dvdkhlng writes: "Even though completely copyleft, the NanoNote hand-held platform failed to get the attention of many due to its low specs and the lack of wireless connectivity. The objective to keep things open had its price, and especially wireless technology is a mine-field of patents and NDAs. Now a few gifted hackers designed an add-on card to bring wireless to the NanoNote. It's not what you would expect: WLAN compatibility was sacrificed, going for the less encumbered IPv6 over 802.15.4 standard instead. The resulting dongles won't win a price for the highest bandwidth but excel at simplicity, energy efficiency and manufacturability. Want to see the ugly details? Designs, source code and production documentation are published under open source licenses."
dvdkhlng writes: Qi-Hardware, the community that brought us the Ben NanoNote handheld computer, have just released their next piece of all-out free and open hardware: the AtBEN+AtUSB wireless dongles. Aiming for a solution that works without proprietary firmware blobs, WLAN compatability was abandoned. Instead the project went for simpler, yet more open 6LowPAN technology.
dvdkhlng writes: The guy who did thiscalls it an "unexpected capability". The Ben NanoNote open-source hand-held computer has often been criticized for not being very extensible hardware-wise. A community-effort now starts to challenge this by shipping the so-called UBB board, that plugs into the micro-SD port, making 6 I/O lines available to hardware hackers. The most impressive use so far is this VGA port implemented by just a few resistors, with signal-generation mostly controlled by software. Schematics and source code are available under the GPL.