[Arm-netbook] Crowsupply update

Neil Jansen njansen1 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 8 15:32:48 GMT 2018

On Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 9:57 AM, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton <lkcl at lkcl.net>

>  the whole point of doing the computer cards is that the base units -
> the Housings - *can* be done with 0603 and 0805 components, on 2 layer
> PCBs.

Does the current housing design break EVERYTHING out?  Or only the more
important signals?

 if people don't like that, tough: they should have responded sooner.

I've got zero skin in the game, I'm not a backer of your campaign.  So yea,
don't kill yourself over my opinion of how you're managing this.  The
intention of saying that wasn't to derail the thread into bickering and
arguing, but just to point out that I call 'em like I see 'em.  While I
think you're wrong on many important points, I'll gladly point out when
you're doing something right but others are questioning you.  That's OK.
Running a business is subjective, and you can't make everyone happy.  As
long as the discussion is civil and open, it's all good.

>  yehyeh. i'll have to go over to shenzhen to get one set up, and work
> with his engineers to make it really, _really_ easy to fit the Cards -
> and Micro-Desktops - into the rig.  fixed (locked-down) cables, rails
> / slides to put the PCBs in so that the connectors go straight in,
> that sort of thing.

If you're in Shenzhen, there are a few of the markets that have booths
where they'll make you an entire mechanical test rig, with pogo pins,
DESTACO clamps, LCD screens, buttons, locks, slides, ports, you name it...
Just give them a drawing (CAD or otherwise) and come back in a few days.
The prices are unbelievably cheap.  Compared to my hourly rate, they're
basically free.

>  nobody's offered!

Why not ask the community directly, via the mailing list, and/or the next
update?  If you say that it's really important and that your time is better
spent doing other important facets of the project, that might be what it
takes for someone to step forward.

I do feel sympathy because back when I ran an open-source hardware company
with a mailing list, and I never got the community support that I needed,
unless I begged and pleaded.  Everyone was happy to sit around and fire off
emails and replies about how I was doing everything wrong, but nobody
wanted to do any actual work.  I think the word in the USA is 'peanut
gallery'.  I couldn't trust them any farther than I could throw them, when
it came to doing real work.  In the open-source hardware world, everyone
gets entitled and wants you to give, give, give, and nobody really stops
and thinks about what they can give back (other than their opinions and
criticisms of course).  So yea.  It's an expectation management problem for
sure.  But still it's worth asking.  You never know.  We had a few guys
really step up and deliver.. it was like 0.5% of our list size but hey I'll
take what I can get.

> well, the guy who mike employs, he's extremely good at making
> mechanical rigs and stamps and so on.  he can easily put together
> something that ensures that the workers don't damage the boards during
> testing as the PCB will go into the rig "in only one physical way and
> with one physical move".
>  software-wise i need something that does nothing more complex than
> mount stuff on a micro-sd card, show boot messages on both screens,
> and maybe has 2 keyboards plugged in (one into each USB socket) so
> that they can bash some keys and see that crud comes up on-screen for
> each.
>  going beyond that... testing I2C, UART and the GPIO.... *sigh*...
> that involves writing some software.

Sounds like you need a test plan document, in the form of a wiki page or
HTML page on your website that documents exactly what you need to test, and
how you plan to test it.  While I'm way too busy with back-taxes and
overtime at work to actually write the code at the moment, I could
certainly help put together a test plan document.  That's well within my
skill set for sure.  If you'd like we could start a new thread to discuss.
If I did find some time to write a bit of code, it would be Python because
that's what I know best, and that might actually work well for a top-level
testing interface, because it supports Unicode, and the Qt GUI bindings
(PyQt5) would allow switchable translations.  As long as the low-level
testing code could be called from commandline using existing tools, then
the Python environment is really just a test executive that calls the
actual test code.  Using the built-in Python unittesting framework would a
good way to go here.  It doesn't produce a test report document at the end,
but it will tell you whether everything passed or failed. As far as testing
I2C, UART, GPIO, that's all very very doable!  Wraparound tests and
fixtures and a bit of code is all you need there.  But first let's get a
plan together!  Shall I start a new thread?

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