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Andrew Singleton
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Apologies on if this is too far off topic and if so feel free to delete/lock/whatever. However given I have been told the concept looks like something out of the late 80's or early 90's here seems like the best place to pitch.

Basically I'm trying to figure out how to refine this from 'hazy concept some random internet guy has' to 'thing that might actually be build-able if enough money and talent got thrown at it.'

I give to you the concept design for The Gutenberg.

Yes this is very 'alphasmart' inspired. The idea batted around my head because, frankly, I hate the Hemmingwrite/Freewrite's design focusing on 'LOOK AT ME' rather than boring practicality. That and I think part of what caused the alphasmart to fail outside of the majority of people not knowing what the things were, was 'ipads are cool. chromebooks are in. let's do those.' That and the fact for $180 or even $120 that was what they were selling the Alphasmart at to just get rid of the units in the warehouse  (especially the $350 or so Freewrite costs) you can get OKish tablets, especially at bulk rates schools are likely able to achieve.

I realize there is no market for this. Most will see it as a neutered tablet. Those that might see value in it would just go get a $20 alphasmart off ebay. this is just a device I want and wish existed. Something between 'word processor', 'dedicated e-reader' and 'tablet.'

I want it to do the following things:
Proper full travel keys. Not chiclet keys. I don't care if they're membrane or not since right now I'm on a twelve dollar logitech keyboard and it feels a lot nicer than chiclet.

Word Processing. Preferably would like it to spit out some form of formatted text (be it markdown, HTML, or RTF. If HTML It would only allow basic formatting (heading size, bold, Underline, Italic. Adding the ability to create links is tempting but probably not a very good idea, though being able to make it link to different files on unit would be kinda neat... my worry though is 'oh hey let's add one more feature, just one more. Aww come on it can do This so why not That.) However straight up plain text is going to always be recognized so long as ASCII is used.

Plug into the usb on something else either to transfer files out, hit a button so it 'types' out whatever's open into the device it's plugged into (that sees it as a keyboard and storage device.) I want the device it's plugged into to see both a 'keyboard' and 'storage device.' This is because I want there to always be some way of getting information OUT of this thing.

Being able to run off AC power, preferably off a cellphone charger and microusb. Would be nice if this is the same USB port you plug in to get data in/out.

Able to read epub docs since 'why not'. Plus that would allow it to also act as an e-reader. That would actually be pretty useful for the sake of reference documents. Wikipedia allows binding up bunches of articles together as epub. Open Office/libre writer can save to epub. Give it just that little bit more functionality than the Alphasmarts had and you unlock a lot of possibility for a low power device to reference material, then alt+tab back to your document to edit.

An SD card slot (full sized SD card mind you.) While I want the unit to be able to save files on device to ram (to keep chances of any internal storage getting corrupted from constant overwrites. Yes that means the thing forgets everything not in a rom update when the power goes, but still I consider that acceptable) I also want a more permanent on device option and SD cards are kinda everywhere. Would be nice if it supported 64gig cards, but if it could only support 32 and down that's OKish too.

Black and white screen so there's less need for power. After all it's only going to do word processing, ebooks, file management, and optionally music.

User Replaceable Battery of a common enough type that when it goes bad a new can be relatively easily be gotten. Willing to go with AA batteries if 4 - 6 can give it a decently long life. However that is probably not in the cards, but it's definitely something I would want to aim for at least as a form factor so it'd be there as an emergency backup so it's at least usable on the go if your lithium ion pack dies out. I do not know if that's doable, just... what I would want to aim for if possible.

Optionally/Would Be Nice:
A headphone jack so you can listen to music while you work. Note I do NOT want in-unit speakers. Just a headphone jack.

E-Ink screen. This is so it can be read in direct sunlight and with the sort of use it has that should be plenty fast enough refresh-rate wise. The big problem here is e-ink would drive up cost and I don't know how you would properly protect the screen so it can stand getting bumped now and then. Even LCD screens are kinda hard to find.

Debating heavily on if it's needed or not.
Wifi so you can sync to a central server (include Windows, OSX, and Linux solutions so you can set up using whatever computer you own, or have the 'server' be a networked drive) for document syncing not to a 'cloud' but to a local machine that would either be the teacher's personal box, or for those at home a dedicated backup device so you have your copy on device, copy on SD card, and off site copy. I cannot count how often I have lost work and wished a backup existed, or finding backups I'd forgotten about years later. The problem is WiFi just sucks down power and drives cost up. That and 'oh it wifi's. Why not give it a bare minimum lynx browser?' well then you're screwed for being task oriented. I just like the idea of being able to remotely grab things sent from the local server for tests, work. being able to sync material, and so on. 

Raspberry Pi would be complete overkill for this. I'm not sure Arduino would be right for it. Plus I want something that looks kinda like the pictured device, so even if there's a half inch thick case that's still not a lot of room for extra bells and whistles.

So what kind of chip would best serve as the heart of this beast? Support chips? I would ask what kind of programming is needed, but until a CPU is decided it's useless to ask. Due to this community being what it is is there any sort of chance of older chips able to serve as the heart of this beast? It's retro as is so why not go full bore outside of the USB and SD card interfaces?

Where would I go to try getting a keyboard for this thing made? Would i basically have to make one out of tac switches myself?
Is there any way to make this thing able to put up with the occasional drop? I don't plan on using it like a football, but I'd like it to keep working in case it's knocked out of my hands.

What kind of hinge design would work? The idea of this thing being a clamshell so the screen is adjustable, and it is its own protective case appeals to me. Sure the image for the fake Alphasmart is a hingeless solid body, but I want this thing to fold, tuck away into a carry bag and act as ts own screen protector.

Is there any chance anyone else has any interest?

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Running commentary as i watch this. I enjoy this rundown of flaws in the movie even though I like it, because it does have flaws and I've kinda been hoping for this perticular movie to show up for awhile.

CinimaSins. Asimov designed the laws so that at a glance they looked foolproof in keeping robots from doing things that would cause human death. However at a further inspection, and what almost all of his stories involving robots revolved around, was how conflicts between this or that causes the laws to be shown as ineffective and exasperate the problem.

Dude wrote hundreds of books and died of infection after receiving an HIV tainted blood transfusion.

Agree with you about the hat. Actually kinda like the movie though. I will agree that dude is totally eating pie wrong. I don't care what kind of pie, unless you're going to eat the whole thing and never consider letting anyone else have any.. .I mean sure the implication is Spooner's bionics burn a ton of calories, but... y'know that actually explains that. Nobody else eats those pies and he's eating very calorie heavy food but he's still got a runner's build on him.

As for his robot prejudice sentiment that's also kinda covered in the movie. It isn't an innate hate so much as even with therapy he's still got issues going on from the accident we had seen a flashback on.

Also robot was following the laws. Inaction putting human in harm and he was getting her inhaler, which was kinda needed to breath. So disregard order until that action is completed.

Movie itself explains why he had to be vague. VIKI was watching him full time, so he couldn't outright say anything otherwise she acts to further keep him from calling attention to what's going to happen.

Agreeing about closing libraries. Sure as of right now mostly they act as free public internet access to the majority but still... what? Just. What? I'd add five sins total for that one though.

I'm pretty sure he just decided for once and because of being reamed by his boss earlier, to file away 'data corruption' for later. Ditto with the later work order time change on house destruction... by the way why the fuck did USR demolish that house? Sure i get having an ultra smart home with a built in connection to USR's primary AI would leave it not elidgable to be publicly sellable without a lot of expensive rennovations. However why not leave it as a just in case someone else wanted the thing? Or convert it into a testbed home to see how robots work in a 'real' environment under close monitoring by VIKI?

Viki reminds me of SHODAN.

Hardwiring as in burnt in rom image that is inviolate an unchangeable. The problem there is if you can't change it you can't fix it if... oh as an example... the rom image becomes corrupt, or the robots decide oh hey following the laws to their extreme means looking past individual humans into humanity as a whole. Zeroth law by inference, and because VIKI can update their violate logic so their interpretations of the laws line up with her own... oops.

Why make these robots so durable? Say little timmy is playing and runsafter his ball. Design robot to be able to survive dive roll curling around little brat, getting clipped by the garbage truck that didn't see kiddo in time, and still be in useable condition. Also because you want your robot revolution minions to be able to take getting hit in the face.

I'm gonna go with Calvin here. Driving and phone is stupid. Driving, phone, AND TALKING TO PASSENGER is moreso. I can't wait for automated cars. Even though I still won't be able to have one because I can't see to drive, which will likely be a requirement in case you need to take over because car is going nuts.

The car is not hovering. IT's got those round wheels that allow it to easily shift direction. Shows up later in the movie.

Gonna agree with 'where are the checks and balances.' If nothing else how often do maintenance staff go in to make sureeverything is operating on spec? On the OTHER hand demonstration too much faith has been put into robots running off the three laws. Specifically VIKI. Yay forshadowing.

Also this crosschecking answers thing is a callback to 'little lost robot.' I like Spooner's solution in theory but not his exicution. As in I'd seal the building and surplus the whole production run inside the building.

I'm pretty sure the bullets were just to herd robot into net launcher range given they would know the reaction timing of said robot model. As for 'waht if i'm right.' You got me there man. Other than the fact they have one defective machine why have the guy that is not at all qualified to question a machine instead of directly do a memory dump after removing its arms and legs? Why not have oh... the trained roboticist go over the robot's memory with a fine toothed comb, or if you NEED to talk to it have her formulate the questions instead of the guy who has PTSD and severe bias against robots?

Full agreement on respect for the guy that voiced Sonny and likely did the mocap work as well. Having that sort of acting ability while wearing a pingpong ball suit is phenomenal.

CGPGrey in his 'humans need not apply' video showed off an AI that writes music constantly and even showcased it in said video. Google's Deep Dream showcases the ability to do surrealist artwork. With that said I appreciate their portrayal of how Sonny draws resembling how a printer prints.

No hard off switch is a function of letting machines desin and build machines alongside having too much trust in their infailability. Message of the movie reenforced in subtle ways.

Ovaltine Cafe. Eh I've heard worse.

The destruction scene probably included as a non-visible part of the new directive to immediately bulldoze place 'oh and kill the guy inside, because he'll make life worse for humanity.' Cats ARE james bond levels of survivable dude. However I'd add three sins for that cat not at least clinging onto will smoth's face even if it was declawed. No idea why he was still allowed police access other than maybe it was Lanning personally gave him access as part of his plan to get information out in ways VIKI couldn't stop.

Calvin doesn't know how to or forgot how to interact with normal people. I totally agree on what her first question should have been was 'why the fuck are you here?'

Got a point. Let the man hypothosize. After all even if robots aren't inherently anything other than tools if the tool is badly designed shouldn't that be considered enough to go back and rework said tool? Like... oh... a firmware update or something? We're not talking scrapping the entire line, just rolling out a patch.

In fairness to fake drinking whiskey? He probably went 'i need a drink' then realized he has a cut lip and 'oh shit alchhol burns. better not do that.'

I'm pretty sure it wasn't scanning her fist so much as an RFID chip embedded in hrer palm.

Mainframe? Eh maybe the term came back into popular use for servers? I dunno. Seems sketchy especially since he's technically not on the case anymore. Right?

The wonders of automated driving! Hooray!

Total agreement about the lack of traffic.

Red light means it's got a wifi connection to corporate. I call bullshit on having any sort of reception in that tunnel, but hey if spooner can cellphone these things can be turned into drones. Also why didn't those two road wide trucks just slowly pancake against spooner's car?

Lack of passing out due to prosthetic heart lung? Survival because audie car is safe for collisions? He is shown to be kinda not all there when he gets out. Recovers damned fast, but again prosthetics and artificial organs. Probably included an adrinal pump or something because cop.

Fuck that spinny cam shit. Give it twelve sins for making me want to vomit.

Three laws are THERE but because of redundant processor Sonny doens't hardware bork when in violation. I assume it just like... switches to the second processor for the duration and the first just kinda shrugs? Point is it's a non-standard feature even for that model.

The prosthetic aren't why he hates, and the spray on skin is like that spray on rubber coating. Probably supposed to just get you through until you can get it properly fixed. Also excuse to not have to up the effects budget even further. As for why him instead of the girl? It says so in the movie. Robot decided he had better chance of survival and in situations where somebody is going to die out of a group save the ones most likely to not die. As for the necklace? In case it isn't insanely clear by this point? Spooner is not mentally well and probably should not have been allowed back on active duty, or at the very least been confined to desk work.

In fairness? While Sonny probably has webster and wiki at his command, 'old dogs' is an idiom and it'd take a bit of sifting to find context. Probably decided to just try going past diving into a tangent and get back to the meat of the conversation.

Calvin empathizes with robots moreso than people. It's like you telling your dog you're sorry for having to put it down. Also you have bomb squads get super attached to their robots, to the point of wanting the old busted blown up drone fixed as opposed to getting a new one. People get attached to cars, tvs, stereos, a specific chair.

'Will it hurt?' Oh jesus fuck you. I gotta give points for the actor's delivery. i don't care how shoehorned and blatantly attempting to play at emotions the line is. Also pain is useful. Pain lets you know when something is going on that is harmful. Pain means 'hey that thing you're doing. Don't.' As Arnie said in T2 'I sense Injury in ways that could constructed as pain.'

The revolution reveal scene? It's VIKI seeing spooner has put the pieces together and gone to a place that shouldn't have been seen so get rid of loose end. I'm pretty sure robot disposal was supposed to be 'get on convener. disengage limbs. power down.' Why Viki has these robots bare handedly dismantling the outmoded models in an inefficient way is fairly stupid. Their coordination is all of them getting the 'go' order at the same time. One giant coordinated action.

Poor building planning from the standpoint of human servicing. Great planning from the standpoint of 'oh i have a requisite access port that is going to discourage actual people visiting it.' Taking sins off for virtigo shots. Fuck you movie.


Sonny being the man on the hill... Eh. I figure Sonny himself was going through issues of his own stemming from very blatant 'I swore' from one processor and the other going 'do not kill human.' He's trying to avoid internal lockup. Yep Sonny gonna go insane.

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Private Schools. IE 'let's segregate but not call it segregation because technically anyone can go if they have enough money, and if they have enough money they are the 'right' people we want there anyway.'
"DeVos is politically known in Michigan for her push for private school voucher programs, a position that has been controversial within public education circles."

WaPo can downplay this as much as they want with the rest of the article; this one factor alone is disqualifying in my book.

#PillagingPublicSchools #CommanderInThief

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Watching Secretariate. I realize just how misogynistic the era was, and how much of a 'good old boy's' profession horse racing still is. However by this movie's logic it seems 'oh you're a woman. Hilarious.'

It's so transparent and hammered on so often it overshadows everything else to the point it turns a good message of 'don't worry about what everyone else says is right or even possible. Follow what you feel needs to be done. Win or lose you can tell yourself you went out as you' into just bleating over and over and over again how evil and wicked the world is towards women and that men are idiots for underestimating what a woman is capible of doing.

I'm not saying that shouldn't have been a message there since facts are it's a female owner in a very VERY male dominated sphere. That is a component of the story and an important one. However i don't want to sit for two hours through a one note orchestra.

Secretariate still holds records and is perhaps the finest race horse history has yet recorded and most definitely the best in recent history. THe story deserves a less ham handed approach.

With all that said, it has wonderful music, good casting, and i don't want to fault the actors for the script just because i think the script writer was laying it on thick. It's not a BAD movie, and if it had to go with a one note synphony they could have done a lot worse. It's. Well. 'I am a guy. I don't want to sit through a movie that bleats constant at how stupid and wrong headed all men are unless they're shown the error of their innately stupid ways.'

If I wanted that I'd watch a Lifetime Network Original. One of the few that aren't beating out their one note song with a belt or fist across a woman's face.

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For those that are calling to Stonewall and Clinging to Fear

Please no. I went through eight years of my family going on and on and on at how Obama is the devil, and now I'm hearing the other side of the coin go on at how Trump is the devil.

Trump has said nasty things to attract nasty people at his rallies, but let's all dig out of our echo chambers here. Resorting to the tactics of the congress that vowed to stonewall Obama is a sucker's game. It pits us against each other and leaves us too busy to see that the only people that benefit are the ones that never had to lift a finger, the ultra rich. The one percent of the one percenters. The six companies that own the majority of mainstream news. The Murdochs, the phizers, the corporation that have funneled millions, if not BILLIONS into buying lawmakers and capturing regulatory bodies.

There is no grand conspiracy. Just a lot of personal and corporate interests that happen to line up and the ways humans as social beasts move encouraging the aggregation and continuation of power.

The point is. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of people braying and bleating the world is ending, that this person or that is literal satan. That america will turn to ash. That concentration camps will open.

I've seen my family splinter, turn bitter, hateful, and become little but ruin over the past eight years because of this rhetoric.

Step away from the poisoned well. Find the good in this world. Find what good may be. Do not rely on the fear of Other. Do not listen to those that bray that a person is pure evil or pure good. Our world is not one of absolutes, and anyone telling you it is has something they very much want to sell to you.

Stay safe out there, but please also stay reasonable. Talk. Discuss... I know it's hard because I have a hard time discussing things with people I'd rather punch in the face. However we can't have this winner take all and first order of business being to stomp on the neck of the vanquished. Nor can we react to loss by retreating into our own little bubble to only hear the voices we agree with that say how great it is to make the other side stumble and fail since we could not have our way.

I win no fans by saying any of this. It is not a popular sentiment since it is not repeating the bleating that Trump and the Republicans are phobic Satan, nor am I saying 'this is the Unified Republican Government. GET IN LINE.'

I'm... i just want people to step back and just.... Stop this madness. It gets us nowhere but at each other's throats.

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I look at romance books and 'I could write this shite... I write BETTER than this shite. Why the hell ain't I rich?'
Oh. Right. Danelle Steel has a small library's worth of books to her credit.
It isn't about quality, it's consistency. I am a very inconsistent person.

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A Week In Miniatures: September 26th to October 2nd
Finally back on schedule to post entries!  A few things to cover this week. Hey, I got the Kurnoth Hunters finished and I am quite happy with them. Kurnoth Hunter  They're almost painted like the dryads are, except they needed some additional variation of c...

Hey look, we're most definitely going to move furniture on Friday, meaning at the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM, we likely won't have internet til Monday (Could be wrong and Friday is gonna also be when Charter shows up but I dunno. I'm just going off realistic scnario here.)

Can you get me a categorized list of youtube stuff i can grab between now and then? No AMV's or youtube-poop please. Just like... stuff to watch while offline.
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