[Tinkerphones] New tinkerphone gadgets in Goldelico shop?

H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Tue Nov 7 14:56:41 CET 2017


Hi Paul,

> Am 05.11.2017 um 00:15 schrieb Paul Boddie <paul at boddie.org.uk>:
> 
> On Friday 3. November 2017 09.21.37 H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
>> 
>> And more generally, this is in the area of software we offer for free and
>> not new hardware / gadgets / services we could put in a shop.
>> 
>> Any wishes for gadgets, accessories, tools, breakout boards, pocket bones,
>> Pyra-phone, OMAP5 CPU board, i.MX6 board, Qi charger for GTA01/02/04, ...?
> 
> I know you've been doing work for the Pyra project, and I guess that the OMAP5 
> board is what you were calling "Letux Cortex 15"

yes. It is a tiny OMAP5 SoC board with 2 or 4GB RAM and ca. 32 GB eMMC and
thrww board-to-board connectors. It has USB(3), SATA, I2C, HDMI, MIPI and
audio.

There is a plan to offer it separately with enough documentation. But first we
need to get the Pyra into production.

> and that there was also a 
> "Letux Cortex 8" board. So it would be interesting to know what your plans 
> would be for those.

Well, the Letux Cortex 8 is a tiny AM3358 based Linux board. I had planned
to spin and offer a second version of it, but now the PocketBone came out and
is essentially the same thing (except that I had planned for eMMC). And the
PocketBone comes at an unbeatable low price so that I can't even get the
components cheaper.

So there is no future for the Letux Cortex 8 board and I have added the PocketBone
to the shop: http://shop.goldelico.com/wiki.php?page=Product&product=1057

The Letux-kernel for the Letux Cortex 8 works out of the box for the PocketBeagle.

> 
> To an extent, I think interest is growing in modular solutions. People try and 
> shoehorn things like the Raspberry Pi Zero into things like the ZeroPhone 
> (mentioned on this list before). Fairphone has adopted some modularity and 
> recently advertised their camera upgrade, although we all know that it is 
> possible to do the same with the GTA01/02/04. I suppose that products like 
> PocketBeagle and Raspberry Pi Zero (and all the USB stick devices) are almost 
> like steps along a road towards discovering what usable and interchangeable 
> hardware modules might be like.
> 
> There are also initiatives like EOMA68 (proceeding rather slowly, but 
> hopefully approaching completion of its first phase) which try and package up 
> functionality into something compact and convenient. Although such things must 
> compromise on performance, they potentially let people think about the other 
> aspects of devices rather than having to struggle with making a mainboard 
> every time, only then to have to struggle with other tasks that are also 
> difficult, like making the casing and getting the ergonomics right.

Well, in my experience it is easier to modularize on schematics level and have
individual boards than designing a perfectly stable and long-lasting interface.
EOMA68 seems to be outdated to me before it is published.

> 
> Of course, modules aren't everything. It is arguably better to have complete 
> products with particular purposes in mind as well. Things like "plug 
> computers" or "desktop-side servers" or "storage appliances" seem fairly 
> popular. Having got myself a MIPS Creator CI20 partly to motivate experiments 
> with the Ingenic SoCs, the Letux 400 Minibook, and so on, it makes me wonder 
> whether most single-board computers are as half-finished and as awkward to set 
> up correctly as that one.

Well, they are more like high-level evaluation boards. Most of these boards are
supported by the silicon vendors of the SoC. Their purpose is to make it known
to a broader public (of engineers). So the SBC doesn't need to be perfect for
everything.

> I think there are plenty of opportunities for hardware products that are well-
> designed and just get the job done.

Indeed. And we have all tools to get hardware done.

BR,
Nikolaus




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