Significant Numbers of Non-Developers?

Mark Eichin eichin-openmoko at
Sat Jul 21 00:40:43 CEST 2007

Giles Jones <giles.jones at> writes:

> On 20 Jul 2007, at 22:25, Ortwin Regel wrote:
>> Order #1833 here and not a developer at all. My last Linux
>> experience was that I changed the screen resolution in Suse 9 to
>> something that didn't work and wasn't able to change it back and
>> get back to the GUI. :P Still, I need this phone and I need it now.
>> It's the phone I've been waiting for for about four years. Pretty
>> much since I got my Tapwave Zodiac and wondered what would happen
>> if it was also a phone. I love to be an early adopter, even if it
>> takes time for stuff to get usable. This is just too fascinating to
>> wait any longer. I'll probably buy a GTA 02 in October, too, and
>> sell my GTA 01 or give it to one of my favourite Palm game
>> developers if I'm feeling generous.
>> I hope people will help me if I'm stuck in some scary command line. ;)
>> Ortwin Regel
> No, you want the phone. :P
> At the moment it's not a fully working device, it will do very
> little. It will be frustrating to have a phone which does nothing. If
> you haven't ever had to flash a phone or use recovery methods to
> repair a bricked phone then you'll end up with a paperweight.
> I've not done much embedded development for a while, my background is
> in C development. I started on the Amiga and wrote some MIDI software
> such as MIDI drivers, audio output plugins. I did embedded
> development for a year, developing firmware for network hardware.
> Trust me, even I am a little nervous about having a Neo and not being
> able to contribute. So if you're not a developer you'll feel even
> more frustrated and impatient.
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This isn't early adopter - this is *pre* adopter - I'd suggest that
the 02 model is going to be early adopter, realistically...

I ordered one because I think I'm ready to do something useful with
it, because
  * I've already done some of the relevant code in python on my Nokia
    6630 with an external GPS 
  * I've done from-scratch build and installs for the Gumstix
  * embedded gcc/g++ used to be my full-time job (anyone remember Cygnus? :-)
  * I've written code on an iCreate too
  * I've used an oscilliscope within the last 6 months...

Remember that the one recent live demo we've seen (on youtube, that
user's group meeting) involved several iterations of killing and
restarting daemons from a remote session on a laptop, and answering a
call with AT commands; while we *hope* it's a little more solid than
that, I'm expecting that to be part of the debugging to be done in the
first batch.

Remember also that this one doesn't have 802.11, so until you build
yourself a power+usbwifi lashup, it won't really count as a PDA either
(why yes, after about 2005 if it doesn't have net it's not really a PDA :-)

(I'm also expecting to pick up a cheap pay-as-you go SIM for operating
the FIC with, since I actually still need to call and SMS people :-)

There's also some gadget-lust going on - I'd probably buy this phone
*without* a software install, if it had sufficiently documented
hardware, just because (esp. as an Amateur Radio operator) it's the
level of control I believe I *should* have of a piece of hardware that
I'm paying for.

It's pretty clear from this list that there are a lot of wildly
varying fantasies built up around the phone, but I don't think
anything we've heard officially that suggests that anyone for whom a
command line is "scary" is going to get any value out of it...

			_Mark_ <eichin at>
			The Herd Of Kittens

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