR3 ranges in price from US$149 to $249.

While the VR3 comes with its own productivity suite, the current paucity of Linux software for handheld PCs makes its initial usefulness an issue, but the future bright, said Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst at market researcher International Data Corp. (IDC). "It really revolves around what applications they want to package with the device," he said, noting that the easily modifiable operating system will lend itself better toward new applications than to porting Windows programs onto a handheld.

Agenda's Web site accepts pre-registration orders for the VR3, indicating it will be available in October.

Agenda Computing, in Irvine, California, can be reached at +1-949-470-7993 or at http://www.agendacomputing.com/.

IDC is owned by International Data Group, the parent company of IDG News Service.

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