Newbie: Converting a brick to a phone

Damien Thébault damien.thebault at
Mon Dec 8 18:38:45 CET 2008

On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 17:23, Roland Whitehead <roland at> wrote:
> Yes there are many different distributions out there but what is very
> clearly missing are simple, obvious instructions on how to go from a brick
> to a working device - just a machine that will turn on and off, will ring,
> answer and make calls, not hang and not have buzzing when on a call. After
> that, the user should be left to get on with it but I've completely failed
> to get to that stage despite trying 4 different distributions. I'm really
> talking basic here - if you have a machine that works for you, what
> Bootloader, Kernel and RootFS are you using and where did you get them from?
> What were the core applications that you loaded to make it work, where did
> you get them from and which versions? What were the modifications that you
> made to various settings files. If you have a working machine, could you
> blat it and rebuild it to get to the same position as you are in now? If so,
> would you document your process and share it with us? I don't really care
> which distribution at the moment - I just want one that could claim to work
> that I can then start developing with. I've got my Python books out ready...

I installed QtExtended, previously 4.3, it was the best distribution
back then, and now 4.4 (and I think it's still the best):
The image links are available here:
I took the images from Hypnotize
(see )


Then the stable kernel from mwester's
(maybe it changed)

And... well... that's all.

I used it last weekend because the battery of my old phone was empty.

The good things:
 * SMSes are working
 * Calls to voicemail are working, like a real phone (didn't try a
real call with someone), keep in mind that you can hang up with the
power button if you leave the dialer
 * The phone wakes up when sleeping (when a call comes or a SMS comes)
 * I really like the new handwriting input module, once you know how
to use it in a different
language than english:
 - draw a triangle (lower left -> lower right -> up -> lower left),
choose the lower-left choice to disable word recognition.
 - draw some letters, if it doesn't recognize it, try the next one
with the good gesture (lower-left -> upper right -> lower left) or
choose from the list (double clockwise circle)(this is most useful for
letters with accents)
 - insert special characters (double counter-clockwise circle)
Some characters (like "t" or "x" are a little hard to draw, but skill
improves over time, I'm now even capable of drawing an "i" instead of
"l" when I want to)

The bad things:
 * I get SMSes more than one time in the inbox, and there's problems
with SMSes in the trash
 * Sometimes it's acting weirdly and I have to restart QtExtended
(it's faster than just rebooting), and sometimes the phone think it's
charging when it's not even plugged in (so it doesn't sleep...)
 * There's the buzz issue with the wired headset

The "I don't like" things:
 * I don't really like the "kinetic" scrolling
 * Using a word file in my language would allow me to use the
handwriting more successfully
 * I think that my SD card (the one that came with the phone) is
broken, the phone can't recognize it, my laptop can't either, and if
it's plugged in, the SIM doesn't work

The "more than just a phone" things:
 * I don't really like the music player
 * The GPS doesn't work
 * I was not able to configure GPRS and MMS

I'm back to my old phone now, but for me it's definitively improving,
I'm waiting for 4.4.3/4.4.4.

Damien Thebault

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