I bought the FR for what I did not have - freedom (was: Re: funny comment from a user, in response to the question of whether FR works as a daily phone:)

Michael Shiloh michael at openmoko.org
Sat Sep 20 20:08:47 CEST 2008

Michael Shiloh wrote:
>> My old phone works as a daily phone. I bought the FR for what I did not 
>> have - misery.

Sorry everyone, I found that comment amusing and was going to respond in 
some clever way, then changed my mind, and unfortunately sent the 
partially composed message.

To paraphrase the original poster, we buy the FR for what we don't have 
- a generic Linux computer in a cellphone, on which we can develop all 
manner of applications in any language we chose, without the constraints 
of the carrier or the cellphone provider

I appreciate that many of you purchased the FR to use as your daily 
phone. But I really believe that the magic of Openmoko comes from what 
we do with this platform that is different from, and way beyond, a mere 

That is why the discussion about extending the FR with external sensors 
interested me so much.

So what other ideas do you all have of ways to extend the utility of the 
  FreeRunner? In what ways can you make it "more than a cellphone"? (and 
I don't limit this to physical extensions.)

How can we all rise above the current issues with GSM, SMS, etc. and 
create the device of the future?

My plan:
I am going to take the ideas gathered in the discussion about reporting 
the tides (when they drifted (pun intended) into case modifications and 
external sensors) and build an extended FreeRunner. I plan to use a 
Pelican case and either an Arduino, EZ-USB, or MAKE Controller Kit to 
interface to external sensors and perhaps also actuators, like hobby 
servo motors.

What is it going to be? I'm not sure yet. But I'm sure ideas will come.


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