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should we be developing free hardware?
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Enrique Corbellini


Joined: 20 May 2009
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Sep 2012, 07:05    Post subject:  should we be developing free hardware?  

Hello,
I was starting a conversation about the possibility of developing free hardware. It is made in Spanish, but if there is any interest in this issue, I can help to translate it into English. greetings

https://trisquel.info/es/forum/proyecto-para-hardware-libre
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darkcity


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PostPosted: Mon 24 Sep 2012, 12:14    Post subject:  

By free do you mean Open Source - the design can be viewed by anyone,
or free as in no cost to the user?

I'm a big fan of open source, it will move humanity forward by adding to the creative commons ; -)

Arduino is a great example of open source hardware.

---

What are the arguments in the conversation, I only know a little Spanish?

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technosaurus


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PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 01:39    Post subject:  

I don't verilog (or whatever it is that they do the designs on), but the biggest need is an opengl gpu. It would be an interesting exercise to see if it could be automagically generated using the opengl specs in a manner similar to xcb ... anyone need a PhD thesis topic?

see opencores.org for pretty much everything else that exists -no one wants to tackle a full GL GPU though

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Bruce B


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PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2012, 08:37    Post subject:  

Spanish to English Translation courtesy of http://translate.google.com/

It's not perfect, but will give a pretty fair idea of what it is about.

Quote:
The following note is then as expressed in the next post and previous issues.

Thanks for the clarification about not making "noise" with irrelevant information, I will correct the problem. If I make another please let me know because you do not know well the customs in this forum.
Well, I understand your point about the importance of considering the free hardware as something beyond how good it can be a free software implementation for an ordinary PC.

Considered as a thing in itself, different hardware, if you interpret it the right way.

Interesting challenge .... I think it is impossible!

Surely there is more than one way to approach this issue. From my place, that is from where I have to work, I notice that some of the groups that submitted projects ecoagricultores with us, there are people who work in the areas other than agriculture.

So, for example, there is a group that is dedicated to the heading "sewing machines", to recycle discarded fabrics textile industry.
If there any that can be financed for sewing machines, then there can be no impediment to arm whoever funded or import computers .... what is feasible. Also following the mode of arming the "computer free" it should aim at solving the environmental problem rigged bring conventional methods of production of computers, for example excessive or unnecessary software, hardware, etc.

Another group was funded to set up a laboratory for organic seed treatment ... university or research related to public universities is frowned on these projects.

I propose you go talking about this possibility called "free hardware" with people who may be interested in submitting a project. If I understand correctly, you're also Uruguayan, but a project can be initiated by any country or international mode, if there are people interested in the same subject in other countries. That would depend on which are the people that can add up to the proposal.

Being able to develop the project, although delayed in its concreteness, we relieve the burden of having to spend excessive time to conventional hardware (non-free). In addition, the realization will surely not be extended too in time, if we consider that at least within the projects submitted to the United Nations ecology in my country, the acceptance time was 2 years, on average.

There is also the possibility of presenting to agencies other than the United Nations.

I'm leaving this topic around here .... I will be available to continue the conversation, greeting

Enrique Corbellini



Quote:
La siguiente nota es continuación a lo expresado en el mensaje contiguo y en temas anteriores.

Gracias por la aclaración acerca de no hacer "ruido" con información no pertinente, voy a corregir el problema. Si vuelvo a cometer otro por favor avísenme porque todavía no conozco bien las costumbres en este foro.
Bien, entiendo tu observación acerca de la importancia de considerar el hardware libre como algo más allá de lo buena que pueda ser una implementación de software libre para un PC común y corriente.
Como considerarlo algo en sí mismo, un hardware distinto, si es que te interpreto de modo correcto.
Interesante desafío.... creo que no es imposible!
Seguramente exista más de una manera de poder enfocar esta cuestión. Desde mi lugar, o sea desde el lugar en que me toca trabajar, observo que algunos de los grupos que han presentado proyectos junto a nosotros los ecoagricultores, hay personas que trabajan en otras áreas distintas a lo agrícola.
Entonces, por ejemplo, hay un grupo que se dedicó al rubro "máquinas de coser", para reciclar telas descartadas de la industria textil.
Si hay quien pueda ser financiado para máquinas de coser, entonces sin ningún impedimento puede haber quien sea financiado para armar o importar computadoras.... lo que sea viable. También atendiendo a que el modo de armar la "computadora libre", deberá tender a resolver el problema ecológico que traigan aparejados los métodos convencionales de producción de computadoras, por ejemplo excesivo o innecesario software, hardware, etc.
Otro grupo fue financiado para montar un laboratorio de tratamiento ecológico de semillas... la investigación universitaria o de afines a la universidad pública está bien vista en estos proyectos.
Te propongo ir conversando acerca de esta posibilidad llamada "hardware libre" con las personas que puedan estar interesadas en presentar un proyecto. Si entiendo bien, tú también sos uruguayo, pero un proyecto puede iniciarse por un país o de modo internacional, si hay personas interesadas en el mismo tema en otros países. Eso dependería de cuales sean las personas que se puedan ir sumando a la propuesta.
El poder ir elaborando el proyecto, aunque demore en su concreción, nos eximirá de la carga de tener que dedicar excesivo tiempo al hardware convencional (no-libre). Pero además, la concreción seguramente no se prolongaría demasiado en el tiempo, si atendemos a que cuando menos dentro de los proyectos presentados a las Naciones Unidas para la ecología en mi país, el tiempo de aceptación fue de 2 años, promedialmente.
También existe la posibilidad de presentación a organismos que no sean las Naciones Unidas.
Voy dejando este tema por aquí.... estaré a disposición para continuar la conversación, saludo

Enrique Corbellini

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Enrique Corbellini


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PostPosted: Sun 30 Sep 2012, 20:15    Post subject:    

Well, it is true that google translator can understand some Spanish, but it is also true that it gives problems. For example in the line that says "Interesting challenge .... I think it is impossible!
... the real meaning is the opposite, because the word "not" should appear as “it is not impossible”.

Speaking about doing a project is not the easiest way to get partners to do a job, because it is easier to talk about making modifications to the software or create software.
Even I cannot devote to free hardware while my other ecological work let me few time to do it.
How then can apply to the important suggestions from you? For example, as Technosaurus mentioned about open cores.

If I try to talk without any exaggeration or inaccuracy, all I can say is that in our environmental work we use computers, and they are not always free hardware or software usage as free. Surely we want them to be, but reality sometimes forces us to use other implements.

I work with organic fruit trees, maybe some of you work in other green practices. Maybe saving wildlife, or cleaning places damaged by the industries.
Puppy linux does work in ecology, to give the opportunity to reuse old computers.
Whatever our ecological work, probably we need to use computers. So, isn't it correct to join our effort to not have to use proprietary hardware or software? This is the idea I was trying to explain in Spanish.

How will my group of organic farmers not buy proprietary hardware, next time we should buy a computer? That's the question I ask.
If I try to do it alone, this will achieve not convince my colleagues to do the import of a computer from a distant country that sells open hardware.
But this included in an international project, where some teams sent open hardware and in return receive a payment, in cash or other assets, then, don't you think that would become a real possibility?
That would also allow open hardware manufacturers to produce more.
So if anyone knows about who may be making free hardware, we also appreciate that information.
I'll keep thanking your interesting opinions.
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technosaurus


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PostPosted: Sun 30 Sep 2012, 21:48    Post subject:  

opencores.org has a bunch, but there is no innovation, just rehashing the old

workable ideas for innovation:
* parse opengl(es) spec to suitable xml and compile that to verilog for a opensource video card (similar to xcb with the x11 spec except use verilog instead C)

* power over wifi - given FCC regulations of 1mw/cm^2, a phone sized 4"x6" receiver has the capability of recharging a current standard device (it would need to be a tablet size to power a device without any battery) The root of this technology is over a century old (crystal receivers were originally called cat's whiskers)

* SOC with all un(patent)encumbered wireless and zero wired technologies to provide for a sealable device

* use larger, near translucent chips that can integrate everything including ram and the led display and provide a double-sided display that requires no backlight (I call dibs on the "patent" that uses face detection with dual cameras to tell which side you are looking and and flipping the display using xrandr)

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darkcity


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PostPosted: Mon 01 Oct 2012, 10:50    Post subject:  

Quote:
If I try to talk without any exaggeration or inaccuracy, all I can say is that in our environmental work we use computers, and they are not always free hardware or software usage as free. Surely we want them to be, but reality sometimes forces us to use other implements.


What are the reasons that sometimes you can't use open hardware/software? I would guess its because some feature or other hasn't been implemented. The root problem is that its hard to get funding to develop open tech. The financial system rewards those who keep innovation for themselves.

Considering the difference between software/hardware, one major thing is the cost of production. Software is very cheap, so once an innovation has been implemented it can be passed on easily. Hardware on the other hand is more expensive. The same is true when you consider the cost of development.

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Enrique Corbellini


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PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct 2012, 10:07    Post subject:    

[quote="darkcity"]
Quote:
The financial system rewards those who keep innovation for themselves.


I agree, I think that's the main fact.
But that's the same problem we have in agriculture, and probably it's a problem that appears in many technology's areas.
For example, we had to “develope” our own seeds to practice agriculture, since global enterprises try to catch the whole rights to produce seeds. Many people heard about how Monsanto tried to own the rights to produce all seeds in the world (something like how Microsoft tried to get the rights to produce any software in the world).

We are developing our own natural laboratories for seeds (yes, laboratories can be something natural, at least compared to what Monsanto does).
So, if it was possible to develope a free laboratory even though Monsanto wouldn't have wanted it, and it was possible to develope free software even though Microsoft wouldn't have wanted it either, it's also probably that is possible to create hardware technology in a free way.
In this meaning of the word “free”, it's not included the meaning “cheap” or “without having to pay”, but it's included the meaning “without creating for private interest”, or better said, to make money.

My group of farmers are observed while we create for agriculture. When one of us does something with insufficient clearly, or probably only to make money, the rest of the group presents a complaint, and if this farmer is found guilty of acting for secret interests, it's asked to abandon the group.
This way of acting can sound a bit hard to handle, but I can assure it gives best results.
Plus, isn't this way of acting how free software achieved resisting Microsoft policies?
When ubuntu or fedora acted pretending they were the important linux systems, the rest of the world free software's community pressured over them to make them act rightly, and we saw that forced them to respect us.

So what if we continue acting in this way, to obtain free hardware?
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darkcity


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PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct 2012, 10:50    Post subject:  

That is interesting that naming a shaming works in your field.

Really a prefer to say "open" rather than "free". Because a dont believe it is wrong to make enough money to live, as you probably dont either. If you say free, as in not to make money, then you get into a debate about what is an acceptable amount of money to make.

Richard Stallman founder of the Free Software Foundation, insists on using free. But when asked how do I feed my kids? he responds that if you cant make it "free", ie open, you should do a different job.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=radmjL5OIaA

Are we making progress? Apple notorious for hording intellectual property has made record profits-
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/apples-larger-than-life-numbers/article4171092/?service=mobile

Then consider google, they sponsor a lot of Open Source development, but get their money via advertising - which could be seen morally dubious.

So, I think we need to promote our ideas more and spread the word.

---

With regard to hardware, their are different hardware levels of openness. For example, the RaspberryPi and Arduino platforms are open at a circuit level. But some of the chips in the former, and maybe the later, arent totally open.

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Enrique Corbellini


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PostPosted: Wed 03 Oct 2012, 15:43    Post subject:    

Well, I remember Richard Stallman visited my country for at least once.
He was received at the national University, at its Engineering Area called "Facultad de Ingeniería".
Now, at that "Facultad", students in favor of free hardware are going to present the following activity (at bottom of this text).
I'll try to go and see what they are doing, and know if that is really free hardware or not (or however it shoud be called instead of "free"... open? ecological?)

It may sounds funny, but we the ecological farmers also had some trouble to determine the name that describes us. The discussion was centered about if we should be called ecological, organics or family.
Perhaps this sort of discussion about names does never end, but in the meantime, a certain battle always takes place: the one that puts selfish people who doesn't care for the rest of society, confronting those who try to make of this world a better place.

I'll try to don't judge Stallman no matter he did. I expect that even if a significant person does something unacceptable, the organization we create (the society, as some prefer to say) will put each one of us in the place that each one of us deserve. And the real mistakes each one of us makes, won't be correctly denounced by journalists or press, but for the results of their work. One day, lots of people believed Bill Gates was a great person, and now, few years later, no one would believe he's special in some way, isn't it?

And I wouldn't care too much for the luck of corporations. Apple or Microsoft can shout they are the most important thing in the world, and Ubuntu or Linux can corrupt or whatever, but there's something that remains almost untouched, and it's that technology and science are not the same thing. Did you know Einstein only needed his brain and a pencil to develope his enormous capacity?
But, I don't agree with Stallman when he says, "what if computers suddenly disappear? then we can continue without any problem!".
That's a too romantic view of technology. I think we must care for computers in the same teams as we care for our society problems. As they help us, care for them. Not more, not less.

I didn't have time to translate the following information, but if google's translator doesn't help to understand it, you can ask me about it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Del *miércoles 3* al *sábado 6* de octubre, se estará realizando una nueva edición de SUMO.UY <http://sumo.uy/> en la Facultad de Ingeniería (UdelaR). Este año además de las competencias de; sumo, sumbot, butiá, fútbol de robots, habrá demostraciones de desarrollos en robótica, talleres y charlas. Pueden ver el cronograma completo aqui:
http://www.fing.edu.uy/inco/eventos/sumo.uy/programa.html

Este año, HACKLAB gracias a la invitación de la gente de sumo.uy estará
participando dando una charla sobre "Hardware Libre y Prototipado", donde mostraremos parte de la experiencia en los talleres de fabricación de herramientas libres.

La charla será el Viernes 5 a las 19:30 hrs. Vamos a estar mostrando las máquinas resultante del taller.
Están todos más que invitados!

La gente de sumo.uy también hizo extensiva al HACKALB la invitación a
participar de los
"Talleres de armado y programación de robots butiá".
http://www.fing.edu.uy/inco/proyectos/butia/

El Taller consiste en la construcción y programación de un robot Butiá
mediante la fabricación de los circuitos electrónicos y nociones de
programación básicos en Tortubots.
Para todos los interesados en iniciarse en el mundo de la electrónica es
una actividad bien interesante, donde desde cero, cada participante
construirá un robot butiá que quedará funcional al final de la 2da jornada.

El taller se desarrollará en los días miércoles 3 y Jueves 4, de 18:00 a 21:00 hrs. Los interesados deberán inscribirse a la brevedad en éste link http://www.fing.edu.uy/inco/eventos/sumo.uy/inscripcionTaller.php

Es gratuito pero con cupos limitados.

Esperamos que puedan concurrir al sumo.uy
Les dejamos un saludo a todos, y nos seguimos viendo en próximas
actividades.

Equipo Hacklab
hacklabeucd.wordpress.com
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darkcity


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PostPosted: Wed 03 Oct 2012, 17:36    Post subject:  

Enrique Corbellini wrote:
One day, lots of people believed Bill Gates was a great person, and now, few years later, no one would believe he's special in some way, isn't it?


I think the perception of Bill Gates by the general public (at least in the UK) is that of a computer wizard and great entrepreneur.

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Enrique Corbellini


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PostPosted: Sat 06 Oct 2012, 13:39    Post subject:    

darkcity wrote:
Enrique Corbellini wrote:
One day, lots of people believed Bill Gates was a great person, and now, few years later, no one would believe he's special in some way, isn't it?


I think the perception of Bill Gates by the general public (at least in the UK) is that of a computer wizard and great entrepreneur.


Really?
Well, I wouldn't say people hates Bill Gay in my country, but it's for sure that here in Uruguay people don't believe they must thank Gates for anything.
But it's not of smart people to continuously be criticizing personal defects of others, so I apologize. But, instead of complain for what Gates could have done, I always consider necessary to look for the ways to demand against him throw law, since free software wouldn't have needed to be created if private software hadn't appeared in the world.
Because of us, free software users and developers, never used to defend our rights using law (as it logically corresponds), we have always been strongly or weakly accused (always accused) of being friends of hackers and all sort of people who likes acting against law.
I never liked that thieves mask put on our faces, specially when the real thieves have a name and it is privative software, don't you think so?
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darkcity


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PostPosted: Sat 13 Oct 2012, 18:02    Post subject:  

I agree that they try that tactic. it seems that the military are the biggest hackers http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2012/06/07/barak-acknowledges-israeli-cyberwarfare-capability-for-first-time-shin-bet-hacked-israeli-defense-officials-computer/
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abushcrafter


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PostPosted: Sun 14 Oct 2012, 19:57    Post subject:  

Best bet is Rhombus-tech. http://rhombus-tech.net/.
also see
http://en.qi-hardware.com/
http://whitequark.org/blog/2012/09/25/why-raspberry-pi-is-unsuitable-for-education/#comment-678761899

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Enrique Corbellini


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PostPosted: Tue 23 Oct 2012, 20:19    Post subject:    

abushcrafter wrote:
Best bet is Rhombus-tech. http://rhombus-tech.net/.
also see
http://en.qi-hardware.com/

Fortunately there are some free hardware manufacturers.
In a Spanish-language forum, we talked about which manufacturers to take greater account.
We particularly liked the site http://opensourceecology.org/
because not only talks about creating free hardware, but also to live in a healthy environment.
Because maybe, if the place where you create the hardware people do not live in an ecological way, can make good machines but the workers are not happy.
From now on my farm, we aim to stop using computers that do not know who created them, as brand awareness is not enough.
We accept projects to bring our country open source machines, because we have no national technology.
In return, we offer visits to beautiful places and exchanges of information about living green.
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