Long story short, Mike's successfully done a production run of 100 EOMA68 A20 Cards, and sent two of them to me in the UK and five to Chris of ThinkPenguin, for testing. Read the full update.
Mike, the young factory owner with an economics degree, first-time ever as a user and tester of GNU/Linux systems, does remarkably well. Read the full update.
Coronavirus fear kicks in, and we have a plan for dealing with the 100% failure on the preliminary production run. Read the full update.
Though I'm now in Canada, which means I don't have access to much test equipment, Mike is extremely supportive, and has hired an engineer, in Shenzhen, to investigate on our behalf. Read the full update.
A power regulator is inexplicably not working, so we'll need to replace it. We'll get there, one step at a time. Read the full update.
In manufacturing the first batch of 100 boards, we ran into a problem with the edges of the PCB accommodating the micro HDMI connector. Read the full update.
Intel stops the Compute Card. Mike has started the EOMA68-A20 Cards, and soldering connectors on the Micro Desktops. NLnet Foundation looking for a way to fund EOMA68 within their remit. Read the full update.
Just a brief update: Mike has ask his staff to assemble the Micro Desktop boards. These are the simpler of the two boards, so all of the Micro Desktops are being done, whereas explained in a previous update, the more complex board, the EOMA68-A20, will only be done in a smaller test run of 100 at first. Read the full update.
Mike buys a lot of new manufacturing equipment, the test run of 100 will happen after Chinese New Year, I apply for a new privacy-focussed grant. Read the full update.
Manufacturing has been delayed until March. In the meantime, here's an analysis (and good news) of how the Spectre security vulnerability might affect the A20 and other EOMA68 computer cards. Read the full update.
This is so under-dramatic. You'd think that 1,000 PCBs would take up more space. Read the full update.
Mike has placed the order for 500 Micro Desktop PCBs and 1,000 EOMA68-A20 PCBs. The last of the components have been ordered and are on the way. What follows is a summary of what's to be delivered. Read the full update.
After an unfortunate stint of contract work, I'm back in Taiwan. A test production run of 100 units EOMA68-A20 Card is planned. All components for the Micro Desktop have arrived. Mike is checking deliveries made to the factory over the past few months to ensure that all components for the EOMA68-A20 Card have also arrived. Read the full update.
It's been an extremely hectic month what with visiting Barcelona for the 8th RISC-V Workshop and finally procuring DDR3x8 DRAM. Card production is finally underway and we now have a realistic target for delivery. Read the full update.
Sourcing DDR3 RAM proving to be interestingly challenging; Libre RISC-V SoC underway. Read the full update.
Thank you to absolutely everyone who came to FOSDEM. RISC-V gets interesting. A reminder that EOMA68 is a Certification Mark. EOMA68-A20 card supply chain progress. Read the full update.
Brief update this time as it's nearly time to get to Taipei Airport. Am on the way to Brussels - a little early - so as to be reasonably timezone-synced for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Read the full update.
So, finally, the HDMI Review is complete: the Gerber files have been sent to the factory for PCB manufacturing. Estimates can now be made (between five to seven months) until shipping. There's been a great response from people with donations and sponsorship. Read the full update.
The pre-production EOMA68-A20 HDMI Revision 2.7.5 review is nearly complete and the capacitors replaced; Thank you to everyone who's helped with funding. Read the full update.
The HDMI taper turns out to be a red herring, an alternative approach is needed; An anonymous sponsor donates a ZC706 for developing a libre 64-bit RISC-V SoC. Read the full update.
In which the Saga of Shenzhen Maker Faire unfolds; drastic capacitor price hikes; HDMI, FOSDEM. and a libre RISC-V 64-bit SOC design. Read the full update.
This update is primarily about the imminent Shenzhen Maker Faire 2017. The HDMI review continues (leaving time for SZMF). A particularly insightful and revealing conversation takes place on the Reprap Forum. Read the full update.
So, good news: the low-cost test PCB with the JAE DC3 Micro-HDMI connector came back successful; a trip to HK yielded some parts for the new printer (which is awesome); some planned trips; With the test PCB ok, the 2.7.5 pre-production test can go ahead. Read the full update.
In Which We Travel At The Speed Of... A Mailing List (very very carefully); In Which We Learn How Not To Go About Designing 3D Printers. Read the full update.
A very kind offer of some research into high-speed differential pairs is currently underway on the mailing list and there's been a "down-the-rabbit-hole" moment of focussing on 3D printer design. Read the full update.
Thank you to everyone who responded about the 3D printing: a special update is being drafted. The pre-production EOMA68-A20 revision 2.7.4 samples arrived and have been tested. Decisions need to be made on how to deliver OSes to people. Read the full update.
The EOMA68 project has a lot of 3D printing to do! This update describes some of the challenges, progress, and alternate approaches. Read the full update.
We've been in Taiwan for over a week: the new 1.7 Micro Desktop PCBs arrived and are fine, the casework is underway (a cheap-and-cheerful 3D printer sourced), Laptop PCB1 can go for prototyping, and fun and games with NAND Flash on the A20. Read the full update.
This update sheds some light on the complexities of this entire project, summarises the status of the main portions of the project, and announces our travel plans. Read the full update.
Special update, jumping the queue slightly, which can be summarised as "You Can't Bring Electronics Into China". Read the full update.
The production schedule has been pushed by 10 weeks, the first RK3288 PCB has been assembled using "home office" equipment, likewise the Pass-through Card. The latest pre-production EOMA68-A20 will be done likewise. Plus a recap of other recent activities. Read the full update.
In this update, I bring you up to speed on... everything! Read the full update.
This is a big update: a lot has been going on, with bursts of activity and the need to adapt to changing circumstances. *the move to Zhuhai went well; *A20 prototype test board is being made; *the RK3288 PCB CAD is complete; *the U.S. election risked disrupting the campaign; *world-wide DDOS attacks dramatically slow down communications; *new development laptop needed; *visiting Taiwan. Read the full update.
Pre-production prototypes of the Microdesktop and EOMA68-A20 boards were initiated last month, samples were completed last week and tested. Short version: another pre-production run is needed. Read the full update.
This update covers: returning from Zhuhai to Shenzhen, meetings with Nexell that went extremely well, the production plan for the EOMA68-A20 and Micro-Desktop with Mike currently doing the PCBA. Read the full update.
This post is a little bit more about my personal experiences and observations of being in Zhuhai, China. Read the full update.
As I was going back over my previous update on my visit to Shenzhen, it suddenly hit me: everything I've done over the past five years - the entire EOMA68 design ethos - is vindicated by this one visit to Huaqiang Road. Read the full update.
This update is about being in Shenzhen for the past few days, during their October National Holiday. In summary, I know now why it's been so damn difficult to get anything done from outside of China: it's the incredibly poor internet access. Read the full update.
Summary of the past ten days and updates on several threads. Read the full update.
We’re staying with a friend in Hong Kong as we oversee progress on the laptop's PCBs. The revised EOMA68-A20 was submitted for prototyping and may actually be ready within under ten days. Enquiries are still outstanding for tracking down a S5P6818 Reference Design. Read the full update.
Here’s an update on the past couple of eventful weeks. A plan of action (in development) has been started in a bugtracker, flights are booked to HK, we're doing the t-shirts before we leave, we dealt with the DDR3 RAM upgrade and sent it off for prototyping estimates, we sorted out revision 1.4 of the Microdesktop layout, and we spent an enormous and disproportionate amount of time dealing with Wikipedia. Read the full update.
The past week was an amazing rush, passing and exceeding the funding target with your help, and even now it's still climbing. Read the full update.
This update lays out the roadmap for the EOMA68 project and what the future holds for modular, eco-conscious, libre computing. Read the full update.
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) posted an article on August 10, 2016 entitled "Support the Libre Tea Computer Card, a candidate for Respects Your Freedom certification." Read the full update.
I asked David if he would write a guest update about his experiences of dealing with an older laptop. The complexity of the design contrasts greatly with that of the EOMA68 15.6" Laptop Housing. Read the full update.
Hello! I have three bits of news for you. Read the full update.
Albert, who only joined the arm-netbook mailing list a few short weeks ago, has been helping with the keyboard firmware. He's very kindly made a short video of the STM32F072 providing AZERTY (French) keyboard support, which he wrote. Read the full update.
After running the libreoffice, printing and web browsing updates with associated videos on Parabola-Arm GNU/Linux-libre, the performance was less than modest. In complete contrast, when running the exact same programs under Devuan, the difference in speed is staggering and so noticeable as to be worth doing a separate update. Read the full update.
People have been asking what the web browser performance is like on a $7 dual-core A20. Here's an honest appraisal and some tips. Read the full update.
We've added a geek-friendly T-Shirt to the options: this quick update covers the sizes and colours Read the full update.
I am delighted to be able to announce that the Cedrus fully-GPL-compliant accelerated video encode/decode libraries work out-of-the-box on the EOMA68-A20 Libre Tea Computer Card: 1920x1080 at 60fps (1080p60) works great, full-screen. As the CEDAR Reverse-engineering is an FSF High Priority Project this is a big deal. Read the full update.
We've just done a show on Free TalkLive here in Keene, NH, see the video from the studio. Read the full update.
We've been asked to demonstrate LibreOffice, Gimp and also took the opportunity to show printing (in this case using a networked HP Laserjet). Read the full update.
We asked on the mailing list if people could come up with examples where EOMA68 could be used by people with more computing experience to make it easier and less costly for them to support friends, family and clients. What we weren't expecting was an actual real-world scenario to occur during the campaign. Read the full update.
This is a quick - and very honest - demonstration of the Sugar OS of OLPC fame running on an EOMA68-A20 Computer Card. Read the full update.
Lilyana and I are having great fun at the moment, crashing boats, submarines and satellites thanks to gcompris running on the Libre Tea Computer Card. Read the full update.
Thanks to everyone's help we reached an important milestone yesterday evening: USD $50,000 from over 500 pledges. Read the full update.
We're adding two new OSs to the pre-installed option: Devuan and Fedora 24. These are now available (look right and scroll down), and we will be evaluating more OSs, including in particular SUGAR and FreeBSD. Read the full update.
One of the ideas for EOMA68 Cards that's been in the cards (pun intended) for some time is a Pass-through Card. The possibilities for this Card are really exciting, so we decided to add it during the campaign. Read the full update.
The EOMA68-A20 Computer Card has been using the older u-boot and sunxi-3.4 kernels for some time. This update shows a recent mainline u-boot (2016.07) and a sunxi-next near-mainline 4.7.0-rc5 Linux kernel. Read the full update.
We're currently at Hope 2016 with Think Penguin here in New York, Seva Epsteyn kindly did a live video for us to show the computer card, laptop housing, and micro-desktop. Read the full update.
With Fedora 24, Debian, and Parabola already on the list, Devuan we felt was important addition to have, due to the "hassle-free" ethic inherent throughout this campaign. Read the full update.
In speaking with people on the mailing lists and various forums, we're getting a lot of questions from people new to the EOMA68 concept. After answering Nick's questions about how to set up ultra-low-power servers using EOMA68 Computer Cards, he had these kind words to say... Read the full update.
Over the years there's been quite a few innovative laptop projects out there, including from mass-volume suppliers: a bamboo laptop, a recycleable one, an engineer's laptop, and many more. In this update I'd like to go over them all as a way to distinguish the EOMA68 Laptop Housing, as well as illustrate how this project has learned from them all. Read the full update.
Fedora 24 is up and running on the EOMA68-A20 Computer Card! We have yet to pick a name for it (suggestions welcome) however it's still worthwhile letting people know about: a quick video demo is available. Read the full update.
I thought I'd share with you how amazed and delighted I am at some of the questions and debates that this project has raised. Read the full update.
Thanks to Albert for contacting us and agreeing to help out via arm-netbooks. He contacted me last week to ask if it the laptop would have AZERTY keyboard support. As this is a libre project, I explained to him the process, not realising that he was an embedded hardware engineer. Read the full update.
We've had a number of people, many of you electronics enthusiasts and makers, ask how to connect to the EOMA68 Computer Cards for use in your own electronics projects. We do have some GPIO pins on the Micro Desktop... Read the full update.
Thanks to Demon3D of the Reprap community we can show you a time-lapse video of one of the laptop's parts being 3D-printed. The video shows the back left base part, which, thanks to having internal arches that were modelled on those used in Gothic Cathedrals, is incredibly strong despite a wall thickness of only 1mm and an overall length of 160mm. Read the full update.
We've had a lot of people asking about alternative processors; a lot of suggestions on what we should be making available in EOMA68 form-factor, as well as quite a lot of criticism for only having a Dual-core ARM Cortex A7 1.2ghz. The list of checkboxes needed to be ticked for an ethical eco-conscious Computer Card is really quite long: no NDAs, full sources, no spying built into the hardware, reference designs available, datasheets, and much more, so we thought we'd take you through some of the top ones. We'll also put in some estimates for costs both in time and financial terms. Read the full update.
After ordering a slough of parts, including one of the obscurely-named On-the-Go Host-Charger cables which we finally found, we've been able to test and verify the two cables needed to turn any Computer Card into a standalone computer, without the need of either of the Micro Desktop or Laptop housings. We've added it as a pledge level to the campaign Read the full update.
I thought it would be nice to do an assessment and give you some insights into how we came up with the pledge levels. The pledge levels have been based on a minimum order quantity (MOQ) of 250 units. Ordering PCBs and components is odd: there are fixed setup and teardown costs which don't change no matter how many PCBs you get made, and the components that are soldered to the PCBs can come in reels of 2,500 or trays of 100. Ordering a partial reel is so time-consuming and inconvenient it's just not worth it. All this basically means the smaller batch sizes are much more expensive per unit than larger batch sizes: ten times the cost is not uncommon. The problem is nobody would buy a $50 computer if it cost $500. That's where crowdfunding comes into its own. Read the full update.
We've had some people notice that there's no stickers, mugs, t-shirts and so on... Read the full update.
While a Computer Card can certainly slot into the micro desktop and laptop housings, it can also be run on its own with the addition of a some basic cabling. Read the full update.