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I think it's worth having a thread about ARM linux as it's on the verge of becoming viable in phones and mobile devices. Discussion around whether or not this hardware is or will ever be worth actually buying is important. I understand that a lot of the PINE64 hardware is explicitly not consumer ready, but I've seen some videos of the recently officially launched Librem5 that shipped the product with a fucked screen protector that wasn't applied properly, and that's a fucking $800+ device. I'll try to get around to making a webm of it.
Replies: >>1338
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Here's an unboxing/first impressions video of the Librem5 that show they sent out a review sample with a fucked up screen protector. Keep in mind this thing is selling for $800 on their website.
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Due to family circumstances I had an early Christmas this year. Because cafe's /cyber/ doesn't work with my system for some asinine reason (I've tried literally every browser I can, nothing can get around their broken-as-fuck captcha) I'm dumping it here.

This was my build of Back7's Raspberry Pi quick kit. frame is 3D printed, screws were sourced from a pill container of electronic screws, and a literal bucket of bolts. Everything else was Christmas presents.
Replies: >>598 >>645
Very cool, I'm looking for the day I can make money so I can buy shit like this on a whim and fuck around with it however I want.
I've been waiting for something like the Pinetime to come out for awhile now to build a small night vision device. Using a smartwatch as a base build means all I have to do is stick on a high sensitivity camera and a few IR LEDs to get a working camera and monocular eyepiece that's light enough to be mounted on a helmet. Depending on the cost very low resolution thermal imaging might be possible in the future too.

Looked into getting a typical Android based smartwatch for the longest time and while some models have higher resolution and larger screens at a lower price they're very limited in what you can do software wise. The community on getting a libre OS running on them exists but there isn't much activity or users.

I'm sure there are hundreds of great uses for a small self contained ARM computer that has a tiny screen and integrated power management in it that sells for less than $100. We haven't seen them yet cause modern smartwatches are garbage fashion accessories first and computers second.
Very nice. Pelican case is a nice touch. Any idea how much you have into it Anon?
Replies: >>716
I had to work around a non-tech-savvy family to get this to me, so it's much more expensive than it could be. I would estimate around $250 USD was paid for the parts.

The most expensive parts were the RPi unit, the screen and the pelican case, the entire cost for those were $45,$70 and $50 respectively. I have my own 3D printer, so the filament and printed parts are technically free. 

I've also bought a small wireless adapater and a bewinner bluetooth keyboard. It's important that it's bewinner because that is basically the only brand of keyboard I've found on amazon (ugh) that is tiny enough to fit in this case. Otherwise, I would say "go big or go home" when it comes to keyboards using a device like this.

You could easily cut costs on this kind of project by sourcing them from cheaper sites and something other than a pelican case (a hard-plastic lunchbox would be neat). But if you're broke as shit, then I would stick to stuff like pi zero.
When is the pinephone getting restocked?
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>>461 (OP) 
One word. China!
Replies: >>1397
The chinks arent restocking their hwrdware fast enough
Replies: >>1398
No shit. Took 3 months for my order.
I think the answer is no, but does anyone of anything that is ARM on real hardware? Socketed, etc. Everything ARM that I know if is embedded systems, phones, SBC, whatever. Why not a desktop or laptop with ARM for processor (socketed too pls, not soldered) and the usual standardized and replaceable parts. GPU, drives, RAM, what have you.
Replies: >>1408
The ARM ecosystem is traditionally cucked. Each ARM soc does things differently, because they are designed usually for specific applications and boards. There is no BIOS or UEFI, vendors typically provide you with a non-mainline patched u-boot blob and binary kernel and that's it. Many chips don't have sata and pci-e, have particular memory timing requirements (so no "common" ram sticks for you) and other shits to cheap out as most as possible.
I was looking for the ultimate blobless libre SBC and it's either too expensive or not completely free.
On the software side. If you are lucky enough to have most functions works on mainline kernel, Gentoo solves most problems.
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All my computers are ARM now.  This is my main one, a cubietruck with A20 SoC, 2 GB RAM, SATA, VGA, 1000M Ethernet.  It doesn't need any special firmware blobs for basic operation.  I don't use the OpenGL stuff at all, and I boot it with /dev/fb0 at 640x480.  I don't use Xorg, unless I have to, but I don't like to.  I mean I really, really, really don't like GUI shit at all!
What else... it's Ubuntu but I use busybox for init instead of systemd.  I use Ubuntu (actually Armbian), because it already has all the necessary drivers, including the NAND flash.  I have Linux installed to the sata HDD, and also a separate install on the microSD as a backup, and also on the NAND flash as a third backup.  It was a bit of trouble to get the NAND formatter properly, and eMMC are probably easier to work with.  Also newer kernels don't have driver for this NAND flash, so I'm stuck on this old kernel.  But I don't care really.  I don't run any network services at all on here, and don't run any javascript browsers locally.  It's still a mainline kernel though, and so is the u-boot.  I chose this board carefully to avoid blobs and fulfill my needs.  I doubt it would suffice for most people.  I'm not most people.  I don't like modern computers at all, and in fact I'd rather be back in the 80's on an 8-bit micro.  So there you go.
Replies: >>1413 >>1426
Cubietruck was the only A20 with 2GB ram. But it was hard to find and is expensive. I ended up on Olinuxino a20 lime2. 1GB ram is one of the main performance bottleneck other than the slow CPU.
Wayland works much better with mainline lima.
How much did you pay for a Cubietruck? An i.mx6 Wandboard looks better for the same price.
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100 euros, pretty much.  That was back in 2018 though, when you could still find them easily.  Now most of their distributors are out of stock.  Well I guess there's NewIT in the UK, but they don't sell just the board by itself, they want to sell you also an ugly metal case, battery, and SSD, none of which I have any use for.
Anyway I don't want to spend money i.mx6 or any SoC with processor that does speculative execution.  That mostly leaves only Cortex-A7 and A53 (plus older ARM stuff and microcontrollers), but there's enough choice of SoCs built on those to do what I want.  I have this A20 board, and an Olimex A64 board with 2 GB RAM also that I reserved for running subversive garbage like Firefox.  That way the nasty shit stays contained in a controlled environment and doesn't affect my main computer.  I don't like or trust VMs also.  Since the hardware is cheap (100 bucks or less for a board), I can simply buy as many as I need.  But right now I only got these two, and also a tablet (with A64 SoC and 1 GB RAM) that was gifted to me.  I haven't used it because it's Android...  I'll probably convert it to Linux eventually, but will need to open it up to access the UART.
All of this leaves the question: who bought up all the damn cubietrucks? Clearly nobody wants them, except for freaks like me who prefer a slower, simpler system.

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