Cheapest Windows Based Propeller Dev Platform found at Office Max

frank freedmanfrank freedman Posts: 1,175
Well maybe not a Pi or Rubix A10 (unless you add in Keyboard, mouse, and monitor)

A few days ago, my Nexus7 met an untimely end. Thursday I found its replacement at OfficeMax. They had a HP Stream 7 tablet on sale for $99.00 with Win 8.1 on it. Turns out it is NOT an WinRt system. So all the USB stuff works as it should for serial comms, USB to hard wire network (need that to run some stuff on CT systems and PACS/network checks) and USB to parallax products such as the C-3, Quickstart and USB proto-board. On the down side, it is useful to have at least a Bluetooth mouse (and maybe keyboard) to make life easier with the IDE, but it does all work. And the price is right. So far a real keeper as tools go. Just need to find a good X-sserer for it without having to resort to Exceed.
Ordnung ist das halbe Leben....
Ich lebe in der anderen Hälfte
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Comments

  • 126 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • localrogerlocalroger Posts: 2,925
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    How do you connect a USB device such as a QuickStart to it? The cable it comes with is for a USB slave and doesn't mate with other USB slave devices.
  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 8,734
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Hummingbird Exceed is a GREAT X Server. Has support for all sorts of things, even the 3D controllers over X for legacy visualization applications, but it's expensive.

    I have found a lot works reasonably with this: https://www.starnet.com/xwin32/

    You can do short, 30 minute sessions at no cost.
    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?123709-Commented-Graphics_Demo.spin<br>
  • jmgjmg Posts: 9,865
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    localroger wrote: »
    How do you connect a USB device such as a QuickStart to it? The cable it comes with is for a USB slave and doesn't mate with other USB slave devices.

    Sounds from #1 like it works fine.
    store.HP and Officedept are suitable vague on the actual details, but google finds this

    http://www.amazon.com/HP-Stream-Windows-Includes-Personal/dp/B00NSHLVD2
    which says OTG, and also mentions
    "I could transfer up to 19MBps from tablet USB to tablet microSD card"
    so that looks like a 480MBps compatible USB port.
  • localrogerlocalroger Posts: 2,925
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Never mind, I found the adapter for using USB slave devices. You are most likely to find one locally with a USB thumb drive pre-plugged into it "for use with your cell phone" and Amazon has them in many form factors.
  • DavidZemonDavidZemon Posts: 2,237
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    localroger wrote: »
    Never mind, I found the adapter for using USB slave devices. You are most likely to find one locally with a USB thumb drive pre-plugged into it "for use with your cell phone" and Amazon has them in many form factors.

    Indeed. "OTG" is the keyword anyone should use that is looking for similar adapter or functionality.
    David
    PropWare: C++ HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) for PropGCC; Robust build system using CMake; Integrated Simple Library, libpropeller, and libPropelleruino (Arduino port); Instructions for Eclipse and JetBrain's CLion; Example projects; Doxygen documentation
  • tonyp12tonyp12 Posts: 1,798
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Here is a Win8.1 Tablet for $59 for you who have Microcenters in town.
    http://www.microcenter.com/product/439773/7_Tablet

    full size USB 2.0
  • jmgjmg Posts: 9,865
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    tonyp12 wrote: »
    Here is a Win8.1 Tablet for $59 for you who have Microcenters in town.
    http://www.microcenter.com/product/439773/7_Tablet

    full size USB 2.0

    Impressive, I found this expanded comment on another forum

    ["it's model number is "TW700", with a SKU of "468421". This series of tablets feature a Bay-Trail T Quad-Core processor, Windows 8.1 with Bing, [B]one full-sized USB 3.0 port[/B], and a two-device license for Office 365. The newsletter suggests that the device has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of secondary storage space. This tablet is available only in-store, and is limited to 3 per customer/per household(presumably)."]

    So just 16GB, but does USB 3.0 so adding a USB HDD is maybe an option (with some power supply 'T' ?)
  • frank freedmanfrank freedman Posts: 1,175
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    yep, shoulda mentioned I use the OTG pigtail to go from micro to A USB.....
    :(
    Indeed. "OTG" is the keyword anyone should use that is looking for similar adapter or functionality.
    Ordnung ist das halbe Leben....
    Ich lebe in der anderen Hälfte
  • localrogerlocalroger Posts: 2,925
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I would be leery of that $59 tablet. They don't say who made it, but one of the reviews of the HP says that the only other Win 8.1 product on the market was garbage with inadequate storage and a much poorer display than the HP. I have been testing the HP all afternoon and I am surprisingly impressed with it. I have a small pile of little tablet and e-reader devices I've gotten cheaply which I've used a bit for this and that, but I think this thing may replace my aging netbook for a lot of common uses.The fact that it can run standard software (including what I've been writing for years in VB6) and drivers for standard devices like serial dongles is a huge leap forward, and while Win 8 is kind of a disaster on the desktop this is in fact a tablet and it works much better than I expected.

    Edit: Here's the review... http://winsupersite.com/mobile/hp-stream-7-first-impressions
  • tonyp12tonyp12 Posts: 1,798
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    >I would be leery of that $59 tablet. They don't say who made it,
    Winbook was a brand started by Microcenter I guess as: http://www.winbookcorp.com/
    NOTICE: This site is no longer being updated. Please visit www.microcentertech.com.
  • David CarrierDavid Carrier Posts: 277
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    The HP Stream 7 is going to be $79.99 on Thanksgiving, in stores or online: http://officedepot.shoplocal.com/OfficeDepot/BrowseByPage/Index/?PromotionID=108934 (see page three)

    — David Carrier
    Parallax Inc.
  • localrogerlocalroger Posts: 2,925
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    That's good info David, I've already got a couple of people wanting one after seeing the one I bought today. I'll let them know.
  • RaymanRayman Posts: 8,167
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    There's also Nextbook at Walmart for $99...
    Prop Info and Apps: http://www.rayslogic.com/
  • KeithEKeithE Posts: 675
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    potatohead wrote: »
    Hummingbird Exceed is a GREAT X Server. Has support for all sorts of things, even the 3D controllers over X for legacy visualization applications, but it's expensive.

    I have found a lot works reasonably with this: https://www.starnet.com/xwin32/

    You can do short, 30 minute sessions at no cost.

    I know some people who like this one - http://mobaxterm.mobatek.net which can be used for free.
  • localrogerlocalroger Posts: 2,925
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Well I've spent the last day and a half doing little else at work but throwing stuff at the Stream 7. Today I told the boss I recommend we get one for every one of our technicians, yesterday.

    Reads PDF doc files, including very long ones with lots of graphics, responsively and without hesitating or locking up -- check
    USB peripherals, especially serial ports, work -- check
    All our serial diagnostic and downloading tools work -- check
    It's lighter, more rugged, and a quarter the cost of a laptop to do those things -- duh
    It boots in like five seconds flat, and doesn't BSOD if you say unplug the USB serial dongle while it's asleep like my netbook does -- check
    Because it's "crippleware" 32-bit Windows 8, it actually runs 32-bit software (of which we have several packages we critically need) that won't run on normal Windows 8 -- HELL YES CHECK
    You can remote into it from a real computer with TeamViewer and treat it like a real computer -- HAHAHAHA yep.

    This thing single-handedly solves four or five nasty long-standing problems we've had more cheaply than the other solutions we've looked at for any ONE of those problems. Today I got a bluetooth keyboard for it, I didn't get a mouse mainly because the only one the store had was $60, and I anticipate it mostly replacing my EEEpc which this thing makes look like an ocean liner.
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 12,529
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Wow. Didn't think ms released a Windows 8/8.1 in 32-bit version.
    MS & Intel must be worried as HP must be getting the s/w and chips for next to/or nothing!!!
    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2, RamBlade, CpuBlade, TriBlade
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd, Spinix)
    Website: www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index) , Emulators (Index) , ZiCog (Z80)
  • jmgjmg Posts: 9,865
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    localroger wrote: »
    ...
    USB peripherals, especially serial ports, work -- check
    All our serial diagnostic and downloading tools work -- check.
    ...

    Thanks for the list, impressive & the 32 bit aspect is quite revealing.

    Did you check any USB Dongles ?
  • localrogerlocalroger Posts: 2,925
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I checked several different USB memory sticks, a Digi Edgeport (which is our go-to standard for USB to serial, as it's the only model that seems to work reliably on everything) and of course FTDI for the Parallax stuff. It's a bit slower and can't do quite as do quite as much in parallel as my relatively new Win 8 laptop, but otherwise the only difference in functionality I can detect between the Stream and the $400 laptop is that the $400 laptop won't run some of the 32-bit programs I need, and the Stream will.

    I do think the 32-bit thing is a particular strategy for the mobile market; the Stream has 1 gig of RAM, considered underpowered by today's standards but adequate for a lot of practical work. You need 64-bit for more than 2 gigs RAM. (Yeah 32-bit should go to 4 gigs, but some stuff stupidly uses signed math.) So I think the 32-bit Win 8 was a "crippleware compromise" to provide a version they could offer cheap/free so as to compete with Android and iOS, without threatening their "real" desktop OS market.

    The ironic thing is that not only does this make the Stream MORE functional than a real laptop, the very features of Win 8 that are so maddening on the desktop actually work here because, well, it's a tablet. This has actually given me a new appreciation for Win 8 as a table t operating system; in some ways it's much better than Android. It's really too bad they had to create such a bad taste by shoving it down our throats on the desktop too.
  • David CarrierDavid Carrier Posts: 277
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    And here is one currently on sale for $70, also with free shipping:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834757020

    The specs almost match the HP one, but it has a bigger battery and thicker case.
  • localrogerlocalroger Posts: 2,925
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    That SupraPad on NewEgg isn't even close to the Stream 7. It only has 16G of flash, which means the OS will take nearly all of it, and the screen is 1024x600 versus the Stream's 1280x800. That's basically the other device mentioned in the review I linked in post #10, which the reviewer described as unusable garbage compared to the Stream 7.
  • David CarrierDavid Carrier Posts: 277
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Oops, I had a window open to the tablet EE351 posted when I was comparing them. Yes, the iView tablet on NewEgg isn't near as good as the one HP one on sale at Office Max tomorrow. It will still be fine for running the Propeller Tool, since it is probably one of the least resource intensive up-to-date programs for Microsoft Windows. SimpleIDE will take quite a bit more drive space for GCC, but everything else is still pretty light.

    — David Carrier
  • localrogerlocalroger Posts: 2,925
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    After throwing stuff at the Stream 7 for a couple of days now I'm pretty confident it will run SimpleIDE without a hitch. In fact, I'll test it Friday or this weekend.

    I finally did find an application that chokes the Stream, because it has several hundred megabytes of dependencies and is an almost heroic example of lazy bad design, so it manages to use up all the RAM. It does run but it's obviously swapping stuff to the flash drive like crazy and taking minutes to accomplish user interface state changes. We thought that was a problem since we have a tech who uses that app until we realized it was a new version, and when our tech updated his netbook to the new version it choked too.

    It's really amusing to use TeamViewer to remote control the pad from a real computer.

    P.S. I feel like I need to take a bath after saying something is under-powered because it ONLY has a gigabyte of RAM. It doesn't seem like all that long ago when all the university and government computing centers in the world didn't add up to a gigabyte.
  • abecedarianabecedarian Posts: 312
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'm quite happy with my Toshiba Encore 2. It's nowhere near being equal to the core 2 quad in my tower, but is definitely more responsive than the older HP / Athlon X2 laptop I have... and probably nearly on par with the two year old Core I3-based laptop I have.
  • localrogerlocalroger Posts: 2,925
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    As I posted in the other thread, it's now verified; both PropTool and SimpleIDE install and communicate with Propeller chips without a problem. As a practical matter you will need a bluetooth mouse and keyboard to use them though.
  • LoopyBytelooseLoopyByteloose Posts: 12,537
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    It looks like ASUS has the new EEEBook selling for $200 USD... includes Windows 8.1.
    Will that work for you.

    http://www.tlbhd.com/asus-eeebook-x205ta-19242/
    Hwang Xian Shen, Puddleby-on-the-Marsh.
    All things considered, I can live and thrive without Microsoft products. LINUX is just fine.
  • localrogerlocalroger Posts: 2,925
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    And so the netbook also rises from the dead. The Stream is about as capable for half the price, but you have to spring for a bluetooth keyboard and use to actually use regular Windows applications.
  • frank freedmanfrank freedman Posts: 1,175
    edited November 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    hpst7.jpg

    Yep, This is what has become of my BB Playbook keyboard. Not shown here, but ..... Just the right size for the generic case I stuck the Stream into. Seems no one has a stream 7 specific case out for it.


    localroger wrote: »
    As I posted in the other thread, it's now verified; both PropTool and SimpleIDE install and communicate with Propeller chips without a problem. As a practical matter you will need a bluetooth mouse and keyboard to use them though.
    1024 x 753 - 242K
    Ordnung ist das halbe Leben....
    Ich lebe in der anderen Hälfte
  • Roxanna77Roxanna77 Posts: 17
    edited December 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Thank you so much for posting about this tablet! Because of the post, I looked into one and purchased the "Signature Edition" Stream 7 from the Microsoft store. It arrived yesterday and I have to say, its the best $99 I've ever spent on computer equipment. My nexus 7's may get dusty now....
    ~ Roxy ~ Propeller Girl
    "Pardon my innocence, as I'm often wrong, and when not, I am probably incorrect"
  • Don MDon M Posts: 1,538
    edited December 2014 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I have a Dell Latitude 10 ST2E 10" tablet (Windows 8.1) that I bought used from a guy earlier this year for $100. Works great with Propeller Tool. It has a standard USB receptacle that doesn't need an OTG type cable.
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