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Hello.
So, for anyone who doesn't know about the braille note, the braille sense, or the braille plus, I will post an article on Wikipedia and a synopsis of a DM that I received on twitter about them. Here we go.
Link To The Braille Note Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BrailleNote

The Braille Sense, I will say, was first heard of in the US thanks to Gw Micro. Hims and Gw Micro struck a distribution agreement, and thus, Gw Micro was the official US distributer of the Hims products. Gw and Hims worked together on a lot of the English translation. Eventually, though, Hims and Gw broke up with no hard feelings whatsoever as Hims opened a US office in Austin. So the Braille Sense Classic and Plus were distributed through Gw, and the On-hand later became the first product distributed by Hims themselves in the US. The Braille Plus? Well, there were two twin products, that is the Braille Plus Mobile Manager from Aph and the Levelstar Icon. Both products had nearly identical feature-sets, ran Linux, and whatnot. The Braille Plus 18 was a collaboration between Aph and Levelstar, later discontinued somewhere around  2016.

Now, for the question I had. Lets compare these devices. These devices share similarities, but I'll be talking about 1 difference, which nobody has asked about. Look at the operating systems these braille devices run on. The braille note and the braille sense both ran Windows CE, while the braille plus ran Linux. My question is, why? Why did Humanware and Hims not use Linux too? Linux is open sourced and easy to update, while windows CE is closed and could only be updated by Microsoft. What was the obsession with Windows CE. Also, why didn't APH keep updating the braille plus's operating system, why did they have to rewrite the whole thing in Android? It would have been easy to update things without taring it down and rebuilding the whole thing from scratch. I'm not sure if anyone could answer the question, but I would like to have theories on why this might be. Any answer would be appreciated.

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Because, unfortunately, it's a windows world.
I'd like to see a modern linux note taker, possibly running a distro based on Debian or Arch. Like the Levelstar Icon, but allowing the linux geeks within us to access terminals, SSH, Etc. Perhaps a modified Raspberry Pi?

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
Isaiah 42:16

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Mmm, yeah. I'd give for a Linux-based Braille Edge 40. After all, leave PDA functions to mainstream devices; it should just be a comprehensive and useful dumb note-taker plus braille terminal, with the means to support text-based applications or network terminals.

But it'll never happen because reasons.

Just myself, as usual.

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Well, let's see. Linux accessibility was almost unheard of in the late 90s and very early 2000s, gaining ground in about 2003 I'd say. So it was never thought of until later on in time. Second, it's not as simple as it seems. Updating the Braille Plus's firmware is technically possible, but one thing these hardware manufacturers must give serious thought to is the mainstream tech world. Hardly any mainstream pda's were running Linux at the time. Guess what they all ran? Windows ce. Windows Ce contained all the portable applications for productivity such as Word, IE, Inbox for email, you name it. The same thing can be said about Android. Linux has a long way to go before it will become a mainstream os, hell it may never fully become! mainstream, at least not in this decade. The reason for this is simple. People this day and age want something that just works. Linux is not one of those operating systems meant for everyone from the smallest child to the eldest grandparent. It takes time to learn. Which is fine for you and me, but you have to look at your audience. Android is a mainstream os. So, Aph decided to scrap the original Braille Plus sourcecode, and port it to Android. Now I will agree, a Linux notetaker would really be what we're after at this point. Manuel is doing this with the mk speech, which is hopefully soon to come.

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I don't see why something with the functionality of a BrailleNote or BrailleEdge can't be Linux-based, though, because you only need to build your own applications. So, text editor, simple email client, calculator, clock and alarms, stopwatch and timer, calendar and address book supporting CalDAV/CardDAV, maybe a chat client--nothing that's intrinsically complex or likely to be obsoleted in a short amount of time without minimal changes. The key is for it to do what it does well, not to do everything or mirror your iPhone. Because that is what your iPhone (or Droid) is for. In the end, the key functionality will always be the text editor and a few other essentials that are usually offline. Anything else, like SSH or telnet, would be a nice bonus, and the subject of an SDK.

Just myself, as usual.

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