[Arm-netbook] CT-PC89E - translation of meaning behind this alibaba page

Andrew M.A. Cater amacater at galactic.demon.co.uk
Fri Mar 26 17:05:59 GMT 2010

On Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 10:53:13PM +0800, Adam Gill wrote:
> I will also send an email to this company tomorrow ....
> Meanwhile I contacted Seatron or Si-Chang today ... noone speaks Englis  
> there so far - I got one of my friends in Shenzhen to contact them
> and they are getting back today or tomorrow hopefully .....

Good luck :) If they did make the guts of the Chitechs, can you ask them 
how/where to get JTAG / serial console info ??????

> I did send an email to Si Chang and they have translated it into Chinese  
> ......... so hopefully i will get answer ...
> Chitech is attending the HK Electronics show in April ... and so i will  
> hopefully get an update them from then what's going on ....
> but for now, they have gone cold on me also!!
> Adam
> Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
>> http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/277571430/8_9_TFT_LED_2GB_NAND.html
>> could someone please provide me with their "best guess" as to what it
>> means when, immediately following messages where a company is
>> non-responsive, the above appears on alibaba.com, originally with the
>> words "Linux OS" and "Lunix OS" in the title, followed one week later
>> by REMOVAL of those words and replacement with "Wince Compatible (not
>> supplied)", followed by modification of the machine's status to "Used"
>> ?

See also mid-fun's site - which has Linux / Lunix and MacOS Linux and 
similar. Interestingly, while the site is primarily in Chinese, the job 
ads are in English :)

I suspect that this generic description is fairly similar to the CNM 
netbook that used to be sold by Maplins which came in either a WinCE 
or Linux variant. See Wikipedia under Alpha400, for another example.

All of these are slightly problematic - sometimes they're MIPS / 
Loongson, sometimes low spec ARM but all seem to run, like the Chitech, 
from flash disk and aren't readily reflashable.

I suspect that what we actually got from Chitech were built from spare 
bits from various contracts or as genuine engineering samples using 
someone else's designs. I can't complain really for $160.

It _should_ be relatively straightforward to get Lenny onto these, after 
all. The only thing missing is 3G.

>> my guess is that, rather than comply with the GPL, chitech are
>> *abandoning* the CT-PC89E, abandoning fulfilment of their U.S. order
>> for 1,000 machines, and are selling the machines manufactured so far.
>> which is downright weird.

Maybe the downturn in the economy has meant a cancelled contract or 
that shipping to the US is too expensive and it's easier to just 
dispose of the built stock.

Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by ignorance - or 
something like that :)

>> any other guesses, anyone, and any ideas on strategies to help
>> chitech?   abandoning the machine rather than comply with the GPL
>> is... insane - it can't be right, there _has_ to be something else
>> going on.

Talk nicely to them - if/when we get Debian Lenny on there and it all 
works, we can show them an upgradable system which will cost them 
nothing _and_ use stock stuff. 

The "trade secret" stuff is probably partly the fact that they don't want 
us to deny the fact that these are made by Chitech and claim all the 
credit (though if we took 10,000 we could probably get our name put on 
the box, for example), possibly panic / a degree of misunderstanding. 
Also, though the importance of losing face can be massively overestimated, 
they probably don't want to be made to look unimportant/ foolish /
untrustworthy to you/Adam.  Treat people well with regard to their 
intelligence and self-interest and they'll deal with you well.

>> i thought about asking them if they could merely provide a copy of the
>> engineer's hard drive: that would take absolutely zero of his time,
>> but i was going to offer that _after_ they agreed to comply.
>> i wasn't expecting total abandonment of the product.
>> ideas, anyone?
>> l.

All best,


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