RockthEink - E-Reader SDK on indiegogo


Asiyura

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http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rocktheink

20130929225747-_DSC6149.JPG

(here with a 9.7" 1200*825 e-ink screen)

I don't know if it's here that I've seen that, but I ended on that page somehow and now I'm considering getting one of these "SDK".

It's got a Rockchip RK2918 Cortex A8 CPU, 512Mo RAM, 4Go Nand, HDMI, …

There are quite a few screens compatible and available.

It's the 6" e-ink with capacitive touch and front lighting (ED060XH2) that looks to be the best pick for my use. With the "motherboard", it would be about the price of a good e-reader with e-ink screen (140€), but would be quite a bit more open to thinker with. Downsides : it doesn't come with a battery, neither with casing…

Don't know if the hardware is worth the price tag, so what's your opinion?
 

rohezal

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Is the cortex A8 not a bit over the top for an ebook reader? I think you want not to use energy except for turning the page.
 

Asiyura

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Well, cortex A8 can be quite energy efficient, it just goes to low power mode until you turn a page.

Don't forget that pandora is using the same kind of processor ;)

I think in most older e-ink tablets, they used 500~600MHz processors (mostly freescale IIRC), but in recent ones they're using 1GHz processors.
 
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MrConfusion

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If I had not had such a bad experience ( ;) <_< ) of preordering gadgets that can go into production "just as soon as" and be delivered "in time for Christmas" I would be interested. As it is I am very tempted, but "never again".

The price is OK for what it is, expensive for what it isn't: not a build your own ereader kit, a bit more involved, you can get a ready made ereader clearly for a cheaper price if you can live with the flaws and compromises it probably has.

It seems to me a "fair" price in the sense that I doubt these guys will make much in the way of profits at this stage...

Worst problem for me at a glance is Android (*yech*... I mean... *YECH*... I've never tried trimming that, but the little experiences I've had, just *YECH*) and no proper mention of alternatives. Maybe, if I just made an app which would then autostart full screen or something... but then why would all that junk have to hang there in the background... I dunno...

It just says "Linux" as an alternative, which could mean "anything you port yourself" or "our little open linux distro". When there's no extra hype I assume they've only tested with Android and trimming down from that is left to the buyer. For a device like this all I would want is enough to get you to an xterm without a window manager. Enough to show everything up to that point is operational, a good starting point (wow... reading that feels silly... I mean who would have thought back in something like '94 I would call that a starting point :blink: ). I know I would be quite happy for a long time if this device booted to something like midnightcommander for browsing and opening text files. I would build up from there on then.

If I were to buy this this aspect would be the one I would ask them questions about.

If someone here now chimes in and gives me the links to the CPU manufacturer's site where all this is readily available, then OK, this is not a valid point. Of course, by doing that you increase my agony of "should I order this though I said never again..." ^_^ .

Incidentally this thing did remind me right away of one of my early adulthood "wouldn't it be great if"-projects that I dreamt of:

A relative of mine had an Amstrad PPC512 (google it and you'll see what I mean). So I tried to convince said relative to donate the PPC512 to a good cause - reading texts in bed with a "dedicated reader".

I figured I could either make an extension cable between display and main unit, or even package the display and something suitably small into a "pages glued together" book. My family had this biggish "family doctoring" book that I could have nicked from the bookshelf while visiting them :ph34r: . Unfortunately, though it was already obsolete tech by the time, he never did give me the Amstrad (the old bstrd...). Then I got a laptop and forgot about the whole thing...

When you posted the link to this kit my first though was: OMG, this is it, if I had had this possiblity back then I'd probably have a "cut out and glued" family doctoring book with electronics in it in my shelf right now :p .

Very interesting, though, Kodeln, this link was much appreciated. It will be interesting to see whether I cave in within the remaining 21 days or not...
 

Asiyura

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If someone here now chimes in and gives me the links to the CPU manufacturer's site where all this is readily available, then OK, this is not a valid point. Of course, by doing that you increase my agony of "should I order this though I said never again..." .
http://www.arctablet.com/blog/archos-tablet/lgpl-rk2918-linux-kernel-source-code-publication/ :ph34r:  


And in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockchip#RK291x_series,

Wikipedia said:
(Unofficial support for Ubuntu and other Linux flavours exists.)
In the comment section of the indiegogo page, they talk about the SDK supporting linux and android. So I guess it'll need some work, but getting angstrom or debian running on it shouldn't be too hard. (since debian already have an arm port)

I agree with you about android, my three android devices (two phones and a 10" tablet) convinced me that it's a shitty OS.

If I ever get that SDK, I would like to run linux on it to read rather complex PDF (pen and paper rulebooks), run a few self-made softwares to speed up some rules calculations and manage the audio playlist while mastering the game.
 
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levi

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I assume whatever Android they get running on this would not look much like the sort of Android running on your phone with all the animations and transitions that has that would kill an e-ink display if you went with them. Thankfully Linux, with it's Posix heritage is quite used to write-only linear displays (i.e. old teletypes), so using the terminal on slow e-ink shouldn't be too painful. I wouldn't expect stuff like Midnight Commander to work too well though.
 

elwing

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Is the cortex A8 not a bit over the top for an ebook reader? I think you want not to use energy except for turning the page.
I can't say for a lot of device but I know that the Nook simple touch use an A8 and it's quite an old reader already...
 
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