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My PocketCHIP is a portable Linux box


Two PocketCHIPs in the boxBefore I was an influencer marketer, before I was a social media strategist, and even before I dominated search with SEO and online reputation management (ORM), I was a geek.

My first job after college was managing a room full of Sun SPARC Solaris pizza boxes. My second job was as LAMP technologist — Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP — but in my case it included Python and Zope, too.

So, even though I am now a PR shill and marketing hack, my roots hold deeply to my geeky past.

To me, Linus Torvalds is a saint and when I visited Helsinki in 1996 it was a pilgrimage. My geeky side is why is built on Plone and why most of my sites are Drupal instead of WordPress.

Next Thing Co PocketC.H.I.PThen I saw that a company called Next Thing Co. was developing something that like the Raspberry Pi but less headless, at least when it’s decked out in the form I funded back on 

While Next Thing started with something similar to the Raspberry Pi, the C.H.I.P., called the world’s first $9 computer, I would have never bought one of those (the last thing I need is a headless anything, right?).

I can’t see myself plugging a 24″ monitor and a full-sized clicky keyboard into something half the size of an Altoids tin.

But, oh, the PocketCHIP! It’s close to perfect, though I won’t be writing my novel or any of these blog posts on it, though it comes delivered with a music editor, a text editor, a game console, and a legit Linux terminal with vi and everything.

Linux top command pocketCHIP Oddly, while people have written entire books using their Blackberry classic devices — the keyboard is that good! — I don’t think there’s going to be that much work done on the PocketCHIP.

The keyboard is a complete QWERTY setup but the keys are bubble keys, aren’t set up in a way that could be intuitive for the touch typist, even one who can touch type with his thumbs.

The battery should fuel the PocketCHIP for about five hours, the little color screen is a touchscreen and is high-resolution enough to make running shell scripts and vi debugging easy just so long as you still have your eyes. If the screen is blurry or illegible, make an appointment with your optometrist post haste!

Back of the PocketC.H.I.P.I still want to spend more time with the little device. It’s not a daily driver. If I want to write novels on a handheld device I really should either reactivate my old BlackBerry Bolds or get myself a new BlackBerry Classic.

This device sells itself as a game console and there is a composite output port if you want to add a display, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a micro USB port for charging. Oh, and the PocketCHIP also has integrated Wi-Fi so I can figure out the best way to make Internet connectivity essential to the device.

Well, at least I was able to ping, which is a start!

Neither C.H.I.P. nor PocketC.H.I.P. are available right now, though they’re value-priced at $9 and $49 respectively via pre-order. And it’s not going to be vaporware, either, because I have two.

Linux ping command on the PocketCHIMPOh, before I go, here are the specs: 1Ghz ARMv7 Processor, 512MB RAM, Mali 400 Gpu, WiFi, Bluetooth, 5hr Battery, and 4GB of high speed storage — a pretty formidable supercomputer back in 1991 when Linus was first developed by Saint Linus of Helsinki.

OK, I feel like I have lanced the boil that has built up from not being a geek since 2006, so I’ll return to the world of blogger outreach, influencer marketing, online relationship management, SEO, and social media strategy.

But, I really need to geek out a little bit. And, for only $49, this is an amazingly powerful little machine that will, I suppose, over time, evolve from it’s current position in my life as Linux novelty nostalgia into becoming something that could really help me out in the field.  There’s a lot of potential here.

Chris Abraham

Chris Abraham, digital strategist and technologist, is a leading expert in digital: search engine optimization (SEO), online relationship management (ORM), Internet privacy, Wikipedia curationsocial media strategy, and online public relations with a focus on blogger outreachinfluencer engagement, and Internet crisis response, with the digital PR and social media marketing agency Gerris digital. [Feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call with me] A pioneer in online social networks and publishing, with a natural facility for anticipating the next big thing, Chris is an Internet analyst, web strategy consultant and adviser to the industries' leading firms. Chris Abraham specializes in web technologies, including content marketing, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media.  Chris Abraham was named a Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer by Forbes, #1 PR2.0 Influencer by Traackr, and top-10 social media influencers by Marketwire; and, for what it’s worth, Chris has a Klout of 79 the last time he looked. Chris Abraham started doing web development back in 1994, SEO in 1998, blogging in 1999, influencer engagement in 2003, social media strategy in 2005, blogger outreach in 2006, and Wikipedia curation in 2007. Feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call. If you want to know the services that Chris offers check out Services If you want to work with Chris use the Contact Form You're welcome to follow me via Social Media You can learn more about Chris over in About Chris writes a lot so check out the Blog Chris offers webinars so check Events

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