Guest Post: ICS Team


Hello Everyone, 


For a change this time we have RaYmAn writing this post! Here we go…



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.




Warm Regards
Rohan Shravan

51 thoughts on “Guest Post: ICS Team

  1. Go NI for letting them post. Woohoo.

    Awesome article +1

    Also go ICS team, you guys rock.

  2. A timely post and one of the main reasons that I await the next Adam. At this time I can only express my thanks and appreciation but hope to donate in future. Best regards

  3. +1

    After a long time, I really appreciate a post on this blog. Superb article and good timing too. 🙂 I am happy with the work that’s going on in the background, but we seem to be a very expectant lot. But any ways, thanks to everyone involved.

  4. That’s a good post.. and a very valid point, not all vendors are supportive of community efforts…
    +1 for NI on this, I definitely look forward for more from this association.

    Again, without a forum like “TR” and “ICS team” it wouldn’t have been possible for us to get more out of Adam 🙂

  5. Smart & good move to let the Team speak here!
    @Rayman hope you got your replacement Adam. 🙂

  6. Years ago Rohan started to gather this unique group of pioneers within Notion Ink, and out here in this blog. Sharing, developing and realising a dream. Crowd sourcing in optima forma, which did not end once the tablet was sold and in our very hands.
    In addition Andy managed to gather a great team of enthusiast volunteers, and all their joint talents, skills and efforts in development led us to enjoy our first Adams.
    We all had different specific, personal expectations for our device. Some might better have made their choice for the easy way, and bought an iPad or Galaxy tab. Buying an Adam implied a commitment to pioneering, and shared development. The best successes in ice skating are not accomplished over one freezing night’s ice as the Dutchies say, and neither is this.

    NI, TR and ICS Team; you are all One Team. You are doing great and getting paid for it in hard cash or not, our high appreciation and constructive feedback, combined with the challenge to discover all possiblities in today’s and tomorrow’s tech, are probably your best motivation to continue development for this first Adam and the ones to come.

    Thank you all, patience is my share,

  7. My Adam might not get switched on much these days, but I still feel “right” about having bought it because of stuff like this.

    I hope this all keeps up as NI grows.

  8. It is very nice to hear from the devs doing a very nice work. This article helps clarifying things and it’s always good too. I wouldn’t say that people asking for support for their ADAM are being unrealistic as they simply want what was promised from Rohan. I know this sounds like a broken record but he was the one who bragged about the eternal support the tablet would receive. Had he been clear and honest from the beginning of the adventure people wouldn’t be expecting so much. I think everyone here realizes that NI is a small company, Rohan’s overenthusiastic way of communicating was just misleading.
    I like the fact that the devs are getting ADAM 2 as a well earned reward for their hard work, it’s a win-win for them and the community. Hopefully something can be done for the early adopters, nothing too fancy but a small gesture at least.

  9. very nyce….every oem should learn from this post the value of collaboration and engaging the developer community….especially the ones working on android….keep it up TR and NI….you’ll always have us fans rooting for u

  10. This is the most interesting story on the blog. We respect you guys very much.
    Best regards,

  11. This is great overview of where and how the development is done. Whoever criticized NI for not doing any development effort on ICS will now come to know how instrumental NI-dev team had/has been to date.

    Is NI benefited from RaYmAn and group, of course they have but the fact is that its more of collaborative efforts not a total dependence outside NI. This is how great things are born through collaboration.


  12. Thanks Rohan for being open. We appreciate the ICS Team efforts(including NI). It’s hard for a young company to compete in tablet market with so many players.
    So after reading this post when would I get ICS on Adam 1? I have no more patience. Just kidding… we want a quality build and we can wait for it. Good luck with Adam 2.

  13. While reading the rants from some users in the forums on adam, my thoughts were exactly on the points touched upon by Rayman. But me saying it wont convince the naysayers unless it comes from NI and the ICS team. So good job on communicating it Rayman and for Rohan on posting it.

    NI has finite amount of resources. The early supporters of this blog are aware of it. But Rohan has to take the big portion of the blame for talking about a big team of developers, support etc consistently on this blog over many posts. Why talk about such things until it is in place?

    The technical explanation about going out with dual core processor and not quad-core which is turning out to be the latest craze has to be met with ADam2 demonstrating it in performance and functionality. NI owe it to themselves to set their image right.

    Also Adam 2 has to be significantly light weight (around 1 pound or less).

    I’m waiting for beta ROM of ICS to come before I’ll load it on to my adam. Until then, the CyanogenMod 9 (Alpha 0) is rocking my $99 HP touchpad. It even plays HD movies flawlessly and many frequently used apps work on ICS. Wonder how it would be when it comes to Alpha1 and Beta.

    NI/ICS Team:
    Is there any thought on providing an app to configure/tune PixelQi display on adam 1(to the extent possible?)

  14. Fantastic! This is exactly what people don’t understand about the Adam fraternity (sorry, community). It’s all about passion and being a part of something pioneering.

  15. Does this mean that there will no longer be OTA Updates for our Adam 1. it sounds like from what i am reading that the ICS uodates will only be Roms provided from the ICS dev team. It was my understanding that once the ICS updates reached the final stage that it would be released by NI OTA from the update button , but it seems like by what the post says that support and updates for the adam 1 will only come from the dev team at tabletroms…. ?

  16. A $1 donations per user will not hurt us but will greatly appreciated by the ICS Team. Yes they don’t to it for money but somehow we have to show our thanks in a much productive way for them.

  17. Some people value a product by comparing it to others, by listening to hype or reviews, by looking at its features or price. Others look beyond the product and see the people who work to make it what it is, good or bad, faults and successes, thus putting a tangible value on intangible features. I choose the latter, and find my Adam to be well worth the price, time, and expectations. Thank you ICS Team 🙂

  18. Thank you for the information,

    I would be glad to make a donation, but get confused to whom it is going when on tr site. And that the donation is recognized as being for the benefit of Adam/Notion Ink. I to would like to see all fo you as happy as I am whith the pixel qi screen ( the main reason I purchased ).

  19. There is no point to Help NI in any matter, my Adam is still android 2.2, this is a shame.
    They promised to release android 3, this the least we can expect for a tablet. They did nothing. Now we are supposed to help develop for android 4 because they are busy to develop Adam 2 ?
    NI just let down its customers from the beginning.
    My tablet had 1 update in nearly 10 months,
    We helped you guys by beiing early adopters and you let us down.

  20. @nicklaus18
    Just to clarify, they did release android 3.0, I and many others have Honeycomb running on our adams, so I have no doubt that ICS will be on my adam soon.


  21. Thank you Rohan! For making this post possible and clarifying the TR/NI relationship. I think this should go a long way to making it clearer to folks on the blog just what the relationship is, and just what they should expect from each participant in the process.
    Thanks again for making this possible!

  22. nicklaus 18: I’m truly sorry your don’t understand. Early adopters are gamblers, not customers. You, and others here, have been expecting all the energy to come from NI, and been unwilling to supply any of your own to the process.
    There have been many updates available for your use in the last 10 months. You have been the only impediment to getting them on your tablet, not NI.
    Equating expectations with promises is a common mistake made by some folks here on the blog. You simply can not insist that an attempt is equal to a promise.

  23. Philip : I have no doubt some peoples are rinning UNOFFICIAL Honeycomb release.
    May be i’m blind, but if you go ti there is absolutely nothing about Honeycomb. In fact there is nothing about any android version. The site did not change since the first time i visited it, early 2011 or late 2010. So if you know about a Honeycomb for Adam working properly and recommended by NI i will be more than happy to be wrong and update my system. The update function find no update and android 2.2 is the state of the art for my tablet, waouw
    I’m not even dreaming about ICS, just give me a working and stable Honeycomb. It must comes from or be approved by NI.

  24. Ah nicklaus18 now I see.

    Yes, my mistake.

    So, since Google released honeycomb publically so that any and every OEM could freely build it for their device, NotionInk were bad for failing to do so. No, wait, that was the opposite of reality. I get them so confused.

    Isn’t it great to have a supplier who is so supportive of developers that they not only provide support in the way of technical help, contributions, and resources, that they will even honour warranties on rooted tablets, and will even promote the downloading of alternative ROM builds?

    I’m glad they are supporting TR’s work, and I’m glad ICS will be an OTA update (though that’s not essential to me), and I’m glad NI are focussing on adam2.

    ADAM1 was always going to be pioneering work, and in 20 years I’m going to look back and be proud of being there at the beginning.

    I’m sorry you aren’t happy, but I don’t think you are being realistic.

    You will get an official release of ICS, and it will have been made in the same way the best things in life are made – joyful collaboration 😀

    Kind regards

  25. Perhaps you just purchased from the wrong kind of company. When many of us purchased our Adams there were few options, now there are many. If your technical and don’t mind installing custom ROMs then the Adam isn’t a bad choice. If you want a manufacturer to pour resources into their old products so they can release an ICS upgrade then you should have waited and purchased a tablet from a larger company.

  26. David: On the other hand, I own an Asus Transformer, and while I am completely satisfied with it, they have come out with a newer version of the hardware and promised ICS on it, but I understand it is currently delivered with Honeycomb and there has been no ICS upgrade for my machine. I expect there will be one eventually, but probably not until they have it working on their new machines for a while, and maybe not even then. So even if you go with “big” companies what you buy is most likely what you will get to keep 😉


  27. Can you put aside your pink glasses for a moment. You know… love is blind…

    See what other owners have to say on other forums:
    “After months of trying different Roms, but not finding one that Actually gave me a fully operational non problematic tablet, and the frustrating with NI for not delivering on their promises…”

    So, my question is still not answered. Does a decent oerating system (ROM) exist for this tables. Does NI or anybody can answer this basic question, 10 months after sales begun. That thing was supposed to be a wonder, not a prototype you throw away because it never reach the level of a consumer product.

    By the way, anybody gives me decent money and my PQi wifi is out.

  28. I am so loving it when people state the fact and these 2 guys defend NI as if they are paid to do that (are they!!). I stated the same in one of the earlier blogs when Mr. Rohan was all into adam 2. i asked him a simple question why is he not commenting about the present condition of adam 1 and the customers. I did not buy the adam as a prototype but for the fact that it was stated to be a competitive tablet to ipad and all these months I have been proved wrong.
    I am glad that atleast TR guys are putting efforts to get us what NI had promised.
    Mr. Phillip and Mr. dwarf4242 unlike you guys we haven’t paid for the product and I don’t intend to give energy and time to NI, we have paid to get usage out of the product and not to gamble.
    I fully support nicklaus18 for his frustration and pain to see the money wasted on this product.

  29. It is difficult to deal with the limitations in all current Tablets. And everyone is still waiting for the promise of ICS. I am positive that there will be problems and fustrations working with it also, so if you are voicing fustration now I can see that this will be a permanent state because everyone is still working with promised, wished for, improvements. I am just glad that NI is surrounded by a comprehensive, enthused and commited group of people connecting the dots and layering the trouble spots.Good luck to you but we are all reaching for the same ring so good luck to us all.

  30. Great post! Thanks for all your hard work, it is good to see that NI recognizes the talent that is willing to help them along.

  31. Sassoon, I agree with you about the start of this experience, NI-Adam; the unfulfilled expectations created by an over estimation of what was possible and public over enthusiasm. I thought that I would be getting a replacement for my laptop on which I would be able to create on the run as inspiration struck. I would be able to sketch, write, cut and paste, etc. I believed, I was a fan boy in capital letters. That was yesterday, today, after working with the Adam, an HP Touchpad, Transformer, a Nook tablet and various eReaders, I am still searching and waiting, I am now somewhat more realistic and realise. that it will be awhile and until then just go with the flow. But I no longer see fan boys, just optimists trying to push the possible into the real.

  32. Philip and dwarf4242 +1+1+1 +1

    I’m not sure why ppl don’t understand a product like adam and the way its being co-developed but still buy it and complain …

    Why doesn’t anyone ask Apple that I’m an early adopter of iPad, bought iPad1 … now I want all features of iPad2,3 etc… in the same device! Folks will still queue for a new iPad, but complain when NI focusses on Adam2!

    I’m still a noob playing around with ICS now on my adam, but pleased atleast that I got it much before many android tablets offered it and the process was transparent and social …

    Hiccups are always there and one should be prepared while working and investing in innovations…

    Peace …

  33. @Adamfreko & Sid Mishra ++1, we need a wider view not narrow and focused on the realities of the possible being dealt with by NI and the big boys. If MSF is having a hard time then NI should be applauded for accomplishments.

  34. It look like some peoples have very short memory
    This was not a comunity developement effort at lunch, it turned like that because of NI faillure to develop Eden 2 or Honeycomb AS THEY PROMISED numerous times.
    Whell, i must say i have no memory either… so lets look at past blogs from Rohan.

    What Rohan had to say the few months before Adam’s lunch.
    January 28 2011:
    “We have started working on the Honeycomb and looking into how soon can we offer the update to you all!”
    Soon is months or years?
    February 8 2011:
    “Our User Interface team just expanded 4 times! For the Honeycomb we wanted a new team, and started working on the hiring process since last November.”
    Is it 4×1 or 4×0 ?
    March 29 2011:
    “There is one special assurance for Adam owners. their devices will never get obsolete. The OS will get continuous updates (recently we pushed one more) and UPGRADES”
    I will definitely not get that kind of assurance for my Prius!

    Can somebody still tell me i am way off thinking a bought a good customer product, and that the software will mature in time ?
    By the way, a early adopter is somebody willing to wait a few months for the product to get fully functionnal. I was early adopter for the first Google phone.
    The first few months it was buggy, but after a few months it became a really good and stable product.
    Please stop pretending it was some kind of developement project and peoples buying it were willing to be cobay.
    NI simply failled to continu software developement on their one product. The now rely on the developper comunity to do it for them.
    It is a very interesting project for you guys, but we do not all have time to spend countless houres to make that device work decently.

    For me Rohan is just a little to much of a dreamer to be a good business man. He looks so far ahead that he does not see where he puts its steps.
    He is promoting some pretty cool stuff, but is not able to deliver system updates (not endless beta) for NI one and only product.

    No harm

  35. I wonder, in wich year and month a good working Adam tablet is released? When i read this blog and comments then i can forget to buy a NI Adam.
    Martin IJzerman
    the Netherlands

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