Laptop with free software only?

13 respuestas [Último envío]
Avron
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/18/2020

I noticed this:

https://mntre.com/media/reform_md/2022-07-25-ls1028a-status-update.html

This is apparently a CPU/RAM module that can replace the original module sold with the MNT reform laptop (from https://mntre.com/reform2/handbook/parts.html#motherboard, it looks like it is simple connector).

Apparently, unlike the i.MX8 family, it does not need binary firmware to initialize DDR4, but it cannot used the eDP controller from the motherboard without non-free firmware. The explanations on using a PCIe card for display are not that clear to me, that would need to be tested I guess.

So this looks interesting but it seems MNT is leaving it up to someone else to test an entirely blob-free system.

prospero
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/20/2022

They have tried hard and even got funding for that fully libre SOM, to the point that "it is possible to construct a blob-free computer with respectable performance from the module using a simple 2D graphics chip or FPGA for the display output instead."

They have got so close to RYF requirements that one wonders why they are not going for it, even though it never was an explicit goal here. The only possible explanation is that they found no supply chain for that option in the foreseeable future so they stick to the original plan. And even that is probably no easy ride: "If you preorder now, you have to expect 6-9 months for delivery due to chip shortage related redesign and procurement times."

Avron
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/18/2020

> The only possible explanation is that they found no supply chain for that option in the foreseeable future.

I thought the "simple 2D graphics chip" they refer to was something that already exist (but my knowledge of hardware is very weak) but they did not want to make the extra effort to try that.

Was your understanding that they refer to something that actually does not already exist?

prospero
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/20/2022

"While the design of the module is completed, producing an initial batch of 100 requires at least 70 preorders to break even. The deadline to reach the goal for the first batch orders is January 1st, 2023. In case we shouldn't reach the required number of orders by this date, we will fully refund your order." https://shop.mntmn.com/products/mnt-reform-ls1028a-module-preorder

To me, this means the supply chain for the module does not exist yet. That is why they need 70 preorders before they can get the first batch. Other parts needed for a fully functional and free laptop may still be readily available.

prospero
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/20/2022
Legimet
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/10/2013

I see that the MNT reform has lithium iron phosphate batteries. That's pretty cool.

MIghtyhouseinc
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/28/2022

Aloha yall.

im new here but i am just curious about this topic. is the Thinkpad too out dated to be considered or would y'all consider it not fully libre enough ?

Avron
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/18/2020

I am still using an x200 and a t400 and they work fine but I see it is getting more and more difficult to get a working one.

Having an alternative still in production would be nice. Indeed, the free EC firmware is also nice.

I have an x20i that went off two weeks ago while I was not looking and it no more reacts to anything. I know nothing about repairing computers, at some point I will open it and have a look.

prospero
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/20/2022

Just curious: what are y'all going to sell after y'all run out of Thinkpads?

jxself
Desconectado/a
se unió: 09/13/2010

That's a complex topic, and no one can really know what the future will hold - https://jxself.org/titanic.shtml

I hope that history doesn't repeat itself and that the Titanic doesn't sink out from under us while waiting for the Carpathia to arrive.

prospero
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/20/2022

> while waiting for the Carpathia to arrive

Would it not speed up the Carpathia to have more resellers for raptorcs and/or arm boards? There seems to be a gaping gap between the Thinkpadtinkerer lifeboats and the various yawl-sink-with-us options, so people tend to buy one or the other and fail to escape to safety - except of course those who can afford the spaceship ride.

I got curious again because of the new perspective offered by that reformed NMT laptop, but if they are already experiencing extensive delays for the original Reform design because of chip shortage, we may indeed be stranded on this deck for a while. However, the libre replacement SOM itself is only 70 preorders away - at $499 each, which is why I thought resellers may want to step forward and help adding one extra ship to the rescue plans:

https://shop.mntmn.com/products/mnt-reform-ls1028a-module-preorder

"We are going to have to - I think - raise that money and get those computers made and sold. We are going to have to get in the habit of buying computers that were made to run with free software." -- RMS at Libreplanet, several years ago.

Avron
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/18/2020

> "We are going to have to - I think - raise that money and get those computers made and sold. We are going to have to get in the habit of buying computers that were made to run with free software." -- RMS at Libreplanet, several years ago.

I am not qualified to judge whether the MNT reform plus this module is "made to run with free software".

If some people I trust (like from the FSF) would say it is, I would order it immediately (but ask if I can get the MNT reform only with the new module), even though I don't really need another laptop now.

prospero
Desconectado/a
se unió: 05/20/2022

This is precisely what the FSF Respect Your Freedom certification is about, but it is surely not going to happen any time soon given that "applicants are required to provide sample devices" [1] while the new SOM may never be produced, let alone sold. Clearly an interested seller with building and testing capacities - and some cash - would need to step in. Maybe Vikings? We could ask Thum chum, he seems to be around these days.

[1] https://ryf.fsf.org/about/criteria

Legimet
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/10/2013

I plan on getting a new laptop some time in the near future and I'll probably just settle for one that supports Coreboot, which would be a significant improvement from my current laptop.