[Gta04-owner] Status GTA04 EA

NeilBrown neilb at suse.de
Sun Oct 2 09:32:32 CEST 2011

On Mon, 19 Sep 2011 11:06:40 +0200 "Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller"
<hns at goldelico.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> Am 19.09.2011 um 09:52 schrieb Butrus Damaskus:
> > On Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 9:13 AM, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller
> > <hns at goldelico.com> wrote:
> >> 4. FSF is interested in removing the non-free libertas firmware from the
> >> rootfs. So they suggested to put it into a small MCU. If you are interested,
> >> please read the project proposal and apply:
> >> 
> >>        http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-main/page/FirmwareInjector/
> > 
> > Hm, how big is the firmware? Cannot this be solved in another way then
> approx. 128 kByte.
> > by adding components -
> > (e.g. reserving a special RO partition in the flash reserved for the
> > firmware and distributing the boards already with it)?
> I have discussed that with RMS - and it is not permitted to be user-changeable
> by not so easy means. The idea is that is must be "like hardware".

As you have probably noticed, this issues has generated quite some discussion:


A lot of it is just people arguing with each other, but there is the
occasional comment that asks "Why not use an Atheros chip with GPL firmware"


I don't doubt that you considered this option (and others) and had good
reason to reject it.  If you can recall what the key issues in the choice of
hardware was, that might be useful to inform those who want to be informed.
The particular devices mentioned doesn't support bluetooth, though it seems
other Atheros chips do.

If there was a reasonably comparable chip (same interface, supports Wifi and
BT, acceptable price/availability) would it be practical to swap the chip for
the next board version, or would that push the time line back too much?

Personally I have no strong objections to a non-free firmware, but I am
curious to understand the background to the decision.

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