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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] C.H.I.P. $9 computer respects your freedom, wh

From: NIIBE Yutaka
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] C.H.I.P. $9 computer respects your freedom, when you don't need GPU/Video/etc., perhaps
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 2015 11:19:12 +0900
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Icedove/31.8.0


On 12/01/2015 08:29 AM, Michael Lamb wrote:
> Today, the C.H.I.P. $9 single-board computer was released to the public for
> pre-order.
> A page on the FSF's website categorizes this board under "boards with
> serious flaws (for respecting your freedom)." It claims that the GPU, VPU,
> and WiFi chip require non-free code or binary blobs to work. This is
> common, and is even worse for the other single-board computer that recently
> made headlines, the Raspberry Pi Zero.

??? I think that Raspberry Pi Zero has B2835, which requires non-free
software to boot.  So, it is categorized as "Single-board computers
with fatal flaws".  I think that CHIP is not worse than that.

Suppose I want to share/distribute my micro-SD card among its users
(with all Free Software, except the binary blob).  I will need to
install the binary blob in each micro-SD card to let it boot, and this
is inevitable for Raspberry Pi ZERO, original Pi, and Pi 2.  I would
say, this practice encourages people to take it granted (it == the
control by manufacturer).  This is not acceptable for me.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, my knowledge would be outdated.

> Does anyone have any more details about this hardware, and whether it is as
> "open source" (and hopefully freedom-respecting) as its twitter account
> claims it to be?

I think that the FSF page is relevant for CHIP (as of today).  CHIP
would not be acceptable (from the viewpoint of freedom-respecting
computer) when you want to use its GPU and video encoder/decoder with
full features.  I don't have information of WiFi and Bluetooth
hardware of CHIP.

If it were freedom-respecting computer, the information for WiFi chip
would be available to public or its (potential) users.

On the other hand, the community (to pursue freedom-respecting
computer) for Allwinner SoC is active, see:
Thanks to the community, I can now let my board (of Allwinner H3) boot
successfully with no binary blob.

While I don't like to refer a project at GitHub, here is
a link to GitHub (please watch out JavaScript from GitHub
for your free computing):

Looking the repositories of sunxi community, we can see a concrete
example: how non-free software is still required for its GPU (despite
ARM or other companies claims "Open Source", it seems to mean only
kernel drivers, not as a whole system) and how video features are
limited when we want free computing.

When we don't use GPU and video, a board with Allwinner SoC could be a
good computer.  So, it depends if it's serious flaw or not.

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