So you don't run Xorg at all, right? And you don't carry around any persistent video output?
I am running Raspbian Desktop on RPi0w, using Vufine+ head-mounted display and Twiddler 3 as a keyboard.
It is cool, it can even run heavyweight web stuff like Slack in Chromium, and VLC with 720p video. Has some reliability issues with graphical stuff - have to restart lightdm sometimes after such heavy exercises. I wouldn't imagine RPi Zero could do that much with so little, but the man always want more, so I am considering more powerful computing core for my wearable computer. Trimming down use of GUI apps is another venue for progress, of course.
Wow! I had no idea you could get something like that. Can I ask what's your use-case? Do you us it when on the move, commuting maybe? Do you get a lot of stares? Can you realistically type on the Twiddler or is it more of a remote control for accessing some predefined shortcuts?
Yes, this is mind-blowing that you can do this today with affordable off-the-shelf devices. I did this after reading https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/circuitbreaker/2017/7/...
Use-case... Original idea was to do whatever I like to do on my Linux laptops, carrying less weight on the go.
I try it out on different things, like working on my calendar in web UI, writing a diary, being on Slack and Jabber, navigating with maps app (Marble), watching conference talks... I expect it will be pretty good for terminal apps like vim and mutt, but unfortunately I haven't found time to try out working with mail this way yet, and I am still slowly getting better at speed typing on the Twiddler, so I haven't wrote much text. By the way, there are great opportunities for text to speech and speech to text applications, just use a bluetooth earpiece.
It is a nice ultra-portable general purpose computer, but I haven't found a strong "killer app" where such configuration beats both laptop and a smartphone. But I'm still exploring what I can do with it.
One solid usecase for carrying RPi0W on me or in my backpack is getting calendar events notifications to my MiBand3. But this doesn't involve keyboard and HMD.
There are constraints of all sorts - RPi performance, limited clearly visible area, level of brightness is not adaptable (unusable in darkness and in bright sunlight). It's hard to use this stuff, but it's fun to learn and master it. I hope this kind of computing grows its niche and we see new generations of hardware and software with this usecase in mind.
It's interesting that people are still using Twiddlers. At the time that Starner, Rhodes, and others at MIT were first experimenting with what happens when computer technology is always head-up, a typical kit was a Twiddler, Private Eye (mounted on eyeglasses/goggles or hat), and a computer that was hefty by today's standards. Steve Mann had some earlier, unique gear.
Rhodes had the hefty computer in a soft cube-shaped shoulder bag that looked like maybe it was a insulated lunchbox, with cables/tubes coming out of it, and going into clothing. He said it took a while to learn that some people were afraid to ask about it or say anything, because they thought it was a medical device.
It's great that the computer part can now be done with a tiny $5 Raspi0w. Or with smartphone hardware. (For the smartphone, preferably reflashed with PostmarketOS GNU/Linux, and adding HUD and some kind of discreet command input. Maybe you could do the input with finger on smartphone touchscreen in your pocket, and then you only need to add a HUD on BT/USB. Maybe more battery.)
I vacillate between wanting a wearable computer and wanting absolutely nothing to do with a wearable computer. In my most optimistic moments, I envision a useful note-taking device and (given a camera) a way to document interesting things. In my less optimistic moods, I consider how I already waste so much time reading bullshit on my phone! I think the best way to do it would be to script up particular activities (take a picture and tag it, make a text / dictated note, refer to a wikipedia article) and make those easy, while making it as hard as possible to bring up Firefox :)
How often do you wear it?
I use it as rarely as 1-2 times a week, just so I explore the possibilities and practice a bit. Not much time to work on perfecting wearable workflows, but I have some plans.
One more quick question, what do you use to power the RPi and the display? USB power bank?
I have done this in practice, wires go up rather than down, which could be argued to be even better as it can't rub against your cheek. I use Vufine's Pro mount, which has clips/ties for wires holding, so it doesn't matter which way wires go out of the device, forces balance doesn't change as you turn your head.
Seems like this is setup has a small measure of popularity.
What’s a good small netbook with HDMI out, for when you do you have a TV/monitor available?
The Pinebook is $100 https://www.pine64.org/pinebook/
On the higher end there’s GPD mini laptops https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MMSQ9ZM/
I wonder if a tablet with attachable keyboard could get around the laptop in carry-on bans.
It’s expensive and in prototype stage, but looks like a promising project.
Not having a screen is a bit of a downside, you could use your phone as a screen but that would defeat the purpose as you can SSH into a box at home/work from your phone.
I personally have a cheap (200 euro) 11" Acer ES1 laptop with Linux installed that I leave in my car or suitcase for those moments that I am not willing/able to take my work laptop. It runs for about 14 hours on a charge and can be charged directly from my car's 12V outlet. It can boot from a SD-card or even boot straight from the internet. The keyboard is actually really nice.
I drive a saloon car, so I can keep the laptop in the trunk, which is quite well insulated. I won't recommend keeping a laptop (or anything for that matter) in the cabin.
One request, though, from your snippet of Python:
C'mon, man... we've got to kill Python 2. Everywhere.
A router probably isn't going to have HDMI on it, which is nice to have in a pinch.
I also use RPis for various GPIO needs.
There's something to be said for having one device that fills a bunch of needs. You get really familiar with that device (and its quirks) and then you can use it in many different contexts.
True, performance could be better. I wish it were more in line with the odroid family.
1. Buy laptop shell, pi, portable battery
2. Open the shell, put pi in, connect it to the laptop shell's keyboard, trackpad, display
3. Put in the battery, connect to battery
4. Close the shell
5. It's a laptop.
SBC's are getting better and better. I am just waiting for better storage and usb3 on the tiny ones (some have it)
Still cheap and fun to play with.
Is there a way to use an Android device as a PC by plugging in kb, mouse, and display?
I should note that during the workweek I'm using a Raspberry Pi 3 as my primary PC. (just to save power, and keep internet tasks productive.) And, just as you guessed there are no problems with the GUI on the Pi3.
I still like the portable Pi idea more. I don't need Netflix or Steam installed on my Pis or Intel Compute Stick, but the ease of using flashy entertainment on the latter is detrimental to my productivity.
It's about half the size of the Pi Zero, and can enter an ultra-low-power mode consuming only ~5 mA (and resume in 160 ms).
If I understand Raspian’s portability correctly, this could be mitigated by preparing the system disk on a Pi w/ more resources, e.g. a Pi3– run Main Menu Editor w/ system disk in Pi3, then put system disk in Pi Zero W when menus are edited to satisfaction.
Not trying to point out any shortcomings, I honestly want to know if people reading this have a solution. Many people are relying on Pi(s) to self host data to keep it secure, despite the Pi as a platform not offering any protection in this regard.
EDIT: (Forgot to mention the Microsoft folding keyboard as the "best" of the super portable keyboards, which is still not that great, but has saved me when my MacBook has developed stuck keys)
Same. It was completely missing from the device manager on my laptop for 4 days. Now it's back. Nothing bloody changed??
And now I've got a BT dongle in the post which apparently I no longer need. wth
* Android tablet plus stand, running Termux+SSH+Tmux.
* SIM card of some description
* USB Hub
* Big Ol' Battery >=20,000mAh
* Small Mechanical Keyboard
* Wired Mouse
That would also allow me to connect to my Amazon Workspace for work email, but mostly I'd be VPN+SSH to a dev VM somewhere.
While it wouldn't be quite as useful as my work Macbook, it would be much safer since no work information would be traveling with me, nor would TSA be able to do me any significant harm by searching through those devices.
I still find I’m wanting more though. Having a locally available machine would solve a lot of issues with bandwidth. For example, iOS is capable of using Cryptomator but using it with WebDAV on my server at home means every file needs to download each time it’s opened. Or say I capture some great video and want to move it to the VM for editing or download content from server for local editing. This takes forever on LTE or WiFi.
I’ve been looking at the WD My Passport Wireless but I think longer term a better choice may be an ODROID-HC1 with a large SSD. Think of it as like a mobile cloud. It could act as the WiFi gateway for all devices, run through a VPN, provide local storage via SMB, SFTP, or WebDAV, run a Plex server without needing connectivity, and provide a local Linux environment for or the times you don’t have connectivity. Additionally nearly any tablet or phone like device could be setup to access it.
I can definitely see other scenarios (staying in ultra poor areas with high crime, maybe?) where having an ultra-cheap and easily replaceable device would be good though.
You can get two drives, one is the real drive with full disk encryption, and then other is a decoy running Windows XP or something. When you check the laptop, just swap the drives and carry the real one in your carry-on.