call me Dave wrote:
> I am new here. Just want to know besides IM, what kind of thing I can
> do with it ?
> Any mod that I can do to have email or even browser as well ?
Well, to go beyond the current Zipit becomes problematic. The Zipit has
a nice amount of RAM, 16Meg is pretty reasonable, but the hard storage
is pretty insignificant: 2Meg Flash.
The LCD is limited to 320x240, that is a Quarter VGA, a fairly small
screen. When you think about a GUI of some kind, you have to consider
how you would move around on the screen, by cursor keys driving the
mouse pointer? How would you "click" or "double-click"?
What I'm planning on doing with the Zipit is two things. The first is
to use the Zipit for RS232 data capture. I am a consultant and do a lot
of serial interface to Fire Alarm Control Panels. These panels have an
RS232 serial data stream which I then process. Many times, the people
(customers) in the field suddenly get something unexpected and the
embedded system cannot handle it (8051 based controller). In that case,
I need a RAW DATA capture of the offending data. Some of these field
personnel cannot seem to do a raw data capture and I end up getting
With the Zipit, plus an add-on board I designed (http://openzipit.org),
I will have several Zipits that I can send out to connect / tap into the
serial output of the FACPs. Those Zipits will have a startup program
that will present a menu to set the baudrate, etc., then drop into a
capture program. They will then echo the data stream onto the LCD so
that you can see that you are getting "good data". Once the capture is
over, then can send the Zipit back to me for analysis. Or, if they can,
get it near a public WiFi access point and I can pull the data directly
off the SD card.
Another use for me would be to use the zipit as a remote terminal to
access my email. I don't plan on implementing the email app on the
Zipit, just get OpenVPN running on it. Then, I can have the Zipit join
my VPN, ssh into my home computer, from there run an app to do IMAP
email via a text interface.
When I am 'on the road', or on vacation, I usually don't / can't justify
taking a laptop. They are too big and are targets for theft. Since
there are so many open access points (heh, Windows users with home
networks and no clue about network security), I can always find an
Tom Walsh - WN3L - Embedded Systems Consultant
"Windows? No thanks, I have work to do..."