LPX

Brad Linder

Talks with the people behind the tech.

LPX Episode 8: Designing the DragonBox Pyra handheld computer
May 6 2016
LPX Episode 8: Designing the DragonBox Pyra handheld computer
The DragonBox Pyra has a 5 inch screen and a dual-core ARM-based processor. But it's not a smartphone. In fact, this handheld computer looks more like a cross between a tiny laptop and a Nintendo DS game system.  It has a physical keyboard, a bunch of storage and input/output options, dedicated buttons for playing games, and Debian Linux software which allows you to play games or run desktop software including LibreOffice and Firefox. The DragonBox Pyra is developed by a team led by Michael Mrozek, who wanted to create a system that not only runs open source software, but which also features open designs: anybody can open up the case and replace the parts or download the schematics to design their own case for the hardware... or design their own CPU board and insert it into the case.  Mrozek began taking pre-orders for the DragonBox Pyra on May 1st, 2016 and I reached out to him to discuss the project in more detail.  Here are some links to projects mentioned in this episode: DragonBox PyraPandoraGame Park GP32 (Wikipedia)Neo900 You can also follow Michael Mrozek on Twitter and YouTube.  Visit the LPX website to learn more about the DragonBoyx Pyra. You can find the LPX Show in iTunes, on Stitcher, in Google Play Music, and just about anywhere else you get your podcasts. You can also get the latest updates by following LPX on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter or by visiting our website, LPXShow.com And if you want to help support the LPX podcast, please consider making a donation to our Patreon campaign.
LPX Episode 5: Building a fair(er) phone
Mar 16 2016
LPX Episode 5: Building a fair(er) phone
Most people probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about the materials used to build their phones, or the workers who put the hardware together. But Amsterdam-based Fairphone is trying to change that... by selling phones made with conflict-free minerals from Africa and by setting up a Worker Welfare fund for factory workers in China.  Even if you don't care about those things, the Fairphone 2 is interesting for another reason: it's the first modular smartphone to hit the market. You can replace the screen, camera, battery, and other components with nothing more than a screwdriver. The Fairphone 2 is available in Europe for 529 Euros, and Fairphone hopes to bring the smartphone to the United States eventually. It's showcasing the phone at this year's SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, where the phone is a finalist for an Innovation award. But the earliest the phone is likely to go on sale in the US is 2017. I spoke with Fairphone's public engagement manager Daria Koureniushkina for this episode of the LPX Show, and she explains how the project was started, and where it's going. I also interviewed iFixit founder Kyle Wiens about modularity and repairability in smartphones... why it's useful, and why it's not exactly common. Here are some related links: iFixit (and iFixit's Fairphone 2 teardown)FairphoneFairphone 2 order pageFairphone 2 spare parts You can also get the latest updates by following LPX on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter or by visiting our website, LPXShow.com