project idea: portable password safe

Paul Boddie paul at
Tue Sep 10 16:16:50 EDT 2013

On Monday 9. September 2013 19.13.20 Werner Almesberger wrote:
> Ron K. Jeffries wrote:
> > Password safe with keyboard and display.
> The keyboard seems to be on its way out. Maybe for version 2.0 :-)
> It would have been small anyway, OQO 01 grade.

It might be interesting to do some work on a keyboard, anyway. I've become 
quite fascinated with mobile device keyboards, and yet there doesn't really 
seem to be any "generic" alphanumeric keyboards available for experimenters, 
hobbyists, hackers, and so on, unlike the deluge of "door entry keypads" that 
seem to get pushed into hobbyist channels, presumably when something better 
can be sold to the people who actually make security systems.


> > Making the device tiny is not on my wish list, since I'd expect a decent
> > display e-ink?
> E-paper still seems to be too hard to source for this sort of
> project. What you want are heavily commoditized components that
> are used in millions of products. That doesn't only keep the
> price down but it also decreases the risk of getting stuck with
> just a single source.

I added a project involving e-paper to the wiki:

E-paper is best for indefinitely retaining an image on a display, but that 
probably isn't what you want for showing things like passwords and PINs. :-)

That said, one use-case that might work out nicely for e-paper is showing a 
QR/bar code for scanning at places like airport check-in desks, where the 
digital alternative is messing around with a smartphone (and the analogue 
alternative is to print the code out, or to talk to a human being, of course).


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