Class surplus becomes a Linux powerhouse


The SMART Response XE is a handheld computer that was originally sold for classroom use as a terminal for students taking tests. It’s now cheap enough in the over-market that it has become a target for experimenters, and we’ve seen them with a variety of cool hacks. We particularly like this [chmod775] done with that, by putting a VT100 terminal emulator on the device and hiding a NanoPi Neo Air single board computer in the battery bay. Powered by a USB battery, it offers a full Linux terminal in the palm of your hand. We see it running an Ubuntu LTS version, and it’s clear that it’s a working and usable device.

This raises a more abstract question, however: We believe that relatively few of us write software through a stupid old-fashioned terminal, instead, we’re more likely to get our terminal experience on a command line. much more accomplished with all the amenities of a modern office that surrounds it. How many of us could comfortably revert to the limited limits of a VT100 emulator on an odd-sized LCD screen? We would be interested to hear [chmod755]’s use it, because while it retains its ease of use, it is a device that we wouldn’t mind having on our own.

Fancy more SMART Response XE hacks? Take a look at the BASIC computer or spectrum analyzer.

About Jon Moses

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