Lazaras
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:55 pm
Contact: AOL

Help Wanted to Build a DiY Alphasmart

Sun May 21, 2017 3:07 am

http://kadavy.net/blog/posts/portable-word-processor/

Alphasmart in any variety isn't being made anymore. The NaNoWriMo forums basically swear by the thing, it had amazing almost 'how did they do that' battery life, rugged, and unitask.

I understand that connecting pi to a display and a keyboard will not give nearly that kind of battery life. However is there any way to either strip raspbian lite down so it pretty much ONLY has text editing/file managmant, or to somehow start from the other iretion.

All i want it to do.

Boot up directly into a text eitor that lets me open text documents or save them as txt.

connect up to a computer, hit a button, and the keyboard 'types' whatever's open into whatever has a cursor on the device it's plugged into (b it note-ad, office, a response winow, blog entry, redit post, whatever.)
Have a way for the keyboard to treat the function keys differantly depending on if it is plugged into a computer (Normal Function Keys,) Or if it's not plugged into anything (quick file managment.)

There are a lot more 'would be nice' functions, but part of alphasmart's genius is the fact it did nothing else.

I have no idea what I'm doing here. so idea I have is to wire an LED display and a keyboard into the the GPIO ports leaving USB and the fact the pi can switch to being a USB device instead of a usb host to let the computer use it as a keyboard and give it power.

Problems I'm facing:

I do not know how to soldor and have poor vision.

I want a battery compartment for AA batteries to power the device but I want almost draconian levels of power saving at work here (screen dimming after a minute of no input, turning off/disabling any and ALL ports that will not be used (turning off hdmi, bluetooth and wifi, and anything that isn't the keyboard, the power/data port, and the screen when it's on. I understand I will never see the 700+ hour lifespan the alphasmart itself had, but even getting the 25 hours the dana had would be a bit of an accomplishment to me. I"m mostly concerned about how to keep the pi from just not noticing it's almost dead and sudden data corruption.

star1k
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 18, 2017 2:29 am

Re: Help Wanted to Build a DiY Alphasmart

Sun May 21, 2017 1:52 pm

Why would you want to build up bicycle if it already exists ?
On amazon they cost 25-30$; which is much cheaper than raspberry itself, plus you have working device where all bugs are already worked up.
Or there are any other functions that you want to add?

Lazaras
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:55 pm
Contact: AOL

Re: Help Wanted to Build a DiY Alphasmart

Sun May 21, 2017 2:12 pm

Because I can? Because those units are eventually goign to wear down and information on how to make a workalike would probably be useful to somebody.

star1k
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 18, 2017 2:29 am

Re: Help Wanted to Build a DiY Alphasmart

Mon May 22, 2017 12:57 am

Then there are a few options : I checked that this device is basically Ms word but it does not have mouse , and able to display only 4 lines of text.
The possible solution I can see :
Have raspberry pi with graphic interface run word outomatilly at start up and have small display attached to it and Bluetooth keyboard , budget for project around $100

Lazaras
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:55 pm
Contact: AOL

Re: Help Wanted to Build a DiY Alphasmart

Mon May 22, 2017 1:00 pm

It'd be more like running notepad than word really and text editors in command line are a thing. The problem is picking one that is the least burdensome given the interface is going to be... tiny.

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