[Community] Status GTA04A5

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Thu Jul 11 11:44:37 CEST 2013


Hi all,
I think it is again time to discuss the status of the GTA04A5 boards.

Schematics are done, Layout almost finished. And yesterday I talked
to the production company and they would have capacity.

One minor issue is that we don't exactly know which components
have become obsolete and need to be replaced (which may touch
the layout again if they are not a drop-in pin-compatible replacement).

But all these technical things are easy to solve if some energy is invested.

We currently have these figures of entries on the wishlist:

9	GTA04 Motherboards
9	Letux 2804 (i.e. built into GTA02 case)
3	Letux 7004

This makes 21 boards which is still far from becoming economically
feasible, especially since some of the 21 wishes have quite challenging
price expectations (e.g. 160 EUR for a Letux 7004 or 200 EUR for a
GTA04 board). This indicates valid wishes, but is also an indicator that
they will not buy if we produce and offer at real production cost. And
nobody would sponsor something.

This all is understandable since commercial devices and failed projects
like Vivaldi/Spark have set the bar of expectations to a level that is not
achievable by our project.

I see it now like the olympic games of phone&computer integration which did
run for approx. 10 years and did end in 2012. Samsung/Android have
won the Gold medal, Apple/iOS the silver medal. And for the community
projects it was nice to have participated - but no medal.

So the tournament is over. IMHO, Linux has reached the "palmtop". 
Pushing for getting Linux on non-linux devices and Linux capable hardware
to the masses (like Openmoko did pioneer) is no longer required, because
it is done. And sponsors are not spending money any more, because there
is no need to push Linux any more.

What happens between Olympic games? Training for the next game.

So other topics are on the horizon: security, energy efficiency, useability,
operating system improvements, ...

Back to the GTA04A5 hardware plans, we all have to wait for more wishes
(from people accepting a price premium for freedom) to be registered.

And wait for new ideas growing from this community. The GTA04 hardware
could still help better than any other platform because it has become quite
mature, is flexible, well documented and well understood, i.e. creative people
can focus on inventing new things and find people who know the GTA04
details.

I am curious about the new ideas to appear in this community...

BR,
Nikolaus


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