This just sounds unsustainable
While that doesn’t state anything definitively, it sounds like they plan to either increase prices later on, or that the first batch (of PRE-orders keep in mind) is being released early in order to get feedback from customers.
In either case it doesn’t sound like they’re planning to operate as a charity forever.
None of us is as smart as all of us
~ Ken H. Blanchard
At the core of our philosophy is the notion that PINE64 is a community platform. [...] The goal is to deliver ARM64 devices that you really wish to engage with and a platform that you want to be a part of.
As such, if you can help them source better quality IPS panels, I know a guy you should talk to.
If you get a dead pixel, they will sell you another panel. The laptops are modular, check out how they handled the NVME adapter problems: https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=8117
I feel quite confident after seeing their work.
Better would be something like "Disclaimer: the product can have up to 10 dead pixels which are not covered by warranty."
If you are looking for a turnkey solution, not all of Pine64's offerings are able meet your needs (but do snag a $1.99 CH340 Serial console.) and if you preorder the "Braveheart" phone, there is no stable off the shelf OS prepared for it. You cannot buy this and mail it to ahead your hotel and give a demonstration to the board by next Thursday.
That said, and I don't think this is superlative at all, Pine64's efforts currently exemplify the internet dream of a "Global Village" economy.
> Small numbers (1-3) of stuck or dead pixels are a characteristic of LCD screens. These are normal and should not be considered a defect.
> [...] make no profit from selling these units. If you think that a minor dissatisfaction, such as a dead pixel, will prompt you to file a PayPal dispute then please do not purchase the Pinebook. Thank you.
Projects that respect their customers are usually on the edge of oblivion because they don't have a profit or ownership motive.
But they are vulnerable to others copying and cost-reducing their work. Customers usually choose the cheaper copy.
Projects that are sucessful assure themselves a profit by closing their products and restricting things. Customers are limited in what they can do, or have to be content with buying a crippled product.
I suppose you could create a reserve against projected liabilities such as warranty returns (which is commonly done in for-profit companies). But that is pretty well explicitly not for a rainy day or the unexpected; it’s for the rather firmly expected.
edit: I'm trying to ask a question; and I should add, it is my understanding that's how profit is defined. Why would this be downvoted? Do I really have to paste a definition of profit in here?
However I don't know who are behind PINE64 - maybe they have some long-term investor backing them up, and they try price at this point as low as possible to get the community going.
Actually, I would be interested in investing to this pine thing.
UBPorts community have done a commendable job in continuing Ubuntu Touch development after canonical left it. Even Nexus 4 receives regular updates, albeit old kernel due to libHybris
Ubuntu Touch is the most accessible Linux phone now because of their support to older available devices. Unfortunately, they don't get enough attention as Purism or PostmarketOS gets.
Hopefully, PinePhone should change it.
I just spent the last two weeks attempting to get an Ubuntu Touch phone to work as a mobile transceiver / network hub for a BLE peripheral that my company is developing. Our device works very well with the standard Linux bluez stack and tools (bluetoothctl, hcitool, etc.), so we thought that this would be the easier route for a one-off project than developing an Android app from scratch, given Android's BLE quirks (e.g. minimum notification interval of 11.25 ms instead of the 7.5 ms that the BLE spec requires -- we have a high bandwidth device that needs the shorter interval).
It was a nightmare, and we eventually gave up and wrote an Android app.
The argument in favor of this approach was that it was supposed to look and feel "just like normal Linux" which is where we do most of our development work. Unfortunately, this just isn't the case. I think the two biggest issues are:
1. ubports uses an Android kernel, and although it's 99% pure Linux, Android kernels usually disable a lot of things that your typical Linux machine expects and that some libraries rely on (e.g. most IPC mechanisms). This is really frustrating to work around.
2. This one could just be my lack of experience with these things, but the AppArmor security policies and the weird container setup slowed me down a lot and made the system unpleasant to work on. This didn't really cause an issue, but it made working with the system unpleasant.
I didn't know of this project, however my first thought at putting the ideas "ubuntu" and "phone" together would be: another phone that doesn't respect you.
This comes from the way ubuntu forces stuff you might not want, like the amazon app, telemetry and stuff like snap.
I might be thinking unfairly.
(meanwhile purism takes great pain to think of the user compassionately via GPL)
I have to disagree. My experience trying to disable or remove snap led me to believe they designed it to be hard.
There's some good and bad here, the hardware is surprisingly good for a $250 open source laptop (cost + shipping + taxes) but it's nowhere near as polished or usable as a comparable $250 Chromebook. The software is squarely beta quality so expect to spend time tracking updates, flashing firmware and doing things like patching u-boot from someone's github repo, etc.
Daily use annoyances: the touchpad is mediocre, battery drain while the machine is asleep is higher than I expected. Lots of things that should be possible (ARM hibernation support) aren't because rockchip based their kernel on 4.4 and the mainline upstreaming effort is slow moving.
Desktop performance is solid though, as is streaming video playback. Basic system performance is great, storage is fast, system is responsive etc.
The Pinebook Pro specs compare to a somewhat powerful 6-core arm SBC: 5V power input, easy to charge off a solar panel on your boat, IPS LCD panel, MALI gpu, 4gb Ram (SoC is maxed out, this could be upgradable: Original $99 Pinebook upgrade kits are coming in Q1 2020), 64GB MMC, wifi, no ethernet (use $9 dongle, case too thin), USB-C, a UART accessible from the headphone jack with a $7 dongle breakout thingy, optional $7 M.2 NVME daughter board. This is a (almost) fully opensource chromebook with a magnesium shell, and hardware privacy switches. 2 blobs afiak for Mali GPU and Bluetooth/wifi module. Hackable. Inexpensive accessories already exist with good availability. Replacement parts available, BSD according to the wiki.
Personally, I like reasonably powered home computing devices, I just put the stuff with all the fans in the closet. Maybe doing a huge compilation or git merge on the Pinebook hardware is gonna be slow. Full video and smartphone graphics should be fine. Connecting your Pinebook to a Pine64 cluster for big jobs is something you can do today and sounds like a summer project.
This client hardware seems pretty decent for two large bills. A specced Librem 15 is $2000 and could be eye watering if it falls off your boat again.
> Since this is a community driven side-project, we have started considering making the dev-kits available to everyone in the store.
That would be awesome. I've been looking for an open watch to play with recently. I hope they go forward with that idea.
This might actually turn out more useful than many of the boutique smartwatches.
And ideally, I would like a pineTime as well. I would like to write a program to alert me when I'm forgetting my phone while travelling, for instance :)
 Asked here: https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=8158&pid=51528#p...
They are also developing an open source tablet, PineTab. They already have several full lines of SBC Raspberry Pi killers as well. Several are designated LTS Long Term Support with guaranteed availability (See offer for details, restrictions apply, Pine64 can not be held responsible for any sweet hacks or enjoyable Sundays caused by its devices. Hack Responsibly.)
Note that they have carefully looked for the type of people who will write a sdk for it, and ensured they have a pinetime. Thus in a few months/years I expect to see a couple different SDKs come out. Once there is a useful SDK with a useful app ready for release they will start selling hardware to anyone with it. Until then they will only make the pinetime hardware available to the type of person who is likely to take what currently exists and move it up a level. (note that the first set of hardware has shipped, they might or might not make a second round for more developers)
Also the wiki at the bottom lists the SoC Datasheet, specs, schematics, etc. You might be able to find a similar platform (nrf2840) on alibaba or something. I'll bet the PineTime people can tell you on IRC or Slack.
PineTime is a community project and its hardware will be produced and sold by Pine64. The Pine People are gaining some great experience in this space, it is truly a pleasure to join in!
I can always get a more powerful Linux machine at another time. ;)
Some binaries might not be available depending on what you do or what distro you use, but generally you could always compile the software yourself, it could take a while so as long as you are not in a hurry.
Though this probably is less of a problem now if you like VS Code.
Ignoring the trackpad, the keyboard will sometimes refuse to register keypresses or will repeat keys. This is particularly problematic when you type fast (like a password). On mine, the tab key also gets stuck rather often. The trackpad doesn’t have much control for fine movements, which makes resizing windows... interesting. And the trackpad frequently activates spontaneously which causes cursors to move around.
Aside from a small issue I had with a loose bezel, the rest of the machine is very nice. It is a good sized (14”), very sturdy design. The screen is pretty good too. Maybe if the keyboard and trackpad firmware gets fixed, then it could be a usable machine.
I've been eyeing the 2018 Matebook X Pro as a replacement work laptop, everything I've heard about it has been overwhelmingly positive.
But I do think it highlights one of the issues you’ll have with any low-cost machine — quality control. There just isn’t enough of a margin to assure a standard level of quality. Now, this is admittedly a pre-production batch, so perhaps some of these issues with quality will be worked out, but given the cost, I’m not too confident.
On my machines, regardless of OS, I turn the trackpad off. I prefer a mouse set to max sensitivity, so that my hand doesn't move, just my fingers, and barely at that. And then I try to use keystrokes as much as practical.
People who sit at my laptop get dizzy and fall off the edge.
I couldn't find any info on the website.
> Although the original Kickstarter page mentioned a company called "Pine64 Inc.", all devices are manufactured and sold by Pine Microsystems Inc. based in Fremont, California. Its founder is TL Lim, the inventor of the PopBox and Popcorn Hour series of media players sold under the Syabas and Cloud Media brands.
Hardware switches for almost everything and open source software :D
I just flipped through the various pinephone PDFs linked from the November update and saw no evidence of hardware kill switches. Maybe they're buried in the schematics, but the exploded phone diagram has nothing for them.
Can you link where you saw mention/proof of this?
>The detachable back panel – which covers the privacy switches, pogo pins and the removable battery – is made of a durable soft-touch plastic.
> Privacy Switches: LTE (include GPS), Wifi/BT, Mic, and Camera
edit: You can see them at the first link (picture "PinePhone mainboard + daughterboard (prototype) "), its the little switches above the sdcard reader
Well, I guess that's better than nothing.
I can't see myself removing the battery cover and flipping dip switches every time I want to utilize GPS and cellular networks, and again when I'm done, though.
But it does let them check the "hw kill switches" box...
I think just posting the link here gave the wrong impression. Its an open Linux phone with HW-Killswitches. If that sentence on its own doesnt have you grin like a kid on Christmas, its likely not yet the device for you. But as was often said when talking about the Pinephone, its a start. At this point the target demographic is still developers not people who are looking for an open source replacement of their current smartphone. Its why the batch is called "brave heart". While there are operating systems booting on it already, the expectations Pine set when the developers edition came out were rather low.
The Purism Librem 5 addressed this while still having the kill switches easily accessible externally, with recessed switch bosses appropriate for regular external use.
On the Pinephone it looks more like an afterthought to try get some feature parity with the L5.
I'm excited to see more Linux phones on the market with non-android user space. But it's about 15 years too late for me to jump to buy anything running Linux without actually wanting to daily drive the end result, like back in the Zaurus days (I had three different models). I basically don't use a smartphone because of the current situation, not since my Nokia N9 broke, and that Linux phone was incredibly disappointing on the hackability and security/privacy fronts, though I did enjoy using it.
The Pinephone is at its core a proof of concept made cheaply available to jump start development for open source linux smartphones. Once its shown to be working we can talk about every day competitors to existing smartphones, but thats at least a generation away. Librem is trying to achieve this to begin with by marketing it to privacy and security conscious users. I am really curious if that will succeed, but i fear people will expect it to match the comfort of their current smartphones at that price, which is a really difficult thing to do. Looking at history, it took a while till Linux became a realistic option as an OS for a home computer for people who dont consider them self geeks. The pinephone isnt reaching for the moon but makes the first step.
To the other point, this will be my first smartphone as well and is intended for daily use, just not with GPS, LTE and SMS.
Turns out their eMMCs are defective. Here's what's happening:
The eMMCs ignore the first read instruction, and then work from the second one on. On Linux boot, initrd makes a read request that never returns, and hangs.
If you boot off of a mSD, it woris well. You can still mount the eMMC, but you cant boot with them.
I did receiver a report that someone found a bootable (doesn't ignore first read) eMMC. But that was 1.
(Disclosure, I opened a PayPal dispute and sent back the eMMCs of my own expense. But the never responded so I got all $293 back. This goes along with 0 communication even when I was trying to do the right thing. I'm also trying to start a hardware business, and chose this platform because of no embedded radios, etc, and 1gigE on its own SPI bus.)
Tldr. Defective hardware, don't buy.
Do you have any more information or a link where to follow up on this? Skimming the threads in the forum
has more then one person saying that they managed to boot from the EMMC.
edit: nevermind found it
edit2: Are you sure you didnt run into a problem with Armbian? Did you test it with any other OS? There seem to be more people who had an issue which sounds similar, not being able to boot from EMMC but from SDCard with armbian.
Yes, I tried eMMC boot on every emmc capable OS that the Pine-fork of Etcher suggested. And I also tried openBSD as well on suggestion from freenode #pine64 user, to no avail.
I then was able to order a usb3->eMMC adapter, and was able to debug the USB and determine my assertions were correct: those eMMC chips ignored the first read operation.
I didn't have a jtag for the allwinner chips, but I also did have a serial console. I'd like to say I went above and beyond for testing what I'm defining as defective merchandise.
Now, the A64-LTS, the rtc batery holder, and the POE injecters are pretty darn good. I was just hoping for better overall performance with using eMMC.