With Zipit, who needs a netbook?

[Hunter Davis] keeps rolling out the hacks for the Zipit. In the past he showed us how to run DOSbox, and then how to get NES emulation working on this tiny device. Now he’s got Linux kernel 2.6.29 running Fluxbox with mouse (newly added), audio, and WiFi functionality. Follow his step-by-step flashing instructions to load the kernel into the Zipit. Once flashed, a partitioned microSD card servers as the filesystem and swap.

Who needs a 10.1 inch screen or an Atom processor when you can get this 2.8″ QVGA beauty with an XScale processor for around $40?

[Thanks Matt]


  1. soggy pretzels: most of the info you want is on this page http://linux.zipitwireless.com/wiki/Z2 , and the rest is on other pages on the wiki.

  2. therian says:

    @”Why does anyone give a damn about Android? It sucks the big one.”
    Iphone sucks too, arduino suck, Obama suck…
    but there always big hype around, people just like crap, something we didnt lose in evolution

  3. ode says:

    why does therian hate everything. He is jealous because he doesn’t know how to work with any of these platforms because he has commitment issues
    stop digging when your already 10ft under.

  4. therian says:

    which platform ? arduino , why would I if I have plenty of bare uC and know C and some asm, which other platform ? iphone ? no way I will touch that thing which limit you more than strip-jacket, no thank you, I rather program my ppc

  5. Just dance says:

    This thing is pretty cheap for what it’s made up of. If only there were more (any) international suppliers, I’d snap one up like that.

  6. Dom says:

    Beside Amazon (refused to ship) and ebay (cannot find on it ?!) someone knows where I can find one supplier that can ship to Canada ?… thanks

  7. Just dance says:

    Also pretty awesome, you can bring out a serial connection pretty easily.


  8. BenJ says:

    I may just have to get one of these, though being in Canada makes it tricky. Paypal an American friend, he gets it and mails it to me.


  9. Dom says:

    Oh so i’m in a desperate need of an american friend… Beside how’s the battery life on that thing ?

  10. Gregg says:

    Have you tried to play video with mplayer? Is the processor powerful enough to play an .avi file?

  11. cde says:

    Having a Zipit(1st Gen) and a G1, I can definitely say that a Zipit(2nd Gen) would be crap compared to an actual netbook.

  12. mycroftxxx says:


    Yep, and between that, the tellymate (http://www.batsocks.co.uk/products/Other/TellyMate.htm), and the old $25 monocular HUD from Wild Planet (pics/discussion http://jakehildebrandt.com/2007/09/30/25-head-mounted-display/) – you could have yourself a simple wearable computing platfor for less than $75.

    Admittedly, the HUD part would be monochome and text, but a twitter feed + other IM notiications doesn’t need anything more.

  13. jwp1 says:

    I just got mine from the link in here.
    Looking forward to it.
    Is it possible to run a IM client inside the linux hack. Just the dosbox makes it worth 49.99 and they did not make me sign up for a plan or anything.

  14. hunter davis says:

    Ya, pidgin works etc for IM. You won’t be able to txt message phones without going through some surrogate (or using the stock firmware +payment plan)

  15. jwp1 says:

    Your link for the image, does the image have an IM/Email/RSS reader type thing?

    Claws or Pine possible?

  16. Hunter Davis says:

    Hey Jwp1,

    Claws and pine both possible yes. My previous image had them im (along with firefox, fennec, dillo etc etc). I think the new debian rootfs that’s up has everything in the apt repository as well. Good luck!

  17. jeditalian says:

    lol it would be awesome to run windows 3.1 with wiFi. that would free up so much hard drive space, go back to simpler times.
    I want to run Linux on my SGH-a877 (samsung impression) and since it doesnt have wifi and i dont have a data plan, figure out how to access my wired network via the USB cable or Bluetooth, to surf the internet from my phone, using my DSL connection.

  18. Punkguyta says:


    “Hackaday’s color scheme is just fine.”

    I agree with you, this website is one of the most appeasing to my ocular devices as opposed to say, engadget or hackedgadgets.

  19. Joe Marfice says:

    Re: Hackaday’s color scheme.

    Build a bookmark, label it “ZapColors”,
    and put the following code in the url tag, and load the bookmark in your bookmarks toolbar. When you click on the link, the current page will go to black text on white background.


  20. @Joe
    It doesn’t work at all.
    Iceweasel/3.5.6 (like Firefox/3.5.6;)

  21. Joe Marfice says:

    Curious, I just tried it again in Firefox 3.5.7, copying the text straight from my comment above. At first I loaded it into the sidebar, and it only popped up a side window; then I redid it without loading into sidebar, and it worked fine.

    It’s Javascript (obviously), so it shouldn’t be browser-specific.

    Go here:
    to grab the bookmarklet and drop-&-drag it directly into your browser bookmark bar. My version simply removed the confirmation popup.


  22. mrbubl3s says:
  23. tommy says:

    does anyone know if they work in canada

  24. mrbubl3s says:


    They work off wifi… You DO, know what wifi is?

  25. tommy says:

    ya i know

  26. mrbubl3s says:

    Umm… Then why’d you ask?

  27. tommy says:

    i wanna no if it works in canada and apparintly it does

  28. mrbubl3s says:

    You obviously don’t know what wifi is…

  29. tommy says:

    no i no wat it is

  30. mrbubl3s says:

    Then why the fuck would you ask if it worked in Canada?

  31. tommy says:

    just wunderin

  32. miq says:

    what? $15 + $5 for shiping in ebay
    impossible, it lie are not it
    even cheaper than arduino
    did i missing something
    maybe only the case

  33. S.O'Harra says:

    Which is better, the Z2 or Z2a? Pro or Cons for hacking? Funtionality? Features? In advance, thanks for input,thoughts

  34. hugh says:

    This thing will be kick ass for MPD http://mpd.wikia.com/wiki/Music_Player_Daemon_Wiki

    you could use at home with NFS to have a nice audio bridge to your receiver, or remotely with port forwarding/icecast to access your music db anywhere you have wifi. For $50 that alone is justification for me to buy one.

  35. Techguy71 says:

    I wonder if BT5 would work?

  36. fisher.2011 says:


  37. Techguy71 says:

    I meant the arm version. I KNOW the full version would not work. I had heard they got Ubuntu on this though and bt5 is based on that. I bet you could run it through a remote desktop connection though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,357 other followers