Minimum Viable Computer - 15$ pocket Linux device


SAS

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Jan 10, 2019
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This is a ‘Linux Swiss Army Knife’, offering maximum utility while still being able to fit in your pocket. Is it fast? No. Can it run a GUI? Also no. But it can run scripts, ping a server, toggle a few GPIOs, and interact with a USB device. This is a minimum viable computer that can:


  • Run Linux. Just command line.
  • Has a keyboard. No touchscreen display.
  • Has a USB port. To connect to other things.
  • Some sort of battery power, I guess.

That’s about it. Could you do all of this with a smartphone? Yeah, kinda, if you root prepaid Android phone, but even that would cost more than $30. I know I can build something cheaper.


Given the list of requirements, I know I need some sort of SoC, perferrably as cheap as possible. I need a keyboard of some sort, preferrably as cheap as possible. I need a screen, some sort of battery system, and some sort of storage. All preferrably as cheap as possible. I think I’ve cracked this problem, and I’ve come up with a computer that runs Linux and costs about $15 USD.




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Wish it had bluetooth / wi-fi. Still - sounds like an intriguing device - if / when happens ....
 

JDTAY

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It may be slightly tricky to run DOOM on this one.

Edit: Never mind, just read the article. It already DOOMs. Nice.
 
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levi

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The only thing that is missing here is a headphone port. I mean sure, I have a way to take USB A port and give me headphones, since my inbuilt audio circuit broke, but to plug that in would mean removing my wifi USB stick. I could use a USB hub most likely, but so far I've been able to avoid using them in anger.
 

netcat

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sexy!! those buttons remind me of an old calculator. I want to touch it but don't what else i'd do with it besides maybe diagnose my network.
 

Confuzzled

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The only thing that is missing here is a headphone port. I mean sure, I have a way to take USB A port and give me headphones, since my inbuilt audio circuit broke, but to plug that in would mean removing my wifi USB stick. I could use a USB hub most likely, but so far I've been able to avoid using them in anger.
I agree. A headphone socket would be great, as it looks like a potentially nice platform to run RockBox on.

I know EvilDragon doesn't need more headaches, but one of the things I though he might like to consider in his spare time* was producing a RockBox player.

*this is a joke.
 

matzesu

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And in 20 Years, this Pyrapod would get used for a Video on Youtube ^^, Dankpods or how the Chanel was called ^^,

This Linux Device looks interesting but its lacks a bit a Screen Saver like whe have on the Pyra..
 

ClockworkCoder

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Makes me think of the C.H.I.P. $9 computer. It didn't come with a keyboard though :)
The Pocket CHIP did have a keyboard available (with a novel stand that used a pencil), but the keyboard was truly horrible! I liked what they did aside from that though, was a fun little gadget.
 
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