[Community] GTA04A5 / Letux 2804

Michael Spacefalcon msokolov at ivan.Harhan.ORG
Fri Jan 17 19:13:24 CET 2014

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller <hns at goldelico.com> wrote:

> Not everybody is weighting the factor of "freeable down to the modem" equally
> when calculating the relative position of two devices to decide between
> "upgrade" and "downgrade". You have a different weighting than me.

If freedom is not important to you, then you might as well use an
iPhone or the latest Android from Samsung.

As Jim Marrs has said very eloquently in the preface to one of his
books, being free is like being pregnant - either you are, or you

> I don't know, but isn't *that* something you should fight against
> instead of modifying
> leaked firmware for a system that never has been locked?

"Modifying leaked firmware" is not an accurate description of what I
am doing.  As you should know full well, I am designing and building
my own Free Plain Phone, and I have chosen to use the same Calypso
chipset as used in the GTA02.  I chose this chipset because it already
exists, because it is known to work exceptionally well, at least in
"dumbphone" applications (I've been using one of my Pirelli phones as
my everyday cellphone since last spring, and I have nothing but praise
for it in terms of battery life, GSM signal strength and call quality),
because all hardware documentation and firmware sources for this
chipset have already been freed, and because I have already amassed a
great deal of experience working with this chipset.

Providing hacking support for Openmoko-made modems is simply a side-
product of my FreeCalypso work: I have chosen to bring my firmware up
on known-working hardware first, so that when I build my own hw and
get to debug it, I will have the benefit of known-working firmware.

Put another way, the free phone community (combination of FreeCalypso
and OsmocomBB projects) has already made great progress with the
Calypso chipset.  Switching to another vendor's chipset on a whim
would be an enormous setback for the project and for the community,
and it is not fair for you to ask that of us - here I am referring to
the "you should be working on this instead of that" argument in your

> So your claim of "GTA02 is 100% freeable and GTA04 is not" is only based on
> your disinterest to work on solutions?

I am working on solutions, but the problem I have chosen to solve is
different from yours.  Some people, such as me, simply want a good
working cellphone, a device for making and receiving phone calls on
the go - and we want this cellphone to be free as in 100% owned and
controlled by the user.  If the objective is to have a plain phone,
rather than a mobile computer, a device consisting of just one baseband
processor, without an extra application processor, is a technically
superior solution for the problem at hand: greater battery life, less
unnecessary complexity, fewer points of failure.  And the existence of
the Calypso chipset makes it possible for such a simple and efficient
"dumbphone" to also be 100% free by virtue of the user owning and
controlling the complete firmware.

Then there are those people who do want their pocket-resident device
to be a computer complete with an OS like GNU/Linux, rather than just
a phone - but some of those people would also want that device to be
100% free including the telephony processor - and not just "half-free"
aka "half-pregnant".  For this class of users, the best currently
extant device is the GTA02, made by Openmoko - not your GTA04, and not
my dumbphone either.

Yes, there is the problem of these devices no longer being made - but
instead of solving this problem by building a new device that would be
as near-identical to the GTA02 as possible, including the Calypso
(just like how I seek to copy the Pirelli DP-L10 as closely to verbatim
as possible), you are making it worse by *actively destroying* the
remaining stock of Openmoko phones!

Hence we will likely always be fighting on opposite sides.


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