Web site: http://www.simputer.org/
http://www.amidasimputer.com/ http://www.picopeta.com/ The Simputer is a low cost portable alternative to PCs, by which the benefits of IT can reach the common man.
SEH 20071128 -- Update: A version of the software platform for the Simputer has been released under the GPL with the name OpenAlchemy [L1 ]. From the website:
OpenAlchemy is the GPL version of Amida Alchemy, the user interface layer and API of the Amida Simputer. Alchemey was conceived in 2003 and was unveiled as part of the retail launch of the Amida Simputer in 2004 by PicoPeta Simputers. Alchemy was created after an evaluation of the then (2003) available UI layers, window managers and APIs for Linux finding them unsuitable from one or more perspectives. The key focus of Alchemy is to provide the users of mobile devices, natural interfaces including handwriting, direct manipulation and gesture inputs. OpenAlchemy refers to the UI layer, the window manager, the API, and applications written using OpenAlchemy, depending on the context. It is built on top of Linux and X Windows.
The platform's applications are built using a specially developed widget set called "picowidgets." A customized WISH shell is included which incorporates hooks into the platform API and widget set for rapid development of new applications.
Since it's built on Linux and X, it may be possible to adapt/cannibalize parts of the platform for use on hand-held computers besides the Simputer itself.
Screenshots: [L2 ]
It has a special role in the third world because it ensures that illiteracy is no longer a barrier to handling a computer. The key to bridging the digital divide is to have shared devices that permit truly simple and natural user interfaces based on sight, touch and audio. The Simputer meets these demands through a browser for the Information Markup Language (IML). IML has been created to provide a uniform experience to users and to allow rapid development of solutions on any platform. IMLI, Simputer.org's IML browser, is written in Perl/Tk. The Simputer itself appears not to use Tcl. Amida's proprietary software developer kit relies heavily on Tcl/Tk for application development.
VK 05-mar-2005 while very interesting idea in principle (linux, and all that), FAQ says about availability as If all goes well, by March 2002 you should be able to buy one of them.
Looks like web site is way out of date, although some devices probably exist throughout the world.
RS: The "Status page" has as latest news: "March 26, 2004 Picopeta Simputers Pvt Ltd is happy to announce that the Amida Simputer was launched at the Chowdiah memorial hall in Bangalore on 26th March 2004. The Amida Simputer is a retail product. Please see http://www.amidasimputer.com for more details. "
KJN: The page on the SDK [L3 ] describes Tcl/Tk as PicoWish. The meaning of this is not clear. It probably refers to a custom build of Tcl/Tk (for X11) by PicoPeta, the parent company of AmidaSimputer. (The name PicoWish was also used for a (never completed) reimplementation of Tk in the (now abandoned) PicoGUI project, which did not depend on X11.)
Has anyone purchased the SDK - or the Simputer?
LV Note that the amida web site mentions they do not yet have international shipping - probably only available for purchase in India.
LV The amidasimputer.com home page has an October 2005 entry announcing a new model being released - I think they list 3 or 4 models now. Note that on the professional sdk web page, they not only list tcl/tk (x11 based) but they also discuss additional widgets, etc.