What's next?

Discussion in 'Ask EvilDragon Questions' started by AVahne, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. AVahne

    AVahne Handheld-obsessed

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    So uh...feel free to close this thread if it's already been asked, but after all the dust has settled on the Pyra's development, advertisement, sales, etc., do you have any specific plans for your next product idea? Aside from future daughter boards and providing replacement parts for the Pyra of course.

    I ask, because I was wondering if there's any possibility, for perhaps a side project or something, if you and your team can create a brand new PocketCHIP case/DIP/enclosure/whatever-NTC-calls-the-PocketCHIP based on the Pandora and Pyra design. I recently got my PocketCHIP, and while it's awesome, I can't help but think (and these were my thoughts before release as well) that it would way more awesome if it looked and operated just like a Pandora. Especially since you can hardly call the PocketCHIP pocketable, considering it's a bit bigger than the DMG Gameboy and rivals the Pandora in thickness. Plus the keyboard and arrows keys just aren't as suited for Pico-8 gaming as I had hoped. They're usable, but again, something like the Pandora would be amazing.

    I say CHIP specifically as it is much more plug-and-play than most other maker boards out there (CHIP literally just plugs into the PocketCHIP), and the specs are similar to the 1 GHz Pandora, what with the single-core 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and 512 MB of RAM. You could probably just use the same screen that the PocketCHIP uses, and the same battery as well. Could also use parts that you ordered for the Pandora and Pyra such as the nubs, dpad, stylus, buttons, microSD slot, speakers (or use something cheaper), and hinges. The CHIP already has a microUSB port for charging and OTG, a 3.5 mm jack for headphones and composite out, and a USB-A port built in so you wouldn't need to worry about adding those as well.

    I understand that any kind of product development is going to take a ton of time and resources, and that you'd have order anything you don't already have, pay for molds for the case, and also pay for software development to support your built-in keyboard, game controls, etc. in the CHIP/PocketCHIP firmware (perhaps maybe a GUI Switch feature similar to the Pandora to switch between the PocketCHIP UI and XFCE?); anything that's not already provided by CHIP and PocketCHIP and in the end this wouldn't be 100% your own product (well the enclosure would be, just not the computer part). Perhaps you could use Kickstarter for funds, instead of developing it out of pocket?

    Still, I only ask because you and your team are modern-day wizards and I do think something like this can be a popular product for your store considering all the PocketCHIP orders out there and the amount of people trying to find workarounds for the less-than-stellar parts of PocketCHIP's design. You could even name it weird names such as the PandaCHIP or PyraCHIP DeLite and sell it as an alternative to the now-gone 1 GHz Pandora or a lite alternative to the Pyra.

    Well anyway, if you managed to read through the entire thing without getting bored or annoyed, I thank you very much for your time. If you did get bored or annoyed, I thank you anyway and apologize for wasting your time.
     
  2. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    I am not ED, but, since he is busy the rest of this week, I will help out:

    RetroPi.
     
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  3. ible

    ible professional vim user

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    neat ideas! with the CHIP, i think there'd be too much of a worry that we're backtracking in CPU/GPU performance, without much real gain. sure, if some of the communities overlapped (pyra, pi, chip, etc.), and we got lots of orders, great. but if ED didn't get many orders, that's a lot of development costs that return nothing. (i.e., creating a lite version will cost more than what ED can get back.) i "started out" in the pi community, but then realized the Pyra would be more what i wanted (fully functional, keyboard-equipped, mobile, tons of battery life, screen, etc.), so i jumped ship, and swam over here. you might even want to jump CHIP. we'll have our own fun software, for sure.

    i could see two ways to go for the future daughterboard: a low power processor and a higher powered processor (though of course anything in between is possible). i'd like a low-power one to squeeze out as much battery life as possible, but then again it doesn't play as many games. (most of the time i'm just writing code (with lightweight vim) or browsing the forums here, so i don't need high power.) so i'm not sure low power will sell well.

    i'd love to see some of the open-source instruction sets (RISC-V) mature/materialize by the time Pyra 2 comes out, so we could use one of those. i think we could get some of the quirkier open-source people to buy it just cuz.
     
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  4. TrashyMG

    TrashyMG Sarcasm Dispenser Staff Member

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    Most likely he'll allow himself to get some sleep.
     
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  5. AVahne

    AVahne Handheld-obsessed

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    Yeah, that'd be best.
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 18, 2016, Original Post Date: Aug 18, 2016 ---
    I do already have a Pandora and plan to eventually get a Pyra....someday, but got a PocketCHIP to play around with in the meantime. Was just thinking that a Pandora-style form factor would make it better to mess around with. But yeah, I sorta knew that something like this just wouldn't be feasible, but I really wanted to get it out there.
     
  6. Nilsnsn

    Nilsnsn Member

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    didn't ed mention a (long) while ago something about a docking bay for pyra? maybe that will be next - i would love it
     
  7. Wrath Of Khan

    Wrath Of Khan Soul soother...

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    RE: docking bay; Depends what it would offer. I might not want such a thing, but maybe.
    Now it is interesting to think what Ed might make post pyra.
     
  8. ible

    ible professional vim user

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    i know tablets aren't all the rage anymore. but, i would appreciate a tablet with a nice touchscreen suitable for use with a pen -- so that i could draw on it directly. i know the pyra is capable of this, but i'd prefer a bigger screen for art purposes ;).

    reuse the pyra CPU board design, put in two Pyra battery slots (make it run off of either or both, so you can hot swap), done!
     
  9. FaeMinx

    FaeMinx Rainbow Liberation Instigation

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    If we are talking tablets, what would really tickle my fancy is a thin, light A4 e-ink 1080p greyscale tablet with decent battery life, Wacom digitizer, multi touch and full os.

    Not going to happen, I know.
     
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  10. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    Not very likely no. I have been looking for a decent A4 e-reader for my sheet music for a while now. Hard to find.

    <edit>Something like this one: http://www.gvido.tokyo. But these things have a habit of being announced and never be released.</edit>
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
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  11. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    If you can find one, the Galaxy note 12.2 is big enough to get artsy on. Great digitizer. If you can also source one of their bluetooth headset s-pen thingamajobs, it makes a much more comfortable writing/drawing instrument.

    You may have just stumbled on what could/should be ED's next device to make. A 20cm or so e-ink screen Pyra processor based portrait tablet with a Pyra keyboard & controls built into it. Think Pyra in an unholy union with a Kindle 2. Same internals, battery relocated behind screen, different display and case. It could work - it would be an insanely overpowered reader, but it might also be the first reader with a full OS and capable of being an art tablet.
     
  12. Klumpen

    Klumpen Run away! Run away!

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    I've been looking for digital paper/tablet specifically for sheet music too but gave up.
     
  13. FaeMinx

    FaeMinx Rainbow Liberation Instigation

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    It has Wacom! Hooray! But no drawing software as far as I can see (didn't watch the video)... boo!
    I'm sure you could use it as a general e-reader... but no mention of the processing power so not sure if one could hope for drawing software to be made by an enthusiast. Hope it comes out anyway.

    Is that a typo?

    Edit: Sorry... my mind experienced the typo - I read inches, not cm. My bad. Even after underlining it and bolding it. Shocking.

    That would be an awesome device indeed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
  14. Kiga

    Kiga Active Member

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    I would not be so sure:
     
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  15. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    No, 20cm is 7.87" which is about right. That or maybe a bit more would be a diagonal measurement of the proposed screen - which, assuming 'normal' bezels would make the short edge about the width of a Pyra - which is about the right 'hold'. The Pyra control set would take up the lower 25-30% or so of this portrait format device idea. The Pyra's nubs may seem supurfluous at first glance, but mouse control beyond the touch screen is a very nice thing. The guts of a Pyra would reside in that lower 30%. Battery would be flatter and ride behind the top 70%. New case, portrait e-ink or color screen. About 1/2 as thick as a Pyra, about as wide as a Pyra, 3+ times longer, no hinge. The SD slots could still reside on the front edge. Shoulder button activators would need relocated to the sides - should be doable with pivoting linkage. Think of it as a portrait tablet Pyra with 3x the screen size.

    The Pyra SoC may be 'overpowered' for an e-reader, but with the full OS, the extra umph would be good.

    All that said, I'm probably not the right target audience for it. Electronics either fit in my pant pocket or they stay home.
     
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  16. FaeMinx

    FaeMinx Rainbow Liberation Instigation

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    Interesting!!!

    I watched the demo of the drawing app.... aaaaand I think I would find it a frustrating drawing experience. I noticed brush lag even with thin lines... and the method of erasing is simply unacceptable... I want to erase pixels, not entire lines. It seems to me this e reader was designed with note taking in mind, not drawing.

    Seeing as it's going to be open... perhaps someone will make a better drawing app for it.
    Also... the price! It's almost as expensive as my Surface Pro 2 was!!! which is *amazing* for drawing on (after modding it)... It's just a touch heavy and battery life can be a thing (but not bad actually).

    I was really wanting something lighter, thinner, with e-ink (for outdoors), and ridiculous battery life... something I could be rough with (I treat my pro like I'm walking on eggs), so I would expect it to be much cheaper.... otherwise why couldn't I just get the entry level pro2 just for sketchbook - check it out:


    $399 that's an amazing deal for a portable Cintiq like device. Wow, just checked - the 512Gb 8Gb ram is only $499!!! WHAAAAT!!!!! O.O *Okay, it's refurbished... but still!* I got my 256Gb 8gb ram model for $840 last year (new).

    Why pro2 and not a newer model? They switched to ntrig for the pro3 and pro4 and for any pro from here on out. Pro2 is Wacom, and I can use a modded fujitsu lifebook stylus with 2 side button and rounded eraser on it.

    Man.... Am I tempted. (sorry, just completely lost interest in that e reader now).

    I am going to see what the prices are jan/feb next year... if any are still available... pick myself up another one! Holy cow!
     
  17. ible

    ible professional vim user

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    i wouldn't want a pure grayscale thing -- though i would love a fully open kindle-like device, i think i'd want a little more from the screen, color-wise.

    since i'd want it for art, i'd need at least a 64-color screen (like the new pebble), but much bigger (at least 10in diagonal), and with awesomely low power consumption. (i do art with limited colors anyway...)
     
  18. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

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    For those who want an ereader with Linux, Wacom, 8 inches (and even ethernet), I have an Iliad Irex I can sell. It needs a change of batteries.
     
  19. Penguin-Guru

    Penguin-Guru Still Fresh

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    Tablet computer is a good idea but I'm just voting for new Pyra hardware and accessories. The thing is basically perfect. Let it replace cellphones, laptops, and desktops without compromise. Maybe partner with open-hardware peripheral projects and appeal to broader audiences. I want to use a Pyra with the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard. Still looking for a decent ear piece and pocket-sized battery-powered projector.
     
  20. kuru

    kuru Laptop und Trachtenjanker

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    Really the only resistive screen that is well suited for drawing is the n900's. It's hard to describe how good it is unless you've used it. The pressure sensitivity is awesome. I actually prefer this to active digitizers since it takes your actual, physical brush tip in account. Something that nvidia stylus technology advertised doing, but it doesn't look anywhere close, just judging from what I saw.
    Check out tone's video,
    sadly he's deleted his daily drawings series, there were so many great examples. But that one should be enough. I have Pandora, Note 3, IBM X60T and n900. While you can draw on the Pandora, it's nowhere close. The n900 screen beats the actives because there is no suspended tip. It's just the stylus scratching the surface, tu put it bluntly. If you want something less rigid to emulate a brush, get a stylus with a bendy rubber tip and frolick.

    I would love a tablet with that screen, running myPaint and Gimp.
     

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