The OSWALD Project
RADIX: a custom distribution of Linux created using OpenEmbedded.
Matchbox: a lightweight, themeable, window manager designed for handhelds that provides the OSWALD's GUI framework and environment (matchbox-project.org/overview.html).
JamVM: a small and specification-compliant Java virtual machine (jamvm.sourceforge.net).
Leafpad: a simple GTK+-based text editor (tarot.freeshell.org/leafpad).
ePDFView: a lightweight PDF viewer (trac.emma-soft.com/epdfview).
GPicView: a lightweight GTK+-based image viewer with low memory usage (http://lxde.sourceforge.net/gpicview"/>).
PCManFM: a lightweight tabbed file manager used for basic graphical file manipulations (pcmanfm.sourceforge.net).
Xournal: an application for note taking and sketching using the OSWALD's touchscreen (xournal.sourceforge.net).
MPlayer: a media player for Linux that plays most movies and music (www.mplayerhq.hu/design7/news.html).
Hardware Specifications and Features
Size and Weight:
Height: 80mm (3.2").
Width: 150mm (5.9").
Depth: 25mm (10").
Weight: 210g (7.4oz).
Texas Instruments OMAP3530 applications processor 500MHz ARM Cortex-A8 Core, NEON SIMD Coprocessor, 430MHz TMS320C64x+ DSP Core, SGX530 2D/3D graphics processor (OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible).
128MB DDR-SDRAM (266MHz).
256MB NAND Flash memory.
3.5" resistive touchscreen LCD.
QVGA resolution (320x240) 24-bit color.
DVI-out at HD resolution (1024:768).
Texas Instruments TLV320AIC33 stereo audio codec, 24-bit resolution, 96kHz sampling rate, 3-D/bass/treble/EQ/de-emphasis effects.
IEEE 802.15.4 ZigBee wireless.
Buttons and Sensors:
Five-way rocker switch (up, down, left, right and center).
Six general-purpose buttons.
Connectors and IO:
3.5mm stereo headphone port.
HDMI (not fully complaint, just as a small DVI port).
Secure Digital card slot (SDIO- and SDHC-compatible).
Two full-speed USB host ports (USB-type A).
1300mAh Polymer Li-ion battery (~7-hour battery life).
Charging via USB or power adapter.
For more information, go to beaversource.oregonstate.edu/projects/cspfl.
On the software side, the choice of operating system was much clearer. Linux is a real operating system; it's not a toy. Students take it seriously and see the long-term benefits of learning Linux in depth. Students also benefit from joining Linux's rich open community, where newbies can find guidance and plenty of resources. From a development standpoint, Linux supports many types of software and devices, so it has simplified development. On the downside, little development has occurred on Linux for handheld devices, but this also means students still can make meaningful contributions with relatively modest effort.
Embracing Linux also differentiates the OSWALD from the many media player devices out here, like as the iPod Touch. Although many of these platforms offer a sleeker design and an attractive price point, development for these devices is difficult, as vendors either lock their platforms or apply stringent IP restrictions. In this consideration, the OSWALD has been designed with the flexibility needed to support a wide range of classes. Two USB ports were critical in meeting this design requirement. This component extends the platform in any number of directions, something that no current media player platform allows you to do. With Linux as a foundation, if someone has written a driver for it, the OSWALD can support it. This gives it great flexibility in terms of curriculum design. In freshman courses, students use the OSWALD to control small robots and sensors. In graphics classes, USB cameras enable simple image recognition, and the built-in networking allows students to design P2P protocols as part of their networking classes.