A marketing angle

Joel Newkirk moko at newkirk.us
Tue Nov 21 08:21:51 CET 2006

Alex Savvutin wrote:
> Hello everyone!
> I've being reading the mail-list for a some time, but this is my first post. :)
> I just thought that there's also another interesting device on the market - the GP2X Linux-powered gaming console, which is open too. It might be interesting to study their experiences with marketing such device based on Open Source ideology (BTW: the Wikipedia article says they've sold about 30000 devices as of October). But sure - it is harder to develop games (I mean it takes more time and requires a good graphics artist to make good graphics content!).

Another resource that would be interested - the Zaurus (and
Familiar,Opie and others) developer community.  For the past few years
I've been running Xwindows on my Zaurus C860, a 640x480 4" diag
touchscreen ARM-powered handheld running Linux (Lineo uLinux - handheld
debian derivative with a PDA-ish GUI - out of the box, though I've
flashed my way through a dozen custom ROMs and settled on pdaXrom,
running xwindows).  The biggest differences from a development
standpoint are that the Z has CompactFlash and a keyboard but most
models lack an internal microphone, the Neo has GPRS/GSM and GPS onboard
but depends on a gestural interface.  (gsm/gprs CF cards are supported
on the Z, as are most bluetooth and serial GPS units)

There are days when I live on that keyboard, but most of the time I'd
gladly trade it for GSM, GPRS/Edge and GPS.  We're not talking about a
large group that will drive sales, but a dedicated group who already
work with embedded Linux on ARM-powered handhelds.

Run a contest at oesf.org where the developer with the most useful (as
determined by preselected judges, and emphasize 'useful', not
'impressive' - or the prize may go to the guy who ports OpenOffice
instead of the one who makes a 'smaller' contribution that every phone
user would appreciate) application ported/written by a specified date
gets a Neo.  Make the SDK available and see what percolates.  (Only one
thread over there about OpenMoko so far, enthusiastic, and it mentions
some OESF/OpenMoko interaction already taking place)

A prize for one, glory for all, and members of an experienced and
interested developer base playing with your SDK.  That's half the reason
(IMHO) of going Linux to begin with - experienced and interested folks
who are willing to roll up their sleeves and scratch their itches.

Many useful things are already available in package feeds for Familiar
(HP), uLinux (Zaurus), and other ARM-based linux distros - libraries
like IAXClient (Inter-AsteriskExchange VOIP support - connect direct to
carriers like Teliax or personal/office Asterisk servers) and services
like CUPS and Samba remote printing that would require little or no
modification to recompile for OpenMoko.

Everything possible should be done to attract the interest of the folks
who are already porting such things to such similar environments.


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