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Linux handheld device holds 10GB

A Singapore company unveils the Terapin Mine, a handheld device that stores up to 10GB of data and multimedia files.

A Singapore company has unveiled a handheld device that stores up to 10GB of data and multimedia files.

The device, dubbed the Terapin Mine, measures 7 inches by 3.2 inches by 1 inch.

Consumers can dump their digital photos into it, back up their computer files and store digital audio. The Terapin Mine also can be connected to a corporate LAN (local area network) and used as a mini file server. A PC card slot allows the use of wireless network adapters.

The battery-operated device runs a stripped-down version of the open-source operating system, Linux.

Although the Terapin Mine is not what is usually dubbed a handheld computer, Linux recently has entered the realm of personal digital assistants as well.

Serial System, a Singapore-based components distributor and consumer electronics manufacturer, owns the Terapin brand.

The company announced the $599 Terapin Mine in the Europe, Japan, the United States and Singapore on Friday. The product will go on sale in late August.

Michael Anh Nguyen, vice president of business development at Serial System, asserts that the device fills a niche, despite the rising number of notebooks that cost only a few hundred dollars more.

"The Mine is more mobile, switches on instantly and is easier to use," he said.

Because of the use of Linux, he noted, developers won't have to pay Serial System license fees. He added that there are plans to release kits for software developers soon.

CNET Singapore's John Lui reported from Singapore.