It’s a weird state of affairs that if you want to build something by far the cheapest decent display module is an outdated and/or refurbished Android tablet. And once you realize that, the “build” part is over – all you need now is the right software.

My line of thinking some years ago was: “I have that Raspberry Pi, I should do something with it. It will need WiFi and a display module. Oh, there are tablets below 40 € with quite usable displays. Wait, why did I need Raspberry Pi again?”

And then I spent some time making an app with Cordova that would display a weather forecast, upcoming appointments and missed phone calls. As to the hardware, I only had to shut down unused services just in case these decide to access the web.


Biggest trouble with ancient hardware is that it has an equally ancient SSL implementation. Turns out, the most reliable way of “fixing” this is getting recent curl via a Cordova plugin and bypassing the system’s implementation for HTTPS requests completely.

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