Tag Archives: openmoko

Openmoko freeruns Qt

Back at FSCONS ’07, I asked the guy doing the Openmoko presentation about whether they are going GTK or Qt, as his talk mentioned both and he didn’t really spell it out on what horse they were putting their money on. He then thought it was a really funny question and went on to explain how the Openmoko is like a small computer that can run anything you want. A bit like he was educating us that embedded devices do have CPUs that can run actual software. As if they wouldn’t have a main branch and a main development selecting one of these particular toolkits…

Many moon laps later, I discussed Openmoko with a friend over a few stouts at Snaxx 18, and he explained how he’d got one of the dev boards a long time ago and had kept up and tried a lot of versions of it and that it basically never worked to even make simple phone calls. He gave me the impression that perhaps the project wasn’t really that well run if it after this long still don’t have even the most basic functionality present and running stable.Dash Express

Therefor I was happy to listen to TWIT 143 about the Dash Express and them telling me about it being based on the Openmoko platform. It felt like solid proof they are moving in the right direction then, so at least parts of the project must be functioning!

Then, to round it up it was with a big grin I read about the recent news that they are abandoning GTK and are now going to use E17 and Qt instead. Not a trace of any “this is like a small computer it can run anything” talk now (although I do understand that the statement was just something from this person and not any public endorsement from the project or so). This very same Ars Technica article says the first Openmoko based phone called Freerunner is going into “mass production stage next month” (that would be June 2008).

Personally, I can still see how making Rockbox run as an application on an Openmoko device would be a very cool thing.

My phone does not replace my Rockbox

I have one of them mp3 capable mobile phones and I have a 4GB NAND flash inserted in it that is packed with music I like. Yet I never end up using it as a music player.

I see people everywhere use their phones for music and I repeatedly read and hear the soon coming death of the portable music player being predicted not far away by opinion-expressing know-it-allers.

My phone plays mp3 files just fine, but there are several reasons why I don’t use it for that. The primary one being that it gets a lousy battery run-time if I do that, and if I’d run down the battery all the way when listening to music then how would I be able to use the phone for regular voice? With a separate (Rockbox) device I can listen to music until the last drop of power goes out without hampering my communication abilities.

In my particular case, my phone’s lack of a proper standard USB port and it’s lack of anything but “full speed” (and yes full speed is less than high speed and is a lot slower than it sounds) when connecting it using the custom cable to my Linux box are two more reasons. Not to mention that it has this “database-only” approach to the music which I really don’t like – but yeah, I can learn to live with it.

Besides, it’ll be a while longer until I can hack my phone to run Rockbox and thus work the way I want it. Let’s hope Android or OpenMoko or similar efforts actually make it possible one day.