Feedback re NanoNote from Santa Barbara Liux Users Group

Ron K. Jeffries rjeffries at
Fri Sep 11 13:43:09 EDT 2009

(I apologize for the length of this. Maybe I should have put it on my blog.
I am obviously responsible for any errors .).

Thursday Sept. 10, 2009 I shared the proto Nanonote (Chinese version)
with a dozen members of the Santa Barbara Linux Users Group. Feedback:

1. USB Host capability is required. Period.

2 Bigger battery required. (USB host drives this)
>> Aside: a member replaced NN battery with battery from his Nokia 2555
    (or was it 3555?) it works! ;) People appreciate NN uses a widely available
     and inexpensive battery.

3. 2nd micro SD slot would be very useful, one slot is used for memory,
    the other for add-on gadgets e.g. wifi (until it is built in) or GPS or ?

4. 64 MB RAM will greatly expand what NN can be used for

5. built-in WiFi highly desirable (but see notes below about apps without WiFi)

6. Lots of discussion about possible uses cases. Considerable discussion
about how smart phones can be used for same apps (and more). However,
in favor of NN is no requirement for service plan.

7. Also discussion of netbook as competing device, since netbook
prices are inevitably headed down. (Already under $200 USD for
early 9-in ASUS models (clearance) and the MIPS book variants
from China.

However... NN slips into a pocket or a woman's purse. The smallness
makes it unique for some apps. Just as many geeks own a notebook
PLUS a netbook, there was discussion that at $99 (prefer lower price)
a significant number of geeks would buy NN just to play around. Note
WiFi is taken for granted in that scenario.

8. Use case for NN WITHOUT WiFi:

8a Graphing Calculator. A statistics prof from local college said that
     purpose built graphing calculators cost over $100. NN can be
     a first class replacement plus do other appps.

8b one member reported that an elementary school REQUIRES
      kids to purchase (unknown model) of  Franklin spelling/dictionary  that was a shocker to me. I will investigate
      to get details.

8c Lack of WiFi is an ADVANTAGE for classroom use. wireless
     can be a way to cheat during a test, etc.

8d Language learning app, with audible pronunciation

8e Language Translation aid

8f Open Street Map as portable atlas. does not require GPS

8g Wikipedia and Wikitravel were considered interesting.
      "Hitchikers Guide to the Universe"

8h Use of NN in engineering classes, so students can take lab to dorm
      with totally open hardware

9. Serial port would be very useful.

10. JTAG connection (internal) was suggested by hardware hackers

11. I briefly mentioned adding touchscreen. feedback was mixed.
      There was concern it would diminish video clarity, that cost might
       be excessive, and that having two UI methods may be bad idea.
       Having said that, Palm sold a lot of Treos with keyboard + Touch.;)

12. A negative: the LCD on this proto seemed to show
      a checkerboard effect. This was shown while looking at built-in
      English/Chinese dictionary.

SUMMARY: a majority of people were very intrigued by Nanonote

Stephanie Lockwood-Childs, leader of the SBLUG group,
said she hopes NanoNote will be available in time for Christmas.
Fortunately, her husband was in the room.;)

Ron K. Jeffries

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