Version 2 -- New community distribution hackable1

Marcus Bauer mbauer at
Wed Dec 17 14:14:33 CET 2008

Hey guys,

fully in the spirit of "release early, release often" we want to
announce hackable:1, a new distribution for the Neo and other hackable

What is hackable:1 ?

Hackable:1 is based on the DebianOnFreerunner but packaging the
OM2007.2 applications, extending and bugfixing them. It is intended to
become a stable platform for the VAR market and fun to use for
everybody else.

The important part is that hackable:1 is not only open to community
contributions but we are actively encouraging them and we do the full
development in public on IRC channels and mailing lists - no decisions
behind closed doors, no sudden changes of directions. We want to
produce a stable, linearly evoluting platform.

Hackable:1 is running from 2GB SD cards simply because they have
become so cheap that there is little reason to fiddle with the
restrictions of the limited space of the built-in flash. Therefore we
can ship with a full set of development tools ready installed to
get you started with mobile development in minutes. No more need to
wait 20 hours until Openembedded is finished with its set up. No more
need for flashing - but we will also soon provide a flash image for
those of you who need the space on the SD card for other things.

We have a full LAMP stack too, for those countless of you out there who
are more proficient with PHP than C or C++.

Not to forget that you can make phone calls and send SMS... And you can
even print. Get yourself a USB gender changer and connect your printer
to the Neo. It works - beat that all you iPhonies out there! (A gender
changer is just a few dollars on ebay).

Then what have we done so far?

Some of the highlights:

 * we packaged OM2007.2 as .deb packages: dialer, sms, contacts, neod,
   phone-kit, gsmd, matchbox, panel applets
 * we improved sound quality (fixes for gsmd for echo cancellation)
 * another fix for gsmd to suppress the reregistering of some phones
   (OM bug #1024)
 * extended the aux and power menus. For example you can now easily
   switch between USB host and device mode or connect to a bluetooth
 * a simple onscreen keyboard with all hacker characters on a short
   press on the AUX button
 * GPS works out of the box
 * switch on and off accelerometer-based autorotate
 * fixed matchbox-windowmanager crash-bug
 * if sms send fails there is now an error dialog
 * many GPRS providers preconfigured for easy use
 * matchbox-stroke is included (it is fun!)
 * preconfigured for GSM multiplexing, i.e. having calls and sms coming
   in during a GPRS session (not activated by default)
 * x2x works out of the box (using your desktop mouse and keyboard on
   the Neo)
 * that battery applet shows plenty of battery info now (you need to
   install the notification-daemon first)

Where do we want to go?

First of all: we want to make it a community distribution implementing
(with some freedom) the GNOME Mobile stack. Thus come and join us on
our mailing lists, on IRC #hackable1 on freenode, file bug reports for
enhancements and start to hack yourself. If you have eyes that can
distinguish between more than black, white and orange, and you have
graphical skills, we will be happy for your help to add colors to the

In general we intend to work closely together with other open source
projects, most notably DebianOnFreerunner where remarkable work has
been done already.

How do you install it?

It comes as a tarball, thus you need a 2 GB SD card (SanDisk work well)
and a card reader for your PC / Laptop. You just have to partition and
format the SD card and then simply untar the tarball onto it. Five
minutes and you are done, no lengthy installation process or flashing.
Your flash even remains untouched, so you can easily give it a test run.

About Bearstech

Bearstech is a French FLOSS innovation engineering company.
Bearstech is also the French distributor of Openmoko products and  
supporting the efforts of hackable:1 with infrastructure and developers.

You can find everything and involve yourself in:

The download is at:;O=D

The installation guide is at:

-- The hackable:1 developer team --

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