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What do you think about the openmoko?

What do you think about the openmoko?

Posted Jul 24, 2008 9:30 UTC (Thu) by Miladinoski (guest, #52970)
In reply to: Interview: Wind River's John Bruggeman by lolando
Parent article: Interview: Wind River's John Bruggeman

Sorry that this might be off-topic, but I want to hear your opinion on OpenMoko's mobile
phone, because I am willing to buy it. Is it worth it? What could be improved? 

Please reply


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What do you think about the openmoko?

Posted Jul 24, 2008 9:52 UTC (Thu) by lolando (subscriber, #7139) [Link]

The hardware is very attractive: GSM/GPRS, GPS, Bluetooth, Wifi, USB (both ways),
accelerometers, excellent screen resolution, a CPU powerful enough, all that in a phone-sized
device.  Yummy.

The software part is not ready for the masses yet, and clearly announced as such.  There are
at least three different software stacks (GTK-based Openmoko 2007.2, QT-based April/August
software update, and framework-based); I think there's a fourth one
(Qtopia-based), and people speak of an hypothetical fifth ("stable hybrid release").  And some
have installed Debian on it, too.  I have only tried the OM2007.2 one, which mostly works for
me as a phone+GPS (with a few manual tweaks).  And the open hardware and software is really
lovely to work with: many things can be controlled through Dbus and/or Gconf, so you can write
small Python scripts to, for instance, import/export your phone contacts to VCF, or tune the
power saving mode, or whatever.  This should be even more so with the generalised move to the
FSO stack.

I'm still quite impressed by the community though: there used to be a GPS problem, and the
wisdom went from "blargh, internal antenna connector isn't soldered properly, you'll have to
fix that yourself" to "hey, it works better when there's no SD card" to "okay, fix committed
in kernel, don't bother soldering anything" in about a week.  One opkg update && opkg upgrade
later, everyone was happily recording GPS tracks for Openstreetmap :-)

All in all, I'm quite pleased with it.  It is, to me, the (current) ultimate toy for smug
geeks: rare, versatile, hackable, and (for the smug part) restricted to those elitist bastards
who can handle a command-line for upgrades.

Is Openmoko free software?

Posted Jul 24, 2008 19:07 UTC (Thu) by davi (guest, #18853) [Link]

I have been told the GSM driver uses a non-free software BLOB, and maybe too the Bluetooth,
Wifi, GPS and GPU chips.

Do you know if that is real?

Is Openmoko free software?

Posted Jul 25, 2008 7:12 UTC (Fri) by lolando (subscriber, #7139) [Link]

As far as I know, that was only true for the Neo 1973, and has been fixed for the Freerunner.
I'm no expert however, please consult the nice wiki.

Is Openmoko free software? Ti Calypso GSM chipset

Posted Jul 25, 2008 8:25 UTC (Fri) by davi (guest, #18853) [Link]

It seems Openmoko has been forced to sign a _super_ NDA to be able to use the Ti Calypso GSM

You can read it at

I do not know yet about the Wifi, GPS an other Openmoko devices.

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