Minh Ha Duong
haduong at centre-cired.fr
Mon Dec 29 12:00:41 CET 2008
This is Openmoko community community newsletter #8, year's end issue. This
couple of weeks were packed with lots of action. Openmoko released the
2008.12 distribution upgrade and Koolu released its first Android beta. Both
these were very expected and, actually contained no surprise at all, since
the developpement process is completely open. Administration for
projects.openmoko.org was transferred to knowledgeable community member
Armin Ranjbar (nickname: zoup), and opkg.org got a complete overhaul.
* 1 Distributions
* 2 New applications
* 3 Applications updates
* 4 Community
* 5 Hardware
* 6 Tips and tricks
This is retrieved from
which has all the good links in
* Om 2008.12 Update is out ! This is the fastest, latest and probably last
of the ASU familly line of distributions. Officially upgrades 2008.9,
optimized with faster boot, volume control during phonecall, and much more.
Read the announcement, then go to the download dir.
* Android. Koolu announced their first beta release. Based on Sean's
image, Wendy from Openmoko produced test reports (PDF) concluding that
Android Image On Freerunner really looks good, but [...] not ready to be a
daily phone yet. Interesting applications waiting to be fixed to work on
Freerunner include bluetooth, wifi, GPS, browser...
* hackable:1 announced (documentation). Led by Marcus Bauer of TangoGPS
fame, this project aims to implement the GNOME Mobile stack on top of Debian
on FreeRunner. Its installation is specially simple: download the tarball,
unpack the files on a 2 GB SD card, put the card in the FreeRunner.
* Telefoninux 0.01 is out. First alpha release for this Debian-optimized
* Bytestore points out an augmented 2008.12 image with russian keyboard,
GPRS and other goodies.
* Carlo released OpenVibe, the first opensource vibrator :) Pander also
offers an open source MIDlet in a JAR to control the vibrator function. We
are still waiting for test reports tought.
* Yann released meooem 0.0.1, a realtime weather notifier opkg page. Setup
the displayed city in /etc/meooem.conf.
* Ilja pushed out version 0.1.0 of om-manager, a python Freerunner
manager: flash, backup, get logs, manage packages, VNC (if x11vnc is
installed on the phone).
* Valéry released Neon, a simple Python/EFL image viewer, designed to be
lightweight, fast, and easy to use.
* Nathan shared his GPRS launcher script and the ipk for Gtkdialog it
uses. The script can be used to start the connection, stop the connection, or
to simply find out the current GPRS status.
* Openmoko's next generation telephony, messaging and addressbook
application paroli was merged with tichy, the application starter. So opkg
install tichy, setup according to Mirko's email, and enjoy.
* Angus offers a "where are you now" daemon that can SMS back its location
* Chris submits for testing the prototype for a fullscreen keyboard.
* A dutch keyboard for illume.
* Daniel MT released Bright Player 0.1, a lightweight, quick and easy
random music player for OM2008.X based distributions.
* Last but not least, Josh shares an IMAP Mail reader and a collection of
scripts to manage launching applications, control wifi, power, screen etc.
Initially developped on 2007.2, most ported to Debian.
* OpenMoocow 0.3 released. Changes include: better graphics from
openclipart.org by "bsantos", more responsive, kernel 2.6.28 new sysfs paths
ready, thinkpad HDAPS merged in.
* ZOMG!, an opkg frontend, updated. Faster, cacao and jamvm compatible
(jamvm still recommended).
* navit, a drivers' GPS navigation system (trac) is being optimized for
the FreeRunner by Christian Anke and others.
* Damian A. Spriggs started working on a MAME port. The Multimedia Arcade
Machine Emulator is a must for all retro-gamers out there. I can't wait to
play P*c-M*n and G*l*xi*n again on my subway commute !
* Angus updated pymixer.py to use the FSO framework. It should
automatically detect scenario changes and update the mixers now. Put
fsomixer.py into /usr bin and chmod +x it. volume_fso.desktop goes
* The Zedlock screen locker rewritten and re-released as 0.1 functional
* siglaunchd, a daemon which listens to dbus signals and runs applications
accordingly, got regular expressions (string patterns) matching, and was
ported to C. For example, one can set the aux button to launch the dialer and
the other can set a sound when screen is dimmed with as little as no effort.
* Homezoneapplet 0.2. An applet and daemon to display the O2 (german
mobile provider) Homezone icon. Now works on FSO and SHR.
* omnewrotate 0.5.3. Updated for 2008.12 compatibility.
* Recognizing that they have never been able to get the projects gforge
running well, Openmoko decided to throw the towel and terminate the project.
Sean said: "If somebody wants to step up and own this responsibility -- you
bet -- we'll pay the bill." Luckily Armin Ranjbar (a.k.a. zoup from FDOM),
stepped forward (among others) to lead the newly formed, community-led gforge
administration team on the Openmoko server. He is creating an admin mailing
list were interested people can join him (link here).
* opkg.org relaunched ! New look, same API. Now if Openmoko wants to
terminate useless projects, how about the "community repository" ? Is there
any community project to feed opkg from the gforge ?
* The documentation team discussed on how to write the missing Neo's
* OpenJDK integration into Jalimo was finished, including packaging.
Cacao+OpenJDK runs on the FreeRunner. A step towards better Java support in
all OpenEmbedded devices.
* The technical feasibility of fixing the "buzz" at a reasonable price was
confirmed by several hardware repair shops. Steve is still working on the
program to bring that "big capacitor" rework to users worldwide. The
technical draft is still being worked on: how to open the case, how to test,
possibility of using alternative capacitor types (although these will be
provided for free by OM), possibility of applying other A6 -> A7 hardware
upgrades like the GPS/uSD fix at the same time... Do not expect resolution
before CES (jan 8-11). Meanwhile, DIYers will be supported.
* The level of lust for 3G on GTA03 reached astounding highs on the
community mailing list. For a reality check before dreaming further, read
Carsten explanations on the costs of a 3G module. For insights about
schedules, read Steve's explanations on production in real life.
Tips and tricks
* No audio on 2008.9 after suspend/resume ? If you installed navit, it
pulled speech-dispacher as a dependency. Try killing and uninstalling
speech-dispatcher. See ticket 1599.
* Terminal-based applications slow to startup on FDOM ? Try opkg remove
termcap, processing /etc/termcap each time takes like 10 seconds.
* Media player so sloooow it's unusable ? Try running it with a -15 nice
priority value (For users of pythm+mplayer, set it up in /etc/pythm.conf).
* A cooler theme in 2008.12 ? Try replacing "asu"
with "illume" /etc/enlightenment/default_profile.
* Enlightenment eating 20% CPU ? Disable drop shadows by
* Enlightenment crashing with the illume theme in 2008.12 ? Try disabling
drop shadows. Otherwise, change the "Engine" in the enlightenment config from
SOFTWARE_16 to SOFTWARE (to access the config, disable qtopia
under /etc/X11/Xsession.d first, restart X, do the config, then move qtopia
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