Having tried to raise funds through a Kickstarter campaign around the start of the year, which fell short of their quite ambitious goal, RISC OS Cloverleaf have had a second try. And this time they seem to have reached their target – which was set much lower than before.
The original campaign saw a target of €50,000 (currently around £43,000), and achieved pledges totalling €26,886 (£23,000) – so while the amount they were hoping to reach was very ambitious, the amount they did reach was very impressive. However, because of the way Kickstarter works, because it was short of the target, it wasn’t successful, and nobody who pledged had to pay anything.
This time around, the target was a much more modest €6,000 (a little over £5,000), and not only does it appear to have been reached, but the figures shown on the Kickstarter page indicate that it has been exceeded. As of now, the pledges total €7,186 (almost £6,200), and there is still plenty of time to for those who wish to do so to add to that – another 32 days, in fact.
I should note that there are issues and questions around the newer campaign, which have been – are being – discussed in great detail on the RISC OS Open forum. I’m not going to go into any of that here, other than to suggest that if you’re considering making a contribution to the campaign (and it is arguably now a contribution rather than a pledge) please make sure you read and understand all of the risks and issues discussed there. It’s very much a case of caveat emptor.
On the other hand, the lower-end amounts are clearly more about offering support for little or no reward or return – the very lowest pledge is for €10 (around £9) with no reward at all, for example; a case of backing the project in order to help further its goal, with the only reward being a sense of satisfaction at having done so. Another option would be the €19 (£17) level in return for a T-shirt, with difference in production cost and pledge being the amount that will go to the campaign (minus the Kickstarter fees, of course).
Cloverleaf’s Stefan Fröhling sent a press release to the RISCOSitory bunker, which reads:
We are happy to announce the successful restart of our Kickstarter Cloverleaf RISC OS project. The funding is already open for 10 days and we reached the minimum financial goal of 6000 Euro after 9 days. We have refined the project for its new incarnation and have provided more detail than in the previous Kickstarter.
The main objective of our campaign is still to attract new users to RISC OS, rather than to become a competitor in the limited RISC OS community. That is why we have chosen Kickstarter and Facebook as our marketing platforms – to reach people beyond the current RISC OS community. Our goal is to promote RISC OS as a unique operating system, and to find new users, helping revive this amazing OS.
Additionally, it is still our aim to bring the RockChip RK3399 ARM SoC to RISC OS world, working with our partners and programmers both inside and outside the traditional RISC OS world. This will give us a range of exciting SBC boards and access to fast EMMC and NVMe mass storage which are not included in current Raspberry Pi hardware. This also unlocks access to a new 14″-laptop in the form of the PineBook Pro with 4 GB RAM, 64 GB EMMC and NVMe connector. This time we are offering the RK3399 RISC OS image separately for a price of 199 Euro (approx £172 ). This price includes also our Cloverleaf RISC OS Standard distro with High-res Doom game and full SparkFS (compressing ZIP and Tar files). There are two more distros available, the Plus and the Art distro, with many additional valuable programs.
For new RISC OS users, we offer the plug&play Kitten Pi based on the Raspberry Pi 4B for 299 Euro (approx. £259) including the Cloverleaf RISC OS Standard distro.
For those of you looking for new hardware, we offer the Cloverleaf Puma desktop PC with 4 GB RAM, 32 GB EMMC and NVMe connector based on the RK3399 for 399 Euro (approx. £344). The driver for NVMe is a separate pledge.
This time the 14″ laptop is not part of the funding as Kickstarter have become more restrictive of projects leveraging external hardware designs (ie. we can’t offer items that we don’t build ourselves). Therefore we decided to offer the RK3399 RISC OS image separately and customers can purchase the laptop directly from the manufacturer Pine64 or at our shops (Cloverleaf or R-Comp Interactive). The RK3399 image will work also with a selection of RK3399 SBC boards. Currently, the development is based on the Pine RockPro64 but we plan to include also the Radxa RockPi 4B. So if you want the RockChip RK3399 to become part of the RISC OS world then please help to fund the development of the port.
The project also consists also of multiple software projects which you can pledge to separately, or add to your hardware order:
- ArtCube (photo editing) (49 Euro/£42)
- CodeCube (programming IDE) (69 Euro/£60)
- New !Desktop environment (49 Euro/£42)(open-source initiative by Paolo Zaino)
- New Filer (49 Euro/£42)
- WIFI driver (49 Euro/£42)
- NVMe driver (49 Euro/£42)
- 2D/3D GPU driver based on Mesa for RK3399 (49 Euro/£42)
If 49 Euro/£42 is too much for you then you can fund smaller amount too. With each pledge in the crowdfunding for software or hardware, you are supporting the development of new drivers, UI/interface improvements or more applications.
For details please look into the Kickstarter page.
We don’t necessarily expect to receive a full funding for all the packages we offer. Our future plan is to finance the missing elements with the sales of software, hardware and the Cloverleaf RISC OS distribution. The packages that get the most funding will be taken care of first. If a third party (organization or individual) solves one of the tasks we will forward the funds to them. If the pledges for one reward are too low we will refund your pledge or ask you to contribute it to another part of the project.
Funders receive a copy/license for the software they have supported. For application developments such as ArtCube or CodeCube, beta-versions will be delivered before the final release.
Thanks for your interest!