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Old 11-04-2012, 08:25 PM   #1
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Default Making my own device

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Hey guys, I was wondering if it'd be possible for me to make my own little device that can take pictures, record audio, and play music and videos, with python. If it is, what would i need to buy in and approximately how much would it cost to build? Thanks to anyone who can give me a general idea
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Making my own device

Hmmmmm i can't tell you absolutely as to be honest i don't know the answer to your question but i can almost gurantee that if you can it's not going to be easy in fact it's going to be very very hard.

In terms of cost, if you are doing it yourself and you have the skills to you will save alot of money however i still expect this to be a rather expensive project. Using logic of buying components even using third party's ie an existing digital camera model to integrate with your device or existing mobile camera you are probably looking at thousands for the right to use it in your own way? Even if you just start with the actual device they arent going to be cheap.

I can;t give any more info that this and i can't gurantee it is accurate info as i have never looked into this but i would say, Very hard and very expensive.

Also you say using Python, you would have to use an existing operating system that understands Python. I wouldnt even know where to begin making an electronic chip understand what i want it to do?
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:54 PM   #3
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: Making my own device

I'm going to answer your post from the perspective of you being a relative beginner in electronics / programming (that seems to be what your post implies), but I don't mean this as an insult - we all start somewhere!

First off, the hardware side of things. You'll need a device as your base that's fast enough to handle the tasks you give it. Video playback is possibly the most strenuous, and that in itself demands an ARM based processor (forget your traditional 8 bit micros, just not powerful enough. Arduino can go out the Window as well.) This brings up a few issues on the hardware side of things, since ARM chips generally don't come in thu-hole design (please, if I'm wrong someone point me to one that does!) so you'll need to be rather handy with a soldering iron, or get yourself a dedicated ARM development kit. This is before you start trying to interface it with other devices such as cameras, an external display and so on. When you do get past that, you definitely won't be able to use Python either.

It's possible, but as a beginner it is not a place you want to start.

If you're still dead set on doing this, I'd base it around a Raspberry Pi. It won't be the most efficient way of what you want to do - but it gives you a Linux environment running on minimal hardware with HDMI out (which can be used to interface to a screen to playback video) and you could atttach a camera via USB or GPIO. You could also use Python on top of Linux to do what you want.

Cost? Really does depend on components, but I'd be surprised if you can make something like this in this fashion for anywhere near the price of say a ~100 phone that can handle these functions. In short, interesting project but I really don't think it's worth the time or expense.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: Making my own device

Well, I'm a python fanatic so, I may do this one day when I have a better understanding of all this, thanks for the help though as for it "not being worth it" or whatever, meh, it probably isn't, but hey, it's not like I want to make a bunch of these, just one for me, mainly to see if I can If I ever get around to doing this, I'll be sure to post a thread on here with pictures XP
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Making my own device

Quote:
Well, I'm a python fanatic
Don't be

Apart from my personal non-satisfaction with Python, the sign of a good programmer is one who is prepared to use whatever language is best to get the job done. If Python isn't suitable for embedded applications (which it really isn't) then learning another more appropriate language would be a wise move.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Making my own device

Ima still be a pythonee, I love it, it does get the job done, and its simple. not gonna switch :P
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Making my own device

Quote:
Originally Posted by berry120 View Post
Don't be

Apart from my personal non-satisfaction with Python, the sign of a good programmer is one who is prepared to use whatever language is best to get the job done. If Python isn't suitable for embedded applications (which it really isn't) then learning another more appropriate language would be a wise move.
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Originally Posted by Innocentcomputerguy View Post
Ima still be a pythonee, I love it, it does get the job done, and its simple. not gonna switch :P
Berry is no noob programmer. I understand that Python may be your "first love", but they typically teach those in intro classes to get a good understanding of syntax. No programming language is going to be ubiquitously applicable.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Making my own device

Quote:
No programming language is going to be ubiquitously applicable.
Bang on.

We all have our "first love" language. Mine is Java, yours is Python, the guy down the road's is Haskell, my great great Grandad's is Fortran. I'm not going to try and persuade you to switch away from this, and there's nothing inherently wrong with having such a notion either.

However, there are *always* going to be situations where you need to resort to another language, to not admit this is madness. I'd never (well aside from laughs) program an embedded device using Java or Python. I'd never program a cross-platform app in .NET, I'd never try and write a FPS in ASM. Don't see it as "switching away" from Python, it'll come in perfectly handy for various other things. See it as adding a new tool to your arsenal, and you'll really expand how you start to look at things.

A good analogy might be someone who's just trying to build a treehouse with only a drill. Sure, you can cut wood with a drill if you *really* try, but it's hard, difficult and produces crap results. You can turn the drill over and use it as a hammer but again, it's not what it's designed for and won't be nearly as easy as a real hammer. Use a tool designed for the job, and you'll be much better off in the long term, even if you have to learn how to use it first.
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