Open Source Mobile Internet device?

OK, been thinking this through, wondered if anyone had any other ideas.

My mum has in iPod touch, and when I go over to my parents place I love being able to sit on the couch and browse my email, twitter and a few website which provide mobile versions, all via wifi. This is a lot nicer than having my laptop on my lap at home.

I kind of want one, BUT, I was also thinking that maybe there was something else out there that I could make, or at least assemble, myself that would do the same job, or at least nearly as good.

The two options I came up with are a chumby, and a beagle board. Neither are particularly designed for mobile use, but I’d be happy with an hour or so use form a battery, which might be achievable.

The Chumby guts in the makershed is for version 1 of the chumby, which isn’t designed to be “portable” as version 2 can be. Not sure if this is anything more than not providing a nice battery plug. Version 2 of the chumby can run off a battery - the runtime though isn’t specified. The chumby guts has a nicely matched LCD screen

The chumby hacker board doesn’t specifically talk about battery use, but it is designed to work with a composite display as opposed to an LCD screen.

Neither of the chumby’s are designed for free browsing, instead relying on specific apps. That’s cool, i think i could deal with that.

A beagle board would be the most powerful I think - it’d obviously be like a full PC, and probably have a shorter battery life. Are there any matching nice LCD screens available for the beagle board?

Anyways, just bored and tossing ideas around, interested if anyone has anything to contribute. Anyone looking to sell a second-hand chumby guts package?

Check out the Insignia Infocast(OEM Chumby) from Best Buy. They were down to $39 during the holidays and are sill under $80. My wife got me one for XMas and here’s what I later realized I got for the $40:
Touch screen,
wifi,
embedded linux w/ webserver,
accelerometer (bonus!),
runs on 5v source and power consumption is alright (jusst dim the backlight from the terminal),
I was able to connect my 'duino clone directly to it with a USB BUB (SWEEET!),
I’m not crazy about Flash app dev but I’ve got Python on it and am slowly figuring out the touch screen and display, GPIO, serial port, mic, speaker, etc,etc!! You can connect via serial port, SSH via wifi or just plug a usb keyboard in and update your scripts, etc on the fly (it comes with vi). The OS is on a microSD card so it’s super easy to write an ISO to another card and save the original if you ever want to go back.

It will certainly help you kill some time on the couch…

The main board and display are tiny. Most of the housing is occupied by the speaker enclosure :).

well… this is a lot more expansive, but check out their website:

http://www.liquidware.com/

well… this is a lot more expansive, but check out their website:

liquidware re-sells the beagleboard with their own touchscreen/accessory package. It’s like an arduino version of the chumby. However, if you want a fully functioning, self contained piece of hardware to hack, then I would go for the Infocast.

If you just want “portable” (i.e., something with a WiFi connection, rather than cellphone), look into the Zaurus, or an iPaq reflashed with Linux.

well… this is a lot more expansive, but check out their website:

http://www.liquidware.com/

Not only expansive but also expensive.

Jeckson