[Community] Releasing GTA04 hardware source files (was: community Digest, Vol 353, Issue 3)

Bob Ham rah at settrans.net
Sat Aug 24 02:10:55 CEST 2013

On Sat, 2013-08-24 at 00:20 +0200, joerg Reisenweber wrote:

> Can't you finally come up with some *suggestions* or - even 
> better - real actions that would help?

At present the community is beholden to a particular company which
produces something the community depends on.  That company has a
monopoly on production within the community.  It does not share the
source files for its work and does not allow others to contribute to

This is the same situation as a community that is beholden to a company
producing proprietary software.  The GTA04 is like proprietary hardware.
We have schematics in a .pdf file but nothing else.  There is no shared
repository containing the source files for the schematics or the PCB
designs.  Nobody can commit design fixes.  The community is not
iterating the GTA04 design.  The community is not working together to
create a free phone.  Instead, all we do is discuss and argue about one
company's product.

A lot of people have come up with various ideas for modifications to the
GTA04.  Some of them simply require some soldering which is no problem.
However, some require a redesign of the board.  To my recollection,
nobody has ever pointed out that this isn't possible unless Golden
Delicious do it.  The fact that only Golden Delicious can do it is bad.

Despite describing the GTA04 as "Open Hardware"¹ and stating that the
aims of the community are for DIY hardware², Golden Delicious does not
release any source files for the hardware it produces.  There is no
community of hardware hackers contributing to shared PCB designs.

I suggest that the community changes from consuming hardware designed
and built by a single controlling entity to producing one or more Open
Source Hardware³ phone designs which can be taken as a base, modified
and manufactured by any party.  For example, a board design could be
used in the same fashion as the GTA04, as a replacement for GTA01/02
boards but could also be modified by the N900 community to provide an
updated board for their phone.

I suggest that Golden Delicious release the source files for the GTA04
board in order to assist this effort and act as a base for the first
community phone design.

¹ http://www.openphoenux.org/
² http://lists.goldelico.com/pipermail/community/2013-May/000324.html
³ http://www.ohanda.org/

Bob Ham <rah at settrans.net>

for (;;) { ++pancakes; }
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