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Linux Hardware

PCMCIA Computer Project Aims Even Higher (and Cheaper) Than Raspberry Pi 161

Posted by timothy
from the concept-that-can-be-turned-into-an-idea dept.
lkcl writes "An initiative by a Community Interest Company Rhombus Tech aims to provide Software (Libre) Developers with a PCMCIA-sized modular computer that could end up in mass-volume products. The reference design mass-volume pricing guide from the SoC manufacturer, for a device with similar capability to the Raspberry Pi, is around $15: 40% less than the $25 Raspberry Pi but for a device with an ARM Cortex A8 CPU 3x times faster than the 700mhz ARM11 used in the Raspberry Pi. GPL Kernel source code is available. A page for community ideas for motherboard designs has also been created. The overall goal is to bring more mass-volume products to market which Software (Libre) Developers have actually been involved in, reversing the trend of endemic GPL violations surrounding ARM-based mass-produced hardware. The Preorder pledge registration is now open (account creation required)." Of course, the Raspberry Pi is not only only much further along, but has recently announced an expansion module (the Gertboard).
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PCMCIA Computer Project Aims Even Higher (and Cheaper) Than Raspberry Pi

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  • Lotsa Talk (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 17, 2011 @09:49AM (#38408370)

    There has been a lot of talk about these ultra low cost(and low power) computers recently. But, until something ships, meh.

    Where is my Raspberry Pi?
    Where is my Chumby NeTV?
    So far, the only ones to ship have been the Plugcomputers and they haven't been cheap.

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @10:07AM (#38408442)

    ... there's a website that I can order one from at that price, which will deliver with 7 days.

    Until that time it's just vapourware - same goes for the Raspberry Pi, unless you want a keyboard sticker, they've got nothing on the market.

  • by rossdee (243626) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @10:08AM (#38408444)

    Great, so this low cost computer can be plugged into the PCMCIA slot of a laptop. Or you couyld just use the laptop. Am i missing something here?

  • by nyctopterus (717502) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @10:48AM (#38408604) Homepage

    You mean.. like a phone?

  • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @11:19AM (#38408760)

    Perhaps the project leaders should instead think before writing marketing copy.

  • Re:Why PCMCIA? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday December 17, 2011 @12:39PM (#38409286) Journal

    Then what we really need to be shooting for is CRFF or card reader form factor because frankly i haven't seen any express card or cardbus slots in a while on anything sub $1k but they ALL have card readers now. Sure that doesn't give a lot of space but that is why everything is going nano right? tell them white coats to get on it!

    And while I love your idea of bringing standardization to mobile sadly it will NEVER happen, and here is why: all those PCs companies (with the exception of the fruit company and their world famous RDF) found that with standardization comes commoditization and razor thin margins and they don't like that, hence why there isn't jack shit interchangeable anymore if they can help it. I'm sure they miss the days of "Compaq RAM" that was 3 times the price but you had to buy if you had a Compaq, or Dell PSUs that were just funky enough they wouldn't fit in a normal case, and that is what they have now with mobile. After all how could they gouge you on a battery if you could just run AAAs? How could they get you to buy a whole new unit if the tiniest part fails if you could easily just buy the part and DIY or take it to the local shop?

    Sadly the corps have figured out "designed for the dump" gives them their biggest profits hence why everything is so flimsy and easily broken now. Personally I wish the FOSS guys all the luck in the world, i'd love a cell phone or laptop where parts were as easy to get and interchange as your average desktop but I doubt the corps would ever let that happen, it'd cost them too much profit.

  • by Robotech_Master (14247) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @01:53PM (#38409910) Homepage Journal

    I'm not a programmer or a hardware hacker. I don't know anything about soldering circuit boards. I'm just a guy who likes to surf the net, write stories, play games, hang out on-line, and so on. What is the availability of this $15 device going to mean for me?

    I mean, at least (as far as) I know the Raspberry Pi is going to be producing fully-realized devices that I can buy, plug in a keyboard and monitor and Ethernet cable, and I'm done. It sounds like this project is just about building a circuit board. And while it's nice it will be 40% cheaper and three times as fast, I'd like to know what I could do with it if someone came up to me on the street and handed me one.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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