This week I received a couple of PandaBoards, courtesy of our friends at Canonical by way of our friends around Kubuntu. The goal is to get Plasma Active running well on the platform.
It is very much a typical developer board: no cables, no boot device included and lots of "this won't work until you add this other software over there" to it. I really can't fathom why a basic set of cables and a basic boot disk is not included. Yes, it would inflate the cost of the box a bit, but a "bare bones" version would be easy to offer in tandem. The result would be that a few days of work by the manufacturer (prepping the boot system) along with procuring the cable sets would eliminate untold hours from developers wanting to get involved and give that much-needed "instant gratification" feel.
Which is to say, my first impressions were not great, and it had nothing to do with the hardware or the software. Both of which, I might add, look pretty darn good. :)
Once I have more of this beast up and running, I need to send the second device on to someone in the Plasma team to join me in working on it. I understand that Martin "KWinning" Graesslin also has one to continue working on KWin's GLES support to ensure it works well on these kinds of smaller ARM devices.
We'll keep you all posted as we make further progress. I'd love to see a downloadable bootable image with Plasma Active on it as a final result.