Re: More on voting stations

From: Liam Helmer <lists_at_strongboxlinux_dot_com>
Date: Wed May 12 2004 - 08:59:37 CDT

It's a good idea to look at PPC, if we get to the place of producing
dedicated voting machines. I've worked with the architecture, and it's
very sound. Once we have economies of scale, PowerPC is the way to go ->
more power efficient, cheaper, simpler.

On the other hand, if we're not using dedicated machines, the i386 is
the way to go. It's also the way to go for rapidly getting this off the
ground. And, the machines are more expensive if we're just making the
odd couple of machines.

And, hey, if they've got a machine available, I can work on a PPC port
of strongbox...


On Wed, 2004-05-12 at 04:19, David Mertz wrote:
> 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 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 23:17:37 2004

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