(Some?) 3G support for Linux from Nokia - relevant for future models?

Jim Morris ml at e4net.com
Wed Sep 17 23:50:47 CEST 2008

Mikko Rauhala wrote:

> Sure Nokia has some products which happen to be free software. That
> doesn't make them committed to free software, what with being eg.
> hostile to free formats, a strong opponent of independent software
> development in general through their patent lobby, very much clueless in
> top level press comments about these subjects, and in general not being
> very consistent in what they're up to in this area.
> The tablet OS has significant proprietary portions, both third party and
> in-house - the latter having insiders commenting that it's difficult
> (when at all possible) to get the go-ahead to free the code properly.
> Not to mention the target hardware platform pretty much requires binary
> blob kernel code and such (last I checked anyway).

To be honest even though I love open source/free software my experiences with OpenMoko Freerunner 
has soured me a little bit. I bought a phone that was supposed to be usable as a phone and as of 
today still is not usable as a phone. (and don't flame me about you should have known what you were 
getting, check the Wiki and purchase site back in July and there is no mention of how unstable it 
is, it is better documented now).

The Trolltech Qtopia release is the closest thing to a stable environment for the phone (still not 
quite usable as a phone though, but closer than anything else currently available).

Needing a phone I could actually use as a phone I had to go buy a new cell phone, so I picked up an 
unlocked Nokia E62 relatively cheap. This is a totally proprietary phone, but it works really well, 
has a ton of apps on it that also all work, and the bluetooth works exactly as expected with 
handsfree and headset devices. GPRS works well, and there is a working J2ME stack on it. (so google 
maps works etc)

My point is I'd gladly give up some open source rights in exchange for a phone that works as expected.

I'll continue playing with my FR, but I suspect it'll be another 6 months before I can start using 
it as my primary phone.

So there are pluses and minuses to open source, yes you can do whatever you want on it, but the time 
line to getting a stable environment is pretty long, especially as OM seems to be relying heavily on 
the community to provide stable core features for the phone. Whereas the non open source stacks out 
there seem to be very stable and work pretty darn well today.

A good trade off IMHO would be to allow a closed but working GSM stack, and leave all the other 
applications stuff open. That way you get a good stable phone but can still write apps for it in 
whatever language you desire.

Just my 2c :)

Jim Morris, http://blog.wolfman.com

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