libera/#neo900/ Thursday, 2019-01-03

clapont_hi and happy new years!14:30
clapont_I am wondering which is the status today for a "free" phone14:32
clapont_"free" meaning no android, no ios but a Linux distro which can be tweaked/etc14:32
Joerg-Neo900I think you can flash an alternative "FOSS"-alike OS to a number of hw platforms14:34
Joerg-Neo900check for example maemo-leste14:35
clapont_thank you; I must mention that I do not have any hardware and I also need to buy one (europe preferrable)14:40
clapont_oh, this is only the OS.. what about the HW?14:44
clapont_would a tablet existing on market work? meaning to reflash it somehow? do you know if there are successfull people?14:45
Joerg-Neo900please read their list of supported hw platforms / devices, and also the comment about status ("not ready for daily driver")14:47
clapont_thank you, Joerg-Neo90014:47
Joerg-Neo900there are a ferw devices/platforms that eventually should become available: Purism Librem5, Pandorabox's Pyra14:49
Joerg-Neo900you could say Librem5 is completely based experience with Openmoko Freerunner GTA02 and GolDeliCo's GTA04, since Purism HW devel Bob Ham alias >>rah is (Bob Ham)<< closely followed and always criticized those (and Neo900) projects particularly for only later 'publishing *all* the EDA *.sch *.brd and Gerber files (comparable with *.doc old Word format). Bob thought an open and community oriented hardware project like15:07
Joerg-Neo900GTA04/Neo900 must provide the files that allow competitors to simply send those files to a chinese hw house and have their own PCB etched and assembled even before the original project started selling devices. For the rest of hw design considerations Bob usually was mostly in line with what Openmoko, Nikolaus of GolDeliCo, and Neo900 aimed at. He even occasionally contributed with improvement suggestions. Let's see if he will adhere to his own15:07
Joerg-Neo900policies and requirements with Librem5, so far I don't even see schematics of that phone15:07
clapont_aha. thank you. now I have a start, I need to read and get back later with questions :-)15:08
Joerg-Neo900Pyra basically is a merger of the Pandora gaming console with GTA04, driven/developed by Nikolaus15:09
Joerg-Neo900Pyra for sure is "FOSS", for Librem5 the jury's still out15:10
Joerg-Neo900seems like Purism is going to follow the Nokia approach of just "throwing hw kernel drivers sourcecode over the wall"15:13
Joerg-Neo900basically exactly like every arbitrary Android device does15:14
clapont_I knew it was someone here, working on a small project, trying to continue the Neo..15:17
Joerg-Neo900Funny sidenote factoid: the idea to merge Pandora with Openmoko's definition of a smartphone occurred to Carsten Rasterman Haizler and me back in ~2009 and we contacted the Pandora crew about a joint project. Their response: no interest15:29
Joerg-Neo900(Carsten and me both were employees of OM back when)15:30
Joerg-Neo900clapont_1: your initial question sounds less tricky than it probably actually is. Since, while the definition of "free" seems as obvious and simple as the definition of "phone", the combination of both requirements in one device shifts perspective on both massively. Is a phone still the type of phone you thought of when there are no apps like streetmaps with guidance etc and even the mere voicecall function is working poorly at best? And is "15:43
Joerg-Neo900free" still the "free" you wanted when the complexity of code makes it impossible to mess with it, when you're losing a lot of security functions like fingerprint reader, password store, even access to appstore etc, as soon as you "tweak the linux"?15:44
clapont__by phone.. I mean a device which with calls/alarm/vibration; on this, I need ssh text client and an app for communication (think at finch text mode or Pidgin graphical); any extra is very welcomed bt not required15:49
clapont__FireFox working (or Palemoon/xombrero graphical browser) would be the last of what I would like. any aditionals are only welcomed15:52
clapont__sorry for my disconnections, I am travelling and the signal is not good :-(15:52
chomwitthappy new year from greece15:53
Joerg-Neo900pretty much everybody, first and foremost the manufacturers, considers "phone" as an entity. But actually it consists of segregate discernible parts hw-platform, OS, apps&ecosystem15:54
clapont_1I can also say that I look for a 5-6-7" linux capable laptop with calling capabilities15:57
clapont_1calling and network connection 3g/wifi15:57
Joerg-Neo900clapont__: while I agree with your definition/requirements and they were pretty much exactly the commonly accepted definition of a 10 years ago, meanwhile everybody adopted either iPhoner or Android and both follow a walled garden approach with ubiquitous "there's an app for it" mantra. It seems projects like maemo would stand the chance of a snowball in hell nowadays. "AAAW NO WHATASPP??!??? Sorry then I need to switch to another device since -16:07
Joerg-Neo900 while personally I hate whatsapp - I need it since all my relatives and friends..." is killing every sane new approach16:07
clapont__so I'm classic or maybe even old? :-) but I don't mind. I prefer to compile few text applications and rely on text as much as possible. being primarily a phone (call/alarm) I only wish to use it as laptop replacement when I am outside.. check a text email, do a ssh connection, check a finch/pidgin message16:14
Joerg-Neo900secureboot and trusted-computing etc enable apps that simply won't run on a system you can tweak, and they are impossible to port to systems that do allow that16:14
clapont__btw of pigdin, I successfully avoid MS's Skype with a compiled plugin from gitlab; it doesn't do voice/video but it has the basics16:15
Joerg-Neo900clapont__: exactly my approach to "phone" - alas not popular enough for any sustainable market anymore it seems16:16
clapont__ is the plugin for Skype16:16
Joerg-Neo900proof: try to find a single device with just halfway bearble keyboard (emu) that allows reasonable shell work16:18
clapont__ - I don't see anything other than marketing there16:19
Joerg-Neo900yeah, they don't have anything better than just marketing16:20
Joerg-Neo900culminating in their blogpost that praises what an incredibly great yet *difficult* achievement a mere hw switch was, to power down modem and camera16:21
dos1Joerg-Neo900: AFAIK Purism aims for upstreaming all their kernel work. I'd expect them to be at least comparable to Goldelico in their "upstreamedness" (in their marketing they claim to be "fully upstream", but that's a pretty optimistic goal to make and their deadlines are tight)16:22
clapont__the hw switches are selling points to me, especially if there are more - ie one for each device16:23
Joerg-Neo900dos1: upstreamed drivers for undocumented hardware are basically worth nothing though16:23
Joerg-Neo900dos1: while Nokia and Android did not *upstream* their kernel drivers (not all of them at least), they also published them16:24
Joerg-Neo900the whole hype about "upstream" is very much a FOSS sw developer thing that misses the root problem16:25
dos1anyway, while their blog is full of marketing-speak and their resources are kinda hard to find, they're there if you look hard enough. I'm optimistic on FLOSS-y aspect of Librem 516:29
dos1a bit less so on the actual technical progress, they're having termal issues with i.MX8M and replacing the SoC to i.MX8M Mini is still not out of the question despite of current release being set to april16:30
dos1release date*16:30
dos1just a little curio: one of the two modems being considered for the Librem 5 is PLS8 ;)16:33
clapont__it seems the phone costs 599usd but there are no specs displayed on the cart/shop16:34
dos1specs aren't even finalized yet16:35
Joerg-Neo900for an example, in Android it wasn't any (upstreamed or not) RIL driver that allowed snoopsnitch, it was the (leaked?) Samsung DIAG lib16:35
dos1also, there's, although it doesn't have a modem, so not sure if it really counts as a phone :D16:38
Joerg-Neo900>>Yhaving termal issues with i.MX8M and replacing the SoC to i.MX8M Mini is still not out of the question<< this was not even a question from very beginning, for me. Thermal problems were on top of the list with SoC selection criteria and ruled out all the i.MX8 available at that point in time (start of 2018) for Neo900 STEP216:38
Joerg-Neo900btw a happy new year to you, dos1. Long time no see. How are you :-)16:40
Joerg-Neo900(DIAG) as long as manuf doesn't provide hw docs sufficient to write your own DIAG if it doesn't exist yet, for example, as long you (user) got a severe problem with openness of the device16:44
Joerg-Neo900upstreaming is like publishing the exact specs of the fences and orientation, size and so on of your walled garden, so a swing seat or a new fancy fence deco could be made to fit in your walled garden as well as in others16:47
Joerg-Neo900I see why average FOSS developers are very interested in that, howevber it doesn't solve the root problem16:48
Joerg-Neo900(thermal problems) so we opted for the yet to get released(?) i.MX8 dedicated to battery powered embedded when we drafted STEP2 specs16:52
dos1happy new year :) I was under impression that i.MX8M, announced in 2017, was this "dedicated to battery powered embedded", but apparently it's still problematic. i.MX8M Mini is even newer, with first samples going out only a few months ago16:56
Joerg-Neo900we also talked with the folks to get a *really* free SoC but they are years from providing any SoC suited for a smartphone16:57
dos1earlier i.MX8 (without M) were obviously unsuited16:57
dos1hehe. RISC-V smartphone would be a big thing :)16:57
Joerg-Neo900>>earlier i.MX8 (without M) << you're absolutely right16:58
Joerg-Neo900if they get thermal problems with the i.NX8-M then their OS doesn't know how to manage the chip thermally16:59
Joerg-Neo900fun sidenote factoid: Samsung DeX station (cradle to run e.g. SG Note8 as mini-PC in desktop mode) has a *fan* built in to chill the phone :-D17:00
dos1apparently the first revision that's on their devkits right now have some silicon bugs that NXP is supposed to fix, but that's all I know17:01
dos1let's get ahead of the trend and make a phone with a fan already inside :D17:03
clapont__I'm leaving.. thank you for your advices!17:14
Joerg-Neo900((phone with a fan already inside))  funny enough I pondered something along that line already, exploiting audio system (aka speaker + chanber) and adding a resonance pipe and "valve" ("diode") to create a constant airflow through device from one orifice to another18:18
Joerg-Neo900but actually I'm dreaming of a radically different design meanwhile - the "classical PC design" in super mini, as wearable / portable set of multiple items, one containing the "CPU" with attached battery, then another with the cellmo stuff, one with (improved) WiFi, one for GPS, a separate display that not necessarily is a "screen" but may also be a HMD aka goggles or a projector or whatever depending on user's choice, then a sort of HID that18:29
Joerg-Neo900may be just a classical keyboard with trackball of whatever formfactor or an eyetracker in goggles or whatever you come up with, then possibly improved storage maybe even with optical drive optional, etc pp. Some of those blocks might get joined into one where it makes sense. All would connect wireless to each other. some optionally also e.g. via USB318:29
Joerg-Neo900very Utopia18:34
Joerg-Neo900but hey, only when aiming at something really new, you will achieve something moderately modern in the end18:35
Joerg-Neo900I doubt this concept could fly for the next maybe 10 years18:36
Joerg-Neo900but eventually we will probably reach a point where it becomes feasible18:37
Joerg-Neo900meanwhile: STEP218:37

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