Originally posted to the SF-LUG and DorkBotSF-blabber mailing lists:

While enjoying the incredible weather at Baker beach today, I found myself wanting to get some work done outside, in bright bright sunlight. So here are some brief requirements for a machine that I want to build:

  • need to hook up to a battery of some kind
  • want about 5 hours of usability
  • need to see the screen in bright sunlight
  • need it to be semi-portable (meaning I can carry it to the beach)
  • needs to be sand proof
  • run Linux (Ubuntu or some derivative preferred)
  • have a budget of $600 (can probably machine things like a case if needed)

The main thing is the monitor and usability. I figure the use of an intel atom board would be efficient enough. I know the OLPC has an LCD that can switch to grayscale and is visible in bright sunlight, anyone know if anyone makes a larger version of this screen? Most of the time I will just be coding, so video and full color display is not really necessary. Looking for at least a 15′ screen.

Keyboard and mouse can be wired for power-conservation, but I prefer a full keyboard for coding.

Does anyone have experience coming up with external power sources? Any tips?

At some point I might break down and get a 3g pc card, but in the meantime I can make due with caching any data I would need beforehand. I think the atom boards have built in wifi.

Any suggestions or commentary?

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