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Old 24-11-2011, 15:59   #1
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Revolutionary Norwegian PC on a Stick

Read this interesting article in a Norwegian newspaper today.
Just plug the PC Stick in to any suitable screen with a HDMI socket and you have a PC. Even better,plug it in to your laptop and you have a complete Android PC on board.


Complete PC on a stick

A Norwegian company is attracting international attention with the PC to the memory stick.

FXI Technologies has created a tiny PC in a USB stick. The machine, code-named Cotton Candy, has a USB connector on one end and an HDMI output for connection to monitor at the other end.

Each screen is a PC
All you need is a little power to the USB port, and a smart phone or a bluetooth mouse and keyboard, then any screen with HDMI input will become a small computer, including TV and computer monitors.

- Functionality, both of today's devices are often limited to the size of the screen used. We have turned things upside down, eliminated the screen and deliver the power of a PC and the internet to any video, says Borgar Ljosland, founder and CEO of FXI Technologies to Computer World.

It can also be plugged directly into the USB port on your Mac ellerPC, and you get a little Android machine up on the screen.

Based on ARM
In the middle sits the computer itself, which consists of an ARM Cortex A9 main processor with two cores at 1.2GHz and 1GB of internal memory. An ARM processor with four cores delivers the graphics. This is more than enough for the little computer to decode and display video in full HD.

The operating system is Android 2.3, but the company is working to upgrade to the latest Android version (Android 4.0, aka Ice Cream Sandwich), before the launch.

The unit also has a memory card reader that can take Micro SD memory cards of up to 64 gigabytes in addition to support for line unlocked networks and Bluetooth.

The machine can be controlled via smart phone or bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

Another version of the tiny PC is also under development, and this will use the Linux variant Ubuntu operating system. Mr.Ljosland says there are still a few details about this that is not clarified yet.

Coming in 2012
Currently, Cotton Candy at the prototype stage, and is therefore available only to a small range of partners and developers working with FXI.

- We will advertise the availability at the beginning of next year, says Ljosland.

He adds that the response of the prototype has been very positive, and that he is looking forward to getting the product out to people.

Reputable news sites like Wired and technology blog Engadget wrote about the little computer of the Norwegian company.

- I have never seen such response before. All the comments we have received has been positive, says Ljosland.

The price is not set, but is expected to be below 200 dollars.

Tore
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Old 24-11-2011, 16:51   #2
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Re: Revolusionary Norwegian PC on a stick

Cotton Candy? Ice Cream Sandwich?
I’m no health nut, but an Apple seems a lot better for you!
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Old 24-11-2011, 17:36   #3
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Re: Revolusionary Norwegian PC on a stick

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Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
Cotton Candy? Ice Cream Sandwich?
I’m no health nut, but an Apple seems a lot better for you!


Just think, you could loose all your files just by doing the laundry. 
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Old 24-11-2011, 18:01   #4
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Re: Revolusionary Norwegian PC on a stick

A lot of stand-up comedians here huh?

To go with your ice cream sandwich while you do the laundry:


Tore
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Old 25-01-2012, 12:48   #5
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Open Source hardware (was Re: Revolusionary Norwegian PC on a stick)

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Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
Cotton Candy? Ice Cream Sandwich?
I’m no health nut, but an Apple seems a lot better for you!
It's the prototype code name, not the product name. You fail to see the significant point here; the same is in the process of happening with hardware which has been happening with software for years - manufacturing through open source/collaborative projects. The Beagleboard(.org) being a case in point.

Instead of waiting around for a company to make what you need, you make a proposal for a product in an appropriate forum. It will maybe attract interest from people (programmers / hardware designers / end users) who want the same. You agree on a spec sheet/price range, find the necessary parts manufacturers (Made-in-China.com can be a good place to start), order samples, integrate hardware and software systems, have it manufactured and distributed through Amazon/E-Bay or such at a price whice is very competitive.

Example: A IP67-compliant 7" LCD monitor costs 120-150 US$ if bought in batches of 100. Add a Beagleboard or such, a GPS antenna, Linux/OpenCPN ++, put it in a custom-made weatherproof casing, and voila - a fully fledged "Milspec" navigation system using less than 8 Watts for less than 1000€/$ which can also be used as a "normal" computer (eat you heart out, Garmin/Raymarine!)

(Thanks to Sinbad7 for providing inspiration to this rant. He's right - the generic possibilities here are revolutionary. :*)
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Old 25-01-2012, 13:35   #6
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Re: Revolutionary Norwegian PC on a Stick

What an excellent idea, and thank you for pointing me to OpenCPN.
I had seen the PC on a stick but was not in my best thinking mode and forgot it.
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Old 25-01-2012, 17:21   #7
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Re: Revolutionary Norwegian PC on a Stick

This is good news. Thanks.
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Old 25-01-2012, 18:13   #8
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Re: Revolutionary Norwegian PC on a Stick

It is some idea.

How about a smartphone that connects to any screen and does the same trick?

Android OpenCPN please?

b.
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Old 26-01-2012, 07:51   #9
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Re: Revolutionary Norwegian PC on a Stick

I have been a fan of open software for years, and like the idea of open source hardware as well.
Really, what an Android phone would need to connect would mostly be Bluetooth or wifi in the plotter and some software to get them to "talk" to each other.
I'm not a programmer (yet) but it is likely not too difficult.
My Android phone already connects to my computer.
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Old 26-01-2012, 09:05   #10
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Re: Revolutionary Norwegian PC on a Stick

MXMariner is the OpenCPN of the Android world,
It hopefully will have all the features of OpenCPN in the future.
I actually use both for the redundancy.
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Old 26-01-2012, 11:14   #11
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Re: Revolutionary Norwegian PC on a Stick

"Example: A IP67-compliant 7" LCD monitor costs 120-150 US$ ...and voila - a fully fledged "Milspec" navigation system using less than 8 Watts for less than 1000€/$ "

I'm not sure how you get from $150 to $1300+, but at that point you can place an order for a 10" Panasonic ToughPad, less for the 8" model. All milspec and integrated with a daylight readable screen (unlike the $150 one) and a warranty.

Android cell phones that plug into any monitor (more or less) are also here, check out the Motorola Atrix and the various "webtop" and docking options. It can also work with other equipment not sanctioned by Motorola.

Yes, the Toughpad is 3x the price of other tablets, but the daylight screen and waterproofing aren't available from other sources. Now, if it only had a leash to prevent it from going fishing...
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Old 26-01-2012, 11:23   #12
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Re: Revolutionary Norwegian PC on a Stick

Use a Toughbook and tie off to the handle, also you get a keyboard that way and still have a touch screen.
You can get a used one for a reasonable price.
The Toughbook pretty much defines Mil-Spec.
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Old 26-01-2012, 11:34   #13
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Re: Revolutionary Norwegian PC on a Stick

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
It is some idea.

How about a smartphone that connects to any screen and does the same trick?

Android OpenCPN please?

b.
It's been out a while and is called AirPlay by Apple.

ciao!
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Old 26-01-2012, 11:45   #14
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Re: Revolutionary Norwegian PC on a Stick

Apple, thought we were talking open source?
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Old 26-01-2012, 13:43   #15
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Re: Revolutionary Norwegian PC on a Stick

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Apple, thought we were talking open source?
No.... we were talking about healthy Apples

But seriously, we are in the age of the iPhones, iPads etc. and all these support AirPlay (which is wireless of course) so it might make a lot of sense to connect an AppleTV module to the HDMI of the big screen and use the existing CPU's to feed it. At some point, we have enough CPU's (did I say that?! )

ciao!
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