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> Alternative Design For The Ppz, To solve all issues.
Ferret-Simpson
post Oct 17 2006, 02:01 AM
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I think the biggest issue so far, has been that of the keyboard. Feel free to disagree.

Everyone and their grandmother has had their own idea of what they want from this. I've been after a keyboard similar to a Universal or Clamshell Zaurus, some have wanted chorded keyboards, some folding belkin-style keyboards, some just want a slate.

How about just MAKING a slate, without a keyboard. I propose that a separate keyboard is produced, however the heck anyone wants it, that connects to a port on the bottom of the device. You can have it on a cable, folding, with a Zaurus-style hinge on it so that it folds over the slate part. Whatever. You could either use a USB/M-USB connector, or attach it to the internal keyboard pins, (As long as they're capable of hotplugging.) What you'd end up with is a thicker display unit, and a thinner keyboard that you could flip out. You could carry a blooming Sun Type 6 130 odd key USB model instead, if you felt like it.

In fact, put the ATA connector on the same port and put the hard disk in the keyboard. That'll bulk up the keyboard a it, slim down the base unit, and let you decide again whether you want a 2.5GB notebook drive (With an external PSU or LARGE extra battery) a 1.8" CF-type Microdrive, a 60GB iPod drive, or a 256MB Flash card. Whatever floats your boat.
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Da_Blitz
post Oct 17 2006, 03:14 AM
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that is a really good idea, provided i can come up with a way to securly attach the keyboard.

in fact one side effect is that if we use the nice big flat battries that they use on the xda's then you would be able to move that to the keyboard as well, or even better yet make the battriy use the edge connector and attach on the back or if you use the keyboard get the power from the keyboard

i have also been considireing bluetooth keyboards, i know not everyone likes the price of somthing like that however we should be able to build our own alot cheaper and mindset that has been mentioned in other posts would work out well


i dont belive that the coorded idea was fully explored and am not sure if its because i didnt make enough infomation avalible or people dismissing an alternate keyboard layout without thinking (the main reason alternative keyboards dont take off)

in any case it seems to me like there is significant oppisition too an alternate keyboard layout, even if qwerty is not suited to a pda/grip style design (trust me it could be better) but having the two sepertae works out better, and things such as a corded keyboard would actually benifit from an alternative design rather than the flat keyboard layout, such as a stress ball shaped thin with keys. having a difined interface for the keyboard would allow for this as well as a million other hacks i cannot think off

also instead of making the keyboard scanning matrix avalible on the bottom mhy not just make it a usb interface, remeber that this thing can boot off of USB, so we dont even need the microdrive or whatever to be on the ATA bus when we can just plugg in a usb 2 ATA interface or use a bridge chip and usb hub (so we have usb ports on the keyboard)

now that i have a dual boot setup and my other project is on a tempory hold i will be putting time into this again. new ideas such as this really help enhance its hackable nature, perhaps there are other subsystems that could benifit frm this.
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Da_Blitz
post Oct 17 2006, 03:18 AM
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i might also add that every alternate keyboard design has been my idea as far as i can remeber wink.gif
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morrijr
post Oct 17 2006, 11:50 PM
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Now that is a *very* nice idea. As for securing the base to the slate part, would simple thumb screws do the job? If that's not enough how about a mechanical solution (eyelet in the slate and hook in the attachment) as well.
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Da_Blitz
post Oct 18 2006, 12:51 AM
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i was thinking more like the psp with an external keyboard, so yes basically flush mount screws

it actually solves alot of problems, espically if i use and abuse the usb bandwidth smile.gif
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Ferret-Simpson
post Oct 22 2006, 01:17 PM
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I knew I was a Genius!
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craigtyson
post Oct 22 2006, 04:05 PM
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Ferret

This Idea ties in realy well with a goal I have had for a while in finding a piece of hardware I can use as a PDA and a PC

My thought was if you had a PDA that can do VGA out and attach a keyboard to then you dont need to carry them about on the train (guess who carries two laptops arround with him all day)

Very rarely do I use a keyboard on the move, while when at a desk the Zs keyboard is small for prolonged typing. (I stll miss my PSION but cant carry a fridge round to charge it up anymore :0( ) A PDA with an attachable keyboard sounds like a plan as long as it doesnt end up looking like a IPAQ with its dropoff keyboard it would be great.
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uMP2k
post Oct 22 2006, 05:20 PM
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The description of something about PSP format with a detachable keyboard sounds pretty much exaclty what I would like to see for pretty much the same reasons as craigtyson.

I really want something that I can use as a pda on the bus or train and as a secondary (mini) desktop when I am sitting at my desk at work or home.
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BarryW
post Oct 22 2006, 08:38 PM
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Wasn't there a pocket pc with a detachable keyboard available over in Europe a few years ago? I'll have to go a'googleing.

Yep, Samsung had one.

Linky thingy.
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uMP2k
post Oct 22 2006, 11:19 PM
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OMG - do I want one of those or what!

Form factor seems almost exactly what I want.
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stampsm
post Oct 23 2006, 01:02 AM
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QUOTE(BarryW @ Oct 22 2006, 08:38 PM)
Wasn't there a pocket pc with a detachable keyboard available over in Europe a few years ago?  I'll have to go a'googleing.

Yep,  Samsung had one.

Linky thingy.
*

technically that would be considered a tablet not a pda. tongue.gif
the way i see if once we get the board designed it would not be to much effort to have the same guts with more than once possible formfactor for the body designed where all you have to do it stuff the main board into a different case. or use the same scematics and just do two different routings of the pcb for different shaped cases. though it would raise the cost since the other cases would be built in a lower volume. i think what we need to focus on now is getting a board figured out that has what we want built in and making sure it can fit in a certain amount of cm^3 and then worry about the details of how the thing open, keyboard, color, what the case should be made out of, ect. the case may be one thing we need to get outside help on since injection molding for plastic is not easy to do at home. sad.gif and we need people with the right equipment/friends/experience to get cases made. i would guess the best way would be to have something working to show a company and get them to foot the big bill.
now if anyone here has experience designing/building casing, ect please let us know how we should go about it and what to expect since i and alot of us here would be at a total loss on how to proceed.

it is 2am here so i may be rambling...... ohhh well time to sleep rolleyes.gif
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Da_Blitz
post Oct 23 2006, 10:28 AM
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hahah, its 4:00 am here and i have work in about an hour or two smile.gif sad.gif

that case is simmilar to what i have been aiming for all along only with the keyboard sliding out on ethier side to get a full sized keyboard

basically i dont like touch screens, i find i have to apply to much presure and they are dangerous on public transport (if you go over a bump you will know what i mean) so for me i have really wanted a Keyboard all the time, with this new design the rules get changed and it becomes optinal
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chiark
post Oct 24 2006, 12:50 AM
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I had a nexio XP30, and it's the PDA that I've owned for the least length of time.

What was wrong with it? Usability.

The screen was brilliant, the main hardware great, hell, the XP30 even had a built in full size USB host port! However, the battery life sucked beyond belief (2 hours) and if you attached the keyboard then you needed to use a wedge to hold the screen up...

It was close to being great, but in reality was a miss by a mile.
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BarryW
post Oct 24 2006, 12:34 PM
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QUOTE(chiark @ Oct 23 2006, 11:50 PM)
I had a nexio XP30, and it's the PDA that I've owned for the least length of time. 

What was wrong with it?  Usability.

The screen was brilliant, the main hardware great, hell, the XP30 even had a built in full size USB host port!  However, the battery life sucked beyond belief (2 hours) and if you attached the keyboard then you needed to use a wedge to hold the screen up...

It was close to being great, but in reality was a miss by a mile.
*



The idea was there though. It was just a sugestion anyway. I like the psp connection idea. Couple of thumbscrews.
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chiark
post Oct 24 2006, 02:30 PM
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The idea was there, yes - definitely. I think they were looking to make the thing a pc companion and a view-only device in the majority, just like a pocketPC on steroids.

I personally don't want a view-only device biggrin.gif
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