Ya (or Mu suggestions)

Peter Malte Mack mack.petermalte at googlemail.com
Thu Jul 30 02:53:54 EDT 2009


first of all to introduce myself: I am a guy who has been Openmoko from the
very beginnings, likes the general idea of mobile computing and believes in
openness - though i have to add, that i am really bad at programming and no
computer scientist - more the user, besides that i´ ve been blogging [1]
about linux on mobile devices more or less frequently for some time - but i
am not used to posting to lists like this one.

Looking at the Ben, which is of course only a start, i like the form factor
and, as i write frequently and almost everywhere (==on the go) the fact that
the Ben NanoNote has a keyboard which looks pretty usable. Reading the
specsheet I was pretty disappointed first, but understanding that it is just
a start, it is ok - besides that I like the idea of leaving distributions to
the community - a good idea after all the struggle OM has (had) with it.

There´ve been lots of proposals to this list, and even though the Ben could
yet serve as offline wikipedia, media player, gameboy or organizer device, I
believe connectivity is important nowadays (think of all this marketing
around cloud computing, it makes people believe that they absolutely need to
be connected everywhere, be it to twitter the weather) - and, even though it
makes the device more pricey, i believe that one should not wait to long
before one adds connectivity.

Besides connectivity is needed (first sth like wifi or just bt (to be able
to connect a cellphone for internet access)) and more RAM is always nice, i
think expandability would make this device (small as it is) more
interesting. Therefore I would recommend to add USB Host and, if possible, a
second (micro)SD slot (maybe instead of that big NAND chip?), to be able to
have storage and SDIO...

A expandable device btw offers another, additional kind of openness.. ;)

Knowing that you want to go a way of small steps, maybe add BT and USBhost
first, and then go on -  - one could add BT and USBhost by adding a normal,
powered, female USB A port at the back of the Ya NanoNote and delivering the
hardware with an USB BT dongle.
I am not sure how this could fit, and as I heard somewhere that replacing a
case is one of the most expensive things I know that this might not be a
practicable proposal, but I strongly believe that USB Host should be usable
in a comfortable way while being mobile - i am sure there are alternatives
to this (e.g. a good  adapter from mini/micro-b to female a, which fits good
to the Nanonote (or is especially small, if the nanonotes USB port is
already at the back), and I believe you should try to offer such things, as
it adds value to the product, 3rd party probably won´ t do  and not
everybody is talented at finding/building DIY solutions).
This would solve all connectivity issues in a rather simple way (thinking of
how small wifi dongles have become, i´ve got one with an overall length of
3.4 cm) - you could stop people from waiting for the next unit or the second
next and earn some money ;)

I apologize for every potential mistake in my writing and wish you all the


[1] http://linmob.blogspot.com
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