[Tinkerphones] Curious

David Boddie david at boddie.org.uk
Fri Jun 15 18:02:41 CEST 2018

On Thu, 14 Jun 2018 17:54:56 +0200, H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:

> What are you currently working on (wrt. to Tinkerphones)?
> What do you expect from doing this? What are you missing
> most? What should happen to make you contribute here more
> actively?

I haven't done much related to Tinkerphones in the last few months. I was
away for a while starting then quitting a new job, so I didn't really plan to
do much.

One of the things I did in preparation for moving away to work was to try and
prepare a more modern Linux kernel and userspace for an old laptop I picked
up at the end of last year: https://www.newit.co.uk/shop/EFIKA_MX_Smartbook
It's now out of stock at that vendor, and they seemed to be the last place
to sell it. :-( I wanted to pick up a unit before they disappeared

A Debian contributor had ported Jessie to it and I was able to use his
distribution but couldn't reproduce the build myself, which was frustrating.
I also got a modern FreeBSD system running on it thanks to the existing port
that had been done many years ago:


Getting it running was simply a case of using the correct configuration,
reverting a more recent change to USB support and using a custom version of
U-Boot that the developer had made. So there is a way to use an up-to-date
Unix-like system on this old hardware that doesn't involve Linux. ;-)

I also played around with Inferno (http://inferno-os.org/inferno/index.html)
again, running it as a guest OS under Linux on the laptop, and trying to do
a native port to the hardware. Inferno is an interesting, but under-explored
system, possibly because keeps some Unix heritage but discards a lot of what
other Unix derivatives need to run software. I keep coming back to it because
I find it fascinating and it contains a lot of technologies that look like
they would be really useful.


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