Community newsletter

Brenda Wang brenda_wang at
Tue Dec 30 04:58:44 CET 2008

Thank you for the great newsletter.
Great job


Minh Ha Duong ??:
> Hi everybody,
>   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 
> was transferred to knowledgeable community member  
> Armin Ranjbar (nickname: zoup), and got a complete overhaul.
> Contents
>     * 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
> Distributions
>     * 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 
> distro.
>     * Bytestore points out an augmented 2008.12 image with russian keyboard, 
> GPRS and other goodies. 
> New applications
>     * 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 
> upon request.
>     * 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. 
> Applications updates
>     * OpenMoocow 0.3 released. Changes include: better graphics from 
> 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 to use the FSO framework. It should 
> automatically detect scenario changes and update the mixers now. Put 
> into /usr bin and chmod +x it. volume_fso.desktop goes 
> into /usr/share/applications.
>     * The Zedlock screen locker rewritten and re-released as 0.1 functional 
> prototype.
>     * 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. 
> Community
>     * 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).
>     * 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 
> reference handbook.
>     * OpenJDK integration into Jalimo was finished, including packaging. 
> Cacao+OpenJDK runs on the FreeRunner. A step towards better Java support in 
> all OpenEmbedded devices. 
> Hardware
>     * 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 
> deleting /usr/lib/enlightenment/modules/dropshadow.
>     * 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 
> back). 
> Yours,
> Minh
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