PaperTerm Project Definition and "Marketing Materials"

Status: Pending Approved
Name: PaperTerm Project Definition and “Marketing Materials”
Objective: Create a website and nail down project scope of the v1 PaperTerm project.

Background: PaperTerm is a niche device with e-paper-display and laptop-form-factor device that has a week of battery life (of normal use). PaperTerm is a microcontroller based project used solely to connect to and run/interact with programs installed on remote computers (think along the lines of SSH/telnet, remote desktop, vnc, etc). The combination of its limited scope and e-ink display are what will enable its vision of a “so long that I don’t have to think about it” battery life.

The website created with this proposal will be used to bootstrap the project and attract more people to help create the final project, not to market the project to end-users.

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Audience: End device is low-power and potentially distraction free. This proposal, however, is for fellow enthusiasts to help define and document the end device’s goal and capabilities.
Timeline: Overall project would be ongoing, but this proposal is just for the website: 4/1 - 4/30.
Members: @xorlof (lead), @scrunch. Looking for new members.
Contact: email is hello@paperterm.org or contact via Zulip.
URL: https://www.paperterm.org/ (just a placeholder page, but this is where they site we’re building will be)
Hardware: TBD. Early prototypes will probably be ESP32 based with using the simple waveshare interface and 13.3 panel in a donor laptop body. Likely to eventually morph and move away from ESP32 to STM32 or Apollo MCUs with a custom EPD interface.
Looking for: At this point, we need other people interested in the idea of this super-low-power device with its “I’m not a regular laptop” aspiration. You can help us figure out the key important areas for us to focus on. No special skills needed! If you like the sound of such a device, email us and join! No required time-commitment and no contribution is too small and no worries of all of this microcontroller-type talk goes over your head. We need you!

4 Likes

Fantastic, looking forward to it. Approved :+1:

2 Likes

Thanks, @alexsotodev!

@everyone – feel free to contact us either here or as mentioned in the post above if you’d like to help. We’d love to have you!

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Awesome @xorlof ! Joined!

I can help out with the hardware side of things. This would be a very handy tool for embedded systems work provided it has serial terminal functionality.

2 Likes

That’s awesome. Sorry I don’t have time at the moment to comment further than this, but we’re assembling a great crew. I’m better at the programming side of things than hardware, so it’ll be great to have your knowledge, @ThanosTheTankEngine. We’ve got the general concept (I’ll point you to a working document for us soon). @scrunch (along with other skills) is a researcher extraordinaire and keeps funneling good information our way so it will be good to have someone with your hardware experience to check things against. Are you able to help with PCB designs?

Yes, it absolutely plans to have serial functionality, both RS-232, and in a more typical TTL voltages in embedded work. I know RS-485 is still very much a thing and am open to opinions as to whether it makes sense to add it. I’m not aware if interactive, text based command/terminal-ish environments are in use over it or if it is generally just for machines talking to machines (what I’m more familiar with for RS-485).

1 Like

Love this! I’ve thought of doing something similar, but haven’t done anything concrete.

Can help with software/marketing/sales/brainstorming if you need!

2 Likes

Our working group is on Zulip: https://ei2030.zulipchat.com/register/ Hope to see you there!