[Gta04-owner] Status GTA04 EA

Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli GNUtoo at no-log.org
Tue Sep 20 22:09:49 CEST 2011

On Mon, 2011-09-19 at 14:01 +0200, Butrus Damaskus wrote:
> Well, frankly, I don't really see really how having a closed-source
> firmware locked in MCU would help my freedom. 
here's the point of view of the FSF as I understand it:

With all the embedded devices around(from the phone, to the washing
machine) one could think...which one is really a computer.
Which one is hardware and which one has software in it?

Well, RMS had to draw a line somewhere, and the line was drawn at the
installation of software:
if you can install software in it(like an application in your phone, or
a firmware in your wifi chip) then it's a computer.

why to differentiate between hardware and software?
According to RMS there is no point yet in modifying hardware:
software is easily modifiable, anyone could recompile something, but
recompiling hardware costs too much money and is out of reach of the
user(it can only be done by companies with lot of money).
since the user don't have factories, it's useless to ask for hardware
freedom at this stage.

Note that information about the hardware should still be freely
distributed, for instance documentation necessary to write drivers.

Also Note that the software in the FPGA(we need a free FPGA syntetizer
by the way) or CPU microcode can also be considered as software and not
as hardware since the user could modify it.


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