Products > Computers

non-x86 open-source-hardware laptops, let's take stock of March 2024

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DiTBho:
I have a YouTube channel, but I haven't uploaded any videos yet as I never consider any project "worthy" of the attention of the general public.

Well, we'll see. there are seven pending personal projects, carried out out of order in my free time. Sooner or later something will be uploaded.



This is my MDD. It never had the shells, I bought it second-hand, in very bad condition, and repaired it as best I could, paying little attention to its aesthetics.

When people complain that the fans make too much noise... now it's placed on a wooden pallet, 20 meters underground, in a sort of bunker room, while I'm on the ground floor, connected by fiber optics.

When I was a student, my mini-apartment measured 10x5 meters and had to contain a bed, a kitchenette with only induction plates and no gas burners, and a desk. I had placed the MDD in the corner of the desk, very close to the bed, and left it on at night to compile things.

Practically for four years I spent 12 hours - night and part of the afternoon - very close to those fans that everyone complains about.

Those Youtubers on YouTube who have to make their video to show how to replace the noisy fans because otherwise they absolutely can't stay near their vintage computer, ... ummm it sounds a bit like the people who claim to be "cycling enthusiasts" and then... after 20 km they complain so much that they can't help but ride ***only*** on a pedal-assisted (e)bicycle, because ... you know, with muscular pedaling... you sweat, and it's hard...

That bloody MDD has other, much more serious problems, and no one talks about it!
maybe I will, maybe not, we'll see ...  :-//

DiTBho:
Yesterday I tried a Gdium Liberty 1000, 10-Inch, Netbook by EMTEC
Loongson2F@900MHz, ~MIPS64/LE by STMicroelectronics, 512MB DDR2 RAM

ummm, both the aesthetics and ergonomics need to be completely overhauled, and the keyboard was/is so terrible that it needs to be redesigned from scratch or replaced with something from the old school IBM Thinkpad.

Also, yesterday I installed a brand new battery, but after four hours working in a couple of GNU/Linux text consoles (compiling stuff), I found that the battery was at about 7%.

I wonder: modern upgrades of this old chinese-mips-based laptops from 10+ years ago?  :-//

 

DiTBho:

(Tadpole SPARCbook 3000ST)

in the 90s, I guess it had a price tag of ~$20000 USD
but look at details:

* slim magnesium alloy body, military-grade, entirely metal except for the ergonomic handrest
* ergonomic handrest!!!
* IBM Thinkpad keyboard (IBM was an early investor in Tadpole)
* an LCD readout of system status
this is how non-x86 laptops should be designed!

(
edit:
ummm, Tedpole was Cuipertino based, and went out of business in 2013
I can infer that making laptops the way I would like them to be made ...
... I'm afraid it's uneconomical for making good business of them
 :-//
)

DiTBho:
In 2014, Novena looked promising, see here.
Basically i.MX6Q ARM processor from Freescale, coupled to a Xilinx Spartan6 FPGA.

The result was very different.
Again, ugly, uncomfortable frame, too high costs, etc

Any news?  :-//

edit:
It appears that interest is close to zero

DiTBho:
back to Teres1 ...

... in the very few free moments I have, when I'm not working on racing bikes, or training, so basically when it rains, I go ahead and fix a lot of things. And it really is a dud from the firmware up, at least by my standards.

I think it will take a couple more weeks to start saying "so I can actually carry it around, without the embarrassment of finding it totally useless".

- - -

The developers seem... only four... five guys in the world, and the interest (at least what you perceive from the both WEB and IRC) is close to zero, so I exchanged a few words with one of the developers who sometimes appears randomly, and he described the laptop as "not really meant to be a consumer product", and this confirms that is rather a platform to build upon or challenge project for engineers to fabricate the device from scratch.

All known, nothing new, this definition was fully expected, just then - unexpected - he also pointed outthat  "it's without OLIMEX's help for which it's very known in the OSHW community just that people don't have the required skills to use it".

I didn't expect this, that is, I thought that Olimex had a little more interest - I mean man-hours that can be allocated to their DIY-project = and that there were at least a couple of competent engineers behind it, but instead there are fewer people than I had estimated.

D'oh  :-//

- - -

So even for the next two iterations { Teres-v1.5(2024-2nd-semester?), Teres-2.0(2025?-2026?) }, I'm afraid we don't expect the popularity to change since it's basically an object (and not a product, umm formally it is and will continue  to be a "do-it-yourself kit") aimed mainly at "technicians" who already own the Teres-v1.0 and who intend to carry out the modifications.

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