My response to TechCrunchIT, dated Jul 22, 2008
'Bout friggin time.
Some random thoughts:
Why *just* a $200 one? Why not also (after and ONLY after the $200 one is done) a $100 one and a $300 one. And a 24" (or whatever the biggest reasonable LCD display currently on the market is) model. People will buy it. I'd buy one now if I could. More than one actually.
There's a few ways to skin this cat. You could start with an existing display production line and add a change that gave a couple of usb ports and boots the new rom we gave them; embedded linux with 4 or 5 executables.
Saying "Firefox" might be good for viral marketing but we're really talking "a web browser" here in actual fact. And my first thought came to Opera; one of the things Opera does as a matter of course is embed browsers into small devices. Just tell them it's a phone and they can probably cut a build in a week that'll work.
The technology is actually pretty simple in terms of hardware and software and that part can be done quickly and predictably.
The most difficult part of this to me is what the physical design is - what it looks like - and how it's made. I want to be able to replace any broken part myself. And I don't want it to break very much at all.
You could buy an old desgn or RIM in Waterloo and put a bigger screen and battery in it.
The idea of a collaborative open source computer, not just some intangible piece of free software is going to hit the media like a mothephuquer. It would be nice to have some poeple to handle that, and business contracts and stuff so we can get some work done.
It has to have SSH too. This is not negotiable. Get Simon to add putty. 3 days work, max.
It should come in different colors.
While "having a USB port takes care of I/O devices" is almost certainly true, it would still be nice to have optional modles that plug in to give certain functionality: cam, mic, spkrs, 12v in, 12, 24, 48V in and so on. It'd be nice to have varying grade$ of spkrs. I'll take the good ones.
Given the internet prime directive as "it must scale" and the fact we have to design for a world where there are billions of these things and v6 is not much further ahead than it is now (or has been for 15 years) there needs to be a v4 addressing plan.
With enough of these things in place, spam would no longer be an issue and our old addresses would work again. I won't say more in public.
You guys got funding for this?
I've programmed unix since 76 and have done embedded firmware all my life and have helped build the net since 86 and I'd like to help.