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I have actually done a lot of development on a very similar device, based on the Spreadtrum 6821 (the famed $25 firefox phone). Its a pretty neat device - 128MB RAM, 256 MB Flash, support for upto32GB microsd card, dual SIM (EDGE only), Bluetooth, FM radio, replaceable battery, 320x480 lcd touch screen, a seperate touch "strip" which you can configure as capacitive buttons, three hardware buttons (V+,V-, power).

I did a full kernel build, wrote the device driver for the LCD screen, am currently writing the driver for the SIM. I have a debian rootfs running on it - its a nifty little linux gadget. I am currently using a bunch of these as part of a linux kernel hacking tutorial for college kids.

I believe there is a lot of potential for these as alternatives to RPi and its brethren for certain applications. If you try to add all the above peripherals to RPi we quickly cross $500 (of course, you would probably not do so in reality).

If any one is interested in more info, message me.

Shameless Plug: I am also looking for consulting ops on such and similar (I have a LOT of embedded and electronic design experience - from vague user spec to full design).

"Eval" boards and systems like this have been available in the era before the raspberry-pi revolution, but rPi got a lot of hype for itself by actually shipping in large numbers.

These little systems are quite capable indeed! I remember compiling the Linux kernel on a 1ghz machine with 32Megs of RAM, back in the day .. and here we are with these little machines in our pockets. Fantastic stuff to be teaching kids to use ..

Pi also aimed at a different market. Most eval boards was either direct order or via B2B distributors. Pi aimed at kids and education, and went into the general consumer market.

There were eval and computing-platforms aimed at kids before rPi. None had the momentum of the nascent crowd-funding movement quite so potently as the rPi.

We're hiring contract and full time system software engineers at Skully: http://www.skully.com/careers/

Lots of things seem up your alley, like the need for a per pixel alpha driver for the Kopin display, etc..

do you mind sharing the curriculum and course material ? so we can benefit from it as-well......

hi ghoul2, i'd love to have more info on your linux kernel hacking tutorial.

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