[FoRK] Cheap Electronics Dissection Project

Dave Long < dave.long at bluewin.ch > on > Sun Sep 17 10:12:57 PDT 2006

This is an interesting approach for a dot clock: use the SPI interface  
to serially push pixels out, yielding 8 pixels per load and allowing  
one to "unroll" the display update.

http://www.serasidis.gr/circuits/AVR_VGA/avr_vga.htm

Better yet, the following sites show that despite a small LCD display,  
a machine resembling a glorified Speak'n'spell with a built-in BASIC  
can be compelling for (at least the geekier elements of) the videogame  
generations:

http://rasterweb.net/raster/computers/vtech.html
http://elevate.wordpress.com/2006/03/12/first-computer-program/

The company that made these is still around, and currently offers a  
"vtech Genius Notebook"*, with a ~64x32 bitmap LCD, for $30.  Looks  
like they have devices with screens about half the resolution at $15.

BASIC no longer seems to be included, perhaps due to lack of demand (or  
lack of desire to field the support calls?), but considering that they  
also offer manufacturing services:

http://www.vtechcms.com/

they might be perfectly happy to build cheap programmable boxes if  
someone else were willing to shoulder the market risk.

-Dave

*  
http://www.vtechkids.com/product_page.cfm?productId=290? 
tvFrom=&productImage=%5Ff%2F%5Fpw%2F%5Fthumb%2F64900%5Fthumb%2Ejpg&produ 
ctStatus=a&tvFrom=&productId=290&productType=p&getProp=%5Btype+Function% 
5D&loadImage=%5Btype+Function%5D&makeComingStripe=%5Btype+Function%5D&ma 
keNewProductSnipe=%5Btype+Function%5D&theType=product


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