OpenMoko != Neo1973 (Was: Openness (was RE: Concern for usability and ergonomics))

michael at michael at
Wed Jun 13 07:18:10 CEST 2007

On Tue, 12 Jun 2007, Joe Friedrichsen wrote:

> On 6/12/07, Rod Whitby <rod at> wrote:
>>  OpenMoko (the registered organisation, separate from FIC the company who
>>  is creating the first piece of hardware designed for the OpenMoko
>>  software) never promised open hardware.  They promised open software
>>  (the OpenMoko software, which is being developed *completely* in the
>>  open), and they gave some dates that they *expected* (not promised) FIC
>>  (the hardware company) to be ready to sell some hardware (the Neo1973)
>>  that the OpenMoko software runs on.
> Yes, most of the hardware designs and schematics aren't distributed,
> but there are shadows of scraps here and there thanks to Werner (
> ). The
> Neo appears to be a well-assembled collection of chips and parts not
> designed or fabbed by FIC. They took some Legos and made a remarkable
> product. It's like a capstone design project on steriods.
> Given that this phone is meant to be opened and tinkered with, I
> imagine that schematics could be drafted without too much strain. The
> phone could then be //conceivably// reproduced. However, I don't know
> at this point how valuable open hardware would to an individual be
> since silicon and copper aren't that easily modified or produced at
> home. Quality surface-mount soldering and RF noise are just a few of
> the smaller hurldes to jump over.
> Software has the advantage for now :-) Those simple text files are
> just too easy to change!
> Until we get our own fab-labs,
> Joe

Good points, Joe and Rod.

To add to this, consider that this device has a JTAG port, and that you can
buy the necessary interface card and cable for $150, and that the debugger is
open source.

So even with though the hardware was not promised to be open, we have
tremendous visibility into it.

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