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Electronics/Mini app computer?


QUESTION: I was think with apps for everything on smartphones maybe custom apps could be made for simplier processors? Smartphones can cost as much as $600 and beyond but if there could be a small screen  and  processor that is simple liquid crystal without color to load with  simple calculation apps. Apps that are calculators, multi timers for food, apps that are nothing more than Christmas count down clocks or moon phase displays. Basically a customizable simple computer for a few simple vb type programs. Would this be a feasible idea do you think? Maybe $25 plus sd card for apps?

ANSWER: Sorry to disagree with you; you can buy smartphones all over the place (in the USA) for as low as $10.

My friends are using smartphones from for $19.00 and from Smith/Kroger for $9.99 and downloading free apps for everything you have mentioned above.

For example the ZTE Whirl2 has Android 4.3 JellyBean OS and works good.  You can buy it from several sources for $20 or less.  Of course if you use the telephone portion it will cost the phone service, but for wi-fi connection only it downloads anything you want from Google Play or other app stores.

Take a look and see for your self.

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QUESTION: I am not looking for something that is a phone that has monthly billing. My Galaxy 3 cost me $200 but it actually costs more which is part of my month bill. I am looking for a device that can be purchased  in quanties that can be put up on a wall for display. Doesn't even need to be touch screen. Basically a graphing calculator screen but that allows people to write simple programs that can make their life easier but cheap enough that they don't need to feel concerned if it breaks or is stolen in a work environment. Maybe even could be used for data base and calculating theoretical order prices with tax. Just a doer of math. The cost of smartphones wasn't the point.

ANSWER: There is no monthly billing in my proposed solution.  

But the idea you have doesn't seem to offer any virtue.  What language must the user learn in order to use your machine?  I think you can buy a scientific calculator that will do more than what you are suggesting at Dollar Tree for $1.00. I have two of them and use them all the time.

So, I guess I don't get what you are after that isn't already available in many forms and at low cost.


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QUESTION: A simple VB type language. A graphing calculator from a dollar store? Don't they  generally cost upwards of $80? Can you program it to calculate what a recipe will call for at a different scale? Or run multiple cooking count downs for restaurants, or randomly generate numbers for lottery type functions? Just super simple computations. The main appeal is the ability to write ones own apps to build shortcuts in ones life and keep things organized so all can see it. Not just a person's phone which only  they can see much of the time.

Now I am completely befuddled.  I was thinking you were looking at a consumer device that had a retail market distribution.  Now it looks more like a class room or hobbyist training or learning device.

In any event, I wish you good luck and success with your ideas.

PS: The Dollar Tree unit is a scientific calculator.  It is not programmable.  


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Electronics questions about AC, DC and digital theory.


Graduate electrical engineer with over 40 years in electronic design, manufacturing, project organization and patent review. Experience in fields of industrial and consumer electronics (audio, video, acoustics, etc.)

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers); Senior Life member AES (Audio Engineering Society), Fellow Life member

BSEE University of North Dakota

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