Alternatives to FR
wjbaird at alumni.uwaterloo.ca
Fri Jan 8 23:28:34 CET 2010
On Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 1:35 PM, Timo Jyrinki <timo.jyrinki at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2010/1/4 William Kenworthy <billk at iinet.net.au>:
> > Nokia n900 - probably the best choice at this time.
> Probably, but to be more precise "not yet" instead of "at this time".
> It's the only one that seems to have realistic possibility of some day
> having a free distribution running with all features enabled. But it's
> not today, and it remains to be seen how active the community around
> it is.
Depends a bit on how you define 'free'... I interact with a phone mostly
as a user, and possibly as a app developer - so for me if I can run free
software on it, and I can develop free software for it using free tools,
it's 'free enough'... I really want a device that I can use as a phone,
and a hand-held linux box. The FR does the hand-held linux box part very
well, but not so much the phone part.
I've been using my FR for 1.5 years, as my primary phone for a lot of that
time(on QtEI and the more recently shr-u), and I must admit I'm getting more
and more frustrated with it - between the regular crashes and hangs, the
incredibly slow performance (so slow that I still occasionally miss a call
because I can't unlock the phone in time to answer it), the horrible GPRS
performance, and the various idiosyncracies (like the recent 'feature' to
progressively dim the screen while I'm trying to use it, inability to
connect to wifi much of the time, etc.)...
There have been improvements, but it's been very slow, and IMO we're still a
*long* way from having a phone with even a half-decent user experience...
and there is nothing we can do can fix issues like the poor glamo bandwidth,
and the crappy GPRS performance. When I'm out of the house and need to look
something up on the web, I borrow my wife's Iphone - I can look up what I
need before the FR's browser finishes launching, let alone loading the
Unfortunately, I've been actively looking for a device lately to replace my
FR - I'm just too fed up with it. The N900 is currently my leading
contender. I had originally written it off, because it doesn't support the
3G data frequencies currently available here in Montreal - but I realized
the other day that it's 'fallback' data support is EDGE, not GPRS. The
*fallback* on this phone is still 20x to 50x faster than the best data
tranfer rate I can get on the FR...
And to be blunt, I don't give a damn if the battery loading software isn't
open... As long as it's a linux stack, and it's easy to cross-compile the
app software I want for it, using the standard open source libs I'm familiar
with --- that's free enough...
So long, and thanks for all the fish...
Warren Baird - Photographer and Digital Artist
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