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Re: Wanted - a Debian handheld

On Friday 10 November 2017 07:37:28 Richard Owlett wrote:

> I've asked a very similar question on two fora and received useful
> feedback. I've revised my feature list.
> Must:
> 1. be currently available from U.S. retail vendor.
> 2. have a physical form factor similar to a "smartphone".
> 3. have provision for using an _optional_ full size keyboard.
>     [A permanently attached keyboard is undesirable.]
> 4. have touchscreen display.
> 5. be able to read/write a USB flash drive (preferably FAT32 or ext2).
> 6. not have cell network connectivity as purchased.
> Raspberry Pi was suggested on both fora. I investigated it and
> Beaglebone. Both are uncomfortably DIY. Minimally acceptable would be
> a parts list [including case and battery] known to work together.
Richard, there is a pi kiler out there, all we have to do is write the 
software.  Its called a rock64, and the memory is factory fixed so you 
buy what you need. I bought two of the 4Gb equipt ones for $44 each. And 
I intend to to replace a pi running some heavy machinery in my home 
machine shop. Unfortunately I have not been successful at obtaining the 
header files for the gpio facility, which is supposed to be pi 
compatible at the header pins level. So I've been unable to compile an 
SPI driver to address the interface card. That, and I may not have the 
talent left in the wet ram to make it work.  The pi's problem is that 
for everything but the SPI, the i/o data is forced to pass thru an 
internal usb2 speed hub. That results in missed mouse and keyboard 
events. It can be solved but often requires several reboots to get thing 
all in a row and working (with the best realtime kernel build we have).

So be aware, the pi does have a problem, one that makes a daily update of 
its jessie install a watching paint dry job.  This rock64, running 
stretch, is around 20x faster updateing a similar list of security 
related packages because it doesn't have the usb2 speed limit to its 

Whether cutting a trail thru software is your cup of tea or not, it might 
be worth looking at, see it on the pine site. They also see a 
pre-assembled thing they call a pinebook, based on the pine64, an older 
variation on the rock64.

Cheers, Gene Heskett
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Genes Web page <http://geneslinuxbox.net:6309/gene>

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