Use the PinePhone as a Linux mini PC?
#1
I was checking Windows and Liunx mini PCs, and I ended up with the PinePhone as the most interesting device for this. It has a small form factor and is affordable. Although it is not designed for this purpose, is it not possible to modify it for this purpose?


I m facing the problem for a mobile EEG device. EEG sensor streaming over Bluetooth can only stream ca 4 channels at a high quality level due to bandwidth limitations of Bluetooth. Wifi streaming costs a lot of energy, and is not so interesting for mobile use. Better is a cable connection. But then the cable distance has to be kept short, to avoid too much cabling. Assuming an EEG device with 32 channels. This gives 32 cables.


The development of EEG devices for mobile use is not very advanced. There is no convincing solution yet. Any ideas?
#2
Convergence of desktop and phone is an old hat but IMHO not yet realized.
Although the CPU power might be OK, I have some doubts that 2-3G RAM will be sufficient.

There are other low cost phones with more RAM and I think trying with such a model has more chances of success.
#3
Thanks for your suggestions. Any idea for a powerful low-cost Linux phone? Or what is about powerful Linux PinePhone? I'm for a Linux PinePhone with 4 GB of RAM anyway because of the RAM hungry EEGLAB/BCLAB.
#4
(09-14-2020, 08:31 AM)Peter Gamma Wrote: Thanks for your suggestions. Any idea for a powerful low-cost Linux phone? Or what is about powerful Linux PinePhone? I'm for a Linux PinePhone with 4 GB of RAM anyway because of the RAM hungry EEGLAB/BCLAB.

I really like the idea of using the PinePhone as an affordable mobile Linux computer. I can run Linux shell scripts, Emacs, LaTeX, various compilers and other apps on the go. Currently it does not come with a physical keyboard so typing is limited.

I have not found any handheld Linux computer as lightweight and affordable as the PinePhone, though. The GPD Micro PC which costs more than $300 might be an option. It has 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, a keyboard and a touchpad. It is more powerful than the PinePhone. Drawbacks are no phone and GPS module, and more bulky. Plenty of ports, though.
#5
It might be too slow, but can also be fast, depending on how you use it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH3RbrwhNd8
#6
I m a friend of the idea to use the PinePhone as a Linux mini PC. It is affordable and highly integrated, it has a display, battery, user interface, many features which other mini PCs don t have. When there is a problem with to little processor power, one can combine several devices. I only miss a stable connector to attach a large power bank for long battery life:

https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?...ht=battery

This could be solved eventually by a very large and repleacable battery.
#7
I think the convergence for PinePhone to a desktop has more possibilities than comparatives like Samsung Dex, or Huawei EMUI. Or even whatever Google has been adding or not adding to the latest Android that might or might not resemble some kind of convergence. What PinePhone offers is open-ended vs closed in those other cases and it's a no-brainer for me to do what I can to help make it a success and support those already well on the route to achieving this outcome.

I doubt PinePhone or PineTime will ever offer any way to run EEG; it's better to look elsewhere and make a different choice of hardware.

f.ex https://www.olimex.com/Products/EEG/OpenEEG/

Battery life can/will be extended once the software is more finely tuned and optimised. I think this optimisation is already available but not sure if it's reached the mainline or been adopted in to all the various distros for PinePhone.
#8
(09-15-2020, 09:11 AM)lot378 Wrote: I doubt PinePhone or PineTime will ever offer any way to run EEG; it's better to look elsewhere and make a different choice of hardware.

I m not looking for an offer for a product with EEG support for the PinePhone. I m investigating myself whether the PinePhone is suitable for this. As a Linux mini PC it is an interesting mobile device which can eventually be used to acquire physiological sensor data.
#9
(09-15-2020, 01:07 PM)Peter Gamma Wrote: I m not looking for an offer for a product with EEG support for the PinePhone. I m investigating myself whether the PinePhone is suitable for this. As a Linux mini PC it is an interesting mobile device which can eventually be used to acquire physiological sensor data.

Even so, you'd get more mileage elsewhere other than here in trying to make PinePhone and PineTime in to what they are not. Perhaps join a mailing list or forum where ECG/EEG are both being actively discussed where here it is not. Olimex is a much better offering, one to pursue instead.
#10
(09-14-2020, 06:27 AM)LinAdmin2 Wrote: Convergence of desktop and phone is an old hat but IMHO not yet realized.
Although the CPU power might be OK, I have some doubts that 2-3G RAM will be sufficient.

There are other low cost phones with more RAM and I think trying with such a model has more chances of success.

I very much disagree with this.

Linux is much more ram friendly than windows and Android.

I still use an original eeepc 701 with debian on it I also still use an open pandora which runs angstrom and can emulate saturn/dreamcast and down.

Both are capable machines still with less than 3GB of ram.

As always though use case matters. Gimp and blender are probably out for the pinephone. Dev, browsing, ssh, media etc will work just fine.

(09-14-2020, 08:31 AM)Peter Gamma Wrote: Any idea for a powerful low-cost Linux phone? 

This is it. The openmoko has a lot worse specs since its old. The libre specs are about the same but it isn't fully opensource and it's a lot more expensive.

I'm not aware of any other purely Linux phones.

A LINUX umpc you might be interested in is the dragonbox Pyra. But it hasn't been released yet (I preordered 6 years ago). It will still be very capable, but much more expensive than the pinephone and only 4gb of ram.

The Cosmo Communicator has6gb of ram and dual boots debian, but it simply wraps the android kernel with libhybris so no mainline kernel and a lot of binary blobs. Also they basically abandoned it...do you may lose your money if you buy it. Oh and Android is super buggy on it, which would be fine if they didn't abandon it. I don't use mine much.


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