[Freedombox-discuss] Fwd: FreedomBox Hackfest in NYC, July 9 - 12

Nicholas Hardiman nick at planetlarg.net
Tue May 8 17:27:11 UTC 2012

I sent this straight to Nick Daly by mistake, so I'm forwarding it to the list. 

It's got some great info. Nick covers justification for using the Debian OS, highs and lows of the Dreamplug, PGP, OpenOCD and the Hackfest. 

Nicholas Hardiman
nick at planetlarg.net

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Nick M. Daly" <nick.m.daly at gmail.com>

> On Mon, 7 May 2012 12:32:27 +0100, Nicholas Hardiman wrote:
>> Are you concentrating on hardware, OS or apps? 
> I, personally, will be concentrating on infrastructure software work.
> We've picked Debian as a base because it's pretty hardware independent.
> It runs on toasters on up, with cost and performance being two of the
> primary differentiators between hardware platforms (another being the
> capabilities enabled by the hardware: something without a wireless card
> will have a hard time passing any wireless network tests).
> I'm mostly satisfied with the DreamPlug's price-point, but not entirely
> by its performance.  The speed at which even my simple website loads
> pages is unfortunate.  We're not overly tied to the hardware, but it was
> a logical choice at the time.
> I think most of the work needs to focus on the infrastructure and
> applications running on the system: making it available, useful, and
> simple for end-users.
> Right now, we're getting the communications infrastructure in place:
> there's focus on making a PGP key the one thing you need to have
> automatic and secured communications with any trusted party.  Yes, this
> already happens, but I don't mean it in the standard way.  I'll need to
> follow up with James on the status of that work.
>> For instance, do you think you will be covering OpenOCD at the event?
>> I believe this is the last non-Debian piece to sort out for the
>> infrastructure. mwifiex works with those newer SD8787 chips, so the
>> whole OS - kernel and all - can be upgraded, automatically, over-air.
> This is the first I've heard of either of those (by name, anyway).  That
> sounds like a fantastic combination of things, though.  Would you be
> willing to bring this to the list and the hackfest?  I'm sure there're a
> few kernel hackers on the mailing list just waiting for a driver
> problem.  Is it a GPLed, non-blob, firmware?  I haven't gotten around to
> enabling wireless on my own DreamPlug yet :)
>> I've been trying without success, and Googling for answers is getting
>> me nowhere. A room full of smart guys with lots of kit on-hand would
>> probably do wonders with this problem.
> But yes, I'd be happy to see this as one of the goals of the next
> hackfest.  I think it was one of the goals of the first as well, we just
> didn't get to it in time.  You're right, the hackfest would definitely
> be the right environment for this problem: it is a group of smart and
> interested people with a bunch of available devices ready to dive into
> problems.
> Nick

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