Update on DIY hardware projectsBy Chris Williams. Published: 28th Jun 2004, 23:47:05 | Permalink | Printable
More from Riscbox and laptop craftsmenEarlier this month, we reported on the DIY laptop and Riscbox hardware projects, which both use a RiscPC in new and interesting ways. For those of you who like hacking their RISC OS hardware to shreds and making something useful out of it again, here's some more information on each of these curious initiatives.
After firing a wedge of questions at RISCOS.be's designer Steve Royd-Marker, he replied with the following background: "How it started: My profession is a designer with the necessary background. I do all my computer work on RISC OS. Anything else is not taken into consideration unless it is better. I haven't seen anything better yet.
Time: I haven't really kept track of it and I can only allocate a little time to it. Often I have to force myself to do something every day in order to have some progress: drilling a little hole, folding a plate, thinking about the possibilities, getting an idea, etc. If I will have some time then I will finish the CAD drawings, and I will give them to some other skilful people. But that's something for the future.
The reasons why:
- A compact computer for personal use which can be carried around in a camera bag. The only thing that cannot be carried along is the monitor, but for my purposes this isn't required as I often use a projector which can be carried in a similar bag.
- We want to have something interesting that can be displayed on RISC OS shows (and other computer shows) and we want to profile the RISCOS.be club within the RISC OS scene.
- We want to have a study object and to gain some experience which can be useful for other projects in the embedded market with RISC OS and ARM applications.
- By giving presentations with the RiscBox in companies (who undoubtedly will have some PC problem) people will become curious and they will automatically start asking questions about the software. That way I can promote RISC OS without being obtrusive.
At the moment, this has produced a project for the embedded market: a client has visited our stand at the RISCOS Expo 2004 in the Netherlands (Holland) and he left with positive impressions."
The Riscbox includes a 3.5" hard disc, 3.5" floppy and Zip drives, two podule slots, PSU, fan, right angle connector for the CPU daughter card, all inside 105mm (height) x 310mm (width) x 245mm (depth).
Keeping us abreast with current work, Rico Naf recently informed us that: "My intention was to use the innards from a third party manufacturer. I asked RiscStation to sell me their components, Castle for an Iyonix motherboard, Explan for a Solo - all negative. So I ended up with what's left. Two RiscPC's on the desk for scrap. To buy an ARM7500 based board did not make sense, as the RiscPC's are for free. It's not a hybrid type of thing, running another OS in the background. The Kinetic card is an option but that means removing the original RAM. The flexible screen cable is on its way and a trackball has just been added. So there is a good chance to get something useful. I have already a PC user wanting the thing. He's trying hard to push me :-)"
If you have any hardware or software plans, do let us know, as we're interested to hear from anyone doing unusual things with their kit.
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