On Tue, Jul 03, 2012 at 11:07:27AM -0500, Mark Tapley wrote:
At 19:48 -0500 7/1/12, ARD wrote (more or less):
More seriously, can you name a present-day
computer where the
manufactuers do supply schematics, data on ASICs, and the like?
Pretty sure that's not what you meant, though.
Seriously, I love the idea but see no good way to market it to the
Imbedded systems, "educational" systems, etc. could maybe develop a
market size that would make it possible to produce, but the cost of
providing good service info (much more to produce good "educational"
material to accompany the system if that's the route you are going)
It looks to me like the market has fragmented into
a) N8VEM class systems -
*truly* niche market, open architecture but tiny numbers sold
b) Rpi class systems -
incomplete docs and SMI/unserviceable construction, moderate
c) Commodity boxes, iPad/ThinkBook/etc -
serviceable only with specialized tools or not at all, the vast
majority of the market.
d) Server boxes
more serviceable, but at the fast, board-swap-to-get-it-running
level. Expensive. Small fraction of market.
Anyone have ideas on how to break out of those categories? I think
whatever it is will need a powerful enough CPU to run a *big*
fraction of modern hardware (recent Linux -> web browser +
self-hosted development environment?), be easy enough to assemble to
require minimal tool acquisition, and use commodity peripherals
(flash card storage, HDMI output, bluetooth or USB KB/mouse,
microphone?). Complexity is already an issue at that point; trying
to "educate" a new user across that whole array of components is
Yeah I just bought a Lemote Mini. I think it meets all your requirements and
it's complete as delivered and 100% open source so it probably meets Tony's
requirements as well. They also make laptops/netbooks. And they are coming
out with (I believe) a quad core MIPS box soon, judging from the Linux
It's a greeting card box sized SBC with a licensed MIPS III-compatible
uniprocessor with some proprietary (but documented) extensions, running
about 800/900 MHz, has 512M RAM, 160G SATA HD, preinstalled Debian-based
Linux. I just got it so I don't know how it does compiling big source but
it boots and responds fine for my needs at this point, actually better than
I expected. I tried out KDE and read some PDFs and it seems not to have any
performance problems. I am going to install OpenBSD and get rid of the Linux
asap but it's good to know there are several reliable OS choices for it.
It's a little pricey ($186 + steep shipping) especially compared to the RPi
but it is a finished package with a nice housing, walwart, WIFI, 1Gbit
ethernet, 4 USB ports, micro serial port(!), and DVI and VGA and S-Video
out. Just add keyboard and monitor and start coding, surfing the web,