Alexander Stephen Thomas Ross maillist_qi-hardware at
Sat Mar 16 20:54:28 EDT 2013

On 08/12/12 14:31, Werner Almesberger wrote:
> Alexander Stephen Thomas Ross wrote:
>> I guess the market would be those that can't afford
>> ?100 pocket computer phone.
> There's one of the problems with the cartridges: you still need
> the same Ben. The hardware of a Ben that is constrained to only
> run tetris costs exactly the same amount as that of a Ben that
> has hundreds of sophisticated applications installed.
> So one of the key cost benefits of single-function devices is
> already lost.
> Of course, assuming a revenue stream from cartridges, one could
> sell Bens at a loss and cross-finance via the cartridges. The
> problem with that is that those Bens would still be able to do
> a lot more and also people who don't care about the cartridges
> would buy Bens. And the cheaper you sell the Ben, the more
> attractive it gets for "unintended" uses.
> You could counter that by adding some "trusted computing" that
> only lets it run cartridges, but such a move would make it
> highly unpopular in the Free Culture.
> Another way would be to sell Ben and cartridges as a bundle,
> but then you may as well just preinstall all the goodies, or
> make them available for download, and dispense with the
> cartridges.
> So I don't quite see how this concept that fit in the late
> 1970es to early 1980es could be adapted to fit in today's
> world, with radically different technology (ubiquitous global
> networking, cheap large storage) and also with different
> cultural expectations (Free vs. corporate control).
> - Werner

Time to get this post out of my drafts and into the records. You will 
probably want to skip this post as it's more for the record/history than 
some new interesting discussion.

I was thinking about the "market" for NN on large scale. So not just 
those of us that care a lot for NN.

I will never support DRM, untrusted computing.

I my self don't like cartridges. It was a thought exercise. Around this 
time of the thread I had seen a err keen 13 or 14 (?) year old  lad play 
the games on my NN. He was keen about the games less the possibility’s & 
freedoms of the NN. This thread got me wondering whether the 
"convenience" of SD card(s) pre-setup would be of interest to him. I was 
also thinking that cartridges would help space wise. One SD for games 
games games! Another SD of every thing else. This way you have space 
left for music,videos,info,etc. Then again this would be mass marketed 
and so more NN made and so I guess one could make the internal flash 
bigger! Doh!

I know this is not the answer and I won't wast my time trying to do 
something like cartridges for someone else thinking it will win them 
over/get there approval.

Regarding free space on the internal flash, OPKG can install pkgs in odd 
places like "/mnt/sd/".

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