[Shr-User] Quick e-mail poll: Still using your Freerunner?

Yogiz yogizz at gmail.com
Sat Feb 6 23:28:52 CET 2010

Hi Ed,

On Sat, 06 Feb 2010 13:16:05 -0800
Ed Falk <falk at efalk.org> wrote:

> I bought my Freerunner over a year ago.  On the first boot, it made a 
> very loud raucus sound which, as far as I know, blew out the speaker,
> as I have never heard an undistorted sound come out of it.
If your speaker really is broken, your Freerunner will probably not be
much use as a phone unless you use hands-free with it. I suggest you
install the latest software so you can be sure it's not a software
problem. If it isn't you'll either have to get the speaker repaired or
live without sound.
> I discovered that the only way to adjust the volume was to log in 
> remotely and run a command-line volume control application.
SHR is currently the most popular distribution on the Freerunner. The
latest version ships with decent volume defaults and call volume can be
changed during calls. If you want more control, then currently the best
idea is to run alsamixer yes, either remotely or from local terminal.

> I tried to develop a GPS application for it, but GPS would not work
> if there was an SD card installed.
I have not heard of such a problem so if It's not exclusive to your
hardware, it is fixed by now.
> The device drew so much power that the battery was only good for an
> hour or so, and the device grew too hot in my hand to hold.
Currently, using the Freerunner as both a phone and a PDA I usually can
go for two days before plugging it in overnight. If I use a lot of GPS
for example, the time is shorter but it's not bad at all and suspending
works very well currently.

> At this point, I realized that the Freerunner was not yet ready for 
> prime time.  I put it back in its box and put the box on a shelf.
> The battery is surely dead by now.
> I hope someday that the software will become mature enough for me to
> try again, but unfortunately, I just don't have the time to work on
> it.
> So no, I'm not still using my Freerunner.
> Is there a "how to" document on the wiki that might tell someone in
> my shoes how to bring the device up to date so that I can try again?
Well, my suggestion would be to start playing around with the latest
SHR-Unstable. You can get the filesystem image and the kernel from
http://build.shr-project.org/shr-unstable/images/om-gta02/. Download
the full-om-gta02.jffs2 and uImage-om-gta02-latest.bin to get the
latest versions. To flash them to your Freerunner you'll need dfu-util.
It's in the repository in Ubuntu so you can just apt-get install it,
if it's not in the repo, you can download it from
http://downloads.openmoko.org/distro/releases/Om2008.9/dfu-util. It
seems like an old version but I doubt that would be a problem. I
realised that you might be a Windows user, I don't know how you should
flash in that case, maybe someone else can comment. Anyway on Linux, to
make flashing more comfortable, you should also download neotool from
http://users.on.net/~antisol/neotool. Just put it somewhere and run it,
it presents a nice GUI for the flashing options. You'll have to select
the rootfs image and kernel images that you downloaded and should
select the jffs2 file and bin file respectively. Then connect your
Freerunner with USB cable and while keeping the top-left button
pressed, press the power button. You should be presented with a boot
menu. Now just start flashing from neotool. Once both images are
copied, which may take quite a while, disconnect and reboot the
Freerunner and SHR should run. I'd suggest you to keep an eye on the
mailing lists to see, when anything new and interesting appears for the
Freerunner, until then just play around with the different software in
the repos and packages all over the net. 

I realise that all this info is already probably written down somewhere
but I had enough time at the moment : ). If there are any other
questions, do ask.


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