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OpenMoko's FreeRunner Rises From the Ashes

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the yews-uh-spelt-czech-her dept.

Cellphones 133

ChristW writes "Remember OpenMoko's first free and open source phones, the GTA-01 and GTA-02 (also called FreeRunner)? There is a new project called Phoenux. The German company Golden Delicous is building a new main board (called GTA-04) for the GTA01/02 case. The new hardware features a DM3730 (800 MHz) processor, a GTM601W UMTS (HSPA) module, and lots more." Would you pay extra for a phone that comes with a Debian build?

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Nice, but... (4, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231844)

Everyone's already moved on to A9 based SoC's for things. If they'd consider an A9 based SoC (Something like the OMAP4 in the currently MIA Samsung Galaxy Nexus, for example...) for the OpenMoko platform, it might be a gem.

Re:Nice, but... (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232128)

It's easy to move on to A9 based platforms when you can go to the SoC vendor and say "we're gonna ship a couple million." They'll be all over supplying you with the chips you need.

When you're someone small like this, you get stuck at the back of the pack. A9 based chips they can get will probably be available in a year and a half or so...

Re:Nice, but... (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233270)

Pandaboard manages it nicely enough...

Re:Nice, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233594)

By being backed by a SoC manufacturer, or was that the Beagleboard?

Re:Nice, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38234080)

Both boards are "backed" by TI after a fashion. It should be noted that it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to get the same sort of backing here for a reference phone platform for them- TI uses BeagleBoards and PandaBoards as inexpensive reference/dev platforms.

Re:Nice, but... (2)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233694)

Yeah, but the licensing will likely kill them. So many licensing hurdles to jump when building a cellular device.

Of course, as I look at my GTA02 Freerunner sitting on my desk, if the drivers don't work and runs only 3G, this effort will be another wasted effort.

Re:Nice, but... (4, Insightful)

tzanger (1575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232560)

As long as they're designing it to fit in that god-awful "stretched hockey-puck" case that the original openmoko was built for... no, it won't be a gem.

I was incredibly excited about the openmoko, until I saw it. Such a wasteful use of physical space.

Re:Nice, but... (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233282)

Okay, how about less of a turd? :-D

No. (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231848)

Sorry not really.
Get an HTC HD2. It runs linux with a little hacking as well as Android, WM6.5, WP7, and probably AmigaOS..

Re:No. (4, Insightful)

LeanSystems (2513566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231890)

Even further, I don't want most of that for my primary phone. I want my primary phone to function everytime, when needed. And maybe I'm the exception, but usually my hacking projects are fun and exciting, but also full of troubleshooting and frustration (which is part the excitement to get it working again).

Would I pay some money for a device to hack up that had some really cool features... sure. But still not sure this is the one.

Re:No. (-1, Redundant)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231992)

Get an HTC HD2. It does seem to run everything.

Re:No. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232074)

And how much do you get for each ad you're going to write in the comments?

Re:No. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232158)

10 blowjobs from your mom.

AmigaOS is the future for smartphone, I own one (1)

rzr (898397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233808)

Do you remember those time ? pple use to make demos instead of webpages and the h2h (hand2hand) was the internet ... -- http://rzr.online.fr/q/amiga# [online.fr] #Amiga #SmartPhone is real ! #video of me playing battle #chess on #harmattan #N950Club #AmigaWillNeverDie

Re:No. (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38235114)

I had an N900. Never again. I'm quite fed up with open source software that just doesn't work right, and the lack of choice, and I could go on for quite a while. I've had it with open source software.

Re:No. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38235198)

Curious, for me it's the opposite.
I got an N900 when it first came out and I've essentially been in love with it from the start. It's starting to show signs of age now and I'm kind of looking for another, but there's just nothing on the market that could replace it right now.

FreeRunner (4, Informative)

pipatron (966506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231854)

A friend gave me the Neo FreeRunner a long time ago. The graphics chip in combination with the display really killed the device. It's insanely slow, which I assume scared a lot of potential developers away. I hope this new version will be more balanced.

Re:FreeRunner (1)

tencatl (2509490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232314)

I thought what killed it was the buzzing sound making it impossible to actually phone, without modifying the actual hardware.

Re:FreeRunner (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232420)

Want more dissapointment? try using it as a phone.

The hardware is an epic fail. I have two of them. both 100% useless as a phone.

Re:FreeRunner (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232434)

This might start a flamewar... but in my experience X support for lesser-known chipsets is pretty terrible and a simple framebuffer is always faster. The issue could just be a simple choice of driver.

Although with the FreeRunner I think the main deficiency is the non-capacitive touchscreen.

Pay more? (4, Insightful)

frisket (149522) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231856)

Yes, if it doesn't have CarrierIQ

Re:Pay more? (1, Funny)

frisket (149522) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231870)

Oh, and assuming it does actually make and receive phone calls and texts :-)

yes.. wait. how much more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38231874)

As I remember was specially pricy compared to mainstream, subsidized phones. Last time I got away with a Pre, but since there are no substitutes for it, I thought I would be stuck with Android and crossing fingers I could root it.

Debian in my phone would be oh so awesome.

Re:yes.. wait. how much more? (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231996)

The stupid thing about the original FreeRunner was that it only did GPRS, when everything else did UMTS. For a programmable smartphone, not having a decent speed data connection made it pointless.

No CarrierIQ? (5, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231878)

I'd pay more for a phone without CarrierIQ

Re:No CarrierIQ? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232114)

Despite the "funny" mod, I'm totally serious. If openmoko isn't an option I'll be buying a non-subsidized android phone from a manufacturer that doesn't install carrierIQ. I'm happy that my iPhone seems to be okay, but I know Apple will abuse it eventually.

Re:No CarrierIQ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232198)

Or just load CyanogenMod on any of the numerous devices they support. No more CIQ.

Re:No CarrierIQ? (1)

emj (15659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232336)

Yes but the will still support the usage of CarrierIQ.

Re:No CarrierIQ? (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232462)

No, as CarrierIQ is not installed, and can't be installed OTA by the network.

Re:No CarrierIQ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232838)

> Yes but the will still support the usage of CarrierIQ.

Only if you install it yourself. If you control the bootloader and kernel level privileges, then YOU get to say what is allowed or not allowed to run on your device.

Ownership of your hardware. What a concept. It's too bad millions upon millions of advert-addled consumers seem intent on destroying the very concept.

Re:No CarrierIQ? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38235456)

I think OP's point is that by purchasing a device from a manufacturer who uses CarrierIQ, you are supporting their investment into licensing the CarrierIQ software.

If you go to a Ford dealership and buy a Fiesta, do you think Ford care if you strip the seats out and replace them with a bench? Nope, you still love Ford, and all the stuff Ford gave you.

Re:No CarrierIQ? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232328)

Despite the "funny" mod, I'm totally serious. If openmoko isn't an option I'll be buying a non-subsidized android phone from a manufacturer that doesn't install carrierIQ. I'm happy that my iPhone seems to be okay, but I know Apple will abuse it eventually.

Agreed, although I do take issue with the concept of having to pay more to not have a keylogger on my phone.

If privacy is contingent on paying a premium, than only the wealthy will have any privacy.

Re:No CarrierIQ? (1)

NSash (711724) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232678)

I do take issue with the concept of having to pay more to not have a keylogger on my phone.

It makes sense to me that company might offer a cheaper-but-spyware-riddled version of a phone. It's not much different from adware, which is often free or cheaper than other software of its type. Whether you cast it as "paying a premium for privacy" or "getting a discount for giving up privacy", it's the same idea as long as the company is upfront about the spyware (if they aren't, then they're just crooks).

Re:No CarrierIQ? (1)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233210)

Pick up one of the pure-google phones. My Nexus S doesn't have it on there.

Re:No CarrierIQ? (1)

DraconPern (521756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38234968)

Get an iphone.

"Golden Delicious" phones? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231882)

Queue the Apple law suites in 3-2-1...

Re:"Golden Delicious" phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232028)

Cue.

Re:"Golden Delicious" phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232492)

Suit.

Re:"Golden Delicious" phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232512)

Cue.

No, queue. It's easier to shoot the lawyers if they line up neatly.

open radio? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231904)

is the radio firmware still open?

Re:open radio? (2)

lindi (634828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232936)

gta02 radio firmware was not open either.

I don't want to resolder my microphone (1)

emj (15659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231906)

The problem is that it has to be something that I can let other people use, I had a hard time communicating with my friends who used FreeRunner before things got as stable as they are now.

maybe (1)

Kusuriya (633870) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231914)

maybe with a better processor, and at least a Gentoo build, maybe an OpenBSD build.

Re:maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233304)

An OpenBSD phone would rule. However, to fit the idea of security, it would have to be a phone that encouraged privacy rather than stripping it from the user.

But does it make phonecalls? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38231944)

>Would you pay extra for a phone that comes with a Debian build?

Yes. If I had the extra money, I'd get one even if it couldn't make phone calls or hold a charge for half a day. Just for the potential of it being able to actually reasonably be used as a phone. If it couldn't reach that, I'd find some other use for it, as it still would be a pocket sized debian box with a built-in screen.

When the first(or second?) one came, I wanted one, but also needed a working phone, so I got the less cool and free n900 was more of a sweet-spot of usability and gnu/linuxiness.

Has the freerunner become reasonably usable as a phone yet?

Re:But does it make phonecalls? (2)

Zeroedout (2036220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232020)

It's very usable as a phone. As long as I'm using stable versions of software, I don't miss calls. There are odd bugs here and there with newer kernels, but you can decide if the features are worth the costs.

Re:But does it make phonecalls? (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232296)

What software stack and version do you use exactly? My poor phone is just resting on a shelf now. Could use some stable *working* software.

Re:But does it make phonecalls? (4, Informative)

davetv (897037) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233898)

I have a freerunner GTA-02 and use it as a daily phone. I have qtmoko V19 in NAND as the stable platform and qtmoko V35 as experimental on SD. I will be buying a GTA-04 board in the new year.

Maybe (4, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38231994)

I really liked the Maemo OS. It was very open, and worked like a normal Linux system. Android looks very unappealing in the way it replaces pretty much all of the base system and requires coding specifically for it.

So I'd be quite willing to support a project along these lines, so long a few minimum requirements are fulfilled:

1. It's usable. Not necessarily 100% polished, but at a minimum boots up, charges, and makes and receives phone calls, with acceptable performance and no random crashes.

I considered getting a Freerunner back when it was new, but it I needed it to work as a phone, and the state at the time seemed to involve things like the inability to charge the battery if it was ever fully discharged.

2. It works like a normal Linux system. I want something like the N900, where I can compile, debug and run programs just like on my own box.

Re:Maybe (4, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232362)

N900 is weak as a phone but outstanding as a micro-laptop. You need to bash some parts into sanity (like, keybindings that work with shift-Fn [angband.pl] without a pull-down list of symbols), but you get an actual usable Unix system, rather than just a phone with fart apps like iPhone or Android are.

Re:Maybe (2)

AdamWill (604569) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232372)

why not just contribute to Meego / Mer / Tizen / whatever the hell it's called today? Yes it's niche and probably doomed, but then hey, so is Openmoko. And Meego/Mer/Tizen/MaryPoppins is somewhat more developed.

Or, heck, keep using your N900. It appears to be about as powerful as this 'new' Freerunner hardware...

Re:Maybe (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232528)

I'm considering that, yes. I've been actually trying to figure out if there's anything to contribute to, as in my understanding Meego was a corporate driven project, and I'm not sure if I have it in me to fork an entire distribution.

Sure, I still have the N900. I'd say the largest problem with it is RAM, it's really got the bare minimum for what it does. I got a N9 recently and things are much smoother. And also a lot more locked down, which is providing some motivation for trying to find something else N900-like.

Re:Maybe (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232592)

I'm not sure if I have it in me to fork an entire distribution.

That's what Mer is for. It is a fork of MeeGo that intends to retain compatibility with MeeGo and eventually Tizen. As for something truly usable, Nemo and Cordia HD are based upon Mer and provide UIs of their own (as Mer does not supply one.) Beyond that, making changes to the base packages and getting them pushed upstream is one of the benefits of truly being FOSS based.

If you want to talk to people about it, there are mailing lists and IRC channels (freenode.net, #mer, #nemomobile) though you will need to keep in mind that many of the leads are in Europe.

Re:Maybe (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232628)

That's what Mer is for. It is a fork of MeeGo that intends to retain compatibility with MeeGo and eventually Tizen. As for something truly usable, Nemo and Cordia HD are based upon Mer and provide UIs of their own (as Mer does not supply one.) Beyond that, making changes to the base packages and getting them pushed upstream is one of the benefits of truly being FOSS based.

Awesome, thanks a lot. You just saved me some time :-)

Now that my N900 isn't my main phone anymore I can experiment with it a lot more, so I'll be giving that a try.

If you want to talk to people about it, there are mailing lists and IRC channels (freenode.net, #mer, #nemomobile) though you will need to keep in mind that many of the leads are in Europe.

Cool, thanks. And that works just fine for me, I'm in Europe too.

Re:Maybe (1)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233340)

I am curious about your experiences with the Nokia N9 as I was planning on buying one in part due to liking the Nokia N810 and being able to use it as a pocket-sized Linux computer (I never got an N900). I had thought it was pretty easy to get access to a root terminal and do whatever on it just like the N810. Is this not the case?

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38234816)

Didn't see a reply here so I am replying. Disclaimer: I work for Nokia(also why anonymous).

So... I got a production N9 and it was very easy to root. Originally you just ssh to localhost after enabling developer mode in settings. With the first update, they changed things around, but a quick google search yielded a result a few weeks ago(I forgot exactly what I did).

In Summary, N9 is a fantastic linux phone

Re:Maybe (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38234892)

N9 sucks. Gorgeous hardware for an iPhone-like concept (except the AMOLED is pentile), but no keyboard, and it comes with Aegis, a bloody steward as it were, left behind to enforce the true owner's (i.e. Nokia's) wishes in their absence. No chroot for you!

N950 has keyboard, and as a "developer's device" permits you to disable Aegis completely, but they won't sell the damned thing...

I'd recommend an N900 over N9 for any N810 fan at this point, even if it were the same price.

Re:Maybe (1)

buchanmilne (258619) | more than 2 years ago | (#38235108)

N950 has keyboard, and as a "developer's device" permits you to disable Aegis completely

The *exact* method that worked on N950, reportedly worked (by design) on N9.

Aegis does have some value. I don't think N900 was ready for a mainstream audience, there would have been rootkit apps all over. Aegis goes some way to protecting users from malicious apps.

Re:Maybe (3, Informative)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38235554)

As a phone, it's very good. The performance is perfect, everything is smooth and works well. There are a few things lacking in a few places, like the lack of ability to create a Jabber account from the GUI, though it can be done from the commandline. Things like that seem to be because the release was somewhat rushed.

For commandline stuff, the on-screen keyboard isn't very good. If you're going to type a lot, get a N900. The N9 currently seems to lack bluetooth keyboard support for some reason, though it seems trivial to add if you flash the kernel (see below on that)

The N900 is rather slow in comparison to the N9, but if you want a pocket sized Linux box, it's exactly the thing to get. It also has more applications available. For instance OpenVPN isn't yet on the N9. Also, there's none of the aegis stuff I describe below on it, so you're quite free to do whatever you want.

Regarding root access: the anon misses a few things. Yes, it's easy to get root (enable develper mode, ssh in as developer@, devel-su, "rootme"). However, you don't really get root access that way.

There's this thing called "aegis", which is a combination of an permissions system, integrity checker, and encryption.

The permissions system means that even as root, you can't do some things like loading modules.

The integrity checker means that if you manage to bypass the security and change one of the protected binaries, the phone will notice and brick itself. It's fixable by reflashing, though.

The encryption part means that some applications have encrypted data stores. You can flash the phone with a custom kernel where aegis is disabled, however the bootloader will notice it's not official. As a result the keys it uses will change (or are not available at all, I'm not sure about the specifics yet), and the encrypted data stores become unreadable. This gets you real root on the device, with loading modules and all, but it seems you will lose a good part of the official applications. In my understanding this is not all that critical, and if one was determined enough, the missing functionality could be replaced.

Re:Maybe (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233386)

as in my understanding Meego was a corporate driven project, and I'm not sure if I have it in me to fork an entire distribution.

Then don't fork the entire distribution, but just port some of the useful apps to Debian (like something useful to actually make phone calls for example...). That would be very valuable work!

Re:Maybe (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233372)

why not just contribute to Meego / Mer / Tizen / whatever the hell it's called today?

Because it makes no sense to contribute to such project, when we got a solid base in Debian. Contributing nice phone apps in Debian will for sure make it to the device sooner or later. Contributing to Tizen, then you might see the full of the OS simply die for whatever reason not under your control.

Most people will NEVER want this... (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232062)

I'm surprised that anyone honestly believes a substantial number of people want this product. Are there a few hobbyist geeks out there who would die for it? Sure. Are there very many of them? No. Will most people EVER be interested in something like this? No freakin' way. If they're doing this as a hobby, well, live it up. If they're under the delusion that it matters, they're out of touch with reality.

Re:Most people will NEVER want this... (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232348)

Great, thank you for stating the obvious. Do you have some overreaching point, or are you just here to beat people over the head with your wisdom?

Re:Most people will NEVER want this... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232446)

So THAT'S why I didn't feel anything... At all.

Re:Most people will NEVER want this... (3, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233700)

You are guilty of preptuating one of the more annoyingly persistent memes on slashdot that one must have an insanely huge market to be a success. Plenty of people make a good living shipping modest volumes of a niche product.

If they're under the delusion that it matters, they're out of touch with reality.

I think you're under the delusion that you are able to offer sound business advice.

Re:Most people will NEVER want this... (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233728)

Oh, yeah. When one of these delusional "open source hardware" projects finally turns a profit and matters, then we'll talk. Until then, they're all delusional.

They already paid extra for that sort of phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232070)

Would you pay extra for a phone that comes with a Debian build?

Good question! Say, I've got a right jolly good idea! Why don't we ask a proud N900 user* this question? Seeing as how this is a Slashdot post about phones in some capacity, I'm certain at least one of them (of the ten or so) will stop by to tell us allllllllll about how much more value a Debian build on a phone is and how much they're willing to overpay for it!

*: Yes, "proud" and "N900 user" are redundant, I know.

Re:They already paid extra for that sort of phone (3, Interesting)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233488)

It seems like you feel that people using n900 are just spotty teenagers with glasses with no friends but their computers. It's not about being proud, but about having the tool that you need. I well understand that a Debian based phone might not be useful for the masses, but it's the right tool for me. I *NEED* some of the features that are in it, like git (we store/share our company passwords using that), networking tools (I built myself mtr), a real ssh client with ssh key support, and many more. I don't need them because it's "cool", or to be "proud", I need them for my WORK. Oh, and I don't use the n900 as a phone, because it's a really crappy phone that is so slow that you can actually miss phone calls (and because of obscure contracts that I would force me to overpay to do both 3G and phone calls over here), and I rarely start the messaging stuff because it makes the phone horribly slow.

So I wouldn't pay more for a phone that comes with Debian (since I already own one), unless it is ALSO a decent phone, which might be the issue here with the FreeRunner too.

GTA4 on phone! (2)

nostrumuva (949579) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232072)

Sweet now I can hit pedestrians in a car on my phone, while hitting pedestrians in a car because I'm on my phone! Oh... motherboard... darn.

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232096)

Android with root and a custom ROM is linux enough for me. And it has a modern cpu & gpu, a nice display, a good UI, and developers actually writing software for it. I wouldn't pay extra for an unsupported, oddball device with ancient hardware just because it happens to run Debian and run apps designed for a PC.

How much???? (1)

Oryn (136445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232180)

At 666 Euros they can keep it too.

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232208)

I personally heard about this a month ago. Besides, there is nothing innovative here. Reworking the same exiting technology?
Nothing to see here, move along.

New Screen (3, Interesting)

johnkoer (163434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232238)

If they are not replacing the screen, just the board, then I think they are wasting their time. Based on how awkward the FreeRunner [amazon.com] is with regards to the shape and size of the screen (480x640), they will never be able to compete with any recent Android or iPhone model.

Since they stated it will be using the same case, they are really limiting how much they can do for the FreeRunner.

Re:New Screen (2)

pipatron (966506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232326)

It doesn't have to compete with any recent Android or iPhone model, it just have to make the mis-designed FreeRunner more usable for the few geeks that have one.

we need more touchscreen friendly FOSS apps (1)

lindi (634828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232856)

As somebody who has used freerunner since 2008 daily I can say that for me the largest problem is the lack of stable touchscreen friendly FOSS applications. For example I'm currently using the debian "dates" package as my calendar but that is going to be removed since upstream has abandoned it ages ago. I can't take the calendar from meego since it does not come with source code. I could take the android calendar but unfortunately after that it'd be difficult to run non-android applications. Perhaps Tizen will write me an HTML5 calendar application that I can then use with chromium? Unfortunately chromium is not very touchscreen friendly either. There is the chromeTouch extension but it does not come with a free license (I mailed the author in 2010 but got no reply).

Re:we need more touchscreen friendly FOSS apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233882)

There is the chromeTouch extension but it does not come with a free license (I mailed the author in 2010 but got no reply).

What are you, 12?
Not using something that solves your problem because it doesn't come with a piece of text attached to it?
I don't want to use that word that begins with "free" and ends with "tard", but damn, you're asking for it.

Re:we need more touchscreen friendly FOSS apps (1)

lindi (634828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38234288)

It has some bugs that I'd like to fix and I'd also like to distribute it as part of debian. Need a permission from the author to do that.

Lous hardware specs (1)

sirlark (1676276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232438)

Why are all the free/open hardware devices so underspeced? The reason I never bought a neo during round 1 was because it was GPRS only, no 3G even when plenty of other phones were coming out with 3G. The n900 looked fantastic, but for the lousy processor (800Mhz vs 1Ghz as standard for other smart phones). Seriously, if you're expected to pay $400, which was roughly what the neo 1773 cost when it first went on sale (not 100% sure, but I remember thinking "Fuck! That's expensive") then provide up to date hardware.

Re:Lousy hardware specs (1)

Zombie (8332) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232536)

Have you checked out the N9? The top-selling, currently highest rated smartphone? It fixes all of the N9 slowness and has awesome specs.

Re:Lousy hardware specs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232556)

N9 has no hardware keyboard. automatic fail.

Re:Lous hardware specs (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232564)

I don't think 200MHz make that much of a difference. The main downside to the N900 in my experience is that it only has 256MB RAM, and needs every drop of it. It also uses a swap partition.

If it had say, 512MB it'd probably work much better. That can be seen on the N9, which is silky smooth and has 1GB RAM, most of which seems to go on simply keeping the base system preloaded to make the basic apps start faster.

it's called the n900 (4, Interesting)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38232530)

On top of running debian and being fully open source (well, maybe not the hardware and all the firmware) it seemed fully functional and had great hardware. I still preferred Android because in spite of being less open, it allowed for easier development and I found it more exciting.

It's a shame maemo (or whatever they call it these days) is not going to take off, because it actually looked pretty good, had very good performance, and was very hacker-friendly. Really sad :(

OpenMoko has the flaw (and benefit) of being fully open source to the hardware. Thing is, if they are not going to produce millions, cost is going to be very high. Maybe if they focused on porting maemo and did sell millions.. but I'm not sure millions of people would see the benefit of running open source hardware, for the same reason most don't care if the software is free or proprietary. I think nokia with the n900 and Android with the nexus phones have done a great job of providing a nice trade-off between openness, usability, and popularity (who would have thought the year of the linux smartphone was so nigh! ;) )

Re:it's called the n900 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232852)

I've still got my n900 and don't think anything could make me part from it, yes as a phone its crap, but as debian in your pocket its kickass

No. Why? Care factor zero! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232558)

Would you pay extra for a phone that comes with a Debian build?

No... I wouldn't, and nor would most normal sane people.
They want a device that works as its supposed do, doesn't lockup and need to be rebooted constantly. They want software features that are easy for them to use and gives the 'fancy' features that are important to them (For some thats calls and text, for others it may be embedded twitter/stalkbook)

It's only the near relious zealots who insinst it must run debian, or android (2.2, 2.3, 4.0 ooohh... must be the latest greatest)

I for one couldn't give a proveribal sh1t whether its debian, android, IOS, BBX, PalmOS, Windows5/6/7 - I just want the damn thing to work.... at a price I'm willing to pay (which is to say on par with, or perhaps cheaper than the rest of the competition)
I amazed at the marketing folks putting out catalogues for the various carriers and phone/network resellers with little android logos for those phones - does Joe Consumer really know the difference and what it means to them? or are the marketers merely jumping on the latest buzzword (ooh - imagine that!)

It's the same OS centric bigotry that leads to the OS flamewars for PC's. Who gives a flying frogs fat ass if its MacOS, BEOS, GEM, DOS, Windoes, *nix, *BSD etc. Its feature/form/functionality that is important - not the fanboism of supporting the vendor it came from.

Re:No. Why? Care factor zero! (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233562)

Using a full Debian operating system for your *work* has nothing to do with being a fanboy. I fully understand that some people might like the latest fart app, but please in your turn, understand that it might not be everyone's need. And yes, being able to have all the GNU tools IS important and very convenient. I do care my phone runs a full GNU based OS when I'll find my way in with ssh, openVPN, mtr, git, etc. By the way, in my case, I don't even use that device as a phone, just as a tiny laptop that fits in my pocket, and that appears to also have some phone functionality.

Re:No. Why? Care factor zero! (1)

Georules (655379) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233892)

You do know you are on slashdot, right? News for nerds? I mean, I assumed nerds are interested in what OS their devices have, and what they could potentially hack/extend them to do.

Irrelevant thanks to Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38232568)

OpenMoko was a nice idea when the alternatives were Symbian, Blackberry, and iOS. Unfortunately, the devs dropped the ball in several areas and mature, inexpensive hardware was nonexistent for this kind of project back then. A year after OpenMoko's release, Android 1.0 hit store shelves along with the source code on the net. Nowadays you can pick up an 800 MHz pre-paid Android phone for $80 and install Cyanogen on it - you now have an open, Linux-based platform with mature development tools and a nice JIT compiler designed for smartphones (dalvik). I *do* wish there was an open-source hardware alternative phone for Android, but FOSS hardware is hard enough to come by for even the simplest project, let alone something that requires a certain degree of cooperation from major cell companies and patent holders. Although well-intentioned, OpenMoko has been left in the dust by the break-neck pace of embedded CPU/APU design and software competition. Whether you want a phone that "just works" or a hackable, open-source nerdgasm, there are a wide variety of platforms available now for every need - heck there's even a Windows Phone these days. Sorry OpenMoko, you tried...

You've got to be kidding? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233192)

"The German company Golden Delicous is building a new main board (called GTA-04)"

The next thing you know, an Indian company named Granny Smith will be building a new main board called AngryBirds-Cupertino....

Yes... (1)

starseeker (141897) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233298)

I'd pay extra for an open phone, provided it did two things reliably - make calls and receive calls.

I was excited by the OpenMoko project, and I am still grateful for what they have provided to the community (among other things, the Computer Aided Design models for their phone case are still the best open source CAD models I know of). I even got my hands on a Neo1973 as a physical example of (some of) those CAD files, for reference. I have never seriously considered trying to use it as my primary phone, however.

Personally, I'm less concerned with "smart phone" features - my main phone is still the "old school" style without a touch screen, internet, or all of the features we commonly associate with things like the IPhone. That makes me a fairly good candidate for an open phone, so long as it can do phone calls well - the stability/in-development status of the rest of the "smartphone pacakge" wouldn't bother me so much. But it *does* need to do phone calls. Decent charging behavior would also be a plus.

If they can focus on and deliver those key things for the "next" version of the OpenMoko, I'm definitely going to be interested. Fingers crossed...

Defective by Design (2)

bfree (113420) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233490)

Thanks to the FSF [fsf.org] they have decided that somehow the device will be more Free if they add extra hardware to remove the ability load your own firmware for the wifi [goldelico.com] . I'd rather they threw the wifi chip away and use a worse chip which requires no non-free code or just accepted you need the non-free firmware, don't up the cost to embed the non-free firmware into the board itself and then pretend it doesn't exist, it's just dumb.

UMTS open source driver? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233712)

So, I thought OpenMoko effectively died because the hardware didn't include a modern radio with UMTS, due to the inability to acquire or make an open source driver. Has this been fixed, or is this one a closed driver still?

Slashdot Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38233748)

I think the site has gone under :D

wholesale NHL jersey (1)

jersey123456 (2485408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38233964)

These vintage wholesale nhl Wholesale NFL jerseys [jerseymall.biz] jerseys are not clothes. They are artifacts of an period of long ago, when all NHL jerseys [jerseymall.biz] our hockey heroes were still in the league for the fun of playing ice hockey. You do not must worry about guys sitting in a season because they did not think that his wage MLB jerseys [jerseymall.biz] was NBA jerseys [jerseymall.biz] not huge . You do not must wonder if the league is going to block players & take the fun away from us fans. & do not must wonder if hockey stadiums were the subject of a terrorist assault or not.

Free Software Baseband Please. (1)

coretx (529515) | more than 2 years ago | (#38234234)

The freeRunner comes with a closed source baseband because of legal/licensing issues. In other words: It's /not/ a free phone.

Re:Free Software Baseband Please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38234280)

Apparently this supports the GTA02:

http://bb.osmocom.org/ [osmocom.org]

Re:Free Software Baseband Please. (1)

lindi (634828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38234334)

Yep, "free phone" is always relative. There's non-free software running in the GPS and Wifi parts too.

Re:Free Software Baseband Please. (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#38234532)

I suspect any phone with a "free" baseband would likely be illegal in the US due to the FCC rules that govern the use of the cellular frequency bands.

Re:Free Software Baseband Please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38235564)

so what phone are you using? did you refuse to run linux on a PC because BIOS was closed? would coreboot have ever existed if there was no freesoftware movement.

personally i support progress towards free-er phones. it may be a rocky start.

Already exists... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38235110)

The Nokia N9 runs debian already and it's a damn fine piece of hardware :)

Plus, getting SSH root is as simple as checking "developer mode" in the settings pane... (The password is 'rootme'.)

No, (1)

flibby (928270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38235128)

because I'd spend more time trying to get it to work and trying to fix it after updates broke it than I would spend actually using it.
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