A Plan for LocalPOD

Here is my plan for earning income from LocalPOD without spending a penny more on development.

If you had attended Philadelphia’s Emerging Technology Conference in April of 2017 as I did you would have heard about how important Virtual Reality is today.

Basically in the last few months as I perfected my design of my first hotspot with a touchscreen: aptly named LocalPOD, I ordered a lot of 3D printed cases.  These didn’t always fit and had to be thrown away.  That was a lot of money to throw away!!

Now I am planning to build a site, right here, that lets someone choose their board and print a case.  Wow it’s so easy!

The site will have to use VR so we can see right away if the case will fit.

Because! The biggest thing that the Small Board Market is lacking right now is the case!!!!

A New Model for Web Development

Hi!  I’m still here working on LocalPOD but you would not believe how many great Hotspots POD and Gateways are out there already!  Here is the AdLink Tech MXE-100i http://www.adlinktech.com/PD/web/PD_detail.php?cKind=&pid=1563# for example!  Well that looks just great!  But no one seems to offer a Hotspot with a reprogrammable LCD display! I wonder why??

I have had good news on the Intel side of the house however, sort of!  The Intel Curie module based on one of the newer revisions of the Intel Quark series 32-bit micro(processor, controller)-units can run Linux.  See https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/291192/can-the-intel-curie-modules-be-programmed-in-assembly-using-the-quark-toolchain That is fantastic news for me and when my Radeon board comes in from Gumstix I will be getting Linux going on it if I can!

https://store.gumstix.com/radium-96bie.html

You may ask how such a little board as that is going to compete with anyone!! Well just wait! At least it is low-powered.

The only thing that bothers me now about Intel’s modified Quark is that it really only runs a modified version of Linux.  Linux is Open Source but an Intel subsidiary, WindRiver maintains this branch of the Yocto Open Standards build.   The Intel Curie does not have an x87 coprocessor onboard requiring a top system engineer on call to set up Linux.  What happened to open standards?  You can read more about Wind River’s offerings here.  https://www.windriver.com/news/press/pr.html?ID=13925

That may be alright with you but there are different versions of the word ‘free.’  The standard General Copy-Left states that I may have access to any open source code that I need to profit from my work.  Yes, let’s go all the way back to 1980 and refer to Eric Raymond The Cathedral and The Bazaar.  Perhaps Intel and Wind River have adopted RedHat’s version of Open Source which is to release their developments back into the community having profited from their own work: if so, that’s alright with me too!

But now you are wondering why I called this post A Different Take on Web Development??  While I am trying to benefit personally from my own development, LocalPOD, using any preferable, and preferably Intel, chipset that is out there, I might still need to earn a dollar from web development!!

 

Back to System on a Board

LocalPOD is off to a great start.  The Kickstarter campaign did not complete but it had two supporters.  Plus all of the people who provided advice really should be counted too!  But that’s business stuff; back to technology!

I have been able to clarify what LocalPOD is: an “all-in-one portable data networking hub.”  One might have a bluetooth camera or speaker that just doesn’t connect to a computer.  Or one might want to use a hotspot on a new computer.  One might want to use a wired USB keyboard on one’s cellphone. There are a variety of other connectivity combinations where LocalPOD may help.

So the prototyping phase of LocalPOD is really over.   That’s good because Intel Corporation just discontinued or rather modified my system of choice, Intel Quark X1000 x86-based System on a Chip.  Now the Intel Quark just supports the Intel Curie system.  This is a scaled back version of Intel’s original offerings in 2013 that allowed one to run i586 x86 Linux on a 32 bit system with all the fixings.  Intel Galileo, Intel Edison and Intel Joule were all included in this list.  Do I need a Trademark Symbol here?!

That may be a good thing.   One the prototype is done, scaling back to an MPU might work.  MPU stands for MicroProcessing Unit.  The original Quark was truly a CPU: Central Processing Unit.  I learned that the presence of the x87 Mathematical CoProcessor on the Quark CPU is what allows Linux to run: I have no idea why?

Scaling back is not really what I want to do, but hardening the design and using an MPU could be alright.  So I am wondering if I might move on from the Software on a Chip (SoC) that we have seen represented by systems like the Intel Curie, Arduino and ARM and just go back to the old System on a Board: that is, computer board that I used to build.  Back to the future!

Isn’t it funny that all of these new Single Board Computers use System on a Chip processors?  Why not use a little more board?