First experience with the Neo1973 at FOSDEM

Pedro Aguilar paguilar at
Mon Feb 26 20:09:42 CET 2007


I was at FOSDEM too and very lucky for been seated at second row, just
behind the video camera. The organizers said that all presentations will
be in the FOSDEM website, so in the followings hours/days it should be

In the "Open Embedded" booth they had a Neo1973 that I could play with
for around 5 mins!!! Here's my first experience/feedback:

The design is similar to the images we have seen in the web. This one
was white with the orange edge. The only difference was that it said
"Nomad" instead of Neo1973 below de screen... I couldn't see the
internal board. The mini USB was connected to a laptop, they told me not
to unplug-it otherwise bad things could happen so I stayed close to the

Although the device was not completely functional, I was able to use the
"Contacts" app and a shell. The UI is beautiful, quite clean and simple,
with the 3 areas well identified: top panel, bottom panel and the
central "fullscreen" app. The look & feel was not yet as the imgs we
have seen in the web, if you have used Matchbox before, you could
realize that it was running there. The performance while navigating
through the folders was really good, the touchscreen was very
The contacts software, similar to evolution (not sure if it was
evolution) worked quite well, I was able to add a "test" user without
any problem (of course, with the help of a stylus that the guy next to
me gave me, thanks!) Only the app start-up was not very fast.
Then, I opened a shell and could entered some commands, this was not
that easy because the virtual keyboard is very very small. I could type
top, uname, had a look at /proc... Of course, X was the must
resource-hungry process (DirectFB came to my mind ;). The kernel running
there was a 2.6.17.

The overall experience was quite good, the device is great!!! Since I
was just able to use a couple of apps, I got worried about the
availability of the others, so I asked Sean if they were on-time for the
March launch and he said that he was confident with the dates!

Regarding the presentation, you can view it at google video and make
your own idea about it, although the slides are not clear. Sean is very
enthusiast and convinced about his ideas and you can perceive it easily,
the whole presentation was very charged with this! Mickey was very clear
and precise too! From the technical point of view, the most important
thing was that OpenMoko provides the _building blocks_ and a _set of
rules_ for creating a new paradigm. Of course, these two things are open
source, so you can create/modified your own blocks/rules and potentially
creating new apps and devices. However, the most important thing, as
Sean said, was the slide regarding their business model, this answered a
lot of questions.


Pedro Aguilar

On Mon, 2007-02-26 at 14:20 +0100, Richard Bennett wrote: 
> On Monday 26 February 2007 13:20, Rod Whitby wrote:
> > >> Ole Tange wrote:
> > >> > I had hoped there was video coverage of the event. When I found out
> > >> > there was not I asked one of the better seated persons to record the
> > >> > event using my pocket camera. I have yet to see if the recording is
> > >> > acceptable.
> > >> >
> > >> > What is the easiest way to distribute the video?
> >
> > Thanks to Ole and SpeedEvil (on IRC), the FOSDEM talk is now on
> > - search for "openmoko" and you'll find it.
> >
> One interesting thing is said at 30:20.
> Food for speculation...
> Would they really add *that* so late in the process?
> Richard
> _______________________________________________
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> community at
Pedro Aguilar

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