Some questions I always wanted to ask

Laszlo KREKACS laszlo.krekacs.list at
Sun Apr 19 11:34:50 CEST 2009


I would like to ask some question which always bugged me.


1. Why glamo was choosen in the first place back in the GTA02 design phase?
- 2442 required it absolutely? (ie. a graphics accelerator is needed
in any case.)
- There were no alternative graphics chip to glamo?
- There were no alternative CPU (like 6410 just two years earlier)
which does not require an external graphics chip?

2. How deep was known all the glamo deficiencies when the GTA02 design
was finalized?
- Raster always said that glamo was designed to 320x240 screen and not
640x480. Was it known back then?
- Glamo bandwith limit was known?

3. Was the GTA02 tested performance wise at all? (were most of the
glamo weakness would turn out)


How are the target audience identified?

Maybe the question seems a bit too simple, but this buggers me the most.
In my view Openmoko makes false assumptions, targeting ghost groups.

In "plan B" they are targeting "embedded engineers", what are the facts backing
this statement?
Was identified who buyed the GTA01 and GTA02?
Was any poll on the website where the owners could vote why they buyed
the device?
And meet their requirements?
Did Openmoko asked even once that how many owners wanted to hardware
mod the device
(they would be these "embedded engineers" even if some of them are
only hobbyists)

These *marketing* research wouldn't cost Openmoko Inc. a cent... Im
not a marketing guy
at all (I was teached a year at uni about marketing, but I only
learned to avoid it if I can;),
but these researches are so obvious.

I would ask the owners (if I were openmoko) the following questions:
1. Do you use your openmoko?
a) daily
b) weekly or when I have free time
c) times to times (monthly)
d) I do not have time but I plan
e) I do not plan to use it anymore (dusts covers it)
f) broken
g) I sold/offered it
h) else. I write it in the comments

2. What openmoko device do you have?
a) GTA01
b) GTA02
c) both
d) none, but I plan to buy GTA02
e) none, but I plan to buy a future device (ie. not GTA02)

3. Are your requirements fulfilled by the device?
4. Are you content with the device?
5. Did you hardware-mod the device?
6. How would you identify yourself?
   (regular user, developer, system developer, hardware engineer, etc)
7. Did you contribute to the software?
   (kernel, FSO, i wrote an application, i contributed to an existing
application, i plan, etc)
8. Do you like the look, the case?
And so on....

Did Openmoko Inc. do any research how many owners come back to the
mailing lists, contributed,
so how many are them active? In other words, how much is the yield rate?;)
More then 13000 piece of hardware (GTA01+GTA02) are significant...

What I want to say with all this, that any future device should be
targeted using these findings.
So if none of the buyers done any hardware mod (beside the bugfixes
(SD, buzz-fix)), the
"plan B" target group are basically nonexistent. So building any
seller plan on them is committed to fail.

Future device:

In my humble opinion we should clearly find out why the selling was poor.
So why many buy just didnt happen. I dont know if there are many
people like me, but
basically the dealbreaker for me was the look, multitouch and the poor
community opinion (like non-existent
graphical performance).

So my opinion was this: As the software is not matured enough and I do
not have free time currently tinkering
with the phone just to be usable as a phone. I can wait until the
GTA03 comes out with a look which does not
suck and have a camera and multitouch.

But I changed my opinion in this (openmoko) situation. As there are
fears that there will be no more phones,
I will buy it (GTA02). Just the currency in my country worsened so
much that it costs me the same now
(with the huge price drop) as back in august last year.
So Im waiting for the currency;)) In anyway I will buy it only if it
is buzz-fixed
(either wait to v7 or mailing the shop before buying it(which takes
time and annoying a bit).

And I would identify myself as a software developer, who wants to
write an application to the phone.
So I do not want to fix kernel or system software or telephony
software (like paroli or shr phone applications),
but write an independent application for it. I need openmoko because
it is a small computer with touchscreen
and extreme battery life. And I can carry it always because it is a
phone (I do not forget it at home).

Maybe it is just me who have this opinion and Im not part of any
target group. But Openmoko Inc. should do
some *research* if it is really the case.


(Again) Im not a marketing guy at all. But in my opinion the selling
wouldnt be improve overnight.
As the software matures, and people find it useful, the selling will
improve slowly.
On the other hand the phone becomes more and more obsolete as more
sexy phones appears on
the market, which comes with the conclusion, that regular end-users
will never be the target group.
(the regular end user always buy the provider's phone with a contract anyway)


Why Openmoko kept the same case for GTA02?

The case is not sexy at all. Im not blaming because Openmoko designed
an ugly case.
Im blaming because openmoko designed a phone(GTA01) selled more then
3000 pieces of
it, and they come out with a completely new phone (GTA02, hardware
wise) with the
*same* case.

They were not capable to ask the owners and future buyers how they
like the case.
And again, can somebody point me only one manufacturer which comes out two
completely different product in the same case and marketing it that way and
even targeting a different group (developers vs. end users)?

Just look at the auto manufacturers. There are cars which didnt
improved much, but
even then, the case is changed. New, fresh look is always a good thing.

I even remember, that there was many complains (in forums, news sites)
just about
the case back in GTA01 starting.

Community participation in hardware development:

Facing the facts, there are two key software which simply lacks:
- EDA, PCB designer software.  The closest free software:
  alternative: eagle
- 3d CAD program. The closest free software:

Maybe the PCB designer software can worked around by EAGLE,
where the community would use the free version of it (designing always a
part of the phone), and the Openmoko Inc, would work with the full version.
(integrating the parts together).

In all other way the Openmoko Inc. should sponsor the development of the
softwares, which is likely to fail.

So are the community hardware development viable knowing the lack of software?

Thank you for reading my long email. It is a bit random and hardly
connected, sorry for that.
(Maybe acceptable in this brainstorming phase)

I try to participate and closely follow this list in the future.

Best regards,

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