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Handhelds KDE Open Source Hardware

Improv Project, Vivaldi Tablet Officially Dead 71

Posted by timothy
from the sad-news dept.
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "It's a sad day for free software as one of the most ambitious free software projects, Improv, is officially dead. Along with the board also dies the promising Vivaldi tablet [video intro]. The developers have sent out emails to the backers of the project that they are pulling plugs on these. The end of the Improv project also means a disappointing end to the KDE Tablet project, as Aaron Seigo was funding both projects out of his own pocket (almost exactly $200,000 spent)."
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Improv Project, Vivaldi Tablet Officially Dead

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @12:30PM (#47361091)
    The cause for the death is not mentioned in the summary, so I'm adding it here. The article says that the reason for the project failing was that "there was simply not enough support to make the project work, despite having fully functional, production ready devices and a strong commitment to succeed".
  • Hardware is hard (Score:5, Informative)

    by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @12:48PM (#47361241) Journal

    Hardware is hard. Good hardware is harder.

  • by lkcl (517947) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @02:45PM (#47362451) Homepage

    short version: the plan is to carry on, using the lessons learned to
    try again, with a crowd-funding campaign that is transparent. please
    keep an eye on the mailing list, i will also post here on slashdot
    when it begins.

    http://lists.phcomp.co.uk/pipe... [phcomp.co.uk]

    long version:

    this has been a hugely ambitious venture, i think henrik's post explains much:
    http://lists.phcomp.co.uk/pipe... [phcomp.co.uk]

    the - extremely ambitious - goal set by me is to solve a huge range of
    issues, the heart of which is to create environmentally-conscious
    mass-volume appliances that software libre developers are *directly*
    involved in at every step of the way.

    so, not to be disparaging to any project past or future, but this isn't
    "another beagleboard", or "another raspberry pi beater": it's a way to
    help the average person *own* their computer appliances and save
    money over the long term. software libre developers are invited
    to help make that happen.

    by "own" we mean "proper copyright compliance, no locked boot
    loaders and a thriving software libre environment that they can
    walk straight into to help them do what they want with *their*
    device... if they want to".

    the actual OS installed on the appliance will be one that is
    relevant for that appliance, be it ChromeOS, Android, even
    Windows or MacOSX. regardless of the pre-installed OS, the
    products i am or will be involved in *will* be ones that Software
    Libre Developers would be proud to own and would recommend
    even to the average person.

    by "saving money over the long term" we mean "the device is
    split into two around a stable long-term standard
    with a thriving second-hand market on each side, with new
    CPU Cards coming along as well as new products as well.
    buy one CPU Card and one product, it'll be a little bit more
    expensive than a monolithic non-upgradeable product,
    but buy two and you save 30% because you only need
    one CPU Card. break the base unit and instead of the whole
    product becoming land-fill you just have to replace the base,
    you can transfer not just the applications and data but
    the *entire computer*".

    it was the environmental modular aspects as well as
    the committment to free software *and* the desire to reach
    mass-volume levels that attracted aaron to the Rhombus Tech
    project.

    perhaps unsurprisingly - and i take responsibility for this - the
    details of the above did not translate well into the Improv
    launch. the reason i can say that is because even henrik,
    who has been helping out and a member of the arm netbooks
    mailing list for quite some time, *still* has not fully grasped
    the full impact of the technical details behind the standards

    (hi henrik, how are ya, thank you very very much for helping
    with the boot of the first A10 / A20 CPU card, your post on
    the mailing list last week was very helpful because it shows
    that i still have a long way to go to get the message across
    in a short concise way).

    the level of logical deduction, the details that need to be taken
    into account, the number of processors whose full specifications
    must be known in order to make a decent long-term stable
    standard.... many people i know reading that sentence will think i
    am some sort of self-promoting egotistical dick but i can tell you
    right now you *don't* want to be holding in your head the
    kinds of mind-numbing details needed to design a long-term
    mass-volume computing standard. it's fun... but only in a
    masochistic sort of way!

    anyway. i did say long, so i have an excuse, but to get to the
    point: now that the money is being returned, we can start again
    with a new campaign - using a crowdfunding site that shows
    numbers, and starts with a lower target (250) that offers more value
    for that same amount of money to everyone invo

  • by lkcl (517947) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @03:12PM (#47362691) Homepage

    If only there was some way to get more information, perhaps with a sort of "link" of some kind to a more detailed description.

    here is the [old] specification of the [revision 1] CPU Card:
    http://rhombus-tech.net/allwin... [rhombus-tech.net]

    the current revision 2 which i am looking for factories to produce (RFQs sent out already) we will try with 2gb of RAM. this is just a component change not a layout change so chances of success are high.

    here is the [old] specification of the Micro-Engineering Board:
    http://rhombus-tech.net/commun... [rhombus-tech.net]

    that was our "minimal test rig" which helped verify the interfaces on the first CPU Cards (and will help verify the next ones as well, with no further financial outlay needed. ever. ok, that would be true if i hadn't taken the opportunity to change the spec before we go properly live with it!! you only get one shot at designing a decade-long standard.... i'd rather get it right)

    this will be the basis of the planned crowd-funding campaign: it's more of a micro-desktop PC:
    http://rhombus-tech.net/commun... [rhombus-tech.net]

    the micro-desktop chassis is very basic: VGA, 2x USB, Ethernet, Power In (5.5 to 21V DC). all the other interfaces are on the CPU Card (USB-OTG, Micro-HDMI, Micro-SD). however unlike the Micro-Engineering Board, the power is done with a view to the average end-user (as is the VGA connector which means 2 independent screens, straight out the box).

    does that help answer the question?

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