Up, up and away and x15

Yeah, me too. The CHIP for $9 is certainly interesting, at least at first. Allwinner is kind of a so-so chip vendor, known for making cheap crap such as these tablets: Amazon.com

Made in China where chips cost less than the identical parts purchased here in the US. The $9 is just a little module, you need to add more to it to really do anything.

We are using BBB in a place where we need reliable operation 24/7 and availability for 5+ years. Good luck with the CHIP on both of those fronts.

Have you been following the number of Kickstarter and Indiegogo scams and implosions? Such as £280k Kickstarter camera trigger campaign crashes and burns • The Register and The Body Dryer | Indiegogo so it seems there is “more dollars than sense” in the crowdfunding world. It’s like the patent medicine hawkers in the Wild West. yes, I know there are many legitimate developers and reasonable projects - but these are the ones with the good teams behind them, with actual development experience, not just stars in their eyes and the “make it cheap in China” magic wand.

Seeedstudio just clones OSHW and arguably adds no value - no support, driver or app development, etc. It’s a parastic company. Contrast that with Adafruit who produce here in the US, do their own designs, and create a LOT of value. Or PRJC.com, or the BBB, of course.

I won’t start a whole rant on how the embedded industry has changed over the last 25 years: some for the better, some not.

At the end of the day, you usually get what you pay for, if you spend your money wisely.

I hope attempts to make a fairly priced, supported, good quality product, like BBB, prosper. It’s going to be an interesting next few years as we all sort this OSHW thing out.

Bruce writes:

> Seeedstudio just clones OSHW and arguably adds no value

Arguable by whom? It’s not a rational premise.

Seeedstudio modified the Beaglebone Black OSHW design into a new Beaglebone Green featuring two Grove System connectors (plus other useful changes) rather than merely cloning BBB, and so they’ve added a very impressive amount of value. There are well over 100 Grove modules available and they are OSHW so even those without Green can clone them or reuse their designs. The Grove system provides new interfacing capabilities and much ease of use within the Beaglebone ecosystem.

No value? Perhaps you should watch Jason Kridner’s video linked in Make’s article above and also on Youtube, as he clearly understands the goals of OSHW and welcomes Seeed’s work.

It’s a key goal of OSHW to allow people to take a design and either simply clone it or modify it into a new version. When they do, criticizing them for doing so is pretty wierd, and questions whether the OSHW concept is actually understood and supported.


You may be right on those specific items. Apologies if my comments were
based on out of date information. And it does seem Seeed's documentation
has improved a bit since I was last on their site several months ago.

The BBB Green announcement is from two weeks ago; I had not heard of it.
Thanks for the link. I watched the video. It's hardly an endorsement of
Seeedstudio. Jason goes on to say at 1:50 that Seeed has not licensed the
BB logo and are not fully participating in the BBB 'ecosystem', and
cautions that any mistakes they made will not be fixed by BBB.org since
they are effectively 'forking' (my terminology) the design. So I am left
wondering how well this "impressive amount of value" will be supported.

Seeed took off HDMI (bad call for my use, we plan to use HDMI touchscreens
on at least some BBB systems to provide a user-facing GUI), and added two
Grove connectors. Searching on the Seeed site there is no reference to the
new Beaglebone Green. The video says a USB Micro B was added - for what?
This already exists on BBB Rev C. Grove seems like a cool idea. So I
decided to check it out. Maybe I was wrong... I am trying to be optimistic
about this... Comments here for the BBB Grove shield
indicate that the example code they provided for Grove components is just
for Arduino - no actual examples for BBB? What's up with that? The link on
the page to Github for the alleged Grove BBB drivers has an extraneous ')'
in it so fails unless you take that off - the github for this is correctly
https://github.com/Seeed-Studio/Suli - which indeed says that as of today
only Arduino is there now. So if you buy the Grove BBB shield you are on
your own for drivers: you can't actually use the Seeed BBB hardware you buy
out of the box.

Grove appears to be just I2C - at least here
http://www.seeedstudio.com/wiki/Grove_-_Digital_Light_Sensor - so adding
two I2C connectors to BBB is hardly adding a lot of value IMHO.

I have seen other simple clones which also add no value: whistLED for one.
Do they pay the author any royalty (I don't know, do you? I'm honestly
curious). All the info links just pass through to the real developer's
website. What value is added there?

Here's another
http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/Triggertrap-Shield-p-1350.html originally
funded by Kickstarter (
this product is now obsolete and if you bought it from Seeed you are stuck
with no documentation at all - I have tried to find schematics anywhere
with no luck. This is a beef with both Triggertrap and Seeed - neither
seems to have any documentation available for this product, though on the
KS page you can see the promise to do so.

My belief is if you are going to sell a product, even one you did not
design, you have the obligation to your customers to maintain at least user
documentation for the product for some reasonable time - at least five or
ten years, or as long as it is in use. Maybe I just picked the worst
examples, but Seeed doesn't appear to consistently do this.

You accuse me of an irrational premise. My premise is this: if companies
simply clone OSHW, without "joining the ecosystem" (Jason Krinder's
wording) and just try to undercut on price, without contributing back into
the community (e.g. as Adafruit does, see
https://learn.adafruit.com/category/beaglebone), all they are doing is
trying to profit from others' engineering. How does that make the world a
better place? If my premise is truly irrational and I am missing the whole
OSHW concept please explain it to me.

Conclusion: you have not changed my opinion of Seeed, and I don't see the "very
impressive amount of value" from Seeed's BB Green which you do. I'd love it
if you had persuaded me otherwise since the more vendors really adding
value to OSHW, it would seem that the better off we all will be.

Bruce Boyes

I’ve been coordinating with seeed to ensure their board works out of the box with bb.org present images and future.

There is a lot of things going on behind the scenes, even before the green was announced.


I’m wondering the same thing that Bruce mentioned about whether or not “Grove” is something other than just gimmick or not. I2C . . . with some fancy dressing on top. Which personally, I’ve yet to work with I2C, but if it’s about the same as picking up SPI, CAN, or other similar embedded type IO. I really can not see the need.

But I’m the type of coder that usually does not like using this kind of abstraction layer. When there is a perfectly good underlying Linux driver + API all ready to be used.

@ Bruce

I kind of agree with you concerning businesses like adafruit ( don’t really know much about seeed ). But in the case of adafruit they may charge a premium, and not really contribute much back. But they do provide a reasonable service for many embedded systems hobbyists. Mainly they’re a known quantity by many where one does not need to worry about being ripped off. With reasonable shipping, and decent stock. Price wise . . . yeah one may be able to buy that $15 adafruit serial debug cable off ebay for $2, and from China. But adafruit’s shipping is most likely going to be much quicker.

As for taking advantage of someone elses ideas . . . well I can not speak for everyone but if I put an idea out there for everyone to see. I fully expect someone to take advantage of it. Or not . . .

Seeed now has a page dedicated to their Beaglebone Green:


I don’t yet see the board in any sales channel though, and it’s still not listed in Seeed’s shop via the given Purchase link.

It’s certainly an interesting variation on the BB theme, hopefully one of many to come. OSHW in action! :slight_smile: