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[Discuss] EOMA68 Computer

On 07/19/16 15:01, Steve Litt wrote:
> On Tue, 19 Jul 2016 15:20:45 +0000
> Mike Small <smallm at> wrote:
>> IngeGNUe <ingegnue at> writes:
>>> This computer right here:
>>> Eco-friendly, upgradeable, portable, secure, affordable, no NDAs, no
>>> proprietary anything (except for MALI, if you insist on it), fully
>>> documented hardware. Can be used as phone (maybe phablet), tablet,
>>> laptop, desktop, "low-power co-located servers", anything you can
>>> fit it into.
>>> This is one of those projects which will change the way we do
>>> computing on GNU/Linux. Please read and if you like it, I hope you
>>> will support it!!!  
>> Hmmm, I wonder if it would turn out to be as eco-friendly as intended
>> in practice. The people who want to reduce their footprint I think
>> should keep whatever they have now running and not buy anything new.
>> Plus when you need a computer their tonnes of old crap to grab cheap
>> before it hits landfill. I could see something like this letting me
>> trick myself into buying before my current machines are fully
>> consumed or buying new when I should look to used.
>> It would be nice if it influenced the industry to move to machines
>> where you can upgrade just the thing that's lacking maybe. Or would
>> it? I find my old laptops remain perfectly adequate and I haven't
>> looked into upgrade options: their upgradability certainly is not a
>> feature anyone has advertised to me. Having cheap upgrade options and
>> having those options publicized might also make me more tempted to
>> consume more not less. Of course, if it's really more fixable when
>> one component fails that's plainly good.
>> My own experience with hardware was to be an upgrade junky in the
>> 90s. With some headaches you could get a new motherboard, change the
>> video card add SIMMs or DIMMs, upgrade the modem, etc. I'd end up
>> getting all this stuff I didn't really need cause you could do it
>> somewhat incrementally. Then I splurged and bought a powermac. Partly
>> I paid so damn much (at one time) for the foolish thing I didn't want
>> to buy new hardware for years. But also it lacked upgradability (or
>> that was my perception maybe combined with an irrational feeling that
>> it was a unit with a single identity less so than an aggregate of
>> parts) compared to the PC clones I'd previously dealt with. That
>> helped me kick the habit. And as mentioned above the limited
>> upgradability I have now with old laptops instead of desktops helps.
>> Odd, somehow this old crap just keeps running and running. Do
>> computers still break? ;)
>> My cynical side fears this is a little like Macintosh or automobile
>> marketing, as in it's a computer whose first purpose, the purpose
>> sparking the sale, is to satisfy the soul who wants to express who he
>> or she is via purchases or in effect it working out that way despite
>> the good intentions of the founders. Hmmm, if that gets more people
>> to use GNU+Linux, okay, but maybe the way it works out in the market
>> would not end up being a net plus on the environmental or conflict
>> mineral side.
> I'm tempted to buy it for the same reason I bought a regenerative
> shortwave kit (and will later design and hand-assemble another): I
> understand what I've built myself, I can work on what I've built
> myself, and I can, to a degree, modify what I've built myself. I feel
> just a little bit helpless when using a machine or system which I can't
> open up and intelligently tinker with.

Steve, that's me too. If I have a fully free machine, I don't care if
it's low-powered. I want full control all the time. :)

Mike, you bring up good points about the eco friendliness. Counterpoints:

* It is easier to repair because it's less of a hassle to obtain and
swap parts
* When there is a problem, you won't be throwing out the entire machine
* The eco-consciousness will depend on the development cycle of the
machines. For one thing, I don't think there will be planned
obsolescence and delayed upgrades the way there is in other consumer and
enterprise electronics, which are planned specifically to *tempt* people
to buy *more* so they can make more money.
* If they do this for-profit then there is an issue where market forces
might influence them to tempt people to buy more and more SoC upgrades,
resulting in more waste. But, that would require the...project
maintainers, if you will, to spend more and more money. A large
corporation would be more likely to pull that off than a small
crowdfunding project.
* I hope that this will change the way people look at devices, that they
realize they can build and fix instead of dispose, but we'll see...

> SteveT
> Steve Litt 
> July 2016 featured book: Troubleshooting Techniques
>      of the Successful Technologist
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