We have asked NI to allow us to make a guest post on Rohan’s blog in order to make some things clear about how our (The ICS Team) collaboration with Notion Ink works.
The ICS Team consists of the four people RaYmAn, Mrdeadlocked, Kushiel and MrGuy. We all consider TabletRoms our home, but we aren’t the “TR ICS Team”, we are the “ICS Team”. This is a minor distinction but important when considering our collaboration with Notion Ink. There is no official relationship between TR and NI, but we, the devs, do have direct collaboration with developers and other technical people from NI.
We started work on ICS for Adam shortly after the source was released. The initial efforts had some major issues which was shared across all Tegra2 devices as well as few other devices. It wasn’t easy to fix this stuff, but with help from Notion Ink we managed it.
Notion Ink has provided us with invaluable information regarding the hardware of Adam as well as spare parts and replacement Adam’s for those team members (rayman & kushiel) who sacrificed their Adam’s for the greater good (e.g. soldering in a serial port!).
They have also provided us with source code and details on the camera for Android 2.2, without which it would be pretty much impossible to get camera going on ICS. On that note, camera is progressing nicely, but it’s still not quite there yet 😉
To answer some of the questions about how the collaboration works: We have been truthful when asked, and we intend to continue with that. Apart from donations (including several from Notion Ink), none of us are getting paid for our Adam work, and several of us are not interested in getting paid for it due to tax issues and similar(donations are welcome ;)). There are multiple reasons for not getting paid:
- Notion Ink is an indian company and it can be hard to transfer funds to foreign nationals.
- Tax issues in some of the countries make it complicated
- Getting Paid implies being required to put down x amount of hours work per day/week/month.
- We do this for fun, not for the money!
- We would rather get hardware (e.g. Adam 2) than money.
On that note, it’s also important to consider that the other similar tablets are not getting ANY support at all from the vendors. This applies to Viewsonic Gtab, Advent Vega and others. The vendors couldn’t care less and they provide zero support! With Adam, we have contacts within NI which we rely on for information, source code and general support. Rest assured that a lot of the kernel would have halted without NI’s help.
All things considered, it could be argued that Notion Ink should put more resources towards putting ICS on Adam 1. Realisticly, this might not be possible. Notion Ink is a young company, with a finite amount of resources. They have no choice but to prioritize the resources in the best possible way. It’s understandable that people can’t buy tablets constantly, and continued support is of course important, but again, be realistic. Working on Adam 2 and other new products is the only reasonable business decision. There is no way a company can survive purely on
supporting old hardware.
To sum up: we don’t get paid, we do it for fun. We like hacking on hardware and software and we continue to support Notion Ink and the Adam because we believe in their goals and their desire to make an awesome product! Sure, it helps that they are giving us Adam 2s, so our hacking can continue on that device, but that’s not why we do it!
Thanks to Notion Ink for letting us make this post to clarify our (the ICS team) position in this whole matter.