Chip(s) for your pocket

Well, no potato products will be discussed here. But there is something interesting: a pocket verision of the posibly world-cheapest ($9) computer – the C.H.I.P.. Yes, I have got the Pocket C.H.I.P. thingy.

It cost me more than the advertised $49, of course. I live in an expensive country and the shipping was also not free. By it’s still quite cheap.

After some limited success with the bare C.H.I.P computer (which is less or more equivalent to the original Raspberry Pi) I decided to try the pocket version.

By the way: my main trouble with the C.H.I.P itself was the video output: only a TV-grade output was available at the beginning and I don’t have a proper TV. The rest was OK, except the speed with the default XFce desktop (the thing has a 1 GHz ARM processor but only some 512 MB of RAM).

But back to the main topic: the Pocket C.H.I.P. look a bit cheap (but it has to look cheap because it is..) and the keyboard is a bit strange but it is functional and easy to use. It is relatively big. So it is large for a pocket but big enough to be comfortable bot for reading and for typing. The screen resolution is 480×244 which is unusual and very low for today’s standards but optimal for an indented use. By the way, using RXVT means that you have perfectly readable text which is pleasant for your eyes. And the DOOM is also not that bad here…

MicroDef on PocketC.H.I.P. computer

I must confess that I got the thing with no particular reason of plan for an use. I was just curious for what the thing can be usefull. At the moment I thing that it is not so bad as portable calculator (Octave + Gnuplot) and I even managed it to compile and run my MicroDef. Fortunately, I have modified the MicroDef for very small screens in the past (for my Ben NanoNote computer) so the use on an another small device required no code changes.

The OS of this thing is a normal Debian (armhf) with the X11 (no Mir, no Wayland, no other mess is here) so things are very simple here (there is a custom launcher and a simple setup tool but the rest is stock Debian). One can install almost anything here if the software fits in it’s 4 GB flash space (there is no expansion port) and if the software can work of its low-resolution screen.

At the moment, I can confirm that lot of stuff actually works on the computer: gcc, GNU Octave, Gnuplot, TeX (latex at least), Vim, RXVT, Calc (apcalc),…

Chip(s) for your pocket

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