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Could webOS find a new home on a $25 (16) computer?
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Old 12/23/2011, 11:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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This loaded up on my BBC feeds today.

The eagerly anticipated Raspberry Pi home computer is about to go into production. The $25 (16) machine is being created in the hope that it will inspire a new generation of technology whizz kids. The Pi uses an Arm chip similar to that found in mobile phones and is intended to run a version of the Linux open source operating system.

BBC News - Bare bones Raspberry Pi PC gets ready to launch

Just imagine if they used webOS on these new machines, new users could come flooding into the market...
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Old 12/23/2011, 12:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah, it'd be nice to see. We'd need to get something with a working VKB, as well as get a touchscreen attached to it. And a cell modem, unless you wanted it to be just a Wifi device. As is, it'd be somewhat akin to a Wifi Pixi, with a HDMI output.
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Old 12/23/2011, 01:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Porting webOS to the Raspberry Pi would be virtually pointless as anything but an academic exercise, since the following are lacking:

1. No touchscreen, so input would be "interesting"
2. No Bluetooth, so no webOS Keyboard(*)
3. No drivers for touchscreen controllers; need to be written for each different controller
4. No accelerometer, GPS, compass, etc. that lots of apps/games rely on(*)
5. Hell, drivers would have to be written for most every hardware component
6. It's ethernet-only ($35 model); no WiFi option(*). $25 model has no base connectivity.

And then you have the additional cost of having to buy a Touchscreen if you want the card metaphor / multitasking interface to mean much at all; if you've used the webOS Keyboard for the Touchpad, you know what I mean. Losing the touch interface in webOS makes it a less than fun experience. Hell, it's painful and there are still huge gaps in webOS itself when it comes to keyboard-based control.

Furthermore, the SoC only runs at 700Mhz--not especially fast considering any port would be rough and unoptimized for a while. If you installed webOS 2.x on an old Pre, that's pretty much what you could optimistically expect, but with more problems, errors, a degraded user experience, etc. since you're dealing with a port involving hardware webOS was never built for, much less been used on. And remember, webOS sits on top of Linux; it isn't itself Linux.

The Pi also has only 128MB/256MB of RAM depending on the model you buy. "Too Many Cards" errors? Get used to those again; they'll be all over the place, and don't even think about running some of the more resource-hungry apps.

Just because it's an ARM device and runs Linux doesn't mean it's ripe for porting a mobile operating system to, and it's doubtful that with those hurdles above it'd gain much traction, if any. Users certainly wouldn't come "flooding" to webOS, I can certainly say that.

Linux, being optimal for lean configurations, will be fantastic on this which is exactly what I intend to install on it once the ordering window opens up. You just can't beat a $35 home webserver/seedbox.

(*) You need to buy a separate WiFi adapter/dongle if you want to run it wirelessly. You could probably attach a USB hub to accommodate it and also GPS and Bluetooth dongles, but it kind of defeats the purpose of being a compact and cheap platform. And, again, driver support?
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Old 12/23/2011, 07:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by eblade View Post
Yeah, it'd be nice to see. We'd need to get something with a working VKB, as well as get a touchscreen attached to it. And a cell modem, unless you wanted it to be just a Wifi device. As is, it'd be somewhat akin to a Wifi Pixi, with a HDMI output.
You realize adding all that stuff will make the cost skyrocket, right? So, a $25 computer with $400 of upgrades makes it a....a....a regular priced computer! Not too mention still no touchscreen, gps, network connectivity, etc., etc.
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Old 09/21/2012, 09:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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http://forums.webosnation.com/webos-...erry-pi-2.html
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