moko13 firmware

Mychaela Falconia mychaela.falconia at
Tue Oct 10 20:16:35 UTC 2017

Hello Om community,

A little over a month ago a certain disgruntled ex-Openmoko employee
posted a knowingly false statement on this list, a false statement
which I feel is still in need of factual correction.

On Tue Aug 29 01:05:29 UTC 2017 Joerg Reisenweber wrote regarding the
recently released moko13 firmware update:

> Please carefully note that this update is not based on the original licensed
> firmware for Openmoko devices,

This statement is false, and the poster knows it.  Both OM's historical
firmwares and the current FreeCalypso ones are based on the same
20070608 base code delivery from TI; in the case of the current openly-
source-published FC firmwares you can see the original 20070608 code
and all subsequent evolution in the public Mercurial commit history
(yay for open source), and in the case of OM's historical firmwares
for which there is no corresponding source, you can see the dates in
the component version strings displayed with AT%VER, or see the same
strings with dates in them by running strings(1) on a mokoN image
after converting it from *.m0 (byte-reversed SREC) to straight binary.

All of the post-20070608 updates that appear in OM's historical mokoN
firmwares are also included in moko13, with the single exception of
the unofficial L1 update from 20080421 that was a totally misguided
attempt at fixing bug #1024, which did not fix the problem (it
couldn't, as the fw was fine and the problem was in the hw), and which
according to OM's own Sean Chiang (public ML post from 2008 quoted
earlier) had not passed TI's internal quality control.  In fact, OM
had taken this unofficial and *experimental* L1 update from TI, and
despite knowing full well that it had not passed TI's internal quality
control, included it in their production moko10 and moko11 firmwares.
AFAIK whatever type approval or certification testing OM had done was
well before this bug #1024 wild hunt, and there was no recertification
testing with moko10/11.  Thus one could argue that OM should have
voided their certification when they included that known-to-be-
unqualified L1 update in their production fw.

Thus moko13 has NO functional or quality or stability regressions
relative to moko11, but contains improvements on the contrary: a more
proper version of L1 free of misguided and mysterious hacks, and a fix
for the floating inputs bug described earlier.  It uses the exact same
version of TI's code which was in use at the time when OM passed their
type approval or certification testing, and has been carefully vetted
by the FreeCalypso team which has much greater GSM expertise than OM
had ever demonstrated.

The bottom line is this: if you have stopped maintaining a piece of
software, you have no right to be upset and angry when someone else
picks it up and takes over its continued maintenance.  You have not
released any new modem fw updates since early 2009, and the last
release you made on 2009-02-24 still contains easily provable bugs:
being an EE, you surely know that floating inputs are a bad idea.  So
why are you upset that someone else has picked up the maintenance of
this firmware and is fixing your bugs?

If there is anyone still left who uses a Neo FreeRunner as his or her
primary everyday phone, I encourage you to update your modem fw to
this current moko13 release.  I am also working already toward the
next fw version in which the entire G23M protocol stack will be
replaced with a newer version from TI (newer than any of the versions
which OM ever had), and this newer version also comes in full C source
form, rather than blobs.  This new radically-deblobbed fw already
exists (hybrid configuration in FC Magnetite), but it still has a few
remaining bugs and missing features which I need to work on.

The FreeCalypso core team is also soliciting input from the wider
community as to what kind of new hardware products people would like
to see.  The current choices are:

Option 1: a packaged SMT modem module that can be used as a component
in new smartphone designs like Neo900, replacing the mainstream
proprietary ones, for those who desire a free modem badly enough to
forego all of 3G/4G and use GSM/2G instead.

Option 2: a self-contained "dumbphone" handset consisting of a Calypso
chipset, a 176x220 pixel (probably 2") color LCD and a 21-button
keypad, possibly 3 side buttons as well, for those who just want a
plain phone and do not wish to be burdened with the extra complexity
and power consumption of a Linux computer in their phone.

Option 3: new production of Neo FreeRunner (GTA02) verbatim clones.

We are definitely interested in hearing which of the above might be of
interest to people, if any.

Mychaela Falconia
Mother of FreeCalypso

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