Really cool modular and freedom-respecting computer

Discussion in 'Offtopic Discussions' started by Julie.chan, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. Julie.chan

    Julie.chan Well-Known Member

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    Chris from Think Penguin has mentioned this before, but it's being crowd-funded now, and it's really cool!

    https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop

    So, basically, the design is there's a "PC card" that has the actual computer on it, and you put that into a case. The case can be a laptop case, or it can be a nice wooden "desktop" case. Or you could make your own.

    I'd bet it would even be possible to make a Pyra-like case for it, though I imagine some tweaks would be needed.

    Oh, and it's freedom-respecting:

    I of course backed this right away.

    The only caveats to this are that 3-D doesn't currently work unless you add-on a proprietary driver (that could be solved if someone funds reverse-engineering, but the current plan is to just deal with not having 3-D since this is meant for tasks that don't really need it), and you need a USB wifi dongle (there's no built-in wireless as far as I can tell).
     
  2. Askarus

    Askarus Hardcore Member

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    I like the concept but don't like the hardware.

    The processor is slow and the peripherals are a joke.
    The laptop case has only one Micro SD-Slot and 3xUSB 2.0 (2 are internal).

    If they would have used better hardware it might be a lot more interesting for me.
     
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  3. Linux-SWAT

    Linux-SWAT Hardcore Member

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    The idea is cool, but my SOLEIL project is more realistic and already available ;^) .
     
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  4. Julie.chan

    Julie.chan Well-Known Member

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    Right, the hardware is not amazing, but I don't think it needs to be. The concept is mainly what it's about. Computer cards are upgradeable, so it will be possible in the future to get better processing power and such if this gets off the ground. I think the physical side (like the lack of ports/peripherals you mentioned) could be addressed already if you're knowledgeable enough and have access to a 3-D printer.

    What's that? Searching "SOLEIL" just led me to a Wikipedia article about a synchrotron facility in France.
     
  5. pyrat

    pyrat Very Active Member

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    I don't like Allwinner, but yes, I like the concept. Maybe when they offer the ingenic jz4775.
    The main reason I'm not backing is I'm not rich, and I don't use credit cards on the net. If there was an easy way to pay by SEPA wire transfer, maybe.
    It's not very powerful, because it's been brewing for many years, and it's increasingly difficult to find usable chips.
    Also the CPU board interface is a little limited in number of contacts and speed, so it leads to some compromises if you priorize standarisation and device interoperability.
    Defintely interesting. though. I wish them all the luck.
    There's a game console idea in their website. I don't know about the merits or status.
     
  6. cinaeco

    cinaeco Still Fresh

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    This reminds me of the pi-top, which is also already available.

    Also, yeah, what is SOLEIL?
     
  7. Askarus

    Askarus Hardcore Member

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    SOLEIL is one of the best usecases for the Pyra/Pandora.
    You can boot your Pandora Slackware via Network with any computer.
     
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  8. Linux-SWAT

    Linux-SWAT Hardcore Member

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  9. Julie.chan

    Julie.chan Well-Known Member

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    Oh. That's not the same ambition or even a very similar type of project, so I don't think it's reasonable to compare that with this.
     
  10. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    While I can't say that I am interested in the hardware they are selling (except maybe that laptop thingy, which kinda looks cool) I really like the idea. I feel I need to be honest and say that I initially thought it was a stupid idea, but the more I thought about it I realised that this is something I have wished for a few times, and also why modular smartphones and (one of the reasons why) the Pyra appeal to me. And that is just the hardware side of things. It isn't something I need right now, but it is something I want for future use. I really want things to work out with this, and for it to have a long lifetime of support and upgrades.

    I think I missed this. Thanks for sharing it (and also for SL4P). I thought Ghost was proprietary, but I never paid much attention when I was using it, as I had a bunch of machines to clone. Anyway, I may play with this, and I really need to get around to SL4P before the Pyra is released.
     
  11. sulu

    sulu Guest

  12. Julie.chan

    Julie.chan Well-Known Member

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    Someone involved in the project responded to a question about that on Reddit:



    (It isn't relevant to RYF certification, though.)
     
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  13. sulu

    sulu Guest

    So I assume, as long as Allwinner hasn't sorted out internally, if they want to respect the wishes of those that enable them to do business in the first place, any Allwinner device should be considered tainted - RYF-certified or not.

    btw:
    Why do I have to permit scripts from github.io, just to be able to see some simple links?
     
  14. Julie.chan

    Julie.chan Well-Known Member

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    No, of course not. That would be silly.

    It's because the forum software replaces Reddit links with "media" tags that have no non-js fallback.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  15. sulu

    sulu Guest

    Those two sentences include no valid argument.
    If a company choses to knowingly violate FLOSS licenses in their products, then I assume, it doesn't care for the ideas that constitute FLOSS. Whether some if it's employees have a different personal opinion doesn't change the behavior of the company as an entity.

    Primarily FLOSS is an idea, a "spirit" if you like. The licenses are just the legal implementations of that spirit. One doesn't have to share that spirit, but it has to be respected, as a statement of intent of the one who applies the license to his product. A company that has chosen to violate such a license has also chosen to violate the intent of the one who applied it. I don't see how someone who made that decision can still get a RYF certificate (which is just another implementation of the same spirit), without turning the certificate into an empty shell by robbing it of its spirit.
     
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  16. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

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    I think I need to side with sulu on this. The device can certainly be granted RYF certification because that's all RYF does, certify individual devices, but if someone is fully committed to FOSS to the point that RYF makes a difference then they should also be made aware that the device only exists because the company (in part or in whole) made money from illegal use of GPL software, and RYF or not, by purchasing this device they are contributing to the culture of that violation. Until AllWinner has completely changed and made reparations everything they do will be tainted with GPL violating money.
    Now, most people aren't going to care about the violation, I'm sure, and that's perfectly fine, as long as there's no attempt to hide it from those that may care.
     
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  17. Linux-SWAT

    Linux-SWAT Hardcore Member

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    The achieved goal is exactly the same.

    @rygD, Norton ghost is, not G4L.
     
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  18. Julie.chan

    Julie.chan Well-Known Member

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    No, it isn't. Yours is a software project. This is a hardware project.

    The main goal of this project, as I understand it, includes:

    - Making it easier to make your own custom hardware via 3-D printing.
    - Reducing e-waste.
    - Making new hardware that respects your freedom.

    I don't even see how your project intersects with these goals. I can only assume you're thinking of a very specific convenient use-case that both can be used for. That doesn't make the projects comparable.

    That may be, but what's your point?

    There are aqueducts built by the Roman Empire in use today in some parts of Europe. The Roman Empire was not terribly nice. That doesn't render the aqueducts themselves "tainted".

    Most of your clothes were probably made in sweatshops. The same goes for many other things you use. That doesn't render these products "tainted".

    Look, I don't know much about the Allwinner controversy, but we don't have an easy option here. We have to buy hardware that we can use without proprietary software, and our choices are limited. The people behind this project chose something that they can actually realistically use and not have proprietary dependencies. That its manufacturer might have some ethical problems in how it does business is a side issue that we cannot realistically address right now.

    That's dogmatic. What you are advocating for here is on the level of refusing to buy hypothetical Wal-mart shirts made in the U.S. because Wal-mart also sells regular shirts that were made in sweatshops.

    We can't afford dogmatism like this in the libre software community. The fact is that this is a good product for us to use. GPL violations by the same company that produces it have nothing to do with it.
     
  19. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

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    No, I'm not advocating refusing to buy the shirts, I'm advocating not pretending like Walmart isn't surviving because of the aforementioned sweatshops. Even shirts made in the US are tainted with money made selling shirts from 3rd world sweatshops. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't buy the shirts, just don't act like they're 100% free of sin.
    To make an extreme example, if someone is an assassin, murders people for money, and then donates that money to charities, it is a good thing that money is going to help people but there should be no false pretenses about where that money came from: if you accept the money for charity you need be ok with the fact that people literally died in order for it to be donated.
    To loop that back, if you accept this device as RYF then you need to be OK with the fact that AllWinner is only in a position to offer it today because they violated the GPL. Most people will be OK with it, and that's fine, just don't pretend like it isn't "blood money" that made it possible.
     
  20. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    Also, WizardStan was only saying that it is important to inform the customers, which I totally agree with. If they are attempting to produce a device that address many concerns, add they are, it is probably important to those customers to know about the company behind one of the key components making this project possible, and that it has a history of doing things that may conflict with the ideals of this product, even if that won't be the case with what they will be providing here.

    If this will be a nail in the coffin for this project then maybe they should look for a different company. I think this is something that should be stated openly, and it also gives them a chance to say that they will be consulting to prevent a continuation of these violations. Rather than it being a negative, it can turn into a positive for all involved that ripples out to other products and companies. Not sure why you would want to brush everything under the rug.
     

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