NanoNote Roadmap

Paul Boddie paul at
Mon Jun 17 18:06:41 EDT 2013


Recently, there's been some apparent discontent expressed on the wiki about 
the NanoNote roadmap. Personally, I think it's distasteful to just write on 
wiki pages that those pages are "lies" and that they should be removed in 
shame by those who didn't deliver the goodies on schedule, but then I may 
have a somewhat old-fashioned perspective on what polite behaviour is. 
Starting an IRC or mailing list flame war would at least be engaging with 
other people, if not exactly polite, either.

Usually, it's Ron who brings up this topic, and I hope he is still reading 
this list, but maybe it's worth having a "State of the NanoNote" discussion. 
Maybe it would have to take the form of how one would do another NanoNote 
today, given that there isn't a button one can push to just resume 
everything, but I suppose that activity around open hardware is now at a 
completely different level to what it was a few years ago and that we could 
bring in things that other people are doing, too. I think someone suggested 
on IRC that I should be doing a qi-hardware newsletter, but I'll say "no" to 
that suggestion for now. ;-)

Probably most similar to the NanoNote architecturally is the GCW Zero, which 
appears to be almost available:

"The GCW Zeros will be shipped from US to Germany on June 20th. They should be 
available about 10 - 14 days later (depends on shipping speed)."

Maybe this is the closest there is, at least in terms of the numbers in the 
specification, to what might be expected of a NanoNote successor, although 
there are obviously things that may not be friendly to Free Software such as 
the Vivante GPU. Obviously the form factor is different, although I suppose 
you could plug in a USB keyboard and make your own clamshell exoskeleton like 
all those tablet keyboard docks that have appeared (and that Raspberry 
Pi "laptop" somebody did).

Elsewhere, the Rhombus Tech people seem to have been making some progress with 
their EOMA-68 card and, more interestingly, the Flying Squirrel tablet that 
the KDE developers wanted:

Although some people are critical of the whole EOMA-68 concept, I think that 
the community around it seems to have knowledgeable people in a range of 
areas, and collaboration with some of them could be interesting.

Does anyone have (or know of) any interesting NanoNote-related projects going 
on, whether it is just to extend the Ben or to make something similar? 
Personally, I'm more intrigued as to whether we are capable of making a 
successor than wanting one myself: I'm quite happy to use the Ben every now 
and again when I get the time.


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