This update covers the release of Xous 0.8, the Precursor pre-boot process, the design of our test jigs, our preparations for EMC testing, and our various attempts to accelerate the manufacturing process. Read the full update.
It’s been a couple months since our last update, in part because the world has been in rapid flux and it’s been a struggle to establish ground truth on a number of production-critical factors. The last time we wrote, the very first doses of the Pfizer vaccine were being administered, while the US Capitol was under assault. Now, about 20% of the US has received at least one dose of a vaccine, and a massive stimulus package is being signed into law. This update covers supply-chain delays, omakase case candidates, Precursor sales in Bitcoin, and a status report on the Xous operating system. Read the full update.
Manufacturing and certification during the Lunar New Year... read all about the challenges of development during a major holiday and a pandemic. Read the full update.
When we launched this campaign, we knew we were going into some serious headwinds. 2020 has been a rough year for all of us, and we were up against a very busy news cycle. When I woke up this morning, I saw that the campaign had closed at $398,661. I had to rub my eyes and hit refresh a couple times to make sure I wasn't dreaming: this was beyond my highest expectations. Thank you! Read the full update.
We're down to the last day of the campaign! We've cleared our funding target with a few days to spare, and momentum has been steadily building toward the stretch goal of $280k that will bring all devices a battery upgrade! And remember, today is your last day to enjoy our discounted crowdfunding price or to pick up a Limited Edition Precursor! Read the full update.
We've done the math, and if we can hit $280,000, we can afford to upgrade our 1100 mAh battery to a full-custom, 1300 mAh model. So help us spread the word, and let's see if we can give every Precursor an extra hour of battery life (and an extra 12 hours of standby)! Read the full update.
There is plenty of skepticism around the value of hackable products. Significantly, hackability is different from openness: cars are closed-source, yet support vibrant modding communities; gcc is one of the “real OG”s of open source, but few users find it easy to extend or enhance. Is it better to have a garden planted by the most knowledgeable botanists and maintained by experienced gardeners, or an open plot of land maintained by whoever has the interest and time? In this update, we explore these issues in the context of Precursor. Read the full update.
“Pocketability” is the difference between Precursor and naked PCB FPGA development platforms. We hope Precursor’s pocketability helps bring more open hardware out of the lab and into everyday use. Thus, the mechanical design of Precursor is of similar importance to its electrical, software, and security design. Read the full update.
In this post, we take a step-by-step look at the manufacturing process of Precursor's circuit board. If you're curious about the details of modern PCB manufacturing, this post is a great introduction. Read the full update.
Bunnie and xobs are hosting an AMA on Crowd Supply's Discord channel at 9 AM Pacific Time, this coming Wednesday, Nov 25th. Come join us! Read the full update.
This post is an in-depth look at the issues of hardware security and how Precursor works to mitigate them. Read the full update.
Here's a post, including code samples, from xobs explaining how he developed the software for Precursor with Renode and C#. Read the full update.
This post provides a whirlwind tour through Precursor's System on Chip. Read the full update.
We are happy to announce that the Precursor campaign is live. Please check out our crowdfunding page to learn more. In the coming months, we'll be posting lots of detailed information about Precursor. We'll also be hosting an AMA on Crowd Supply's Discord channel, so stay tuned! Read the full update.
This post provides a guided tour of the components and features of the Precursor motherboard. Read the full update.
Precursor is a mobile, open source electronics platform. Similar to how a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino can be transformed into an IoT gadget with the addition of a couple breakout boards, some solder, and a bit of code, Precursor is a framework upon which you can assemble a wide variety of DIY mobile applications. This update talks a bit about what makes Precursor unique, and then moves on to the ins and outs of our design philosophy. Read the full update.
Why do we trust our computers? I’ve done a lot of thinking on this question. The answer, it turns out, is that we trust our computers mostly because we have no other choice. Most of us wouldn’t know how to check if a computer is constructed correctly; and those of us who do are overwhelmed by the millions of lines of source code and billions of transistors packed into a typical computer. If you’re like me, this answer is dissatisfying. Precursor is our attempt to help the community develop a better one. Read the full update.