#qi-hardware IRC log for Friday, 2012-09-28

paul_boddieCan't say I totally agree with rjeffries: a lot of people are buying Raspberry Pi as a plaything, and some of them are buying them up for business purposes ("cheap home media centre!1!"), lending credibility to the argument that it has largely been a "bottoms on seats" exercise by Broadcom.09:36
paul_boddieAlso there may be a lot of people who just get upset about how it isn't plug-and-play and vow never to have anything to do with "difficult" Linux again. But I have to admit that the search engine results for various things are filling up with Raspberry Pi users. I would say that it's a bit like the days of AOL's rapid expansion, but that could be interpreted as being elitist.09:37
paul_boddieI also have to say that it's easy to make a cheap shot about the NanoNote, but the whole one-per-child classroom computing effort goes back at least this far: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psion_Series_3#Acorn_Pocket_Book09:40
rjeffrieshaters gonna hate, as the saying goes. about Raspberry Pi: I do not see it as a threat on any level to the open hardware movement. That is not their objective. But I fail to see it as a coup for BRCM. The SOC in these little 'puters is not a big deal.14:50
whitequarkoh, it pretty much is, broadcom found a very wise way to spend their marketing budget.14:52
whitequarkwhich would be at least somewhat fine except for the fact that they make really crappy SoCs, even if we don't talk about openness14:53
rjeffriesAllwinner [A10, A13] and Rockbox both have decent SOCs. Both are being used for inexpensive Android computers on a stick. And an Android computer can become a Linux computer not a huge deal.14:53
rjeffriesPutting aside "they should have done X, Y or Z differently" the team behind the Raspberry Pi Foundation made a simple but adequate computer that is great for learning to program in Python or C or Scratch or whatever.14:54
whitequarkrjeffries: http://whitequark.org/blog/2012/09/25/why-raspberry-pi-is-unsuitable-for-education/#comment-66254933514:56
whitequarkplease, read this thread14:56
rjeffriesIt exposes low level i/o (SPI I2C SPIO) in a robust way. It does not cost what the elegant FPGA-based and VERY open Milkylist hardware does, because it has different objectives.14:56
whitequarkthis too: http://whitequark.org/blog/2012/09/25/why-raspberry-pi-is-unsuitable-for-education/#comment-66393341414:56
rjeffriesGiven what a boost RasPi is for Debian and free software, it puzzles me that some invest time dismissing something that is selling in very large quantities. How does that hurt anyone? 14:57
rjeffriesReality check: for a device to offer a high level of function AND be cheap, the design will use an SOC. Nobody is forced to purchase these devices. Anyone who perfers a Milkymist or Ben Nanonote will vote with their pocketbook.14:59
rjeffriesMay 1,000 Debian-based flowers bloom.14:59
whitequarkrjeffries: yeah, and not every SoC is as bad as Broadcom ones14:59
whitequarkSamsung makes pretty nice ones, eg Exynos 42xx15:00
rjeffrieswhitequary (Peter) I read your analysis. It was a good piece. But I disagree. ;)15:00
paul_boddieI think it's always worthwhile to indicate where things could have been done better. It's not as if whitequark says that it absolutely has to be an FPGA, just that it would then open up a new area that you obviously aren't going to be able to access using a locked-down SoC.15:00
whitequarkrjeffries: keep in mind that Samsung has made a production device (Galaxy S II) which is more open than a educational device (RPi)15:00
rjeffrieswhietquark teh answer is for qi hardwrae or some other entity to build the coimputer of your dreams. 15:00
rjeffrieswhitequark I think that point is not relevant. RasPi was not intended as an excercise in open hardware. It is simply a to9ol that allows millions of people to learn programming and also experiment with physical computing in a high-level OS rather than using Arduino15:02
rjeffriesif memory serves, you and others also think Arduino is a POS. <smile>15:02
paul_boddieAnd I think the remark about the BBC Micro hits a nerve with some of the Raspberry Pi people. They want it to be the spiritual successor, but when people who were major developers say exactly what whitequark has said about the level of openness in terms of documentation, they have neither a decent response nor any clue about who the person they're lecturing actually is.15:03
whitequarkrjeffries: Arduino is significantly overrated in the sense that people are trying to put it everywhere, even where a much more efficient solution exists. 15:04
rjeffriesI do not think attacking RasPi serves a purpose. It exists, it is selling. There is a vibrant (!!) ecosystem forming aroudn it. All using Debian.15:04
whitequarkrjeffries: if you think that my remarks are not relevant, they won't make any "harm" to RPi; otherwise, I don't understand what your comments about "attacking" are about15:04
rjeffriespaul_bodie the reason RasPi is getting all the heat is it is selling in mass quantities. Could it have been done better? YES.15:05
whitequarkit's not like I'm trying to sabotage production or so.15:05
viricI think it's more the joy of "I have a small computer running", similar to gentoo people "I'm compiling!".15:05
rjeffriesWill someone else do somethingt better, more open? Prolly will.15:05
viricthan making much of it.15:05
whitequark^ that15:05
viricAll that feels like working.15:05
viricfeels like doing work. And doing work, feels like doing useful work.15:05
paul_boddierjeffries: Is your point that the benefits of open hardware don't matter if it's cheap enough? Something like, "Oh that chipset won't work with anything recent, but they only cost $30, so off to the recycling centre they go!"15:06
whitequarkthere is a huge gap between "it's cool" and "it's actually useful".15:06
rjeffriesviric I am not sure there is anything wrong with that. This whole business remionds me of early days when I assembled an IMSAI kit computer in my college days. 15:06
viricah yes, sure it provides learning15:06
viricI see people in toolchain channels that look like discovering multiplatform building15:06
viricthanks to the pi.15:06
viricyou're also supposed to write very unuseful programs before you learn to program something useful.15:07
rjeffrieswhitequark read the damn specs. RasPi is imperfect, has limited RAM and CPU. but it is VERY capable. twice the speed of Ben. 256MB as opposed to 32MB. Has Ethernet. Has great display hardware (that is I agree not open).15:08
paul_boddieActually, regardless of whether Arduino is overrated or gets shoehorned into silly projects or not, I think it does expose people to stuff that they wouldn't normally do with a personal computer, and that is then the gateway to more hardcore electronics for those who are interested. It's not Arduino's fault that people use it to do weird art projects involving lots of LEDs.15:08
rjeffriesIf I want to use softwar eor write software, it is ok/fine.15:08
whitequarkpaul_boddie: oh, it's perfectly fine for _art_, just don't claim you're an engineer if you've managed to connect 256 leds with 8 arduinos or so15:08
rjeffriesif one wishes to use Python, it comes ready to go out of the box.15:08
whitequarkpaul_boddie: similarly, don't try to claim that's the right way to do it, don't write tutorials, etc.15:09
rjeffriesguys RaspI was not designed to scratch teh embedded itch. but some will us eit that way. who cares?15:09
whitequarkrjeffries: like any computer existing at this moment can run Linux and Python15:09
whitequarkI don't see how RPi solves any problem15:09
paul_boddiewhitequark: True enough, but I think it has probably helped to get people into electronics and to see what else is available. Just giving people a platform to start experimenting with can be very useful. Most people wouldn't ever bother to start otherwise.15:10
rjeffriesso why why why do you dislike this sucessfull cheap system? who gives a damn? peopel who choose to buy it will do so.15:10
viricit allows people to discover non-x8615:10
viricfor cheap.15:10
whitequarkrjeffries: well, I _could_ see how it is _supposed_ to solve absence of computers in poor countries, through the question of total cost of ownership and building infrastructure remains15:10
viric(as other platforms do. but if it has better marketing, it reaches more people to learn that)15:10
whitequarkrjeffries: I don't see how it does any good for education in UK or even Russian schools15:10
rjeffriesI do not think it was designed for that15:10
whitequarkand a lot of commenters claim it does15:11
whitequark[talking about UK]15:11
whitequarkyou have a computer with Windows. ok, cool, there's python for that. want to run Linux without hassle? ok, there's bootable USB sticks for that15:11
rjeffriesANDF... I think we aree already seeing a wave of innovation where various peopel are designing realatively inexpensive ARM systems. I like that a lot. Cubbieboard looks pretty nice.15:11
whitequarkDebian can do that for like ages.15:11
paul_boddieI think we can sum up the objections as being that the Raspberry Pi is being sold as a definitive solution for lots of things, but when you look more closely, it fails to address most of those things properly, perhaps with the exception of its price. And even then, the price per unit is not going to be what you will end up having to pay for a complete solution.15:11
whitequark^ that15:12
whitequarkrjeffries: cubieboard suffers from exactly same problems15:12
whitequarkallwinner is only marginally better than broadcom15:12
wpwrakwhat's missing with the arduino is a smooth way for developers to emancipate themselves from the arduino. it seems that many don't quite realize that just adding the chip to their circuit is only a relatively insignificant additional effort and that it gives them a lot more flexibility (besides lower cost).15:12
rjeffrieswhitequark so the fact that a university such as Cambridge can use a $35 compuer in a class on deigning an OS is bad somehow? LOL15:12
whitequarkrjeffries: you CANNOT teach designing an OS on an RPi.15:13
whitequarkthat's the whole point of my article!15:13
whitequarkI've seen that course.15:13
whitequarktwo thirds of it is hand-waving and "yeah GPU does that"15:13
wpwrakrpi .. dunno. a fad, i guess. like the sinclair zx81. you got it, you played with it, you learned some things, you grew bored with it, you moved on.15:13
rjeffrieswhitequark I hope you can raise money and design the opne hardware alternative to Raspberry Pi. qi hardwrae was started for jsut such a dream15:13
whitequarkrjeffries: there are more open alternatives to Pi right now. Beagleboard can be perfectly used to teach Operating Systems course15:14
rjeffrieswhietquark your statement baffles me TOTALLY. wtf ar eyou talking about? LOL15:14
rjeffriesBeagleboard costs 3X as much. 15:14
whitequarkrjeffries: if you're talking about this course: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/freshers/raspberrypi/tutorials/os/15:15
rjeffriesso? so that's an extra $5o per student. 15:15
whitequarkthen my comments apply.15:15
wpwrakwhat's more worrying is if the rpi is used to replace platforms better suited to the purpose. that risk exists in education. platforms are often long-lived there, so a bulk purchase of rpis can block better things for several years.15:15
whitequarkrjeffries: skip one $600 textbook purchase, suit a class with proper boards.15:15
paul_boddiewpwrak: For those of us who didn't do electronics, the Arduino is probably mostly about working your way towards developing that circuit before cutting the cord. That said, most of my Arduino hacking has been based on interfacing with various embedded controllers, and for that the Arduino is rather educational and brings back the microcomputer era mindset that such work entails.15:16
rjeffriesteh only solution is to convince US authorities that Raspberry Pi Foundation is a therat to national security. then send in the drones. Problem solved. LOL15:16
rjeffriesRasPi is a decent environment for interfacing with snesors using SPI and I2C. aso is ASrduino, in a lower level way.15:17
rjeffriesRaspberry Pi si not a problem. It is an opportunity. RNOBODY and I mean not a single soul is required to purchase a RasPi.15:18
wpwrakpaul_boddie: oh, i think the arduino is a great intermediate step. but it seems that a lot of people stop there and consider it an unavoidable building block even though their projects suggest they could do much better. it's a mental barrier - people think there is some "magic" in the arduino they couldn't tackle themselves.15:18
whitequarkrjeffries: can you say which exact problem RPi solves?15:19
rjeffriesin any case, I have said more than enough. Move along pople, nothing to see here. Nevermidn that Ben NN used an SOC that was not open. ;)15:19
wpwrakrjeffries: in the free market, everyone competes against everyone. so of course the rpi is a threat in that sense :)15:20
whitequarkrjeffries: but one can make a MIPS softcore without risking being sued15:20
whitequarkand ARM won't allow you to do that even if you have an ability.15:20
rjeffrieswhitequark RasPi offers a LOT of computing power at a low price. It has internet connectivity, unlike Ben NN. it is a great platofrm for individuals to learn stuff they will not learn using a PC15:20
whitequarkrjeffries: like python and debian?15:21
rjeffriesIf ARM is teh enemy, then the enemy won this war a long time ago15:21
paul_boddiewpwrak: Agreed. It's too easy to avoid building a circuit and instead continue with the software developer mindset and the luxuries of being able to fire signals on various pins from a program instead of using a circuit that would do the job more efficiently. It's a prototyping tool, I guess. Then again, you could criticise people for using FPGAs and not using discrete logic components... ;-)15:21
whitequarkpaul_boddie: discrete logic is directly equivalent to an FPGA, arduino isn't equivalent to discrete logic15:22
rjeffrieswhitequark I think interfacing with I2C SPI and GPIO on a CHEAP platform that runs Debian is uiseful and a lot of people will learn.15:22
whitequarkpaul_boddie: it's serial, not parallel, to say it concisely15:22
whitequarkrjeffries: it's quite hard to use I2C, SPI and GPIOs on RPis without frying it immediately15:22
whitequarkI've explained why15:22
rjeffrieswhitequark I understand the issues. and thye best point you made is that it would have been inexpensive to make the i/i interfacing safer. Point well taken.15:23
whitequarkand, well, I'll let you guess how long a (school-owned) rpi would live if kids will plug and unplug peripherals in it daily15:23
paul_boddiewhitequark: I was joking, mostly, but there's also a point about what the "right way" to do things is. One can tell someone off for flashing their LEDs using a program, but if they're doing a one-off art exhibit or something, are we being too harsh?15:23
wpwrakpaul_boddie: that's not what i mean. i mean replacing the arduino with an avr. same architecture. same capabilities (if you choose the chip accordingly), but a lot more flexibility when if comes to integration.15:23
whitequarkrjeffries: arduino is really really hard to kill 15:24
rjeffriesI think there will be a B RISK business in the Gertboard.15:24
rjeffriesbut you also displie Arduino. LOL15:24
rjeffriesArduino is also sucessfull and also uses poroprietary chip. AVR is not open.15:24
whitequarkrjeffries: incorrect15:25
whitequark1) AVR has completely open specifications15:25
whitequark2) there are AVR softcores15:25
whitequarkthe precise chips which are in Arduino aren't open-source, but I don't see this as a real problem.15:25
rjeffriesbefore I go on mute, consider: what is to prevent Raspberry Pi Foundation or someone else from designing a next system that meets Peter's objections?15:25
paul_boddiewpwrak: Yes, I've seen a number of Arduino alternatives and looked at the actual AVR parts, and Arduino is quite clearly a compromise that doesn't work optimally for various use-cases. It's good as a springboard for some things, but it isn't everything to everyone. I think that's what upsets people about the Raspberry Pi.15:26
whitequarkrjeffries: the fact that it's basically owned by Broadcom15:26
rjeffriesBRING IT ON. Make it happen, run it up the flagpole. I will salute. ;)15:26
wpwrakmaybe one should make an fpgauino :) navre shouldn't need a very potent FPGA ...15:26
whitequarkwpwrak: might even fit in a big CPLD15:26
paul_boddieDid any of you ever get to look at a Balloon Board?15:26
wpwrakeven easier then15:26
whitequarkrjeffries: there _are_ better platforms. OK, for 2x the cost (BeagleBone). I don't see this as a problem, sorry.15:27
rjeffrieswpwrak I like that idea. I sthat what wolfspraul i sup to these days? it see,s his interest in Milkymist and Ben have flatlined15:27
rjeffrieswhietquark as you know well, Beaglebone does not have a display system. But nice try with apples/oranges. LOL15:28
wpwraki don't think he has any specific hardware in mind at the moment. (except for a very crude experimental board)15:28
wpwrakso this is more something along the lines of basic research. first figure out how these quarks work, then build supercomputers ;-)15:29
paul_boddieI actually think a better title for whitequark's post might have been "Why the Raspberry Pi isn't the BBC Micro".15:29
rjeffriesBallonboard looks interetsing. do we have any idea about price?15:30
whitequarkpaul_boddie: kinda15:30
rjeffriespaul_brodie as Brits might say "Spot on."15:30
paul_boddieI'm not even sure the Balloon Board is available any more. I spent some time despamming those people's Wiki as a sort of random act of kindness, but it all seemed very slow-moving and behind closed doors.15:31
wpwrakpaul_boddie: balloon sounds like a worthy arduino replacement :)15:31
paul_boddieSome of the Debian Embedded people are involved in it.15:31
Action: paul_boddie goes to check their Web site.15:31
whitequarkjudging from the chip form factor, it's really really ancient15:32
whitequarkoh wow, XScale15:32
wpwrakthey write they're working on something more modern15:33
whitequarkI don't think these chips are still manufactured :)15:33
paul_boddieAs I said, not much going on these days.15:33
wpwrakwhitequark: that may be why they are / have been trying to modernize :)15:34
whitequarkI like the idea of integrating an FPGA to such a board15:34
paul_boddieI should pester some of those people and get a status report.15:34
whitequarkfrom the wiki, this is the successor: http://www.iendian.com/15:34
wpwrakthe license is unfriendly, though: http://www.balloonboard.org/balloonwiki/Licence15:35
wpwrakcopy but don't change15:35
paul_boddiewhitequark: Yes, it's the same companies paying for the work.15:36
wpwrakrjeffries: (iendian) now you can complain about the ben being expensive ;-)15:36
paul_boddieThere are actually a few companies who were doing ARM-related stuff in the 1990s, and some of them have managed to stay alive doing things like development boards and, I imagine, projects for clients.15:36
whitequarkwpwrak: I see their point about compatibility, but I don't think this would actually prevent anyone from causing fragmentation15:37
whitequarkif a company has enough traction to pull that off, they'll just ignore the license.15:37
wpwrakyeah, it's another case of punishing the honest15:38
Action: kristianpaul had been playing with solar balloons latelly15:38
whitequarkwpwrak: I think that in such cases, it's enough to forbid people building incompatible variants to call their stuff with the original name15:40
whitequarki.e. like Sun requiring certification to allow you to call your implementation of some language Java15:41
wpwrakyes, trademarks can work that way15:41
whitequarkrequires you to actually define the certification process, through, but if it's intended to be a _standard_, you'd need that anyway15:42
wpwrakfunny scare tactics: https://sites.google.com/site/balloonboards/faqs/diy15:43
whitequarkwpwrak: I don't see any of these claims as incorrect :)15:43
whitequarkI'd say it is quite precise actually15:43
whitequarkesp. given the fact that they do publish the design and so15:44
whitequarkand not using those as reasons to justify the closedness15:44
wpwrakif you have already most of the design plus a bit of experience, it shouldn't be nearly as intimidating. of course, component pricing (low volume) may be what would kill DIY economically.15:45
paul_boddie"The nous to identify partners who will support the project from beginning to end" - a lot of people are finding this out the hard way on their "shopping trips" to China. Take the Vivaldi tablet as an example.15:46
wpwraks/already/already have15:46
wpwrakargh. it was correct before15:46
whitequarkpaul_boddie: what's with that tablet?15:46
wpwrakpaul_boddie: china is a great trap for the naive ;-)15:46
paul_boddieThey need to find a supplier who won't change the parts list to save 5 cents and not tell anybody, even if it means another iteration of driver development.15:47
whitequarkthis is... painful.15:48
paul_boddieI think this more or less illustrates why open hardware is important, but as long as people can get cheap stuff that almost works, they will keep pointing out the cheap stuff and ridiculing anyone wanting to do things differently.15:52
whitequarkcheap stuff with lots of strings attached15:53
rjeffrieswhat the world needs is a $100 Linux tablet that is as open as practical. May not meet Peter's criteria, but in-built display would be a Good Thing. BT keyboard is fine. needs wi8fi. whoops, there we go, not totally open hardwrae.15:54
whitequarkrjeffries: ever tried programming on a tablet?15:55
rjeffriesthis is an odd duck: http://hackaday.com/2012/09/28/massively-parallel-64-core-computer-costs-9915:56
whitequarkrjeffries: I believe that just won't work15:56
rjeffrieswhitequark a tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard? No, but how ios that different vs a lappie15:56
paul_boddierjeffries: You can get cheap tablets now. Don't you read the arm-netbook list? When not discussing their EOMA-68 card project, which is most of the time these days because it's in super-secret factory mode, it's a parade of cheap tablet suggestions and "deal" Web site ordering experiences. And Q&A about people's recent purchases not working properly.15:56
rjeffriesi will check out arm-netbook list thanks!15:57
whitequarkrjeffries: 1) ARM license agreement explicitly forbids open-sourcing the design15:58
rjeffriesarm-netbook subscribed.15:58
paul_boddieArchives: http://lists.phcomp.co.uk/pipermail/arm-netbook/15:58
whitequark2) massively multicore designs are HARD, that was already determined in quite a powerful way by companies bigger than some random Kickstarter-funded one. I would happily be proven incorrect15:58
rjeffriesthat is an opportunity for Intel then, isn't it?15:59
whitequark3) Kickstarter? IC? $99? No way.15:59
whitequarkrjeffries: yeah, there were some experiments in the industry15:59
rjeffriesgreenarrays is an interesting exception. but thou shalt speak FORTH15:59
whitequarkgreenarrays is completely different business15:59
whitequarkit's not a von Neumann architecture16:00
rjeffriesunderastood. I do not expect that kickstarter project to be a success but the idea is interesting16:00
whitequarki.e. you cannot make gcc emit GA code16:01
whitequarkinteresting device, but practically useless16:01
whitequarkidea is interesting, yeah16:01
whitequarkabout intel: they do. http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-20026627-92.html16:01
whitequarkrjeffries: ahhh, they don't design their own chip, they use Epiphany coprocessors16:03
rjeffriesoh I was talking about open netbook designs that ARM prohibits. Intel does not have such a restriction to my knowledge16:03
rjeffriesthose guys have a laser focus on floating point performance is my understanding16:03
whitequarkrjeffries: AFAIK ARM does not prohibit open netbook design16:03
rjeffriessomebody above just said they do16:04
whitequarkrjeffries: as per Parallela, this is a project I would happily back.16:04
whitequarkthe part about revolutionizing the industry with parallel programming is utter bullshit16:06
whitequark(because "serial" programming has its own big advantages)16:06
whitequarkbut the 64-core chip is just like a GPU16:06
rjeffrieswhitequark as in marketing BS agree.16:06
whitequarkwell, you cannot remake a generic algorithm to run in a parallel fashion in like 95% of cases16:07
whitequarki.e. any memory-bound one won't work this way. Quicksort to name an example.16:07
rjeffriesthere was an interesting hint yesterday soimewhare that people are making progress with opening up some nclosed aspects of that BRCM SOC. not sure if this is a dream or what. But given the marketing success of RasPi, I could see BRCM seeing more benefit than risk. that would be A Good Thging. Besides, the RasPOi is an older SOC. who cares?16:08
whitequarkrjeffries: remember the part I said about someone remaking an ARM core and getting sued?16:09
whitequarkthe core in question was out of production16:09
whitequarkso, lawyers care.16:09
rjeffriesthat core must still be be able to be fabb'd16:09
whitequarkand Broadcom _already_ sees huge benefit: it has forced a lot of people to use their proprietary platform16:09
whitequarkthere's no reason for them to open anything. RPi is already produced.16:10
paul_boddieI've been waiting to see what might happen once someone reverse-engineers the proprietary instruction set.16:10
rjeffriesforced? no it has not forced anyone. Poeple liked the price and the idea and spent $35. BFD16:10
whitequarkpaul_boddie: not much16:11
whitequarkpaul_boddie: you also need to write a complete OpenGL stack, or a half of OpenGL stack if you can reuse Mesa16:11
whitequark(or its EGL sister project)16:11
whitequarkthis is like 80% of work, you can join #lima and ask about that :)16:12
paul_boddiewhitequark: From the lawyers and the Raspberry Pi Foundation, I mean. As in, "We promised to play nice and not try and look inside and now you're going to ruin it for everyone!"16:12
whitequarkpaul_boddie: there isn't any legal agreement between Foundation and its customers which would protect the latter16:13
paul_boddieBut what I mean is that "Why can't you tell us how it works?" is an FAQ. It's all "we can't tell you" and "please respect the IP of our partner", and so any reverse-engineering is likely to provide much finger-pointing and wailing.16:14
whitequarkso much no one seems to care about it16:16
paul_boddieI guess it won't matter until someone actually provides their own firmware, if it ever gets that far.16:16
whitequarkpaul_boddie: that's almost impossible16:17
whitequarkwell, stranger things have happened, but I don't think that it is realistic. Not in a reasonable timeframe, i.e. 2 years or so.16:17
paul_boddieYes, I guess they'd have to provide something completely new, and that would take quite some effort. But I wouldn't put it past someone to modify the blob that gets shipped now. There are a lot of tinkerers who don't have the awareness of stuff like copyright who might make their own "mods" and that might get some reaction.16:21
whitequarkpaul_boddie: I guess the blob is tivoized16:21
paul_boddieI wouldn't know. Maybe rjeffries knows as he has a lot to say about the Raspberry Pi. ;-)16:22
whitequarkso it's kinda simpler. Also, you'd need both very good IDA skills and knowledge of internals of the GPU, and so far most people who have those skills aren't very fond of Pi.16:22
whitequark*most people I've spoke with16:22
paul_boddieSome people like a challenge, though.16:22
whitequarkwell, we've seen an engineer of one company doing embedded GPUs to reverse-engineer a GPU of a rival company in his unpaid time16:23
whitequarkI guess he was extremely bored16:23
rjeffriesmy gut says that BRCM may look the other way. If their mainstream revenu bearing SOCs are sufficently differnt than what RasPi uses, then they could be (in a certain sense) "good guys" and let teh people working on reverse engineering (it IS hapopening as we speak) go forward. Zero harm commercially.16:25
whitequarkrjeffries: I doubt they will actively harm these efforts16:26
rjeffrieslet's assume BRCM makes a net profit of $1 aper SOC they sell to Farnell/E14 (who manufacture RasPi)16:26
whitequarkRPi is not about profits from BRCM16:26
whitequarkit's about marketing16:26
whitequarkthey might even manufacture them at a loss16:26
rjeffriesif soemoen opnes the old GPU at some level, and suddenly academics have a cool tool to play with, heh, lots of PR goodness.16:27
whitequarkunfortunately one does not just "open an old GPU"16:27
whitequarkthere isn't any RE project of an embedded GPU which can actually provide production results, i.e. something for academics to play with16:27
whitequarksome of which have been around for years16:28
whitequarkI hope that Lima will be the first to become so. Still, it may not happen in near future for a multitude of reasons.16:28
rjeffrieswhat is Lima? I am not informed16:28
whitequarkreverse-engineering of Mali-200/400 GPU by ARM16:29
rjeffriesok got it Lima is a free software graphics driver for the ARM Mali GPUs16:29
whitequarkyup. Mali slowly but certainly becomes a standard for mobile GPUs16:29
rjeffriesby the way, something much less than a replacment GPU driver could be of interest. if one can use some GPU respources that would be ok/fine16:30
whitequarkyou need a GPU driver for that :)16:30
GNUtoo-desktoprjeffries, really? I tough it was only test cases?16:47
rjeffriesGNUtoo-desktop I am way way beyond my depth here. I do not know.16:52
whitequarkGNUtoo-desktop: some kinda basic knowledge about ISA exists17:03
whitequarknot much more17:03
viriclarsc: one week without hangs, since I disabled the serial port in the pc bios.18:10
viricouhm unless it hanged right now. :)18:10
viricdamn it.18:11
larschaha :p18:21
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