[Gta04-owner] [Community] Impressions from running Replicant

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Tue Jun 25 10:51:50 CEST 2013


Hi,
finally I have found some time to experiment with Replicant
and Android (well, when digging deeply into hardware design,
production issues and kernel bugs there isn't plenty room
for learning something new).

I made an SD card with a Replicant image (2.3), put it into the
GTA04 (L2804) and after a while the nice red replicant
robot did appear. Then, the android home screen came
up! Fine!

My first impression is that it has some similarities with
QtMoko (it is difficult to judge who did take which ideas
from whom and some may even have the same source
or have become common knowledge).

It wasn't really difficult to find out how it works, how to power
on/off the device, how to get back to the start screen. How
to go to the settings. Even finding a Terminal program
wasn't difficult.

The only strange effect I have is that when powering off, the
screen becomes dark. But on powering on again, I just see a
small blinking underscore cursor and the Android GUI has
gone :(

I did not find a trick to get it back. Pressing the power button
just toggles on/off. Inserting an USB cable makes the power
LED become green (i.e. to indicate charging).

I have not tested with a SIM card so I can't tell how well
UMTS and telephony are working.

Then I installed Eclipse and the android developer tools
and found an exampe code to program a small pocket
calculator. This did need some time to debug because
there are minor changes between the screen shots and
my Eclipse installation. After approx. 2 hours of work the
code did run in the Android emulator.

Then I booted the GTA04, plugged in the USB cable
and tried to run the code on the GTA04. This was really
easy! The GTA04 did show up on the list of devices,
download was done automatically and my pocket
calculator did run on the GTA04. Within less than 2
minutes.

So I must say I am really impressed what the Replicant
developers have crafted! Kudos to you and keep up your
great work!

I am starting to think about making a goldelico supported
replicant image so that future GTA04 owners can order
it right away on a big SD card. This might help a little
to increase interest in our work, although it is obvious that
the GTA04 does not really stand out in the big, big crowd
of Android devices.

Nikolaus

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