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Friday, June 17th, 2005

Time Event
1:40p
Practical wearable computer
...I want one. I tried few things so far but nothing really worked that well...

Goal

I'd like a computer that's wearable -- can be used while walking,
that's usefull -- can do basic tasks I do with computers, such as
email, web browsing, mp3 playback and is practical -- does not cost
$3000, and can be actually used in public transport etc.

Try #0 -- Philips Velo 1 (+ Nokia 2110 connected using cable)

Philips Velo 1 with Linux on it. Nice toy with good display and
good keyboard, unfortunately could not be used while walking and even
usage while standing was "very interesting" -- hold machine open with
left hand while operating it with right hand. Plus velo dies of
mechanical problems :-(.

Try #1 -- Sharp Zaurus + Ericsson t68i over IrDA

Zaurus is a nice toy, and can actually do most jobs desktop machine
can do. I built kind of sleeve, so that t68i could be used with Zaurus
over IrDA while holding device in one hand (it included mirror made
from bubble-gum-pack). IrDA was easy to setup but pain in the long
run: it does not work in bright sunlight, is flakey, and Zaurus blocks
cellphone antena. Also you can't really upgrade to another cellphone,
because irda port location varies.
3:31p
Practical wearable computer, continued
Velo was powered by two AA bateries... Very easy to carry around
few more spares. Unfortunately zaurus is powered by Li-ION and only
lasts one day of my use. Fortunately, zaurus is very easy to charge
from USB (just build the cable, there's nothing in it), and cable from
ASUS wireless router works okay with zaurus, good. t68i can be also
charged from USB with simple cable.

Final question is how to provide USB power on the go, but 4
rechargeable AA batteries + piece of cable solve that one nicely, too.

Questions: how does zaurus's audio work? Is it possible to use
microphone and speakers at the same time? Why does audio break when
IrDA is enabled?

Try #2 -- Nokia 6230, Ericsson k700i

Mobile phones are very practical, and they start to be usefull,
too. With mujmail (http://mujmail.me.cz/, or newer version in
www.sf.net/projects/javaphone) and html (again in javaphone), they can
actually be used for reading mail (and writing short mails, too). Web
browsing is also possible, and phones can be used one-handed while
working. You can also get SSH/ICQ/IRC clients, but good luck using
that on numeric-only keyboard...

Unfortunately: they just don't run Linux, and have all kinds of
ugly quirks. [Phone manufacturers, could you just use standard
connectors? You connect through USB, so why not just put regular
mini-USB connector there, and charge through it, too? What about
handsfree, 3.5mm jack should be enough for everyone, right?]

Questions: is it possible to charge nokia 6230 from USB port? Is
straight cable okay, or is resistor needed, or does it need more
electronics?

Questions: how tolerant are recent notebook harddrives to
vibrations? I guess it is okay to walk with them while spinning, and
probably okay to run with them while powered down. iPod users should
know this -- do those harddisk handle jogging while in use okay?
Anyone ever took iPod to horseback riding?

Try #3 -- Zaurus + Nokia 6230 over bluetooth

I'm working on that... I'll need to get 2.6. to work on zaurus,
first, and that is not as easy as it would seem, because Sharp patches
were incredibly ugly in the first place. I already have 2.6.11 booting
(thanks to lenz's patches), but backlight, touchscreen and battery
charging does not work, yet; that makes machine unusable.
8:28p
Broken olympus c-750 and head mounted displays
My father broke olympus digital camera... lets won't retract any more after fall. (Is there chance to repair that?) This got me thinking: would it be possible to take its electronic viewfinder and use it as a display for wearable computer?

[BTW don't buy that camera; it is annoyingly slow.

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