[OH Updates] RFC: EOMA/PCMCIA Initiative
Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton
luke.leighton at gmail.com
Thu Sep 22 13:27:43 PDT 2011
this list appears to be a bit exciting at the moment, so, making a
judgement-call here i trust you won't mind if i mention what i believe
to be a topic that's relevant to people on this list.
i've been working on an initiative to help reverse the situation where
mass-volume products are released, it turns out to have
Free-Software-Licensed Source Code (in some cases, some considerable
time after the fact), and the product often ends up end-of-lifed by
the time GPL Compliance is achieved [or significant Free Software
Resources are wasted reverse-engineering the device].
the initiative begins with an Open Interface Definition - re-use of
legacy PCMCIA housings, assemblies, connectors, sockets and card
form-factor - and going from there.
i'm writing a draft "call for action" here, which describes in detail
the background behind the initiative, and finishes up by describing
the opportunities for the free software and open hardware communities
to help with the initiative. i would greatly appreciate some feedback
also, whilst it's intuitively clear to me that there are plenty of
examples where Free Software and Open Projects could really really
benefit from the combination of an Arduino-like Board that can be
plugged directly into a Commercially-available Mass-Produced
Off-the-Shelf Embedded CPU Card, the only one i can think of is the
Mendel (RepRap), where it would be possible to drop in such a
combination as a way to not only control the 3D Printer but also to
have an "independent" built-in yet powerful computer, running its own
Web Service such that the progress of 3D Printing, and the uploading
of jobs, could be done remotely... just like any other "Printer".
without having to sacrifice an entire Desktop PC to the task.
some help in thinking of alternative uses would be great, and reaching
out to them on behalf of the EOMA initiative would be even better.
now, here's the kicker: yes, this could very easily become just "yet
another mass-marketed tablet / laptop / PVR / netbook / IPTV / MID"
corporate effort, rolling out wonderful product that just so happened,
instead of being GPL-violating, to be GPL-respecting. yet that would
entirely miss the point!
the point of the initiative is to *not* do everything as a
fait-accomplit for the free software community, but to instead have
them actively involved in accelerating and driving the development of
the hardware, in directions that *they* want to go *as well* as
keeping an eye on the ultimate goal - to ensure that mass-volume
desirable products get successfully sold along the way. even there,
that is still within the interests of those Free Software and Open
Hardware enthusiasts to ensure that that happens, because it will
significantly reduce the cost of the hardware to which those
enthusiasts have direct access to.
so that's the goal - what i need is help from people to get the
message across, because it's going ahead: the development of a number
of EOMA/PCMCIA-compliant CPU Cards will begin in the very near future,
using a Chinese-based Factory who have absolutely no Software
Experience or Knowledge of *any* kind, but who are a young and
aggressive team who believe in the EOMA initiative.
i believe it's clear that it is therefore in both their interests as
well as in the interests of Free Software Communities world-wide to
work together on this, and i'm therefore looking for people who would
like to participate in even the smallest way.
regarding the use of this list for this topic: if people feel that
this is best discussed on an alternative forum, please join
arm-netbook at lists.phcomp.co.uk -
thanks in advance,
More information about the updates