[Wikireader] Any news on Wikireader ?

Doug Jones dj6mf at frombob.to
Fri Oct 23 06:55:31 CEST 2009

Wolfgang Spraul wrote:
>> I don't think RMS would have any complaints about carrying one of 
>> these around.
> Can you spend a bit of time to check the licenses? Chris Hall reviewed it
> so I'm sure it's all good, but since it is all statically linked together
> and GPL-licensed it means like you said every last bit of software needs
> to be at least GPL compatible. An independent review on this would be great.

Sure, that looks doable.  Thank goodness the codebase is so small.

> In addition to the microSD card, there is only a small bootloader in an
> EEPROM (to boot from the SD card), but I think it's free software and in
> the source tree as well.
> Reflashing that EEPROM is a bit tricky (though possible, needs documentation),
> but not sure who would need it.
>> If you hold the third button down while turning on, it starts up the 
>> serial console (19200 8N1).
> Is it documented somewhere how to hook up a serial cable?

Good question!  I looked under that sticker, and saw eight little golden 
contact pads.  Do we have to open the case and solder something onto there?

> Currently there are three simulators available (console, cocoa, Qt4), but
> when you want to do active development on the device, I think having a
> serial cable is the only way to get faster feedback cycles, log output, etc.
>> 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 I think about this device, the one thing that pops out again and again
> is BRUTAL SIMPLICITY. That is the real beauty of it.
> You can load some software into this device, then give it to anybody and
> not be worried they will get lost in a number of buttons and options.
> They will (have to) focus on what you are delivering in front of their eyes,
> and one thing where the WikiReader excels technically is the capacitive
> touch screen, which makes interacting with it a joy.
> Get more software on it!
> :-)
> Wolfgang

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