Portable Handheld QWERTY Computer

The idea is to have a portable (pocketable) handheld device similar in size to a PDA or cellular phone with reduced QWERTY keyboard. Viable form factors (and examples) are:

Mailing List Discussion: - http://lists.phcomp.co.uk/pipermail/arm-netbook/2016-August/011793.html - http://lists.phcomp.co.uk/pipermail/arm-netbook/2016-September/011917.html

Minimum Feature Set

Optional / Extra Features

  • Bonus points if it is also "ruggedized": waterproof, shockproof, etc.
  • Trackpoint or similar, for using the mouse cursor without needing to touch the screen, as on the Pyra
  • Built-in Wifi (SKW17 module)
  • Cellular Phone Module (voice and/or data capability)
  • Sensors
    • Ambient Light Sensor (auto adjust backlights)
    • Accelerometer/Gyro (MPU6050)
  • Vibration Motor
  • GPS module
  • Camera and LED Flash
  • Bluetooth module
  • Audio
    • Line Input
    • Microphone
    • Ear Speaker (for voice calling)

Notes, Comments

Goes without saying that it should be licensed as a Free Cultural Work, i.e. under GPLv3 or suchlike.

Why would it be great? Well, traditionally, people using a PDA had to synchronise their information between their desktop or laptop and the PDA, e.g. via a cable or IrDA or Bluetooth. Now lots of people do this via "the cloud", but that just means going via someone else's computers, so unless that system is implemented on a zero-knowledge basis using client-side encryption basis, then whoever else's computers are being used also gets to see the information. That might be really private stuff, like contacts and appointments and correspondence. With EOMA68, that problem would be solved: while out and about where a laptop would be too bulky but a PDA wouldn't, just have the EOMA68 card in the PDA housing. When at a desk, put it in the desktop or laptop housing. No need to sync!

That means:

  • No loss of privacy
  • Less need for energy-intensive data centres
  • No need to have two computers when one would do (less e-waste)
  • No worries about race conditions due to data getting updated on desktop and PDA before syncing.
  • No headaches, essentially!

Pad listing/discussing specs and questions: https://public.pad.fsfe.org/p/eoma68_handheld (should be imported into wiki at somepoint, theres export options, so it should be copy and paste or direct wiki import maybe? anyway i expect it will work out ;).