Pocket C.H.I.P. first impressions

Last year, I helped Kickstart C.H.I.P. last year and it just arrived the other day. I opted for the Pocket C.H.I.P version since I’m too lazy to make a casing for it and dig out peripherals when it arrived. Some of my other reasons for getting Pocket C.H.I.P. (besides shiny new candybar/toy) was to show it to friends as the portable and then hook up as a desktop to show off as well. Other reasons was to have as an option for family in the Philippines and get some friends kids into coding.


First thing I did was hook it up online and updated apt-get. The pencil kickstand idea is pretty damn awesome and useful. bv

After updating, I decided to power down to look at the main guts of it. I knew the actual computer part would be small but am still impressed with how small it is. The no-screws casing is very nice and well put together. I found that the battery is stickied on to the board so changing from portable to “desktop” and reusing the battery isn’t an easy option.

Besides the battery, there are a few other things that hinder going back and forth from pocket to desktop. The first being a sacrifice of resolution. This is because (according to the chip update site) : “A C.H.I.P. that supports DIPs does not support PocketC.H.I.P. and vice versa. C.H.I.P.s can be reflashed to work with either, just not at the same time. Yes, we’re going to fix this.” Also related to this is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to boot between the pocket chip os and chip os. (have to look into this more)

The keyboard is alright. I tested it using terminal and found that vi didn’t work the way I’m use to. I first thought it was a keyboard issue then figured out it is a vim config idea.

This was solved by installing vim-gui-common and vim-runtime.

sudo apt-get install vim-gui-common vim-runtime

I was surprised that there was no browser on the pocketchip os. After some research, I found that people have tried various options and dwb seems to be the best option given the touch screen and resolution. I tried dwb out for a few minutes and it crashed on me. I’ll look into that a bit more sometime.

The latest thing I tried is to run the pocket chip headless. This is possible to do but you have to install the ssh service first. The reason it is not installed is “don’t want uninformed people to get rooted all the time with default user and password while they’re out and about. We’re considering better solutions to this issue.

So you will have to go to the terminal and install it.

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

I changed the default password obviously. I plan on flashing the device into the desktop and playing around with that next.

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