moko13 firmware

Mychaela Falconia mychaela.falconia at
Thu Oct 12 16:42:33 UTC 2017

Bob Ham <rah at> wrote:

> then
>    the FreeCalypso firmware is not based on OM's historical firmwares.
> Therefore, the statement regarding the recently released moko13
> firmware update was not false.

The person I was refuting did not say that the new fw is not based on
OM's historical fw, he said that it is not based on "the original
licensed firmware for Openmoko devices".  A reasonable interpretation
of that "original licensed fw" phrase is "firmware which TI licensed
to OM", which would be the 20070608 build of TI's TCS211 fw.  FC is
based on the latter, hence the statement is false in this reasonable

It is true that FreeCalypso fw is based not only on this TCS211 fw
from 20070608, but also on a more recent TI source (TCS3/LoCosto) that
was released free to the world in the spring of 2012 by Dr. Amol Sarva,
the CEO of Peek Inc., as that company was closing, but both of these
starting sources were equally essential to allowing FC fw to become
what it has become (a deblobbed fw rebuilding from source, with
bugfixes and improvements over the original blob-laden TCS211 version
which OM must have used), and neither of the two sources can be said
to be more primary or more essential or more critical than the other.

However, the specific configuration of FC Magnetite fw that is featured
in the moko13 release is very conservative in that wherever some code
from the TCS3/LoCosto source has been used to replace some formerly
binary-only code from TCS211 (L1 and main.lib), that new code has been
massaged to compile into a perfect match to the original blob, as
verified through disassembly, modulo some bug-fixing changes like
fixing the floating inputs bug described earlier, so those parts are
still effectively TCS211-based despite using the new source - we just
regained the ability to study and modify those parts by deblobbing
them.  The more aggressive change of fully replacing the TCS211 blob
version of the G23M protocol stack with the new TCS3 full source
version (TCS2/TCS3 hybrid config) is not included in moko13 (this
hybrid config still needs to have its bugs shaken out), but is planned
for the next release.

Once FreeCalypso makes the transition to the hybrid config with this
entirely new G23M PS version, then you can correctly say that it is no
longer based on the same TI baseline as OM's historical fw, but not
until then.

I hope that my explanation clarifies this firmware situation for
everyone.  I am sure that some people are going to argue that my
continued maintenance of and improvements to OM's firmware are illegal
because I am not an NDA-bound employee of that company and thus have
no right to work on the code they got from TI, but then you need to
remember Openmoko The Company *no longer exists*, hence it would not
be possible for *anyone* to be an employee of that no-longer-existing
company.  So if your lawyer tells you that the no-longer-existing
status of Openmoko-Inc means that no one in the world can legally make
improvements to their firmware and your only legal option is to
forever use their ancient firmware from 2009 or earlier with bugs in
it, then so be it.  For the rest of Humankind who are not so deathly
afraid of lawyers, the new and improved firmware is freely available.


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