The Zipit Z2 Wireless Messenger is a cheap (as in $50) instant messaging device that’s basically a single-purpose PDA designed to connect to WiFi networks and send instant messages over AOL, Microosft, and Yahoo’s instant messaging platforms.
It can also send messages to cellphones over SMS. The only catch is that you’ll need to sign up for a $10/month plan in order to use the Zipit… or at least in order to use it as intended.
If, on the other hand, you want to find a new use for this handheld device, you might be interested in running Linux, installing DOSbox, or maybe an NES emulator. The Zipit has a 300MHz XScale processor, 32MB of RAM, and a Mini-SD card slot for stroage. It has a 2.8 inch QVGA display and a 1000mAh Li-Ion battery. It connects to 802.11b/g WiFi networks. And if you follow a series of steps from hacker Hunter Davis, you can install a working Linux operating system with the Fluxbox window manager.
All in all, you end up with a pocketable device with a QWERTY keyboard, mouse emulator, and ability to run Linux applications including the open source MPlayer media player. For about $50.
You can check out a video of the Linux powered Zipit after the break.
via Hack A Day