[Tinkerphones] Tinkerphones...

Andrew Schenck andrew at springahead.com
Thu Jul 7 21:37:28 CEST 2016

On 7/7/2016 11:54, Adrien Dorsaz wrote:
> Hi,
> Le jeu 7 jui 2016 à 8:25, H. Nikolaus Schaller <hns at goldelico.com> a 
> écrit :
>> I for example have to admit that I use an iPhone. A very old one 
>> because it is mechanically compatible to the car kit of my car...
> Currently I'm using a Samsung Galaxy SIII. I would like to use my GTA04 as
> before, but it has again an issue with the USB port.
> This time, when I plug the cable of the OpenMoko charger, nothing happens.
> Before my USB port was moving and my local electronic shop was able to
> solder it again. Unfortunately, this time the USB port doesn't move, 
> so I'm not
> sure if it is an issue on hardware or software.
> I think that's an hardware issue, because I've tried several software 
> (QtMoko,
> Replicant and the Debian-LXDE, none works).
> Although I've lost a bit my motivation, because the USB port has an issue
> every 6 months and I know I won't be able to spend more time and money
> to fix these recurrent issues (I'm not particulary skilled with my 
> hands and
> I've never worked with electronics).
I have this exact same problem since about two weeks after I bought my 
used GTA04 from Orest Tarasiuk on this list.  I have a Freerunner that I 
bought previously that I use as a battery charger and I cycle through 
three batteries: one in the device, one charged spare in my pocket, and 
the final one charging at home.  It's tedious and I have to set the time 
every time I change batteries, but I'm able to use the GTA04 to make 
calls and send and receive texts (though not MMS), and very occasionally 
to browse the Internet with Aurora browser on QtMoko v57.  Eventually I 
might try to lean on a more capable solderer friend to reattach the UBS 
port, and then epoxy the whole thing in place to prevent the solder 
joints from breaking again.
>> So I still dream of a device that is modern enough and can be owned 
>> and operated as long as I like and get software updates for a very 
>> long time. It is also supported well enough so that I can even try to 
>> repair something.
I've already prepaid the full 1140€ for a Neo900 device, so when 
(hopefully not if) that project finishes I plan on switching to that as 
my everyday device.  At this stage, judging from #neo900 on freenode, 
I'm a bit worried that there won't be any OS ready when the hardware is 
finalized.  Joerg has repeated many times that the project is about 
creating hardware which maintains compatibility with the N900 hardware, 
and someone else will have to make software that works.  If I can scrape 
together some more available funds I'd like to also preorder a GTA05, 
but I haven't been able to do that yet.
> I'm particularly happy with the GTA04 / Tinkerphone community because
> the kernel development is sill active (long time after GTA04 production !)
> and that a hacking weekend was organized to take back QtMoko active.
Community and communication is very important.  Neo900 hasn't put out a 
(micro)blog post in a long time, and they were talking about needing a 
communication officer in IRC yesterday.  Having some sort of constant 
stream of minor updates keeps people engaged.
>> And, I would like to see a uniform user interface across all portable 
>> devices, desktop devices and even web access.
>> But not only user interface but API and SDKs. Why shall I write 
>> software for mobile, the same app for desktop and provice web pages 
>> for mobile plus desktop? Four different pieces of code! All 
>> incompatible in different languages, toolkits and libraries, but 
>> doing all the same for the users - just in different screen dimensions.
> Yes and that was almost possible with the Firefox OS project which 
> tried to create
> applications using standard web technologies. Unfortunately, the project
> was relying on the 3D graphics capacity and I didn't find easily a way to
> run the closed firmware with recent kernels (though, I don't know kernel
> and graphic firmware interaction in general).
>> It is a dream and I haven't found that it is fulfilled anywhere. 
>> Therefore I am continuously tinkering with GTA04, Letux kernels, 
>> Pyra-Handheld, QtMoko, QuantumSTEP and all the other activities. What 
>> are your motivations and dreams and thoughts?
My motivation is owning my own device (as opposed to renting it from an 
giant corporation that can choose to deny it to you at a whim) which 
respects my freedom.

> I dream about the GTA04A5 (which had a fix for the USB port) runing
> QtMoko and a more recent web browser :)
> The icing on the cake will be to have a screen more readable at sun light.
> Unfortunately, I know the price is far too expensive for my budget
> and I don't think my wife will be ok to buy the newer model :)
> My motivation is exactly what you described in the announce of the 
> Tinkerphones
> community: I'd like to take time to tink my phone, especially with 
> free (as in
> free speech) software and I'd like to experiment some little application
> developement on such device.
> Best regards,
> Adrien
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