Re: More on voting stations. Power PC's. Monitor issues

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Tue May 11 2004 - 23:38:47 CDT

Hello David:

    I've been privately musing on the heat issue regarding monitors for a
while. Many of the nominally vertical monitors that I use have grillwork in
the back as well as the top and bottom, especially the CRT's. I am
concerned that heat would fry the monitors before election day is over or
set some of the cardboard/foam core voting areas on fire. Also, a number of
the LCD monitors I've looked at like the Sony don't actually have flat
backs. They'd need some sort of cradle to sit in. On the other hand, a
cradle might allow better air flow to deal with heating. Go figure.

    As for the Power PC, yes, it sounds interesting, but I thought one of
our talking points was that we were using commodity PC's and not specialty
equipment. Of course, it might be a great idea for the Mark II (or should
it be the Mark I.1?).

    It sounds like we need to open a topic directly on product development.

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Mertz" <voting-project@gnosis.cx>
To: <voting-project@lists.sonic.net>
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2004 9:19 PM
Subject: Re: [voting-project] More on voting stations

> On May 11, 2004, at 10:01 PM, Ed Kennedy wrote:
> > PC with monitor for under $500. Software is a question as it hasn't
> > been written yet except as a demonstration version so let's pluck a
> > number out of the air. I'll say $300/license for lack of anything
> > better.
>
> I can be quite definitive on the marginal software cost: $0.
>
> OVC is committed to using Free Software. So the whole software chain:
> Linux/X11/Python/Qt/whatever will be reproducible on EVMix CDs at no
> unit licensing cost. And we don't need, nor want, anything outside our
> approved tool chain.
>
> Obviously, the initial development costs will be substantial. If us
> developers had been paid for making even the demo, that would amount to
> a chunk of change; and many times more so for the production tools.
> But there's no unit cost once the software exists.
>
> Btw. The folks at Pegasosppc.com contacted me because I wrote an
> article about Linux/PPC. That company makes PowerPC computers, and is
> hoping to expand their production and sales (like most companies).
> They were mostly trying to schmooze me as a "mover and shaker" of the
> software community (e.g. tried to give me a free machine, that I told
> them to wait on, for lack of desk space at my home office). But I
> raised the idea of OVC voting machines in a custom form-factor.
>
> PPC chips have an advantage over those from Chipzilla in using a
> fraction of the power that Intel P4-ish chips do (and AMD Athlons use
> still more power than Pentiums). It seems like the power issue is
> perhaps of some significance for voting stations, since power=heat
> (Pegasos says they can make a system without a CPU fan, for example).
> And getting something with unusual physical dimensions (e.g. CPU built
> into back of same cabinet as 17" LCD) has some advantages for OVC.
> FWIW, G3-based systems are slightly "trailing edge" performance-wise,
> but more than adequate for us; the cost might reflect that adequately.
>
> I have a hunch that Pegasos would go farther out of their way to work
> with us than Dell would, simply because they are relatively small, and
> trying to get a foothold. A niche area like ours might be good for
> them. Then again, they are also less established than the big PC
> makers (but more than a flash-in-the-pan).
>
> How do other OVC members feel about this possibility? I'm not trying to
> sell it--I don't really care--but I thought I'd check whether this
> generates interest. I can pursue contacts if it seems like a
> possibility.
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:36 2004

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