[Arm-netbook] Warning about tablets/netbooks with detachable keyboards

dumblob dumblob at gmail.com
Wed Dec 14 19:28:01 GMT 2016

Hi Luke,

thanks for flashing a light on that. I'm glad you're staying with USB.

I think this thread is answered.

-- Jan

2016-12-14 20:20 GMT+01:00 Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton <lkcl at lkcl.net>:

> On 12/13/16, dumblob <dumblob at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi Luke,
> >
> > just a tiny note about your mentions of a "tablet/netbook" in
> > https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop/updates/
> latest-from-shenzhen
>  i do wish that crowdsupply could provide on-post comments, but then
> they'd have to monitor them.
> >
> > In case you're planning to have the keyboard detachable (even worse if
> this
> > detachable piece should have some connectors like USB), think of it twice
> > as per experience of many users of different such tablets/netbooks
> (youtube
> > is full of such reviews), the detachable connection is very fragile
> > (because the detachable design requires a shallow or rather just
> "touching"
> > connection in contrast to "sliding" deeper connectors like USB).
>  ok.  first thing: have you heard of the alwaysinnovating touchbook?
> it was the world's very first hybrid netbook / tablet.  most people
> don't even know it exists, sadly.  as a monolithic design it would
> ordinarily have a lifespan of about... six to eight months, but
> because it was targetted at linux users that was actually
> about...eighteen months / two years.  what killed it was the use of a
> 720mhz ARM Cortex A8, RAM limited to 512mb... no means of upgrading
> except a whopping $50k for replacing the entire main PCB.
>  anyway: the casework was extremely robust, with the
> keyboard+extra-battery portion having inch-long "arms" at the sides to
> securely and firmly hold the main tablet part in place... in a
> standard USB socket.
>  you have to bear in mind that i'm being quite realistic about this
> whole exercise: if i can't design it to be robust in PLA with a
> standard mendel 3D printer, and i can't get off-the-shelf generic
> parts that are commonly available from multiple suppliers in huaqiang
> rd, futian district, shenzhen, china, it ain't going in.
>  so whilst what you're seeing is complaints based on a
> fight-to-the-minimum (in terms of both thickness and price), i will be
> designing stuff that's "chunky", realistically maintainable by a
> lego-mindsetted individual, and built to last.
>  therefore, i will *NOT* be attempting to replicate the existing slew
> of magnetic catches and so on, apart from anything i won't be able to
> get hold of them as they will have been custom-designed for specific
> OEMs.
>  i _do_ have a background in physics and mathematics which gives me
> some mechanical design aptitude :)
> > Therefore there will be a need for advanced SW means (from Linux kernel
> > through all daemons up to GUI) to cope with interrupted keyboard input,
> > interrupted USB communication, etc.). I'm though not aware of any such
> > comprehensive solutions, so this will most likely become very painful and
> > will stay so forever if introduced.
>  USB.  simple as that.  problem goes away.  USB's already designed to
> be interruptable.  people unplug keyboards and mice all the time.  the
> linux kernel's had USB support since forever.  i don't expect there to
> be any software problems at all.
> l.
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