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Author Topic: EOMA68: Modular, freedom-respecting, and "Earth-friendly" computers  (Read 590 times)
Offline (Unknown gender) onpon
Posted on: August 04, 2016, 01:17:51 PM

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So there's an ongoing crowdfunding campaign which started last month:

https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop

This video is worth watching as well:

https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop/updates/hope-2016

This is a really neat, and possibly very important project. Basically, it's a standard where there's a small "computer card" holding the actual computer, and that plugs into any compliant housing. This means you can upgrade your computer very cheaply (keep the housing, just upgrade the computer card), and there are tons of possibilities that would be unthinkable normally.

First offerings are a computer card using the Allwinner A20 SoC (which, before you ask, is not GPL-violating), a "micro-desktop" wooden housing, and a 3-D printed laptop housing. The micro-desktop ends up costing a total of $120, while the laptop ends up costing $565 (or you can pay more if you want it pre-assembled for you). But because of the design of the standard, the $500 cost for the laptop housing is flat; when an upgrade is available, you just buy a new computer card for ~$50. You can even very cheaply have several different computer cards for several different purposes and just swap them out through the same laptop housing.

You can also get a set of cables to use an EOMA68 computer card without a housing at all, or a "passthrough card" that lets you use an EOMA68 housing (currently the laptop housing) as a peripheral (e.g. to add a keyboard and bigger screen to your phone, or to use the laptop housing for the screen, keyboard, and mouse of your desktop computer).

If this takes off, it can pave the way to solving the massive problems we have getting even remotely decent hardware for libre software today. I'm really excited about it (I backed it right away when I found out about it, then backed it a few more times after that), and I hope it succeeds! The campaign ends on August 26 and 41% of the funding goal has been raised as of the writing of this post.
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