OpenPhoenux – Independent Mobile Handheld

Goldelico GTA04 – OpenPhoenux

Here is a nice video featuring the Goldelico OpenPhoenux (GTA04), which is the successor of the Openmoko Freerunner (GTA02).

The video shows the GTA04 board booting and running the QtMoko GNU/Linux distribution which is based upon Debian GNU/Linux and optimized for smartphone usage. Furthermore it shows an early version of the 3D printed GTA04 case, which can easily be modified to everyones needs and ordered at Shapeways.

If you’re interresed in this awesome project, please have a look at its project page www.gta04.org and take part in the GTA04 Group Buy Tour.

Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag

[update] GTA04 Installation Guide for SHR

GTA04 Installation Guide for SHR

This is a step-by-step guide, which should get you from zero to a working SHR on your GTA04 in just a few minutes.

Update Nov. 2012: Updated the instructions to the new default U-Boot enviroment.

Getting the files

Preparing the U-Boot enviroment

uboot multiboot menuThe new U-Boot system (as of November 2012) provides a graphical multi-boot solution.
If your device is shipped after November 2012 you’ll probably already have this system pre-installed.

Otherwise you’ll have to get the latest hw-validation image from  http://download.goldelico.com/gta04 and put it on a specially formated microSD card (using the makesd script). Then boot this special hw-validation microSD card having the AUX button pressed, to flash the new boot system (the screen will trun red while falshing).

After switching back (or reformating) to your normal microSD card you can always access the boot menu by booting the device, having AUX pressed.

Preparing the SHR microSD card

Your microSD card can have several partitions, e.g.:

  • 1st partition: ext3, “rootfs” (e.g. for SHR)
  • 2nd partition: ext3, “system” (e.g. for Debian)
  • 3rd partition: FAT32, “data” (e.g. for music, documents, …)

Installing SHR

To install the SHR image, you have to untar the image you downloaded to the “rootfs”-partition. Then you have to copy the bootargs.scr file to /boot (on the microSD card).

tar xzvpf shr-image.tar.gz --numeric-owner -C /media/rootfs
cp bootargs.scr /media/rootfs/boot/

First boot

shr wizard screen
After you cleanly unmounted the partitions and put the microSD card back into the GTA04 you can boot your device, having the AUX button pressed (to access the boot menu). You’ll be greeted by the graphical U-Boot multiboot selection. Select the partition to boot from (e.g. SD:1 for SHR).

Next, a first start wizard will pop up, which let’s you choose between some options.

Be aware to choose a scale factor of 2.0 when asked. Other than this you could just keep the defaults.

You can now login via USB networking at: 192.168.7.2

Installing Firmware

If you want to use the WiFi/Bluetooth chip, you have to use a non-free firmware from Marvell.
To get it you have to install linux-firmware-sd8686.

opkg install linux-firmware

Congratulations

shr home screenYou successfully installed SHR on your GTA04.

For further information or if you have any issues, please consult the SHR wiki.

Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag

Building a Case for the Goldelico GTA04

I just came home from my christmas holidays and found a nice, little parcel from Shapeways in my mail box. It contained my first experiment with the Blender 3D software and the Shapeways 3D printing service.

Update: Follow the efforts here: 3D printed GTA04 Case

The Story

A few weeks earlier I started to work on the original Openmoko Neo 1973 (GTA01) CAD files, as found at goldelico.com, with the intention of creating a 3D printable model, which I could print and use as a case for my new Goldelico GTA04 smartphone. To get started I got a Blender 3D crash course by a friend of mine.

First Attempt

As I never did any 3D work before I started with the easiest part – the battery cover:

   

This first prototype was printed using the “White Strong & Flexible” material offered by Shapeways. As you can see on the pictures, this material is a little rough, but still feels nice in the hands. Furthermore I removed the hole at the bottom, as it was pretty hard to design.

The printed part fits nicely on my existing Openmoko Neo Freerunner (GTA02) case, which contains my GTA04 board at the moment:

     

Future Plans

Now, that my first attempt was pretty successful, I plan to further work on this topic, to acquire a full case for my GTA04, so I can use the old case for my beloved Openmoko Neo Freerunner (GTA02) again.
As a next step I’ll modify the Neo 1973’s middle and front parts to be printable with a 3D printer and I’ll probably try to print them using a less rough material, to compare the results.

How you can help

If you like this effort, I’d be happy if you’d go to my Shapeways site (“SlyParts”) and order the first part of your GTA04 case, which will raise 1€ for myself, which I’ll use to order further prototypes.

If you don’t have a Goldelico GTA04, yet, you should take a look at the GTA04 Group Buy Tour, where we collect a batch of 350 orders which will be produced at once, so the price can get squeezed down.

If you ordered a part at my Shapeways site, please leave a comment here about which material you used and how it feels.

Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag

Updated: Openmoko Community Survey 2011

Update 9.1.2012: results are updated.

As the year 2011 nears it’s end, we – the Openmoko Community – did a poll [0] about which is the most popular hardware and which is the most popular software in our community. The poll was open for one week now and we got votes from 73 people.

I decided to close the poll now and release the results to the public. To create a ranking I gave 1 point to a “YES” vote and 0.5 points to a “(YES)” vote. The maximum (100%) is 73 points.

Rankings

Software Side:

1. SHR                  112.5 points    (61%)
2. QtMoko                99.5 points    (54%)
3. Debian                75.5 points    (41%)
4. Other Distro          40.0 points    (22%)


Hardware Side:

1. Om GTA02             158.5 points    (86%)
2. Goldelico GTA04       71.0 points    (38%)
3. Nokia N900            34.0 points    (18%)
4. Other Device          26.0 points    (14%)
5. Palm Pre (+variants)  14.5 points    ( 8%)
6. Om GTA01               9.5 points    ( 5%)
7. Google Nexus S         7.0 points    ( 4%)

Conclusion

On the software side SHR is still the most popular distro, directly followed by QtMoko. Quiet a few people commented, that they intend to code their own software/GUI mostly to educated themselves.

On the hardware side the Om GTA02 is the clear winner (which was expected). Surprisingly the Goldelico GTA04 is the 2nd most interesting device in this community, even though very few people have one, yet. Still, most of the developers already own one and you should get yours soon [1], as it seems to become a common target of this community. The Palm Pre, Om GTA01 and Google Nexus S got very few points and thus are probably not worth to support…

Happy New Year

Now, i’d like to wish all you Open Hard- and Software-Enthusiasts out there a good start into the year 2012. I hope the GTA04 project will flourish in 2012 and will help our community to grow and free the phone again!

Links

[0] http://www.doodle.com/sh6insnivnvqyz7h
[1] http://www.handheld-linux.com/wiki.php?page=GTA04 Group Tour

Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag

webOS is going to be OpenSource Software

HP the company which bought Palm some time ago just announced, that they are going to release webOS as open source software! The Linux kernel side of webOS was open souce since the beginning, with a few exceptions like the PowerVR 3D driver and the touchscreen driver.
We’ll see how far HP will go and what parts they’ll really open up (their announcement didn’t mention the modem protocol for example).

webOS is probably the best and most intuitive software running on smartphones today. And was said to be “the iPhone killer”. Unfortunately the first device it was sold on (Palm Pre) wasn’t exactly the best hardware as it had serveral flaws like a bad keyboard slider. Thus webOS wasn’t adopted by masses of developers and suffered from a lack of applications, which in turn made it uninteresting to end users.

I got a Palm Pre in the early days and I also got a HP|Palm Pre2 developer device some months ago, which I still enjoy to use. All in all I enjoyed developing for those devices, too, but it was pretty depressing to reverse engineer parts of the modem protocol, to be able to have it communicate with the FreeSmartphone.org (FSO) middleware and run a really free and open source operating system like SHR.

So with this news from HP what we could probably get in 2012 is:

Let’s hope the best for the mobile FOSS community in 2012!