thank you, this should be pinned! The perfect noob explanation!
your question was answered, I assume you don`t understand the ARM?/Linux scene, it's tricky for a new user to understand the differences/ similarities
simple answer, yes!
slightly longer answer, as long as the application has been compiled for Pandora or ARM, yes!
longer answer, most applications (nearly all) for Linux are open source, this makes it relatively simple to compile them for different cpu chips, so as long as the application has been compiled for Pandora or ARM, yes!
long winded simplified answer
Linux on your laptop or desktop PC runs programs written with special instructions for the "brain" inside it, in almost all laptops and desktops this "brain" is called an "x86 architecture cpu", this applies to all devices with Intel/AMD or whatever "brains".
so all the devices you normally use have "brains" that understand a unique set of instructions, these instructions are seen by the "brain" as numbers, all these numbers mean just one thing to that type of "brain", for example "23" may mean "add the next number to the one after it", a huge list of these instruction numbers is what a program IS internally.
to make things easy for us mere mortals, and to save us having to memorise several hundred numbers and what they mean, we have programs that take English-like instructions (for example "print"), and the program then converts "print" into a string of numbers that instruct the "brain" to copy data to the screen so that we see it (printing it), this is what a compiler does.
the Pandora has a "ARM" "brain", this has a different set of instruction numbers to the "x86 brain", so the ARM "brain" may use the "23" mentioned above to mean "copy the number you have in your memory to the memory location pointed to by the following number"
obviously, since the instructions do different things then an x86 program will be garbage to an ARM "brain" and crash or do something evil to the system or whatever.
now Linux programs are mostly open source, that means that the "English" instructions are published openly on the web and you are basically free to copy and use them, so if you have a compiler that can output ARM instructions, then you can put these "English" instructions into the compiler and get a ARM program out of it.
what does this mean for the Pandora?
we can take any open source program in "English" and stick it into a compiler for the Pandora, and we get a working version back that will run on the Pandora, obviously, if the program uses some device or memory the Pandora doesn't have then you need to alter the "English" instructions, so that the program will use less memory or just use the instructions recognised by the Pandoras more compact 3d chip, for example.
people will take popular Linux programs, recompile and modify them for Pandora (1024x768 fullscreen wouldn`t work too well for eg), then release them in a .pnd package for people to install, as these programs are released they will appear on the app store, archives and developer websites, then you just pick what you want and copy it to your SD card, that's it, installed.
some people may not use the .pnd container for their programs, some programs may not be modified to work well with Pandora and scatter themselves across the file system, but they will almost all have some kind of installer, Pandora may also have some kind of GUI package manager, so all you need to do, is look at a list on your Pandora, select a game/application, and click install, then Pandora just downloads it from the repository, and away you go.
hope that explains it somewhat, seems a bit in depth, but like all simple questions, it doesn`t have a simple answer.
Edited by kwartel, 13 December 2009 - 07:31 PM.