It’s been a while. I have been extremely busy designing, building and launching a full IPTV service. Now that the service has launched I can take a bit of a breather and perhaps post a few updates here. Lots has happened in the world of Zonbu in the past four months.
The most significant development by far is that Via has announced that they intend to embrace the open source community and finally start releasing driver source and details so the drivers for their embedded platforms can be improved.
The following details are excerpted from this article at LinuxDevices.com: http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS9457876583.html
Via Technologies, although very popular with Linux ultramobile PC vendors, has never been very open about its own hardware. Until April 8, when, at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in Austin, Texas, the company announced that it will start opening up its chipsets to the open source community.
During the We’re Shipping Linux on PCs — Now What? panel, held at the University of Texas Super Computing Center, Timothy Chen of Via Technologies, said, “Via hadn’t been doing much [in opening up] — it’s been hard for the company to embrace open source, but at the end of the month you’ll see us opening up.”
This announcement drew a round of applause from the audience of Linux executives, leaders and core developers. Driver support for Linux distributions, a nagging problem, can be greatly eased by chip and component vendors opening up their hardware specifications and information.
In concrete terms, Via will kick things off by launching its Via Linux Web site by the end of month. On this site, users will find drivers, technical documentation, source code and information for the Via CN700, CX700/M, CN896 and the new Via VX800 chipsets. As time goes by, Via will add forums and support for more of its chipsets.
Hopefully this will help unlock the potential of the existing Zonbu hardware platform.
I just checked the Zonbu website; it seems that they have changed their business model to some extent, but I’m not entirely clear about what’s going on. Can you explain it better than they do themselves? Part of the appeal of the original idea, for non-technical users like me, was the idea of a “fool proof” box for a safe, worry free browsing experience. One accepted some limitations in return for no worries about hardware, backup, or malware. Updated software would be maintained for you, loaded to a solid state device that was locked down to protect the ignorant. It’s not clear to me whether that model is still operative.