FOSDEM and TERES I update


fosdem-1

FOSDEM was great place to present the TERES I, as there were the right people who share open source values.

We got lot of people passing through our table and got tons of feedback and suggestions. Thanks guys!

One of the most asked questions was: “can you make it with more RAM memory?”  The answer is yes, we can and we even have the memory chips which easily allow TERES I to be with 2GB RAM, but these are quite expensive than the mainstream memories as they are just two 4Gb memory chips put in one package with two Chip Select signals which A64 supports. As these memories are not so used their prices is more than double of the normal DDR memory price and this is why we though initially that this will be expensive option to consider. If we put 8Gb DDR memories on TERES I instead of 4Gb and make the RAM memory 2GB this will affect the price with EUR 15. Perhaps we should just add this as option when we assembly the main boards and people can decide what to buy 1GB or 2GB RAM version.

The 4GB mainboard eMMC flash is also quite humble for storage. Micron who manufacture this eMMC has also 16GB and 32GB versions, but they are very slow to deal with, just to receive quotation from their sale reps here needs weeks and even if you order they will tell you something like 20-30 weeks delivery time. For the moment this is no go. We use these 4GB eMMC in our other boards this is why we decided to use here too. The 4GB eMMC is in stock and we can produce right now. The micro SD card connector kinda solves the storage issue as you can use up to 128GB micro SD cards, but they are not so fast as the eMMC on board. Anyway if we could make deal with Micron later we could offer mainboards with more on board eMMC.

Another interesting suggestion was to add small SPI flash on the mother board. Initially as hardware guys we decided to not do this when we designed the main board. our though was: if you have eMMC 4GB on board which you can read with 100MB/s and write with 10MB/s why would you need slow serial SPI flash with small capacity like 4MB on board? We got explanation at FOSDEM why some people would love to have it. The SPI Flash could be used to have boot code from which A64 will always boot first. The SPI Flash could be hardware write protected, i.e. you will be always sure that your processor boots trusted software and no one could overwrite it except if he has physical access to your laptop and open the plastic and put the SPI to read/write mode again. The mainboard eMMC could be overwritten from user space, so considered as compromised media for secure boot by the people who care about their security.

One more good feedback was that A64 has OTP bits, one of which once set A64 will refuse to boot unsigned code, and no one knows how to sign code for A64 yet, so this effectively bricks your device and all existing A64 boards and tablets and laptops suffer from this problem. One could now write malicious software which to set this OTP bit and brick the A64 devices on the market. Fortunately there is A64 pin which enables and diables the OTP writting at hardware level, so we are going to disable OTP write by hardware.

Another question was “can I have better display with higher resolution?” Sure you can! TERES1 laptop has eDP interface which all laptop LCDs share, so any LCD with eDP interface will work, and of course will require proper Linux setting. Right now if you do not like the current 1366×768 resolution you can search for other 11.6″ with eDP connector and spend almost as the cost of the TERES I for LCD with IPS and 2K or 3K resolution, but franky we do not see the point of fancy graphics as TERES I would never be laptop for graphics developers anyway.

Other  people were asking: “can I have 16GB of RAM, SSD disk” No, unfortunately this is not possible. A64 is humble low cost processor, it has no SATA, so SSDs are not possible to connect except via USB which spoils the SATA speed. And IIRC 4GB RAM is the max A64 can address, but needs total mainboard rerouting. At this stage TERES1 would never be developer laptop which you can use to build Linux kernels, or do fancy graphics etc. We see it more like hacker tool. We made it lightweight, our target is to run on battery for long time, so you can get it while you travel. We work on FPGA internal board which you will be able to program with FOSS and to add Oscilloscope and Logic Analyzer capability at later stage while keeping all other hardware intact so it will be add-on board. We think of TERES1 as to become portable lab for hackers, to may program Arduino boards, sniff protocols at hardware level, capture analogue signals etc. it will be still good to browse internet, edit text files, code embedded software, but do not expect it to replace your desktop.

Good suggestion was to bring out the debug UART console so developer could see kernel messages without opening the laptop and solder wires. So we decided to add multiplexer and will bring Serial UART TX, RX, GND on the audio headphone jack which will be multiplexed by software, so the developers could just plug serial cable to Audio jack and debug.

Some people suggested us to place Arduino connectors near the touchpad where you add Arduino shields, this need a bit of consideration. When you do prototype work and experiments there is always possibility to damage your hardware, even now when we use Arduino we always put USB-ISO between it and the computer we use to program. With this protection we are sure that if we short something or feed high voltage to the shield by accident we will not damage our computer. So this is great idea but needs a bit of thinking.

Some people were asking: “do you think if this will be commercial success project, your laptop is so expensive, there are Chinese laptops for $50, $60, $100?”

Frankly we do not care too much about this, our core business is development boards and if you follow our blog you see that we have enough work. We spend more than year on TERES I so far and it was fun project and we learned a lot during the development. Now if it will be liked by many people or not is not so important, the important thing is that we made first step to bring to people, who appreciate open source an platform and template which they can use and improve both harware and software wise.

This is why we selected KiCAD as our CAD for designing TERES I. What is the point to release OSHW made with Altium or Eagle which will require your community to spend thousands of EUROs if want to study or modify your files? Every time you use proprietary tool to make Open Source you just decrease your community base just to people who can afford to buy the tools you used to design.

Now TERES I gives freedom to everyone to download KiCAD,  the CAD files from GitHub and people can view how it’s done, learn something new, and if you do not like something you can modify it up to your taste. You can’t do with any other laptop on the market.

Note that this is just the first step, the development and the fun will continue. Once we finish the software, add on boards we will look around for more new SOC candidates as well.

Not at least everyone was asking “when it will be available for sale?”. We build our first three prototypes 3 days before FOSDEM. While we worked more than year on the harware and we solved all issues there, the software is in quite initial state.

For the moment the only working Linux Kernel which supports all A64 features is the Allwinner Android Kernel. This Kernel is full of binary blobs, but the only one which could be used for demo. Beside the binary blobs many other things are broken, like the power management, different drivers like the LCD backlight PWM, wake up from suspend, eDP converter is not set properly and works just in 15 bit color mode etc etc. We have the hardware for 50 laptops ready (developer edition), but we do not want to ship before we take care for the software. At other hand we do not want to ship TERES I with Android or RemixOS also which are complete with binary blobs and will never be Open Source.

So let’s hope we will have good enough Linux support in couple of months and we can start the shipments, until then please wait patiently, we spend over an year and now we are close to the final 🙂

All above suggestions requiring the hardware modifications for the debug console, OTP lock, SPI Flash will be implemented in the next run when the software is completed.

 

56 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. NP32
    Feb 07, 2017 @ 10:32:37

    An option with more ram, even for 15 euros extra, is a good idea. Ram is needed for them browsers.

    Reply

  2. SK
    Feb 07, 2017 @ 11:44:36

    +15 EUR for a board that costs 30 EUR would be too much, but for a laptop costing 225 EUR is not so much of an increase (realtive to the price).
    I suspect most sales would go to the 2GB version 🙂

    P.s. Can you ditch the 4GB eMMC to limit the impact of the more expensive RAM instead? Whoever needs 2GB of RAM would not be satisfied with the 4GB flash either.

    Reply

    • Thomas
      Feb 07, 2017 @ 13:43:16

      @SK: It’s not ‘whoever needs 2GB of RAM’ but ‘whoever thinks he would need 2 GB of RAM’ most of the times 😉

      And those people trying to mis-use Olimex’ laptop as replacement for a beefy x86 machine, thinking they could ‘surf the web’ as usual, don’t understand Linux’ virtual memory implementation and how to configure browser settings are usually also not that interested in the most important performance criteria with flash storage and this use case: Random IO (write) performance is very important and here the average SD card pretty much sucks compared to most if not all eMMC implementations.

      I would assume all those people yelling about missing 4, 8 or 16 GB DRAM are the same that will complain later that they can’t watch 1080p video on youtube in 1080p on TERES I 😉

      Reply

  3. Thomas
    Feb 07, 2017 @ 13:05:45

    @Tsvetan: A64 supports 3 GB DRAM max according to data sheet (though I’ve no idea whether that means you would need 6/12Gb modules or you can mix 4+8Gb)

    Have you already thought about LPDDR3 instead (used on Pine Inc’s SoPine module): http://linux-sunxi.org/Pine64#Variants

    LPDDR3 size looks good to me (especially compared with using 4 x 4Gb DDR3/DDR3L) but unfortunately still no upstream u-boot support for it so currently only boots with ‘boot0’ blob (available, see my link above). But I asked on linux-sunxi IRC and apritzel said he already looked into it and mainline u-boot has some support for LPDDR3 already (Banana Pi M3)

    Reply

  4. Theguyuk
    Feb 07, 2017 @ 14:19:56

    You should consider trying to get a working relationship with Friendlyelec, they have ubuntu on their nanopi a64, yes a older version and both your board and their board are different but I strongly suggest to you that the more A64 product manufactures work together on a OS and drivers, then the better the companies and customers prosper.

    Reply

  5. Theguyuk
    Feb 07, 2017 @ 14:21:15

    Reply

  6. Icenowy Zheng
    Feb 07, 2017 @ 15:47:22

    How could I apply a developer’s sample?

    I have some experiences about mainline Allwinner DE2’s LCD port (for V3s SoC, although U-Boot and SimpleFB only) 😉

    And for PWM and power management I may also do some help.

    Reply

  7. benjamin
    Feb 07, 2017 @ 17:19:39

    >do you think if this will be commercial success project, your laptop is so expensive, there are Chinese laptops for $50, $60, $100?”

    Serious question. Where do you find those ?

    Reply

    • Thomas
      Feb 07, 2017 @ 17:29:12

      @benjamin: Just search on Alibaba for the ‘Buy cheap, Buy twice’ label to get a device that’s electronic waste within 18 months and only looks good when judging by specs 😉

      @Icenowy: Looking forward to progress made by community and you (especially since you mentioned looking into Android with a whole libre software stack below)

      Reply

  8. Ted Huntington
    Feb 07, 2017 @ 19:35:10

    Great effort and starting point- looking forward to seeing how the laptop evolves

    Reply

  9. Teres I please
    Feb 07, 2017 @ 19:38:12

    Thank you so much Цецо! I do not care about the final price if various options, extras and upgrades are available. Anti-glare display is a must. Love to get mine on parts and assemble it myself. Godspeed!

    Reply

  10. Jens
    Feb 07, 2017 @ 19:51:04

    Please don’t lock OTP completely, at least leave a jumper to enable it if needed, maybe some devs want secure boot.
    It isn’t that critical/secure anyway, at least on H3 it can be easily bypassed by FEL, which can then be used to make it accept any signature regardless of correct keys and maybe even disable it again (permanently). I don’t think A64 has changed there, it would be easy to check if someone wants to sacrifice an A64.
    And as long as no key is set at all, it accepts any signature too, so pretty nice for development, no way to lock oneself out too early.

    Reply

    • apritzel
      Feb 08, 2017 @ 14:31:46

      I did burn the “secure boot” fuse on a Pine64, and FEL boots me into non-secure mode only now. This means no AArch64, no GIC, no SRAM A2, no SID (so I can’t even try to reverse it). I guess my best chance is to find a matching certificate for the default (all 0’s?) key. Do you have more information about the H3 in this respect?

      Reply

      • Jens
        Feb 08, 2017 @ 19:58:21

        As long as you didn’t burn the ‘key’ (it actually is a sha256 of the public key, so you would have a hard time finding the correct key for all 0) the BROM will just accept any valid signature with random keys.
        But since you are more interested in FEL normally, there is an even easier way: Just do a secure monitor call, it will toggle the secure state 😉 (at least on H3).

  11. machinehum
    Feb 08, 2017 @ 08:21:56

    Ahhhhh this is so awesome. I would suggest exposing some GPIO/I2C/SPI on the side, with the warning that you might wreck your stuff if you use it incorrectly.

    Reply

  12. hoijui
    Feb 08, 2017 @ 10:29:53

    is it possible for developers to help out with the software (with/without a Teres I dev. sample)?

    and a small suggestion:
    95% of people, when reading about a netbook (for 2xx Eur), will have expectations that Teres I can not fulfill. we can call them stupid (actually they are just uninformed, just as we are about other topics), we can hope they will not even come around to find the product, we can hope they just disappear magically, but if they come around, buy, and will be disappointed, olimex/Teres I will get a lot of bad reputation, and it will hurt. try to prevent that in any case, by making it super clear, always, everywhere, in the title, the first paragraph, the graphics, the videos, and wherever, that you can not use it as a normal browsing and work netbook.
    IT is not too much effort to take care of this after all, and can save a lot of trouble and negative energy coming your way in the future.

    Reply

    • Thomas
      Feb 08, 2017 @ 11:10:57

      @hoijui: Olimex sells no laptop but a DIY kit to build one — this will hopefully save the uninformed led by wrong assumptions from buying this kit. Since Olimex wants to wait for software support to evolve (‘months’ away) before even selling the kits also the risk of clueless Un-Reviews (Hackaday) is minimized.

      In the meantime the ‘I don’t get what «you get what you pay for» means’ crowd will buy A64 based Pinebook for $79 expecting wonders and then be busy with Allwinner bashing and complaining about 1080p video not playing within Chrome and so on…

      Reply

    • Linux User
      Feb 08, 2017 @ 19:48:18

      Olimex has earned a very good reputation across embedded devs, just because they are open-minded, friendly, helpful and know how to get things right.

      I think there’re plenty of engineers who understand how it works, so they’re both NOT okay with treacherous crap like UEFI blobs and ME/bootguard/DRM “security” in their systems. This little thing got good chance to be more secure/trusted thing, where getting things done takes precedence over loud marketing BS and so on. This is something to consider. So this thing is not for everyone. And it would be nearly impossible to beat cheap chinese things or major laptop MFRs because they’ve got SCALES and scale is a big deal when it comes to electronics. But Olimex surely got bunch of devs/engineers on their side. Speaking for myself I think the way Olimex does the things is future of industrial processes. Which are meant to be flexible, easy to retarget, helpful and completely okay even with manufacturing relatively little numbers of custom devices for particular applications. So there is quite some room for something that different from windows-inclined laptop MFRs or hype-driven rasp’s (have fun trying to talk to Qualcomm or Broadcom or Ti to customize anything for you, unless you swear to buy 10 000 000 units, hopefully it gives idea why raspb’s and BCMs are an issue for embedded applications).

      Reply

  13. 99guspuppet
    Feb 08, 2017 @ 10:31:21

    I second machinehum

    Reply

  14. Martin
    Feb 08, 2017 @ 11:34:32

    I’ll take the 2GB/15eur option no questions asked. Yes, it’s a serious step toward proper productivity on a coder’s notebook. And it’s really prudent of Olimex to wait for the sw to materialize before shipping the product. Keep up the good work, guys!

    Reply

  15. Linux User
    Feb 08, 2017 @ 19:20:39

    Wow, you guys just rock! Furthermore, you seem to know how to do things right! Laptop which ppl could use “in field” to fiddle with protocols and so on is just plain AWESOME. I wonder if you’re up for similar tablet, I would really like 7-10″ LCD in more in tablet shape for navigation and some protocol analisys where I need even more mobility.

    And hell yeah, thanks so much for caring about crap-free boot environments! Btw, it would be nice if you pay attention to Vdd fuse on all your boards. After all, fuses are poorly documented and even small chance some rogue SW could brick device horrifies me. I think for nearly all use cases fuese are better to be readonly in our “applications” and if one needs trusted SW base, they’re better off ensuring their trusted base is readonly.

    Btw, one could also set up R/O region or storage using eMMC and SD cards, there’re standardized commands to turn storage R/O. NB: I do not remember but issuing these commands could be one-way ticket (in sense once device is RO, it maybe there is no way to make it RW again). So those who want to fiddle with RO on MMC/SD are better to use discretion.

    As one idea: if I remember, most allwinners would prefer MMC/SD over SPI (it got low prio). So if one could change MMC/SD it is not big deal SPI is readonly, as mmc boot code would take precedence. So we have to consider this scenario and somehow thwart booting from SD/MMC in favor of SPI. Maybe there should be some microcontroller capable of being SPI slave (to act like tightly controilled SPI flash) and also thwarting early boot from MMC (by e.g. gating some lines until system explicitly enables card later)? It could also do plenty of other useful things like power gating plenty of unused system parts. Not to mention it could have loads of analog inputs, advanced timers/pwms/etc so one could do adcanced stuff like precise measurements of timings, waveform generation or even hard-realtime stuff. Personally I could wouch for STM32. Just because everyone could use usual GCC and one could get really impressive set of peripherals even at $0.8 price tag (and that’s shy 10 pcs).

    Reply

  16. Edward Lukacs
    Feb 08, 2017 @ 19:49:29

    Your roll-out at FOSDEMhas been a success and I await the day that I can purchase one with a good, general purpose Linux version. I realize that everyone is asking you for one modification after another, most of which would delay production. But I would suggest at the soonest that you look into either more memory, as you have already discussed, or failing that, provision of software to house a fast swap partition either on the MicroSD or accessible via an external USB3 device. Also, I agree with your reluctance to use the Allwinner software and I will wait for true open code before purchasing. I also want to support, since it requires minimal hardware changes, the addition of SPI flash on the motherboard. For me, at east, it would be a comfort to having something akin to a BIOS (or far better, something akin to DEC’s SRM panel for the Alpha) which would reliably booting and boot source choices. Frankly, until the ARM community produces some sort f standard, these devices will never satisfy the mainstream advanced PC user. Thank you for your dedication and effort.

    Reply

  17. nan
    Feb 08, 2017 @ 21:40:34

    openess of hardware is good. i feel strange to know that the only software now available is allwinnwer android full of binary blobs. allwinner is well known to be gpl violator and enemy f community, so i guess why you got those soc (probably because lowest price of that silicon). anyway, now more months/years will be needed to have kernel purged of all blobs to reach the 100% openity of both software and hardware. for teres 2, you can consider to follow different development path: first search soc well supported by open software and then build laptop around it.

    Reply

    • Linux User
      Feb 09, 2017 @ 03:37:21

      There is one small prob. At the moment there’re virtually no opensource friendly HW. At most there’re some open RISC-V ICs but they’re mostly like microcontrollers, not an “application processors” capable of booting full Linux and being core of laptop, tablet or so.

      So we have what we have and have to use some computer-like systems, aren’t we? So we have to choose from existing options and Allwinner is cheap, there is community and speaking for myself, these days I could boot A10/A13/A20 things 100% blob-free. Very few HW on this planet could get THIS far. I guess A64 stands a decent chance to be like this.

      Of course it implies some limitations and not all features are working or are in perfect shape. But who would need yet another chinese tablet or backdoored, “DRM sponsored” laptop with Intel/AMD “security” processors, anyway? Not to mention in this case competition going to be bitch, x86 laptops are MUCH harder to design and and you have to love chinese blobs on Android tablet or windows/murly UEFI blobs/ME. So Allwinner maybe an enemy. But most companies and their HW, policies and so on manage to be even worse than that. Simple, huh?

      Reply

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Feb 09, 2017 @ 09:07:00

        I second that, the only reason we continue to do products with Allwinner is the big and friendly Linux-Sunxi community, there is no match to it for any other vendor/SOC!
        You can’t expect that processor which is released few months ago will have same state of the software support like mature processors available for several years. A64 was the first 64-bit ARM from Allwinner this is why we bet on it.

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Feb 09, 2017 @ 09:10:42

      please show me decent 64-bit processor with Linux community of hundreds developers, blob free Linux support, with specifications available without signing NDA and which could be purchsed in modest quantities like 1000 pcs at comparable price and we may re-consider

      Reply

      • Yanko Kaneti
        Feb 09, 2017 @ 10:28:04

        Would you remind us why did you break it off with the iMX-eses ?
        Was it only cost ? or availability in small quantities ?

        In all technical aspects, especially documentation or longterm support, or even current OSS support I would imagine they are better than the chinese SOC vendors.

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Feb 09, 2017 @ 10:36:35

        we keep selling imx233 olinuxino on our web, BTW are you speaking from experience for the long term official software support as Freescale (now NXP) rely only on community on this – they have zero paid developers, the only Freescale developer who I know has other official full time job and volunteer in his free time, if you go to their web the only Linux Kernel which support all imx233 features is 2.6 Linux kernel (made by their ex-employee and stay in this state since he left)
        Where is the 64-bit iMX?

      • Yanko Kaneti
        Feb 09, 2017 @ 10:49:07

        Nope. No personal experience. My perception of them is not based on their official support (which is as much as one could expect from a old stodgy company) but the fact that Bunnie chose them for the novena, etnaviv seems to be making strides, Penguintronix and DENX seems to prefer them….
        iMX8 is their plan for ARMv8, don’t know where or if thats already available.

      • Martin
        Feb 09, 2017 @ 11:00:23

        iMX8 just got announced in Jan. Here’s the present lineup: http://www.nxp.com/products/microcontrollers-and-processors/arm-processors/i.mx-applications-processors/i.mx-8-processors:IMX8-SERIES
        No idea of the actual availability, and if Freescale, pardon, NPX will continue to have top-notch documentation in the new series. One thing is clear, though, Freescale never had the sunxi-scale community backing. On the opposite side of the coin, NXP are on another (higher) plane of existence re connectivity options compared to Allwinner.

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Feb 09, 2017 @ 11:14:52

        all companies now trend to announce products year before they have them for sale, look at iMX8 page: just fact-sheet, no datasheet, no user manual, no reference design, no any price info. Their obsolete stellar iMX6Quad was selling for $30-40 for 1000 pcs depend on clock speed (now NXP do not show price unless you register so have no idea what is), while you can buy same features Chinese SOC for $4-5. I can’t imagine how much iMX8 will be but I guess for mortals it will be no less than $60-80 for 1000 pcs. For comparison you can buy Intel x5-z8300 for $12-15 and this is the reason there are so many low cost Windows10 tablets, but there are another legacy issues with UEFI and all Windows distributions run in 32-bit mode on 64-bit processor 🙂 and again lot of binary blobs

      • Martin
        Feb 09, 2017 @ 12:40:56

        Atom subsidies.. I hear C2000 will soon be handed out for free ; )

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Feb 09, 2017 @ 14:00:03

        production cost of complex SOC is less $1, all above this price depend on how much is spent on the development and production setup, what are predicted sales and how fast the vendor want to break even and to start profit

      • Linux User
        Feb 10, 2017 @ 04:10:00

        > Freescale (now NXP)
        Little fix: IIRC, NXP got sold to Qualcomm and wasn’t it you who blogged about it, btw? I guess dealing with Qualcomm is not fun, they are long-standing NDA wrenches, who also seems to disregard community and small manufacturers alltogether.

        Not to mention Qualcomm got a very long record of being a nasty patent troll, that particular company alone responsible for delaying 3G cellular techs deployment all around the globe by many years and all related patent woes, because Qualcomm has patented load of things around code division (CDMA). Not sure why someone allowed to patent math at all. What to expect from these? Well, there was ath9k, it has been Atheros thing. Internally its was just a big state machine, merely an HW automation. It lacked CPU and ran no code on its own – everything is up for system CPU, where automation helps with some heavy lifting. So it has been perfect choice under Linux since one do not have to redistribute firmwares so it works out of the box and if you develop something custom, okay, its really free of any licensing troubles and reasonably trustworthy. But lo, Qualcomm bought Atheros. Now what? Ath10k, with firmware worth of 500KiB? Oh what a good insight what to expect from Qualcomm. Next logical step would be to put iMX datasheets under NDA or demand some nasty blobs to boot it, no? Btw, ath9k is being one of few of “project fast Wi-Fi” things, where Linux devs took on wireless for the real and patched packet scheduling heck a lot to reduce latency and improve user experience. But on ath10k firmware sits in the way. So one can’t alter packet shceduling. I guess it’s not how opensource friendly HW looks like, right?

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Feb 10, 2017 @ 10:08:29

        you are right for Qualcomm just iMX info is still on NXP.com

      • Thomas
        Feb 10, 2017 @ 13:43:53

  18. Martin
    Feb 09, 2017 @ 14:37:02

    I never implied production cost was at or above certain amount. Just said that intel subsidizes their atoms – something that could be inferred from their financial reports. When you report a division’s revenue and expenses, and that division mainly sells atoms, and it sold a substantial amount of them, but the profit is negligible (or is actually negative), certain conclusions can be made.

    Reply

    • Linux User
      Feb 10, 2017 @ 04:37:04

      Ofc intel subsidizes their atoms. Because they stand no chance against ARMs and are quite pointlss things. They are full of blobs nobody could modify (not even OEMs!) and system design is complicated like hell. Intel overengineered everything they could. Yet it proven to be worth of nothing. Say, power management issues are hallmark of atom-based tablets. Not to mention Intel proven to have bizarre prices on all their ICs (unless they really need for another “bait and switch” round). When it comes to embedded.. oh, sure, SMM handler in BIOS/UEFI blob is freakin nice, so one can’t even get worst-case estimate of system responce time. Oh, theoretically UEFI is “open” and there is even “source” but since it BSD-licensed, nearly any BIOS/UEFI is a BLOB, and even OEMs get load blob-only stuff.

      So I guess Intel is nowhere close to being “opensource friendly”. FYI, demand on open HW like laptops probably stems from the fact MS and Intel decided to turn PCs to DRM-encumbered, closed, proprietary ecosystem more or less like iPhone. So I guess there better to be something which isn’t “DRM sponsored”, lacks boot “guards”, “secure” boot, “security” processors, management engines and so on. You see, eventually you could find PCs locked down so it only boots single OS and it only allows to use single store. So there better to be backup plans unless we want to have it really rough.

      Reply

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  20. Oliensze
    Feb 16, 2017 @ 23:14:46

    Hello friends.
    Can you provide more info on where your plastic housing is made and the design process. So I an try and get a hosing made for a 13″ screen. I also like the idea of a hack top for code editor but I require a decent ISP screen and 10-11 inches is just too small and uncomfortable for me. There are many Chromebooks with this form factor so sourcing this screen size should .not be too difficult.

    If we understand how or who makes the housing Im not sure if the cad files for the actual housing were included can you list your supplier or is the plastic moulding done in house? I also don’t mind bulk pricing to get a prototype made since it’s a plastic component, thank you.

    Anyone else interested in an affordable 13″ version, let’s work together to create one. Thank you again.

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Feb 17, 2017 @ 10:22:45

      Hello friend. We spent months of our time and bag of money to find the proper plastics for this laptop, forgive me for not sharing this manufacturer info with you. Good luck with your project! There are thousands of manufacturers in China which could help you.

      Reply

      • Oliensze
        Feb 19, 2017 @ 14:51:50

        And here people were worried about obfuscation in just the code. Good luck to you also. I’ll find another project to support. Thank you.

      • Anton Zinoviev
        Feb 21, 2017 @ 17:22:05

        It seems to me that many people who want to use Teres as any other laptop, do not take into account its weak CPU. Personally, I think that for such a CPU and its typical use-scenarios, its current housing is perfect.

        On the other hand, some people really do need a bigger screen. This can be simply because of the things they want to do or may be even because of some physical disabilities. So I would like to ask: do you think it will be possible to take any old (possibly 2nd hand) laptop with desirable display and form factor, to empty it from all internal boards and use it with the boards for Teres?

  21. Icenowy
    Feb 25, 2017 @ 14:38:12

    I have already make a modified mainline kernel & U-Boot running on a Pine64’s Pinebook, with LCD working 😉

    It’s now not too difficult to get it work on TERES I.

    P.S. If without the 8723 SDIO card, it can be a fully-free-software laptop 😉 (this sentence apply for both Pinebook and TERES I)

    Reply

  22. David Nguyen
    Apr 14, 2017 @ 08:12:52

    i want to buy some used laptops in some country ,but i feel that almost they not honest and cheat , do you have a believe supplier ? can you recommend for me?
    Thanks so much.

    Reply

  23. Maarten van Druten
    May 02, 2017 @ 11:43:34

    I really like this concept, great job Olimex!
    But I have a question for the future: could the Olimex Lime2 dev board work in this
    laptop?
    Because then also “Devuan” OS would be possible (no system-d)
    There is already a RC version of this:
    ftp://ftp.nluug.nl/pub/os/Linux/distr/devuan/devuan_jessie_rc/embedded/devuan_jessie_1.0.0-RC_armhf_lime2.img.xz

    Reply

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