Questions about the usability of GTA02

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at
Sat Jan 31 21:15:28 CET 2009


> 4) GTA03?
> Or would u rather advise me to wait for GTA03?

No, definitely not.
First of all GTA03 is still a long way out, at least 6 months, maybe  
9, maybe more.
But more importantly, at Openmoko you cannot assume that GTA03 = GTA02  
+ new hardware features.
When Sean started the project, the reason he chose to use 100% FOSS  
software only is because it gave him full flexibility to make very  
unique and interesting devices.
GTA03 is an independent new product, the continuity to GTA02 is  
foremost on the software side, hardware continuity only follows  
because if we have a great fully open driver for a particular chip, we  
are more likely to use that chip again.
The software stack we are building together can be (roughly) described  
as: Qi + Linux kernel + FSO + Paroli.
But for the hardware side, at this point you should not make any  
assumptions about GTA03 hardware features.
They have not been finally decided yet, and in fact may be so  
different from GTA02 that we will continue to produce and ship GTA02  
for a long time, even after GTA03 is released.

That's why it's very important for us to continue to improve GTA02,  
both on the hardware and software side.

Since GTA02 shipped about 6 months ago, the software side has taken  
off in ways we could have never imagined. It must be the world's  
largest software construction site by now :-)
Om2008.12, FSO, SHR, FDOM, Qt Extended, Debian, Gentoo, Android,  
Most of these distributions don't really work very well yet, compared  
to typical polished mass-market products. I think Om2008.12 or  
QtExtended come closest.
But all of the distributions are definitely a lot of fun, and great  
seeds are being planted that will lead to better software in the future.

> But shall i, at least, rather wait for a7, or a8 if i want a buzz  
> fix by
> default? at the moment, this is, besides battery life, the issue that
> concerns me most.

On the hardware side, we went through several revisions - A5, A6, A7  
coming up. There will be more, we will continue to improve quality  
whenever we see an opportunity. This creates a dilemma. The more we  
improve quality on the hardware side, the more we leave some customers  
'behind' with old hardware revisions that cannot be easily upgraded.  
And our process is totally open.
For example if you buy an A6 now, depending on which country you are  
in, and which network you are typically using, your chances of hearing  
the buzz are higher than with A7 (which is not shipping yet).
Your best bet is to buy from a distributor that has a good return  
policy. We work with our distributors on finding efficient solutions  
for the situation we are in, where we come out with improved hardware  
revisions every few months, and all the defects that are being fixed  
are openly known and talked about. This creates a lot of work on all  
sides, but with a little understanding that we are all sitting in the  
same boat, I'm optimistic we can find a good way through this, with  
happy customers in the end, even if it's a bit chaotic.

The FreeRunner is available and selling in 16 countries, and I'm very  
happy to see our community active in so many areas. The whole thing  
really seems to work :-)
Thanks everybody, Best Regards,

On Jan 31, 2009, at 10:11 PM, Tschaka wrote:

> So, again somebody is asking a question about usabilty. Please don't  
> get me
> wrong, i actually browsed the mailing lists and wikis, but still  
> there are
> some unsure things, and i'd like to have a bit more of a  
> summarization.
> I'm interested in buying an openmoko Neo Freerunner, but i'd like to  
> get to
> know some things before i will. I'm a student, so 300 €(even 249 €,  
> Pulster
> ;) ) is an amount of money i can't spend every month, or w/o any  
> effort. So
> i don't want to end up getting a Neo now, being unsatisfied and  
> getting a
> gta03/other brand later this or next year.
> I'm not that deep into Linux, but i'm running Ubuntu reasonably  
> well, so i'm
> not totally unfamiliar with linux. i know what svn/git is, and  
> wouldnt be
> totally unable to build somethings from sources - although it's not  
> an every
> day task here.
> So, here's my list of questions, i hope somebody will answer and  
> clear them
> up a bit :)
> 1st) Battery Power
> sometimes i'm at university from 9am to 10pm 6 days a week. I'm often
> browsing mobile news pages with my phone when going to university,  
> or having
> a chat (XMPP of course!), approx 40 minutes a day. In the meantime i'm
> listening to music.
> I got no actual watch, so my phone is my watch, means i often  
> activate the
> background light to get to know the time.
> I'm sending like 1-5 messages a day, having a phone call now and then.
> Now and then i would like to access the web via wifi.
> So, since i'm not able to plug the phone to a power source at  
> university,
> would i be able to run it the whole day, without getting out of  
> battery
> power after 10 hours?
> And, will there be a (software) fix (soon) for the issue, that the  
> battery
> gets uncharged, even if plugged in, as soon as the battery is fully  
> charged?
> (i got no problem charging the phone every night, but when it's fully
> charged at 2am, it would have been running 7 hours on battery power  
> by my
> arrival at university, so the battery would be low sooner)
> 2) Calls
> As i'm sometimes having a phone call (huh, surprise), i would like  
> to know,
> if the echo, and especially the buzzing issue will be fixed soon. I  
> read,
> the echo was fixed in FSO/SHR already, but regarding the buzz i read  
> the
> mailing list, but there i didnt feel i got a reliable answer(sorry for
> asking again). i'm not familiar with soldering iron, and i'm not  
> willing to
> crack up another phone (already did once this way :) ). So, will  
> there a fix
> of this buzzing soonish by default (a7, a8?) on the base of the often
> refered capacitor? (as i said, i'm not willing to pay twice, getting  
> a gta03
> later due to unfixed buzz problems, or replacing a damaged  
> freerunner).
> Also, i'm not willing to pay 300€ for a phone that doesnt allow me  
> to have a
> nice talk with my dad or gf on an at least acceptable level for the  
> person
> on the other end (u know, my gf isn't that patient and insightfull  
> with
> opensource software(issues) as i am, it took me weeks and shutting  
> down icq
> completely to convince her to use xmpp :) )
> 3) Software
> I got no problem with rudimentary software. Most important thing is  
> Sending
> messages, Having a few Calls, Having GPS apps to improve  
> Openstreetmap and
> such and browsing the web. I know the software is something being  
> worked on,
> and apparently it improved a lot already.
> But: Do such basic features work already (like browsing phone book  
> to make a
> call) acceptably reliable? I'm patient in handling problems and  
> fiddling
> around a bit, wanting to have a succes in the end though.
> And: how sluggish is the software? i often read glamo slows the  
> phone down
> pretty much.
> 4) GTA03?
> Or would u rather advise me to wait for GTA03? I really want to  
> support
> Openmoko, and to be honest, as i heard first of openmoko like 2  
> years ago, i
> already wanted to have one. On the other hand, i'm sorry to say,  
> that such
> fundamental bugs hold me back getting one yet. But according to the  
> wiki,
> gta03 will have features like EDGE, a Cam, better battery and  
> removed glamo
> (rather fast software "feeling" and video performance?) that sound  
> very
> interesting.
> EGDE would be nice, but for me isn't necessary, and as Cam i could  
> use my
> current phone.
> But shall i, at least, rather wait for a7, or a8 if i want a buzz  
> fix by
> default? at the moment, this is, besides battery life, the issue that
> concerns me most.
> 5) Summarize
> Long story short, i don't want to get disappointed buying a neo. I  
> mean,
> fancy features, software and such is nice to have, but if  
> fundamental things
> won't work (acceptable), I and many others won't support Openmoko on  
> the
> long term, means replacing the Neo with a later release of Openmoko  
> in 1,2
> or 3 years.
> and, as sean moss pultz wrote, "John Doe" won't see any advantage of  
> getting
> an openmoko over other "open" (haha, at least on his point of view)  
> phones
> like iPhone, and Android ones.
> Hopefully i'll get some constructive hints on my questions, and if i'd
> rather wait, or buy on the spur of moment.
> -- 
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