FreeRunner delayed a further 6 months?!?!??

Lorn Potter lpotter at
Sat Mar 15 10:48:54 CET 2008

Mark wrote:


> A major part of the problem is that it is not as "open" as they want
> everyone to believe. The reason it's taking forever for the device to
> be released is because there is a very small group of individuals who
> are allowed to work on the really important stuff - because it's *NOT
> OPEN!* All the community is allowed to do is work on user-installable
> apps and otherwise non-Neo-specific OM projects. They're keeping the
> important hardware and driver details and development from the
> community. They also seem to be more concerned with the OS than with
> the hardware.

Actually, for the 02, they are still working out the _hardware_.

> The bottom line is that they've bitten off more than they can chew.
> It's a great idea, but it's a much bigger and more difficult process
> than they imagined. The complexity of the legal issues certainly isn't
> helping, and they're learning all of this the *hard* way, and for the
> first time, because none of them have any previous experience with the
> big picture of what it takes to bring a consumer product from scratch
> to market.
> If you want a device that's been out for a long time, has a bigger and
> higher-resolution screen, and *just works* right out of the box, get
> yourself a Nokia N800 (or if you have money to burn, an N810, although
> to me the addition of the keyboard and built-in GPSr are more than
> offset by the doubled price, removal of the second SD slot and
> reducing the remaining SD slot to a mini-SD).

Except if you try to put your own system on there, a lot of the hardware 
is not going to work.
That's because the tablet devices hardware are not well documented, if 
at all.
That is not entirely Nokia's fault, as hardware companies keep their 
device/chip specs under NDA's,
so it is almost impossible to get at. Not to mention all the patents 

As well, a lot of the maemo sources are not available. Try hacking on 
dsmetool for instance
- better get out your hex editor for that. Or even something rather 
trivial as the battery applet.

>  It costs a whole lot
> less than the Neo ever will, has a very active open-source community,
> and has 90% of the hardware functionality. And the best part is that
> it's *not* a phone, so it will be useful for years, and will not get
> outdated and tossed aside nearly so quickly. If you need the features
> a phone will get you, just get a cheap "dumb" (*real* quad-band GSM,
> or even CDMA or TDMA if that's what your network uses...) 

except you most likely will not be able to put your own operating system 
on, hack on the apps that it
comes with, much less know that the sources are available.
With a phone, you are not limited by the rather short distance of a 
802.11g radio.

> phone that
> has bluetooth to connect to the Nokia (if you don't already have one),
> and *still* be out a lot less cash. I obtained a tiny BT GPS for under
> $50 that works perfectly, and I can use it with my laptop and car PC
> as well. And with all that *still* paid significantly less than a
> GTA01 would have cost. Adding a compact BT keyboard (at $100 - what a
> rip-off!) 
IMHO, the Apple wireless keyboard is worth every penny...
As well, you cannot make phone calls with that BT GPS usb device.

Lorn 'ljp' Potter
Software Engineer, Systems Group, MES, Trolltech

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