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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] EOMA68 - libre software, libre hardware, and e

From: Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] EOMA68 - libre software, libre hardware, and eco-friendly too!
Date: Sat, 9 Jul 2016 21:59:35 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Loom/3.14 (

Jim Garrett <jimgarrett001@...> writes:

> The potential availability of Free EOMA68 cards is terrific.  I was 
> astounded to learn about Intel ME and the AMD equivalent. Eventually 
> we'll run out of old Intel and AMD chips, and will have to wean 
> ourselves from them, unless we can persuade them to change.
> I have two technical questions I'm sure people in this community will be 
> able to answer.  Obviously you wouldn't be speaking for the designer....
> First, if one got the EOMA68 with the Mali GPU  and installed Parabola 
> on it, so that the GPU wouldn't be used, would the system be able to 
> fall back on using the CPU, as in the Libre Tea card?
> Second, what would be involved with making a laptop based on a EOMA68 
> but with a large-capacity hard drive (say 250GB or more)?  Of course, 
> revising the laptop chassis design to make space for the drive. 

 MicroSD cards currently go up to 256gbyte and there are two available
 MicroSD card slots, one on the laptop and one on the Computer Card.

 i've just done a test of a 32gb MicroSD card, one that's available for
 $28, it can do 20mbytes/sec sustained data transfer rates, which is
 pretty damn good.  it's rated at 85mbytes/sec, and it's one of the
 ones that is supposed to support sustained 4k HDMI file-size video
 playback, whatever that means.  anyway i'm now using it in the
 demos and it's about twice the speed of the lower-cost 4GB card i
 had in previously.
 there *might* be enough room in the internal compartment for a 1.8in
 SSD or one of the "embedded" SATA drives plus associated USB-to-SATA
 converters.  watch out though because the ones i tested 5 years ago
 were new and they hadn't really worked on the firmware properly - long

 redesigning the casework would require redesigning the PCBs.  it would
 be a cascade of knock-on effects that would ultimately add another
 6 to 12 months (!!!) onto the project.  if extra power was needed it
 would be a total redesign as there is a 15W limit for the single-cell
 battery design: going to multi-cell would mean sourcing a completely
 new set of components.

 i'll tackle this later, once we have the first version out the door, ok?
 :)  so if you would like that to happen, help support this one!

> What 
> about connecting automatically when the EOMA68 card is slipped in, and 
> supplying power?  Any idea whether these would be easy or hard issues to 
> manage?

 just plug in internal USB sticks in the internal compartment, you'll
 be able to sort out booting and access to that no problem.  the
 internal compartment is easy to open and close with a small coin,
 key, table knife or screwdriver. i can manage it with my thumbnail.
 and you then have no worries about USB sticks getting knocked off.

> Thanks,
> Jim Garrett

> I can field these. EOMA68s *all* contain Mali GPUs 
> - however, since the driver
> is completely memory-mapped, if you run a libre kernel
> (as Parabola does), it
> would not be included, and hence, would not even run.
> So the fallback will occur.

hiya koz, this is technically correct but contains a small
ambiguity: not all EOMA68 cards will *always* contain
MALI, for example the passthrough card, FPGA card etc.
so it's just these EOMA68-A20 cards that have MALI.

btw i will put on the roadmap later, the passthrough card:

that one's fascinating because it basically turns the laptop
housing into a portable battery-operated second screen plus
keyboard and mouse with built-in USB Hub and USB Audio.
you could plug that into a desktop PC or a 2nd laptop and you'd
have an extra screen and extra keyboard and mouse.  cool, huh?


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