ancient hardware? - Software matters

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at
Mon Jul 7 16:11:06 CEST 2008

thank you so much!
You cannot believe how hard people at Openmoko work and getting a mail  
like yours rewards many of us for 12+ hours working days.
It's a long way, lots of hardware and software bugs, we know it. I  
like your 'bad teeth' analogy :-)

On Jul 7, 2008, at 6:57 PM, Tilman Baumann wrote:

> I never had a phone for the last decade.
> Mostly out of protest against the ridiculous data rates and prices on
> GSM. And because all phones sucked.
> I had sworn me, when UMTS would comes out and the prices are ok, i  
> will
> buy a phone.
> UMTS came, the prices where ok but the phones still sucked. And i did
> not feel i would miss much.
> And most important of all, i completely lost hope for all mobile phone
> software. There where no iterative improvements. Features came ant  
> went
> with no regular pattern. Phones did not get better with time, they  
> just
> stagnated. They did not even managed to put all features in which they
> had in earlier models.
> And bad software did never get fixed. The only way to overcome bad
> software was to by a new phone.
> It never felt right for me to give them money for theyr bad service.
> And all of them completely missed the point about having internet on a
> mobile device. The franticly searched for the killer app for UMTS but
> could not find any. But the killer app for phones was clearly IP (open
> communication) and a open software stack.
> Opensource was clearly the answer for all that.
> Then things happended. Openmoko and the iPhone came. The iPhone  
> started
> a big fire under the fat and lazy ass of phone manufacturers. They are
> reminded that innovation is something that sells phones and makes
> customers happy. But i'm sure those who will not burn to death will  
> not
> manage to stand up for the next time.
> Changes will happen slow. Its after all the mobile phones business. :)
> And there was Openmoko. There was never any doubt for me that this  
> will
> be the right answer to a good and healthy software evolution and
> constant improvement for mobile phone software.
> So i'm here. I broke my oath to never buy a GSM only phone (Neo  
> 1973). I
> was not able to make stable phone calls for month with my rather  
> 1990ish
> new phone.
> But i was happy and i still am.
> Sure. The hardware could be better. But this is something the industry
> managed to do all the time.
> We need to make software a important part of phone development.
> This is where the industry (and subsequently the customer) needs help.
> This is where a bunch of hackers can make a big difference.
> I'm sure Openmoko started something important.
> The vastly successful way of software evolution and development which
> opensource provides will greatly improve all phones to come...
> I'm happy that Fic gives us this stepping stone to change the world. I
> gladly ignore some bad teeth of this horse. ;)
> Ajit Natarajan wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I've seen a number of remarks on this list that the hardware in the  
>> FR
>> is ancient and this is the price of openness and freedom.
>> I did a quick search for some of the parts:
>> The Samsung 2442 SoC seems to date back to 2005.  I got this from the
>> revision history in the user manual [1].
>> The Antaris 4 GPS chip dates back to 2006.  This is the from the 0635
>> datasheet revision history [2].
>> The Calypso GSM chip dates back to 2000.  This is from the leaked
>> hardware definition manual revision history [3].
>> The Accton 3236 WiFi chip dates back to 2006.  This is from the
>> ``2006.12'' at the end of the datasheet [4].
>> I haven't looked at the other chips.
>> From the above, the GSM chip looks ancient.  However, the other chips
>> don't seem that old.  And some recent devices are using these parts  
>> as
>> well.  For example, the RoverPC C6 introduced in December 2007 uses  
>> the
>> Samsung 2442B at 300MHz.
>> So, I don't understand the comments on ancient parts.  What have we
>> compromised on by choosing these parts?
>> Thanks.
>> Ajit
>> [1]
>> [2]
>> [3]
>> [4]
>> _______________________________________________
>> Openmoko community mailing list
>> community at
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