Weekly Engineering News 33/2008

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at openmoko.com
Sun Aug 17 19:51:56 CEST 2008

some of the stuff that happened in engineering in Taipei last week:

*) The first 25 GTA03 EVB came back from our small-run SMT company in  
Taipei. This is the first time the GTA03 design can be tested. Initial  
u-boot tests looked good, CPU runs at 533 MHz and SDRAM at 133 MHz.  
This board will be tested thoroughly over the next 2 weeks.

*) Big Om 2008.8 review meeting. Next steps are to adopt a more Debian- 
like unstable/testing/stable regime. Simplify branches in OpenEmbedded  
from 5 to 3. Use 2 feeds in org.openmoko.dev to build both unstable  
(AUTOREV) and testing (fixed revisions).
*) Met with sales people for Audience noise cancelation chips. I am  
wondering whether we really need that and wouldn't be better off to  
attempt the same in software.
*) Discussion whether we should close projects.openmoko.org for new  
submissions and instead recommend code.google.com. After some debate,  
we decided that although code.google.com may have technical  
advantages, we want to try keeping projects.openmoko.org running for  
now. However, we don't have enough resources to improve GForge, the  
software behind projects.openmoko.org, and it seems more or less  
abandoned. Maybe Mark Shuttleworth fulfills his promise and releases  
the sources behind launchpad.net soon ;-)

*) Shawn tested GPS performance on the new GTA03 EVB. We have upgraded  
from ANTARIS 4 to ANTARIS 5, and see much improved performance, as  
expected. u-blox did a great job of hiding the many improvements in  
their solution from us, so the replacement really worked out of the box.

*) 2 people from Telit visited, and we are excited to hear that the  
openess of their documentation is not an accident (hello Samsung), but  
part of their business strategy. Let's hope that is true, and we will  
take a closer look at their GSM modules, UC864-E etc.

*) Sean back from US trip, where he heard good news from Marvell  
regarding openess. Maybe we will evaluate some Marvell CPUs, like  
Marvell 310.
*) Slashdot found out that you can now run Debian on the Neo  
Freerunner (http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl? 
sid=08/08/16/0037221). We are very excited about that, Debian has  
_MANY_ fans at Openmoko. It won't become Openmoko's official  
distribution anytime soon, we do believe in the power and flexibility  
of OpenEmbedded. However, it's good that there is another option  
available, and we will find out which one works better for everyone.  
Way to go Debian!

On the software side, we keep improving and fixing bugs across the  
board. Expect to see new repositories and lots of bug fixes soon. Also  
please keep your contributions coming, patches are very welcome.
Best Regards from Taipei,

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