Hello world. Is the Neo Freerunner dead?

Ian Munsie darkstarsword at gmail.com
Thu Jul 9 10:39:16 CEST 2009

> I've been drooling over the Freerunner for years now, specifically to have
> the capability to plug a REAL keyboard to it and SSH into my network.
>  else
>      do I have an alternative
>  fi
> I can tinker freely and willingly with the phone, but I need to
> place/receive calls ans SSH into my network.

So you want [to at least consider holding off until more information
regarding] the upcoming Nokia N900 "Rover" Internet Tablet based on
Linux [is released, including an official statement from Nokia that
the tablet has all the software stacks in place to support voice via
the 3G modem and not just data], which supports both wired (using an
appropriate cable and switching the USB port to host mode via software
readily available from the maemo extras repository which adds a nice
extra friendly icon in the control panel) and bluetooth (which I
recommend) keyboards. OpenSSH (or Dropbear if you are so inclined) can
easily be installed from the maemo extras repository to facilitate all
your logging into and out of needs.

> The "Developers only" ubiquitous tag seems to suggest that it may not "just work".

That is correct. Just how much work you need to apply to make it "just
work" depends on (off the top of my head):
a) Your definition of "work"
b) Your expectations
c) Your experience with Linux
d) Your free time
e) Your cranium bashing index
f) Which distro you picked
g) How much documentation you are willing, and have the time, to read.
h) Your experience with Linux
i) The size of your fingers (smaller and nimbler is better)
j) Your tolerance for small on screen keyboards (what do you think you
will have to do to get that nice large keyboard to work? Compare that
to the nice finger friendly GUI in the Internet Tablets)
k) Your tolerance for small on screen keyboards (what do you do when
you need to reply to an SMS and don't have your full size keyboard
with you, or time to set it up?)
l) How much time you are willing to spend flashing it (openmoko:
depending on size of image, up to tens of minutes. Internet tablet:
seconds. literally. no exaggeration. I was surprised myself when I
first upgraded the OS on my N800).
m) Your expectations
n) Your definition of "work"

I believe I saw a figure mentioned in a recent thread of "about three
months" to get the Freerunner to a state where it would operate how
that particular person could use it as their daily phone. I wouldn't
be surprised if that was exaggerated, then again, from my own
experiences I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't.

Personally I have my phone in a state where it is usable as a daily
phone and have been unwilling to change it since then. I prefer the
annoying bugs I know to the bugs I don't since it is now my main phone
and I can't really afford to risk breaking it yet again.

Don't let me put you off the Freerunner any more than I already have -
as evidenced by this mailing list there are clearly plenty of people
who swear by and love the phone to death, but there are many people
who have been sorely disappointed by the Freerunner and I don't want
you only getting one side of the story and ending up disappointed

Eagerly awaiting the launch of the N900 so I can ditch this Freerunner,


Logging off for a few days to avoid the inevitable flamewar I just sparked,

Pity, I really wanted FIC to succeed.

On the day *I* go to work for Microsoft, faint oinking sounds will be
heard from far overhead, the moon will not merely turn blue but
develop polkadots, and hell will freeze over so solid the brimstone
will go superconductive.
     -- Eric S. Raymond, 2005
Please avoid sending me Word or PowerPoint attachments.
See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html

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