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Cellphones Debian Handhelds Open Source Hardware

OpenMoko's FreeRunner Rises From the Ashes 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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OpenMoko's FreeRunner Rises From the Ashes

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  • Nice, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Svartalf (2997) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @05:54PM (#38231844) Homepage

    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.

  • Pay more? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frisket (149522) < minus city> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @05:54PM (#38231856) Homepage
    Yes, if it doesn't have CarrierIQ
  • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LeanSystems (2513566) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @05:57PM (#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.
  • Maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vadim_t (324782) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @06:08PM (#38231994) Homepage

    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:Nice, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @06:20PM (#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:Maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KiloByte (825081) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @06:46PM (#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 [] 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:Nice, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tzanger (1575) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:07PM (#38232560) Homepage

    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.

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @09:39PM (#38233700) Journal

    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:No. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 02, 2011 @03:25AM (#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.

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