[sf-lug] Outdoor Computing

Jim Cortez jim at jimcortez.com
Sun Apr 5 20:19:28 PDT 2009

While enjoying the incredible weather at Baker beach today, I found 
myself wanting to get some work done outside, in bright bright sunlight. 
So here are some brief requirements for a machine that I want to build:

    * need to hook up to a battery of some kind
    * want about 5 hours of usability
    * need to see the screen in bright sunlight
    * need it to be semi-portable (meaning I can carry it to the beach)
    * needs to be sand proof
    * run Linux (Ubuntu or some derivative preferred)
    * have a budget of $600 (can probably machine things like a case if

The main thing is the monitor and usability. I figure the use of an 
intel atom board would be efficient enough. I know the OLPC has an LCD 
that can switch to grayscale and is visible in bright sunlight, anyone 
know if anyone makes a larger version of this screen? Most of the time I 
will just be coding, so video and full color display is not really 
necessary. Looking for at least a 15' screen.

Keyboard and mouse can be wired for power-conservation, but I prefer a 
full keyboard for coding.

Does anyone have experience coming up with external power sources? Any tips?

At some point I might break down and get a 3g pc card, but in the 
meantime I can make due with caching any data I would need beforehand. I 
think the atom boards have built in wifi.

Any suggestions or commentary?

Jim Cortez

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