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Re: Toshiba AC100

+++ Phil Endecott [2010-10-08 21:24 +0100]:
> Hi Everyone,
> As many of you will know the Toshiba AC100 is a netbook based on an  
> Nvidia Tegra ARM processor that ships with Android.  I've been waiting a 
> long time for hardware like this to become available; I've just bought 
> one, and it is excellent.  It's light, cool, and great quality.  On the 
> other hand, the shipped software is not going to please anyone; the 
> decision to go with Android just seems bizarre.

I saw one today too, as Peter Maydell's has just arrived. He's got
ubuntu Maverick going on it, booting from SD, and apparently running
the Adnroid kernel. Seems to work fine in general, but no wifi yet so
limited experimentation.

> Sooo.....  who is interested in getting Debian to work on this machine?  
> I guess there are a few issues:

> 3. Then there's the whole ARM architecture version thing.  Each time I  
> look at this I realise it's more complicated that I had hoped, for  
> example I have read that the Tegra processor in this machine doesn't  
> have NEON.

That's correct. 

> Debian obviously doesn't want to have 42 different ARM  
> architecture variants. 

No, we don't. 

> My guess is that in the case of the FP variants  
> there are only relatively few packages that are really fp-intensive, so  
> a scheme that allows them to have optimised versions distributed  
> separately might be best, and have the core architecture just cover the  
> "ARMv7" aspect.

Absolutely - and this is on my list of things to get linaro/ubuntu to
spend some time on, although I've been told nothing much is going to
happen on that front until multiarch is actually done, so it'll be a
while yet before there is much in the way of practical improvements.
It should start to become clear over the next few months how many
variants are actually worth supporting. That'll be something at least.

> I hope there are others out there interested in this machine, the first  
> of its kind.

(apart from the pegatron machines and the Genesi Smartbook:
http://www.genesi-usa.com/press/2010/8/27/ )

> (BTW I'm in Cambridge, and if anyone would like to play with it you're welcome.)

So that's at least 2 in Cambridge :-)

Principal hats:  Linaro, Emdebian, Wookware, Balloonboard, ARM

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