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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] [Dev] EOMA68 and freedom in digital technology

From: Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] [Dev] EOMA68 and freedom in digital technology
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2016 01:07:35 +0100

crowd-funded eco-conscious hardware:

On Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 9:07 PM, Josh Branning <> wrote:
> On 10/09/16 20:38, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
>>> See what Olimex has been doing for years then.
>>   you're aware that olimex operates as a criminal cartel, from shipping
>> GPL-violating A10 bootloaders and kernels provided by Allwinner, back
>> around 2011/2012?   you're also aware that with the sole exception of
>> the olimex laptop's PCBs the only thing that they provide is
>> auto-generated PDFs *from* the schematics source code... not the
>> actual schematics and certainly not the PCB design files?
> I think this is a little unfair to Olimex and is at least partially untrue.
> For instance, schematics and pcb files CAN be found, for most of their
> boards. [1]

 yes - you're catching up (three people kindly pointed this out)

> Unlike your boards, which give a 404 forbidden message when trying to access
> the server. [2] Hopefully this is something you can correct.

 it has.  explained also in other posts since you replied to this.

> Though I can see that the advantage over the Olimex boards is that you ship
> with a libre operating system from the start.

 which gives you a clear message: i will *not* compromise on software
freedom for the purposes of profit maximisation.  actually it's more
specific than that: i will NOT put designs into people's hands when i
know that they will become distressed as a result (due to viruses
emptying their bank accounts, or being forced to spend money on
throwing away perfectly good hardware due to software driver
incompatibility and so on).

> In regards to the A64 (used in the Olimex laptop), /mainline/ u-boot, from
> the wiki [3]:

 u-boot is not the early bootloader.  the early bootloader is proprietary.

> '   Basic support for the A64 SoC has been been merged into 2016.05-rc1.
> This covers UART, MMC and required GPIOs and clocks, but no Ethernet or USB
> yet. Also as there is no information on the DRAM controller so far, the SPL
> support is not enabled, so boot0 is required at the moment to get U-Boot
> loaded.

 ... and is that early bootloader, boot0, proprietary or not, yes or no?

> Also, I think that the Olimex laptop has not yet been released, so that
> gives developers time to build more support, before they start selling.

 meanwhile, the opportunity has been totally lost, to put a financial
"foot down" (just as with NextThingCo did with Allwinner over the R8)
i.e. to say "no, allwinner, we will *not* place an order for 50,000
units with you *UNTIL* you give us the full source code including the
full source code of the early bootloader, boot0"

 now the sunxi community is expected to pick up the pieces - unpaid -
and to clean up allwinner's mess.  oh, but worse than that, the team
behind the Allwinner A64 think it's *OKAY* to consider boot0 to be

 just because pine64 and olimex took your money instead of setting
software freedom as a first priority.

 tell me: how is that okay?  if you *really think* it is okay, explain how.


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