Daily Snapshot Review 11 Feb 2008

Kevin Dean kevin at foreverdean.info
Mon Feb 11 22:43:29 CET 2008

My review of the 11 Feb 2008 snapshot is now online at

Today's bootup time saw a slight decrease but this may be human
reaction time. In any case, it seems that this image of the kernel has
pretty consistant boot times as it has been unchanged since the 31 Jan
2008 image.

The biggest change I've noticed with this image has been sound quality
while making phone calls. As a caller using a Neo, call quality has
usually been poor by default. For me this has been plaqued with
ambient noise being picked up and echoed through the speaker. The
voice of the other party has also been too quiet. Both of these issues
seem to be fixed for me today.

Other than that, I saw no signifigant changed between the 31 Jan 2008
image, thought I'll be using the device more today and updating the
review if anything signifigant changes.

I would recommend that users update to this image.

I'm also playing with the idea of changing my review format. I've been
noticing some small issues that are hard to categorize in the existing
categories. I'm not sure if I would break this down into a
application-by-application review or if (what I'm thinking would be
better) a meta-package review. The PIM system seems decently tied
together (for instance, a bug in Dialer that reports calls twice also
causes openmoko-today2 to show two missed calls) and a problem like
Solo not being playable would affect the openmoko-games section.

I've also added a few sections to the GPS section. While Wiki is fully
editable and I appreciate the input of many people, I thought I was
clear as to what I was reviewing every time I publish one of these. I
am reviewing the default images as generated by
buildhost.openmoko.org. Because the non-free driver is non-free, it's
not a part of this image. For this reason, I have added three new
criteria to the GPS section:

1.) GPS works "out-of-the-box"

It would be unfair to give Media Player a positive review in the video
section because a patch or driver exists somewhere that gives it the
ability to play video. In the meantime, I identify the shortcoming and
link to any information I am aware of that corrects the problem in a
way consistant with the aims of the OpenMoko project.

2.) Default install contains GPS software

The Neo1973 is technically capable of synching with many Bluetooth
devices, but since there is no interface to do this (as would be
expected on a consumer product) it is "broken". For the same reason,
since the Neo1973 is technically capable of GPS-based functions, but
no software exists to make use of this functionality, I consider it
"broken" for the purposes of this review.

3.) Driver is powered by Free Software

The aims of OpenMoko are to enable the most free, consumer ready
device possible. The use of a non-free driver stands contrary to this
goal as long as GPS based navigation is also on the feature list. In
the case of the GSM modem and such, those non-free bits do not require
user-interaction to install. I dislike non-free firmware but
understand there are issues that prevent this fully at this time. The
installation of a driver, on the otherhand, is a bit more than I'm
willing to accept. Luckily, FIC/OpenMoko Inc. agree and have corrected
this in future models.

-Kevin Dean

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