Build your own Wikipedia reader

One part inexpensive uC, one part touch-screen, one part Internet knowledge-base all come together to make up this Wikipedia reader. It functions in a very similar way to commercial versions by parsing XML dumps from the popular website to an SD card for use on the device. This is not limited to Wikipedia, but could just as easily be an e-reader. [Rossum] developed the package using an NXP ARM Cortex M0 model LCP1114 microcontroller. They cost just a couple of bucks but pack a 50 MHz punch with 32 KB of program memory and 8 KB of SRAM. If the nanotouch and the AVR iPhone concept didn’t convince you that [Rossum] knows what he’s doing, the video after the break of this newest creation will seal the deal.


  1. shazzner says:

    That’s pretty slick!

  2. CJ says:

    AWESOME! It would be great if you can get in there as well.

  3. Moggie100 says:

    Urge to build… rising…

  4. andrew says:

    Wow, that’s pretty fast. If this guy doesn’t already work for consumer embedded devices company then somebody needs to hire him asap. Maybe he could start his own.

  5. Justin says:

    Simply amazing! I want to see it in a case~

  6. tyco says:

    it’s good to see at least some people still know how to write efficient code…

  7. tyco says:

    also, when he does package it up, he should give it a cover that says “don’t panic” on it.

  8. Frogz says:

    in after dont panic
    bleh, i dont have anything to contribute to this post, i want 1 though

  9. Maave says:


    wtf xD

  10. compukidmike says:

    Wow, that’s some impressive speed! I wish all devices were that fast at loading new pages of info.

  11. mowcius says:

    I would love to have something this cool! :D

    Brilliant work!

  12. butterstick says:

    Sounds like the pages are stored in flash memory. No downloading = fast page loads.

    And yes, “Don’t Panic” was the first thing that came to mind. Nice job!

  13. aw says:

    That’s impressive. I doubt any app can run that smoothly on my pocket pc.

    Its too bad eink displays aren’t very common otherwise it would be cool to use that but I can only guess the displays are expensive and there won’t be that really nice responsiveness we see here.

  14. 1nf1n1t3 says:

    Where’s the Arduino?

  15. MrBishop says:

    Is there any way to get pictures to work? I have to agree with every one else “Don’t Panic”

  16. rossum says:

    Pictures work on the device and in the reader; the current version of the wikipedia files don’t have pictures yet but they will soon.

    After all, where would any handheld information device be without a picture of Eccentrica Gallumbits?

  17. Gregory says:

    That is one slick beast! Like others have said, all he needs is images and he’s gravy. I’d love to buy/make one. Then again, I have an old palm pilot at home….

  18. Brian says:


    I believe it says you can do that somewhere. Besides wikipedia, I would like a few other sites myself.

    I would add at least the English texts from Project Guttenburg, Snopes, Urban Dictionary, and The Jargon File. Guttenburg for any time I just need something to read, and the others for understanding the ReaL WorlD.

    Assuming you can get pictures to work, I would also want

  19. rob says:

    this needs to have “DON’T PANIC!” printed in nice, friendly letters on the back.

  20. jproach says:

    Agreed with previous posters, the speed and smooth scroll is really nice.

  21. Squirrel says:

    It’d be interesting to try to find as good of a deal on a bit bigger of a screen (no offense, but 2.2″ diagonal seems somewhat small, though I suppose it’s plenty if you’re just quick-checking a Wikipedia article).

    Another useful (possibly already implemented) feature would be to be able to download websites ahead of time for your perusal later. Or, since this is all hypothetical, might as well add a hypothetical Ethernet port and obtain the pages that way.

  22. udosero says:

    Is that an e-ink display? I have been wanting to get one for my experiments.

  23. Victor says:


    nope. traditional LCD display

  24. Dan says:

    What does “DON’T PANIC!” mean? …

    … Just kidding, I know where my towel is ;)

  25. Awesome work. Any chance the source / schema will be posted?

    I’m terribly curious

  26. Mukesh Gupta says:

    I want to build one. Can someone help ?

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