DO YOU want to spend over the odds on a tablet that's unwieldy? If you do, and you want to get the satisfaction of saying "I made that", Oracle and Java have a treat for you.
The Dukepad is not so much a tablet as a blueprint that allows people with far too much time on their hands to build a tablet using nothing but a Raspberry Pi Mini PC. And a screen. And a camera. And a memory card. And... well you get the idea.
But don't let the fact that it will cost $350 to make or that it will be running Raspbian Linux and Java put you off - this is a project of frontier spirit and IT creativity.
Oracle has already said that it intends to work with suppliers to provide complete kits allowing enthusiasts to buy and build their tablet in one hit. The project is open source, and Oracle hopes to see alternative firmware and software become available, offering theoretically limitless possibilities within the confines of the hardware specifications.
With websites like XDA Developers attracting tens of thousands of users at any given time, there is little doubt about the appeal for tweaking, deconstructing, reconstructing and modifying.
However impractical the Dukepad might seem, it represents everything that the Raspberry Pi was meant to achieve - the opportunity for back bedroom developers to build grass roots IT, to engage youngsters in building devices and generally revive the pioneering spirit of 1980s computing. µ
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