Feedback re NanoNote from Santa Barbara Liux Users Group

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at qi-hardware.com
Sun Sep 13 00:57:30 EDT 2009


Ron,
great list, thanks a lot!
I just pick out two right now...

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

Carlos (who is a hardware hacker) seems to think JTAG is not necessary
as it is typically mostly used to reflash devices and in our case that
capability is coming from the BOOT ROM in the CPU.
On the other hand I just sent a 4740 EVB to Lars because he needed JTAG
to track down a particular bug and couldn't do it with the NanoNote board.
So if you ever run into someone again who wants JTAG, ask them why, or ask
to write on this list so we better understand their needs.

> 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.

Some LCM bugs were fixed recently, but maybe what you mean is the pixels
not being 'in line'? I noticed that too, and first thought something is
wrong. But then I was told this is a new type of TFT, often found in
digital cameras and other devices that typically display pictures,
images, movies. I guess the checkerboard effect (if we mean the
same thing) makes pictures look better?
For pixel fonts, for sure it means that ideally the pixel fonts should be
specially crafted for these types of LCM. Same for the freetype outline
rendering, etc.
There are several ways to go with this: We can accept it and use it to
our advantage, or we try to replace the LCM with a 'classical' type in
the Ya NanoNote.
For the Ben we will definitely use the LCM (from Giantplus) we have in our
latest samples (there also was a change, not sure which prototype/sample
you have).

It would be helpful if we could find some TFT expert who could tell us
the whole story about this checkerboard 'innovation' :-)

Wolfgang

On Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 10:43:09AM -0700, Ron K. Jeffries wrote:
> (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
>       http://www.franklin.com/  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
> http://identi.ca/rkj
> 
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