User Replaceable Sockets?

i was wondering about how things like usb sockets and audio and power
barrow jacks could be replaced by users or if not then at least not so
hard to replace? as they do seam to get knackered due to accidents that
happen (partly due to risky living but even then mistakes can and do
happen -it only takes one hard tug of a cable to damage the socket.-).

would it be possible for rhombus-tech products to have a feature like
this sooner than later? or to do it really nicely does it need more ££££
to pay for fancy plastic to click n' replace and therefore with the
challenge of just getting products out there and waiting and seeing how
things go with the first products it's a feature that if it's going to
be implemented, it's one that would be put off for future products?

btw you can get magnet usb plug cables:

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found a decent contract usa contract manufacturer, yaay

i've been introduced to a really good team, who are definitely on the
ball, we're going through parts-sourcing for them with their favourite
suppliers, already, i've only just met them 1/2 a day ago.  this in
contrast to "um we'll get back to you" and 4 months later still

so *finally* we should have results (quotes), that means being able to
move on the crowd-funding for the micro-desktop.


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update mar 2015

ok apologies i haven't been keeping people up-to-date recently as much
as i used to.  lots still going on.

first thing: i learned that the rule "plan to do 3 revisions" applies
equally as well to 3D CAD/CAM as it does to software.  so with the
15.6in laptop casework i've started again - it's still an Open
Hardware project - the 2nd version is simpler and also will be only
around 17mm high.  the simplicity comes in part from fitting the PCB
connectors to protrude from the left hand side instead of from the
back, and secondly from having a bit more of a clue about how to put
parts together!

in the redesign, top-facing parts of the base mostly go front-to-back,
whilst underside parts of the base go left-to-right and interlock
(overlap) with the top parts.  it... also looks better :)  also i'm
kinda mulling over the idea of filling in the middle parts with bamboo
(or other wood / recyclable) laminates, then using very thin stickers
to cover the top and bottom to give a smooth surface.

second: i was lucky enough (thank you to the shenzen hackerspace
member for the introduction) to be referred to factoryforall, which it
turns out is run by tully (he worked on the openmoko years ago).
tully has set up shop, now, in shenzen, and has a pick-and-place
robot, 2 and 4 layer PCB manufacturing facilities, PCB oven, has the
contacts for component sourcing, plastic and metal casework... awesome
stuff.  anyway i've asked him if he can quote for making the
EOMA68-JZ4775 CPU Card samples - it's much smaller and more compact
than he's used to, but that's just what makes it more exciting :)
hampoo will make the 6-layer PCB (they're very very good... just very
busy at the moment).  later on i will ask tully if he can handle the
(Continue reading)

joem | 25 Mar 11:23 2015

Arietta G25

Arietta G25

Cute - 30 euros - plays Doom on touch TFT
400MHz ARM running Linux 3.16.1 kernel.

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libreplanet 2015 is tomorrow, live chat available.

which i encountered via this:

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Lauri Kasanen | 19 Mar 22:23 2015

Allwinner's LGPL violation


There's bit of a stink over Allwinner using LGPL'd code in their
binary-only media lib, and then a few days later they try to conceal it
by changing function names. Luke, what is your take on that?

- Lauri


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ok i was kindly referred to gratipay, earlier today, as a way to help
sustain living expenses whilst these projects are being expanded and
completed.  i set up a profile here, if anyone would like to help:

also, this is why those testimonials are important, as i can place a
link on that profile page, and anyone reading it can then check that i
am actually doing what i say that i am committed to achieving.

... have another go, alexander :)


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FSF-Endorseable Hardware companies

hi folks,

ok - does anyone know of any companies that sell Libre or
FSF-Endorseable hardware?  i have thinkpenguin, laclinux, and on the list already, i am looking to
contact companies that would like to help sponsor these projects, it
is very close so i would like to keep going full-time on them now.

also, can i ask people a huge favour: would people be willing to write
some testimonials in support of the work that i am doing, so that they
can be published on the web site, as that would help

many many thanks,


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fsf-endorseable ingenic jz4775 cpu card can go ahead

good news: after being very patient and persistent, my contact at
ingenic put me in touch with a support engineer who confirmed that the
limitation on the jz4775's reported maximum resolution (1280x720) is
for the *video decoder* not the actual LCD output capabilities.  the
actual LCD output may go as high as something like 1700x1700 (not at
60fps obviously) but that things like 1280x800  <at>  60hz (the crucial
limit of the eoma68 spec) are fine, as is even 1366x768 <at> 60hz.

however he did kindly point out that if 720p video decoding [for which
the full source is apparently available, which is also great] is
attempted to be displayed on a 1366x768 LCD (or greater), there is a
bandwidth memory limitation between the video decoder and the lcd
buffer which would prooobably end up stalling slightly so that 30fps
would be hard to achieve, at full-screen.

honestly, i really don't see this as being a huge show-stopper enough
to warrant exclusion of a low-cost SoC that could be the first
FSF-Endorseable candidate to run GNU/Linux OSes with a decent amount
of RAM (2Gbytes).

as i've had the first revision PCB done nearly 4 months ago, that just
leaves financing of the first revision jz4775 CPU Card to arrange.  i
have one potential sponsor: if anyone else would like to help out that
would be great.  we're likely looking at around $USD 1,500 for 5 PCBs.


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(Continue reading)

Paul Boddie | 1 Mar 19:24 2015

Any news?

Hello again,

I keep checking the recent changes page on the Rhombus Tech site [1] for 
progress, but it seems a bit dormant at the moment. Has Chinese New Year (and 
other seasonal pitfalls) served to keep the pace of development a bit more 
modest than us impatient onlookers might have liked? ;-)



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LCD cables - anyone know where to get them?

does anyone know - preferably have already bought from and so knows
they can do it - of a source of LCD cables?  i need QTY 3 cables with
an I-PEX-20453-040T connector at both ends, length 0.5 metres.  wires
not FPC.

i found a company in germany however they quotes only deal with
companies quotes.


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