|Re: OpenRPN Reboot Interest?|
Message #7 Posted by DaveJ on 19 Sept 2011, 7:42 a.m.,
in response to message #6 by Paul Dale
I'll go one further and say that even with okay to decent hardware, the software is by no means a given. The 20b languished for quite a while with nobody (publicly) repurposing it seriously with new firmware.
the production of a new calculator will be a combined effort of hardware designers, firmware writers, application software guys and production people. I very much doubt anyone here is capable of all of these tasks and in many/most cases folks will be limited to but one.
But "if you build it, software will come".
With a handheld calculator, the hardware design is essentially everything. It is the thing that costs real money, commitment, and is hard to change and tweak, it "locks you in" in many ways. It is the heart and soul of the product, if it wasn't, OpenRPN would have been released years ago as a jiffy box with a bunch of tact switches and a 16x2 LCD (and failed as result of such poor hardware implementation of course).
Firmware on the other hand only takes time, and has great flexibility, it can be tweaked until the cows come home. And at a general level, firmware is fairly hardware agnostic.
The reason people like us want to design calculator hardware is because we want a physical product form factor and "look'n'feel" that is not available elsewhere. Hardware is the basis for everything. Yes, it needs software too, but I wouldn't really consider that before you have a solid physical implementation.
For example, I did not write a line of code until I had my uCalc or uWatch projects in a usable form factor, there was simply no point. The same will go for the uWatch Mk2 as well.
The reason anyone would consider a new calc design like OpenRPN, or my uWatch or uCalc, is because the current hardware platforms available are not deemed adequate. Otherwise, we'd all think the holy grail has arrived with the 20B re-purposing project.
The only reason OpenRPN has not gotten off the ground before, is solely because of a lack of actual hardware, I'm sure everyone will agree?
Also, since the last Open RPN project was floated, there has been a boon in crowd source funding via the likes of Kick Starter. So money to get projects like this off the ground is easier to get these days, which is great, but it does come with real commitments that must be met.
Edited: 19 Sept 2011, 7:45 a.m.