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Ferret-Simpson
Right, this arguments getting a bit hot. Ultimately, it's DB's decision. . But I'd like a separate reasonable discussion on this so we can concentrate on other hardware in "hardware" rather than bringing this up over and over again.

At current standing, the CF card is an INTERNAL HARD DISK. It would run on an ATA66 bus, which means you could not unplug it with a battery in the device without risking harm to either. You cannot use it to connect Wifi, Bluetooth, or any other "IO hardware"!!!!! You cannot use it to download files off of your Digital Camera or MP3 player's etc CF card.

I think it's still a good idea. It allows for the easy upgrade of storage media, using Compact Flash Type ONE or TWO Flash disks or Microdrives. Advantages of a Microdrive over embedded flash or SD card? Faster, longer lasting, and soon to be available in 20GB card sizes. That's a large hard drive for a PDA, which means you can install the entirety of Arm-Slackware a large number of times. Because a MicroDrive doesn't burn out easily, the correct linux kernel could operate the device using a good Journaling Filesystem such as my personal favourite, ReiserFS.

An internal Flash or Microdrive card can be replaced at any time in case of wearing out or accidental damage (Microdrives can be harmed by falling like a normal hard disk - Using our accelerometer to park the heads could reduce this risk though.) Internal Flash replacement would need a BGA rework station to repair.

Ok, so SD cards are smaller, but in terms of data storage: 4GB versus 20GB CF is clearly the winner, and you can't get SD microdrives.
adf
i, personally want snoopy's doghouse. That is I want a 10 gram 4 sq centimeter pda with a terrabyte of storage and a 65 inch screen smile.gif

Seriously, based on my experience with the 3100, I like the internal microdrive concept. The possibility of running slackware on the device is a definite attraction as well.

What, really, are the trade offs?
smaller and lighter and 8 gigs (2x 4gig sd) vs zaurus sized and maybe 28 gigs? How much smaller and lighter offsets 20 gigs of storage?

Is the placement of the md simply not compatible with the inclusion of the other internals in a pocket sized device? if so, then there is a problem. It is not, however, my problem. My Z does a nice job. If DB makes himself a device that doesn't suit me I'm not harmed in any way, and it might even benefit me indirectly as a reference design. If he makes a device for himself that i really like and offers one for sale, i can buy it, and be happy.

At this point i'm pretty much waiting to see what'gets decided on. all sd, no internal (with some extra card storage maybe?) could work--though we'd need a good distro for it that fit son 1 4 gig sd)
Ferret-Simpson
www.armedslack.org - Slackware ported mainly to RiscPC Linux but people have used the tools on familiar successfully. Oh for a hybrid of Slackware and OZ/GPE on my Universal. . .
ken
QUOTE(Ferret-Simpson @ Aug 24 2006, 07:41 AM)
Right, this arguments getting a bit hot. Ultimately, it's DB's decision. .  But I'd like a separate reasonable discussion on this so we can concentrate on other hardware in "hardware" rather than bringing this up over and over again.

At current standing, the CF card is an INTERNAL HARD DISK. It would run on an ATA66 bus, which means you could not unplug it with a battery in the device without risking harm to either. You cannot use it to connect Wifi, Bluetooth, or any other "IO hardware"!!!!! You cannot use it to download files off of your Digital Camera or MP3 player's etc CF card.

Battery life is very critical when it comes to a small platform. For me, I'd prefer a memory card of some kind. SD cards, etc are increasing in size and having large price drops. It won't be long before you'll have the large storage you desire.

Of course there's the issue of speed, which is why there are some that have removed the hard drive from their 3X00's and replaced them with CF's.

Certainly doesn't rise to a flame war status. At any rate, as long as it has the connector, people can choose.

2 cents. That's all this is.
Ferret-Simpson
By flamewar I meant the arguing over it was starting to get a bit close to critical.

The discussion is on whether to include the connector.
Da_Blitz
correction you cant get SD microdrives yet, toshiba was looking into it

slackware sounds nice however i am tempted to port gentoo to this devices as it seems like it will be the easist to port and it seems very "smooth" to me, i understand that compiling is not everyones cup of tea but portage does support binary mirrors.

the MD is big, thats the main problem. i also relise that there are some people who are going to want all flash rather than a CF card/microdrive. and all this is dependent on how i style the PCD, as i am considering the fold out keyboard design in a serious manner, even if the keyboard dosent fold out the idea of using multiple nokia batteries and one larg flat PCB with the keyboard soldered onto the back will make this thing alot smaller but due to the flat PCB design getting a CF slot in there will be hard, keep in mind i still have to look at dimensions here so its subject to change

there will be a pinout for an ATA device, the reason is simple, it allows you to connect an iPod drive or a microdrive (including the microdrives from OEM equipement that dosent work in normal PDAs/cameras). i belive that this is a good reason to switch from CF to ATA. however i must still check the data sheets as there may be a chance that the CF slot can do ATA, its a long shot but i might as well check

flamewar is a strong word, if it was going off topic then its a good time to start a new thread, i have pulled back from breaking up a discussion or two on here because i felt the 2 parties were flaiming each other. most of the time it was people taking what i said and not fully understanding what was said and the implecations of it
oh and as far as a know we can hot swap the CF cards in ATA mode, just tristate the drivers and make sure it is unmounted, the CF slat already has the electrical stuff setup, the only reason i havent said it can do it so far is that i cant say that it wont fry your CF card/PP

oh well while i am waiting for files to come in i will detail what the main starage options are:
1. small boot flash with / on CF
2. small boot flash with / on SD
3. large flash
4. small flash with / on ATA disk (ipod)

3 is the smallest, 2 the next smallest but also the same size as there will be 2 SD card slots in the final design and 3 needs the CF socket on any of these you can have any sized f/ash, the large and small were as a rough guide
Ferret-Simpson
And 4 is the one involving the secure bootloader, which should also boot from SD, USB or network. (Theoretically network)

I'm going to vote for secure small flash and the root on ATA, since we can boot "LiveSD's" aswell. There is already a Slackware-ARM port, for the StrongARM RiscPC and soon the Iyonix. I doubt there'd be too much of a challenge in porting it from StrongARM to Zaurus, especially if using the same 2.6 kernel we were planning on using for PocketPenguin. . .
adf
QUOTE(Ferret-Simpson @ Aug 26 2006, 04:02 PM)
And 4 is the one involving the secure bootloader, which should also boot from SD, USB or network. (Theoretically network)

I'm going to vote for secure small flash and the root on ATA, since we can boot "LiveSD's" aswell. There is already a Slackware-ARM port, for the StrongARM RiscPC and soon the Iyonix. I doubt there'd be too much of a challenge in porting it from StrongARM to Zaurus, especially if using the same 2.6 kernel we were planning on using for PocketPenguin. . .
*

gentoo works for me.

I suspect the design likliest to appear is small boot flash with root on sd. any chance of doing more sd slots?
Ferret-Simpson
Yeah, Theoretically. And of course, we'd be able to handle 8GB SD cards etc etc etc. . . So, I'm up for that! XD

I can handle losing a Microdrive if I've got more than two SD slots. . Root drive, Home Drive, then at least one drive that can be used for file transfer to other devices (XDA, Zaurus.) 4 Would be nice!
Da_Blitz
as i said you take a hit on speed, i might consider it if there is room the problem is that more SD cards means more GPIO which are alread limited

actually all involve the secure boot as we have to boot off of flash anyway, the secure boot has nothing to do with what / is stored on, it just ensures that the device boots the kernel that we have specified, what the kernel does after that is the kernels buisness

i am pro desktop distro on these things, OE is out as any PC distro is going to have at least 10x the packages. that and i find OE complex and slow sad.gif.
adf
I look at it the other way--

I agree that I'd prefer gentoo on board, vastly. Honestly if the PP were nothing but a 3100 running gentoo I'd trade my 3100 with zaurus roms in, in a heartbeat

BUT this platform will the OE devs a chance to show what they are really aiming at, without reverse engineering drivers and stuff. I encourage an effort to get a pocket penguin in their hands.
Da_Blitz
The OE devs are free to do what they want. the reason i like gentoo is the huge package support and the fact that it wouldnt be too hard to port it, it would more than likly take less time to get the OE stuff up and running but even thogh i have had less time with portage i am already alot more comfortble with it sad.gif

also i dont think that comparing OE to gentoo is a good idea, gentoo to OZ+OE would be a better anolagy, gentoo definattly comes out on top when it comes to packages.

oh well its to far in the futre to think about. it also depends on how gets what hardware, first priority is kernel devs then distro guys.
Ferret-Simpson
Well Hardwired internal flash isn't a grwat option for me. . My files change so regularly that everything needs to be done on something that can be rescued from the carcase of a dead PDA. I'm sure I'm not the only one. . .

I vote for a small int. Flash (Keeps costs down) and either Multiple SD's or 2 SD's and a CF-ATA
Cresho
I think internal SD is the way to go. When they get bigger in size, you can just swap the cards out. Also, have external sd and CF.

With this, now you have options 2 or three internal SD cards or even MICRO SD. or sd wifi or bluetooth that would originally be occupied by a singel compact flash card.

this way you give the user option to run 3 sd units inside or 1 sd card, 1 bluetooth, or one wifi.
Ferret-Simpson
Uhm Cresho. . What are you talking about? o.o

1: SDIO is not Supporeted under Linux as making an Open Source SDIO driver is illegal. (In broach of SDIO license)

2: This thing has onboard wifi and bluetooth anyway, 54G to be exact.

3: The CF is ATA. . Hard Disk mode only, so better have that internal than the SD's which can be hotswapped without (the risk of) frying the PP

4: The more SD's we add, The slower they'll get, as DB just pointed out. The first two are on a dedicated Controller, any more would be added over the general 4-bit Serial port that has so far been given to (GPS?), Phone/Modem, Small Second-Screen on rear, IRDA, and an External Serial port at different phases in development. So to say. . load maps from while using your GPS, we're going to start getting sloooow transfers.

5: Metal casing. The SD wifi and Bluetooth would have a 0 to 2 inch range. tongue.gif biggrin.gif
Cresho
I'm just speaking my mind out mindlessly. I would like a pda pc though where i can just pop stuff in and out like nothing.

On another note, I would love to see 20+gb microdrive like you mentioned in my unit with sd and cf support come out NOW! I tell you man, if it was easy, i would of done it myself.

Hope this project works out good.
adf
I'm confused again.

I thought an internal hd was probably not going to happen due to size/power/complexity issues?

I undersdtand the 1st 2 sd on a single controller limit...by if more are added would it be a nightmare to put'em on (intrnally wired) usb? would it make a diffference?

Would the speed hit for hypothetical sd cards 3+ affect the sped of 1 and 2?

If the screen isn't going to swivel (it isn't, is it?) then why not run a ribbon cable across the hinge and put a cf slot nicely streamlined into the screen side of the clamshell? I haven't the skill to even approach making this look nice, but can you picture it? a flair toward the top or one or both sides containing the cf slot? if the slot is to the side, the card could be only partway "swallowed" by the slot... just a thought, but maybe it would solve the issue if a brilliant case designer might be found?

2x 4gig sd would be planty for OS and important files..and the cf would handle maps, media, etc...

is this repetitive?
Ferret-Simpson
Now I thought the screen was still on the cards to be rotated. . . As well as an Internal ATA slot being still on the cards. All SD might as well be externally accessible, The whole point of this discussion was whether or not to have internal Flash or ATA ASWELL as 2 External SD. Since they're on their own bus the 3rd and 4th slots shouldn't [Edit:shouldN'T slow them down] slow them down a major part, although all 4 will be controlled by the CPU so some loss in speed is unavoidable. However I don't think it would be a significantly noticeable slowdown.
[Edit: Only because of the fact that the CPU can't process that much information in one go, So if you try and read maps from 4 different drives at the same time it's unavoidable]
Da_Blitz
be very carefull what yo say about SDIO, in fact an open SDIO driver is perfectlly leagl. you are just not allowed to use it without a licsence IF you have purchased the documentation if you havent then you could be caught for infringment of IP however i still worder if this would be allowed

there are SDIO stacks for linux, you just have to shell out cash, i also belive that these would be implemented in user space to avoid licsence issues. you could however implement them as a kernel module but if a client leaked them then you cant stop them leagaly form doing so, look into the seasoft stuff for refrence, my leagalese is not good at the best of times

ferret-simpson: might want to think about how the SD system would be implmented, adf is right the 1st and 2nd would take no performance hit at all as they would be on seperate busses, its only the SD cards on the 1 bit SPI that would slow down
i mean i dont even unerstand what was said in that last post, i see at least 2 things that contradict themseleves in that same sentance smile.gif

the storage minimum would be CF (throgh ATA) Flash annd 2 SD cards

this will not change, the only thing that might is if the CF will be on board or on a sepreate card that can be plugged in

if we can find a brilliant case designer then i would bend to thier will, its better that they dictate what connectors go where then me sa "build a case around this"

anyway when it comes to storage i am taking the aproch that the end user will know what to do, if they are a casual user then they will max out on flash, if tey are a power user, a microdrive, a Dev would most likly chose an SD card as the hot plugability makes for easy dev work

also i have just converted my home setup to 2x dm-crypt disks in a raid 0 array with a LVM root fs, it may seem wierd to mention this whover dont forget that encrypted disks will be an option (i was ammazed at how simple it was to setup, almost ot simple) however i think that on the internal stuff lvm is a good thing ™ after playing with it it has saved me some headaches and it would allow you to merge an internal CF card and flash into the one device keep in mind that we will have initrd support for lvm so root on lvm is no problem, please comment
Ferret-Simpson
Sorry, Typo corrected, and an Expansion of what I was saying provided.

Essentially what you're saying is that the design is likely to have an ATA socket, a large internal Flash medium, and 2 SD cards, and we tell the manufacturer what we want installed.

In that case, I'll take the lot!
adf
brilliant. I use lvm for my file server at home (bringing it up to 1.2 TB -low cost maxtor ide-this week) easy to do/ works beautifully.


sounds like all is in order. I had understood that the internal cf option would be a bit more crowded than you liked. 1 md/2sd would be about right for me, I think.
Da_Blitz
crowded but not imposible, but i would like the option of making it an option so that you can get a thinner case if you lose the CF

it mainly has to do with casing, not any technical reason. having the option of a thin case or a thin case with a large battery is appelaing. but if that origami keyboard idea is posible then you REALLY want to have as thin as posible PCB.
Ferret-Simpson
I still don't GET the keyboard.
adf
QUOTE(Ferret-Simpson @ Aug 29 2006, 08:50 AM)
I still don't GET the keyboard.
*

hmmmm.

sooo.. might big --2+gig--internal flash + 2 sd work with a loop mounted image on the flash? (I'm running knoppic on a 2gig usb pen right now, and see how this might be a good way to go)

If so, and some means of remastering the image --adding and removing software--maybe via a qemu sort of thing?? that might be more appealing than i originally thought
Da_Blitz
the keyboard is basically a targus fold out keyboard intergrated into the design (ie CPU on the keyboard PCB)

are you refering to unionfs and not loop images, union fs in konoppik is great and i plan to use it to patch the bootloader (ie ro flash in hardware and a rw area that can not be booted if a button is held down), after you leave the bios how its setup is your problem, but there will be at least support for booting off of dm-crypt devices, pc bios partions and lvm (or lvm on dm-crypt) as well as loop images on said filesystems/partions

it wouldnt be too hard to mount the flash or part of it as ro and unionfs the rest so that to format to a base system all you do is rm /mnt/rwfs/* and have it at a factory install
Ferret-Simpson
So, the keyboard overhangs the PocketPenguin? No offense, but that's kinda sucky. . . I usually use my PDA keyboards on the move, in my hands. After all, with USB host if you feel the need for a new keyboard you can take a USB roll-up rubber keyboard, or even a Sun Type 6 (Best keyboard ever) if you really feel like it. I know bigger keys are great for touchtyping, but if this keyboard design is another of the Desktop Replacement ideas. . . You'll need a desk to use it, so what's the point?
Da_Blitz
it not designed to over hang, that would be stupid, it has a folding pattern simmilar to that of the targus keyboard but not the size.

with the targus keyboard you dont need a desk to type, i have used my lap on a bus in a pinch and it works fine once you flick the lock on it

those roll up keyboards are as bad as the laser ones.

there are good reasons behind wanting to put the keyboard on the main PCB (keep in mind we are talking about 2 seperate issues here) it reduces the bill of materials, it also forces me to put the chips on one side of the pcb which makes it easier to shield, what keyboard pattern you have is up to you

if you dont go for the foldout option then it would be quite easy to put the cf stuff where the 2nd half of the keyboard would be. the split folding design also means that i will have to use a thin flexible cable between the 2 boards instead of a socket which has its advantages, but is not imediattly obvious why
Ferret-Simpson
I STILL Don't get it. So what, it's a keyboard that folds over from half of the keyboard space to cover the other half of the keyboard space? So we can access the CF slot like acessing the Memory chips on old laptops? Where you removed the keyboard and they were under there?
Da_Blitz
all it is is a keyboard that folds in half, just like the targus one does, when it is folded in half it dosent have a full kyboard layout (as the amount of buttons is halfed) so you have to use it as a corded keyboard.

that isnt the point the point is the reduced bill of matierials and how the board resources are split up, i expect i will be the only one who wants a half corded keyboard that can be switched to a full sized noraml keyboard anywaf
Ferret-Simpson
Wouldn't be easier just to remap the keys so only half of it is being used? XD
adf
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 30 2006, 01:25 PM)
the keyboard is basically a targus fold out keyboard intergrated into the design (ie CPU on the keyboard PCB)

are you refering to unionfs and not loop images, union fs in konoppik is great and i plan to use it to patch the bootloader (ie ro flash in hardware and a rw area that can not be booted if a button is held down), after you leave the bios how its setup is your problem, but there will be at least support for booting off of dm-crypt devices, pc bios partions and lvm (or lvm on dm-crypt) as well as loop images on said filesystems/partions

it wouldnt be too hard to mount the flash or part of it as ro and unionfs the rest so that to format to a base system all you do is rm /mnt/rwfs/* and have it at a factory install
*

right. unionfs. Seems like it might be worth considering...could make for a more "bulletproof" software environment, though ti would be a little more complicated to modify
uMP2k
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Aug 30 2006, 11:25 PM)
the keyboard is basically a targus fold out keyboard intergrated into the design (ie CPU on the keyboard PCB)
*


This should probably go in the keyboard discussion, but as it was raised here I am wondering if anybody remembers the video of the Ipaq with an integrated folding keyboard. It was only a design mock up, but certainly very cool.

I think the link to the video in the first post of THIS thread on pocketpcthoughts still works.
Da_Blitz
why would i only want to use half the avalible keys?, what i am talking about is that 1/2 the normal keys are on one PCB and the other half on the other PCB, the 2 PCBs are connected along one edge by a hinge

when in pda mode one half is pointing up and the other half is pointing down so that only 1/2 the keys can be seen, meaning you have to use cordded input. when you get a chance you fold the keyboard towards you and open it up so that you get both halves pointing upwards and you can use all the keys

i am assuming you have never seen one of the folding keyboards from targus

actually i heard that there was a backpack for an old palm that was simmilar (in fact i am hopping it should arrive soon smile.gif)
Ferret-Simpson
So this thing doesn't have a "Slate" mode.
Da_Blitz
i dont know where you keep getting that idea from, a fold out keyboard dosent automatically mean no slate mode

in fact beirag able to use slate mode in the full sized keyboard mode is an advantage because the screen can be folded againtst the battery area then folded up so that all you see is a keyboard and screen

if you get a chance look up the targus PDA keyboard, they are nice (unfortunattly they are a bit tempremental and hence why i dont use mine as offten)
adf
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Sep 3 2006, 12:53 AM)
i dont know where you keep getting that idea from, a fold out keyboard dosent automatically mean no slate mode

in fact beirag able to use slate mode in the full sized keyboard mode is an advantage because the screen can be folded againtst the battery area then folded up so that all you see is a keyboard and screen

if you get a chance look up the targus PDA keyboard, they are nice (unfortunattly they are a bit tempremental and hence why i dont use mine as offten)
*

While we are on the keyboard thing... ATM I don't see myself being thrille dwith chording for most apps... might be cool as a media plaer interface in the truck, or something... BUT the extendable keyboard with video out show instant workstation possibilities....

BTW.. we still looking at hdmi and maybe an adapter?

edit: my interests are as always, keep it simple, durable and versatile. (of course a rock is simple, versatile and durable....) Are we getting to the point where DB makes a prototype and finds all sorts of unexpected difficulties (or not)?
Da_Blitz
as i have said i dont expect anyone to use it however it does present other intresting ways of doing the hardware

if you want a full sized keyboard then when folded up you will have to use the corded keyboard, there is no work around due to button size

workstation is what i am aiming for for design 1, design 2 is slightly off the wall however but still usefull and uses the same basic design if we split the major components between 2 PCBs connected by a thin flat cable (BTW anyone here seen GITS season 1 eppisode 1 and the neck device the chief has?)

if you wantede a full qwerty layout when folded up then when folded out you would have the full (half sized) qwerty layout and anouther half with whatever layout you want (gaming controls, moive playback, give me ideas here)
adf
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Sep 6 2006, 11:49 AM)
as i have said i dont expect anyone to use it however it does present other intresting ways of doing the hardware

if you want a full sized keyboard then when folded up you will have to use the corded keyboard, there is no work around due to button size

workstation is what i am aiming for for design 1, design 2 is slightly off the wall however but still usefull and uses the same basic design if we split the major components between 2 PCBs connected by a thin flat cable (BTW anyone here seen GITS season 1 eppisode 1 and the neck device the chief has?)

if you wantede a full qwerty layout when folded up then when folded out you would have the full (half sized) qwerty layout and anouther half with whatever layout you want (gaming controls, moive playback, give me ideas here)
*

I could live with chording if it means a full keyboard that folds into the device--seems like a reasonable tradeoff

Well.. if the the thing is being done from the ground up, with proper drivers for the hardware, then the full sized/ half sized sound pretty cool/ Why not a numeric keypad with a few media/game controller buttons?

It's getting to the point where maybe drawings or pics of a bad cardboard mockup might help us see what you intend, I think. As I've said before, though... It soulds like whatever actually gets built will at least have some thought behind it, so I'm mor3 or less waiting to see how component availabilty and other such constraints affect the finished box. I think the ideas are mostly in place now, right?
Da_Blitz
actually i would have said that about a mont ago, i have been dragging my feet a bit when it comes to sourcing parts as its a very long process and i have unfortunattly been keeping myself busy

might give it a crack again this weekend
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