[linux-audio-dev] Re: Akai's MPC4000 Sampler/Workstation Open Source Project

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Thu Jul 27 20:51:33 UTC 2006

On Thursday 27 July 2006 15:02, Renich Bon Ćirić wrote:
>Jay Vaughan wrote:
>>>  > > There are public-domain RTOSes available that are suitable for
>>>  > > this task. To those, you can add drivers for USB and FAT32.
>>>  > > Without an RTOS to give you hard real-time scheduling, you have
>>>  > > no chance to achieve the rock-steady timing that the MPC
>>>  > > currently has.
>>> that sucks. that really does. because my linux systems have the same
>>> rock steady timing as the MPC. actually, their timing is even better
>>> than the MPC. somebody must have made a mistake around here.
>> i assure you, linux performs on par with "other public-domain RTOSes"
>> in the real-time department, in the right hands .. like all good
>> instruments ..
>Guys, one question that, I believe, has been answered before. Is the
>service manual enough to start the OS from scratch?

Finally, a question is raised that I can make a comment on, based on 55 
years of chasing electrons around for a living.  Yeah, I'm getting to be a 
chrotchety old coot in my retirement years. :)

># Service Manual

After spending about half an hour perusing that pdf, I can, as a C.E.T. who 
has carved some code in a past life, say that the answer is a rather 
resounding no.  There is nowhere near enough there, without chaseing each 
and every chip maker down and somehow acquiring all the interface 
requirements.  Properly specified, like we used to be able to get chip 
info back in the 80's, I'd imagine that pdf would have to grow another 
thousand pages.

># Where it all started
>Thanks for all the help and comments! I am very glad to have joined this
>mailing list ;=)

I can't help but echo the reticence already expressed here regarding the 
proprietary nature of this device.  If Akai wants to make money on the 
hardware by selling it to die-hard linux professional audio people, either 
they do their own OS for it and charge whatever they think the whole 
package is worth, or open the device up just as if it was a GPL piece of 
software and be prepared to sell the hardware for a decent price after 
assuming a sales level of x many units.  I certainly don't see 3 grand 
worth of parts, pcb, drive and silk screening there, far less in fact.

I suspect that there will be very little support offered by the average 
liux coder if he knows the patches he writes will disappear into something 
that is not going to be open-sourced.

From my viewpoint, Akai's legal dept., who is obviously controlling what 
Renich can say, will see to it that the product fails.  Its up to Akai to 
make a liar out of me.  If they would join the open source camp by 
supporting the coders with all the info, publicly available to any and 
all, that they will need to write the drivers this device will need, 
distribute this OS under the GPL with a server that lets *anyone* download 
it for free, or on a mailable cd for a couple of bucks american, while 
selling the hardware for $1000 to $1500, and watch the hardware sales 
blossum like our wild flowers along the interstate.  Thats because the 
unshackled coders will write stuff that stretches the limits of what the 
hardware can do, just to see if they can.  Its rather like climbing Mt. 
Everest, because its there. :)

Cheers, Gene
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