That would answer my question as I was trying to make work, which it wasn’t (I thought maybe my lack of sleep had something to do with it), so waiting is my answer. I still really like this little Cerberus board as it has some big potential for a small price.
Initially I bought the board because I wanted to try it, I didn’t care really what it was, only that it was Gadgeteer as I pretty much buy at least one of everything Gadgeteer, if I like it or otherwise have a need for it then I buy multiples. I’ve become a bit of a Gadgeteer junkie as this stuff is like crack for your inner inventor.
Now I’ll be buying multiple Cerberus boards as they are a nice little (meaning I’m going to be able to put it in lots of places) powerful board with an attractive feature level and at the price you would have to be totally bat sh*t crazy not to get at least one. As far as the open source goes, I wouldn’t mind paying more to have Gus and the gang deal with the firmware, but that said since it is open source, I’ll no doubt end up mucking around in the firmware at some point.
I won’t mind sending x bucks to a reputable group to further the cause of the Cerberus firmware as my ‘contribution’ to the cause, if such a group existed. How that group dealt with ‘donations’ would be an issue unto itself, but the idea is if I’m not contributing ‘source’ maybe I can contribute in some other way.
Mike, I’ve been asking myself this question the past several months as I’ve been fighting through some of the pains of beta testing the OSHW boards only to find that even after they are stable they are still lacking some premium features that I could really use. I did buy Hydra & Cerberus boards because #1 they were the best power/$ option and 2) they were open source. I fully support open source and I’m all for having the ability to dig into the details if there’s a problem that the vendor can’t or won’t fix in a timely manner for me. Being a software guy, there have been several instances where this has been invaluable. However, this is really only an issue if the vendor isn’t agile and responsive enough to it’s customers needs which absolutely is not the case with GHI. And frankly, if there was a problem with the mainboard electronics or firmware there’s little chance that I could do much about it. So, my current position is that having OSHW mainboards isn’t that important to me if they come from GHI. However, I believe that all modules should at a minimum be OSS. I like having access to the module drivers and being able to contribute additions to them if I find them lacking. As many have discovered lately, when a vendor (umm…Seeed) is not prompt about releasing driver updates when new NETMF versions are released it can be invaluable to be able to do that yourself.
We do not want to start a OSHW vs premium war Open source only makes sense for simple things, like fro modules for example, so you can improve them. It is also perfect fro the breakout boards made by sparkfun and adafruit. The firmware is ways too complex that even though it is open source and we have asked for contributions for over a year now we have not received any contributions. To you (a user) this also come with a another benefit, you can build your own board without buying anything from GHI…but then why do you want to do that? For the few bucks you spend here GHI is really helping you and giving you a board at a very low cost that you can’t make at such low cost by yourself anyways.
So OSHW really needed in our case? I do not know but I am glad GHI found a place where we have it as parts. If you look at the offers we have now, we really covered everyone, even arduino users through cerbuino. We will continue to support OSHW in future as well.
having Open source is great, but as GUS said it’s been over a year now and no one hardly contributed anything back in terms of firmware fixes and features… does it mean that no one has made progress in that area… maybe but i think most COMMERCIAL companies take advantage of OPEN source and use it to advance their own agenda and never share that code back… that’s most likely what is going on here… until recently when Oberon Microsystems shared their work…no one has actually made anything public…
So yes it is a great move for GUS to go OSH, but i think he knew this outcome was eminent and did it to more or less prove a point that OSH is just a marketing buzz when abused, which is clearly the case here. talking about opening the firmware here…
i mean how many GHI users have created their own Custom Boards, plenty i’m sure … but has anyone actually shared a single schematics for their custom board…NO
at least none that i’ve seen announced…
Maybe GUS & Co can create a new Forum for Open hardware Design and schematics where other can Post their work …
To jump on this thread - I bought them for various reasons - for the Cerberus because they are low cost (about the same as a Panda II or netduino), had the gadgeteer headers already and were speedy and small. I bought 4 of those so far. I also have a hydra and a spider - also for the cost, although i bought them both in kit form, so really the discount was on the modules and not the board itself.
It’s nice to be able to tweak the firmware if I need, although to Gus’ point, most of us don’t have the time to contribute to the firmware since our focus now is building stuff with the boards, but should I be in a position that I could contribute to the firmware, I totally would.
I do really like the fact that the drivers are OSS, and in my work so far, it’s much more likely that you have to go in and tweak something, either to fit your application, or something isn’t working just right.
For the STM32, at least, (Cerberus et al) it’s essentially impossible for the community to contribute, as the community doesn’t have access to RVDS.
For me, the OSS means nothing. Cerb40 was interesting to me because it’s small, cheap, and can be mounted easily on a board. An EMX-style SMT option would be nice too. I’d pay a small premium for a USBizi-style bare chip option for the STM32 as well.