Welcome FSFE!

Thank you to Paul Boddie as well for starting the discussion here. I met several of you at FOSDEM2016, many of you will recall the silver and black laptop that I showed you towards the end of FOSDEM2016 - well this campaign is that laptop!

The key difference in the discussions that I had with all of you is that we could not find a modern FSF-Endorsed GNU/Linux-libre OS for the Ingenic jz4775 MIPS-based processor, so my initial feeling was that we were not going to go for RYF Certification. Turns out however that there's something called "exemptions" to the FSF's Hardware-endorsement criteria, which may be applied for but require direct and specific approval by the FSF's Board, as each "exemption" needs very very careful technical analysis on a case-by-case basis, to ensure that there is absolutely no chance of the FSF's goals being upset.

So it turns out that the Allwinner A20's proprietary bits - MALI (for 3D) and CEDARX (for accelerated video) are memory-mapped and thus completely invisible from user-space. This is enough for us to be able to apply for RYF Certification. Which is very exciting, so the next bit was to test out Parabola ARM GNU/Linux-Libre, an FSF-Endorsed OS, and that worked straight away. So, this is the product known as the "Libre Tea Computer Card": it's an Allwinner A20 Dual-core ARM Cortex A7, and we'll be running with Parabola.

The Laptop housing is a bit like a laptop "dock", for example it is conceptually similar to the Motorola Atrix Lapdock, with the key difference being that the Libre Tea Computer Card plugs into the Laptop Housing instead of there being the possibility of it falling off the back! Anyway, much of this is explained in the crowd-funding page, but the main thing I wanted to connect you with was that this is the same device that I showed many of you at FOSDEM2016, if only briefly.

Now, I do have a small favour to ask of all of you, if I may. As we are seeking RYF Certification for the Libre Tea Computer Card, we do need to ensure that the FSF's rules about not confusing end-users (such that they might end up accidentally getting the wrong Computer Card with an OS that doesn't warn them about non-free software). I am doing my best, but I am extremely busy, covering a huge amount of communications in a very short amount of time. If you happen to see anything - including from me! - please pick up on it and point out any mistakes made, I would be really grateful for that.

Once again, thank you to Paul because you've been in the background helping out and encouraging me to keep at it.