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Zuse
Hi all,

just read a bit here and there and noticed, that many people have quite different opinion what a "good" PDA should include. As far as we come to software this is not critical as everyone can change it later over and over again.

As far as the hardware is discussed there should be a ranking to meet the opinion of most people out there.

E.g. I totally need no finger-print reader. IMHO, these devices are useless and it was demonstrated that this devices can be easily entrapped (more easily then a good password). Hence, they give a totally wrong feeling of security.

On the other side, battery-life-time is more important to me than everything else.
What do all these bells and whistles mean if you can only run them for 1.5 hours without recharging? I like to see a device with a more then full working day (10-14 hours) continuous runtime, which should end up in charging the device every third week or every month for normal usage vs. power off periods.

Thus, for sure a web-cam will be fine, but if it will eat up 10 % of my battery life time, I really can live without it.

For me the most critical point to create the perfect PDA would be therefore, the development of the best power-management available on the PDA-market.

Furthermore, try to keep everything as flexible as possible. Instead to integrate a web-cam at the top of the display (as some sonys-laptops did), it might be a good idea to create a hidden USB port there. There are hundereds of very tiny cams on the market already, just stick one at the top of the display if you need one. This will gurantee, that later developements (e.g. more pixels, more fps etc.) can be easily upgraded by everyone. On the other hand, there might be some smart users, which find other devices on the market to be usefull.
In addtion, this will reduce the price to a affordable barebone set-up with a lot of individual add ons.

Just my two cents

Zuse
Da_Blitz
i guess i am starting to get really jadded with this prooject now as every week someone comes along and suggests the same things or the same reasons.

oh well

[standard response]
If you dont want it then tell the PCB board manufacturer to not solder the part in

everything can be turned off independentlly however i cant stop you from leaving the wifi and bluetooth on while disabling CPU freq changing

upgaradability is a no go, it sounds like a really good idea, and i mean a reallly really really good idea but it is imposible to do that and make the thing small. it will have flexability in that you can chose what you dont want. if you want to add anything the you use the USB ports

what goes in it is supposed to be a minimum to satisfy a large percentage of people. of coaruse as you have stated what people want differs between people

keep in mind that the most expensive parts are the screen the keyboard anh the pcb as well as casing.
[/standard response]

the finger print reader is somthing i knew would be a point of conntention, for me there is no such thing as three factor authentication using somthing you knwo somthing you have and somthing you are as i belvie that somthing you have and somthing you are are in fact the same thing.

the fingerprint reader is best used as a replacment of the user name, ethier you type your user name or swipe your fingerprint then type your password. the other use i see it for is to prove that you are at the terminal, ie if you have the ability to sudo to root then it is a simple check that you are actually in front of the computer, it is easy to defeat but it assumes you have logged in, which means that you have alreaddy authenticated to the computer, you are just proving that you are actually sitting in front of it and not looged in from the other side fo the world

10-14 hors will never happen with this device, the ram alone uses too much power when active to allow for that. however with a smart power policy and programs to enforce it (turning off ram manks and changing the cpu freq, turining off hardware) then it should be posible to get 5 or more haurs for non intensive tasks (mp3 playback)

normal usage should allow for 4 hours, heavy should be 3 hours light shourd be 5 plus. all PDAs have this problem it all depends on your usage patterns. i could use a 4mhz 8 bit chip and have it running for 1 month at 100% cpu usage (ie heavy usage) but i dont think that is what you want
dhns
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 13 2006, 12:44 PM)
i guess i am starting to get really jadded with this prooject now as every week someone comes along and suggests the same things or the same reasons.

That is something I believe you will have to live with when defining products. I have done that for years for a large company. It was really well paid and called "Product Manager".

Customers simply can't know what you already know...

So they come up with all the same proposals which are already built into the product you are currently selling (they even don't know that you already have a new one). But you have to look at their proposals and find the 0.01% golden nuggets which really improve a product.

And even worse, there are very distinct people, distinct needs and distinct willingness to pay for something. View it like circles of different size on a 2-dimensional surface. They have some overlap but none cover all the area.

Now, you try to satisfy all of them with a single product point. Doesn't work. The ususal solution is to have different models for different people/users/customers. Look at mobile phones. How many small variations they make to capture every niche. That is the real complexity.

But for a ranking, there is a standard tool: customer requirements research. Can be as simple as a poll or more complex by a conjoint analysis.

If you need help for this direction, contact me by PM.

-- hns
adf
simply put--
speed
nice keyboard/input button/toggles/wheels/--easy input
fit in pocket
nice screen
video out
usb
good storage
durable
useably large ram
solid networking (bt, and b&g wifi maybe?)
do this at a good price.

I could care less about cameras--- except that they mean the device can't be taken certain places, and usb cams might do the job better for less $$. If cameras are generally wanted I'll have one with a cam, then.
Same with the thumbprint reader. It strikes me as silly expensive and complicated (and way more likely to cause problems than to solve them). If the main functions and price of the device aren't altered by having one--then I'll be happy to have one. If it's gonna raise the price more than a few percent--well, that might be a deal breaker.
Battery availablility (as discussed way earlier) would be desireable. If battery life is mediocre as a result of good performance, then easy battery swapping & charging would compensate.

reading all of the batman features--multiple cams, thumbprint reader wheels and buttons and game controllers everywhere I'm very afraid that the price will soar, and the durability will plummet. not a good mix--it tends to make for very expensive paperweights.
Da_Blitz
i m dedicating this post to what you want, please post here and i will ignore it smile.gif

i have to agree with you dhns, that seems to be the way it is going however at this stage we are still getting little gems of ideas coming in so i am prepared to let it keep on comming.

the distinct groups of people on this board is simply amazing, you can go to several diffrent sections and spot who uses what and what they have tied as well as the topics the frequent by what they type and ask, i try to get to most topics but only cover about 50% of the fourm on a regular basis. satisfing everyone on the board will be imposiblle

i guess i will go for the 80:20 rule (or perhaps 90:10) so that i know when to stop putting more time per week into it

back to the point, its down to one cam and i can see it bieng droped, finger print reader may be dropped unless i can find a good supplier (hard to come buy) i guess you mean the trackball when you say game controller, thats in there as i hate the touch screen and prefer it over a directonal pad.
adf
[nah... I have nothing against a trackball. There had been earlier discussions re optimizing input for game emulators-- it seemed a bit much. I guess it isn't an issue anymore. I was just trying to emphasize function and value over niftimess. "nifty; neato" features for their own sake kinda remind me of the talking coke machines of the 80's. Really noticeably nifty on 1st exposure..... by the 3rd what was noticeable was that more time and effort was required to actually receive a bevereage. needless to say, we don't see 'em much anymore.
Ferret-Simpson
I'm ok to lose game crud, and the fingerprint reader (I have a password!) but I think the camera is better kept than left out, if only for the sake of video conferencing. I use my mobile phone more than a dedicated camera, because these days. . The cameras are good enough to take a photo that is reasonable on a 6x4 card. . . There's just no point for me in having the extra weight.So my rating is similar to everyone elses with the usual personal niggles.

Speed,
Memory Bus (Size and Speed),
Keyboard,
Usb Host,
Networking: Bluetooth and 802.11G,
GSM/GPRS/3G,
Storage: ATA and 2 SD sockets, I'm not bothered about CF or onboard flash. Just as long as it will boot.
Camera
Clamshell,
Nice Screen,
Durable.
derekp
I had an idea that could help solve some of the over design issues. I know that making everything modular was rejected, because it would add too much complexity / bulk with the various connectors, etc. But, what if the bulk of the core was made into a standard pcmcia card form factor? I know that a lot of manufacturing lines have templates for pcmcia cards, which simplifies the process for putting out a few prototypes. Here's what I envision:
The cpu, bluetooth, memory, cf / sd slots, etc. all go into a pcmcia card shell (modified slightly so someone doesn't accidently try shoving it into a laptop...). This is the core module. The screen, keyboard, battery charger / power supply all goes into a sperate shell. That way, if someone wants a larger clamshell / mini laptop, they can get that shell. If you want a tablet, use a tablet shell. A phone would use a phone shell. That way, you can take your core module, and put it into the device shell that is appropriate for what you want to do that day.
For example, I could see keeping the core module in a phone shell most of the time, but when I go on a trip, go ahead and pack the oversized clamshell in a suitcase, and transfer the core module from phone to clamshell at the hotel. Or, if I'm going to be in meetings on the run, use the tablet shell. Either way, all the core functionality will transfer to each device easily.
The only drawback I can see is that using a pcmcia-type shell may add a bit to weight / bulk, but I think the flexibility would be worth it. And, if you do get someone to mass market this, for the end consumer it may be easier / cheaper to go and replace one of the shells if it gets damaged, than to replace the entire pda.
nevarrie
QUOTE(derekp @ Aug 18 2006, 01:28 PM)
The cpu, bluetooth, memory, cf / sd slots, etc. all go into a pcmcia card shell (modified slightly so someone doesn't accidently try shoving it into a laptop...).  This is the core module.  The screen, keyboard, battery charger / power supply all goes into a sperate shell.  That way, if someone wants a larger clamshell / mini laptop, they can get that shell.  If you want a tablet, use a tablet shell.  A phone would use a phone shell.  That way, you can take your core module, and put it into the device shell that is appropriate for what you want to do that day.
*


I have to admit I like this idea myself. A core module that I could keep in my phone/clam shell when I am out and about and then plug in to my desktop when I am at my desk and continue what I am currently work on, sounds great to me(This is how I try to use my 6k right now with x11vnc).

If this is possable it could make it possible to satisfy more people. HTe core module has the capability to do all of the neat things like finger print reader but only if the shell has it will it be used.

I really have not read all of the threads in PocketPenguin so I have not seen the post about not going modular derekp modular idea even make since for this project?

QUOTE(Da_Blitz)
i guess i will go for the 80:20 rule (or perhaps 90:10) so that i know when to stop putting more time per week into it


I would tell you build in what you want to have. Since you are looking at an open design it make is possable for others to rework the design to work for them. I just wish I knew enough and had the time to help. For now I will uses my 6k along with a motorola ming soon and try to learn more.
Da_Blitz
that actually sounds like a more workable idea, there are still some problems that can be worked around, mainly tha PCMCIA slot dosent have a high enogh pin density, the more pins i have the better as a lower counh means that you need to put more on the CPU board

about the only thing i think is a major design issue is the depth of the card, i remeber PCMICA as bieng huge (i dont have a refrence card next to me) however i think perhaps somthing a bit more rectangular would be a better idea, this deos bear some serios thoght as the current system i envisioned is that you plugged the PDA into your PCC and did the "Black Dog" thing and setup a usb-net connection and CDROM link and started a VNC or local x server on your computer. with the new stacking modules idea it is very easy to have a docking station, we dont even need to specifically support one as there is a standard interface

i will have to think on haw granular we go with the idea, eg what goes into the cases and what gose into the cpu card or daghter card, as it would be very easy to end up with a huge range of designs that are simple variations of each other.
iamasmith
Here's my usual food for thought or rant (interpret as you wish) smile.gif

If you survey the Zaurus community about product features generally you aren't looking at what would make a good PDA. Interest areas for many people include..

* Mobile developer station.
* Quick porting platform where they can very easily get desktop applications running.
* Games and game emulation.
* Media.

The Zaurus models to allow us to play in these areas with certain degrees of success due mostly to their good core selection of hardware and base upon an open source platform.

The challenges of meeting all of these areas stretch the platform in various different ways, for example

Development, Porting and running desktop applications could really benefit from having a lot more RAM available.

Games, Emulation etc. could really benefit from graphics acceleration etc.

Media could really benefit from having acceleration and media bandwidth.

These are areas that will stretch hardware requirements in various different directions that a consumer electronics manufacturer will not normally take the time to consider because they will focus the device at one of these particular areas.

For example take the apple iPod - it has a large amount of storage, reasonable bandwidth, maybe it has some acceleration and certainly has a DSP to handle some audio processing. It doesn't have a lot of RAM and what RAM it has is used for a massive cache so that disk access can be reduced (battery life improves etc.). Consider the impact of usefulness of the iPod if you were to run Linux and X on top of the iPod - Cache would be reduced due to the memory overhead of the OS and applications and the unit would be less appealing as an mp3 player - and actually if it is running something proprietary but with regular upgrades you don't feel compelled to re-engineer it every time that Linux has a patch upgrade tongue.gif

Likewise a PSP2 has 3D acceleration etc. and makes a good game machine but just doesn't have the memory to run a decent operating system and has storage limited to the size of Memory Stick cards for user media.

Cramming extra RAM into such devices is simply going to reduce their battery life, maybe introduce thermal issues etc. In the end the manufacturers made good hardware choices for their target market and as long as the device is used for the specified functions alone it works really well.

Now, you may have deduced what this ramble is about.

Ask a user what he wants from a device and he/she will say that they want to do everything with the new device that they are used to on the old one but better.

Change some of things for 'better' things on the Zaurus and you will end up with one or more of the following..

i. Decreased battery life.
ii. Increased size.
iii. The convergent technology trap.

By the convergent technology trap I mean that you implement some hardware in a device that performs some function. Take for example your phone with your 1.3MPixel digital camera built in. If you take a lot of photos with your camera then in 1 years time when the resolution is being sold at 4MPixel in an equivalent phone there is an incentive for you to upgrade your phone.... but hang on..... this is a phone... why upgrade it because you want a higher resolution camera?

Another horrible software driven example is a PDA with Phone/Camera/Bluetooth/MP3 and it runs Windows CE.NET (or whatever M$ is calling it these days). In 2 months time M$ launch a new version of Windows CE.NET and the HW manufacturer won't offer you an upgrade. You are now looking for a new PDA that is very expensive because you got used to all of those features. If you had bought a basic PDA, a Camera, a Phone and an MP3 player then you would only be buying a new basic PDA. (had to put the M$ rant in because this is what got me into Linux PDAs after having several PDAs that reached end of line because of no OS upgrades).

So, are convergent technologies something you really want to bring into your design? - think again about inbuilt stuff like Cameras and to a small extent things like Wifi and Bluetooth. Wifi and Bluetooth don't sound to bad but there is more freedom in having them available via a second PCMCIA slot rather than having a chipset soldered into the device that you find has some strategic limitation in 6 months time.

-Andy
Ferret-Simpson
On the other note, PCMCIA cards are huge. CF cards aren't exactly small, and because of the "Throw-Away" society we live in, people don't make CF cards for new devices often.

So if we want to use wireless, we have to incorporate the latest version we have. The camera on this is not designed for taking high res photos, it's for quick low-quality snapshots for use as a background picture, and for video conferencing. I am not about to carry a USB webcam in my pocket for when I want to call my Dad from university. That's what the camera in my Uni, and hopefully my PPZ are for.

On terms of OS, the PPZ's central purpose is to be an open source replacement for the HTC Universal, and the CXXXX Zaurus. So the softwre is open source, and you can stick whatever you like on it. Linux, OpenBSD, and if you felt like porting them, ReactOS, AROS, FreeBSD, even an old open-sourced version of Windows (I know at least one of the old codebases has been released.)

I don't see therefore that the OS is going out of date. basically, we're avoiding the Convergent Technology Trap by only implementing the bare minimum of things, not to replace other devices completely, but for different "Phone" functions. We chose the iMX31 to get decent support, 3D for Gaming, MPEG decoding for Video and music playback, incredible I/O support, and a dedicated Floating Point Unit. But it's still a PDA chip, and as such, shouldn't be a big drain on power. It's a pretty ruddy versatile chip.

Finally your point on Memory, not only do we have 4 times the standard (256mb) at current count, it's twice as fast. Overkill? Probably. A small effect on battery life because of it? Most likely. A ridiculous preformance boost and reduced likelyhood of the system being out of date for a long time? Guaranteed.

As you said, it's a Coding, Gaming, Media playing machine. And just by abandoning Intel and their new buddy XSCALE owners, we can get a serious machine without a BIG fall in battery life. And because we're building with new batteries, we can use what we like to get maximum mAh in the thing. Which is why we're all looking at Digital Camcorder batteries, because they're designed for big mAh, small cm2.

Rant over.
iamasmith
Yeah, PCMCIA is huge and I was thinking about CF rather than PCMCIA... this is what comes of spending time working on CF drivers which usually live the the PCMCIA section of the kernel tongue.gif

Sounds like an interesting device and I would love to see it when it becomes real. I think as far as a gamer machine goes you will end up with the traditional problem that people will want to run Desktop Linux games on it and will get to the point of outstripping the resources quite quickly - this is the obvious advantage of handheld devices like the PSP where games are specifically being designed and scaled to that architecture.

Anyway, I'll keep this thread pinned with interest.

-Andy
Da_Blitz
your points about wifi and bluetooth on CF are quite valid until you look at some of the design comprimises and goals of this design placing a CF card will place huge constraints on the case design as well as the PCB layout so i want to avoid that. CFIO was dropped for several reasons, mainly that we were chucking everything on board (more on that latter) but as we dont have CFIO having a CF wifi or bluetooth card is pointless. you could use USB if you dont mind somthing sticking out but one of the design goals is that i can fit it into my pocket

i have an application or two that would benifit from things such as built in wifi and bluetooth and that is who i am primarly designing it for

if it comes down to making a call as to what is and isnt included then i will be chosing what i will be using. if i have to it will come to a vote for dev team members however at the moment the only pearson who really qualifie for dev status is me (not to sound like a dictator, to get dev status you have to ask for it and you have to be able to contribute substantial back)

back on topic:

bieng out striped is nothing new as we will most likly have developers developing for a nice P4 system so nothing new there, for gaming a boost to the SDL libries and mplayer would be nice and easy to do, any gaming i do will be quake 1 or 2 which should run ine on the thing

your list of target areas is quite acute, however the bottom 2 share alot in common and could almost be colappsed into one while the top 2 have simmilar needs.

there is a reason to chuck stuff into the design rather than making it a plugin, by placing it in the design it forces you to design for it. and i dont just mean at a hardware level.

any way there are still some things that are on my listof "to be dropped" due to avalibility of chipsets ore the problems with interfacing it to the chipset so dont expect the final design to have everything we specified in it, remeber that we were going to add everything we wanted to a list and then start cutting down that list, at the moment we are cutting it down smile.gif

the having to throw it away part is valid that is why i am standardising on USB, it is unlikly that usb will dissapear in the next year, UWB may come up however the adaptors will have to be connected somehow. in my opinion CF is dead and SD cards are taking over and i think that the design reflects this.

of course i didnt mention the wireless and when they will be out of date, i think bluetooth is dead. IMHO it never really took off like some people said it would. about the only thing it is used for is headsets, we may be diffrent but thats what the rest of the population is using it for. i belive that thats why they are pussing for inclusion with the UWB crowd, they relise they are dead otherwise as USB already has all the stuff that bluetooth is supposed to be good for (networikng (PAN<>usb-net) and audio, OBEX exchange works over ethernet so you can mave files about easily) if the bluetooth commite was smart they would have seperated the lower levels from the higher levels in thier design so that it could run over somthing like ethernet

as for wifi i dont think that 802.11n will be here any time soon, call it a hunch wink.gif even if it was i see little benifit in using it in a PDA except for the longer range
adf
well... your opinion on CF being dead is hardly borne out by a look at pro and prosumer digital cameras, though you are probably right about bluetooth. If neither fits your design, then by all means exclude them without apology. Everyone here already has a zaurus, and probably a cell phone too--- there is no reason at all to design anything other that what suits you-certainly it won't be as if you are leaving (non-existant) investors high and dry with out some gizmo or other included in your design. I'm sure we all expect to be impressed with the final specs.
zmiq2
For nice and standard modularity (as much standrad as compact flash is an standard) I have always liked the design these folks have at:

http://www.cdatas.com/

It's interesting, underperformed at the moment.
iamasmith
QUOTE(zmiq2 @ Aug 20 2006, 06:16 PM)
For nice and standard modularity (as much standrad as compact flash is an standard) I have always liked the design these folks have at:

http://www.cdatas.com/

It's interesting, underperformed at the moment.
*


Yeah, that looks neat for some things. It is somewhat limited to what they have built into that CF Computer card though and it seems to be a 68000 with no MMU, hence, uCLinux.

Target market has got to be appliance I think rather than a more functional computer.

-Andy
Ferret-Simpson
With the Memory, speed and internal 3d Accelleration. . I think we'd get Quake3 at 640x480. You can on Windows, and windows is hardly an efficient platform!

CFIO IS dead. Cardbus is getting there. CF memory storage is NOT dead, and won't be for some time, because of the large amount of Flash that will fit in a cart, as well as of course the Microdrive (Which is ALOT smaller than an iPod drive.) Top End digital cameras will stick with CFATA, and so there is still a good reason to include it in our PDA.

I can run EVERY game I play on linux desktop, on a Zaurus 3200. . . .

I only ever play kBounce, kAsteroids, and Snes ROMS.
Da_Blitz
the CF has alot of issues, i cant just chuck whatever i want on there, for example at a minimum you need the flash, ram and cpu all in the CF card which would be "tight". i have pulled apart a CF card or two and it looks like it could be intresting however i think that a diffrent form factor with higher IO is a better idea

in fact if i mave the phone, wifi and bluetooth to the second stacked module (you do relise that i will have several boards stacked on top of each other) then you could pick and chose, quickly swaping would be a problem but i am all for carefull selection before hand rather than swaping, in my opinion very few people would actually swap the system around on a regular basis

i have seen that link before hawever and it is a good idea if you have the space for it

you high performance camera owners seem to keep coming up all the time, let me ask you this: dosent your nice fancy camera have a usb connection?, and dosent the PP have USB high speed host? the way i figure it, it saves me a huge amount of problems (size and mechanically, those sockets arent exactlly what i would call "small") and is a much better way of handelling the problem (less pulling of cards out of devices which i find can be a bit difficult on a $1000+ Digital SLR camera, normally its easier to flick the cap off of the cameras usb port and plug in
Ferret-Simpson
OFCOL. . . No, that's not what we're talking about. Wer're not talking about wanting CFIO, just that CF Flash is good as an internal because it is not dead and won't be any time soon. So we can still BUY new hard disks.
Da_Blitz
the only reason i want to use CF internally is that it can have a microdrive attached, if i could get unlimited rewrites on SD then i would have made it boot off of that, i like my swap however with the amount of ram in this thing and the way 2.6 handels its swap compared to2.4 the advantages are less

mabey i should just drop having the CF slot mounted on the PCB but leave the pads in there, it seems like a better solution and would make this thing alot smaller
Ferret-Simpson
Oh please don't, I want a PDA with 20GB internal storage. Awww. . .THere's no :twisted: smiley on this board. . . .
adf
I really can't picture myself running around with my data storage dangling off my camera on a usb cable, if that is what you are sugggesting.

At this point, I'm not sure what you are sugesting for the pocketpenguin. Do you mean to make the device with 2 external sd slots and no internal storage? or with internal flash soldered to one of the boards? I gather you aren't thrilled with the prospect on including an internal cf/microdrive, but I'm not sure how you'd intend to use the usb to handle storage. It isn't a logical problem, I'm simply wondering what if any internal data storage you intend the device to have.

Personally I like cf microdrives. I rea lize one could get 8 gigs on board with 2 sd cards and arguably consume less power, and that swapping data sd cards and using a usb to connect to external storage would work.... it simply isn't quite what I was expecting.


how hard would it be to make physical (not connected or anything) storage for extra sd cards a part of the case... so that one might pocket the device having 2 sd cards in the sd slots and 2 or more (full of video or audio or maybe games, or some other intermittently used stuff) stashed somewhere in or on the case for easy swapping?

and, yeah, I'd love a 20gig + pda. my 3100 only goes to 14 gigs (4 gig internal + 4 gig sd + 6 gig external cf md) with the stuff I have right now, and I have to disconnnect my cf wireless to do it smile.gif

btw--smaller is good. The device isn't the "wheelbarrow penguin"
Ferret-Simpson
hehehe, No, it's the 20GB CF Microdrives that are out "Soon" I'm referring to. Gods damn, I don't mind USB connecting or wifi connecting to my camera if I can copy the images to my 20GB internal CF card!!

I have a poodle, and an XDA Exec (Universal) and those are the two designs I'm thinking to hybridise. Obviously, We've looked at all sorts of things neither have: Accelerometers, 5.1 surround sound. . . But essentially, what's most important for me, is a hybrid of the best bits from the XDA, the best from the poodle, and the bugs removed. . . From the XDA: General layout and rough spec. From the Poodle. . . Linux, multifuction bootloader (Altboot), CompactFlash/MD Storage, Irda (If poss) Lanyard loop, and more useful status indicators.

And ironing out bugs? Like having two cameras on the XDA, and no quick-reference screen. Pull that from the Samsung phones. . One camera, two screens. Another bug? The Torch. . WTH? That should be a burst flash! NOT a weedy LED lamp! The XDA is as solid as my old Clie, so a nice aluminium or Mg alloy case is nice. . .

Heh, I'm a typical consumer. What I want, is what I've got. . With just a few tweaks.
adf
QUOTE(Ferret-Simpson @ Aug 23 2006, 10:06 PM)
Heh, I'm a typical consumer. What I want, is what I've got. . With just a few tweaks.
*

I guess that about sums up my position too... a better linux clamshell than my 3100 and one for which software doesn't have to be reverse engineered, or simply guessed at.
Da_Blitz
I still like the accelerometer, if you are using a microdrive it could be a lifesaver

what i am suggesting with the camera is that everyone who wants a removable CF card so far has wanted it purely for moving files between thier camera and thier Z, therefore i think the simple solution to that problem would be to use a usb cable.

i do not like the prospect of CF, that much is true however i also want it for the insane storage capacities it offers, making it removable is a nightmare in some ways, it can be done but i dont belive its a good idea for several reasons. besides you can get tiny card readers right wink.gif the solution to my imagined problems is to not alow the CF card to be soldered to the board but have the pinout avalible so that it can be placed into a better spot if you need it
if you are wondering why leaving off the CF might be a good idea, take the hight of the CF card and multiply it by 1.5, thats how much we should lose off the case without CF, hence why flying leads might be a good idea, a specilised daghter boadd may do as well if i juggle the placment of the SD cards and have the high density connector and the SD sockets on the same PCB on the same side (they should be about the same hight, that way if you chose to use CF then at least it uses minimal space

one of the nice things about SD cards is the SPI compatable mode, with this we could connect up to 16 SD cards at a time at reduced speed (like we would notice without 4 bit mode in the kernel)

the way this thing will work at a minimum is that there will be 16MB of flash which this boots off, it then kexecs a kernel and then boots off the new medium, what that might be i do not know, it could be CF, SD, USB, NFS or RAM.
nevarrie
QUOTE(adf @ Aug 23 2006, 05:43 PM)
QUOTE(Ferret-Simpson @ Aug 23 2006, 10:06 PM)
Heh, I'm a typical consumer. What I want, is what I've got. . With just a few tweaks.
*

I guess that about sums up my position too... a better linux clamshell than my 3100 and one for which software doesn't have to be reverse engineered, or simply guessed at.
*



I many ways I have to agree that I like the current options if they just had those few tweaks(SL-C3200 with wifi, bluetooth and GSM/EGPRS). That is what I need right now, and with the fact I go through phones and PDAs every year to 2 years that maybe what I need now.

Since I just bought a motorola ming, to me I see the PocketPenguin project as what I will want to get and uses a year or two from now, so my opinions and views may be a little different. Also when I got my sl6k 2 years ago it became my primary computer for almost a year(my ibook replaced it). I do have to say I miss having something as small as my 6k as my primary computer, so I guess I am not a typical consumer either.

Though I really can not say if I would need a device that has 5.1 surrond sound but if I say this as my primary machine what I could hook up to my 42in display using the hdmi and uses my frogpad or other bluetooth keyboard it might be nice to be able to have the 5.1, video on lan is where I see that useful. But I think that option might be more of something out of a dock maybe.

I guess most of it goes back to how people plan to uses the device(s) that are created. In may ways the ranking does make since since it lets us know what feature people plan to uses. If we are basing the device off of what the masses want then this would be the way to go. If we are basing the device off of what would be nice to have then we need to see what can be include and see if it is even practical.

Just my thoughts durning my first cup of coffee this morning.
Da_Blitz
i have always intended to start using this as my main PC, hence the hdmi out (can be converted to dvi, thats why its in there) and the usb ports

i dont know haw many people know but hdmi provides 5.1 in the cable itself (SPDIF if i am not mistaken) so it should be a plug and play affair, it does mean that the primary reasons for adding 5.1 throgh the headphone jacks are gone hawever we will see what happens and how i wire the chip/what chip i use as there are several ways to pull this off

i belive there was a ranking but it gets changed regularrly, in fact i think we need several rankings, one for main features one for secondary and one for tertiary.

main would be include things like wifi, bluetooth, ram amount and built in flash, ie the hard to wire up and expensive (board space or cash)
secondary would be casing features and other non primary concerns such as camera, GPS and such
tertiary is the easy to implement stuff (ie takes about 15 mins to add and dosent effect the design much) such as the audio out options (it is actually not that hard to wire it up) and the accelerometer

i will look into adding a list when i have X11 installed as everything i am looking at at the moment is monospaced and i am sure that it will get jumbeled up by a graphical http client
Ferret-Simpson
If you can find a package, try out Minimo. 0.016 is pretty daggit good!
adf
QUOTE(Ferret-Simpson @ Aug 26 2006, 04:08 PM)
If you can find a package, try out Minimo. 0.016 is pretty daggit good!
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I just don't see what you see in minimo, unless you have a version I haven't tried. side by side firefox is not much worse on your resources and is a much better browser (on vga or better) imho. Both might be used I suppose.

I would be using this as a laptop/secondary computer (as I already have a decent desktop setup that I like) So far, I'm pretty impressed with the design as I understand it. The a/v out and usb would suit me perfectly. I could take or leave the phone (probably use it and like it when I got it) and the bluetooth, but If we have a phone then I'd want bt for a a headset (so I too could be a 21st century corporate borg smile.gif ) I'd like big cf storage, but lots o sd and a small size (as I've said before) could compensate.
the gps thing, though....
If it could replace a tom-tom type device for driving and a handheld for hiking/boating (though I might rather use a cheap waterproof garmin for that purpose) it would be impressive. That needs maps and a database, right? are these things readily available? would they be practical without the big internal storage option?

Also are there small, cheap portable hdmi >> vga adapters readily available? I assume so, but a quick look showed me mostly hdmi >> dvi.
Ferret-Simpson
Believe it or not, I prefer the User Interface of Minimo. . . Toolbars annoy me. . . Minimo leaves alot more of my screen for browsing than say Opera, Firefox, or PocketIE. . . And also, It's one of very few good browsers for PocketPC. . I mean realistically, it's Minimo, Opera, or PokcetIE. . . Opera is commercial, PocketIE sucks. . Minimo is the only one left.

I have to say, I wouldn't mind a GPS at all, it's less to carry, And I know I'd use it. But on the other hand, Bluetooth GPS's cost about £40. . ($70? I dunno.) and can be powered off Nokia batteries, so it'd last longer. Although with 3 Nokia batteries at 2550mAh in the PocketPenguin, or a Universal 3200mAh battery, I'd still get a pretty good runtime. . .
Da_Blitz
yeah thats the problem with hdmi is that its all digital, no analog so there is no hdmi to vga adaptor. its a real pain but i am looking into routing the vga outputs that go to the hdmi chip off board for a vga adaptor, looks like it will need a buffer chip sad.gif

gps wise there is nothing really for linux that would live up to what you are looking for.

if we did have gps softwore a 1G SD card would be more than what would be needed for quite a few maps, not an entire country but perhaps a state or two
adf
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 27 2006, 12:37 AM)
yeah thats the problem with hdmi is that its all digital, no analog so there is no hdmi to vga adaptor. its a real pain but i am looking into routing the vga outputs that go to the hdmi chip off board for a vga adaptor, looks like it will need a buffer chip sad.gif

gps wise there is nothing really for linux that would live up to what you are looking for.

if we did have gps softwore a 1G SD card would be more than what would be needed for quite a few maps, not an entire country but perhaps a state or two
*

unless it could be made to work wth google maps, maybe?
my point was really that i'm more interested in the main functions being amazing than in a billion kinda cool sideshow features. if gps is cheap'n'easy and we might see some use..then do it, by all means.

hmm.... any hope for hdmi >> dvi >> vga via one o those adapters that come with geforce boards? they are fairly small, and easy to come by.. The reason I care is that more of the monitors I see are vga than dvi. I'm hoping to plugin everywhere I go smile.gif

along the same lines.... rca adapter? video presentations on older tv, etc

I see the point of using hdmi, but maybe we will need a little adapter brick?
Ferret-Simpson
The DVI connector contains Analog lines, which are just routed straight through to the VGA pins on a VGA-DVI connector. That's why there's no adaptor to let you plug a DVI monitor into a VGA socketed computer. A HDMI-DVI adaptor has no Analogue lines connected, as it's a Pure Digital Signal, so sadly that wouldn't work. You'd need one of those converter boxes that can translate between DVI, VGA, RF and Composite Signals. . etc etc etc. Yeah, Big, Ugly, Expensive, Mains powered.
adf
QUOTE(Ferret-Simpson @ Aug 27 2006, 10:39 PM)
The DVI connector contains Analog lines, which are just routed straight through to the VGA pins on a VGA-DVI connector. That's why there's no adaptor to let you plug a DVI monitor into a VGA socketed computer. A HDMI-DVI adaptor has no Analogue lines connected, as it's a Pure Digital Signal, so sadly that wouldn't work. You'd need one of those converter boxes that can translate between DVI, VGA, RF and Composite Signals. .  etc etc etc. Yeah, Big, Ugly, Expensive, Mains powered.
*


blech. still... i could output to my hdtv smile.gif
Ferret-Simpson
Which is the point of HDMI, isn't it? XD
Da_Blitz
hdmi is great until you look at the drm stuff in it, as it is we may have to "clone" an hdmi applince or two to get the keys in the negotiation

if i can o it perhaps it would be better to just use the hdmi plug for the vga signals? it means we still have to have an external buffer chipset and we will have to build our own adaptors. as long as there are enough pins then it should be doable i will just have to do extra work to get it going.
adf
QUOTE(Ferret-Simpson @ Aug 28 2006, 11:10 AM)
Which is the point of HDMI, isn't it? XD
*

yeah... but not really such a good portability solution without an adapter. One is far more likely to see vga and rca connectors while travelling and working. While i might not sit down in a hotel and do a spreadsheet on the tv, I might watch a movie. and of courseat work hijacking an old monitor would be fun.
adf
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 28 2006, 11:42 AM)
hdmi is great until you look at the drm stuff in it, as it is we may have to "clone" an hdmi applince or two to get the keys in the negotiation

if i can o it perhaps it would be better to just use the hdmi plug for the vga signals? it means we still have to have an external buffer chipset and we will have to build our own adaptors. as long as there are enough pins then it should be doable i will just have to do extra work to get it going.
*

to haunt you with external cf slots, didn't some of this start with you looking into cf video output for the Z?
What are the realistic options here?
hdmi drm? hard to adapt?
vga --too big?
dvi --too big
rca --low res?
component --low res? hard to adapt?

what else?
Da_Blitz
vga on a hdmi plug sooms to be the way to go, its a shame that we wont have enogh for carrying the audio as well

video out on CF is doable, all you need is a fpga and a DAC. the problem is finding the CF casing and connectors, then all you would have to do is make the board, anyway one thing at a time
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