OpenMoko, the company behind the FreeRunner open-source phone, released their latest product today: WikiReader. It’s a small mobile device for browsing Wikipedia. Rather than use a wireless network to pull data off of the web, it has local copy of the database on a 8GB microSD card. This approach has been used before, and it lets the WikiReader be compact and really cheap. It uses a Kindle-esque touch-screen display that allows it to run on 3 AAA’s for about a year. The device itself costs just $99, but you can choose to receive updates by snail mail for just $29/year. Alternatively, you can just download the +4GB file and dump it on the card.
Like the FreeRunner, this project is also open-source. The code isn’t available yet, but they say it will be released soon. With luck, the device will be really easy to hack.
[Hunter Davis] keeps rolling out the hacks for the Zipit. In the past he showed us how to run DOSbox, and then how to get NES emulation working on this tiny device. Now he’s got Linux kernel 2.6.29 running Fluxbox with mouse (newly added), audio, and WiFi functionality. Follow his step-by-step flashing instructions to load the kernel into the Zipit. Once flashed, a partitioned microSD card servers as the filesystem and swap.
Who needs a 10.1 inch screen or an Atom processor when you can get this 2.8″ QVGA beauty with an XScale processor for around $40?
SD cards add cheap persistent memory to your project, but the holder takes a lot of board space. A smaller option is the microSD flash format. MicroSD cards are compatible with regular SD cards, and most come with a free adapter. We looked at four holders for our mini web server. Which should you choose? Read about our experience below. Continue reading “Parts: microSD memory card holders”