Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 42

Thread: Half PDA/Half Desktop PC

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. Half PDA/Half Desktop PC

    Hi,

    Not a frequent poster on this forum but I have been here before and got a really helpful response so I thought I'd drop another question.

    I am now about to begin a project basically simulating a PDA. By this I mean all of the processing power, memory storage, everything other than user input and display will be from the computer - but I want the unit that is held to simulate that of a PDA/touch screen phone. I don't think I've explained this very well but basically I will need a small touchscreen lcd with a little keypad and some way of bringing them together in one hand held unit (obviously not a portable one) connected to the computer from which the software will be ran.

    This is for a university project. However, the degree I am studying is software engineering and doesn't touch upon and hardware issues or electrical engineering really so by getting help on this side of things I'm not really cheating.

    The reason I am restricting myself to only purchasing the keypad, vdu (whatever it may be) and casing is because of money (mainly, the lack of it!). I assume that buying the full typical kit of what a pda would have would cost a lot of money and I'm not familiar with programming these.

    Thanks a lot in advance!!

    Dan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,228
    Images
    155
    Rep Power
    127

    Re: Half PDA/Half Desktop PC

    A few more specs would probably be good to drive our recommendations, for instance: do you require a color screen (which would probably double the price), what do you mean by keypad - a full keyboard? I think it might be tough to find a PDA-like keyboard unless it is surplus from an actual PDA. The hard part of all of this is "interface to the computer", since your PC at best has a parallel port and a serial or two (plus some USBs).

    CrystalFontz (www.crystalfontz.com) sells quite a few USB and serial LCDs, but I don't think any of them will be big enough for you, and none have touchscreens so you would have to add that. No color LCDs, and the bigger graphical ones don't have USB/Serial.

    Spark Fun (www.sparkfun.com) sells lots of LCDs, quite a few with large graphical screens, and quite a few with Touchpad, but I don't think any of the touchpad versions have serial/USB - which means you would need a micro or some sort of glue logic.

    I'm sure someone more knowledgable than me (hmmmm, lynn...) will be along shortly to point out some really awesome component I don't know about...

    -Fergs

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    853
    Images
    99
    Rep Power
    73

    Re: Half PDA/Half Desktop PC

    I ran across this touchscreen shield for the Arduino a while back.
    http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/...m=1207495415/8

    It looks like this combined with an Xbee module may meet your requirements.
    "If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut."
    -
    Einstein

    Don't be a HelpVampire

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA Area
    Posts
    5,341
    Rep Power
    176

    Re: Half PDA/Half Desktop PC

    >> I'm sure someone more knowledgable than me (hmmmm, lynn...)

    Between you two (and the other usual suspects) - I can go on vacation.
    I Void Warranties´┐Ż

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    853
    Images
    99
    Rep Power
    73

    Re: Half PDA/Half Desktop PC

    One other option would be to set up your computer as a web server, sign up for a DNS service, and control it via the web. If you write your page to be cell phone friendly then you can just use your cell phone/PDA.

    Edit: I just realized you are at a University. This may hamper you from setting up the necessary port forwards required from the gateway to the web server. You'd have to check with your IT crew.
    Last edited by jes1510; 01-08-2009 at 12:02 PM.
    "If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut."
    -
    Einstein

    Don't be a HelpVampire

  6. Re: Half PDA/Half Desktop PC


  7. Re: Half PDA/Half Desktop PC

    Firstly can I say thanks a lot for all this feedback. Without soundin too over the top - it's your help on this forum that can help turn my little idea for a project into a working model! Really appreciate it!

    I left the original post as a bit vague so I'll try and be more specific.

    How this all came about is my research into tcp socket programming. Basically sending and recieving byte streams via tcp between two computers. This can be used to simulate a text message service, calls (by converting captured audio to bytes, streaming, and then converting again for playback on the recipients computer) and other interactive services. As stated by my lecturer, it doesn't have to be something that will prove necessarily useful to an industry in the future, and it certainly doesn't need to compete with existing technologies (such as SMS and the usual way of phone calls - as doing this over a tcp will obviously be slower anyway), it just needs to demonstrate a good knowledge of programming in my chosen language while taking efficiency, encapsulation and other programming disciplines into account aswell as documentation. So that is the background of the project.

    What I would like at the end of the project is an impressive way of presenting these services to my lecturer come demonstration day. I thought that it would be good to actually have a hand-held, what looked like, a PDA or touch screen-iphone type thing. I could of course just design the interface to look like that of a phone but I think the idea of being able to hand him some hardwrae that will closely simulate will be best. I thought that it may be possible to basically create a unit that looked exactly like a phone but instead of using my pc monitor and keyboard, using a small touch screen lcd and a little keypad (not a full keyboard - but just a few selected buttons that you may find on the typical phone).

    To summarise, it's a project that is open to ideas from yourselves as you know a LOT more than me with regards to what is possible with engineering such a unit. I'm just in the process of doing a little rough sketch to post you now (it's only a quick MS paint job so don't expect much).

    Thanks again,

    Dan

  8. Re: Half PDA/Half Desktop PC

    As you can see, as crazy as this sounds, despite the fact PDA's are usually portable - it doesn't really matter if the device is attached to the computer with a few leads - in fact - this is preferable in order to save money and further research through learning how to program a whole new type of system.

    Thanks in advance!!

    EDIT: By touchscreen lcd I mean a colour one that will be able to handle the resolution similar to 320 x 480 (in other words a screen with the spec of an iphone screen would be ideal).
    Last edited by DanTheMan; 01-09-2009 at 06:57 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA Area
    Posts
    5,341
    Rep Power
    176

    Re: Half PDA/Half Desktop PC

    320x240 full system touchscreen: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/pro...oducts_id=8853

    320x240 touchscreen: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/pro...oducts_id=8624

    Various high-res touchscreen modules: http://www.densitron.com/displays/to..._displays.aspx maybe you can sample one?

    With the exception of the first, you'll need to use a microcontroller to interface it to the PC.
    I Void Warranties´┐Ż

  10. Re: Half PDA/Half Desktop PC

    Thanks a lot Adrenalynn.
    They all look like exactly what I'm after to be honest. Not that they're anything to go by, but I seen the odd pic on that last link of what looks like a fully moulded pda casing for the screens to go in so maybe they can provide that. Anyway, the microcontroller comment confused me quite a bit. Have you got any links to a microcontroller that would be typical of the one I'll be looking for? I'll google it now, but if you have a link for the exact type you mean that would also be helpful.
    Thanks again!!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Choice of batteries for PC based robot
    By Asimovian in forum Power
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-28-2008, 06:52 AM
  2. Question(s) Stream webcam from PC based robot
    By anandoc in forum Sensors
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 11-07-2008, 06:07 PM
  3. PC Robots
    By Droid Works in forum Robotics General Discussion
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 08-09-2008, 04:36 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •