gta02-core (was Re: OM future)

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) raster at
Fri Feb 26 04:36:45 CET 2010

On Thu, 25 Feb 2010 11:04:26 -0500 "Gay, John (GE Infra, Energy, Non-GE)"
<John.Gay at> said:

> As rasterman knows quite a bit more about hardware than most people I
> know, I'm curious to know his opinion on the Flow G1.5 and up-coming G2
> from Gizmo for you?
> Sounds at least as open hardware-wise and Openmoko was and seems to
> actually be available for a price, though a rather high one.
> I also find the game platform and general-purpose daughter card rather
> interesting.

i think it's interesting. it's about the closest you can come to the "guys with
a pot of gold" and some hw. but - comparing it to a normal smartphone is hard.
it'd rough/ its bulky - very bulky. it's pretty old technology - except for the
cpu *gumstix) unit. the 3g unit seems decent. no idea of reception etc.

that price of 586 eur ($793 - lets say $800) (plus shipping etc.) is also
double the freerunner. and people bitched on how expensive it was (it wasn't
really they are just used to subsidised prices). now it's unclear if they
include the gumstix daughterboards or not as its the same price. i think you
need to buy them in addition (add $219 or $149 + shipping for these from
gumstix (the $219 will approximate a phone like the pre/n900 etc. as you get
bt, wifi 3d and dsp - the $149 earth has no wifi, bt, dsp or 3d - so you lose
all of them for the drop in price).

so... $800 + $220 + 2 lots of shipping (lets say $20 shipping for each - really
generous as it can be a LOT more (or a little less))... so... $800 + $220 + $20
+ $20 - $1060. so.. thats your price for a rough phone - yes. it's pretty open.
yes - it's a tinkerers dream. but its more than 2x the price of an n900 - and
the n900 is even a little smaller (same thickness) and comes with hw keyboard
and better resolution screen, mountains more onboard flash (32m) as well as the
micro-sd slot. so as such just comparing the devices - the n900 is 50% of the
price and a better unit - but it's not open. and the n900 is one of the
bulkiest things around in recent times. also you get no warranty :) but thats
the price of tinkerability.

so - flow - interesting. rather cool actually, but pretty rough and ugly,
expensive, troublesome (need to put it together yourself). also it's android -
so you'll need to port shr/debian/whatever  to it (well get it up) if you dont
want android (if all you want is android theres lots more nicer devices that
are cheaper - but you may be a "i must have open hardware" guy so who knows).

so all in all it's as close as you get if you must have open hw you can swizzle
- but you pay a hefty premium for it. it's also bulky and rather rough
(looks-wise). i don't think i'd pay for it. but thats my choice. it simply
doesnt present good value compared to the hardware that's there.

------------- Codito, ergo sum - "I code, therefore I am" --------------
The Rasterman (Carsten Haitzler)    raster at

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