Why I joined: the NanoNote

Felix sucotronic at gmail.com
Mon Apr 20 06:41:12 UTC 2015

IMHO Nanonote was fairly cheap to develop, because it took advantage of
being developed not from scratch, but from a chinese pocket translator, so
most of the developing cost was avoided.

After going to sale for some time, the traction was not enought to make
feasible to develop next version, and most people need to work for a
so the people involved in the nanonote development leave the project aside
and continued their lives.

I've learned a lot with it, even programming somethings in assembler to
test the mips architecture. But now is something that rest in my "museum"
drawer, next to the wikireader...

For anybody interested in a real computing device, and openness, but with
enought budget, best looke at openPandora, or the next iteration, the Pyra

On Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 5:03 AM, Werner Almesberger <werner at almesberger.net>

> Ron K. Jeffries wrote:
> > But I wonder if a niche remains (or not) for a similar but modern device.
> I think for many people an inexpensive agenda type of computer with
> a keyboard still holds some appeal.
> Another market where I could imagine something Ben-like to be popular
> would be the new "Maker" segment, i.e., where people play with Raspis
> and Arduinos. Having a device that has strong low-level IO
> capabilities (maybe 2 x UBB plus some simple "docking" interface,
> nothing fancy - GPIOs and maybe USB host are all you typically need)
> plus all it takes to have a UI may hit some spots there.
> That's by the way how I use my Bens: one sits permanently on my lab
> bench and talks through a collection of UBB-based adapters to my
> other projects (one at a time, of course), e.g., to in-circuit
> program some MCU.
> That is a critical role, so I have a few more that act just like
> backups for the one currently in use. Having a proper case and all
> ensures that these Bens won't die of short-cirtuits or such in the
> mess on my bench.
> Another one sometimes goes outdoors to act as wireless controller
> via atben, talking to some other project.
> > It did not have Wi-Fi or Ethernet so getting on the Internet was Not
> Easy.
> BTLE may even be a more interesting choice than WiFi nowadays.
> Still needs an all-open stack, though. But so does Anelok, so that
> may stay in the family :)
> > Anyway, yes, Werner, I am well aware the cost of development would be
> high.
> For reference, I calculate my opportunity cost for developing Anelok
> to be almost exactly EUR 100k until now, and it's not done yet.
> Developing a Nanonote would be more complex and also more expensive
> (more expensive parts, demanding mechanical engineering, can't just
> make prototypes in the kitchen, etc.), so I'd say that you'd want
> to have at least around EUR 300k at your disposition if you want to
> start this.
> > Well, maybe not quite so high if an off-the shelf dev board could be the
> > computing guts...
> Chances are that this would only make it bulky and/or expensive,
> possibly also IO-limited. There is quite a number of open hardware
> designs that use reasonably potent SoCs, so that part could be easier
> than one may expect. Perhaps one would want to get a company with
> suitable design experience - e.g., Olimex - aboard for such a
> project.
> - Werner
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