A few years ago I was given an older model Cellebrite Touch device since they are old and obsolete. For those who don’t know what these are, they are used to extract data from your phones by law enforcement and government agencies for the purpose of acquiring data to be used as evidence. Major cell phone companies use these devices as well. The versions that they use have limited functionality than those in the hands of law enforcement. The cell phone companies use these devices to copy your data from one device to the other. These old Cellebrite devices run an embedded version of Windows XP. I know right? XP?
Here are the important specs:
- 7” WVGA (800×480) TFT Touch LCD, 280 NITS LED Backlight display
- Intel ATOM Z510 1.1GHz CPU
- 1GB DDR2 333MHz RAM
- PSSD MLC NAND Flash: 64GB capacity storage
They had the device on lock down to where you can only run their software. Everything else was disabled. (or so they thought) I was easily able to bypass the limitations. At first, I was unable to access both windows explorer and internet explorer but running a help dialog box gave me access to internet explorer. Oops! 😊 From there I was able to “file/open” anything I wanted so I went and opened command prompt, changed credentials, added a new user and I was in.
All this didn’t matter anyway… it was just for fun. My real challenge was installing Linux on this thing. I chose Lubuntu for this project. Everything installed easily and without issue.
So, what now? What do I do with this low powered device? Well, I occasionally I like to browse web posts and get ideas of what to do with old tech. While a few suggestions seemed totally ridiculous (I am not turning anything into a fishbowl), some ideas were pretty good. One stood out to me… why not create a time/weather station for my desk?
Brew all coffees! Coding session has begun!
Here is the result:
Note: I removed the device’s battery since I plan on having this plugged in all the time. The colors change from a bright morning yellow to a light blue color close to noon then it gets darker blue as the day goes by, then to a dark gray during the evening.
So how do you like my new desk weather hub thingy? I may update this thing in the future to display more information on the screen. Maybe add more colors to the time of day… or add some button functions since its a touch screen device. Ahh the posibilities.
Have an old device that you’d like to turn into a time/weather station? You can download the files to use here. Just make sure to change your location in the code so that you have the correct local weather data displayed.