Some questions regarding EOMA68

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a_slacker_here
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Joined: 06/29/2013

Greetings, I'm thinking in getting one of those:

https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop

Any of you have one already? any of you know where to get technical help for the device (forums/irc/etc)?

Thank you in advance!

lanun
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Joined: 04/01/2021

http://rhombus-tech.net says "the IRC Channel is #arm-netbook on irc.freenode.net".

a_slacker_here
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Joined: 06/29/2013

Thanks :D

Avron
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Joined: 08/18/2020

I ordered one about 6 months ago but did not have any news about it so far.

a_slacker_here
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Joined: 06/29/2013

That's not a good thing :P

I'm gonna try contacting them directly and be sure about it before purchasing.

I see this "Orders placed now ship May 31, 2021." from the webpage...

Thank you for the reply :)

SkedarKing
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Joined: 11/01/2021

I would not do that, I supported him up somewhere between 2 and 3 years ago, but now I realize, that he got in over his head...

If you want to wait another 2 years, feel free... but I gave up at that point and decided on Mnt Reform. Waiting on their 7 inch device though, they seem to be working on the alpha version of it so far. But they also have a 12.5 inch version to...

It is up to you, but weigh the problems of Mnt Reform, of that non-free blob outside the arm processor that only is used for ram and doesn't do any remote damage, not to mention that processsor won't be the only one offered at some point, LS1028A is 2nd revision. This all in mind, they have actually delivered their promise and its more than 3x faster even if it does cost $1550 versus the following:

The A20 processor is 3 or 4 times slower, also created in december 2012
I guess he still hasn't delivered after such a long time, it was funded on august 26th 2016
It is 1200$ in mind with all of the above...

I should add though, Luke's team is very small, which may have been the reason this project is having trouble, also though, in his quest to make libre hardware, he may have gone too far back.

To be honest, libre hardware is indeed important, but having DRM-Free hardware and it being reasonable usable without backdoors, or any of the crap that restricts you from changing most of it and of course it actually being delivered, is way more important in my opinion, then being completely libre to the crazy level where you have to use something that old to have full freedom as defined by the FSF.

Long story short, if you want to support this project, be prepared to wait and understand, it may be very slow and by the time it is released, support for it, could be on the backburner.

I would like to be wrong, but I fear I probably am not...

a_slacker_here
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Joined: 06/29/2013

I won't purchase the EOMA68 then, it seemed a bit fishy that's why I wanted to ask about it first. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

I'll make another thread asking for a low consumption device to use as a server.

Thank you again :)

Avron
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Joined: 08/18/2020

Of course, I'll report if I eventually get something.

For a low consumption device to use as a server, using only free software, one option is the Olinuxino Lime 2. I have one running freedombox and 3 more than I am currently not using because I constantly had more urgent tasks than to set them up.

I previously had Parabola running fine on one of them but I wanted to use it with an external HDD and had problems with that. I suspected there was a hardware problem but after reading freedombox forum for a while, I saw that I should have connected a second power supply for the HDD, which I did not do and that might be the reason why the corresponding block device in /dev was periodically disappearing or changing.

I hope to have time to re-install Parabola and try with the HDD in January, I can report about that then.

a_slacker_here
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Joined: 06/29/2013

Thank you for your reply!

I made another post to avoid the off-topic thingy :D

https://trisquel.info/en/forum/looking-freedom-respecting-low-consumption-device-use-server

Nice!! cause a friend of mine also recommended my products from Olimex :D

SkedarKing
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Joined: 11/01/2021

Is Olimex as free as Mnt Reform?

Hmm... well, if thats true, go for it! :)

Avron
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Joined: 08/18/2020

You can see at https://linux-sunxi.org/BROM, the code for the boot ROM is linked from there (the CPU is A20) and then you put "Das U-Boot" (let's use the official name) on the sdcard and the system you want to boot.

As far as I am aware, the Olinuxino Lime 2 is fully functional with free software only. No non-free blob needed for memory initialization or anything else.

The CPU is probably far less powerful than iMX8 but for a headless server it works fine. I also used it with Parabola running Xorg and connected to a 2K monitor, accelerated graphics work, I know some people even play games on it. On a light graphical web browser like Midori, Trisquel forum works but not the FSF associate member forum. With luakit, everythign works but waiting 5s or longer before a page loads is not unusual. I couldn't find any other functional graphical browser with packages available for ARMv7 in Parabola repositories.

SkedarKing
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Joined: 11/01/2021

I understand that there are people here are more interested in overall freedom, even than say...
Security/Privacy, that being said, if it is verified by anyone that the the blob that exists is outside the processor and doesn't have any effect on the hardware, its not really a huge issue imo... however, The LS1028A however will probably be out before the 7 inch version of the mnt reform is out, as a guess. When that happens, it can be used without blobs, according to people on the mnt reform community website.

https://community.mnt.re/t/i-want-to-buy-an-mnt-reform-how-do-i-do-that/457/5

This post basically seems to indicate that the LS1028A doesn't need that blob at all.

But the previous one does.

That all being said, dunno when that variant will be out.

If the 7 inch was out, I probably would have gotten it with or without the LS1012A, but that one even if it isn't backdoored, is supposed to be like 2x to 4x slower than my X200.

So... yeah, it all depends on your goal. I just want a small laptop that can be put in my pocket.

To be fair its more like a netbook at this point. ;)

This all being said, I wonder how much slower the A20 is compared to either of those processors.

andyprough
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Joined: 02/12/2015

>"I couldn't find any other functional graphical browser with packages available for ARMv7 in Parabola repositories.

Might be able to use the links2 browser with the "-g" option for loading web page images. That would give you a lightweight graphical browser that can handle most of the non-js web, and probably load pages much more quickly. I've written about configuring graphical links2 here: https://trisquel.info/en/forum/graphical-web-browser-uses-5mb-memory

If you stay with luakit, you may be able to speed it up a lot using the adblock feature and the noscript feature with js disabled by default (enable js with a simple keyboard shortcut). I have some how-to's on adblock and noscript with luakit here: https://trisquel.info/en/forum/configuring-and-running-luakit-browser

Malsasa
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Joined: 12/01/2016

I am also interested in EOMA68 but unfortunately I could not find any new updates of the project today. As an alternative, now I am looking at Pine64 as I think they are doing great and could be improved to reach software freedom.

Regards,

Malsasa

Connochaetes

I am a member!

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Joined: 12/13/2017

Everyone, you don't "purchase" those. Instead, think of it as donating to a cause, and iff all goes well, you get something as thanks depending on how much you donated.

At least, that's how I understand it from my e-mail exchange with LKCL.
I do think the above should be made much clearer on the project's crowdsupply page, which uses words like "order" and looks like a regular selling site to me.
I am not affiliated with the project.

Read on only if you are interested in why they do it that way, and why it may or may not be illegal to ship that hardware into the European Union:

I think the reason the project styles itself as a sequence of donations and rewards – instead of a sale where you can buy things – is that a sale would come with legal obligations that would be prohibitively risky or expensive, for example getting CE* certification: If it were a sale, import of the computers into the European Union would be clearly illegal as long as they lack a CE mark, whereas noncommercially bringing CE-less goods into the EU looks much more like a legally grey area from what I've read. I'm very far from being a lawyer, I've only read a little bit of the EU's legal documents relevant to CE certification and didn't even find a definition of their scope for very common cases, that is, whether the import prohibition on CE-less goods applies only to commercial imports and sales, or extends all the way to people entering the EU carrying their own computer with them for personal use, which probably happens every day. No surprise then that I didn't find anything on rare special cases like this one, where new hardware would get shipped into the EU as thanks for a donation, with the sender alleging this doesn't constitute a sale (presumably in order to deny the donor the rights that EU law would grant a customer, among other obligations the sender presumably hopes to avoid this way), but which also isn't quite the same as someone on a flight to the EU carrying their own used computer with them for their own personal use.

Wishing to support the project, I've even inquired with the head of the relevant customs authority for my state, who was helpful above and beyond duty. From what I can tell, it's highly likely but not certain that the hardware would reach me unintercepted – whether legally or not is another matter. I cannot with certainty predict where the hardware would enter the EU, and which states it would then pass through on its way to me. With the regulations being so vague, everything would depend on the intercepting state's interpretation of the regulations. So before I donate a lot of money, I would like to obtain an unbinding but written assessment/opinion by a lawyer or by a relevant authority that they don't see any problem with the shipment as long as my reason for getting the computer is not to sell it for a profit, which I guess would be illegal without a CE mark. I could then show said assessment to any intercepting customs authority. But how to get such an assessment?

By the way: At least from the EU, people can only donate to the project by credit card or cryptocurrency, but not by wire transfer.

Also: During the past couple of years, faint signs of life have more frequently been encountered on the mailing list https://lists.phcomp.co.uk/pipermail/arm-netbook/ than on https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop/updates.

[*] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CE_marking

Connochaetes

I am a member!

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Joined: 12/13/2017

PSA: If you're in the EU and know people abroad, you can probably minimize the probably already low risk of EU customs seizing the hardware by having someone carry a single item with them on a flight into the EU for you. (Bonus points if it looks used, to convince customs it's not intended for sale?)

Ideally, that would be from whatever place the ready-to-ship hardware will initially be at, saving you one leg of shipping cost. But when I asked years ago where that might be (so I could ask somebody to pick it up for me there), LKCL replied that it was too early.

muhammed
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Joined: 04/13/2013

I remember reading years ago about Luke Leighton's effort to make a libre tablet PC. There was always reference to KDE Plasma in its promotion. It didn't succeed ultimately.

https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/12/12/11/1550205/live-interview-luke-leighton-of-rhombus-tech

I supported the initial EOMA68 funding and have not yet received my laptop. It has been a few years now as best as I can recall. I don't know the status of the project.

It seems like a big undertaking, trying to manufacture a computer. You're also putting a lot of trust in the people who are in charge of that project. If you need a computer for day to day use now, maybe it's better to buy it from a shop like Mini Free or Think Penguin. EOMA68 seems more of an investment in the possibility of a new libre computer, and I don't know whether there is any promised return on contributions toward that purpose.

SkedarKing
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Joined: 11/01/2021

To be completely honest, nothing against eoma68's creator Luke, as a person.

With that out of the way, I think he just needed a bigger team, more funding from ThinkPenguin and perhaps a newer processor as the first choice. Something with power equivelant to LS1028A aka...

If such a thing can be used without blobs or backdoors of any kind.

My point being, A20 was too old to be a target due to the sheer difficulty, of getting parts for it.

That's my understanding of this...

I honestly, think he should work on making a libre microwatt at this point.

Aka, a very lightweight openpower processor that is libre. :)

Some would disagree, although just to be fair, I donated at least 100$.

My point being, I did support him for a while, some of you payed even more, I am curious what your thoughts on this project are, would it be better to keep trying to get this going? Or, would it be better to try and go make the libre processor?

At this point, I would say the 2nd one.