Raspberry Pi/clone(s) most ruggedizable for OLPC fieldwork?

Adam Holt holt at laptop.org
Sun Feb 7 10:55:07 EST 2016

On Feb 7, 2016 9:59 AM, "Peter Robinson" <pbrobinson at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 7, 2016 at 2:07 PM, Adam Holt <holt at laptop.org> wrote:
> > On Feb 7, 2016 3:22 AM, "Peter Robinson" <pbrobinson at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> things like
> >> the PINE64 above it has a SoC attached network but not storage.
> >
> > Both SATA (real TB+ disks) and Ethernet (external Wi-Fi AP antennae) are
> > icing-on-the-cake we will both strongly consider.
> >
> >> As is stands at the moment some of the best cheap devices for server
> >> style devices is AllWinner A20 devices (CubieTruck, BananaPi and
> >> friends) and i.MX6 devices (Wandboard, CuBox-i and friends)
> >
> > Hugely helpful.
> >
> > Key criterion for offline/remote deployments: does this accept 128GB
> > cards, so 2016's developing world $50-100 "knowledge hotspots"
> > now become very real?  (Aside: 256GB MicroSD cards will be part of this
> > before 2020, apparently beyond the capability of most of these SoC's.)
> >
> > Peter, does Fedora 24 have a shot to one day run on the "$19" Pine64
> > Even if it's ambiguous whether it can truly contain 2GB RAM as
> > Pine64 claims to run up to 70C which is very promising if true.  ($15
> > contains 512MB, and $19 "Pine64 Plus" contains 1GB RAM.  Their 2GB RAM
> > is very attractive, but may be marketing vaporware for now?)
> Yes, I've got one awaiting for me on my return to London. Kernel isn't
> upstream, nor is u-boot, I'm not sure how big the patches are, I'm
> hoping it'll all be landable in F-24.

Profound thanks Peter.  More strategic than Nov 8th's election: we'll
notify the Nobel committee ;)

> I'm not sure why you'd want to use a
> 128Gb SD card over an actual SSD or HDD, the later are a lot more
> robust.

In a perfect world: HDD/SSD robustnesses IS mandatory on the high-end.  We
need offer both.  On the low-end dirt-poor clinics, libraries, school
living in crushing poverty demand $15 64G Samsung MicroSD digital
libraries...downloading as much knowledge (and Sugarizer) into their brains
before device croaks after a year--or needs a new SD card after heavy use.

Ethics demand that we answer this request for a sub-$50 "knowledge
hotspot", after our reservoir of recycled XO-1.5 community servers will
sadly be depleted in the coming year or so.

> There's literally 100s of possible devices that would possibly
> meet your needs, what would be great is a list of must haves and a
> list of nice to haves and from that I could give a list of possible
> options.

Top Criteria:
- accepts 64G and increasingly 128G MicroSD cards
- internal Wi-Fi runs AP mode so "knowledge hotspot" can broadcast!
- runs Fedora 24, if not CentOS sometime in future?
- sufficient horsepower to deliver dynamic content like offline-searchable
OpenStreetMap (2G RAM strongly preferred; 1G RAM may suffice for 2016?)

Highly Desirable Criteria:
- works up to ~70C as Pine64 claims, even in high humidity??
- tolerates crappy electricity & frequent outages, when external battery
pack depleted by desperate nearby mobile phone users
- dust-proof case

Icing-on-the-cake Criteria: (high-end "$100 knowledge hotspots" in larger
clinics/libraries/schools will kill for this!)
- Ethernet (100mb/s sufficient) for better Wi-Fi + antennae, mounted up
- SATA (2.5 inch 9mm HDD, mountable inside dust-proof case)
- MicroSD card can be glued in and/or hidden to avoid excess theft.
MicroSD cards often surpass the value of a month's salary; tragically these
ARE the conditions we work in :/
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