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Da_Blitz
Well we finally have our own fourm for discussion and i intend to break up the monolithic highly technical posts in to as many smally highly technical post as i can wink.gif

Anyway here is where we will keep an updated list of whats in the pocket penguine as well as a place for FAQs about the project

Q: What is it:
A: This is our attempt to build our own PDA to our own standards. allowing us complete control over the hardware in an attempt to build a totally open PDA platform [/artistic babble]

Q: What is in it:
A: as best summed up by ferret simpson:
CPU: Freescale iMX30 - 533mhz ARM11
RPU: Freescale MXC300-30 3G ARM11 with StarCore DSP. 533mhz.
RChipset: Freescale RFX300-20 3G Radio Platform.

RAM: 2Gb (512MB) Laptop DDR266 Memory in 2x1Gb chips.
HDD: Internal ATA CF/MD interface, User provided Card
SD: 2x 4bit SD slot, SDIO capable with 3rd Party Commercial stack.
NAND: 16MB RO for Bootloader only. Will kExec any Kernel from a variety of Media.

RFlash/Mem: Indeterminate NAND and SDRAM. (16Mb Flash 128MB ram minimum)

Wifi: Zydas ZD1211 chip on CF16: 802.11G-54, WPA.
BT: Unknown Bluetooth V2.0 on USB-1.1
Rad: RPU connected over SPI, Audio, and USB480
IRDA: Fir?

Keyb: Internal Backlit KBD,
Mous: Internal Trackball with "Select" function and illumination,
DPAD: Internal with OK/Canc.
Roll: On Landscape Rear.
L/R On Landscape Rear
ACC: 3D Accelerometer.
BIO: swipe-bar Fingerprint scanner on SPI.

AUD: 5.1 with Microphone, and BlueTooth routing.
MSC: 3.5-4 inch, VGA, with integrated Resistive Touch Layer.
SSC: 4bit Serial on rear of device, for Phone display and viewfinder for Camera shots.
CAM: On main screen panel, above TFT in portrait mode. Supports Video and Stills.

CPLD to act as Programmable ASIC for SPI interconnection to devices.
Possible MicroProcessor to control Buttons and roller for use with phone when PDA disabled.
External full-size 480MBPS USB2 port.
Video out, Possibly 768i HDTV compatible, will be used for connection to external monitor.
Socket for network operator SIM card.

Security:
Key-signing of OS to prevent Unauthorised OS replacement.
Possible GSM trace functions including local MAC addresses and signal tower strengths.
Biometric identification of allowed users.

1800mAh Battery: Easily available Digital Videocam model.
Customised Aluminium case.

Q: Whos working on it (offically)
A: Da_Blitz (post to be added to the list)

Q: I have very few technical skills but want to help, how can i do so
A: Poke fun at our ideas as well as come up with some of your own, we intend to inovate with this platform as we dont really care about profits so we can chuck nearly anything we want in it.

If you want to help us futher than help contribute to the wiki (see Da_Blitz's tag) or start reading the chip documentation, you dont have to know electronics to understand the chips (it helps) a basic knowlge of how computers work is fine

Q: I have a highly technical background in electronics/kernel hacking how can i help
A: Introduce yourself and have a look at what we need done, i will try and maintain a list of what needs to be done but dont count on its reliability (check first). we will need driver writers and people with a background in security (i have a side project or two we will need for this thing)

if you have experince with mobile phones or GSM stacks please get in contact with us as we could really use someone in that area for writing a bit of firmware

Q: will this cost less than my car? what are you wildly estimating to be the shipping cost (with the understanding that if you answer this this early you won't be held to the figure-- looking at the specs, I'm thinking I might have to save a few pennies..)
A: We are aiming for the price of a c3x00 when fully loaded (ie full ram and storage) shipping should be included in that cost whoever we dont expect shipping costs to play a big part in the final price

Q: when do you expect to finalize the design and begin production?
A: as soon as posible, current goal is no latter than the end of 2006 but dont hold us to that smile.gif

Q: what standard os is it shipping with? I'm guessing something built on OE?
A: Inital efforts will be focused on linux. at this point we may not ship with an OS on board as all you willl have to do to load an OS is use gpg to sign a binary and copy that binary to a CF/SD card for it to boot. therefore we may ship with several options on CD that a user may chose from and load to a CF/SD card to try out in a LiveCD fassion

Q: the screen description is vague. Still looking for parts? I would hope to see the 4" transfective from the zaurus 6000, or or better... mostly, outdoor light capability would be nice.
A: Yes we are still looking for parts or more to be more presice suppliers, at the moment we are aiming for 640x480 4" transreflective

Q: Whats the holdup on starting the design rather than talking about it
A: Before we can really design this thing we have to know which chips we are using in the final design, some of the critical things that we need to know what we are using are the screen, Wifi, RPU (radio processing unit) and keyboard.
adf
quettion 1: will this cost less than my car? what are you wildly estimating to be the shipping cost (with the understanding that if you answer this this early you won't be held to the figure-- looking at the specs, I'm thinking I might have to save a few pennies..)

question 2: when do you expect to finalize the design and begin production?

question 3: what standard os is it shipping with? I'm guessing something built on OE?

question 4: the screen description is vague. Still looking for parts? I would hope to see the 4" transfective from the zaurus 6000, or or better... mostly, outdoor light capability would be nice.
Da_Blitz
Updated FAQ
adf
I meant cost, shipped as described, sorry. approx 6-700 usd? damn, that would be absolutely amazing... would blow away everything on the market.
I certainly am intereted !
Ferret-Simpson
RPU? I thought we'd settled on the Freescale MXC300-30 - Well supported because Freescale and Motorola love Linux, Cheap, and with a matching 3G Chipset. . .
Da_Blitz
i used RPU because i was under the impresion that was what you used to refer to the MXC300, ah who cares, i just copied and pasted it anyway wink.gif

btw is this in any other lin phones we know of because that would only sweeten the deal
koen
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jul 28 2006, 11:14 AM)
i used RPU because i was under the impresion that was what you used to refer to the MXC300, ah who cares, i just copied and pasted it anyway wink.gif

btw is this in any other lin phones we know of because that would only sweeten the deal
*


The generally accepted term for that is 'Baseband Processor'
Ferret-Simpson
I know that RPU is the MXC, since I DID write it, but you said it's a critical thing we need to decide on. >.< WE ALREADY DECIDED!!!!!!!!!!
laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

Baseband processor is too ruddy long for me. I like Acronyms, XP

Can anyone confirm the CPU's used in the Moto Smartphones? I'd expect them to be using their own baseband and applications processors. . .
koen
QUOTE(Ferret-Simpson @ Jul 28 2006, 02:07 PM)
I know that RPU is the MXC, since I DID write it, but you said it's a critical thing we need to decide on. >.< WE ALREADY DECIDED!!!!!!!!!!
laugh.gif  laugh.gif  laugh.gif  laugh.gif  laugh.gif  laugh.gif  laugh.gif  laugh.gif  laugh.gif  laugh.gif  laugh.gif

Baseband processor is too ruddy long for me. I like Acronyms, XP

Can anyone confirm the CPU's used in the Moto Smartphones? I'd expect them to be using their own baseband and applications processors. . .
*


That's why people call it a 'BP', and see http://wiki.openezx.org
Ferret-Simpson
Hmmm. . .

None of the Motorola phones uses Motorola Processors.

On the flip side, Nokia use the MXC300-30 in the S-60 running Symbian. . . So the chip's been proven, if nothing else.
Da_Blitz
very intresting, do you have any more info on the BP?
Ferret-Simpson
Not yet, that's all I've seen so far. I'm surprised though, that Motorola still don't use their own processors for their phones. . .
koen
QUOTE(Ferret-Simpson @ Jul 29 2006, 05:07 PM)
Not yet, that's all I've seen so far. I'm surprised though, that Motorola still don't use their own processors for their phones. . .
*


Not really, sharp doesn't use their own ARM cpus in their PDAs.
Ferret-Simpson
I didn't know they manufactured them. Still, If they do, as you say. . Then I'm surprised that they don't either!

AMD sell a small range of Development PDA's, using their own processors. It's generally considered worrying if you don't use your own products. After all, if you don't trust them, or think they're good enough. . . Why should anyone else?

After all, if you're a plumber or a computer techician, you don't generally get another company to provide you services, when you can provide them to yourself for a lower price?

It's one reason why I worry about Microsoft servers. Last time I saw an error on Microsoft.com, it was an Apache host. . . Why don't they use IIS?
Da_Blitz
they do use ISS but have apache cache servers that if i remeber correctly are not run by them, it was on slashdot awhlil back

funny thing to note is that thier cluster of ISS machines are rebooted every 5-10 minutes (there was a video documentry with the microsoft guy in charge of the website) but it is still a great setup (i have yet to see them down but then again its not my fav site

when it comes to using your own products, no one really cares. few people look inside thier own equipment but it does matter to some chip compaines more than others. it might also be intresting to not that from what i can see on the outside most of those companies seperate thier ic buisness off from the rest of the company so it might be a contributing factor
Ferret-Simpson
KK, well back on topic: We should set a definate date to finalise the hardware specification, and I think it should be a little earlier than you first estimated. If we finalise in December-ish, then the product won't be availbe for a good few months after that, by which time the list of available hardware and how it's interfaced will have changed and we'll have to begin again.

I'd say we should freeze the hardware list in early october-time for ALL developers. That would put us on track for something along the lines of a Q1-2/2K7 release. . . Right? But definately, we should have a Date, and GMT time so there's no confusion. Any posts after that can then be reasonably ignored, without "But you never said. . .!"
Da_Blitz
mmm, if you had read the link for the pcb people i gave out then you would relise that they are "rapid prototype specilists", i have had boards back from them in 1 week from the order date.

hardware gets frozen in the next couple of weeks, i dont have time to fiddle around for that long, the PCB design will take me alot of time

you seem to have in your head that we will be doing a limited production run, in fact there will be no production run. what happens is i give you the files, you send it off to the rapid prototyping company and they send you back a bouard, that way i dont have to collect any money and therefore i cant run away with it all and leave you guys with nothing while i buy a cluster of Z's

i expect it will take them 2 weeks to build the board and ship it from the day i send my order out.
adf
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 1 2006, 06:55 AM)
mmm, if you had read the link for the pcb people i gave out then you would relise that they are "rapid prototype specilists", i have had boards back from them in 1 week from the order date.

hardware gets frozen in the next couple of weeks, i dont have time to fiddle around for that long, the PCB design will take me alot of time

you seem to have in your head that we will be doing a limited production run, in fact there will be no production run. what happens is i give you the files, you send it off to the rapid prototyping company and they send you back a bouard, that way i dont have to collect any money and therefore i cant run away with it all and leave you guys with nothing while i buy a cluster of Z's

i expect it will take them 2 weeks to build the board and ship it from the day i send my order out.
*

If you sent me just a board, I'd be pretty disapointed blink.gif
Ferret-Simpson
heh, The point of this is that we'll be buying the case etc separately ADF. We'll design it, and then there'll be a universal blueprint that we can have made up to order.

This way, we don't have to get FCC verification, or the equivalent in every other country we want to ship it too.

DB, I was making the point that it usually takes some time to put together the schematic, get one built, bug test it, get a second prototype built, bugtest that.
Da_Blitz
hopefully there wont be a second prototype, however the funds avalible just went up a bit

i am aware of that, but keep in mind that i am running on my own schedule which i havent made public and most likly wont (so you cant hold me to it). i am intrested to see how quickly i can achive everything
INTERROBANG
Security:
Key-signing of OS to prevent Unauthorised OS replacement.

ohmy.gif huh.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif
I hope I'm not the only one who sees a problem with this.
Da_Blitz
i would take a guess and say "yes you are"

i dont really care, i have said all along that the user will hold the keys, not me. i will keep your keys in storage if you email them to me but that will be a security risk (if posible it will be done with a crypted email using pgp)

i will not ship with the keys in place, its optional but i will tell you how to make the device unhackable as posible.. you will be in full control. but if you F**** it up you will not be able to do anything with the device without compleatly lossing all data on the device.

also i have recently seen an in kernel key mechinism that will only allow signed kernel modules to run, its currently in fedora core 5 and has intresting posibilities for helping to enhance security
Ferret-Simpson
I can see about 20 problems with the keyboard, But the security? No. . I don't see a problem. . .

Generally, if you can assemble a PocketPenguin from the component parts, and you can use what is likely to be a Slackware or Gentoo based Operating system. . .

Then you should really be able to handle basic security. . .
Da_Blitz
that brings up an intresting point, out of the box you will need to know somthing to get it running, even if thats just which file to put on an SD card on first boot

of course the security i am trying to provide (ie against an offline attack) is not somthing i expect most people how know about securtiy to know how to implement properly

actually i would say that the key signing stuff comes more under the integrity column rather than security, while it is a way to help improve security it is an entity in its own right.
Ferret-Simpson
Ok, the project seems to have ground completely to a halt, with us all getting sidetracked by laptops and watches and all sorts of other fun!

Where does it stand right now, on the PocketPenguin!?
Da_Blitz
well its basically about chipsets, i know most of the chipsets i want but if i wanted to i could start wiring everything together and add things as required

pcb software is also somthing i have been wondering about as i do have some top end sotware but i cant exacttly let you guys have a copy if you want to modifiy it (basically not open source sad.gif) i could do what the open graphics card guys do however and print the design to PDF but i think that wouldnt be nearly as usefull to someone who wonts to submit a patch

as it is however i think i would be the only one working on it anyway

plus i might have found a radio engineer who could give me some advice (for UTMS and such)
Dromede
maybe it would be a good idea to make two versions of the pocketpenguin, one would be just a pda (without the baseband processor etc.) and the other would be a phone/pda. i just dont believe in pda/phone combinations because the batteries are still not up for it. i have a motorola a925 and i often find myself wasting two batteries in less than 8 hours which basically leaves me phoneless. and i need my phone to be on 24/7. i dont understand why should we (well, mostly da_blitz :-> ) try to build a proper phone/pda. there are lots of good phones out there, lets just concentrate on the pda/pocketpc aspect of the thing. i for one would love the price to go down to about 500$ and a form factor thats between the zaurii and the sigmarion 3.
oh yeah....

AND A BIG, FAT KAZILLION MaH BATTERY!!!! *_*
Da_Blitz
yes i would agree with you but i am still of the mind that if you dont want it then dont specify the chipset when you order it and it wont be soldered in

some things are unavodable, the gps chipset will in use the same chipset so some radios chips will be required as well as the wifi and such sharing antennas, but the option to drop most of the chips there and i only have to make one design then smile.gif

i have a htc tytn now which i got just in time (fried the Z) and i get good battery life on it but i think the real killer is charging off of USB and possibly USB host (still researching that one as well as the posibility it has a disabled gps chip in it)
Dromede
sharing antennas? does that mean that it isnt possible to use wifi and gps at the same time? do you have a final candidate for a gps chip?
Da_Blitz
all an antenna is is a peice of wire, for maximum power transfer it should be 1/4 the wavlength long so an optimol wifi antenna is diffrent in length from a fm radio

dont worry everything will work at the same time smile.gif i hope wink.gif

for the chipsets i am getting very sneaky (perhaps too sneaky) and using the same chipsets as those that have linux ports already if posible. otherwise i do have 2 chipsets in mind.
daniel3000
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jul 28 2006, 05:57 AM)
Q: when do you expect to finalize the design and begin production?
A: as soon as posible, current goal is no latter than the end of 2006 but dont hold us to that smile.gif


Unfortunately, I don't have enough time to follow the very interesting discussions about the Pocketpenguin. I'd love to help and give my ideas etc. but have too many own projects running...

When do you plan to be ready, now that end of 2006 has passed biggrin.gif

All the features sound very promising. However, in order to produce such a device in even small amounts, you need to have some very sophisticated and probably expensive production tools. So how do you plan to keep the price for the device as low as a few hundered dollars?

Just curious. Of course I understand if you can't give details...

Now that Sharp accounced the end of the Zaurus line, even if there will be used units for a long time to come, it may be good to reorientate slowly.

daniel
Da_Blitz
well in an ideal world an OSS company would sponser me but that wont be happening

so i am going to have to do it the tough way, it means the prototypes wont be fully populated, only with what will be tested and i will be hand soldering and butchering the prottypes (ie recycling them) to keep costs down

i also hawe a fpga board on the way (http://cgi.ebay.com/XILINX-USB-FPGA-BOARD-SPARTAN-3-200K-ETHERNET-WEBSERVER_W0QQitemZ220069714762QQcategoryZ50913QQcmdZViewItemQQisPrinterFriendly
1QQpvZ1) that will allow me to build virtual hardware for some things (ie looking at buses and doing logic analysis) and emulate some parts in softhardware

i entend for it to cost as much as the top range PDAs, but for each country the price is diffrent and for each individual, what is considered top end is diffrent

from my perspective i am looking at $1000 AUD for a final price as a maximum but even making 100 units will bring down the price, in fact 20 or more units will shave about $20 to $40 off of the price due to a lower retooling cost for PCB creation

at the moment i have a rapid prtotype manufacturer in china that i use (the US stuff is 10x more expensive, gives a lowwer quality product and forces me to wait 3 months instead of 3 weeks. not to mention the chinese people have better english skills than i do)

so they make it and i test it, repeat. you guys wont pay for dev costs in the final price. you will pay ONLY for raw hardware costs. so that saves a bit

but basically it comes down to my ability to debug without fancy tools and lukily the fact that the hard stuff is only RF which there are established practicies for and high speed busses which includes the ddr ram which is accounted for as well (more best practicies)

but yeah it comes down to skill and i hope i have it. i just have to remeber that along time ago when SDram came out they didnt have all these fancy tools so they had to inovate, the fpga helps but the thing that helps the most is old electronic magazines and infomation on old design practicies and debuggining teqnieqes

sure i wont have a 100Mhz ossciliscope but i will have a high speed logic analyser that i could wire a high speed ADC to to make a Digital storage ossciliscope
adf
good luck!
Ragnorok
- Is the first post in this thread accruate wrt to hardware at this time?
Da_Blitz
fairly, things change and i drop some things i consider "minor" and add them back all the time, it depends on the moment.

at least its a rough draft, basically things that change are mainly cameras and "gadget" features. the core ram and cpu stuff as well as conectivity options will stay the same

i would love to throw a small fpga in there but it will most likly be a cpld instead and non hackable, upgradable yes but not somthing you can change at a whim (it will be doing alot of interfacing and "language" conversion

biometrics look to be dropped as there are better ways of authenticating and i belive it will be abused. there is an option however that if a camera is included that it could do iris verefication.

anyone still want IR? also mini sd or full sized, i cant remeber every ones postion on that (or mine for that matter) or one full sized and one micro?. the micros are ones that shouldnt be pulled out to ofteen as they are a PITA to remove (ie this is the rootfs)
stampsm
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jan 27 2007, 06:58 AM)
fairly, things change and i drop some things i consider "minor" and add them back all the time, it depends on the moment.

at least its a rough draft, basically things that change are mainly cameras and "gadget" features. the core ram and cpu stuff as well as conectivity options will stay the same

i would love to throw a small fpga in there but it will most likly be a cpld instead and non hackable, upgradable yes but not somthing you can change at a whim (it will be doing alot of interfacing and "language" conversion

biometrics look to be dropped as there are better ways of authenticating and i belive it will be abused. there is an option however that if a camera is included that it could do iris verefication.

anyone still want IR? also mini sd or full sized, i cant remeber every ones postion on that (or mine for that matter) or one full sized and one micro?. the micros are ones that shouldnt be pulled out to ofteen as they are a PITA to remove (ie this is the rootfs)
*



1 gig micro-sd ( or even 512MB, any size over 128MB should be enough) holding the rootfs and the basic operating system files sounds good. for security reasons you can always do a crc32 checksum on all the data on the card to verify it has not been tampered with or even sign it with a private key and have the public key in the processor's memory. that way you can have upgrades released and still be able to make sure it is secure. upgrading the operating system would be much easier since all you have to do is pop the card into any card reader and do a image onto it without having to worry about flashing the device itself (this can make it really hard to brick your device), you can even have two partitions on the card, one for the operating system that can be checked for integrity and another that is user rw and holds the /home directory.

for lower volume production the micro-sd would actually be cheaper than buying flash chips and having that much more board design work, since you can get 512MB micro-sd for less than 10 USD.

the whole design goal would be to make the hardware as flexible as possible while still making it simple to design and be cost effective. (when you get down to it these are not easy goals to hit)
Da_Blitz
i like it because it futre proofs it smile.gif
Ragnorok
- Hard to argue with stampsm, but I'd like one full-size slot as well, unless we can get three or four micros and do that Raid thing. (wolfish grin) I think I prolly want a full 'cause they go to 4Gb, and with SDIO there are non-memory peripherals available for it. Not that I own any, mind you, because the Z uses CF for this, but the PP won't have CF. Seems like a nice thing to have, though.
Da_Blitz
the huge flash on the iphone is tempting but its somthing that can bite you on the arse unless you go all out (like apple did). at lesat with the slots you can chose or reuse what you have

im guessing the full sized will be the external one wink.gif might as well make the micro one externaly acsesible for devs or does that partially defeat the security, must think about that. probelly not however

CF is nice and i cant cemeber where i am at with it (if its in or not) i think its really a case of lets see how much room we have left. if it did go in it would most likly not be removable for some reason (there was somthing technical holding it back, somthing to do with the ata mode)
stampsm
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jan 29 2007, 06:37 PM)
the huge flash on the iphone is tempting but its somthing that can bite you on the arse unless you go all out (like apple did). at lesat with the slots you can chose or reuse what you have

im guessing the full sized will  be the external one wink.gif might as well make the micro one externaly acsesible for devs or does that partially defeat the security, must think about that. probelly not however

CF is nice and i cant cemeber where i am at with it (if its in or not) i think its really a case of lets see how much room we have left. if it did go in it would most likly not be removable for some reason (there was somthing technical holding it back, somthing to do with the ata mode)
*


make the micro one an internal one like on the ROKR cell phone. it makes for a very small size holder with no mechanics needed to eject it. if it has operating system files you do not want the user to "accidentially" take it out while it is running anyways. it is easy to make it secure while still making it easy to remove if you have an asymetric encryption system(like pgp) that has a private and public key running in the small firmware (rom) inside the device. you just check the keys on the main files or file clusters and if they match up with the private key you know the files have not been tampered with (well there are ways around this, but NO security is foolproof). if the files are detected to be tampered with you can make the device do whatever you programed it to do from continuing to run to "scorched earth policy" (wipe the device clean of certain files set as secure.
stampsm
QUOTE(Ragnorok @ Jan 29 2007, 05:20 PM)
- Hard to argue with stampsm, but I'd like one full-size slot as well, unless we can get three or four micros and do that Raid thing.  (wolfish grin)  I think I prolly want a full 'cause they go to 4Gb, and with SDIO there are non-memory peripherals available for it.  Not that I own any, mind you, because the Z uses CF for this, but the PP won't have CF.  Seems like a nice thing to have, though.
*

yep full size slot and micro one would work. full size for user access and micro for operating system files (or something like this). and CF would be nice IF you can find the space to squeeze it in, or use the CF (actually IDE) port on the processor for peripherals.
Da_Blitz
i think you misunderstand pgp encryption. it only uses rsa or dsa for encryting a key that was used for a symectrical cypher on the data (such as AES) security is covered elsewhere, but its encrypted and tamper proof (no bit flipping allowed) but for the kernel and initrd only as all other data is changable so i expect that you rely on the fact that the initrd and kerenel are garenteed to be correct and use them to verify the rest of the device.

i want to provide a secure path of high assurence booting to the kernel, what the kernel does afterwards is its problem but i also want to leave the kernel to do the security stuff rather than the bootloader/bios the only way to do this in a secure manner is to ensure the integrity fo the kernel and then let the kernel ensure the integrity of the filesystem you boot from

the rokor idea is a good one. i dont know how devs would like it wink.gif i guess put it at the edge and allow 2 diffrent sockets to be used and provide a cut out on the case

oh well glad the size thing is sorted, best of both world really. if there is a Cf card in there it would be IDE and not CF so non removable (unless the chip has hotplug support for ata drives) this is so that you can give it an ata drive if you wish from an ipod for eg
stampsm
well since SD has only 9 pins it would not be to hard to have a one of those flexible brown cable thingies (not sure what they are called) that break out the internal micro-SD slot into a regular SD card holder. it would be less work for the devoloper to keep swapping out cards since you do not need to take out the battery just turn the device off. and you can have 4-5 different SD cards you just turn the device off and plug a different one in and boot into a whole new operating system configuration. plus you can have up to 4 gigs of space (plus possibly 4 more gigs in the other SD slot) to work with and possibly even have enough space to do native compilation of the programs (some programs like openoffice.org need to be natively compiled, though i have heard it can take a few days to compile on an ARM system) . basically you take the same case the consumer gets (or close to the same) and just make a breakout cable to plug in a full size SD card holder externally.
stampsm
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jan 30 2007, 06:14 PM)
i think you misunderstand pgp encryption. it only uses rsa or dsa for encryting a key that was used for a symectrical cypher on the data (such as AES) security is covered elsewhere, but its encrypted and tamper proof (no bit flipping allowed) but for the kernel and initrd only as all other data is changable so i expect that you rely on the fact that the initrd and kerenel are garenteed to be correct and use them to verify the rest of the device.

i want to provide a secure path of high assurence booting to the kernel, what the kernel does afterwards is its problem but i also want to leave the kernel to do the security stuff rather than the bootloader/bios the only way to do this in a secure manner is to ensure the integrity fo the kernel and then let the kernel ensure the integrity of the filesystem you boot from
*


i guess in my madness i did not explain myself very good as that was exactly what i was thinking. you do some sort of check to verify the kernel and key system files have not been tampered with then load them and hand over control over to them. then they can be configured to do as little or as much security checks of their own on the rest of the system as you boot it.
Da_Blitz
yep its the whole verify the kernel and initrd thing in a nut shell. only problem is it then means you have to have some change detection in the initrd. however if your / filesys is RO then you can just cheksum/hash the raw block device. might want to keep it small or do the zaurus thing and not reboot many times (people were amazed when i told then i hadent rebooted the thing in 6 months)

nice idea with the breakout part.

well compiling is not much of an issue. i have been thiniking about "blades" o these things or stripped down versions with only a serial port ram, and basic flash. does a net boot and then does distc over the network. i was thiking plain ethernet but i thoght it would be easier to build it all into a high performance backplane and connect that to the blades via a fpga thats mmaped as sram

means if you are doing unique things (like running a modified sql server that offloads the search to a distribtued search engine that take a single cycle regardless of entries less than its maximum) then you could quite easily chuck some hardware at it

gives me an ecscuse to egineer a fpga interface in the linux kernel that supports dynamic loading of "programs" or hardware designs while running
zeigerpuppy
One vote for CF,
it's great to have the peripherals it allows, ie: ethernet/wifi/bluetooth/audio adapter etc.
Da_Blitz
actually i am pushing for ethier ethernet on board or move everything to usb2.0

wifi and bluetooth should be built in and i havent seen a cf audio. usb does it fine and then i dont have to worry about driver issues that we get on these boards all the time about new cf cards

the other thing is how much space it takes up
adf
been skipping posts--just read the last two.

imho--USB 2 & cf would both be useful. don't sweat on board ethernet, a usb port is more adaptable. keep a cf slot. the tech is driven by cameras and is likely to continue improving without weird drm-ish crap happening to it.

my quite possibly irrelevant .02usd
Ragnorok
- I think if CF is in it should be external, particularly if ethernet won't be on-board. I don't like using USB as my "network" connection. It's okay for peripherals, but for actual networking I vastly prefer ethernet over USB and some kludge to make it look like a NIC, that only works on the one computer it's running on. Ikky. I'd much rather plug into my network like a real computer, when I'm on the wire.
- I like the micro-SD idea for the OS, with miminum internal flash, and I really like stampsm's idea of using a "break-out" ribbon cable for development. I'd still like to keep at least one, and without CF more than one, full-sized SD slot.
- Biometrics are a nice-to-have, but not necessary, imho. I'd rather type in a password and have Raid-on-SD than have a bio scanner, or even a camera.
speculatrix
there is a CF audio card, discussed in another forum, but it's designed for high-end. A more generic twin-channel analogue I/O system which could be pressed into service as an oscilloscope would be nice - use at 44 or 48kHz, 16 bit * 2 and it's an audio capture/playback system, use at 1MHz, 8 bit, it's a simple 'scope.
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