there were some things i ddn't knew about raspberry pis:
"Linux runs on that ARM CPU, we know that, but we might be surprised to learn that Linux on this device is only a second class citizen. The GPU cores run a real time operating system called ThreadX. This operating system is closed source and rules the system without the open source Linux Kernel being aware of it."
and guess who bought the ThreadX operating system last april?
anyway this thing is making me reconsider my massive use of raspberry pis
why an extra kernel running on an already weak GPU? it seems unnecessarily byzantine
@npisanti Well shit. Raspberry Pi? Nah. Raspberry Bye.
@joshavanier when i read "microsoft" i imagined you throwing the table away
@npisanti Just when I finally decided to get one, heh.
@ice at least you can decide to spare some money!
@npisanti Well not really, the core of the Zynthian box I received a week ago is a Pi 3 B+... I guess I’ll look for an alternative when I’ll feel the need to upgrade it though.
@ice it's fine to use what you've got if it's already there
i was just wondering why put another microkernel in the GPU? no way it would lead to poor graphics performance and shitty openGL drivers (and also there are no plan for Vulkan support)
@npisanti Your Intel CPU has an entire microcode environment that is in fact a hardware backed interpreter dynamically reconciling everything you do. Your GPU conforms to a spec but has it's own embedded operating system to service that.
@npisanti The GPU hardware spec is not public. Whatever talks to it is going to be closed-source. Just as well it's a thin layer Linux can talk to.
@npisanti oh hell
@neauoire binary blobs, binary blobs everywhere
Ughh does anyone have recommendations for a better alternative?
Sure, but most if not all of our primary computing devices have some degree of closed source component. That's a dimension to be minimized, but if it's a deal breaker you can't even buy Olimex.
The net positive of having cheap, youth focused single board computers is big IMO, and if we start uniquely penalizing them when most of our hardware is full of things in the same condition, that's not very good for the community.
I already see folks in your mentions saying that having a closed source component currently owned by a big tech company that Slashdot hates is a deal breaker, and that's probably a bad meme.
its easy to forget Acorn/ARM have *never* been a "right-on" company, back in the day they were fully supportive of proprietary tech/lock in (as they were market leaders in the education niche market), they worked closely with contractors for MOD and the Police (many BBC Micros were built by Cleartone who today make surveillance equipment for traffic Police cars, watch any European "reality traffic cops" show and you will see Cleartone screens all the time)
it is maybe up to the profs in the places of education and hackers/hobbyists to challenge the downward trend in openness (and a big part of this is making people aware it is happening as it doesn't often immediately affect the enduser (even technically skilled ones like coders or hardware hackers).
@npisanti yeah; I’ve been avoiding using Pi’s in my designs for these sort of reasons.
It’s too bad, they have a great community, but they’ve been growing more and more closed over the years.
Every Harddisk/SSD controller runs its own tiny Operating System since they exists and there is nothing you can do about it.
There is software in hardware since always and this can't be changed and will never change.
All modern CPUs also run tiny operating systems (Intel CPUs even run MINIX)
Why am I not surprised?
Have you seen FSF's summary on Single-Board Computers?
Basically, i.MX6 is the most free SoC at the moment, closely followed by some Allwiners, Rockchips, OMAPs, and the Ingenic used by MIPS Creator.
Those will boot without blobs, though some optional features like GPU or video decoding may not work without blobs.
All the rest - Broadcom VideoCore, Samsung Exynos, Quallcomm Snapdragon - don't give you control over the boot process.
I'm not sure about Tegra though.
@npisanti I never trusted ARM SoC GPUs - I mean their are a hell to install and they are very FOSS-unfriendly
@npisanti Oh shit. Curse them!
@alpherie i think it could be a lot easier to just use microcontrollers
(the problem for me is that i want to use rpis for doing generative graphics on little displays so i need GPU and linux and a decent openFrameworks support, i'm not a maker or an IT person)
so i have no alternative, sorry i'm not really into IOT
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