Is a FreeRunner sufficient for me?

Helge Hafting helge.hafting at
Mon Jun 29 14:22:06 CEST 2009

Brolin Empey wrote:
> 1. Are there applications with all of the specific features I listed, 
> though?  My Nokia 6103b has some basic organiser applications, such as 
> for calender and task lists, but it does not have all of the features I 
> listed.

Depends on what linux distro you choose to run. There are several. Some 
are optimized for running on the phone, but may or may not have all the 
features you want. Then there is debian and gentoo that have more apps 
than you could possibly install, but they are not made specifically for 
the phone. You can test these distros on a PC, in order to test the 

If you want to try freerunner-specific software before buying, set up 
phone emulation with vmware or similiar virtualization software. The 
simulated phone will be slow, but you can at least test app features 
this way.

> I can live without PC sync as long as my information is safe in my 
> FreeRunner (stored in non-volatile memory in case the battery dies).

I have never lost data, my experience is that everything is stored in 
non-volatile memory. The internal flash memory, or the microSD card.

> 2. Is the FreeRunner’s display readable without a backlight?  My Nokia 
> 6103b’s display has a backlight, but the backlight turns off after a few 
> seconds of inactivity.  

I do not find it readable without a backlight, but you can set the 
backlight timeout as long as you like. So if you want a few minutes, you 
can have that!

> 3. I leave my Nokia 6103b on for about 16 hours or less per day.  I do 
> not use it for most of that time.  When I do use it, it is usually for 
> SMS or organiser applications, not for voice calls.  Will the 
> FreeRunner’s battery life be OK for my usage?

When not in use, the phone suspends automatically and uses very little 
power. It wakes up automatically if a call or sms comes in - or if you 
touch the power button. It should wake up in under 2s, at least with the 
SHR distro.

To be on the safe side, I charge the phone every day. this is not as 
necessary as it used to be - suspending didn't work well in the 
beginning but this is fine now. It will not last 16 hours if you don't 
let it suspend though - for example if you do gps logging all the time.

Helge Hafting

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