[Community] GTA04-N900 vel. Neo900

Sebastian Krzyszkowiak dos at dosowisko.net
Mon Aug 26 14:35:50 CEST 2013


Short introduction, as I was rather inactive in this community
recently: I'm dos, long time Openmoko supporter, owner of GTA02 and
(now broken) Nokia N900. Few years ago I was quite an active developer
of FSO (opimd) and SHR. Few days ago I've created website draft for

As we all know, GTA04 project has few non-technical problems. Poor
demand is one of them, poor availability of parts is the second one.
Those two problems together are pretty much show stoppers, cause if we
fix one, the second one becomes harder.

But Joerg Reisenweber came up with brilliant idea of adapting GTA04
board into N900 case. Why?
- second source N900 housings are very cheap and available on eBay in
big quantities -> problem with very small amount of Openmoko cases
- there are still new spare parts floating around on free market

But using N900 gives us more:
- GTA04 with physical keyboard!
- screen that doesn't appear to be off in full sunlight
- it seems that while some people like Openmoko case (I do), most
rather think "it's nice idea, but I wouldn't show up anywhere with
such a brick" :( N900 case seems to be more commonly accepted by
public ;)

Wait, there's even more!
- if done right, we can engage Maemo community and increase the demand a lot!

There are LOTS of broken N900s in possession of Maemo community
members due to problems with faulty USB connector and GSM modem. Many
of them (owners ;)) are waiting for proper N900 successor that never
came (N9 is not, and Nokia is not interested in platform anymore at

This might be great time to merge efforts from Openmoko/OpenPhoenux
and Maemo communities. Neo900 project can benefit from both of them -
there will be QtMoko/SHR/Replicant on the one side (it's just modified
GTA04, so running all of them should be very easy), and there will be
Maemo, Meego and maybe more porting initiatives on the other side.
Joerg's idea includes full port of Maemo 5 (Fremantle) to allow N900
users to have drop-in upgrade - just like now GTA04 is for GTA01/02
owners. I think that can increase interest a lot!

For now we named it "Neo900" - making nods to both N900 and Openmoko roots :)

I'm super excited about this idea, and it seems that I'm not the only one:
Look at http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=91142

You can also read logs from #maemo from yesterday and today:

It seems there is some interest, and that's just on Maemo side :)

What do you think?

Sebastian Krzyszkowiak, dos

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