ZipIt Wireless -- Keeping Promises, Opening Doors

A few weeks back, I reviewed the ZipIt Z2 Wireless device. It was a neat little gadget, and in the review I stressed how much cooler it would be if it were open for developers to add 3rd party functionality. (Much like jailbreaking an iPhone allows for awesome additions to an otherwise inaccessible device)

When I was reviewing the device, I called the Vice President. (No, not that Vice President, but rather Ralph Heredia, VP of Zipit Wireless) He wasn't able to give me any details, but assured me development options were in the works. Sure enough, a few days ago, I received a lovely call in which Mr. Heredia spilled the beans.

Here's the skinny:

* Check out linux.zipitwireless.com.
* Some 3rd party apps are available, but right now they're largely proof of concept. (Doom, mplayer, etc)
* Programs run from the MiniSD card (not included)
* Developers are welcome, encouraged, and thought upon fondly. :)

One of the things I really like about the ZipIt company, is that instead of trying to lock out hackers (which is sorta silly), they are trying to accommodate tinkerers, while maintaining their commercial investment. In my opinion, that's very wise.

I hope that developers do come on board, and extend the usefulness of the Z2. On a larger scale, however, I hope that other companies follow suit. Hackers (not pirates, there is a big difference) are surprisingly respectful people. If you don't try to lock them out, they won't try to break in. It's pretty simple. :)

Well done ZipIt Wireless. Here's hoping other companies follow your example.

______________________

Shawn Powers is an Associate Editor for Linux Journal. You might find him chatting on the IRC channel, or Twitter

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