[Arm-netbook] Debian GNU/Linux on tablet hardware

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Fri Oct 28 22:01:24 BST 2011

On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 9:20 PM, Rob van der Hoeven
<robvanderhoeven at ziggo.nl> wrote:
> On Fri, 2011-10-28 at 19:54 +0000, Phil Endecott wrote:
>> Rob van der Hoeven <robvanderhoeven <at> ziggo.nl> writes:
>> > Mass produced hardware has a higher chance of being of good quality.
>> Absolute Rubbish.  You are on a different planet.
> Mass production is expensive to start

 rob.  i just went to a lot of trouble to describe to you the
circumstances which i've spent nearly two years negotiating with
factories and also communicating directly with SoC vendors to find out
how they operate, which prove that *if* you are willing to do a deal,
mass production is *not* expensive to start.

 to give you an idea of what it feels like, for me, to read that
blanket statement, i am actually feeling acute vertigo.  the reason
for that acute vertigo is because i am trying to believe you, instead
of my own eyes and ears reading messages for a large fraction of my

 the acute vertigo is caused because you are asking me to believe that
the last two years of my life were entirely a dream - a fantasy - that
the people who told me that they could take the hardware design from
the SoC vendor and cut/paste it "at cost", in return for nothing more
than a committment by me that i will guarantee that they will get the
software somehow (even if i have to do it myself) do not exist.

 now, whilst i'm trying to make a joke about it i'm actually dead
serious about the acute vertigo.

 so i apologise if i haven't been able to get across to you that this
is real - it's not a fantasy.  i'll leave it at that, because any
attempt to make jokes after that (i wrote several, and deleted them
all) appear to be "flippant" or "sarcastic".

 perhaps, as is more likely, there is a misunderstanding, for which i
again apologise, because this is quite a complex bit of negotiation
that i'm involved in.

 perhaps you may have misunderstood one of several things:

 * that the factory is developing the entire hardware "from scratch" -
they are not.

 * that the factory is using European or USA $150 per hour prices and
employees who wish to be paid $50 per hour - they are not.

 * that the factory is supplying the software - they are not.

 * that the factory is designing and supplying casework - they are
not: it's off-the-shelf casework.

now if any of those 4 things were part of the assumptions that you've
made, you would be absolutely correct.

* casework (see the OpenPandora project blogs for a good illustration)
typically costs upwards of $100,000 even using china factories.  if
you _really_ want to get the price down, you have to pay a chinese
employee cash - about $7,000 will normally do it - to "moonlight", use
his employers' facilities and risk getting fired (he can always go
work at another factory, and he can do so once that $7000 gets a bit
low.  c'est la vie...)

* a complete "from scratch" design typically takes 100 to 150 hours
(or access to software which costs $250,000 per week to license and
operate) - either way, you're looking at an insane amount of money
and, yes, taking an enormous risk.

i'll stop there, because it would i feel be counterproductive to keep
illustrating: i apologise for that but if anyone is interested i can
write further (off-list).

so i trust that we have a simple misunderstanding that you thought i
was talking about something different, when in fact i am talking about
taking advantage of some very very specific circumstances, criteria
and opportunities, all of which add up to a deal which does *not*
involve large sums of money changing hands, for any party involved.


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