r4dh4l
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raspberry pi PDA?

Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:28 pm

(Edit: This post answered on https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 124#p16821)

Sorry for pushing this old thread but it was the only one I found related to the "RPi as PDA" question.

A Raspberry Pi based Personal Digital Assistant would be very interesting for me as well because I actually hate current Smartphone concepts: The only real choice is between a walled garden (Apple) or a Android which is a worst-case scenario for IT securtiy on most of the hardware. Okay, there are custom Roms but as far as I know there is not a single smartphone model with a hardware keyboard which is well supported by a Custom Rom based on a current Android version. - Despite that there is the baseband processor problem so there is no real privacy as long there is no open hardware baseband processor.

A Raspberry Pi based PDA would run with Raspbian as a stable operation system and the hardware would be easy to replace in case of malfunctions. That's why I looked for such PDA projects but didn't find anything which was really convincing:

1. https://makezine.com/projects/build-ras ... ur-pocket/

This is the best looking I found but "Time Required: 1–3 Hours
" is just ridiculous. Most disturbing point is the missing hardware list (especially for the essential keyboard).
Anyway it would be really interesting to try such a project with a Model 3 A+ (to save space within the case).

2. www.noodlepi.com/ / https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ha ... te?lang=de

The NoodlePi is less "do it yourself" but there is no hardware keyboard. It is more a small tablet. I can't imagine how to use this in daily life (for example: using an instant messengers).

3. There are other projects trying to build a real smartphone like

- http://www.davidhunt.ie/piphone-a-raspb ... martphone/
- https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/tytell ... martphone/
- https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12 ... -raspberry -> https://shop.sb-components.co.uk/collec ... camera-kit

but I miss a hardware keyboard here and a case preventing that the phone looks like a self-made bomb (I don't want to try out how security reacts when you take out a cable tied bunch of hardware with a huge antenna in a subway station :D ).

However; I think the "only" missing parts to get a Pi based PDA are:

1. a case fitting to hold
1.1 a Raspberry Pi 3 Model A/B (I would go for model A to keep the size as small as possible)
1.2 a display
1.3 a keyboard
1.4 the battery
2. a cable-connected small keyboard where you can reach all keys with yout thumbs

Overall I would love to see something like https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/pages/pyra/ based on Raspberry Pi (I fear the Pyra is outdated when it finally will be release after 5 (?) years of development).

So my question: Any "PiDA" projects I maybe missed?
Last edited by r4dh4l on Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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mahjongg
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:17 pm

Sorry for pushing this old thread but it was the only one I found related to the "RPi as PDA" question.
The reason nobody has talked about it since 2011, is because nobody cares.
its a stupid idea, and many others with such an idea have failed in the last eight years.

I have split this off from the ancient thread you had to resurrect, and which I have now locked.

besides you have a second thread about this subject, so technically this is a duplicate, due to be deleted.

r4dh4l
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:46 pm

The reason nobody has talked about it since 2011, is because nobody cares.
Well, the thread starter cared/cares and I care.
its a stupid idea, and many others with such an idea have failed in the last eight years.
Watching Overview: The Handheld Linux Terminal (Portable Raspberry Pi) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZc5gUKcRZA) I saw that there are updates of the project:

- The Zero Terminal (Portable Pi Zero W) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWlZ3B_hq_g)
- Zero Terminal 2 Prototype (Portable Pi Zero W) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO4amBc0Tbw)
- The Handheld Linux Terminal Version 3 (Portable Pi 3) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndflyslzAEU)

Anyway: Reading the youtube comments it doesn't look like "nobody cares" and a "supid idea" (honestly: Are there stupid ideas in the "maker scene"? I admit there are "dangerous projects", "illegal projects", "projects I will be never interested in" but I never saw a stupid one).
I have split this off from the ancient thread you had to resurrect, and which I have now locked.
I "had to" ressurrect because at least one more person was asking the same questions I did. Anyway: It was not my intention to bother the mods so thank you the splitting (I just would link to the original thread to get the context later).
besides you have a second thread about this subject, so technically this is a duplicate, due to be deleted.
If you mean https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 4#p1428154 - this is about a "tablet", isn't it? This topic here is about a "PDA". Feel free to correct me but both are different hardware concepts for me.

Well, if I'm allowed to continue with the topic:

Unfortunately the GitHub repo https://github.com/N-O-D-E/ does not list any repos anymore (for example: https://github.com/N-O-D-E/ZeroTerminal ) and https://n-o-d-e.shop/ doesn't list anything related to the initial project. :( What a pity... the 3D printer files would be a way not to start over creating cases. Does anyone have a copy of the files?
Last edited by r4dh4l on Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Imperf3kt
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:45 pm

Here is a stupid idea somebody once had, on this forum.
https://usbkill.com/products/usb-killer-v3


In my opinion, a PDA is just an inferior tablet. Why do you want one that badly?
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r4dh4l
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:18 pm

Imperf3kt wrote: Here is a stupid idea somebody once had, on this forum.
https://usbkill.com/products/usb-killer-v3
In case of self-defence I wouldn't call such concepts a stupid idea (there might be a moment where you want to destroy your computer). However we should try to stay flexible in our imagination considering if something is stupid or not.
Imperf3kt wrote: In my opinion, a PDA is just an inferior tablet.
A PDA is much smaller than a tablet. I don't carry around a tablet with me all the time but I would do so with a PDA.
Imperf3kt wrote: Why do you want one that badly?
As explained above:
A Raspberry Pi based Personal Digital Assistant would be very interesting for me as well because I actually hate current Smartphone concepts: The only real choice is between a walled garden (Apple) or a Android which is a worst-case scenario for IT securtiy on most of the hardware. Okay, there are custom Roms but as far as I know there is not a single smartphone model with a hardware keyboard which is well supported by a Custom Rom based on a current Android version. - Despite that there is the baseband processor problem so there is no real privacy as long there is no open hardware baseband processor.

A Raspberry Pi based PDA would run with Raspbian as a stable operation system and the hardware would be easy to replace in case of malfunctions.

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Imperf3kt
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:30 pm

Size is irrelevant, tablets are sold in sizes from 5 inches and up and if you custom make one with a Pi, you decide how small to go.
Again, why do you want a "PDA", when a custom Pi based tablet will function identically?

For example, https://www.hackster.io/eraserX/pi-zero ... nal-929e38
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r4dh4l
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:00 pm

Imperf3kt wrote: Size is irrelevant, tablets are sold in sizes from 5 inches and up and if you custom make one with a Pi, you decide how small to go.
If it is juts the size you could call any smartphone a tablet as well (at least you people starts to make calls via VoIP). If you want to call everything that has a touch screen a tablet that is okay for me but my association with a device in size of smartphone which is not a phone and used to carry it around on the street is "PDA".
Imperf3kt wrote: Again, why do you want a "PDA", when a custom Pi based tablet will function identically?

For example, https://www.hackster.io/eraserX/pi-zero ... nal-929e38
If you call this a "tablet" this is okay for me. However: This looks promising, thank you!

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Imperf3kt
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:17 am

Not quite what I meant.
For example, the distinction between tablet and mobile smartphone, is that the mobile phone is primarily used to make phone calls and text messages. (and more rqecently, browse social media)
A PDA also has its specific tasks, but those tasks line up pretty much with the use cases for a tablet.

Both devices were invented by Apple, so some overlap in functionality is to be expected, I guess.
Last edited by Imperf3kt on Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:21 am

Imperf3kt wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:17 am
...
Both devices were invented by Apple, so some overlap in functionality is to be expected, I guess.
I think Psion May have something to say about this :lol:

Have a look at the Psion organiser with hard shell and then the series 3 machines. Way way before Apple.
Need Pi spray - these things are breeding in my house...

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Gavinmc42
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:23 am

I am not interested in any argument about Why we would want a Pi PDA.
The answer is simple, because we Can make them in a varity of sizes.

I am interested in How.
I have been doing my research.
PalmOS morphed into WebOS, which is just another me too, Internet connected OS.
Alternative OS's are scarce too, the only interesting new one for me is Redox OS.

So I am now thinking about DIY OS based on Ultibo.
Not because I hate Linux but becuase I want to learn how OS's work.
Linux also takes time to boot, serious geek foo is needed to improve that.
PDA's are most single user, single purpose OS's, Linux is a bit of a sledge hammer for this.

And becuase I have yet to find a good UI that runs on small screen, recent Orville viewing has convinced me to roll out my own theming UI.
The amount of information about using OpenVG for UI's is nearly nonexistant.
Need to go back 10years to get information and examples for Broadcom OpenVG UI's must be top secret.

But with Pi's a simple uSD card swap fixes the OS situtation.
eReaders now seem to be mostly iMX6 based Linux hardware.
The iMX6 is no powerhouse a Zero could be underclocked ;)

Hardware wise, displays are a big issue.
Manga Screen 2 looks like the best small screen, but will not make small PDA.
Hyperpixel looks a poor cousin now at 800x480 4" but it has the touch screen.
Front mounted touchscreens do effect screen brightness and contrast.
Adafruit has a nice IPS 240x240 display but it is small at 1.5"

Oled would save power but not easy to get in a good enough resolution.
The new ClearInk displays look like they will finally give daylight screens at faster speeds than eInk.
Becuase ClearInk is first targeting Chinese school computing perhaps RPF will adopt them too?
Maybe not this year for PDA use as largish and wearable is their market segment at the moment.

Could a Zero and small screen make a wearable?
Probably, but a bit power hungry, why not use a Zero as HDMI output device.
eBooks have been on all my PDA's and Tablets and Phones, even my MP3 players.
I just tested my HDMI car screen it can power the Zero from the USB port.
Now to check my TV's USB port. HDMI screens are everywhere now ;)

A Zero W may run from the USB ports which gets net connection if needed.
But offline readers are more likely to be read without net distractions ;)
A SD swap with Retropie is also possible if bored with books. How can anyone be bored with books? :(
Powering from the screen solves the battery issue, but is not that portable.

Then there is the interface problem, only one USB port.
Bluetooth mouse keyboard combo?
Or what about exploring new options like this.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/3595
It would fit in the existing Pi Zero case.
DIY touch panel, even microswitchs on the GPIO, all doable.

But means carrying around two cables and needing a HDMI screen.
Good for home based semi permanent use?
Most TV's now have multiple HDMI inputs

Combo/modular system, PDA Zero with plug in Power and screens.
Not ideal but doable, power could be quick swap cells 18650 Li-Ion/LiFePO4 instead of custom lipo.
But there are now Graphne based lipo cells that have many more charge cycles and so will last longer.

Wrist mounted gaunlet Zero based PDA, doable.
Dual screen eInk and IPS LCD?

Tablet size PDAs, well most people use those for surfing the web, probably better using the new CM3+ for that.
Modern browsers need lots of cpu grunt these days.
A Pi phone? Why not?
Some people actually don't like the closed source of current ones and Android apps that want to know everything about you.

The Microbit makes a nice BLE interface to Pi's, could it be used for a wireless Chorded/motion input device?

Just a few option of so many options, what to do first?
For me right now it's learning about file managers and calculator source code.
https://hackaday.com/2018/05/18/open-so ... mentation/
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rpdom
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:10 am

Andyroo wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:21 am
Have a look at the Psion organiser with hard shell and then the series 3 machines. Way way before Apple.
Compare the series 3 Psion with the Apple Newton. Both came out around the same time (give or take a year). The Newton was much more like a PDA than the Psion.
Signature is on holiday.

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Gavinmc42
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:03 am

Wonder what the Newton OS would be like running on a 1GHz Arm?
Newton ran on an Arm chip :D
Newton OS morphed to Pixo which went into the first iPad.
VideoCore2 went into iPod5.

Wonder if AI is now good enough to read my handwriting?

Is Blackberry the only surviving OS?
Psion morphed into Symbian?
Nokia open sourced Symbian?
And then it disappeared?

What is left for Single user OS? RISC OS?
Have not played with that for years, upto 5.27 beta? :D
Would it make a good OS for Pi PDA's?
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
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Andyroo
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:36 pm

rpdom wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:10 am
Andyroo wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:21 am
Have a look at the Psion organiser with hard shell and then the series 3 machines. Way way before Apple.
Compare the series 3 Psion with the Apple Newton. Both came out around the same time (give or take a year). The Newton was much more like a PDA than the Psion.
Newton came out in 1993 while the Psion came out in 1984 and given that the Psion had a database, calculator and clock I would agree about in not being a PDA but the version II, from 1986, could do lots more and had a simple note taker, calendar and an OK programming language called OPL (though Forth was an option). I worked on a contract where these where linked to SCO Xenix via RS/232 to be a PDA for the directors of a music publishing company :lol:

Key thing for this though is what do you want out of a PDA?
Runnng an OS with mouse etc is out for me, I would want:
Touch as a minimum with handwriting recognition a bonus over a screen based pop up or physical pop out keyboard
Simple note taking with good search
Clock
Calendar / Diary / Bullet Journal
Calculator
List manager (the dreaded task / shopping list part of Bullet Journalling)
Book reader

Beyond that I’m actually stuck for needs :lol:

Stuff the physical size - I have pockets and like to read a larger screen (says he using an IPhone SE) than have it crammed into a small screen / font or hanging off my wrist.
Need Pi spray - these things are breeding in my house...

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mahjongg
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:56 pm

For what its worth, I'm sorry to have called this a stupid idea, :oops:

Just shows I'm just human..... :mrgreen:

Still, I don't see the point of it. I did see many attempts made though, as whoever has a finger in this particular pie has the potential to reap billions, so the idea must be very enticing. Just that nobody seems to be able to pull it off.....

And so I don't expect any smart person with an RPI to do so tomorrow... :geek:

If someone does, I have some nutty idea's.
As for input, just use natural language speech detection, and a suitably smart AI, augmented with some virtual buttons for gaming (detecting how your thumb is rubbed across your other fingers would do).
For output, nothing but a holographic projector will suffice, I want to have a 1inch device with a 10 inch screen. ;) :lol:
with unlimited battery life, never needing it to be charged.
and it should cost no more than €35. :mrgreen:

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Gavinmc42
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:32 am

Touch as a minimum with handwriting recognition a bonus over a screen based pop up or physical pop out keyboard
Simple note taking with good search
Clock
Calendar / Diary / Bullet Journal
Calculator
List manager (the dreaded task / shopping list part of Bullet Journalling)
Book reader
Alarm reminder, remotely setable by the wife? ie Pick up bread/milk?
Does the pager RF network still exist?

Have not been keeping up with handwriting recog. Is that mainstream yet?
The rest should be easy enough ;)
Power supply is the issue, perhaps this could be done with a Microbit instead.
Anyway as a programming exercise it sound like fun.
[For output, nothing but a holographic projector will suffice, I want to have a 1inch device with a 10 inch screen.
with unlimited battery life, never needing it to be charged.
and it should cost no more than €35. /quote]

Yep, that would be nice Pi16?
Direct laser retina display is get closer, VCSEL RGB lasers have been made by at least one company.
Voice recog on lower power always on? Getting close.
I just got one of these to play with.
http://www.latticesemi.com/en/Products/ ... imaxHM01B0
augmented with some virtual buttons for gaming (detecting how your thumb is rubbed across your other fingers would do).
Wasn't there a bluetooth joystick ring? Not that game pad one but a tiny one.
With AirFuel, Near field RF etc, implanted sensors should work without batteries.
AirFuel will be built into furnitiure to charge any gadget lying on it?
I have now seen surface mount solid electrolyte Lithum batteries.

Apart from Warp Drive/Quantum drive, teleporting, molecular assembly units etc most of the computing tech in StarTrek etc is here a few centuries early. The First Qwerty keyboard was 1875, nearly 150 year later we still use that arangement.
Star Trek,.The Orville is 150-400 years from now.
PDA's are only about 30 years old, StarTrek PADD's are not much differents than PDA's.
The original PalmPilot had a MC68328 that ran at 16MHz with 512K ram.

Pi's are too powerful for PDA's?
However as tools to learn how to make the software for a PDA and experiment with UI and UX?
Anyway I have that Adafruit gesture sensor on the way, it's like a mini Kinect?
If it is not good enough, use the Pi camera, will need that Pi power then?

I like the old flip phone style, so a clam shell design PDA?
Modern update of the Star Trek Tricorder?
Something that fits in the pocket and won't break if you sit on it?
I have always wanted a Steampunk old style pocket watch on a chain PDA.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

r4dh4l
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Re: raspberry pi PDA?

Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:10 pm

I got a reply requesting the case 3D print files from no https://n-o-d-e.net/ and got the one for

- https://n-o-d-e.net/zeroterminal.html
- https://n-o-d-e.net/terminal_2_overview.html / https://n-o-d-e.net/terminal_2.html
- https://n-o-d-e.net/terminal_3.html

Unfortunately only the files for the https://n-o-d-e.net/zeroterminal.html are licensed under CC so I could only attach this (but somehow it is not allowed to attach 1,4MB files) . From the readme of the archive I found https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2909787 which seems to provide the same files.

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