Really cool modular, "Earth-friendly" computer (EOMA68)

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onpon4
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Really cool modular, "Earth-friendly" computer (EOMA68)

Postby onpon4 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:35 pm

This is a crowdfunding campaign that is ongoing, with 3 more weeks to go:

https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop

This video is also worth watching:

https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micr ... /hope-2016

It's for EOMA68, a standard for more modular, "Earth-friendly" computers. The idea is you have a "computer card" which has the actual processor in it, and you plug that into a case which could be a desktop case, a laptop case, a tablet case, or anything else you can think of. To start with, a wooden mini desktop computer and a 15" laptop are available, as is an ARM computer card decent enough for general use (like Web browsing and document editing). If the campaign reaches its goal, more types of cases can be made available (tablet, handheld game console, etc), as can more powerful computer cards.

Other offerings that are available right now are a set of cables to use a computer card without a housing at all, and a "passthrough card", which lets you use an EOMA68 housing (i.e. currently the laptop) as a peripheral. So, you could e.g. plug it into your phone and use your phone like a laptop, or you could use your laptop housing for a powerful desktop computer (rather than having a keyboard, monitor, speakers, and mouse specifically for that desktop computer), and use the less powerful computer card on-the-go. Future housings could give more possibilities, e.g. you could use a portable game console housing as a regular game controller with this thing.

There are so many things that are super neat about this project. Just a few examples:

* It makes upgrades much cheaper: rather than having to get a whole new laptop for hundreds of dollars, you just get a new computer card for maybe $50 or so (depending on the card, of course). Everything that doesn't need to be upgraded can be kept.

* It can give computer users more choices, since you can combine whatever computer card is best for you with whatever case is best for you.

* Everything is libre. So, for example, you can change the case design and 3-D print your modified case, if you are so inclined, and there aren't any restrictions placed on what you can do.

* It adds possibilities for how you can use your computer(s). You could have your OS stored on the computer card and use effectively the same computer in multiple forms depending on what you're doing. Or alternatively, you could have your OS stored in e.g. a laptop case and upgrade your computer card without having to reinstall the OS. Or, since the computer cards are reasonably cheap, you could have different computer cards for different tasks, for example.

I of course backed this project right away when I found out about it. I really hope it succeeds!

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