[Arm-netbook] Future case idea: subnotebook/PDA with QWERTY keyboard

Sam Pablo Kuper sampablokuper at posteo.net
Fri Aug 26 18:37:00 BST 2016

It would be great to have a housing for the EOMA68 that is of a similar
form factor to one of these devices:

- DragonBox Pyra [1]
- Openbox Pandora [2]
- HTC Universal [3]

or even:

- HTC Dream [4]

That is, an enclosure that can fit in a pocket, and has:

- Hardware QWERTY keyboard
- Touchscreen (resistive, ideally) that opens out from the keyboard
- TRRS audio I/O

Something like a miniature tablet PC, essentially.

Bonus points if it is also "ruggedized": waterproof, shockproof, etc.

Likewise if it incorporates a trackpoint or similar, for using the mouse
cursor without needing to touch the screen.[5]

Goes without saying that it should be licensed as a Free Cultural
Work[6], 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[7] 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!

Is anyone working on such an enclosure and PCB?


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonbox_Pyra


[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTC_Universal

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTC_Dream

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4t9Ys8wI6k#t=4m45s

[6] http://freedomdefined.org/

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_Data_Association

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