I had a Zaurus brain flash this morning about what I really want out of it. Given that its role is as an information nexus with intermittent connectivity, I want lots of stuff centered around “storing and forwarding.” Rather than having the mail client that needs to sync to a desktop mail app or worse one that must have connectivity to send, I want to have a local MTA to which it sends immediately. Later on, at a point when there is connectivity, the MTA sends. If you have a Linux laptop, chances are you already do something a lot like this. Same thing with web pages, usenet and RSS feeds. There should be a way of definining the resources you want to follow and/or aggregate on the PDA. At the point where connnectivity is established, a fresh fetch of all these things is attempted. If connectivity remains, at some interval these resources are refreshed.
With this kind of architecture, it doesn’t matter whether the connectivity is in the form of some transient Wifi or Bluetooth connection, or the TCP/IP over USB of sitting in the cradle. However we are connected, if we are, do this stuff. Other than the MTA, which might be slightly tricky only if you want some kind of UI indicator of status, all of this already exists today in off-the-shelf components that could simply be glued together. I think this might be my contribution to this world, trying to integrate together these things in a way that makes the Zaurus overall a more efficient tool for getting things done. More on here as my thoughts solidify and I do some research to determine which pieces already exist and how hard they would be to glue together.