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OpenPandora Design Files Released

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the putting-it-all-out-there dept.

Open Source 65

New submitter janvlug (3677453) writes "[As of Saturday, May 31], the OpenPandora case and hardware design files have been released for non-commercial use. The OpenPandora is a hand held Linux computer with gaming controls, but essentially it is an all-purpose computer. The OpenPandora offers the greatest possible degree of software freedom to a vibrant community of users and developers."

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Why Non-commercial? (4, Insightful)

Dwedit (232252) | about 4 months ago | (#47141043)

Why not release it allowing commercial use, and let anyone manufacture it? Availability problems have always been a huge problem for the OpenPandora team.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (4, Informative)

fat_mike (71855) | about 4 months ago | (#47141091)

According to the euro conversion, this thing is a MAME device that costs close to $600 before shipping and handling. The North America distributor is showing "Product no longer available" so it can only be ordered from Germany's Dragonbox. I also like the graphic on the website that says "Almost the same size as a Nintendo DS. Am I missing something?

Re:Why Non-commercial? (1)

cb88 (1410145) | about 4 months ago | (#47141133)

It is a Linux Handheld... if it runs on Arm Linux you can run it on this.

A friend of mine has one.. and it seems to perform decently. The biggest thing is the controllers which make it a clear winner over a phone for gaming. There are native games as well as emulators. You can also run chat programs etc.. nearly anything you could run on a desktop with 512Mb ram.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (0, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47141171)

I had a response to this, but I'm not going to type it, because of your stupid monospace text. The only people who want to pay $600 for OpenPandora are the idiots who think monospace text is totally leet.

It's $200 to buy an Android device with two or more cores and a game controller for it. You would have to be a massive tool to pay $600 for this dinosaur.

If they had actually managed to get the devices into peoples' hands when the idea was new and exciting, they would really have had something. But they didn't. Now nobody cares.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (2)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 4 months ago | (#47141227)

To be honest, the Pandora actually looked pretty good when it was announced and still fairly passable when it was released. Nowadays it's decidedly unimpressive for it's price, though.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47141237)

To be honest, the Pandora actually looked pretty good when it was announced and still fairly passable when it was released. Nowadays it's decidedly unimpressive for it's price, though.

Yes, it looked really good to me, too. However, I stopped short of preordering, because it didn't look credible. I was entirely correct. They never managed to produce enough units in order to build a healthy community.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47143137)

I have one and it's awesome. The main problem is that due to Craig Rothwell's incompetence, there's a lot of money that just disappeared. Nobody really knows where the money went or what it went to pay for.

The device is actually fairly nice and even today there isn't anything else quite like it on the market. But, I wouldn't have bought it if I had known it was going to wind up costing nearly $600.

And the problem isn't the number of people caring, their main problem has been producing enough of them to fill the demand. There's never been a point in the project where there was insufficient demand for units.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (3, Informative)

AntiSol (1329733) | about 4 months ago | (#47144413)

I bought one in January. It's absolutely spectacular. It's quite possibly the best computer I have ever owned.

this thing is a MAME device that costs close to $600

No. Calling it a MAME device is not even beginning to do it justice. Sure, I have something like 40,000 MAME ROMS loaded on mine, but that's just one SD card. Another SD card is a truecrypt volume. Another contains 40 years worth of X-Men comics. Another has all the SCUMM games, a ridiculous number of C64 games, and a bunch of Playstation games. I've just started playing with some of the audio production apps - soon I'll figure out how to use the pandora as a MIDI controller, that'll be cool. Chromium runs well for web browsing as long as you limit the number of tabs you have open. Office apps like Libreoffice and dia run well. But for me, I think that the terminal, scite, and ssh are the killer apps - some things aren't available on the pandora (which actually means "I haven't bothered trying to compile them yet"), sometimes I want to offload processing to a faster machine. And sometimes I need to restart my webserver... actually, the real killer "app" is the hardware keyboard.

The range of software available in the repos is staggering given the system specs (it runs blender! :O), and the quality generally high. The native games available should not be trivialised, either - special mentions go to asciiportal, boson-x, audiorace, pewpew2, and the arkanoid remake. Some of these are huge time sinks.

$600?!? pah! In AU, where we try to stay at least 10 years behind the rest of the world, it's nearly AU$800 once you throw in some accessories and shipping, but I really think it was worth every penny.

Yes, it's not as impressive in specs today as it was when it was designed. They got screwed and they had production problems, so it took a lot longer to get built than it should have. But they did manage to bring it to market eventually and they've done as much as they can to get units to the people who preordered. And they've been fairly transparent about all this, so I think that they're credible. On the other hand, I would have been really annoyed if I'd preordered and I'm glad I didn't.

People ask me what it is, and I describe it as a full computer which can do most things their laptop can do - it's the best way I've found to describe it. Flexibility is the key - I was running the JACK audio framework and a couple of software synthesizers last night and started to run out of memory, so I switched to my terminal and enabled the swap partition on my SD card. Problem solved.

It's not just a MAME machine!

Re:Why Non-commercial? (2)

Deb-fanboy (959444) | about 4 months ago | (#47145329)

It's absolutely spectacular. It's quite possibly the best computer I have ever owned.

I have had a Pandora for over a year and I agree with the above. It is a fantastic device for many reasons and I just love it. For the size, for the ready made programs and games available from the repository all neatly packaged for the pandora, for the very usable keyboard and great gaming controls, for the very friendly and productive community, for the exceptional battery life. Also it has an up to date firefox on the unit and I can use the pentadactyl add-on to give me vim style keyboard control of the browser.

There is more information to be found on the forums at The Pandora may be physicaly small, and the case does look a bit ordinary, but with it you get a lot, and there are still lots more that I could explore on the unit.

Especially for someone like myself, I travel a lot and have to travel light. I must take a company laptop filled with company software, I cannot mess to much with the company laptop, I need to produce official certificates and reports on this. There is really not enough room for another laptop in the bag.

The Pandora fits easily as an extra. I can play games, browse the internet, write some code, play some music, watch a film. It comes with me every time I travel.

I agree that it is not for everyone, and that is fine because it is great for a lot of us, there is no one device that fits all.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (1)

zakeria (1031430) | about 4 months ago | (#47145595)

I have one of these and I think it's the best product I've ever purchased would recommend them to just about anybody for all kinds of reasons not just gaming, a little on the pricey side yes, but to be honest I'd pay for another if anything happened to this one! I use it for gaming, field photography, reading e-books and even programming... fits right in my pocket and the battery lasts a heck of a long time.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (1)

fat_mike (71855) | about 4 months ago | (#47141217)

I ran a search on games that run on Arm Linux and Windows Solitare and Quake 3 were the first two results. Quake 3 was released in 1999 for both Windows and Linux. My iPad mini cost $299 and run VMware view and games that run on the Unity engine.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47143153)

And your iPad mini allows you to install whatever you like and provides convenient controls? The device is a bit more expensive than if Apple had made it, but when you can't just pay for 10k units for release day, it does tend to wind up costing more as you're not getting efficiency gains from a large production run.

Also, you're not really the target audience here if you fail to understand how important a physical keyboard and buttons are.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47144421)

Also the OpenPandora doesn't leave an aftertaste of Steve Job's penis in your mouth. That's worth a lot to me.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (2, Insightful)

obarel (670863) | about 4 months ago | (#47141143)

But you can't play 8-bit crap from 1984 on a Nntendo DS. Definitely worth the extra $400.

(Don't get me wrong, I was the right age in 1984 to really enjoy that crap. But it's 2014 now and I'm older and wiser).

Re: Why Non-commercial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47141177)

Really? My old DS Lite with a first gen R4 and nesDS runs NES games flawlessly.

Re: Why Non-commercial? (2)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47141339)

(Context: Accuracy of NES emulation on Nintendo DS with R4 card as an alternative to Pandora)

"Flawlessly" is a strong word. When I was in the DS homebrew scene, nesDS didn't support register $4011, which talking games require. Is Big Bird's Hide and Speak playable yet? And is Blades of Steel missing its announcer?

Re: Why Non-commercial? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47141391)

Is Big Bird's Hide and Speak playable yet?

Is that what the pedants are playing these days? Or are we talking about handing it off to a child? Flawlessly is a bit of a strong word, but a classic DS (I prefer the larger size) with an Acekard (I have the 4i) is a pretty nice way to play a whole lot of classic games. If only the included browser were worth anything, it would really still be a cool platform for more than just games. You can build your own web gateways to give the browser purpose, but that seems excessive.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 months ago | (#47141221)

The big problem with OpenPandora was their time to market. When they started (2008), the Cortex A8 was pretty new (released 2007, but not much silicon until 2008) and there were few devices you could get with one in, although a few evaluation boards were starting to appear. They promised something in a small mobile form factor running a completely open software stack, which sounded like a fun platform. By the time they actually shipped anything (2010), the Cortex A8 was starting to feel a bit dated and was available in cheap mobile phones running Android. By the time they shipped to more than a token number of people, the A8 was ancient and you could get a dual or quad-core A9 or similar for half the price.

Oh, and their UK operation effectively went bust after taking huge numbers of pre-orders. Both the UK and German companies had the pre-order money in their accounts for 2+ years earning interest before they shipped anything, but at least people who ordered things from the German company eventually got something, even if it was worth a fraction of what they paid for it, as a result of being two years - over an entire generation of the technology - old by the time they got it.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (5, Informative)

Adam Colley (3026155) | about 4 months ago | (#47141567)


Have a Pandora myself, excellent little machine.

It would have likely been out a lot sooner but there was a financial crash in 2009 (you may have heard something about it) which caused a fair number of delays/problems. Also Paypal decided to mess OpenPandora about to a massive extent, even refunding everyone and blocking purchases at one point!
As if that wasn't enough, the first PCB manufacturer proved to be completely incompetent, shipping faulty boards, at one time bent boards and failing to replace them, give the money back or in fact do anything to put right their screwup, it was when ED moved production to Germany things started running much more smoothly.

It was never supposed to be only a gaming platform, it is a full linux system which fits in your pocket (it can also run other operating systems from SD card, RISC OS for one)

The UK operation suffered from being operated by a liar and a thief, this was unforeseeable. (incidentally, the same person (Craig) has run off with all the icontrolpad 2 Kickstarter money as well it seems after using other peoples money to buy himself 3d printers and so on.)

Yes, the spec isn't as impressive as it was when announced but it's still a useful system.

Incidentally, the Pandora's successor (The Dragonbox Pyra) is in development now and has a far better spec. Also a Craig free system (Yay!), you can read some information about that at [] if you're interested.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 months ago | (#47141623)

I was really interested in the Pandora when it was announced, but eventually got a phone with similar specs for about £50, before most people got their Pandoras. I've now also got an Asus TransformerPad TF700, which is a very nice machine, but I'd really like something that could run FreeBSD out of the box. The Dragonbox Pyra specs look pretty good, but I note a lack of any physical dimensions on the web site (other than a 5" screen), which makes it a bit difficult to evaluate. I didn't realise hns was involved - hopefully this will go a bit better than the GTA handsets...

TI is notoriously bad at documenting their non-CPU cores. The c64x still needs a proprietary compiler (which supports only a weird dialect of C). Is there some commitment from them to open specs for the OMAP5 SoC? One of the nice things about the ChromeBook is that Google has the purchasing power to be able to demand this from their suppliers. I don't think the Pyra has the same influence, so may need to shop around a bit more...

TI's SoCs are thoroughly documented (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47142243)

TI is notoriously bad at documenting their non-CPU cores.

Eh? See below, you may be complaining about the wrong company.

... Is there some commitment from them to open specs for the OMAP5 SoC?

The OMAP543x Technical Reference Manual has been available from TI's usual documentation pages for over half a year now (look for document SWPU249Y or newer). In typical TI fashion, that's 6105 pages of extreme detail, isn't it enough for you?

Here's a direct link to their highly informative block diagram for the SoC -- OMAP5432 Block Diagram [] .

Documentation is one thing that's never been a problem with TI, as long as the information is theirs to give. If a GPU core is licensed from a 3rd party though, for example the PowerVR SGX530 licensed for use in AM335x, then TI isn't legally allowed to document it openly --- your complaints are best directed to PowerVR.

TI has a well earned reputation for providing the most detailed reference manuals in the business for any parts which they actually own.

Re:TI's SoCs are thoroughly documented (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 4 months ago | (#47145881)

From reading the OMAP4 technical manual, I don't recall the C64x core being documented in there. I don't think that has changed much with the OMAP5. That was what the previous poster was asking for.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (1)

guises (2423402) | about 4 months ago | (#47144259)

The financial crash was in 2008, before they started taking money for preorders in October of that year. The real problem though was the endless barrage of broken promises - playing down every bit of news and claiming again and again and again that they were only two weeks away from shipping. Canceling my preorder (after sitting through more than a year of that BS) felt amazingly good. The only positive thing that I can say about them is that getting my money back was fairly quick and painless.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (1)

fnj (64210) | about 4 months ago | (#47145205)

On their site they are bragging that the Pyra has a RESISTIVE touchscreen, gag. Of course it doesn't HAVE anything yet, because it is still imaginary, but that is a really a blast from the past.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47145999)

That depends on what you want to use it for. Resistive touchscreens are much more accurate than capacitive, so if you want to use it for something like drawing or handwriting, resistive is still the way to go. Obviously an active digitiser would be best, but those are a lot more expensive.

Also, capacitive touch technology is just as old, originating from some time in the 70s. Most laptops have used capacitive touchpads for decades.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (2)

kimvette (919543) | about 4 months ago | (#47141611)

Also it has only 512MB RAM. At that price, I would expect an absolute minimum of 2GB RAM, preferably 4GB.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 months ago | (#47141757)

512MB made sense in 2008. It was the largest available Package-on-Package (PoP) RAM module you could buy. The OMAP series of SoCs are usually used in a stacked configuration, with the CPU, RAM, and Flash all vertically stacked. This reduces the complexity of the board a lot, because you don't need any traces to be run for RAM or Flash (only for external peripherals), but it also means that you're quite restricted in the memory chips you can use: they must be single-chip modules and must have a sufficiently low power and thermal envelope that they can sit happily on top of the SoC. 1GB PoP modules were released a few months after the Pandora team finished the design, but it was too late to replace it by then and they've never done a revision B.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 4 months ago | (#47146275)

And, even in 2008 I'd have considered it a little pricey but today at the advertised price it's a non-starter since sub-$100 chinese tablets have more capability and similar specs.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 months ago | (#47148381)

As I said in my original post, the thing that killed it was their time to market. It was initially proposed as a device where you'd pay a slight premium, but get something with an open software stack and a nice form factor as a hacker toy. By the time it shipped, that premium had become 200-300% over comparable devices.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47141861)

It's a complete rip-off. You can buy an vastly superior Nvidia Shield for only $200 USD.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (2)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 4 months ago | (#47141161)

Because these 2 kids building a console in their garage don't want, as per the previous story, Apple releasing a new product based on their ideas.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47141289)

Because these 2 kids building a console in their garage don't want, as per the previous story, Apple releasing a new product based on their ideas.

That is a reasonable concern, and locking down their IP with restrictions, as they have, is a good way to achieve it. But it is silly to call that "open".

Re:Why Non-commercial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47141365)

The hardware design is open. the privilege to make money on it is not.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47141411)

Add to that: "If you plan to use them for any commercial projects, please do contact us." ( and you have a try-before-you-buy hardware design for commercial use too (assuming reasonable deals can be made).

Re:Why Non-commercial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47141449)

See also 'open' vs. 'free' (as in beer).

Re:Why Non-commercial? (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47141599)

The hardware design is open.

Not by any commonly accepted definition of the word "open". The OSS Foundation, the Open Source Hardware movement [] , the Open Design movement [] , OpenCores [] , and even the FSF, consider "no-commercial-use" restrictions to be disqualifying. What OpenPandora is doing, is trying to get the marketing buzz of calling themselves "open" while restricting use of their IP by anyone than would have a reason for using it.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47141705)

None of those have the right to decide what the common word 'open' means. if a door is open you may be allowed to walk through it or not, you may have to pay or not. but the door is open and available - even if usage is with exceptions. The plans to build the pandora are open (at not cost too! unless you want to make money on it). That they are using marketing buzz is true but irelevant. the IP is only restricted for anyone who want to profit on it (and they can license the IP just like they already have to with most commercial designs - does the little guy not deserve R&D returns?).

Re:Why Non-commercial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47141891)

So would you call Intel and AMD CPUs "open" because you can get full documentation and specifications for them allowing you to theoretically build your own for non-commercial use? I wouldn't.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47142001)

If I can go to and download all the files to make a cpu for non-commercial use (no idea if i can) then yes, the files are open.

Random dictionary lookup:

        allowing access, passage, or a view through an empty space; not closed or blocked.

(I guess you also want to impose your definition on the word 'closed' above? or that 'blocked' could mean blocked from commercial use?)

That does not mean it is Open Hardware per whatever definition - but they dont have to constrain themself to your narrow definition if they do not want to. Being open does not require being free for commercial.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47142255)

You can. Intel has always made the design and architecture of all of their CPUs public.

Open means available for anyone to modify and propagate. If those aren't allowed, then it's proprietary.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47141875)

And what they "are doing" is playing a pun on opening pandoras box, while also opening access to the files needed to build the machine. I bet you are also angry at Apple because they obviously do not sell fruit either. Stop telling others that only your prefered definition of a word is right - because that is what is silly.

Re:Why Non-commercial? (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 4 months ago | (#47142367)

I kinda feel it was five years since I heard about the OpenPandora?

Why should I care now?

Change the name now instead of later (1)

Hamfist (311248) | about 4 months ago | (#47141105)

Hopefully the developers of this change the name to something different. If it gets bigger they will forced to change the name and probably get a nice fat legal bill to go with it.

Re:Change the name now instead of later (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 4 months ago | (#47141247)

Why? Is there another computer or gaming console with that name? The only other tech-related "Pandora" that comes to mind is a music streaming service and I doubt that anyone is going to confuse those, so a trademark suit seems unlikely to succeed.

Re:Change the name now instead of later (1)

mmell (832646) | about 4 months ago | (#47141291)

Patents on rounded corners? Patents on interacting with a website by mouse-click? Patents on using a touchscreen as an I/O device? All these and more have been done, if not always successfully. Need I go on?

Re: Change the name now instead of later (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47144127)

No patent concerns. However trademark is simple, quite powerful, and easy to enforce.

It's the name that needs a change, not the hardware/software.

Re:Change the name now instead of later (1)

westlake (615356) | about 4 months ago | (#47141625)

The only other "Pandora" that comes to mind is a music streaming service and I doubt that anyone is going to confuse those.

If only life were that simple.

The WiFi Internet radio ships with Pandora.

The Pandora app is available for almost all mobile platforms including the Kindle.

During a presentation last week at RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas...Arbitron SVP Bill Rose and Edison Research President Larry Rosin offered some stats on Pandora, which has an impressive brand awareness recognition rate of 69% among adults 12+ in the US

Pandora's Audience, Awareness Up [] [April 2013]

Re:Change the name now instead of later (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47141723)


I was confused 100% and had to RTFA in order to find out that OpenPandora IS NOT some kind of open protocol/service/app for music streaming.

I think a lawsuit would have a high likelihood of success.

Re: Change the name now instead of later (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47141843)

Yep, I thought open pandora would be a package to run your own internet radio with accounts and tuning algorithms, sourcing the files by API from one of the RIAA sanctioned internet jukeboxes popping up at local bars. These boxes gets more songs as people pay for a license to play them. Lame and neat at the same time.

Re: Change the name now instead of later (4, Funny)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 4 months ago | (#47141327)

Too late. Once Pandora is opened it can never be closed.

Re:Change the name now instead of later (2)

janvlug (3677453) | about 4 months ago | (#47141815)

The name of the successor will by Pyra [] .

Re:Change the name now instead of later (1)

atomicthumbs (824207) | about 4 months ago | (#47142723)

it's been named that since 2007.

Re: Change the name now instead of later (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47144099)

And Pandora has been running a service since 2004 and has massive brand awareness.

Emphasis all wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47141131)

OpenPandora is a gaming system, no? That is its intended use?

Then who the fuck is gonna care that it offers the "greatest possible degree of software freedom," other than the people actually building it?

How about making something that offers the "greatest possible degree of gaming fun"?

THIS, in a nutshell, is exactly why so many Free / Open Source projects struggle so much to achieve widespread adoption & use: you're too busy marketing to the people who built the fucking thing to think about what the people who've never heard of it will want to use it for.

Re:Emphasis all wrong. (1)

janvlug (3677453) | about 4 months ago | (#47143217)

I think nerds like to know stuff that matters. But anyway, your comment is useful to think about.

Re:Emphasis all wrong. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47149361)

But that's the thing: that stuff *doesn't* matter. When's the last time you said to yourself, "Gee, I need 0.07 more gigahertz in this computer?" Or, "you know, with 3 megabytes more of ECC-2 DRAM, I'd be completely satisfied with the performance of this system." Or, "Man, if only this computer supported 802.11a/b/g/n in 5Mhz and 9 Mhz mode with dual linked crossfaders over a Bluetooth 2.1 EDR link to my USB-3 optical SATA!"

"You want a car? It has 8000 rpms, 3000 ft-lbs of torque, 200 horsepower, 185 R14 tires, a 0.2 drag coefficient, and UL-certified safety glass on all windows!"

Nobody thinks in those terms.
Nobody thinks in those terms.
Nobody thinks in those terms.

Talk about what the user can do with it - "it seats 8 people. It's blue. It has 37 cubic feet of cargo space. It has advanced safety features. It gets great mileage."

That's the stuff USERS ask about and care about. The only people who care about the nuts-and-bolts specs are the people building it. If you can't translate your specs into a real, legitimate, use case that a USER will understand, then you have failed marketing 101, and your product is likely to be doomed to irrelevance.

I would want one... but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47141271)

not for gaming though, but simply as a portable computer (extremely small laptop).
But not with a screen that has less pixels than typical wrist watches, and it could use 4x the RAM, too.

Never mind toys like this. I want a tricorder. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 4 months ago | (#47141299)

Based on some of the medical devices I see being built for the iPhone and Android ecosystems, I have high hopes that I won't have to wait too much longer. Perhaps a decade or so.

Re:Never mind toys like this. I want a tricorder. (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47141407)

You can buy a sensor package for your handheld [] now (there are others, this is just the first one I searched up and it looks pretty nice) but it's probably going to be more than a decade before you're going to get a terahertz scanner or anything else that interesting for a tolerable, pocketable price.

Re:Never mind toys like this. I want a tricorder. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 4 months ago | (#47142233)

That's awfully close to what I had in mind. I suspect the right selection of software could get me very close to the tricorder of Star Trek fame. At need, a portable scanning device, a recording device and a computing device. Could even double as a medical tricorder. And it's a communicator, too!

Better not make phasers - we're having enough trouble dealing with the possibility of printed handguns.

"OpenPandorra" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47141515)

Is proofreading a three line summary that difficult?

Re:"OpenPandorra" (1)

janvlug (3677453) | about 4 months ago | (#47142023)

Thanks for pointing out...

Re:"OpenPandorra" (2)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 4 months ago | (#47142081)

This in Slashdot! Of curse it is.

Essentially a BBB with LCD and keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47142391)

How does the ballpark cost of $600 arise when this device is essentially a BeagleBone Black [] in a box with added LCD and keyboard?

What's more, BBB is fully Open Source HardWare too, so even the user freedoms that OpenPandora wishes to provide are maintained.

What does the extra $550 give you?

Bad timing (1)

nowsharing (2732637) | about 4 months ago | (#47142419)

When it was announced in 2008, this was a big deal for retro gamers. I just can't believe that they are still marketing it in 2014 though. This is a product that comes from another era, and was never improved. I have an old Sega Nomad that looks more modern.

Today you can choose from a number of high-quality snap-on bluetooth controllers for your smartphone and get so much more than what OpenPandora offers. There are incredible Android emulators for every system, including uncommon platforms like the Sega Saturn. Going this route, you can spend as much as you like on a controller, and utilize that super-computer (relative to OpenPandora at least) in your pocket with a beautiful, large display. And you don't have to deal with the bulk of a giant first-gen Nintendo DS clamshell.

With a bluetooth controller, you can even connect your device to a TV via HDMI and play wirelessly in HD, adding scanlines and filters to get a beautiful gaming experience. OpenPandora will never be able to do that.

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