Significant Numbers of Non-Developers?

Ortwin Regel ortwin at
Sun Jul 22 08:28:55 CEST 2007

On 7/21/07, Mark Eichin <eichin-openmoko at> wrote:
> Giles Jones <giles.jones at> writes:
> > On 20 Jul 2007, at 22:25, Ortwin Regel wrote:
> >
> >> Order #1833 here and not a developer at all. My last Linux
> >> experience was that I changed the screen resolution in Suse 9 to
> >> something that didn't work and wasn't able to change it back and
> >> get back to the GUI. :P Still, I need this phone and I need it now.
> >> It's the phone I've been waiting for for about four years. Pretty
> >> much since I got my Tapwave Zodiac and wondered what would happen
> >> if it was also a phone. I love to be an early adopter, even if it
> >> takes time for stuff to get usable. This is just too fascinating to
> >> wait any longer. I'll probably buy a GTA 02 in October, too, and
> >> sell my GTA 01 or give it to one of my favourite Palm game
> >> developers if I'm feeling generous.
> >> I hope people will help me if I'm stuck in some scary command line. ;)
> >>
> >> Ortwin Regel
> >
> > No, you want the phone. :P
> >
> > At the moment it's not a fully working device, it will do very
> > little. It will be frustrating to have a phone which does nothing. If
> > you haven't ever had to flash a phone or use recovery methods to
> > repair a bricked phone then you'll end up with a paperweight.
> >
> > I've not done much embedded development for a while, my background is
> > in C development. I started on the Amiga and wrote some MIDI software
> > such as MIDI drivers, audio output plugins. I did embedded
> > development for a year, developing firmware for network hardware.
> > Trust me, even I am a little nervous about having a Neo and not being
> > able to contribute. So if you're not a developer you'll feel even
> > more frustrated and impatient.
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > OpenMoko community mailing list
> > community at
> >
> This isn't early adopter - this is *pre* adopter - I'd suggest that
> the 02 model is going to be early adopter, realistically...
> I ordered one because I think I'm ready to do something useful with
> it, because
>   * I've already done some of the relevant code in python on my Nokia
>     6630 with an external GPS
>   * I've done from-scratch build and installs for the Gumstix
>   * embedded gcc/g++ used to be my full-time job (anyone remember Cygnus?
> :-)
>   * I've written code on an iCreate too
>   * I've used an oscilliscope within the last 6 months...
> Remember that the one recent live demo we've seen (on youtube, that
> user's group meeting) involved several iterations of killing and
> restarting daemons from a remote session on a laptop, and answering a
> call with AT commands; while we *hope* it's a little more solid than
> that, I'm expecting that to be part of the debugging to be done in the
> first batch.
> Remember also that this one doesn't have 802.11, so until you build
> yourself a power+usbwifi lashup, it won't really count as a PDA either
> (why yes, after about 2005 if it doesn't have net it's not really a PDA
> :-)
> (I'm also expecting to pick up a cheap pay-as-you go SIM for operating
> the FIC with, since I actually still need to call and SMS people :-)
> There's also some gadget-lust going on - I'd probably buy this phone
> *without* a software install, if it had sufficiently documented
> hardware, just because (esp. as an Amateur Radio operator) it's the
> level of control I believe I *should* have of a piece of hardware that
> I'm paying for.
> It's pretty clear from this list that there are a lot of wildly
> varying fantasies built up around the phone, but I don't think
> anything we've heard officially that suggests that anyone for whom a
> command line is "scary" is going to get any value out of it...
>                         _Mark_ <eichin at>
>                         The Herd Of Kittens
> _______________________________________________
> OpenMoko community mailing list
> community at

Don't worry, I know exactly what I'm getting into. I am not absolutely
certain that I can handle it but I'm willing to try.

On 7/21/07, Jeff Rush <jeff at> wrote:
> Ortwin, with such strong feelings, "I need this phone and I need it now",
> you
> must have certain specific requirements for putting it to use.  Certainly
> we
> all have our wish list with lots of far out ideas but what do you need to
> phone to do first, to meet these four-year-pent-up demands, from before
> the
> OpenMoko even existed?  Basically you're speaking as someone frustrated
> with
> something in particular.
> > I hope people will help me if I'm stuck in some scary command line. ;)
> Certainly I'll help.  I'm hoping to produce a series of screencasts about
> the
> phone.  My first, just an overview for those wondering what the heck an
> OpenMoko is that I gave last week at the local DFW Unix Users group, can
> be
> found at:
> I'm planning a talk on the hardware, and another on the underlying
> software
> architecture.  In my mind, I divide the audience into those who are system
> programmers (kernel/driver folks) and those who are application
> programmers
> (high-level lang + defined service interfaces).  Besides being an embedded
> systems engineer, I'm also the advocacy coordinator for Python and hope to
> encourage and support those who want to build their apps using Python.
> -Jeff

Sounds great! I'll be watching those. :)
What do I need the phone to do, first? Calling and SMS, of course! That's
what my 10 other handhelds can't do. Next would be web browsing, music and
video (as far as we can get with the 01). All the crazy ideas involving GPS
etc sound very cool but they aren't that important to me. I'm more
interested in games and so I will be trying to get some of my favourite
touchscreen game developers on board.

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