[Wikireader] Any news on Wikireader ?
sean at openmoko.com
Fri Oct 23 02:39:32 CEST 2009
Wow. You really know your stuff! Glad to hear you appreciate our baby.
We're quite proud of how it came out.
On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 11:14 AM, Doug Jones <dj6mf at frombob.to> wrote:
> -= Apertum =- wrote:
> > Hello,
> > The (very interesting, IMHO) Wikireader product has been launched about
> > 2 weeks ago, but still i don't see any information about hardware and
> > software (IE we don't know if there is a Linux kernel in it, or not),
> > and/or how it will be hackable by the community.
> > It's there any news somewhere on the net, or when you at OpenMoko plan
> > to discover these (important) informations?
> > Thank you so much for your attention :-)
> Look for the thread labeled [reader] on this list
> I have one, and have been spending some time looking at the code and
> available docs.
> It does not use a Linux kernel. It is an embedded device containing
> only minimal amounts of software, just enough to be a WikiReader. The
> WikiReader program itself is the kernel.
> AFAICT the code on the device is entirely written in C and Forth, and is
> 100% Free Software. Unlike the Freerunner and every other cellphone on
> this planet, it does not contain any chunks of proprietary code (it
> doesn't need to worry about what the cell providers or the FCC thinks).
> I don't think RMS would have any complaints about carrying one of
> these around.
> This device is perfect for Free Software purists and for people who, for
> whatever reason, don't carry Internet access in their pockets. (As the
> global collapse deepens, I expect more and more people will be unable to
> justify the monthly cost of carrying around Internet access.)
> The wiki is small now but gradually growing:
> Much of the documentation is stashed away in the source tree:
> The device fits in my shirt pocket (barely) and has a daylight-readable
> monochrome LCD display with no backlight. It's a touchscreen; you
> scroll it up and down with a gesture, and follow links with a tap.
> The on/off button is on the top edge. It uses two AAA batteries, which
> should last a very long time as the device is extremely miserly. You
> can use rechargeable (1.2 V) batteries if you like.
> Under the display are three buttons: Search, History, and Random.
> The History button displays a list of the most recently displayed pages.
> The other buttons are self-explanatory.
> The database contains a text-only snapshot of the entire
> English-language Wikipedia, over three million articles. You can search
> on any word in the text. The touchscreen keyboard is a bit small for my
> fat fingers, but I can manage (it's capacitive, and won't work with a
> It has no connectivity, other than a serial port I haven't tried yet,
> and SneakerNet (you take out the micro SD card and walk over to another
> computer to update its contents). This lack of connectivity keeps the
> internals simple and the cost down. The card and the serial port are in
> the battery compartment.
> If you hold the first button down while you turn the device on, it
> displays a list of Forth programs you can run. Just tap on the name. A
> lot of these are diagnostics, but there is also a simple calculator and
> a drawing program. If you know Forth, you can probably write your own
> program and put it on the card, I imagine.
> If you hold the second button down while turning on, it runs the calculator.
> If you hold the third button down while turning on, it starts up the
> serial console (19200 8N1).
> The drawing program shows that the device could be used for pictures,
> but don't expect any Wikipedia image content -- there isn't room on
> the card. However, it might be practical to put in a lot of the
> diagrams that can be compactly stored as SVG files. Hopefully somebody
> will add that functionality in, as well as equation support.
> The microSD card that comes with it is an 8GB model. I don't know if
> larger ones will work. I hope so.
> The card has 3.8GB of free space on it, so there is plenty of room for
> more content. I have been looking into the possibility of adding custom
> content (the multi-wiki concept).
> As I see it, there are two paths for code development: New code to run
> on the device, and user-friendly cross-platform code to run on the
> user's desktop machine or laptop and which is used to simplify and
> manage the task of updating the contents of the SD card.
> New code to run on the device would come from Forth programmers who can
> write new Forth apps, and embedded developers who can write C code for
> tiny machines that don't have operating systems.
> Openmoko community mailing list
> community at lists.openmoko.org
More information about the community