[Community] GTA04 status & website overhaul

kardan kardan at riseup.net
Tue Aug 13 11:12:22 CEST 2013


> Thanks for the fresh perspectives - let's get comments from
> others on this discussion list.
Until opinions drop in I want to deepen the exchange on the web
presence of openphoenux.org.

> Instead people are starting to ignore these threats. Because they
> think:
> * we can't do anything
> * there are more imporant things on this world to be solved
> * I have nothing to hide
It is worth to list problems but also I don't think this is too futile
to concentrate on what people on this list think.

> > Our phone campaign CAN be the answer to all of these questions, if
> > we manage to outreach a majority of customers.
> > 
> >> So the key question we all have is how we can get out of that
> >> situation...
> >>
> >> The question is less what we want to have, it is how we can get
> >> there.
"Crowdfunding needs a big team to prepare a professional campaign or
will fail immediately"

Comparing openphoenix.org with fairphone.com and u-edge we see the
design needs some love to make the GTA04 a shooting star.

> It is unlikely and not expected that someone interested in OpenPhoneux
> is starting at the company page (which is under rework anyways). 

Happy to hear that. Please share the progress on this.

> Yes, that would be an option to separate the openphoenux.org
> from the company to give it even more independence. A foundation
> would be a good start - but needs founders.

What about putting up a new frontpage in a git repository so more
people can submit patches?

> I am not sure if everybody has write access. Please tell me if you
> need write permission.

I registered an account but see no edit buttons yet.

> It is ready for production since 1 year, but there are not enough
> orders to finance the next production run and finish development of
> some final missing pieces (DIY antenna, 3D printed case for daily
> use) to make it a complete device not needing to disassemble an
> existing OpenMoko GTA02.

I recommend to optimize the speech to reach our goals:

Current status:

GTA04A5 is ready for production since summer 2012.
To enter next step of production we need 100.000 orders.
We opened the preorder phase and will give montly updates.
Major improvements of this revision:
* add DIY antenna
* 3D printed case for daily
* independend device (without the need to disassemble a GTA02)
(this goes to the front page alongside a slideshow of [case] images)

Next to it I would add the diagram of slide 27 with the current price.

> Maybe this presentation helps to better understand at which point we
> are with this project:
> <http://www.linuxtag.org/2013/fileadmin/www.linuxtag.org/slides/Nikolaus_Schaller_+_Lukas_Maerdian_+_Christoph_Mair_-_OpenPhoenux_Smartphone__Learnings_from_the_past_and_ideas_for_next_year.e290.pdf>
(I prefer to quote relevant parts inline additionally to pointing)

Page 7 is a great overview of advantages and should be promoted
prominently on the frontpage. I think the sticky notes design can just
be transferred surrounding the above block.

OpenPhoenux offers has
* free & open GNU/Linux/U-Boot based
* developed new hardware with open schematics and good documentation
* Community created cases (wooden, 3D printed, aluminium)

Aside the lovely blue-white-emblem saying "assembled in Bavaria".

Society breaks apart in people who want to use things and others who
want to personolize it. Diversity is great but it does not comply the
needs of community hardware. Following I summarize the content of your

Problems with closed phones
* slide 4  is contraproductive marketing: "Android and iOS are open
  enough for everybody. Yes!" (BIG), "No!" (tiny)
** not every bit and piece is open and extensible or even long-living
** Try to provide your own home screen to iOS. Even Facebook Home
** Try to connect a hardware keyboard. If you are lucky you have
an USB host port. But do you have the driver?
** Try to get an upgrade for your 2 years old Android device.
** Try to understand why your device fails in a specific situation.
** Try to make sure your data is safe.

Advantages of the community phone
* 5 OpenPhoenux stands for
* participation by everyone
* long-term support (e.g. software upgrades for an 2007 Neo 1973)
* fights planned obsolescence through open hard- and software
* allows to inspect what the system is doing 
* can be repaired using standard parts
* no central, intransparent, stock - exchange listed instance that
  gives directions 
* hardware production near to users (Europe) under fair labour
* independent from the "modern mainframe" and back to the networked,
  decentralized web everybody plays client and server roles and keeps
  control over his/her participation
* makes the technical system transparent, not the user
* extensible hard- and software
* DIY (e.g. 3D case)

> > => completely open phone (100% software, 100% hardware)
> > => privacy enhancements
> > => fair labour conditions for production and assembly
> > => clean resources (beyond war areas / human rights violations)
> > => open process - everybody can join in and contribute
> Isn't that summarised at the start page www.openphoenux.org well
> enough?
> You can also cross-check here:
> http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-main/page/FactsAndReasons/
Interesting, this also should go to the front. I have apicture in mind
with these notes sliding in replacing each other every few seconds.

* 10 GTA02 hardware (Openmoko Freerunner) went out of production in 2009
* GTA03 discontinued by Openmoko in 20XX?
* 11 GTA04 based on Beagleboard
•Full Linux support
•Open schematics
•Open layout
•Expansion connectors
•Lots of documentation
•Components available
* 12 schematics
* 13 GTA04A2 (Feb. 2011)
* 14 GTA04A3 (June 2011)
* 15 GTA04A4 – OpenPhoenux
* 16-19 cpu soldering problems due to heat of 260° that shortened
  circuits on VDD1, VDD2 have been solved by adding a Vapour Phase
* 21 Letux 3704 portable terminal with WiFi/BT,
* 22 Letux 7004 Tablet Prototype
** 7 inch tablet
** GTA04 inside
** UMTS (optional), WLAN, BT, GPS, USB
** ~10-15h operation time
** Qi inductive charger
* 23 Hardware Keyboard Prototype
* 24 Mass production: GTA04A5

The following four blocks are shown below the

* GTA04A5 revision of PCB is ready to go
to production
** small modifications to replace obsolete
components or improve production
** Price is still high due to small batch size
** But: there are not enough orders to start
** STOP a new batch (200 units could be produced within ca. 8-10
* 26 shows the problem open hardware with low production numbers
* 27 unsolvable cost problem
Community Software is inherently cheaper than commercial
** People compare prices of production batch size 1 Mio-units vs. 100
units and find the commercial (closed) HW much cheaper than the
community developed (open) device
** „... too expensive!“, „... scam!“, „... Vivaldi announces 200 EUR“!
** there is no solution or „white knight“ - open hardware is and will be
more expensive

* 29/30 wooden case GTA04_wooden_case.png
* 31 more colours
* 32 Step 1: reproducing the original Freerunner
case, using 3D printing technology
* 33 Step 2: generating a 3D model from the
PCB data in a semi-automatic way.
* 34 script workflow
* 35 Step 3: design a good looking & feeling case (based on PCB model /
  generated ref. case)
** Design contributions are VERY welcome. We're looking for industrial
designers / 3D modellers!
* 36 cases overview 

* OS
** 38 http://qtmoko.sf.net
** 39 SHR http://shr-project.org
** 40 Replicant http://replicant.us
** 41 Debian/LXDE http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-rootfs
* 43 We could do a lot of things, if there were more support by
  interested people, e.g.: •build many more GTA04A5 boards
** build new complete devices with 3D printed cases
** build a lot of Letux 7004 tablets
** protoype a Cortex A15 variant with bigger display and LTE
** work on a hardware keyboard
* 44 
** Due to the open bootloader, open drivers
and open documentation it is possible to
port any OS to the GTA04 platform.
** Are YOU interested to port e.g. WebOS,
FirefoxOS, UbuntuPhone, SailfishOS, $
{your_favourite}OS to the most open
hardware platform available?

Summarizing I propose this site structure:

........ logo ..........
| OpenPhoenux  | Blog  |
| Status Price |       |
| ------ images ------ |
| Problems    | Pros   |
| Production  | Price  |
| Case        | OS     |
| [Social] Links       |

Considering your latest answers I end up with this list:

> > * setup a blog about all current progress (i offer my help with
> > design)
> > * compress it to a leaflet and spread it <- MOST important atm IMHO
> > * connect and link to all other open hardware initiatives
> > ** for example this campaign [1] for an open source Geiger counter
> > [2] -target are 1000 pieces á 20€ - what about co-promotion?
> > * use all steps you are working on for promotion on the blog

I forgot the links in my last mail:
[1] http://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/880f9dba 
[2] https://apollo.open-resource.org/lab:pigi

> This is a false assumption that Goldelico wants to push some hardware
> into a market.
> OpenPhoenux and Openmoko were there first and goldelico.com is
> just one of several community members.
> One with a special set of capabilities to make such a project
> materialize, after the community did want to see it (as an improved
> successor of the Openmoko GTA02).
> So first there was the community looking for someone who can do
> it and Goldelico did develop the device for the community.
> This Openphoenux community is also open to other hardware
> manufacturers to contribute something.

Maybe this could go to the history section in slightly polished version.

> Rather people should start with www.openphoenux.org and find
> everything there - and in the last step come to an organization
> running the daily business part (stock, logistics, money).
> > So it is worth to optimize the page for hardware vendors who are
> > interested to sell to you or even would make a better price in
> > exchange for a logo on your front page for example .. I would do
> > that for you, but I am loaded with own (hardware) projects
> > currently.
> > 
> > What of the following is missing and prevents GTA04 to boom?
> > 1) product
> > 2) customers / preorders
> > 3) financial calculations
> > 4) funds
> > 5) marketing material
> > 6) marketing campaign
> > 7) employees / personnel / contributors / hat wearers
> > 8) user comfort
> > Which are missing?
> > 
> > What do you think are the reasons that keep your bird on the ground?
> > 
> > From my perspective it is about 4) 2) 5) (in this order).
> > 
> > So a first start would be
> > A collect info that everybody should know about
> > B outline a process for a multi-cycle crowdfunding campaign
> > C offer an easy way for interests to get a) involved b) a usable
> > phone.
> Yes, that is a good idea. If you need help to start, please ask here
> on this list. There are many just reading but have big knowledge to
> contribute for specific questions.

Starting with this mail I will continue with seperate posts on fair
supplyers and the other mentioned phone projects.

> >> The key question will be how much a "fair" OpenPhoenux increases
> >> the cost for such devices. And how much this can be compensated by
> >> higher demand by being "fair".
> > I see it the other way round: We make the requirement for fair
> > production as we know it is necessary and customers will appreciate
> > this. There is a need to feed. Imagine on the radio you hear of a
> > new phone, that is 
> > * good to you by enabling for complete control over hard~ and
> > software
> > * good to workers by respecting their rights and paying proper loans
> > * good to environment using clean resources and minimizing
> > production
> > * has fancy easy to use software with charming workflows
> > Whould you buy it? I would and most people out there as well.
> Only if it is cheaper than others at the same time... 

If you had the choice between two phones like the fairphone and u-edge
with equal feature set, while the first concentrates on worker's
stories and costs about 100€ more than the second which not even
publishes their supply chains. Which one would you buy?

> > People are getting used to get all for nothing (/few) which is
> > similarly for information and services on the web. There will be
> > some kind of awakening that "no cost" for customers means high costs
> > at another part of the chain - for the web it is to realize every
> > user is a product sold to ad/spam factories for example - for
> > hardware it is also about privacy at some point (which people will
> > realize soon / partly did already), but not only as there are
> > several more "real" drawbacks like working conditions, economic
> > destruction, war on resources, political interference by US/EU,
> > nuclear radiation, pollution, you name it ..
> Yes, I agree - but I am waiting for this awakening for several years
> now. And currently my impression is that it will not happen.

I want to encourage you to concentrate on the niches where it is
working. While it may be hard to find fans in bavaria I am curious how
many users we can get in germany/europe. But actually there is no sense
in limiting our perspective.

> It is the same with "fair coffee" at our supermarket. There is only a
> single brand compared to 30 others. And it is not even always
> available.
> Look, economy is currently against people being mentors and generous.

This may be some regional thing you describe as in my region I
can perceive a quite lively solidary economy movement.

> >> Another point to consider is the pure number of components. We have
> >> approx. 250 components from at least 50 different brands. Who is
> >> willing to do the work to research and track that initially and in
> >> the future?
> > Please provide us with links of all the information you have and we
> > will put our knowledge around it. Ideally in a wiki.
> http://projects.goldelico.com/p/openphoenux/doc/
> http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04/doc/
> > Don't question if anybody is willing to do it. OpenSource and
> > Crowdsourcing have proven that if anything is necessary to achieve a
> > goal, it will be done, no matter by whom, how many people, in how
> > many steps. We will get through it by the means of emergence.
> Well, my experience is that this does rarely happen. In most cases
> there are 10 times as many people telling what should be done
> but rarely anyone is doing something...
> There are statistics that most open source projects are between
> 1 and 4 persons working on it. Only some exceptions have more.

It's a huge difference if you talk about development or community
contributions. Majority of people were afraid of code so far, but it
changes. Projects about knowledge that are open for granular
contributions like Wikipedia and Microblogging are a pure success.
Maybe you missed the amazing translation process via etherpad
supporting the turkish socal movement: https://turkishspring.nadir.org

Now think of how our web tools need to look like to enable people to
We want to know:
* Which products/vendors are available for each component.
* Where do they produce (factory location)?
* What reports are known about their labour conditions?


Kardan <kardan at riseup.net>
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