[gta02-core] To focus, or to re-focus ?

Álvaro Lopes alvieboy at alvie.com
Thu Feb 18 11:27:44 CET 2010

Werner Almesberger wrote:

> It would be foolish to try to mass-produce the gta02-core device. But
> if one wanted to, one could make a considerably more up to date unit
> with relatively minor modifications, and reusing the process used for
> making gta02-core. Note that this would still need a fair amount of
> money, for prototype runs, field tests, certification, and all this.

Sure, I'm not saying we ought ot do it, but some third party might. My point is - are *we* to use these prototypes for anything ? I don't use my Gta02 due to
its lack of features, like battery life - only use it as a GPS.

> So by the time we had the schematics largely done, have found an SMT
> line, and have figured out the key parameters for making the PCBs, we
> couldn't really move forward with major items (i.e., the layout),
> without knowing the component situation.

So why not making this a bit more attractive to hackers by changing some parts of the design ? For example, changing CPU and display driver. And maybe add some
room inside for attaching a custom small PCB (we should have a bit of space right now). I'd like to have a WPAN module inside the case, for example. Don't
mention USB please, it's not practical.

> These stoppages caused also smaller bits of work to be unfinished,
> such as the remaining open issues in ECNs, or reviews of the BOM.
> None of them are truly showstoppers, but each such problem makes it a
> bit harder to move forward.

True. But we can start layout with what we have, or cannot we ?

> Regarding the market, I think Android is considerably more of a
> competitor than the iPhone. Many parties are interested in having an
> open platform, and while Apple make it easy to compete with them on
> openness, it's harder to convey the benefits of being more open than
> Android.

If you are referring to software, yes. But hardware is closed.

> However, we can avoid this issue by considering this kind of openness
> as a mere enabler (poof, Apple vanishes :-) and putting emphasis on
> the open hardware. This appeals to a different clientele, but they've
> been interested in the Openmoko project for a long time already, so
> it's not really something new. Also, opening the hardware design is a
> key element of gta02-core already for engineering reasons, so nothing
> changes there either.

My worries are design becoming so obsolete that it does not fit any concrete purpose. Like designing an open hardware vacuum-tube television. It's fun, but
won't fit any practical use.

> To be continued ... I'll be beset by construction workers in a bit,
> so I have to get ready to face the day.

Heh :) That's why I decided to buy one, and not build my own :P


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