Community update: GSM firmware and GPS driver

Michael Shiloh michael at
Tue Nov 13 21:05:40 CET 2007

Hi everyone,

I've returned from Taiwan with a whole lot of notes, ideas, questions, 
comments, and especially suggestions and ideas for more community 

More on this later as I digest my notes.

First, though, two quick updates:

1. GSM firmware and the problem with some 3G SIM cards in the USA


A bug in the GSM firmware prevents some USA 3G SIM cards from working 
properly. The bug has been fixed, but since the GSM module is under 
extremely tight legal protection, it is not clear whether or how we can 
allow customers to perform this upgrade themselves.


We have heard that TI has figured out a way to let you upgrade the 
firmware, but we have not been able to get hold of the person at TI who 
can tell us how we should do this. Sean has placed numerous calls to the 
TI office, and each time has been told that the person he needs to speak 
to is unavailable.

I know this is incredibly frustrating to you. I hope you realize that 
this is incredibly frustrating to us as well. I also hope you realize 
that unless you personally know this person at TI (and no, I will not 
post his name on this list :-), no amount of ranting and yelling will 
make this go any faster.

However, I do have permission to perform a Very Hacky Workaround:

I have been authorized to perform the GSM firmware upgrade on your phone.

You get the phone to me in California, I'll update the GSM firmware and 
perform a quick test, and I'll send it back to you.

Currently, you have to pay for shipping, but if one of you can find out 
what the least expensive insured shipping method is, I'll see about 
getting some help here. (Of course, if you're in the San Francisco Bay 
Area, we can do this in person.)

Interested parties should contact me off-list.

2. GPS driver.


Global Locate has authorized the release of the driver for the GPS chip 
in binary-only form, but the legal teams of Global Locate and OpenMoko 
have not been able to agree on a method for doing so.


We have heard that Global Locate is willing to simply let us release the 
binary, without requiring any further legal steps. However, we have not 
been able to confirm this with anyone of authority. Somewhat like the 
situation with TI, we make the calls, aren't able to reach the right 
person, leave a message, and then nothing happens until we make another 

Unfortunately I have no workaround for this yet. Sean just has to keep 
making those calls, and unfortunately he has other items on his todo 
list as well...

That's all I have for now. I'm going through my notes and will come up 
with more updates and questions for you shortly.

As always,

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