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Computer Systems Laboratory Colloquium

4:15PM, Wednesday, February 24, 1999
NEC Auditorium, Gates Computer Science Building B03

Itsy: A Platform for Pocket Computing Research

Bill Hamburgen
Compaq Computer Corporation, Western Research Laboratory


About the talk:

Itsy is a small handheld computer based on the fast, low-powered, StrongARM SA-1100 microprocessor. Our current prototype runs at 200MHz on a pair of AAA cells, and sports a tiny, high-resolution LCD with touchscreen, an audio codec, and up to 64MB of memory.

Itsy is designed to be an flexible platform for research projects ranging from OS power management to novel gesture and speech-based user interfaces. The base Itsy hardware provides a flexible interface for adding a custom daughtercard, enabling a wide range of hardware projects such as wireless networking, cameras and alternate displays. Itsy supports the Linux OS and standard GNU tools, facilitating the development of kernel and application software, as well as ports of existing packages. Recently, Squeak (Smalltalk-80) and Java environments have also become available on Itsy.

My talk will outline the motivation for the project, describe details of the current hardware and software, and suggest areas where further work is needed to further the usefulness and acceptance of small, truly personal electronic appliances.

About the speaker:


Bill Hamburgen is a researcher at Compaq's (formerly Digital Equipment's) Western Research Lab in Palo Alto. He initiated and leads the Itsy pocket computing project. His earlier work focused on packaging high-powered microelectronic components and systems. His awards include Best Paper of Conference at the 1992 IEEE ECTC for "Packaging a 150W Bipolar ECL Microprocessor", a B+ grade from Mark Horowitz in EE271 "Intro to VLSI Systems" and 22 issued US patents. He has mechanical engineering degrees from MIT and Stanford. Other interests include helping raise a toddler, endless home remodeling projects, and occasional jam sessions, hiking, biking, skiing and autocrossing.

Contact information:

Bill Hamburgen
Compaq Computer Corporation
Western Research Laboratory
250 University Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301

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