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Compaq

Itsy Specs Updated 77

Jim Gettys (rock!) sent us some good news from the DEC/Compaq camp. Itsy, the ARM/Linux/PDA that has been under development for some time now, and is chock full of nifty little features, has had its schematics and software updated for you industrious do-it-your-selfers wanting to contribute to pocket computing.

Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 16:53:48 -0800
From: Deborah Wallach [kerr@pa.dec.com]
To: sa1100-linux@pa.dec.com, linux-arm-kernel@lists.arm.linux.org.uk
Subject: Itsy schematics and updated Linux software available

In order to promote collaboration and to advance the state of pocket computing research, Compaq Computer Corporation's Research Laboratories are making available the schematics and manufacturing information for the Itsy V1.5 Pocket Computer. The Itsy is a flexible research platform, based on the StrongARM 1100, intended to enable hardware and software research in pocket computing. It is a small, low-power handheld device with a highly flexible interface, designed to encourage the development of innovative research projects, such as novel user interfaces, new applications, power management techniques, hardware extensions, etc. The information we are making available includes the hardware specifications, a low level monitor, and the Linux source code for the Itsy.

Information about the project

More information on the distribution

Deborah Wallach
Western Research Laboratory
Compaq Computer Corporation

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Itsy Specs Updated

Comments Filter:
  • Here is the correct link, in case the link on the page doesn't work for you.

    http://crl.rese arch.compaq.com/downloads/register.cgi?download=It sy [compaq.com]

  • This board uses six layers, with plated through-holes, and surface-mount parts. Not very many hobbyists can afford to build small quantities of anything this complex.

    It's good of Compaq to make this information available, but it would have been of far more use if they had made available a kit for this unit.

    I would be quite happy to purchase one or two units knowing full well that it is an experimental concept machine, and that I cannot get any official support from Compaq, etc. At least I would have something that's *working* as opposed to a bunch of black ink on paper =:)

  • I just looked through my archives and I don't have the schematics. But the thing is really easy to use. They have a development kit that includes a fully built system using all the peripherals and they documented the design completely. We just copied their design leaving off the pieces we didn't need.

    Here is a link to Intel's hardware development tools [intel.com]

    Here is a link to build your Linux cross-development tools [intel.com]

    -tim
  • Between the fact that, looking at the rest of your and killbill's discussion, this project is more a research prototype than a do it yourself pocket computer, and that Compaq owns this project, why not start a seperate open project of your one (you the reader as well as torpor). Design it from common components, open a CVS with the diagrams and specs in it in some open format, and you have your OpenPocketBook, or whatever jargonese you may wish to call it.

    In fact, why not start OpenHardware.Org. That could be a cool project. Specs on how people can build their own boxes, from 386 to high-end Pentium, homebake peripherals, whatever people might be interested in. (The AX84 Guitar Amp Project [ampage.org] is a non-computing project that could fit in this framework (downloadable homebrew tube amp schematics), with the goals of cooperative design and the promotion of learning and camaraderie). The goals would be similar to opensource - give control back to users and make better stuff by leveraging collective knowledge.

  • I've been following the PDA trail recently because I, like most nerds, want toys that I don't really need but if it runs linux I probably have a use for it. The Itsy is no exception.
    This follows an article recently posted to /. about new uses for portable devices. Things I would like to see include color LCD screens, speech recognition, large flash chips for holding digital audio (and maybe even video), a headphone jack, and possibly a GPS receiver. If I can have a small device that not only plays tetris but can record audio and video as well as play MP3s and tell me where I am, I would be a happy camper. I truly believe that the Itsy is going to take me there.
  • by killbill ( 10058 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2000 @09:18AM (#1294878) Homepage
    Kudos to them for opening up the hardware and software designs (open in the "now I know what they did" sense but not the GNU sense, although Stallman himself insists on creating an arbitrary (and in my mind artificial) distinction between hardware IP and software IP, but I digress)...

    Anyway, good for them for sharing, but they are using an LCD and touch screen that is unavailable commercially. What good is that?

    If they were serious, they should redesign it to use an available module, or offer modules for sale from their site for a reasonable charge.

    Although realistically, given what I suspect is a lot of surface mount components and very small trace widths, and probably multi-layer PC boards, I doubt many people will be throwing together one of these in their basement...

    It would be nice if they offered an "unsupported" Itsy kit with all necessary parts, but I guess I can't complain about people giving me information.

    Bill
  • Too bad I can't download the specs.

    A problem occurred during the download process.

    Download Itsyify=itsy-registration@pa.dec.com is unknown

    If you do not understand what caused this, feel free to send us email describing what happened. This will help us to fix problems and improve the site.


    Anomalous: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected
  • Viewing the source, I see the problem.

    This link [compaq.com] should work.

    I suppose I should blame IE for maximum karma bonus.
    Anomalous: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected
  • www.morphyone.org has some specs on open-source, 486-based hardware. I've d/l'd the specs and am startingto build the lovely lil' bastard.
  • What would the advantages of putting an ARM processor over a Crusoe in a PDA? If the Crusoe can morph any instruction set, wouldn't it be able to run ARM instructions? How would a company benefit from using ARM chips in their PDAs, other than a slight decrease in power consumption?

    Well, for a start, the SA-1100 uses less power at 200MHz (about 200mW) than the Crusoe at 400MHz (about 1W). Even given that power consumption tends to go as voltage squared, and that still means that the SA core gives you more MIPS/Watt. Secondly, unless the Crusoe RISC core matches well against the SA core in as much as having virtually equivalent instructions, emulating a RISC instruction set with a different RISC instruction set can lead to performance hang ups. For example, the ARM chips tend to have both conditional instructions and barrel shifters on each instruction, so while they are single issue they can end up doing several things for instruction. (Rusty ARM code warning alert!!)

    e.g. ADDS r1,r1,r2 LSR#2; MOVNE r0, r1 LSL#4

    Add r1 and r2DIV4 , place in r1 and set flags on result of sum. If negative flags set, move r1 shifted left 4 into r0.

    As you can see, if for each of these instructions, you end up firing off two or three Crusoe RISC core instructions, performance can be degraded to a level at around a third of the base clock speed. Similar problems do not occur to the same extent with CISC, as you have more scope to interpret and pass on RISC instructions from CISC ones (as I believe AMD do in their intel compatible chips).

    The other thing that springs to mind is that if Linux is your target OS, then either Crusoe running Linux under x86 emulation or a StrongARM running ARMLinux will fit your requirements well, so if battery life is your ultimate goal, then the StrongARM hardware may fit your requirements better.

    Cheers,

    Toby Haynes

  • The license dosn't allow it.

    2. LICENSE GRANT

    2.1 Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, COMPAQ hereby grants CUSTOMER a non-exclusive, worldwide, non-transferable, royalty-free license for the term of this Agreement to duplicate and use HARDWARE INFORMATION solely for internal, non-commercial, research purposes.

    2.2 CUSTOMER agrees not to distribute the HARDWARE INFORMATION in any form, other than for CUSTOMER's own internal, non-commercial, research purposes.

    2.3 CUSTOMER grants to COMPAQ a non-exclusive, royalty-free, world-wide, unrestricted license to sell, duplicate, use, market, sub-license, distribute and create derivative works of DERIVATIVE HARDWARE.


    You can't build and sell it and if you build one and modify it somehow (fruity colors?) they get the right to sell your product without compensation. It ain't very open.

    Anomalous: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected
  • LCD displays can be had on the surplus market pretty cheaply...
    I'm pretty sure I've picked up more than one graphic module
    for under $15 from local dealers alone.

    FWIW EIO has a few modules:
    http://www.eio.com/lcdprodt.htm


    =-=-=-=-=-=
    "...You and me baby ain't nothin' but mammals/
    so let's do it like they do on the Discovery channel..."
  • I've been following the Itsy project for some time now as a "civilian", and was fortunate enough to have been an engineer on the project early on. I've read a great many of the complaints and suggestions here on /. regarding the schematics and software.

    Last month I contacted an old collegue of mine who still works on the project, (Hi Jimbo!) and together we began, using Wine source as a base, porting the Win32 API to Itsy. We are calling the project PORTMAN.

    I'm not sure if anyone actually checked out the linked schematics, but the bus of Itsy is actually pretty interesting. It features a proprietary (I know that's an evil word) technology called Timed Rerouting Online Linear-Link System (TROLLS). This allows PORTMAN to function efficiently, bypassing a slight bottleneck in the output system. (The bottleneck I refer to is caused by Grain Reciprocating Isolinear Transit Sensors (GRITS).

    Before TROLLS, GRITS had the terrible effect of petrifying PORTMAN. That problem is no more. Thank God for TROLLS.

    I hope this was helpful. I am always delighted to help my fellow engineers here on /.

    General Chalupa
  • Anyway, good for them for sharing, but they are using an LCD and touch screen that is unavailable commercially. What good is that?

    It's a research project. It's unreasonable to expect all the parts to be commercially available.
  • SELL THEM TO US!!!!!!

    WE WANT TO BUY THEM!!!! WE WANT TO SPEND MONEY!!!! YOUR ADVERTISING BUDGET WILL BE A MAIL MESSAGE TO LINUX-KERNEL!!!!!

    ahem

    thanks
  • I don't want to encourage the grits pourers on Slashdot, but I do wish somebody would explain what's going on.

    Here in the UK the word 'grit' describes a crunchy building material, like sand or gravel. (I had assumed that you were referring to the individual particles as 'grits', in the same way that you erroneously refer to Lego bricks as 'Legos'.)

    Naturally, I was puzzled as to why anybody would want to heat up gravel and pour it into their pants. Now I learn that butter is involved I am much more interested, but no less confused. Please explain!

    Love,
    Molly.
  • However, you don't need any of that to make a SA1100 based system. The empeg is SA1100 based. We didn't use any development boards, we just wired up the cpu and it worked - as the SA1100 is so highly integrated, there's only *one* way to wire ram chips to it, *one* way to wire a flash chip to it and *one* way to hook up serial ports and LCD. There's nothing magic about the itsy which anyone competent enough to fabricate & build an itsy from the designs couldn't simply do themselves. I mean, if they gave you the Orcad files for it, what do you plan to do - buy orcad? The schematic editor alone costs over $1000. The problem is, building computers simply isn't hobbyist compatible anymore. 0.5mm pitch SMT components? You need a binocular microscope really, even if you can mount them chips using a fine tipped soldering iron, SMT solder (silver loaded stuff), and lots of SMT rework flux. That's not even considering how hard it is to *get* the parts - tried getting EDO ram? 3.3v stuff? In small quantities? You can't get these bits (including the SA) just off the shelf, though you can get most of the discretes through some of the better (catalogue-publishing) distributors such as Farnell. PCBs? You're looking at maybe $1000 minimum for one board set on long turnaround. Compaq have obviously been asked by a lot of universities for prototypes, so they've released the designs so research departments can make a few and do software development. It's not a hardware development platform - it's too small to prototype new stuff on. Hugo empeg
  • Do you have any plans to make more general versions of the empeg that are easily adaptable for other purposes than playing tunes in cars? If you didn't have the audio pre-amp stuff then roughly how much power does it pull and what sort of portable batteries would be needed to make it truly mobile (rather than hooking up to a car battery)?

    small world...

  • Just ask if they'll give you permission to build your limited run. A few hundred wouldn't affect their company income much. They'd be letting you do a market test and there'd be several hundred more developers out here tinkering with the devices. This license forbids your doing this, so simply try to get a different license from them.
  • Every time we hear something about this someone or another talks about building them. Are /.'ers willing to put money on the table? How about in escrow? Anyone willing to colaborate on a project to build a handheld from the SA-1100?

    I am looking for SERIOUS people here. You must be willing to dedicate a significant ammount of time toward helping the project or willing to put money on the table to see it happen. There are ways to see this done, but we would have to build a lot of them. Possibly as high as a thousand units to get the parts and such at a reasonable cost.

    If you are only willing to buy one but don't want to help in the development effort, I want to hear from you too. Please email me how much you would consider paying for such a device and what specs you want it to have (RAM/Flash size, screen size/type, etc.).

    If I hear from enough people to make it worth building, I'll dust off my unfinished SA design and build a prototype. The info on the unit will be published under an Open-Source compatible license and will include all design info required to build the devices.

    The email address is real, all interested parties please contact me ASAP so I can get an idea of how many are really interested.
  • well it does beats the 1W in power saveing of transmeta hell ARM works flat out @ 1W

    I notice alot of the linux PDAs are arm powered

    a big THANKs to ALEX for that

    regards

    john


    a poor student @ bournemouth uni in the UK (a deltic so please dont moan about spelling but the content)
  • by Fixer ( 35500 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2000 @08:43AM (#1294897) Homepage Journal
    So, who would be willing to organize a limited run production of these devices for the community? I'd be willing to pay 700 or so for an Itsy.
    They seem like near-perfect development platforms, great for working on new interfaces, or adapting them to wearable uses. I want one.. *whine*
    -Fixer
  • It's too bad that a company like that, who already makes computers, don't have this thing in production.
    I appreciate that they make all of the info available for those who would like to build their own, but dammit, I'm too busy (or lazy) to build my own!
  • Once again DEC leads the market in technology but for some unfathomable reason refuses to sell to customers who are begging to buy. Complete and utter morons.
    --
    Java banners:
    Bad for users because Java kills Netscape
  • so now I can build my own. a dream come true ..... :)
  • You can download the hardware specs (supposedly everything you need to build one), but they say some components are not commercially available (LCD, touchscreen, etc...) Were did they get them? Were can I get them?

    Interestingly enough there is a license agreement attached to the downloading of the specs.

  • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )
    They're giving away the results of who knows how much $$$ worth of research. This could be useful to a LOT of people. I'm working on a videoconferencing project here, and one of our next goals is wireless handheld video - the Itsy (if it has sufficient performance) could save us a lot of time. Otherwise, we'll have to design a Crusoe-based device. :)
  • Well, why don't you download the specs, the schematics, etc. and design it to use commonly available LCD screens yourself?

    After all, isn't this what you'd do if it were an Open Source software project?

    On the one hand, you disagree with Stallman in making a distinction between hardware and software IP, but on the other hand you refuse to apply the same successful formula to an Open Hardware project as you would to an Open Source project.

    I for one can't wait to get the download of these schematics finished, so I can see just what *is* available and compatible with their design...
  • I think the Transmeta is 1W flat-out, with the ARM even less. (250 mW, I think? Not sure...)
  • by Captn Pepe ( 139650 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2000 @10:33AM (#1294910)

    There was a discussion here a while back about options regarding embedded linux solutions. Several gripes came up, including the lack of a filesystem or drivers for flash memory, support for varying CPU clock speed, and a few other details. Look at this [compaq.com]. From Itsy's page,

    • Although there are much newer versions of ARM Linux available today, the Itsy port contains several pieces of software not yet available in the newer versions, including the FTL flash file system, power management support, support to dynamically change clock speeds, etc. We expect that these features will eventually be integrated into later versions of Linux, by the Linux community.

    Looks like they've gone to the trouble to write a bunch of these for us. Yay! Now anybody want to look into turning these into a 2.3/2.4 kernel mod?

  • Well, why don't you download the specs, the schematics, etc. and design it to use commonly available LCD screens yourself?

    That is exactly my point. The obstacles are currently too high. I'm not saying others can't contribute, just that there are a couple of pretty substantial obstacles that prevent ME from doing so.

    Like I said, Kudo's to them for opening it up, but "openness" is not the only thing that determines the success of an open source project. In addition to being "open", a project also be usefull, interesting, and modifiable. I could write a complete and perfect replacement for Microsoft Office for Linux and opensource it, but if it is written as a single 1,000,000 line main program in "obsfucated C", I should not expect developer support to come pouring in.

    My apologies if it sounded like I was criticizing the project for opening up. I was just trying to state that if their goal is to develop an open community of loosly related developers, basing the hardware on a non-commercially available part is silly.

    On the one hand, you disagree with Stallman in making a distinction between hardware and software IP, but on the other hand you refuse to apply the same successful formula to an Open Hardware project as you would to an Open Source project.

    I knew I should have kept my mouth shut about that... everytime I mention Stallman I have gotten into firefights... :)

    I was trying to make exactly the opposite argument. I do not see a distinction between a large subset of hardware IP and software IP, and don't see how a distinction could be made (where Stallman appeared to do so in a talk I heard him give two weeks ago).

    Carefull with your terminology... Stallman is not "Open Source", he is "Free Software". There are some very important distinctions.

    I am applying exactly the same standards, and therein lies my critic of the project. If the goal of "Opening" the hardware and software is to generate a spontaneous and dynamic community of developers, testers, and contributors, then the fact that this device requires a number of components that are not commercially available is the first and foremost obstacle to it's success.

    I hear and accept your criticisim of my comments that I am just complaining about the status quo without doing anything about it.

    What I meant to communicate was "Great job. Too bad the obstacles to my contribution to your project are prohibitively high, even though I find the project compelling and interesting. By the way, here are the two things, in case you are looking for ways to increase your community... ".

    I am encouraged that others do not find the obstacles prohibitively high. When you get the sourcing problem for the display/touchscreen module solved, as well as come up with a cost effective source for (what I suspect is a) multilayer surface mount PC board, please post the information so more of us can contribute to what appears to be a very interesting project.

    Bill
  • Say I put together three Itsy prototypes, one for myself and two for friends. The components cost me a total of $1,300, and taking the sick day needed to assemble them cost me $200. If I charge each friend $500, and no more, I doubt Compaq would have a problem with it.. I am not engaging in a commercial venture, per se. I could almost write it off like this: I am founding a small think-tank. My two assistants are taking an equal share in the startup expenditures, and we are researching the plausibility of wearable PC's. Since I only have three people in my company, and I produce three Itsy prototypes for 'internal research purposes', it is natural that I give each partner one. Then, having a dispute over which of us drank the last beer, we disband the company. All in the course of a day or two.

    No problema!
  • Vaporized hardware?

    Blue smoke!
  • Try Digikey (www.digikey.com) or Mouser Electronics (www.mouser.com).
    They should have everything you need when it comes to electronics.
  • We would need to form an organization (anyone got itsy.org?) and then declare that it's memebers are all researching itsy. We can then trade resources, code and info back and forth and still be within their agreement.

    Or we can just go it alone, and start from scratch with a totally open solution...

    -Adam

    CPU time is cheaper than programmer time.
  • Grits is thought of as a southern dish by most other Americans (by southern, I mean those states of the south, which include Louisianna, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and quite a few others. Look up info on the Civil War in America, to find out the other traditional "southern" states).

    It is made out of coarsly ground corn, mixed with boiling water, and a touch of butter added. It is similar to the ground wheat variety, which over here is made by Nabisco and is called "Cream o' Wheat". Both are considered breakfast cereals. Both are rather "gritty" (in the crunchy texture sense), hence the name.

    None of this explains why you would want to pour it down your pants (since the water IS boiling hot) - but, hey, I can't understand the fascination with petrifying Natalie Portman, either...

    However, I can understand your confusion. Consider it mutual. Many Americans (myself included) wonder over the Brits fascination with kidney pie, as well as with the various ways of preparing eel (and monkfish!).
  • The agreement sounds close to Sun's "Community" license:

    2.2 CUSTOMER agrees not to distribute the HARDWARE INFORMATION in any form, other than for CUSTOMER's own internal, non-commercial, research purposes.

    2.3 CUSTOMER grants to COMPAQ a non-exclusive, royalty-free, world-wide, unrestricted license to sell, duplicate, use, market, sub-license, distribute and create derivative works of DERIVATIVE HARDWARE.

    Incidentally, I have designed an embedded system using the SA-1100. It is a really cool chip. It needed no glue-logic at all to work with SRAM, DRAM, LCD, serial, etc. All the timing, delays, etc. are programmable. And JTAG is great if you cannot afford a bazillion dollar ICE.

    So the HW license isn't a heartache for me since I wouldn't base my design from theirs anyway, but off my old one instead. As long as the Linux distro they are offering is GPL'd...

    -tim

  • I wish I had the time and the resources for this. Heck, I wonder if they themselves would produce a one time run of 100+ units, for 'usability' testing, and/or software R&D.
  • Yeah. Didn't do IBM much good, though.

    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction
  • Nah, Magic Smoke [elsewhere.org]. You know, the stuff in CPU's that makes them work...

    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction
  • What would the advantages of putting an ARM processor over a Crusoe in a PDA? If the Crusoe can morph any instruction set, wouldn't it be able to run ARM instructions? How would a company benefit from using ARM chips in their PDAs, other than a slight decrease in power consumption?

    "I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive." - Stephen Hawking
  • The processor is 200mW according to this slide [digital.com].
  • No fscking shit!!!

    Between this and the ongoing Alpha debacle,
    I don't know what kind of crack they're smoking.

    If there was a URL where I could give them
    a non-refundable deposit via credit card, I would
    do it right now. But no, I gotta dream about
    building my own. I barely know which end of the
    iron to hold ;)
  • ...the Itsy port contains several pieces of software not yet available in the newer versions, including the FTL flash file system, power management support, support to dynamically change clock speeds, etc. We expect that these features will eventually be integrated into later versions of Linux, by the Linux community.

    I sure hope so. I've been following the SA-110 ever since it was announced, and this is still one great set of CPU chips, even if the Pentiums of the world outclock it.

    So when a mammoth PC integrator like Compaq says they researching and giving giving code back to the Open Source Community here, we're talking about a major feather in Linux' cap. Not to mention that when that code is fully vetted and ported to other architectures, the whole community benefits, not just one small (PDA) sector.

    Cool, eh?

  • They certainly do: I have used Acorn computers (running on ARM chips) ever since they came out in 1987... very fast for their time.

    I bought a Psion Series5 last year, which is very good for certain things, such as essays, diaries and the like. It's not underpowered, and it uses (IIRRC) an ARM7500 at 30MHz. The power usage I get from it is 45mA/h when idling, going up to around 110mAh/h for maximum processing. When the backlight is on, the maximum power throughput is around 200mAh.

    Looking at the Itsy numbers, they are a _lot_ higher. How is this research device powered? Even the most highly powered AAs give out 1000-2000mAh. I get a more realistic 1000mAh out of each pair of NiMHs.

    Great science, but that sort of processing power is unfeasible, in my view, and impractical for such a small device.
  • Crusoe can't morph any instruction set, though!!! Hate to break the news, but that was complete speculation on the part of everyone trying to figure out what Transmeta was doing. Turns out they just made a x86 processor that uses less power than conventional processors. That's all. End of announcement.

    That may change if transmeta comes forward and says that they will implement other architectures to emulate in software, or if they "open up" the Crusoe family to outside developers, who may attempt to make it emulate other architectures.

    Aside from that, Crusoe's seem to be aimed more at the low-cost notebook market. Charging $50+ will make them money in that market, because they come in as one of the cheapest CPU providers. To get into the PDA market, they'ed need to charge 1/10th of that. Not a good way to make money, unless they can make it up in volume.
  • From what I've read about Crusoe ARM still has a substantial lead in power consumption.
  • My apologies if it sounded like I was criticizing the project for opening up. I was just trying to state that if their goal is to develop an open community of loosly related developers, basing the hardware on a non-commercially available part is silly.

    Well, I would think, given what I've been able to glean about this project as I've followed it for the last few years, that their primary goal wasn't so much to build an open hardware platform, but to prototype a bleeding-edge portable platform that just so happened to run Linux, one of the major open source products out there on the 'market' (!) today.

    So it's not really fair to say that they're missing their goal of making a broadly useable open design product - I'd say that's a secondary goal for them, which just so happens to have become a reality recently. Otherwise, they would've been open from the beginning, and we wouldn't have this problem... :)

    Note that I'm not 'attacking' you - certainly you are an intelligent enough person to see the value of politeness, and I respect that. I'd just like to point out to you that this project wasn't designed to be open from the beginning, and now that it is, yes there will be a few hurdles to overcome.

    But, give it time. There are plenty of very skilled hardware hackers out there who are very probably dissecting the schematics right now, looking through reference manuals, and attempting to route around the problem.

    I hope you benefit from this as much as I do, and if so, I hope we *both* find ways to contribute any way we can.

  • Would you mind posting or providing a link to information about your design, we can benefit from it too?

    I, for one, would like to build an ARM PDA with buttons along the sides which I can chord with to avoid the touchpad/handwriting recognition/etc. problem.

    But I don't know much about motherboard design, so looking at someone else's work would be helpful.

  • certainly you are an intelligent enough person to see the value of politeness

    Wish I saw more of that on Slashdot; the above posts have dramatically increased my faith that perhaps I will see more of it...

    Thanks, guys.

  • it says coming soon! so any day now.
  • don't forget folding knife, tweezers, and a toothpick!
  • I wonder if this would be at all possible. I'd DEFINATLY buy one, that's for sure..
  • Has anyone built one out of the previous 'release' ?
    how difficult is it ?

    I find this idea of 'open hardware' really cool, it seems like the logicall next step, after open source software. there are lots of professionals programmers working on OSS , sure there must be lots of professional hardware developers around with too much free time :-)

    ---
  • Hi,

    If you build it they will come and buy them. Who are they? I am. I'm not an hardware guy but a software guy. You build it I'll buy it and so will many others. When will it be ready? How much will it cost?

    Wouldn't it be cool to put in a Crusoe processor instead of the StrongARM?

    Itsybitsy out.

You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish. You can tune a filesystem, but you can't tuna fish. -- from the tunefs(8) man page

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