[NTLK] Designing an Internal WiFi Board for MP2x00
jake at allaboutjake.com
Thu May 7 20:28:35 EDT 2015
I'm about done with my internal WiFi project. Just a few more odds-and-ends to tie up, but the latest revision of the hardware and newton-side software works great (and with hardware flow control too).
More info here: http://retronewton.blogspot.com/2015/05/wifi-board-v11.html
It is really nice to be able to connect to a modern WiFi network with modern encryption. I'm finding that its not so useful, though. Connecting to modern services (email, evernote, twitter, etc) would need SSL encryption and client software that we just don't have for the Newton.
I have been thinking that a better solution might be along the lines of what the Apple Watch or Pebble does... A similar internal serial card with a Bluetooth Low Energy module would allow the device to connect to a server app on a phone. This would reduce the Newton to an "accessory" for a modern smartphone. The software on the phone would handle the complexity of negotiating with modern services.
I can imagine the Newton connecting to an iPhone to synchronize contacts and calendar. CoreBluetooth and the contacts and calendar APIs would allow this. I can imagine a "transport" in the notes app that would "send to evernote" that sends a note over bluetooth to a server app on the phone, which forwards it no to evernote using its own internet connection.
Sadly, this is also a pretty massive software exercise as well-- software for both the Newton and the iPhone. It is more than I have the time to tackle.
I have more of the bare wifi boards available, but it'll be a rare few that have the desire/ability to assemble the small surface mount components to the board. Even if I wanted to assemble a few of them for others, the US encryption export laws require me to attest that the wifi modules won't end up in a prohibited country, which is enough of a hassle to make it impractical.
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