It's a phone ... but what is it?

I think i might have used “palmtop” when I received the OpenMoko…

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– “Oh, and you sound like a hacker, so I’m going to lock you up”


This was a term used for some devices in the late 1980s-early 1990s. “Handheld PC” is also a term that has been used before. I like “palmtop” though. I like how the term relates the device to laptops/desktops and IMO it feels less awkward than “handy”.

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Yes but it didn’t have misused meaning, handheld PC always meant, well, handheld PC, you can epxect full PC functionality (including, from my memory, rs232 port)

How about “Bullion” or bullion device since it is like something out of Ft. Knox and contains precious things.

How right you are! I sported a couple of Palm pda’s, and I seem to have thrown them in one basket with these palmtop (and handheld) pc’s - devices I would loved to have owned, but couldn’t afford just yet. (Here is an example: )

Here’s a Palm I used (the last one actually), and still have tucked away in a drawer somewhere:

And I still think palmtop is a suitable name for a device like the L5.

And I think Palm deserves some credit for pioneering computers with the form factor we now associate with so called ‘smsrt phones’.

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The fact that it is not only general purpose, but also completely open for the user… Libreterm!

PocketPC isn’t too bad. But the ‘PC’ part does sound a bit outdated. And there is the somewhat awkward conjunction of ‘pocket’ and ‘personal’ - the one suggesting the other, and the two rhythmically being in the wrong order: ‘personal pocket computer’ rolls of the tongue a lot better than 'pocket personal computer does.
Besides for reasons of obsolescence it should be PocketC anyway, which sounds like nothing at all, really.

By the way, has anybody - in this forum, or elsewhere - actually reviewed the L5’s pocket ergonomics already?
If not, I would be curious to know whether it sits well in both jacket (inner, breast, side), and pants (front, back) pockets.
How pocketable is the L5? Is it a true PocketPC?

All I know is, it doesn’t make my sweatpants fall down. :neutral_face:


That begs the question: how tight is the band?

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It’s a great criterion though.

I found something on Wikipedia:

An ultra mobile PC (discontinued) is a full-featured, PDA-sized computer running a general-purpose operating system.

We may can change it in some way like “libre mobile PC”. In this way it’s clear that these devices are not locked to any company. Maybe something similar? Maybe libre PC (LPC) since liberty also can mean "using wherever you want, whenever you want and whatever you want.

Ultra mobile is an over the top designation. Suggests it can fly, or is at least hard to get a hold of.
Nice find though!

To continuously create new terms is a kind of pollution. Librem5 or L5 is fine. Why do you want to solve today a problem of the future (in case another company creates something similar). I strongly dislike the term “pc”. It reminds me Microsoft for some reason. First thing I will install when I receive it will be sshd (!). It can’t be a “pc”. Literally the term might be precise (personal computer) but for me it has a negative connotation.

Well, yes, that’s the first thing I did on my pinephone as well. So should we then call it handheld/pocket server? %) My personal association with PC is rather IBM than Microsoft. I learned of microsoft far later after PC had already a strong association with something which is smaller than ‘computer room’ :slight_smile:

Yes, but what category does it fall into? We need a name for that as well.

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I personally think that it should retain the word “phone,” not only because it comes in the form factor of a slate-style smartphone, but because one of its prime functions is to make phone calls.

To me, the clearest way to express the fact that it converges both a personal computer and a phone is to say “pcphone”. Of course, trust the marketers to come up with some term like “puterphone”, “superphone”, “hyperphone” or “vergephone”.


Slate computer?

That sounds more like a name for a tablet

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