On Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 10:31 PM, ron minnich firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The volunteers need to lead this AMD effort, and the first step is finding the person to make it happen, and the next step is finding money.
But, first, you really ought to make sure it's AMD you want, not ARM. And once you pick out a laptop, fill out the blob matrix, please, so we know what's going on.
I think the ARM Chromebooks will be excellent targets for the reasons that you cite (few if any blobs, no ME, open EC firmware) once we get the situation resolved w.r.t. loading a kernel in a sane and consistent manner. IIRC even the Mali graphics drivers are becoming more open these days, though I don't know the exact status off-hand.
Of course I'm biased in this matter ;-)
Further, you need to make this scale. By the time you're done the first
one, the laptop you choose will almost certainly no longer be sold. So you need to plan for, not just the first laptop, but the 2nd and 3rd and so on. Just doing it once has no value. That's one reason I keep advocating for starting with a chromebook; I have some idea of what it takes to do this, and a chromebook gives you a huge head start. I also understand the reasons you *don't* want to use chromebooks, however.
But if you took the huge amount of volunteer talent and effort that has been expended on obsolete thinkpads and old boards, and got it on this project, you could make it happen. Burn the boats!
Yeah, that's something volunteers in the community should coordinate on if folks are really gung-ho about this. Porting to older hardware is a fun exercise and certainly educational, but IMO that's not necessarily going to make RYF laptops the norm any time soon.
Perhaps there are some families of laptops a few active contributors will be able to coalesce around. Maybe Lenovo models with AMD chips use the familiar EC firmware and would make good targets to port to over multiple generations. It would be great to see individuals and groups like Gluglug selling more modern, desireable laptops.