Future Copyleft devices

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at sharism.cc
Wed May 26 22:26:42 EDT 2010


Alejo,

> I think The nano note is useful. The discussion is if we want a gadget for
> common people, just like a PDA or something like this, made according to the
> market; or we want a free platform that allow us learn, develop and,
> starting from there, develop new devices according to the market and
> clients.
> Anyway, Nanonote needs more conectivity options. Suggest Wifi and Bluetooth;

Totally agree with you.
If anything this long thread is a good reply to Ron's 'where is the passion'
question :-) Maybe after Ron would buy a NanoNote he would feel the passion,
either love or hate his little Ben ... :-)

More seriously: It's clear we all want more connectivity and sensors.

The problem with that is that anything in that direction is deeply
proprietary, closed and protected. And if that's what we will have in the
end, I don't need to work for years like crazy, we can just buy an iPhone
or Nexus One/N900 or whatever and be happy.
Instead I was very excited to find the Elphel cameras recently, which have
GPL software running in an FPGA talking to the CMOS sensor directly. Great!
Same for Milkyist One and SAKC which will allow us to run GPL licensed
IC logic for a number of interesting I/O and sensor/connectivity options.

For the NanoNote, we are evaluating the HopeRF modules, which would allow
us to run a free stack, although bandwidth would be slow, maybe only about
125 kbit or so. We are thinking about calling it SlowFi :-)

Then we are also evaluating the well known but extremely proprietary
Wi-Fi, first of all right now you can buy the Spectec SDW-823, and it will
run out of the box with Ben NanoNote! But I don't see the long-term potential
of this, so in addition we look into Atheros now, AR6102. I have an AR6102 SD
card with me, if anybody is really serious about getting it to work with the
NanoNote please contact me.

Finally, we are also working on some very exciting GPS possibilities, when
I say 'exciting' I mean from a freedom perspective, i.e. to run a GPL-licensed
stack all the way down to the RF chip.
Moreover, some people are trying to hookup GPS modules (Kristian Paul) and
Bluetooth modules (Guylhem), and Antti Lukats works on some microSD options
with FPGAs inside? This is still a bit above my head, but I do believe he is
onto something there.

Too many things going on really, but I think most people here share the
passion of doing things with free technology, copyleft licensed. So that's
great. Whatever we get into and out of the Ben NanoNote today will carry
forward to the Ya NanoNote or devices others build with the free technology
created here.
Thanks for your feedback!
Wolfgang




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