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Messages - amigabill

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Need to be careful with "Libre" untilnwe know for certain we actually can deliver full schematics and layout.

*Linux sortof leaves out bsd and other OS possibilities.

From this list, PowerTop is my favorite.

PowerNote, or Note Of Power?

Notebook chassis / Barebones / whitebook ODMs
« on: March 14, 2015, 07:20:52 PM »
Here are some barebones/whitebook ODM vendors that I had looked up a couple years ago regarding a similar project idea:

15" not sure that any have backlit keyboards expresscard? expresscard?




I also like the MSI GS/GT/G* 60 or 70 style chassis, which includes more audio ports, but those might only be available as more fully built and expensive configurations than a barebones whitebook.



Bizcom (might be a North American supplier for one of the above, I didn't write that down):

What I had thought about was registering to become a small whitebook studio style reseller, like several others out there that customize a whitebook to customer order. Then go beyond what the ODM may have intended, if contracts don't prohibit that, to swap motherboards, and maybe that's not really much different than partnering with a manufacturer to get chassis without motherbaord either, but may be easier and give more options, even if a bit more expensive. At least this way you are buying without the CPU, hoperfully without OS, etc.and maybe even without hard drive, memory, etc. particularly if memory might be different type (ddr2 vs ddr3 between original and your PPC chip)

I haven't yet checked if the above links still actually work, just a copy/paste from an email to myself from February 2012.

At the time I was looking only for what might be available, and did not get into pricing. I was also looking for particular features, such as 15inch size, backlit keyboard, ExpressCard slot, and maybe some other things that you are not so concerned about. While I was also looking for MXM slot types, it was often hard to tell if a model supported that or not, Clevo sometimes mentioned it in specs.

Another detail is the system cooling. Hopefully one can reuse an MXM heatsink system, but the CPU cooler might need to be replaced with almost the same thing, if the original mounting to theCPU/motherboard doesn't work for the PPC chip size/shape that you have chosen, or if CPU thickness above the PCB surface is different then things might not fit properly between PPC chip and original CPU cooler attachment.

Just FYI, Someone from Amiga forums is working to improve video playback codec and mplayer for Altivec in general, and plans to contribute code to upstream library maintainers so it is not Amiga-specific.

Suggestions / Re: Display?
« on: January 31, 2015, 09:37:19 PM »
I recommend using 4:3 display in the notebook. Would that be possible? Also, would it be possible to use a 120Hz display? What about strobing? Could you do a larger, 17" or 18" screen? Can the display be made glossy? If it is possible to do a custom LCD, I would use a 2560x1920, glossy, 120Hz, strobed display. If you can't do a custom screen, I would get the 1440x960 screen that 15" PowerBooks used, remove the matte coat, and run the refresh rate as fast as it can go.

Well, you can't please all of the people all of the time. I myself would prefer either 15" or 17" widesreen with a matte finish. (I really hate reflections and glare that make it hard to see the image onscreen)

I'm less concerned with resolution, though with a standard laptop size we should be able to make more options fit, possibly as addon options if it's too expensive to make as option at original purchase of the laptop itself.

I don't know much about refresh rates or what strobed means for this. I did have to disable the "soap opera effect" on my LED HDTV. I don't know if these details affected that or not.

Firmware , Bootloaders / Re: uboot + coreboot
« on: December 31, 2014, 03:56:21 AM »
an x86 emulation in the das-uboot firmware would be useful only for any x86-native roms such as on graphics cards, maybe sata cards, or comparable binary blobs of coreboot startup things, perhaps such as for amd southbridge peripherals, if that is the only available way to start them up during post/boot process. An MXM graphics card, much like a desktop pci/agp/pcie graphics card, will most likely have an x86 rom needing emulated to init that card. Anything that can be, would be c-code to compile as ppc-native for the ppc laptop's firmware. das-uboot already supports most modern PPC chips, and has the x86 emu for graphics card rom images. (AmigaOne MicroA1 MimiITX board has a Radeon chip, and the AMD x86 ROM image for this chip, which would normally be on the pci/agp card, is in the flash chip along with uboot as I understand, as radeon is soldered to the motherboard). Adding Coreboot components would give access to things such as AMD southbridge/FCH items like SATA, USB, whatever is supported there by Coreboot code or blobs. If a southbridge like this would be used, and if some things are only supported by precompiled x86 binary blobs, then  the uboot's x86 emulator can  be used to run those blobs in flash for boot init of that hardware. And anything in coreboot that is available as c sources would be compiled to ppc-native firmware in flash.  if only a PPC chip is used, and no southbridge or other companion is used, then coreboot might not be required at all, and only Uboot is used, and its x86 emulator does only graphics chip rom init.

Once the firmware does its thing and turns the system over to your OS, then uboot, x86 emulator, and maybe coreboot kindof go away until next boot. The OS drivers are now fully responsible for hardware usage. if you want to run an x86 emulation inside the OS, then you need something completely different in your OS for such things, such as Qemu or whatever, as the uboot x86 emu is gone for now.

Firmware , Bootloaders / Re: uboot + coreboot
« on: December 26, 2014, 03:19:58 AM »
Trying to remember without having to read through code again, I think uboot is GPL2, maybe GPL2 or higher, and Coreboot as I rememeber was GPL2 but no mention of higher, so a combination would be a GPL 2 only result. I wouldn't mind a second set of eyes to confirm that.

Firmware , Bootloaders / uboot + coreboot
« on: December 26, 2014, 03:15:05 AM »
My preliminary investigation into a combination of uboot and coreboot seemed to show that the licenses were compatible. This would be helpful if a southbridge/FCH chip was used together with a PPC SoC CPU. Coreboot supports some AMD and Intel parts that might be useful in the hardware design. Some are supported in open-source modules, some are supported as binary blobs, which are x86 binary, but the x86 emulation in uboot originally intended to run graphic card init ROM code can probably be used for these blobs.

Suggestions / Re: about suggestions
« on: December 26, 2014, 02:57:45 AM »
I think MXM graphics is a great idea.

I would add a southbridge to be companion with an SoC style CPU, which would provide more USB, add USB3, and give faster SATA-3 than I understand to be included in Freescale SoC parts. The A-Eon X1000/Nemo motherboard proves the concept with an AMD sb600 southbridge. While the newer FCH parts call their link to the CPU-internal northbridge link by a different name, I suspect it would be similarly connectable, as it still appears to be based on PCI-Express, potentially with a video link in parallel. And it is relatively easy to join AMD's Embedded Developer website to obtain specs and reference designs. This is my intention for how I myself would design a PPC system today.

For other things, I would hope to see PCIe-Mini/Msata  and/or M.2/NGFF slots for wifi, video decoder, etc. mini-cards, and I myself hope to see Expresscard2 slot supported as well.

I am hopeful for a backlight keyboard, which I find useful in my PC laptop. I have a work laptop by Lenovo which instead has a small LED "flashlight" in the top screen frame, which does a poor job and causes more reflection glare on the keyboard than useful visibility.

But I am very excited at possibility of modern PPC laptop, and would be happy to see anything happen, these are just some of my wish list things for consideration.

Notebook chassis / without motherboard might be tricky
« on: December 26, 2014, 02:36:19 AM »
It may make sense to choose a whitebook/barebones style ODM system in a similar fashion as some small studio resellers do, buying from as close to ODM as possible. Then one normally customizes with a particular CPU, OS, memory, HD etc. and you could skip some of those things, but have to swap out the motherboard. Perhaps then resell the motherboard as a repair part on Ebay or someplace suitable for such things.

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