Sean's speech at ESC about making a 3G device

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) raster at
Fri Apr 3 08:17:17 CEST 2009

On Thu, 02 Apr 2009 22:27:43 -0700 Steve Mosher <steve at> said:

nice steve :) and yes - i put a bit of color in. :) my opinions are not those
of openmoko nor do they divine om's future... it's just my interpretation of
the facts as they come out :)

> Since I worked on the presentation with Sean for the days he was here in
> SF, let me give you my view and sean's view. That way we won't get into
> some version of the telephone game.
> Sean discussed three things at OpenExpo.
> 1. Our successes.
> 2. Our mistakes.
> 3. Our challenges
> I won't go over 1& 2 but I'll cover #3 since rasters perception has
> a bit of color added to it. Only a tiny bit and he's entitled
> to that color commentary, I'll just add what Sean and I, as authors
> of the presentation, had as our message.
> Our biggest challenge was to make a choice about how to spend the
> balance of 2009.
> There were two paths:
> A: Fulfill our promises on FreeRunner and launch GTA03
> B: Fulfill our promises on FreeRunner and  launch project B.
> We will talk more about project B in the coming months, but these
> salient facts should be able to guide any budding executives out there.
> 1. GTA03 was in constant flux as a design.
> 2. GTA03 schedule was consequently always slipping.
> 3. The resources required for GTA03 are 3X those required for Project B.
> 4. We don't have 3X.
> So, we picked plan B.
> Now comes the question, what about GTA03? how do we get there? And when?
> and what is it?
> Well my basic argument was and is this:
> First we attend to the issues that still remain with the GTA02. That's
> why the VP of marketing ( of all people) is working on the buzz fix
> problem. Second we complete project B. When we've done that, then we
> get to eat dessert. Essentially, I made the same argument I heard so
> many times on this list: "How do expect us to buy a GTA03 when you've
> yet to deliver on all the promise of FreeRunner?" And I took the
> arguments I heard from disty seriously, "how do you expect us to buy FR,
> when GTA03 is right around the corner?" And I accepted the arguments I 
> heard from Engineers I respect who questioned the viability of the GTA03 
> in the market place. All of those arguments said "put a bullet in its 
> brain pan!"
>   So, what about GTA03? As it was defined, it is dead. So how do we
> get to a new GTA03? Two requirements: continue to improve GTA02; deliver
> on project B. What is GTA03 and when do we get there? There are a number
> of independent efforts out there that are pitching me ideas for GTA03.
> I talked to sean a bit about this and I'd like to try to open up more
> of the design process and the marketing process to the community.
> Perhaps on a separate list. Some of these discussions have already started.
> What can you do to help?
> 1. Move GTA02 code upstream.
> 2. Stay Involved.
> 3. Continue work on applications
> 4. Buy a FreeRunner.
> 5. Get involved in GTA03 discussions
> Best,
> Steve
> Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) wrote:
> > On Thu, 2 Apr 2009 18:35:58 +0100 Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <rms at>
> > said:
> > 
> >> On Thu, Apr 02, 2009 at 06:13:36PM +0100, Justyn Butler wrote:
> >>> 2009/4/2 Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <rms at>:
> >>>> On Thu, Apr 02, 2009 at 05:38:42PM +0100, Justyn Butler wrote:
> >>>>> He also explains what it would take to put 3G in the phones, saying
> >>>>> that they'd do it (but the 3G part would be closed) if a customer put
> >>>>> in a large enough order (ie 50,000 units).
> >>>> You've just convinced me that, unless this changes, no OpenMoko with 3G
> >>>> will get my money as far as I'm concerned :)
> >>> Why the outrage?
> >> I bought the OpenMoko to get a more Free Software phone, not one that
> >> gets less and less Free as new devices come up :)
> >>
> >> I seriously hope GTA3 fixes some of the most serious problems GTA2 had
> >> regarding that.
> > 
> > 3g can be done - just like the 2g on feeerunner - you will talk to a closed
> > blob via a defined protocol. just like any chip anywhere. no less free than
> > gta02 in that way. BUT yes - you'll pay an extra $200.
> > 
> > nb gta03 - you missed the news from sean's talk at openexpo in switzerland.
> > gta03 is "postponed" (read cancelled - postponed is just a nice way to say
> > it and try and keep the community hanging around in hope it un-cancels, as
> > openmoko has laid off most of their staff (also news from openexpo), their
> > linux staff. you don't un-postpone if you just let all the people go who
> > work on the software).
> > 
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