This is an overview of the handheld linux terminal version 2, a little computer I made using a Raspberry Pi 2 and a bunch of other off the shelf parts. The case is made from two plastic hard drive enclosures in a clam shell design, and is similar to the size of a Nintendo DS. It's a fully featured Linux computer that can fit in your back pocket.
- 900MHz ARMv7 CPU
- 1GB RAM
- 3x accessible USB ports
- 1x Slimine ethernet port
- Video and Audio out
- 1000mAh battery
- Adafruit 3.5inch 320x480 touchscreen
- Full QWERTY thumb keyboard with backlight
- Adafruit Powerboost 1000c for USB charging
The goal for this was always to pack the most features into the smallest possible size. It measures 120mm by 75mm, with a closed depth of 30mm.
It fits comfortably in two hands, and is just the right size to fit in a back pocket, and to emphasize how small this is, here it is compared to 15 and 13 inch laptops.
I found a really great tiny keyboard that has full QWERTY keys, as well as all the special characters you need to use a text console.
It is also extremely usable in low-light situations, with its own built-in backlight.
As you probably guessed from the name, most of the interaction is done using text-based terminals, but that's not all it can do.
The i3 window manager makes multitasking easy, allowing you to switch between windows using the touchscreen, resizing and entering fullscreen with simple key combinations.
The combination of the touchscreen and keyboard makes browsing websites pretty easy, although obviously screen real estate is limited.
There are even lots of games that will work on this. Here you can see me doing horribly on Doom, while having another window open at the same time.
As well as all that, it's also pretty nice as a little music or video playing device. Basically the millions of linux command utilities and a large chunk of the GUI apps will work on this.
One new addition since version 1 is the ability to use the composite video/audio out jack.
The resolution isn't too high compared to HDMI, but it's pretty good for watching videos on a bigger display. Hook up an external mouse and keyboard and you could easily transform it into a full desktop
So there you have it, that's the handheld linux terminal V2. I've been toying with the idea of selling a kit with improved design and really sleek custom casing. What do you think?
The how-to video for this is coming in a few days.