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The Star7 PDA Prototype





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Uploaded on Sep 13, 2007

The Star7 (*7) was a prototype for a SPARC based, handheld wireless PDA, with a 5" color LCD with touchscreen input, a new 16 bit --5:6:5 color hardware double buffered NTSC framebuffer, 900MHz wireless networking, PCMCIA bus interfaces, multi-media audio codec, a new power supply/battery interface, radical industrial design and packaging/process technology, a version of Unix that runs in under a megabyte, including drivers for PCMCIA, radio networking, touchscreen, display, flash RAM file system, execute-in-place, split I/D cache, with cached framebuffer support, a new small, safe, secure, distributed, robust, interpreted, garbage collected, multi-threaded, architecture neutral, high performance, dynamic programming language, a new small, fast, true-color alpha channel compositing, sprite graphics library, a set of classes that implement a spatial user interface metaphor, a user interface methodology which uses animation, audio, spatial cues, gestures, agency, color, and fun, a set of applications which show all of the features of the *7 hardware and software combination, including a TV guide, a fully functioning television remote control, a ShowMe style distributed whiteboard which allows active objects to be transmitted over a wireless network, and an on-screen agent which makes the whole experience fun and engaging.

All of this, in 1992! While the Star7 may have never entered commercial production, Oak, the language behind it all, became the very popular Java programming language.

Copyright (c) Sun Microsystems.

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