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Ferret-Simpson
I think the biggest issue so far, has been that of the keyboard. Feel free to disagree.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

it actually solves alot of problems, espically if i use and abuse the usb bandwidth smile.gif
Ferret-Simpson
I knew I was a Genius!
craigtyson
Ferret

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

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

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

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

Yep, Samsung had one.

Linky thingy.
uMP2k
OMG - do I want one of those or what!

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

Yep,  Samsung had one.

Linky thingy.
*

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

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

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

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

What was wrong with it? Usability.

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

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

What was wrong with it?  Usability.

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

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



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

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

then attach the keyboard

i didnt mean that as an insult, just to point out how brilliant that type of thinking was by seperating the keyboard and thecase

i do plon to make the keyboard usb connection a swivel joint. i want to have it so that it can support the upper half and if there are strength limitations then the upper half minus battery (as i would rather the battery in the keyboard in that case)

this would be a really good place to use miniusb plug. so perhaps there will be a return of usb client. that way i would have to have the flexible charging arrangment so that when it is plugged into a PC/keyboard it charges while when it discharges

i am thinking the screen PCB should be as large as the screen and flat and we use a flat batteryas large of the screen, lukiy for me i have found a supplier for battries that is the right size for above

basically i helped my grandfather set up an RC plane shop as he is an avid flyer who just retired who i convinced to start up a hobby shop to fund his plane purchasing as well as keep him occupied. anyway i was unaware of the scope he would take when starting somthing like this up and basically he flew into china and set up some contacts for plane suppliers and parts. basically i can now get Litium ion battries for RC planes that are very thin and are a bit smaller than the lcd screen on the Z and they are in series!!!

what does this mean, well they are 7.4v @ 2200maH, and there are 3 bonded together, so i cauld put 3 in parrelel and get 6600 maH at about 2.8v or i could just use one and get a nice thin case. your choice if you only want one battery in the Z then you get 2 spare battries. plus they are cheap smile.gif and i may be able to get custom sizes for this progect as the RC plane people arent that touchy about size, they want low weight

Yeah!!!! one problem solved. now all i need to do is decide on a screen size as that will be the sive of the PCB, how does 5.8" sound wink.gif in truth its more likly i will use a 4" screen with a thin boader (sound on keyboard)
stampsm
4 inch screen sounds good. sharp makes one LS040V7DD01 that is 4" 640x480 or 320x240(switchable with a line into the lcd so you can have a switch over to 320x240 for older software compatability). i could not fid any pricing on this, but sharp make a 3.7" model that is the exact same but just smaller. LS037V7DW01 i saw these run at 128 USD at 100 qualtity purchasing from a distributor.

are those batteries Li-polymer or LI-ion batteries?
chiark
No insult taken biggrin.gif

The nexio failed because whilst it was possible to attach a keyboard, it was impossible to use apart from as a thumb board. If the keyboard is detachable then that's great, but if it can function as a screen protector and - importantly - the hinge is strong enough to support the weight of the screen then that's a winner. You've already said that that's a design goal, so that's brilliant.

If possible, I'd love to see a 5" (or slightly bigger) screen in there like the Nexio uses, or like the Sigmarion 3 uses, running 800x480 resolution. It really makes a massive difference to usability as I'm sure you're aware.

How about planning on a 5.8" board and allowing a choice of screens? The 4" could have a icon panel to make up the size, and the 5" would drop straight in. Would that keep options open?
craigtyson
An odd idea I had in the bath last night....

Assuming you have WiFi

Have your PDA with a 4" touch screen and a VGA/DV out

Have a Larger Touch / Flat screen (normaly used on the PC) with a docking slot for the PDA.

Why? This would allow you to use the PC as normal, or use a terminal session / VNC session to the PC from the PDA using the same screen as the PC when in the house,or using its own 4" display while out and about.

To expand the idea a little further a range of screens with docks could be produced in several sizes to suit. posibly 5", 7", 10" and up as a mobile tablet form facter but with your pullout PDA at its core.
wsuetholz
I like the idea of having the keyboard be a bluetooth keyboard (wireless).
The major problem I see with that, is the need for it's own battery then.

We already have BT in the design, and you can still have stero speakers in the keyboard, the speakers would be another BT device.

Maybe have the keyboard have a slot on the end, and the hinge of the display(slate) be long enough to act as a stand, which would also fit in the slot in the keyboard. That last bit requires some additional thought....

I would also like to put in a vote for the 800x480 display..

Has anybody explored the display that is being developed for the OLPC? According to their web page the developed one that is low cost, and very nice to the battery. Maybe a smaller version could be sourced? Maybe they would be interested in a companion One PDA Per Child :-) to go with the One Laptop Per Child.. That Wireless MESH stuff looks interesting.

Bill
Da_Blitz
chiark: ill have to look at avalible LCD's before i can make that desison, perhaps if it was a 5.6" in a 16:9 format and a 4" 4:3 then at least one dimension should match up (which is what i want, i dont like to waste space) however a respun bouard with more on the pcb would be a better choice for a 5.6" screen

a2dp on linux isnt up to scratch last time i played with it, i might have forgotten a flag however but there is a known problem where exacttly 90 mins latter the kernel hangs sad.gif so i hope they have fixed that up

actually i have had that idea about vnc, but the way i see it is that it could be done better, in fact i am writing a libary at the moment for remote resource sharing (keyboard mause screen) mainly for sharing of the command line that allows for hotplugging of screens (local and remote) i dont think it will be that popular but i hope it inspires the X11 people as the KDE NMM project has somthing simmilar that only allows mirroring of hot plugged screens, not extension of desktop

but in the short term VNC, or even better raw X11 would be an option (X11 so that your PC does the actual rendering work while the PDA issues orders, basically you get a bit of extra performance on heveily graphical stuff and the ability to play openGL stuff on non DRI apps)

wirelees mesh networking is somthing i have been folowing and i quite like the OSLR stuff. that screen could be handy but ill aim for 4" at the moment

finally BT would be nice however ATM ill stick with USB as then i dont need a seperate charge connnector however it would be somthing to look into.

the other reason for usb is so that we can put things like an sd card reader in the keyboard instead (or an extra 3) or extra usb ports.
chiark
every 5" panel I know of runs at 800x480, so is widescreen. It's not 16:9, it's 15:9 wink.gif

Good luck with this.
MONVMENTVM
I personally wouldn't like a detachable keyboard as there are again 2 parts which I need to take with me. I would prefer something like the classical handhelds (jornada 6x0, 7x0 or the nec mobilepro) but in a smaller size. Something between the Zaurus and these Jornadas would be perfect. So I thought about this Nintendo DS Lite shape about which I wrote here:
http://www.oesf.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=21563&st=0#

By the way a 5" widescreen display (which I would prefer) would fit perfectly into this shape.

Here the picture I posted into the other thread (just think of the handy size of the Nintendo DS lite):



I think that a psp like pda with modular keyboard wouldn't be a bad idea... but the keyboard has to be large and heavy, or the pda will not stand stable if you plug it into a small, thin and light keyboard, because the display unit will be the bulkier and heavier part. So it makes no sense to take such a large keyboard with your pda with you.

Therefore I love my Zaurus as you can take it out of your pocket and write whatever and wherever you want. At home I can take out a usb keyboard and write more comfortable and faster... so there is no need for a attacheable keyboard for the pocketpenguin because you could just plug a usb, bt or ir keyboard into it.
Besides that an internal keyboard does not take that much of space. Just compare the zaurus to other pda's without keyboard. They are a bit flatter, thats for sure, but the zaurus also fits the pocket and besides that it has a microdrive which takes space wink.gif. So the real thing which made me buy the Zaurus was the keyboard (and of course the microdrive and OS).

And for alternative keyboard designs you could make a poll with options (i.e. handheld-like, zaurus-like or whatever) and see which type of keyboard is prefered.

hmm... now I've got an idea:
Why not build the case (i.e. something like the zaurus, nintendo ds, handhelds or whatever clamshell device) with the base unit and display unit and make the keyboard modular. Something like a changeable top-"cover" of the base unit. I hope you get what I am trying to say.
If someone wants to buy the pocketpenguin with keyboard type A, then the base unit gets assembled with keyboard type A. If another customer wants type B you just assemble it with keyboard type B. The connectors and dimensions of the keyboard would be the same but you can alternate with the type of keys and so on.

Cheers
Da_Blitz
the detachable keyboard is still a good idea if you understand it fully, let me explain

by standerdising on USB it defines a keyboard interface, which is very nice for me as it makes thins simple, by using a standard interface we can also pulg other acsecesorries into it.

even if the keyboard is detachable i have said that i am making the joint rugerd as i see it as bieng the weakest part of the desin. if you want a heavy keyboard that is fine as it really dosent have much to do with the connector because i want to make it a requirement that the battery be in the addon pack.

now if you dont want a keyboard this may seem wierd unless you make a battery pack that sits flush with the back of the screen that plugs into the usb port. makes changing battries very easy wink.gif and we could chuck a usb hub chipset in there with the battery so when you get home you can plug in smile.gif

now you mention a changeable keyboard, at the moment i am saying put the cpu and ram inside the screen part and make the keyboard only contain the battery and some extra IO (eg a usb hub and perhaps an extra sd card or usb flash disk) doing this means you can have a tablet by just dropping the keyboard and plugging in a usb battery pack, one other advantage is that you have a usb abttery pack that can be used to power other devices.

one isde effect is that i can now EM shield the entire design as its all in the screen and i dont have to worry about a rotating cable that gets fed to the screen, not to mention the shorter cables wink.gif this isnt without disadvantages, one of them bieng that IO on the Z becomes limited because i am trying to minimise the hieght of the screen, if you dont mind a thigker screen and thinner keyboard thats great.

i could however make the suondcard USB as well as the SD card readers and the CF card readers meaning you could have more than one and dirvers are not a problem. and in the case of the sound card you get better isolation from the sound or noise of the main processor. the problem is that its backpack dependent so that going to a battery only pack means you just lost sound sad.gif it also pussehs up the price of teh backpacks. it also means the backpacks ore more custom than the screen/CPU which would only come in 2 or 3 diffrent models with diffrent ram cappacity and depending on the price of the wifi chipset, with or without wifi (if its less than $15 then this wont be an option as ram is the most expensive)

whereas the keyboard might come with diffrent sd/CF options, diffrent audio options, diffrent usb port options

anyway back to the point (or [/rant] how do you feel about what has been said and can anyone offer me an opinion, in terms of echonomics putting the stuff that can be changed in the keyboard/battery part means a cheaper cpu board as more of them are identical (ie non need to maintain diffrent models) which can be futher exploited by only offering it in 128MB RAM designs with wifi
BarryW
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Nov 1 2006, 06:13 PM)
the detachable keyboard is still a good idea if you understand it fully, let me explain

by standerdising on USB it defines a keyboard interface, which is very nice for me as it makes thins simple, by using a standard interface we can also pulg other acsecesorries into it.

even if the keyboard is detachable i have said that i am making the joint rugerd as i see it as bieng the weakest part of the desin. if you want a heavy keyboard that is fine as it really dosent have much to do with the connector because i want to make it a requirement that the battery be in the addon pack.

now if you dont want a keyboard this may seem wierd unless you make a battery pack that sits flush with the back of the screen that plugs into the usb port. makes changing battries very easy wink.gif and we could chuck a usb hub chipset in there with the battery so when you get home you can plug in smile.gif

now you mention a changeable keyboard, at the moment i am saying put the cpu and ram inside the screen part and make the keyboard only contain the battery and some extra IO (eg a usb hub and perhaps an extra sd card or usb flash disk) doing this means you can have a tablet by just dropping the keyboard and plugging in a usb battery pack, one other advantage is that you have a usb abttery pack that can be used to power other devices.

one isde effect is that i can now EM shield the entire design as its all in the screen and i dont have to worry about a rotating cable that gets fed to the screen, not to mention the shorter cables wink.gif this isnt without disadvantages, one of them bieng that IO on the Z becomes limited because i am trying to minimise the hieght of the screen, if you dont mind a thigker screen and thinner keyboard thats great.

i could however make the suondcard USB as well as the SD card readers and the CF card readers meaning you could have more than one and dirvers are not a problem. and in the case of the sound card you get better isolation from the sound or noise of the main processor. the problem is that its backpack dependent so that going to a battery only pack means you just lost sound sad.gif it also pussehs up the price of teh backpacks. it also means the backpacks ore more custom than the screen/CPU which would only come in 2 or 3 diffrent models with diffrent ram cappacity and depending on the price of the wifi chipset, with or without wifi (if its less than $15 then this wont be an option as ram is the most expensive)

whereas the keyboard might come with diffrent sd/CF options, diffrent audio options, diffrent usb port options

anyway back to the point (or [/rant] how do you feel about what has been said and can anyone offer me an opinion, in terms of echonomics putting the stuff that can be changed in the keyboard/battery part means a cheaper cpu board as more of them are identical (ie non need to maintain diffrent models) which can be futher exploited by only offering it in 128MB RAM designs with wifi
*

I'm digging the idea. Personally I'd rather have the sound card built into the device itself. Hey, I can't remember, and too damn lazy to look, has anybody suggested something similar to the OQO?
Ferret-Simpson
I'd also prefer the sound card to be onboard, maybe with a "Phone" microjack socket? (Nokia 32xx)

lesee. . .

Use one slim battery in the main unit, that keeps it small but gives you some power for use as a basic PDA/Phone/Whatever

Then in the Keyboard pack, have either a Universal Extended battery (3200mAh) or a bunch more Nokia/RC batteries. This pads out the keyboard so it can weigh the screen down (Otherwise the PDA would tip over) But mean that a backpack isn't required.
Da_Blitz
actually thats the thing i find funny, i say move the sound card around in the device and you all see at as not having a sound card in the device

by device i mean the keyboard/battery and cpu combo, i take it that you mean the cpu board as "the device"

it simmilar to pci slots, i am saying "make it a plugin card" over usb. what if there were modules in the keyboard that once the keyboard has been opened could be slotted in, you want better sound? then slap in a sound card and remove the blank out plate on the edge of the case same for a usb hub if you want more ports, just remove the blankout plate and insert a USB hub module

give it an edge connector with power, USB, i2c and perhaps another option or two and it wouldnt be to hard to make a PDA that has the IO you want.

at a minimum i think that bluetooth would be on the cpu card (screen) and perhaps go to wifi on USB in the keyboard and make it an option? the advantage is you can have diffrent types of sound cards or multiple ones and linux will work with them.

i hate to think what it would do to the thickness of the device but ill work that out once i have found a screen (5" seems to be the way to go they are easier to get a hold of)
Da_Blitz
sorry missed a post, no battery in the screen/cpu board, all power comes from a backpack, however there is a backpack with no keyboard that clips to the back of the screen that is only a battery for those who dont want the keyboard

there will be a super capacitor to save state but it might be a good idea to invest some time in the new upcoming init systems and help reduce boot time and just shut the thing down when you need to do a battery change, ethier that or hibernate
Ferret-Simpson
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Nov 2 2006, 12:48 PM)
no battery in the screen/cpu board
*

Why not?


If you can get slim, high-capacity batteries, then why not have one in the device itself? It doesn't even have to be "particularly" User replaceable, since it'll only need changing if it fails. And if you can build a PPZ in the first place, you can change a damn battery.

It means that you don't have to faff around with ANY backpacks. Same for sound. Keep it on the motherboard. I can have additional sound cards in my Desktop and Laptop, but I don't desolder the motherboard to do it.

Keep the standard stuff that most people need on the device, anything that people have some queries about, take OFF board. If you have a thin battery in the device, you don't NEED a supercap. You also don't need a battery backpack to use your PDA. And as I said, if you then want to use a keyboard, you can choose between a heavy weight PDA one, with additional power. . . or stick in a Sun Type 6 USB or an eMac Pro keyboard. Whatever.

I may, often have the fault of coming up with controversial personal needs, but to off-board the main battery and sound chip. . . ? o.O That's insane.

Sorry to rant, but that's a nuttier idea than folding chorded belkin-style rotating keyboards. tongue.gif
Da_Blitz
no offence but i see you as misintrperting alot of the stuff i have said (leave the keyboard out of this sad.gif) personally your personal needs dont bother me, alot of it has helped push the platform into somthing other than "PDA". there are a couple of unseen motivations driving this board that i have not mentioned, for example this board has 3 I2C busses but i dont intend to have I2C devices in the project but run them to headers for one of my other projects where you need 3 busses (5 would be better)

there is good reason for splitting that way, logical design is one of them (or the zen of design). battery packs would use the same case as the keyboard, brining down the cost of such item

it allows for very easy hotswap of batteries. designing a battery holder for a removebale battery is not easy and not somthing i would look fowrd to, by making the battery unit semi self contained it allows me more internal room and to cut much neede thickness off of the design.

it also assists in heat managment. at the moment if the cpu and the battery were in the same case the battery would be over the top of ethier the bluetooth chip, power supply, cpu or wifi chip. these all generate heat. heat causes lithium battries to explode (lithium bieng the second most volitile element known to man after potassium, actually i wonder how much power you could get from a potasium battery wink.gif)

it really makes changing a battery easy, just slide it off and slide a new one on.

there are problems with the design, i am aware of that. one is multiple battery packs, that would mean you would have to purchase multiple IO boards. this needs thinking i can see several solutions but each has advantags and disadvanteges

with no battery in the CPU board the thickness of the base unit is about 4mm plus lcd screen thickness (4mm) plus case (about 2 mm) for comparison i mesure the c3000 screen at 8mm and the keyboard at 18mm

the battries i am looking at are 3.6v. at the current size i am looking at they cover 2x the area of a c3000 battery and are 1/2 as thick and are 2200maH. this relates to a power rating of 7.92W which is a bit more than a Z. the reason for calculating power and not beothering with voltage and current is that i am using a power converter in this design to reduce wasted power/losses

eg if you use a normal regulater to drop 5v @ 1A to 3v @ 1A you "lose" 2W ((5V-3V)*1A) now considering that the input power is 5W and the optput power is 3W you can see a loss of 40% of the power.

now before you start looking at the Z and wondering if thats where your battery life is going let me say its more complex than that and that the Z is probelly using the same tecnique as me to get a bit of extra power.

anyway back on topic, if i can get a battery as big as the screen then i would be happy, sure it will be pushed up againston IO board that produces heat as well but at least in the event of faliure you only lose the battery pack, the risks are minimised as well by the fact that the IO board should generate less head

ethier way i think i will push for usb audio if i can get it, it means more flexibility in design. i do intend to include sound on board if i can and i bileve that there is a good chance it will be however the modular bays are somthing that could make the customisation asspect easier and alot cheaper for all of us.

i did say audio but perhaps thats a bad thing as its a feature that everyone expects to have. but wifi and to a lesser extent bluetooth may be good choses for this. GPS is another as well as supprise suppries the phone. by making the phone a module it means that the sparkfun modules make it to my "to be considered list"

might add that i bought a HP rw 6828 pda pdone. its good but the one problem i have with it is that the that the headphones jack has alot of noise from everything else on the PCB, by modulrising everything in a common bay configration it allows me te come up with better RF shielding as i only have to do it for one cage and apply it to the rest.

IO boards are designed like PCI, ie just slot in no soldering required. i was thiing between a matchbox size and a 1/2 matchbox size unit.

also want to run this by you guys because its intresting, some new phones/pdas use the usb port as the headphone jack. what do you think. is this a good idea?
BarryW
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Nov 2 2006, 06:33 PM)
it also assists in heat managment. at the moment if the cpu and the battery were in the same case the battery would be over the top of ethier the bluetooth chip, power supply, cpu or wifi chip. these all generate heat. heat causes lithium battries to explode (lithium bieng the second most volitile element known to man after potassium, actually i wonder how much power you could get from a potasium battery wink.gif)


*



Depends, you want to use it for electricity or for opening a locked door?? biggrin.gif
Da_Blitz
little from coulmn A and a little from coulmn B wink.gif

actually i would love to get my hands on it just for the chassenge it presents these days, its one of those things on those "watch lists"

never mind that just about every high school i have heard of stocks about 2-3KG of the stuff stored in oil to keep it from reacting (the water in the air is enough to set it off) or that the high school i went to had radio active materials in lead containers they used to show to kids about 15 years ago when it was considred a learning experince.

i may have done physics instead of chemistry but its amazing the detials about nuclear weopnary that put in books from 20 years ago. including the refinment teqniques and structures to increse the explosion strength

yes, i was a very board at high school but knew how to entertain myself with the little they actually teach you.
BarryW
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Nov 2 2006, 11:31 PM)
little from coulmn A and a little from coulmn B wink.gif

actually i would love to get my hands on it just for the chassenge it presents these days, its one of those things on those "watch lists"

never mind that just about every high school i have heard of stocks about 2-3KG of the stuff stored in oil to keep it from reacting (the water in the air is enough to set it off) or that the high school i went to had radio active materials in lead containers they used to show to kids about 15 years ago when it was considred a learning experince.

i may have done physics instead of chemistry but its amazing the detials about nuclear weopnary that put in books from 20 years ago. including the refinment teqniques and structures to increse the explosion strength

yes, i was a very board at high school but knew how to entertain myself with the little they actually teach you.
*



We found a 5 pound block of sodium metal in an oil soaked box. We kept about a pound of it and "disposed" of the rest.
Ferret-Simpson
Sounds like fun. You never worked at Gillingham, did you?
stampsm
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Nov 2 2006, 03:46 AM)
actually thats the thing i find funny, i say move the sound card around in the device and you all see at as not having a sound card in the device

by device i mean the keyboard/battery and cpu combo, i take it that you mean the cpu board as "the device"

it simmilar to pci slots, i am saying "make it a plugin card" over usb. what if there were modules in the keyboard that once the keyboard has been opened could be slotted in, you want better sound? then slap in a sound card and remove the blank out plate on the edge of the case same for a usb hub if you want more ports, just remove the blankout plate and insert a USB hub module

give it an edge connector with power, USB, i2c and perhaps another option or two and it wouldnt be to hard to make a PDA that has the IO you want.

at a minimum i think that bluetooth would be on the cpu card (screen) and perhaps go to wifi on USB in the keyboard and make it an option? the advantage is you can have diffrent types of sound cards or multiple ones and linux will work with them.

i hate to think what it would do to the thickness of the device but ill work that out once i have found a screen (5" seems to be the way to go they are easier to get a hold of)
*


if you are looking for a screen one i was looking at before seems to have made it's way to distributors now

http://www.oesf.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=19805&st=60#

i looked a week or so ago and pricing for 100 quantity from a distributor runs about 128 USD for the 3.7 inch one and the 4" one i have not seen any prices on it but i would expect it to be just slightly more. if you go for a 5" screen it may cause isues with size. for most pda's there is problem if it can't fit in a pocket while it has a case on it you don't want to carry it around. the zaurus are already bigger than alot of other pda's with the sl-600 being i think 4" and the c series 3.7 inch displays. at 5" it may fail the "fits in pocket" test at that point you might as well get a small laptop that has more power if you have to carry it in a bag/backpack anyway
chiark
I am really, really liking the suggestion on form factor Da Blitz.

What can we do to make this happen biggrin.gif ?
Da_Blitz
i am assuming a 5" in 16:9 would be about the same sie as the screen cointainer for the c3000 basically i want the thiniest posible boarder around the screen i can get (basically the screen case will nearly be pushed up against the screen, the only reason it wont is to reduce mechanical strain on the screen as a light tap to the side could facture the glass)

oh and none of that "soft button" stuff on the screen like the c3000 has, do it in software where it belongs wink.gif

well i need some ideas on software, are thier others who can fiddle with hardware that want to help as they may not have a copy of the program i want to use. not to mention i need a comercial copy of the software i want to use sad.gif and you know what CAD software is like

if you know about free alternatives that have an auto routor and can do up to 6-8 layers with no problems then i would use it with no hesitation. my plan at the moment consists of see if one of the campanies wants to sponser my project by giving me the product for free under a "no profit" licsence (more on that latter) in return for advertising revenue (i belive that getting this on digg and slashdot would qualify as well as a big stikcker saying "made with x" on the forunt page) or look at other alternatives

in a couple of weeks i should have some more info on a sponser.
Ragnorok
- I'm not against a two-piece design, the discussion so far seems to present it well. I'm wondering about the hinge, and the connector((s) there.

- Are there multiple connectors? It seems there could be more than one along the 'back' edge, which may or may not be a good thng. I think with a removable keyboard-I/O-battery module there is little need for rotation, so more than one connector could esaily be done. Perhaps this was said/implied somewhere and I missed it? I shudder at the idea of shoving bunches of I/O down one USB connector! (bemused grin)

- I'm just not grokking 'usb audio'. That sounds like no sound to me, which is a no-go. Perhaps it's in the 'backpack' along with the keyboard, which is fine with me, as I don't intend to ever use a PP as a slate ... it will always have the keyboard unit. I don't mind BT sound, but definitely have zero use for it as the only sound-generating capability. Last I read was 5.1? I think that's way overkill (grin) but do want some way for a PP to make an acceptable noise as-is. Or maybe this whole audo thing relates to the headphones, and not speakers on the device? If so, apologies.
stampsm
you could do what motorola does with some of thier phones. they have the usb port and the headphone as the same jack so save room. the only issue is if you want to use headphones you are taking up one of the usb ports, but if we got 2 usb ports this would not be an issue much. plus the headphone jack that conventional audio cords use takes up alot more cm^3 than a mini usb connector does so internally it will comsume less space. you can always get adapters to use regular headphones if you want also. another good part is the usb/audio connector is much thinner so you can put the audio plug in the same part as the screen so you can save the naturally thicker part of the pda for components that have to have more thickness.
Da_Blitz
i guess the usb audio idea is really somthing that popped into my head as a "no direvr writeiing" solution, the audio capabilities and routing on the iMX.3 are very nice (very very nice, you can redirect streams betwean inputs and outputs with no cpu overhead, you attach the devices and route the audio between them as required) however wrieing a driver would be a challenge

that said the zune uses the same chip so when we se a linux on zune port we would get free drivers smile.gif

the headphone usb thing seems to be a slightly modified connector as weell, i personnaly wonder if therre is a mini a & B version otherwise we would need a seperate poort for host and client. i do however like the idea

now for things i am backing down on sad.gif
7.1 Sound. i think that its better served as a usb device externnally, thats not to say i wont give it a go. it just means i have a fall back plan wink.gif
joystick/roller ball. basically depends on the thickness oof the keyboaard and layout. however i think the new design has enough flexability that there may be better ways to inculed it (external module or just use a sixaxis controller (pS3 contreller) over bluetooth)
camera: as this is more a serios device i dont really see a problem in dropping it

there is a reason for leaving the pads for an image sensor in however, mainlly it allows for a high speed ADC to be connected (up to 50Mhz, an posiblly 24bit) so if anything comes of that GPS in software stuff i have been keeping me eye on that would be the way to do it. or if someone needs an image sensor or whatever reason
stampsm
yep i am of the design mind that if you do not use the pin's/ports please at least have some sort of connector/pads on the board so hackers can have thier fun.

i am starting to get some good ideas for a small bluetooth mouse with that small trackball i posted about 2 small buttons and possibly an accelerometer for tilt detection built in. power it off a small lithium rechargable battery that charges by plugging into a usb port and you do not have to worry about building it into the main design. smile.gif

you could design the whole mouse so you could control it with just one hand if you wanted to and hold the pocket penguin with the other hand.
Da_Blitz
i think by the time i finshed this it will be a range of products rather than the one thing, each solving a small part of a big problem, how do i interact with my comptuer quuicklly while staying portable and lightweight/small

the watch hada tilt sensor in it but i dont think we would have the thickness for the trackball, a smalll joystick perhaps buut thats about it

lets hear the ideas, it haas to be somthing i can use without a surface (tilt sensor/accelerometer. so the watch hass it partially covered but a seperate mouse designed for this type of thing is apeealing
Da_Blitz
breaking this up into 2 posts because i feel theree is a natural division

one problem with the keyboard bieng a backpack/connnector idea is that iit means the CPu gets pushed into the backof the screen, while not a huge problem it does limit howe much i can put around the eedges without making it to bulky

remeber i want to make it as thin as possiblle (the screen) and so i recomennded implemnting most stuff on the keyboard instead. well the other option is a thick screen and thin keyboard it affects thhe wieght ballence when using it like a mini laptop on a flat surface but thier are ways around it

also i people have mentioned they dont particuly llike the battery as a backpack idea and i am not sure why, it could be to do with the fact that many people see it as bieng implemented in a simmilar way to the old ipaqs, however when i mean backpack i mean samthing that sits flush with the back, cennected by the edge connector. once again its a pictures thing but it does make hot swapping battries a whole lot easier as well as offering a wide range of sizes

on second thoghts it might have been the idea of moving the audio into the battery pack. hard to tell but it comes domn to the screen thickness issues which i wonnt know too much about until i locate a lcd screen supplier i am happy with.

the edge connector is a trick one,do i just use mini usb or do i use a high denisty connector and chhuck other stuff on it as well. its a hard call i am leaning towards the usb connector because it then means you can use it without a backpack for somthing usefull (syncing, remote display) but perhaps have 2 usb connectors or a usb and a high density connector, i guess it all depends on how long i make this hinge. at the moment its looking to be wider than the Z without the screen rotation part, so any screen rotation ppart would have to be moulded into the accsesory end (not that big a loss in my opinion, if need be pull the back pack off and install the wrong way around wink.gif

all this talking thogh dosent add up to much, i need pictures. i just cant explain it very well and i think it relise a bit too much on people imagination. must look into that wink.gif

backpacks, whatt can i say about these they are not really "backpacks" in a traditonal scense but rather usb devices that are moulded to fit the PP case (not like on the ipaqs where it wrapped around the case but rather somthing that locks in to the swivel edge connector (possible exception may be the "battery only" pack however i could have indeentations on the bottom to make locking flat against the case easier aand more secure rather than wrap around the side and ruin the styling wink.gif)
stampsm
QUOTE(stampsm @ Dec 7 2006, 12:29 AM)
yep i am of the design mind that if you do not use the pin's/ports please at least have some sort of connector/pads on the board so hackers can have thier fun.

i am starting to get some good ideas for a small bluetooth mouse with that small trackball i posted about 2 small buttons and possibly an accelerometer for tilt detection built in. power it off a small lithium rechargable battery that charges by plugging into a usb port and you do not have to worry about building it into the main design. smile.gif

you could design the whole mouse so you could control it with just one hand if you wanted to and hold the pocket penguin with the other hand.
*



here is a quick rough (bout 3 minutes worth of time) 3d model of what i was thinking for a mouse.

stampsm
a range of products actually sounds like a much better idea. if you had lets say for instance 6 different products designed to work seamlessly together and the user can pick out of them what they needed for thier particular solution it would work out good.

a quick solution for some people might for example be the basic main unit, a cell phone module(cell phone module interfaced through the usb expansion or bluetooth anyone? ) the control watch(add time plus bluetooth connectivityfor caller id on it), and a standard bluetooth headset.
plus you have the bluetooth controller sitting in the other pocket when you have to sit down for some serious work.
stampsm
well if you do use a 16/9 wide screen format screen at 5 inches it will be about 2.45 x 4.35 inches. while the 4 inches 4/3 standard format screen at 4 inches is 2.4 x 3.2 inches. it would have nearly the same height but a little over an inch in width extra. so you should be able to almost put it in your pocket the same as you do a Cxxx series zaurus except it would be a little longer.
Da_Blitz
nice pic smile.gif actually i haad my eye on those keyfobs you get for car alarms with a built in accelerometer and an image sensor, as i can buy the cases for abouut $3 with everything already cut (ie buttons) and a position for the battery molded in. just add circuit (got to love JayCar Electronics and thier sister company Electus)

yeah i will type that range of products "manifesto" up latter, add it to my pile of unusual rambellings, i dont see any need to apeal to anyone but geeks, we know what its for and we know how to use it. saves me time and money (and hair pulling)

if the general public wants it (in my dreams) then let them play catch up, not force me too dumb down the product for them, wait for the post as thhere is some tech in there that exxplains why i am talking like this (ie arrogent and cruel wink.gif)

thats why i like the 16:9' however i do actually hate the ratio, unless its baccked by wmii with 4 windows (basically you get one wain one thats 4:33 and 3 smaller ones along the side that are 4:3, remeber thatwmii is a tileing window manager and has a main window with new windows attached to the side of the main with no overlap, designed for pure keyboard usage (ie no mouse)

but now i am going off topic smile.gif
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