ideas for laptop selection

Paul Boddie paul at
Tue May 2 19:05:33 UTC 2017

On Tuesday 2. May 2017 16.54.40 Paul Boddie wrote:
> On Tuesday 2. May 2017 15.45.38 Evaggelos Balaskas wrote:
> > Here is my suggestion: pinebook
> > 
> >


> I guess the software is just one thing holding up the Olimex laptop,
> particularly since they might be a bit more wary of bad publicity around
> binary blobs and Allwinner's tendency to produce copyright-infringing
> software to demonstrate their products. So the software has to be done
> properly and to a standard that most people will accept, which means that
> the Pine64 software should be closely inspected for licence compliance.

Here's some relevant information from a review:

"So, just like last time, the main issues with the Pinebook seem to be around 
the software. Things are vastly improved over the state of things when Pine 
released their original board, unlike the original Pine A64 board the Pinebook 
is actually useable. However Pine have made it very clear that, “…it will 
largely be up to the community to help further develop and improve the BSP 
[Board Support Package] Linux experience on the device.”"

Although I have read (justified or otherwise) criticism of Olimex taking this 
"but we only make the hardware" attitude with previous products, they at least 
do seem to understand that this isn't acceptable with A64-based products. Of 
course, it is nice that people can put together hardware and deliver it to 
other people who are more capable with software than hardware, but delivering 
unusable products, potentially showcased with dubious chipset vendor software, 
is rather irresponsible.

As Free Software advocates, we also shouldn't allow hardware manufacturers to 
present us with potentially impossible or unfeasible challenges, where it may 
not even be possible to support seemingly attractive hardware with Free 
Software thanks to missing documentation or obstruction by chipset vendors.


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