Towards The Manual

Roland Whitehead roland at
Fri Dec 19 19:20:28 CET 2008

On 18 Dec 2008, at 13:54, Minh wrote:

> I can't help but think at night about how I would setup a project to  
> make
> the missing Neo FreeRunner manual.

You may have seen my posting to the community list about turning a  
brick into a phone but I have, as a result, discussed with many people  
the issues facing someone who is new to OpenMoko. By "new" I mean  
someone who has experience in running Unix of some sort and isn't  
phased by the command line, probably has some experience either with  
developing software or administrating computers (i.e., is an  
"experienced computer user") but who so far hasn't been able to make  
any good use of the OpenMoko device. I don't mean an end user whose  
knowledge extends only as far as pressing the "on" button.

The number 1 problem is getting the device into a state where it can  
be used. You can pick a distribution and flash it but a) how do you  
know which distribution to pick and when you've picked it, b) which  
files do you choose to to flash and then c) what configurations do you  
have to set. I don't think people want to do anything particularly  
clever but I would want to make and receive calls setting the right  
ring tone, hook up to a wireless network, ssh to the device wirelessly  
(who needs a USB tether?), set the energy saving parameters and from  
there install whatever you fancy. It might be nice in all states to  
know where you are so let's get GPS going at the same time. A chapter  
describing and debating the distros would be a good start and then a  
chapter for each distro ending up with phones in the same sort of  
state would then be a good second.

The problem is, the distro's change so quickly that you wouldn't get  
anything printed before it was out of date...

As a result of my posting, I'm already building up the chapter on  
getting SHR running so I'll volunteer that if it would be wanted.

BTW. If you need to go from Wiki to a print quality PDF we have a tool  
that does just that via some simple CSS styles using the Prince XML to  
HTML converter ( We haven't yet written a  
complete published book with it but have used it for fully illustrated  
manuals. Let me know if this is of interest. Sure saves messing with  

QURU Ltd, London

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