[Gta04-owner] How to increase GTA04 sales to get price down

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Wed Nov 28 08:43:00 CET 2012

Am 27.11.2012 um 19:06 schrieb Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli:

> Hi,
> On Tue, 27 Nov 2012 07:46:53 +0100
> Christ van Willegen <cvwillegen at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Whilst I think it is a good idea, I'm not sure if the GPL allows
>> this... IIRC GPL v.3 has been especially crafted to take away rights
>> to create devices that undermine consumers' rights, like, using it in
>> a DRM controller.
>> Christ van Willegen
> I think GPLv3 does allow it, mainly because the owner of the
> devices(the company that bought them) will still have the right and
> possibility to modify the bootloader, since their using their own
> keys...
> How to achieve that(in a good way) practically is another story:
> Since you can talk to the bootrom and boot whatever you want(trough
> serial, microsd, NAND etc...), that would require to have a bootrom that
> only boots the next thing in the boot chain, but only if it is
> unmodified(so that can't be GPLv3), and so on...
> So you would need a not-modifiable(so that can't be GPLv3) fist stage
> bootloader(to make a transition between the bootrom keys and the
> company keys(where the bootloader that holds theses keys can be GPLv3))
> that is loaded and verified by the bootrom...
> That is a bit similar but worse than the UEFI Restricted boot issue.
> The differences are that here we have a bootrom that enforce things,
> and that the physical access is not trusted(Unlike UEFI where it only
> tries to prevent malware from modifying the boot process, for instance
> by modifying the BIOS(for instance by adding an option rom)).
> I think that would even require some(how much?) board redesign at least
> to change the boot order.

That is almost hard-wired, just some jumper resistors may influence it a little.
It is on sheet 3 of the schematics.

> I think that marketting the GTA04 or derivatives as a device with full
> and corresponding source code of what's running on the main CPU(which
> runs SHR,Qtmoko,Debian or Replicant) and forgetting about preventing the
> modifications of the device is a better idea.
> Also there seem to be a tablet in preparation(according to some mails
> and youtube video).
> Did you get any contacts from the Vivaldi project?

Unfortunately not. They are very welcome to discuss what they need and
if they have high number of units the price will come down automatically.

> They didn't design the tablet themselves, and relied on a manufacturer
> of existing tablets, resulting in the fact that the manufacturer at some
> point changed the design, making all their GNU/Linux porting efforts
> useless. So a GTA04 tablet could be very interesting from them.

That was the experience we have made with out Letux400 netbook some
years ago. And I think NanoNote suffers from the same issue.

Therefore we started GTA04 to have more control over the design and
be able to communicate any modifications to the community developers.


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