2008.8 raster + zecke, great useability, and remaining flaws

Daniel Selinger slite at gmx.at
Tue Aug 26 18:21:19 CEST 2008

First of all i want to thank raster for his _great_ 2008.8 image,
especially for the keyboard. (In fact i didn't recognize much more
changes, but im playin with it for 2 days now, so i'm sure i didn't see
a lot) And zecke for his _great_ temporary repository for 2008.8.
Without you we were nothing ;) (an of course big thanks to all other
devs as well)

These two make the freerunner actually useable as my daily phone with
some small drawbacks i can live with for now. I was somewhat unsure if
i could use it as a phone when flashing and trying the vanilla images
of the various distros, but finally i'm very impressed by all your
work. All of the images show big potential and promise a great future
with lot of diversity and openness. I'm sure as soon as the whole bunch
of freerunner buyers starts developing we will get an even more
impressive and mature platform.

Just to sum _my_ big flaws i discoverd in my first 2 days which
somewhat annoy me:

1. Unstable suspend
The phone tends to go to a sleeping beauty sleep and never wake up
again for the next 100 years. (No call, no powerbutton, no nothing
wakes it up, even tried to kiss it awake ^^, The kings of ancient times
would have loved it if sleeping beauty had a battery to rip out of her
back to reboot her)

I just disabled suspend for now, as the battery lasts for about 6-8
hours when the screen is blanked. Thats enough for me, as i'm just
jumping between computers my whole day where i can plug the FR.
Remaining problem with this setup, even when the screen is locked, the
display switches on when something touches it (pocket). Which reduces
the battery life to about the half (calucated myself with output of

Idea: Would be nice if we could have a blank mode which only switches
on the display with the aux button. If screen not locked -> touch
switches on, If screen locked -> touch nothing -> aux unlocks and
switches on. Question: Is it somehow possible to disable screen
touching manually and maybe script the event of the aux button in
2008.8 to reenable it?

2. Voice echo
As some people already mentioned on the list, callers hear their echo,
in addition to that when i play around with state files i tend to hear
myself when talking (through the speaker, not as usual ;). I already
fiddled around with alsa a bit (Control.5 'Mono Playback Volume')
helped a bit, but not a lot. I thought that this should reduce
speakervolume, which if my ears aren't completely crappy it didn't at
all. Instead of that, if i push it to values smaller than 70 the other
person doesn't hear me anymore. Why does a control named 'Mono Playback
Volume' influence the recording of my voice? o.O

I think the main reason for the echo is the loud speaker (i can hear it
when the phone is a half meter away on my table if the other person
speaks loud) which resubmits the other voice again.

Did someone manage to get rid of this echo and how? (i already followed
the trac ticket with only little benefit) Is there any detailed
documentation what the alsa controlls really do as their name seems
completely misleading? I will play around on my own when i have time
and try to figure out which of the alsa controls really put down the
speaker volume and which will help to reduce the echo. I'll let you
know the results if any. Maybe some more reliable .state files should
be included in the images, rather than the ones which are shiped now.

3. 2008.8 keyboard
This is no issue which hits me because i use rasters image. But i, and
i think a lot of other people would love to see the keyboard of rasters
image on 2008.8. Either as default or changeable via illume-config. I
also would love to have the qerty button visible by default.

Despite that im very happy with the current status of the software,
sure there are some glitches there and some bugs there, but i expected
that and like it to see the steps forwared and have to hack a bit to
get what i want. Big big congratulations to all the folks at openmoko
and FIC, thanks for all the work you put into this and spare time you
sacrificed for making this possible.

I hope, we, the users and parttime developers and testers, can give a
lot back to this project, that you can watch your child grow and be
proud of it. Which is what we, as oss developers, really want for our

rgds daniel

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