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That Open, Upgradeable ARM Dev Board Is Trying To Make A Comeback

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  • #11
    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
    ...None gives a fuck about that, the hardware itself does not, the only thing they care about is the lack of free drivers for Mali...
    That's an odd sentiment to express on a site devoted to Linux. How can you have over 750 posts and think that nobody cares about GPL violations? Not all of us are frothing-at-the-mouth followers of Stallman (though there are certainly a few around here). But I think it's fair to say that there are plenty of people who think GPL violations are big deals.

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    • #12
      Just as in the case of Pyra the cost is exorbitant. Now that there's a plethora of S905 based TV boxes capable of running Linux, you should buy one for $40 and spend the rest on advocacy/GPL enforcement.

      Otherwise, even with your pockets picked, you'll end up no closer to software freedom ideals.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by kaprikawn View Post
        That's an odd sentiment to express on a site devoted to Linux. How can you have over 750 posts and think that nobody cares about GPL violations? Not all of us are frothing-at-the-mouth followers of Stallman (though there are certainly a few around here). But I think it's fair to say that there are plenty of people who think GPL violations are big deals.
        Read those linked posts plz.
        If the FSF itself does not give a fuck about GPL violations in crappy Android driver of who makes the SoC (as that shit isn't used at all in this project because of the opensource work of the sunxi team) and is ready to give the sticker "as long as there are free drivers for the GPU", which is a Mali thus its driver comes from ARM, I can safely state that yes, none gives a fuck about Allwinner violating GPL in this case, apart from loons.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by Shimon View Post
          Just as in the case of Pyra the cost is exorbitant. Now that there's a plethora of S905 based TV boxes capable of running Linux, you should buy one for $40 and spend the rest on advocacy/GPL enforcement.

          Otherwise, even with your pockets picked, you'll end up no closer to software freedom ideals.
          S905 boxes have a Mali.
          Dragonboards, Wandboards maybe are better bets.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by pal666 View Post
            lol, laptop for $500 without graphics. why not add $5 and use chip with freedreno support?
            The problem, for both this and the Pyra, is getting SoCs in the required quantity of ~4000 when the manufacturers want to sell in hundreds of thousands.

            So far the only manufacturers willing to sell in tiny quantities have been TI and Allwinner, which is why most small ARM-board projects have either an OMAP or an A10/A20.

            SoCs with Adreno would be better, but they simply aren't available.

            (Note that the Pyra now has working PowerVR 3D support on a recentish kernel, after some help from ImgTech employees).

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            • #16
              Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
              Read those linked posts plz.
              If the FSF itself does not give a fuck about GPL violations in crappy Android driver of who makes the SoC (as that shit isn't used at all in this project because of the opensource work of the sunxi team) and is ready to give the sticker "as long as there are free drivers for the GPU", which is a Mali thus its driver comes from ARM, I can safely state that yes, none gives a fuck about Allwinner violating GPL in this case, apart from loons.
              Seems to me, the FSF has no choice but to turn a 'blind eye' (if it comes f.i. to such mostly open-source-projects), because otherwise they would make no progress at all. This is sad, in one way, but in another way it is just logical, because the FSF is not really in a strong position to force such firms like Allwinner to do/change anything...

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              • #17
                Originally posted by Shimon View Post
                Just as in the case of Pyra the cost is exorbitant. Now that there's a plethora of S905 based TV boxes capable of running Linux, you should buy one for $40 and spend the rest on advocacy/GPL enforcement.

                Otherwise, even with your pockets picked, you'll end up no closer to software freedom ideals.
                I don't quite understand the point you're trying to make, as best I can figure you're saying that if you want to run a fully open software stack you're going to have to pay a lot for your hardware to enable that?

                Regardless, the cost of the Pyra has nothing to do with the openness of it, and everything to do with the fact that it's a small project that's run by a small group of enthusiasts, not a mega-corporation. The lack of economies of scale is the kicker.

                If ED could release the Pyra for less money and still turn a profit I'm sure he would. This is evidenced by the initial cost of the Pandora which was much closer in line with what people expected to pay for that type of hardware at the time. Long before they truly understood the realities of what releasing something like that would actually cost they intended to release the Pandora for a lot less money than the post release cost. Indeed, I was lucky enough to get my Pandora for £200. Yes, I had to wait 2 years for it, but still, that's a lot less than what they later charged for the Pandora.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by kaprikawn View Post
                  I don't quite understand the point you're trying to make
                  That atm money spent on advocacy/GPL enforcement is more well-spent than in these kinds of projects where critical parts of the device still require proprietary blobs (and will do so for the forseeable future).

                  The lack of economies of scale is the kicker.
                  Which is why I don't understand why no project uses common devboards or works with standardized modules (again, like most stuff from freescale) that are out already.

                  Every project must put out their own new module and then has to chicken out and choose a crappy SoC as they lack the numbers.

                  Really, we need FSF or whoever else to do some coordination here, so we start getting modules used by more than one project.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by kaprikawn View Post

                    Wait, what? They're trying to get FSF accreditation on a device using components from a known GPL violator? That's brazen to say the least.

                    Cool concept, let down by the fact that they're using Allwinner tech.
                    hiya kaprikawn, thanks for asking about this - the question is very similar to that made on the pyra-handhelds forum, here's a link to the question and my reply: https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/thr...3#post-1384732

                    basically, it's nearly flat-out impossible to find *any* SoC let alone one that's not from a GPL-violating company. if we divide all the SoCs in the world into "GPL violators" and "non-GPL-violators" you find that it correlates DIRECTLY with hugely increased cost and also vastly more documentation, full BSPs (board support packages) and usually a long-term support lifetime. for example the Freescale iMX6 quad-core is $36 and has a NINETEEN year support lifespan... the A20 is a $7 SoC including the PMIC.

                    we haven't *forgiven* Allwinner for their continued ongoing GPL violations, but the A20 has been around long enough, and we've been badgering them as a community for long enough that the A20 may be used in products *WITHOUT* violating the GPL.... otherwise there would be absolutely no way i'd use it.

                    we have to start somewhere, and we want to reach the goal of "Libre mass-volume processor". bear in mind that i am the person who did the "Towards an FSF Endorseable Processor" campaign back in 2012: https://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/1...dded-processor so I know how that can be done.

                    bear in mind, i'm committed to this for the next decade. this isn't a fly-by-night deal. you just don't spend 5 years designing a standard if the intent is to sell maybe 1,000 maybe 2,000 and walk away. this is a *mass-volume* project intended to create a paradigm shift in the whole computing industry, where this is just the start. so you'd be helping to support that by funding this campaign.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
                      Which is why I don't understand why no project uses common devboards or works with standardized modules (again, like most stuff from freescale) that are out already.
                      good question! which i think i will add to the FAQ, so thank you for raising it. the answer is: common devboards can't be put in front of the average end-user, they'll break them by putting it into the pocket of their nylon shirt whilst wearing rubber-soled shoes and walking across the plush fake-fur deep-pile shag carpet (zap, zap...)

                      second answer: i've *evaluated* all the standards i can get hold of... there aren't any that are good enough... so i had to make one! i've covered all the ones that i can find on elinux.org, http://elinux.org/Embedded_Open_Modular_Architecture and you can read about why the EOMA68 standard has the interfaces it does, in the ecocomputing whitepaper http://rhombus-tech.net/whitepapers/...ing_07sep2015/

                      but please, if you see a standard or a devboard that *is* suitable, do let me know, okay? because i tell you this, it's a hell of a lot of work to do what i'm doing, and i'll be absolutely blunt and up-front with you, if there was *anybody* else in the world trying to do this they can damn well have my support and get on with it, good luck to them! .. but so far, there isn't... so i'm forced to carry on *sigh*. ehh, c'est la vie.



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