[Gta04-owner] Invitation to indicate interest in next batch of GTA04A5 boards

Christ van Willegen cvwillegen at gmail.com
Sun May 12 14:47:05 CEST 2013

On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 10:03 AM, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller
<hns at goldelico.com> wrote:
> Am 30.04.2013 um 01:14 schrieb Christ van Willegen:
>> Hi,
>> What we could do is have a special offer at the next Fosdem. If
>> _everyone_ (thousands of people...) (or 90% of the people there)
>> pledges an $x amount of money, they will get a Free (as-in-speech)
>> phone. That way, you can probably cut down the production cost to a
>> 'reasonable' amount (300-250 EUR apiece?). If there's not enough
>> interest, nobody loses money, but if there is, the cost per phone is a
>> lot lower than in a batch of 200-300 phones.
> Yes, sure. I think there are 5000 participants every year and 90% would
> likely allow to reduce the price to 300 EUR most likely including an injection
> moulded case.

That's good to hear, that means that my guess to the number of people
attending was quite correct, and my guess that that would bring the price down

> What is very difficult to estimate is if really 90% would pledge or i it is 9% or
> 0.9%. 300 EUR is still a lot of money.

True, but if you're really enthousiastic about the project, why not? It would be
_the_opportunity to get a really free phone, and perhaps (...) even endorsed by
the FSF?

Also, you can fully prepare just about everything in advance, and _when_ you
get the pledged money, you can run the batches, create phones, and send
them out (ha ha..). I know it's more complicated than that, but at least there'd
be the money 'up front'. Of course, you don't want to fall into the same traps
that previous projects fell into. You'd need 0 hardware bugs and as _few_
software bugs as possible to make it an instant hit.

Also, include something 'special'. A way to communicate easily between
2 devices?

IIRC there was once the idea to
a) Pair Freerunners via BT and then
b) Put them back-to-front to each other and shake them

Shaking them at the same time means that you can then use the accelerometers
to have 'just about' the same readings, to a certain probability, and
then use those
'same numbers' as a BT pairing key. Having this makes it hard to crack the BT
communication, since the key is never visible, nor is it easily re-generated.

> When looking into the subscription rate of this mailing list during FOSDEM
> 2013 there was no significant effect :( Maybe because we did only have
> visitors who already did know about OpenPhoenux.

Probably so.

> Another thing to think about is what kind of device (i.e. feature set) we
> need to offer next year so that 90% of the FOSDEM users are willing to
> pledge for 300 EUR. Maybe the same features as a Galaxy S4...

Nice feature set... but not sure of that's possible for that price...

I'd rather see a full-color E-ink screen, but those are not readily
available yet!

> Well, it could be possible to get permission by the FOSDEM organizers
> to use their visitor's mailing list to ask for user opinions or running an
> online opinion poll.

That would be a good idea. It's (on of the) largest events about Free Hardware
and Software that I know about in the vicinity!

> Recently it became clear to me how community developed software and
> hardware are inherently different compared to their non-community
> development counterpart.

Simple: Software is duplicated at 0 cost, hardware not. Bugfixes in software are
at 0 cost, hardware not.

> So we can't draw the argument that free&open hardware is cheaper.

Only in the sense that bugs are, like in software, _perhaps_ easier to see when
the specs are open, so _perhaps_ you'll need less iterations to get it right.

> While our kind of devices can not get into high quantities by aiming at
> developers, learners and DIY enthusiasts only.

Too expensive to scrap, and people get annoyed easily when it's not 'quite
right' and they can get a phone for EUR30,- that 'just works'...

Christ van Willegen

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