Linus Torvalds using M2 Macbook Air running Linux
#1
Like many people Linus Torvalds has complained there isn't a serious enough ARM laptop available.
https://www.zdnet.com/article/linux-5-19...-platform/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAG5Q8Hovkw

Speaking of ARM Linux laptops, when is the Pinebook Pro going to be upgraded to have more RAM, faster CPU, flicker-free display etc?
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#2
(08-29-2022, 10:46 PM)orbital Wrote: Like many people Linus Torvalds has complained there isn't a serious enough ARM laptop available.
https://www.zdnet.com/article/linux-5-19...-platform/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAG5Q8Hovkw

Speaking of ARM Linux laptops, when is the Pinebook Pro going to be upgraded to have more RAM, faster CPU, flicker-free display etc?

The Pinebook Pro (PBP) will likely never be the machine for Linus Torvalds. The PBP aims at a (relatively) low-cost developer market, whereas Linus has essentially an empty cheque book and the need for high quality. The PBP is unlikely to ever be a competitor for an Apple device - and that's okay.

Personally I want to see some standardization of the mainboard to either an Single Board Computer (SBC) or module, so that people are able to upgrade/maintain their machines. This would also greatly ease their current supply issues (some of which is for displays, etc).
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#3
I agree absolutely with the idea that the motherboard follow some long-term standard form factor, perhaps identical to RockPro64 or Quartz, even the same board, but with the tall I/O sockets replaced with connectors for circuit tapes which would connect to case-mounted ports in order to reduce board height within the case. The objection that newer boards would be much smaller pales to insignificance when you realise how much of the interior of the PInebook Pro's case is already vacant real estate. They can stay the same size, almost forever, because the space available is dictated by the size of the screen and keyboard, which dictate the form factor. Vertically, there's little more height to be saved unless the cast magnesium case be made so thin that it becomes impossibly delicate.
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#4
(08-30-2022, 01:07 PM)commiecam Wrote: I agree absolutely with the idea that the motherboard follow some long-term standard form factor, perhaps identical to RockPro64 or Quartz, even the same board, but with the tall I/O sockets replaced with connectors for circuit tapes which would connect to case-mounted ports in order to reduce board height within the case.  The objection that newer boards would be much smaller  pales to insignificance when you realise how much of the interior of the PInebook Pro's case is already vacant real  estate. They can stay the same size, almost forever, because the space available is dictated by the size of the screen and keyboard, which dictate the form factor.  Vertically, there's little more height to be saved unless the cast magnesium case be made so thin that it becomes impossibly delicate.

I personally wouldn't want to buy a laptop that doesn't have Ethernet, HDMI and at least two USB-A ports.
If there were a way to break out those physical ports into a second board, that would make it easier to construct a laptop from the single board computer.
On the other hand, some laptops try to just push the main SBC to the edge and use the existing tall ports there.

(08-30-2022, 07:36 AM)barray Wrote: The Pinebook Pro (PBP) will likely never be the machine for Linus Torvalds. The PBP aims at a (relatively) low-cost developer market, whereas Linus has essentially an empty cheque book and the need for high quality. The PBP is unlikely to ever be a competitor for an Apple device - and that's okay.

Personally I want to see some standardization of the mainboard to either an Single Board Computer (SBC) or module, so that people are able to upgrade/maintain their machines. This would also greatly ease their current supply issues (some of which is for displays, etc).

I'd be willing to spend more if the quality were there e.g. if the CPU were based on a new faster Snapdragon.
Lenovo recently released the X13s which uses such a CPU.
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#5
(08-30-2022, 03:35 PM)orbital Wrote:
(08-30-2022, 01:07 PM)commiecam Wrote: I agree absolutely with the idea that the motherboard follow some long-term standard form factor, perhaps identical to RockPro64 or Quartz, even the same board, but with the tall I/O sockets replaced with connectors for circuit tapes which would connect to case-mounted ports in order to reduce board height within the case.  The objection that newer boards would be much smaller  pales to insignificance when you realise how much of the interior of the PInebook Pro's case is already vacant real  estate. They can stay the same size, almost forever, because the space available is dictated by the size of the screen and keyboard, which dictate the form factor.  Vertically, there's little more height to be saved unless the cast magnesium case be made so thin that it becomes impossibly delicate.

I personally wouldn't want to buy a laptop that doesn't have Ethernet, HDMI and at least two USB-A ports.
If there were a way to break out those physical ports into a second board, that would make it easier to construct a laptop from the single board computer.
On the other hand, some laptops try to just push the main SBC to the edge and use the existing tall ports there.

(08-30-2022, 07:36 AM)barray Wrote: The Pinebook Pro (PBP) will likely never be the machine for Linus Torvalds. The PBP aims at a (relatively) low-cost developer market, whereas Linus has essentially an empty cheque book and the need for high quality. The PBP is unlikely to ever be a competitor for an Apple device - and that's okay.

Personally I want to see some standardization of the mainboard to either an Single Board Computer (SBC) or module, so that people are able to upgrade/maintain their machines. This would also greatly ease their current supply issues (some of which is for displays, etc).

I'd be willing to spend more if the quality were there e.g. if the CPU were based on a new faster Snapdragon.
Lenovo recently released the X13s which uses such a CPU.
For under ten bucks you can buy a USB2 or UB3 dock that's tiny, has wire ethernet, SD slots, USB2 ports and even HDMI.  Right now I'm cursing this 17" HP Elitebook because its SD socket, audio socket and ethernet socket are all either intermittent or dead and a few of the others feel physically loose..  A hundred or more bucks to get them replaced made no sense at all, so I bought a USB2 dock that does it all, and if it should die, I'll chuck it and buy another one.  Some stuff belongs in the box, but with numerous high speed ports on most laptops these days, even cheap ones, I'd rather keep the main box simple.
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#6
(08-31-2022, 09:19 AM)commiecam Wrote:   Right now I'm cursing this 17" HP Elitebook because its SD socket, audio socket and ethernet socket are all either intermittent or dead and a few of the others feel physically loose..  A hundred or more bucks to get them replaced made no sense at all, so I bought a USB2 dock that does it all, and if it should die, I'll chuck it and buy another one.  Some stuff belongs in the box, but with numerous high speed ports on most laptops these days, even cheap ones, I'd rather keep the main box simple.

I sympathize with your HP experience. I have been shopping for a new laptop for 2 years. Much of what has been available during the pandemic and before it has been of dubious quality.
I'd check the specs and they look wonderful but then I check the reviews and it's "this broke, that broke."
For me though, the big problem is that newer CPUs generate so much heat that many laptops now sound like a jet engine. I've bought and returned several for this reason.
Quiet operation is one appeal of the Macbook air which has no fan. However without Linux it was not possible.
My computer during the past 2 years has actually been the Raspberry pi4b 8GB, which one might assume is too slow, but actually for most of what I do it is fine, and it's been reliable. But it's not a laptop.
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#7
(08-30-2022, 07:36 AM)barray Wrote: ...
Personally I want to see some standardization of the mainboard to either an Single Board Computer (SBC) or module, so that people are able to upgrade/maintain their machines. This would also greatly ease their current supply issues (some of which is for displays, etc).

Something like the MNT Reform?
I don't know if System on Module (SOM) has some sort of standard.
https://shop.mntmn.com/products/mnt-reform
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#8
(08-31-2022, 10:17 AM)orbital Wrote:
(08-31-2022, 09:19 AM)commiecam Wrote:   Right now I'm cursing this 17" HP Elitebook because its SD socket, audio socket and ethernet socket are all either intermittent or dead and a few of the others feel physically loose..  A hundred or more bucks to get them replaced made no sense at all, so I bought a USB2 dock that does it all, and if it should die, I'll chuck it and buy another one.  Some stuff belongs in the box, but with numerous high speed ports on most laptops these days, even cheap ones, I'd rather keep the main box simple.

I sympathize with your HP experience. I have been shopping for a new laptop for 2 years. Much of what has been available during the pandemic and before it has been of dubious quality.
I'd check the specs and they look wonderful but then I check the reviews and it's "this broke, that broke."
For me though, the big problem is that newer CPUs generate so much heat that many laptops now sound like a jet engine. I've bought and returned several for this reason.
Quiet operation is one appeal of the Macbook air which has no fan. However without Linux it was not possible.
My computer during the past 2 years has actually been the Raspberry pi4b 8GB, which one might assume is too slow, but actually for most of what I do it is fine, and it's been reliable. But it's not a laptop.
That's the reason I have a Pinebook Pro.  Quiet! No fan.  As far as what you NEED, I suggest that a whole lot of people consider what they really NEED.  I'm not talking about extreme gamers, who live and die, vicariously on cpu power.  The computer aboard the Apollo modules that went to the moon would today be put to shame by any cheap pocket calcuulator.  I did my college papers on green on black terminal hooked to a HP-1000 computer with a 32 bit cpu running at about 1MHz, with 3.3 MB of RAM... WHILE it was also acting as our station's data collector and network hub, while being used by six other staff as well  All I'm saying is that seldom, if ever, is a cpu in any modern computer being run much above idling.  The first novel that I wrote, Caribbean Ventures, was written on an early, used Pentium llaptop running Red Hat and I used the vi editor.  No 440 cubic inch V8, no tailfins, no sound system.  Now I can do the same work in a good word processor on a colour screen while listening to classical music while news headlines run across the bottom of the screen, and all for $219.00.
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#9
(08-31-2022, 12:22 PM)commiecam Wrote: That's the reason I have a Pinebook Pro.  Quiet! No fan.  As far as what you NEED, I suggest that a whole lot of people consider what they really NEED.  I'm not talking about extreme gamers, who live and die, vicariously on cpu power.

Yes, I know. My first real computer was 8-bit and had 5 kB of RAM. These days, it is the browser that makes or breaks a computer primarily. The CPU has to be faster than about 1.2 GHz. Secondarily the screen quality, there can be no PWM or UV light. 4GB of RAM seems to be enough although having more is better, because any unused RAM gets repurposed by the kernel to cache filesystem data and that helps speed things up.
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#10
(08-31-2022, 06:08 PM)orbital Wrote:
(08-31-2022, 12:22 PM)commiecam Wrote: That's the reason I have a Pinebook Pro.  Quiet! No fan.  As far as what you NEED, I suggest that a whole lot of people consider what they really NEED.  I'm not talking about extreme gamers, who live and die, vicariously on cpu power.

Yes, I know. My first real computer was 8-bit and had 5 kB of RAM. These days, it is the browser that makes or breaks a computer primarily. The CPU has to be faster than about 1.2 GHz. Secondarily the screen quality, there can be no PWM or UV light. 4GB of RAM seems to be enough although having more is better, because any unused RAM gets repurposed by the kernel to cache filesystem data and that helps speed things up.

Browser aside(and a simple one like Midori will do), if I can run, as my biggest RAM-hogs, LibreOffice or Abiword, Calibre, Gimp, Shotwell, Rhythmbox, email, and network connectivity I'd be happy as a clam.  And all of them are runnable on almost any modern X86 or substantial RISC chip and 4MB.
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