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A Truly Open Linux Phone 164

Posted by kdawson
from the apt-get-phone-software dept.
skelator2821 writes to tell us about the debut of the OpenMoko, a Linux phone with GPS that is open from top to bottom. The device is set to debut to developers this month for $350, according to the article, but there is no detail on how to get your hands on one, and no link to the manufacturer (FIC). From the article: "This is the first phone in a long time to get us really interested in what it is, what it isn't, and the philosophy behind it. The philosophy is the thing that makes Linux great... it is really open. It runs the latest kernel, 2.6.18 as of a few weeks ago, and you can get software from a repository with apt-get."
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A Truly Open Linux Phone

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  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @09:00PM (#16761309) Homepage Journal
    If you read the article it does say that wifi is planned for a future release of the hardware.
  • by avapex (1003914) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @09:12PM (#16761457) Homepage
    OpenMoko does not yet return results on Google.

    Yahoo shows 2 results for OpenMoko.

    The $350 price tag is looking a lot better than the $600 tag attached to a similar Linux phone from D-Link.
  • More details (Score:5, Informative)

    by IvanCruz (316505) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @09:35PM (#16761763) Homepage
    ... can be found on Linux Devices: http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS2986976174.html [linuxdevices.com] and also http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS7056478804.html [linuxdevices.com]
  • by VP (32928) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @09:42PM (#16761849)
    Not the GSM vendors (Cingular and T-Mobil) - any unlocked phone with the appropriate SIM card will work on their networks.
  • Re:No Camera... (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @10:39PM (#16762349) Journal

    Pretty much any 'phone made in the last five years is a good 'phone. There are some exceptions, but not many. Once you've got the 'good 'phone' part solved, the question is 'what can we do with all the spare CPU power we have on this machine?'

    An address book is obvious; you need to store 'phone numbers anyway, so it's not much of a stretch to store the rest of the contact information. Add in IrDA or Bluetooth so you can trivially send vCards to other people and it's a useful feature. If someone asks for a friend or colleague's contact details you can hand them a virtual business card.

    Since you need to sync the address book with a computer, you may as well sync calendar information as well. I have my 'phone with me more often than my computer and so being able to have calendar alarms on the 'phone instead of the computer is great.

    A camera? I wasn't convinced by this one until I got a camera-phone. I hadn't owned a camera for quite a while and didn't see the point in getting one. But then I found out that having a camera that took reasonable (2 megapixel - not fantastic, but not bad) quality pictures in my pocket all the time meant I actually used it.

    A media player would be useful for the times I don't want to carry my iPod, except that the included headphone have sharp corners which hurt my ears and Nokia insist on a proprietary headphone socket.

    I can't remember what other features my 'phone has, but if they don't take up any UI space (and they don't, since I have a set of shortcuts to the features I actually use) then they don't bother me. Mass production brings the price down.

  • by DanielNS84 (847393) <DanielNS84&gmail,com> on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @10:42PM (#16762377) Homepage
    MiniSD != MicroSD For Comparison...
    MiniSD:
    |-----------|
    MicroSD:
    |----|
  • by webgeek2point0 (1003266) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:03PM (#16762517)
    You're absolutely right. I work for T-Mobile. As long as you have a handset that takes a SIM card, you can use any phone you like. We actually have a tech support department devoted to just helping people with unsupported devices. I help people all the time set up their GSM phones to use on our network (i.e. - internet and picture messaging). I believe Cingular is the same way...as is most of the rest of the world.
  • by snarkth (1002832) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @11:16PM (#16762609)
    I assume you are living in the US.

      Buy a tracfone. $29.xx at Walmart, 250 minutes for fifty bucks (or better if you want to spend more). Unless you need something that'll let you talk to your girlfriend for fourteen hours at a time, they are a pretty good deal. I recently carried mine on a trip across NW South Dakota and had a tower for just about the whole trip. No credit check, they pretty much just work, although adding minutes can be a pain sometimes, their tech support has been pretty good in my experience. Nice, too, if you want relative anonymity (ie, no name tied to the phone).

      Other cell co's/phone packages have pay-as-you-go plans; last time I was at Walleyed-world there were three or four phones like that on the displays for under $100 with various plans.

      Check to see what sort of service in your area is available first. Unless you are *way* the hell out there, at the very least a tracfone ought to work for you.

      Oh, and warning: These phones have other functions on them, too. Games, and shit. You don't have to use them, however ;-)

      Danged kids ;-) (I'm only forty and you are making me feel old ;-)

    snark!d

  • by bodan (619290) <bogdanb@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @07:37AM (#16765523)
    <blockquote>It can do ANYTHING, because it runs Linux. It's GSM so it can send and receive text messages like anything else. It can do web browsing, IRC, VOIP, whatever else you want, because it runs Linux.</blockquote>

    You forgot the origin of the thread. It is about hardware: it's got little memory, no camera, no wi-fi, no headphone (that's what the thread is about, whether it'll be true or not). Which means that even though the software can do anything, it can't take pictures, it can't do VoIP (well, it can do it over the carrier's lines, but that's not as nice as wifi), it can't be an mp3 player, etc.

    <blockquote>What else are you looking for? What can your "cheap candy bar Nokia" do that this can't?</blockquote>

    So his point was that without these hardware options, a "cheap candy bar Nokia" can do exactly on thing that this can't: be cheap. Implied in his comment was that he didn't care much about the software freedom without the hardware options.

    On a completely unrelated note, why don't all devices have a solid-state six-degrees-of-freedom motion sensor? Especially hand-held devices with a screen or a GPS receiver...

  • by refitman (958341) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @08:27AM (#16765775) Homepage Journal

    It is about hardware: it's got little memory, no camera, no wi-fi,

    FTFA:

    The initial version will come with 128MB of flash and 128MB of DRAM. There is the potential for a version with 1G of flash, but with a slot, do you really need it? OpenMoko comes with a 12mw battery for somewhere around three hours of talk time, but there will undoubtedly be more options if it takes off. It also has a Globallocator GPS unit and the phone bits are TI quad band GSM. The only thing lacking is Wi-Fi and that is planned for the next gen hardware.

    Easily expandable memory with the flash slot, Wi-Fi for the next gen. A little patience please from Mr Moon-on-a-stick.

  • Re:two points (Score:3, Informative)

    by GooberToo (74388) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:47AM (#16766473)
    According to your crazy logic, no one is able to run OpenGL apps on Linux with NVIDIA hardware because the drivers are closed source. If that's not what you mean, then your comment is completely without value. If that is what you mean, then you completely misunderstand. So long as the interface is available and documented (html, text, or simply header files), interfacing to a proprietary driver is not a problem at all. Just like writing OpenGL applications which run on NVIDIA's proprietary graphics drivers are not a problem at all.
  • by Ceriel Nosforit (682174) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:13PM (#16771417)
    http://openmoko.com/ [openmoko.com]

    Who would of thunk it??

    And, http://openmoko.com/files/OpenMoko_Amsterdam.pdf [openmoko.com] for the initial presentation of this device.

What this country needs is a good five cent microcomputer.

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