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Right. I've decided to do a simple thing to show how *I* would do it. Yes, I know this is not MY project, this is merely how I would do it, after looking at the general market and other existing devices. Constructive criticisms on the designs and hardware specs themselves are welcome, AFTER I've finished. This is just a first sketchup in Journal to show you the basic idea. Doing it in the form of a flyer for a nonexistant company (Penguin Mobile Computing) to show off their new product line.

MY Pocket Penguin Zero hardware.

X- iMX31 CPU.
X- 256MB mDDR memory.
X- 640x480 4" Resistive CG touchscreen.
X- Slot for otional and upgradeable wireless card (Slot with miniUSB plug at back, any aerial connections sit on the outer edge of the card, any audio handled over the USB2.0 bus the same way as USB headphones, bluetooth. Card is powered from the USB bus.)
X- External Mini-USB socket for charging and connection.
X- End edge contact bus for connection to Tablet/Notebook PC.
X- Bevelling for PPZ to slide into aforementioned PC, and to clip into place.
X- ATA "iPod" hard disk, upgradeable by authorised service centres (for the public) to give storage. Standard volume 30GB and 80GB
X- Rotating camera hooked to iMX31 video bus, 2MP. Fitted same way as camera on Samsung flip-phones. Opposite end to docking connector.
X- Slit style biometric reader on bottom edge of front fascia under the display. Functions as both security sensor and scroll "wheel"
X- Accelerometer to park hard drive heads in case of falling or throwing. Also useable as input controller.
X- Sliding keyboard: Slides out of body of PPZ, and then can be swivelled from a backwards position to act as a stand, (With keyboard "hold" switch enabled) to plane with the body (Position for sliding and most mobile entry) to a forward "Desktop" position. Keyboard will be as slimline as possible, about 80% of the width of the device (Centred, to leave space for the camera and docking connection), and with twin mini-SD sockets for data cards.

Battery is currently undecided.

Specs for rest of gear will be forthcoming, and please talk about whatever you want, except for my design and specs - not till I've finished.

Yes: I know it will be slightly thicker than a Zaurus, and I'm fine with that. Yes, I am thinking about heat dissipation. And finally, I am fully aware that the screen is uncovered. It will have little mounting points for a flip cover like that of the SL-5/6 (Available seperately) and if you don't like that, then get a damn case.
and how much would this marvel cost.....cause if money isn't an issue I could come up with my own list not that this one isn't interesting

Nice specs- however that flyer is mostly incomplete because it lacks the same thing Sharp had been overlooking: The vision for the potential buyers.

To succeed with a device you must have a broad range of customers and the majority of customers do buy devices not for specs but for the vision.
This is why Sharp has failed with the Zaurus and why all other Linux based PDA devices have vanished from the market since.
I have seen it several times when sharing the same booth with the Sharp guys. People rushed through and the only answer Sharp could give was "it runs Linux and here are the specs".

So if the virtual Penguin Mobile Computing guys are heading for a flyer they better include why someone would need that device and not a Palm or Windows Mobile and why he would need such a device at all wink.gif

Come on, give us a vision smile.gif

You must be new here wink.gif

this isnt about the public, in fact i hope they never buy it, this is for the linux/unix power user (much more of a power user than a windows one) and those who value security

" i have a dream, where one day i can buy a linux computer that is designed for linux and have the infmotion nesscary to modify it. one that wont be obselete every time the coffers of a company start to dip a bit and one that can be upgraded with the latest tech in the forseable futre, basically one that wont become obselete without kicking and screaming and taking as many others down with it"

thats my vision smile.gif

now back to the originol post, i do like the sliding keyboard, i just went from a hp phone (the media companinion) to a new htc tytn with slide out keyboard and while the keyboard isnt the best its still very nice compared to a touch screen, i cant wait to run linux on this linnle device

the specs you have mentioned are obut correct, there are one or two things that might be diffrent but that the genral wrap. the ram is important.

basically it will be a shell with lots of avalible IO, that way you can add what you want as modules of some sort as i have stated all using somthing like usb, with i2c optinal or simmilar (for those who wont easy homebrew)

i thoght we dropped the camera?

2 things i would like to push for' 1 is full sized SD sockets, there are adaptors for the mini stuff second is dual sims, its a feature for some but i am getting into using smartcards (which is a sim in a diffrent format) and would like to be able to have my telcos sim and a smartcard for handling crypto stuff such as keysining, the second slot would be externally acsessible so you can pull it out. if it goes in ill post links to where you can get the cards
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jan 7 2007, 09:35 AM)
You must be new here wink.gif

this isnt about the public, in fact i hope they never buy it, this is for the linux/unix power user (much more of a power user than a windows one) and those who value security

Sure, but will you pay the price of a device which has a very limited users base ? wink.gif
Design, production and maintenance costs money and as long as you are not the long lost older brother of Paris Hilton where money does not count one will have to set an appropriate pricing.

In the office I have a device which is almost identical to eg. a HP iPAQ - Bluetooth, WLAN, GSM/GPRS, keyboard, Windows Mobile 5. The only difference is that it is ruggedized and complies to some specs like IP54/IP67 for outdoor appliances. It costs 3 times more than the iPAQ though the additional hardware and certification costs make roundabout 20% of the device costs only.
Primary reason for the cost increase: A very limited target audience which means that only a few thousands are expected to be sold worldwide while the whole product lifecycle must be maintained.

So Penguin Mobile Computing would be advised very well if they shared some thoughts how to keep the prices low by attracting a broad customers base. Because high prices will also scare away the Linux power users (like myself) regardless the specs. Unfortunately wink.gif

I'm also with the vision thingie. Displaying specs will sell ... but only to linux and tech folks, which is really just a handful if you ask me. Put in a vision, a lifestyle application for the device, and you have the end-users going!

The brochure could have two parts,
1) Day-to-day usage, lifestyle message, vision
2) Tech specs, the fine prints

For daily usage part, should have it in terms of actual personas, eg
By age
1) 20~30 yuppie
2) 12~20 teen
3) 30~40 office user
4) 40~60 and beyond moms and pas wink.gif

By usage pattern
1) Web surfer
2) Notes taker
3) eBook reader
4) Mediaplayer
5) PIM
6) Combination of the above

For part 2, on tech specs and fineprints, one can have the gritty details in here. But the crucial thing perhaps, is to highlight some of the key tech points, and have it translated to some tangible benefit to the user.

Take for example, what is a CG Silicon display anyway? (I know what it is but for most end-users, they don't know, and don't care to know) Instead, have this spec written as "Daylight readable CG display". Instead of specifying the battery life, translate that to how this long battery life means? 14 hours battery life is one thing, "Charge just once a week for 2hr daily use" gives a better sense of actual usage pattern.

Oh and, have some nice pictures! wink.gif ...
Is it just me or are these few folks planning to design and build this for their own use. I don't think they care about sales or mass appeal.
i second linq's comments. this dablitz fella dosent seem to want to make a profit out of this. just make avalible hardware that is more capable than the current generation and suited to the tasks we use the Z's for.

smile.gif did i mention that thier is no profit in the design? thats right even if i sell these instead of you guys talking direct to manufacturer i wont be taking any profits from the design, you can donate of course and that money will go into recovering my losses (buying software only) and once that is done the rest is pumped into distros and people doing mobile software

with the stuff happening with tomtom i monder if they would consider a deal to bundel tomtom with the device (no maps, must be purchased sepretly) this would then cause them to have a small tiny reson to consider a more flexible aproch in packaging and play ball

if it did become popular (and i have plans laid out if it did) it would still be not for profit with an optinol support package so that end users could chose if they need help and tech support. all money going into funding devs of distros, in this order: one Z distro, openBSD, then any other distros out there. which Z distro will be the main one to recive funding i havent decided and will not unless it becomes a comercial sucsess that i have to support. what i would rather is to resell the design under a diffrent licsence and have them build devices around it so they can support it and we get bulk manufactur and therefore cheaper units smile.gif

even if the design went mainstream its going to be a top end device but all the advertising and stuff dosent need to be discussed now, stratagy is nice but keep it to its own thread (i would like to see a deabte on the topic) but for now its knucle down and start doing the schematiic
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jan 8 2007, 11:39 AM)
even if the design went mainstream its going to be a top end device but all the advertising and stuff dosent need to be discussed now, stratagy is nice but keep it to its own thread (i would like to see a deabte on the topic) but for now its knucle down and start doing the schematiic

This still does not answer the question where the funding will come from to cover at least the development and production costs ;-)
Hardware development is an extremely cost expensive thing- even if you do not go for profit, the manufacturer and suppliers will.

Most people will not buy a device which is about 2000 $ ohmy.gif

If you look at the other posts, you will see that DB is trying to keep the cost below $800, I think the number spoken of was $650 U.S.
QUOTE(wsuetholz @ Jan 8 2007, 10:41 PM)
If you look at the other posts, you will see that DB is trying to keep the cost below $800,  I think the number spoken of was $650 U.S.

Hmm, judging the costs our hardware department is estimating for a complete board design and production of an automotive device, I'd be very eager to see that pricing range.

I am not trying to spoil anything- in fact I'd be very interested in the way this is set up, however from my daily experience that price seems rather challenging considering the few amounts of potential buyers.

ofels, i see you have some experince with design of such things (as i thoght you did)

there is a diffrence between what they say it will cost and what it did as i am sure you are no dougt aware, however i have already stated that most dev costs will be out of my own pocket

there are other things keeping the cost way down, eg complience testing. if I sold it i would need to do it but if you buy from the PCB guys direct then it avoids the requirment for testing (an ugly ugly hack but i dont have a spare 10K lying around) the dev costs are basically getting the board made 2x 3x times over (not fully populated, get one part working at a time)

the other thing i have going for me is that this is a one man show, no one else needs to be paid, in fact no one does smile.gif

you keep on talking about needing huge amounts of buyers to bring the price down. i dont see why the only costs are the pure hardware costs and nothing else, i did a price breakdown and the fuigures i have stated are passible, cassing and the screen are actually the 2 most expensive parts. i also have a few tricks up my sleves when it comes to bulk ordering.

i think what this is is that you have not been here from the beggining (origonally this was a 25+ page fourm post) alot of the technicles and how to pull it off have been discussed

with the prototypes there will only be 2 or 3, no more (they wont cost as much as the final product ethier) and i expect to catch all the bugs in those 2 or 3 (out of my mind i know) so to do that i am sticking to the policy of making the design as robust as possible and doing everything correctly

anyway on a lighter note its good to see some new people making some constructive critisism on the design. it needs it.

also i decidied after seeing it in action that the trackball should be easy to add, in fact adding 2 wouldnt be a problem considering the size (alot smaller than i thoght)
Now those are the sort of comments I was looking for!


Actually, my design was taking into popular thought.

I left CG Silicon screen in for a reason. As much as they say otherwise, people like to see a little incomprehensible technojargon in there. It impresses them.

Also, a note on the keyboard and SD sockets. . .

SD peripherals aren't going to be used, so you don't need space for them. There just is no possibility of open SDIO support.

SDHC isn't supported by the onboard fast controllers of the imx3. . So there's no point in worrying about stuff like 8GB storage.

Mini-SD is more popular these days because of the wide usage in mobile phones (Especially Nokias and similar) So the disk volumes are similar, and the prices are going down.

Have you seen an SD card before? They're pretty big!

It should be possible to fit an SD and a Mini-SD on the keyboard card if you prefer. . Just not two bigun's.

It's not a normal slide out keyboard. It slides out, then has a rotating hinge so you can put it in a comfortable position, or use it as a stand for the slate screen.

I incidentally abolished the trackball. It Ungrew on me.
Ah, one more thought. You mentioned the camera. . .

I use my phone for videocalling, and the general public love them, so in my design I left it.
oh well pity about the trackball however i intend to chuck it in, infact i am looking in to putting in 2 of them (dont ask)

the hindge idea sounds cool however i have thoght about it before,there are problems with it thats why you tend to see tilt and swivel rather than tilt and slide however its a mechanical issue that i am sure can be solved with a bit of clever trickery

actually the number one complaint i hear is about cameras in phones, most people dont like them and would like to see them dumped as many people own a much better cammera, personally i like my one but i dont have a camera as well and the macro setting is great for PCB shots (try doing that on a normal camera)

dont know, guess it depends on many things

SD wise i am not too fussed with putting in a bigger slot, the small ones S&#$ me as it means having to buy another card (i just went from SD to mini SD to micro SD in 2 months, not cheap even for someone like me who knows where to buy from)

at least with the bigger slots you can chuck in an adaptor, size wise its not too bad as i can pud stuff underneath the socket
Ever heard of the Nokia N73 or the Sony Cybershot?


As I said, I use my camera for video chatting. As well as for taking pictures for use as addressbook thumbnails, which is one of my favourite things about the WM5 Phone suite. That and how well it's all integrated.

I made a note in the Universal forums on Xda Developers about Gomunicator and the suite of programs that need to replace it, from the work we all did trying to think of a good way to implement the phone handler.

Incidentally, I thought of a good way to handle email. . . Include a mail server in the phone daemon or an attached program. Then any (slightly modified) mail program can access it. smile.gif
the email daemon is what i have been saying from the start, its how win mobile handels it
how does "security for the paranoid" sound on the poster, i just really think that user controlled lockdown is a feature every geek wants

perhaps 2 posters then, one for geeks "in the know" and the other for Joe Blow
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