Do you already know him, the computer from the chips box? I’m sorry, what? Yes, in English-speaking countries
the potato (
Potato) for a low-end computer that only has Microsoft Word, spreadsheets, and minesweeper on it.
But what if this supposedly weak computer works for two years at a time without a regular power supply? That sounds a lot more interesting!
The right hardware is now supplied by Andreas Eriksen. The developer and hobbyist is currently working on a portable mini computer that is supposed to shine with an amazing battery purchase time of two years. You read that right! two years And according to the plan, that is by no means the end of the road.
Battery to infinity: For future development steps of its quasi-laptop for the post-apocalyptic age, Eriksen is even planning an infinitely long battery life.
Sounds fantastic – and unbelievable? Let’s see which technology parts should enable the astronomical battery life. But before that, let’s take a quick first look at this marvel of technology:
At the same time, it is obvious that the GameStar tech editorial team has been dealing with potato PCs from time to time for a long time. After all, there are one or two gaming potatoes that you can still gamble on – even if it’s just a remaster of a classic:
How are 2-year battery life possible?
Let’s get an overview of which components are working inside the miracle box – after all, it can hardly be cyberpunk-compatible hardware. The most important components at a glance:
- Processor: ARM Cortex M4 core (runs at up to 96MHz)
- Random access memory: 384 KB RAM
- Hard disk: 1.0 MB flash memory
- power supply: 12,000 mAh LiPo battery from PiJuice and a small solar panel
Well, guess what: Under the load of a triple-A title like Cyberpunk from the current gaming blockbuster generation, this computer would collapse – unless you measure the frames per decade and not per second.
So manageable power is one ingredient – but how do two years of battery life become possible? Hobbyist Andreas Erikson can explain it best himself, because he writes that the built-in PiJuice battery offers
much more battery […]than you’d ever care for [Eriks Computer] would need.
To put the built-in 12,000 mAh in perspective: the standard smartphone battery has a capacity of around 3,000 to 4,000 mAh. So the battery of the potato computer has about three to four times the capacity of your smartphone.
Display from the Gameboy generation and expensive keyboard
In addition to the frugal hardware, there is another energy-saving ingredient: the display built in by Eriksen. Instead of relying on a contemporary but power-guzzling IPS or OLED display, Eriksen has installed a simple monochrome display.
You know: one of those monochrome displays you know from the original Gameboy – or your pocket calculator from school days. Eriksen demonstrates his homemade computer in action on YouTube – and prompts user Roopi Nanra to plan the device firmly for the dystopian debacle. She writes:
“Nice project. Pretty useful once we’re living in the zombie apocalypse.”
Link to YouTube content
Amazing fact: According to developer Eriksen, the input device, i.e. the keyboard, was the most expensive component. Then again the keyboard, in Eriksen’s case a Happy Hacking Keyboard, is decisive for the device structure – along with the programming environment. Ericsen writes:
“It needs a good keyboard and a decent programming environment – compatibility with existing software is less important, nor is powerful hardware.”
What is the name of the potato?
Finally, the question remains to be clarified: Why is this charmingly freaky computer called
As mentioned above: In the English-speaking world, the word has changed
Potato naturalized for lame computers; A low-performance computer is thus paraphrased – with the
German potato has nothing to do with that.
PotatoP however, refers to the targeted form factor: The
PotatoP is getting ready, the dosage form of a
Laptops get as close as possible. In other words: small, handy and transportable. With one in the name
Potato OS baptized operating system, hobbyist Erikson turns even further on the pun screw.
Availability: Erikson has made the code for his potato hit freely accessible on Github.
Should you be hungry for more devices with amazing battery life after the potato computer: We recently reported on a Samsung Galaxy cell phone with a battery life of almost two weeks:
What do you think of
computer they called the potato? Is your high-priced tower PC now ending up in the corner, or are you perhaps even a hobbyist and tinkerer who is currently working on a suitable one
sweet potato to Erikson’s potato? And what do you generally think of such innovations from the private tool shed? Feel free to exchange ideas in our comments!