[Gta04-owner] Status GTA04 GroupTour

Martin Jansa martin.jansa at gmail.com
Fri Dec 30 23:34:38 CET 2011

On Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 10:02:44PM +0100, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
> Hi Martin,

Hi Nikolaus,
> Am 30.12.2011 um 20:01 schrieb Martin Jansa:
> > On Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 12:18:05PM +0100, Neal H. Walfield wrote:
> >> Hi,
> >> 
> >> It seems to me that there are two problems.
> >> 
> >> First, if someone orders a GTA04, that person doesn't get all the
> >> hardware--that person needs to have a GTA01 or GTA02 and do some
> >> non-trivial assembly.  I realize that you have some cases that you are
> >> selling, which is the route that I went, but I think these are limited
> >> and independent of the group tour.  If this option hadn't been
> >> available, I would not have signed up for a GTA04.
> >> 
> >> Second, I think you are lacking publicity.  I haven't seen an article
> >> about this on the news sites that I follow, such as lwn.net (did I
> >> miss it?).
> >> 
> >> Given these two problems, I'd try to solve the first one before the
> >> second one (one only gets so many chances with the media...).
> >> 
> >> I suspect that people who are buying a GTA04 at this stage are not
> >> looking to use it as a phone immediately--they probably want to hack
> >> on it.  These people don't need a phone case.  But, they do need an
> >> LCD to get the experience.  My proposal would be to create a hackers
> >> package: a GTA04 board, LCD and a big bulky case that could be placed
> >> next to a workstation.  Even better would be if there is a commitment
> >> to provide a case once it is ready (do you have a time frame for
> >> this?).
> > 
> > I really like this idea. As someone who is using smartphone mostly only
> > to open terminal and connect to home computer I would really prefer
> > something with hw qwerty keyboard (like n900).
> > 
> > So for me the biggest disadvantage of GTA02 was it's bigger case with
> > high edge of display (harder to use touchscreen neer the edge) and
> > lack of keyboard.
> > 
> > Now I would have to sacrifice old GTA02 for GTA04 so I can get much better
> > hw but still in not so great case (at least for me) and instead of 2
> > platforms to hack on I will have just 1 again.
> If you ever have tried to hack on a GTA04 you will love it as your single platform :)

I hope I will, but old GTA02 board still has some value, similar 
my old Sharp Spitz which is still running and used from time to time.

> > Would be great to have some plans for new case (I know that qwerty is
> > much more difficult to manufacture and that you're already working on 
> > something). And if there is new case, will it use the same LCD from
> Well, there are external bluetooth keyboards for 39 EUR of approx. the same
> size as the GTA... This makes it quite impossible to develop a keyboard
> at comparable price.

Yes I have one of these, but try to use it in a train for longer
time, usually you have to hold keyboard with both hands to type with
thumbs and then phone screen is too far in your lap or you try to hold
phone closer to eyes while typing one hand with keyboard balancing in
your lap - not so good for longer texts with lots of special characters

> > GTA02 (it there enough modules?) or will it use something else?
> Yes, the idea is to make a replacement case around the existing display
> and PCB.
> > In other words I would advertise GTA04 board more like base of 
> > completely new phone not as board upgrade for old one (GTA02).
> That is not the idea behind the GTA04. It is designed as a motherboard
> upgrade and if we want to completely design a new phone it would be
> quite different. We simply have quite complex technical limitations.

Being able to reuse as much components from GTA02 is definitely big plus
and works great for people who like GTA02 case. I'm just saying that
maybe there is a lot of potentional customers which would be even more
interested in GTA04 if they can expect to use it in different case later 
(even if the case is then for another 250e).
> > I know you can use GTA04 without LCD and case already, but for people
> > who don't have GTA02 or don't want to sacrifice it yet, it's not an
> > option to keep it that way forever, they want some vision of new phone.
> Currently we can't give that because we don't see how we can make
> a completely new device cheaper than one that reuses some parts.
> > If there is LCD which will for sure fit in future case and if there is
> > some promise that there will be new case (maybe even with qwerty kbd) I
> > think that more people will buy board+LCD now to start playing with it 
> > and then complete their new phone with case after maybe 6 months, while 
> > still keeping their GTA02.
> That is what I don't understand - why would someone want to keep the
> GTA02 in operation...

For me it was mostly to keep GTA02 supported by SHR, but as I said
before I still keep Spitz in operation even with more powerfull devices
available to me e.g. N900 (maybe because of 3 extra rows of keys and all 
special characters on hw keyboard :))

> Either the GTA04 is so good that you don't need the GTA02 any more
> or you would not need a new GTA04 :) Well, we don't have enough
> devices out there to prove it, so I can understand that one hesitates
> to believe it. This is why we plan to demonstrate the GTA04 at FOSDEM
> (if we get a stand).

I've seen it running so I belive it's worth it.. it's much much better
performance wise.


Martin 'JaMa' Jansa     jabber: Martin.Jansa at gmail.com
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