openm...@pulster.de (Christoph Pulster) wrote:

> Besides legal issues, I miss the thanks to Michaels effords.

Thanks, I appreciate the change in attitude from this previous post
of yours:

: From: openm...@pulster.de (Christoph Pulster)
: To: community@lists.openmoko.org
: Subject: Re: Building a new totally free phone
: Date: 23 Aug 2013 11:54:00 +0200
:
: > just because something is illegal does NOT automatically mean that
: > it's bad
:
: Just because something is illegal does not prevent it to be crap.
: You are not interested to built helpful hardware, but enjoy your  
: erection being a self-called outlaw. Have fun with it, but no applaus  
: from my side.

For some reason that 2013-08-23 post is not visible in the web archive
at <http://lists.openmoko.org/pipermail/community/2013-August/date.html>
- perhaps your use of the word "erection" triggered some filter?

> but concerning technical effords, he was very  
> insistant and pushed it as far as writing a tool for easy change of IMEI  

Just in case it isn't already clear, that IMEI change kit came about
merely as a *side product* from my main work seeking to produce a
better-than-OsmocomBB totally free GSM phone firmware.  In TI's fw
architecture, the actual GSM code runs more or less as an "application"
on top of a quite rich RTOS environment, and getting this RTOS
environment (by which I mean not just Nucleus, but also RiViera, RVT,
FFS, ETM and other components) fully working and fully under our own
control is a prerequisite for tackling the actual GSM code.  This RTOS
environment just happens to include a full-featured Unix-like file
system (TIFFS), so naturally tools are needed to operate on this file
system.

The IMEISV is just one data item stored in TI's GSM device file system,
and because of its "forbidden fruit" status, a lot of people have been
asking for a way to edit it freely, hence it was quite natural to take
several FreeCalypso tools (written for the primary purpose of free GSM
fw development and debugging) and string them together into a very
hacky kit for editing the FFS on GTA01/02 modems.

> without having full access to NDA-infos.

The 4 TI source leaks on which my work is based are TSM30, LoCosto,
MV100 and Sotovik, in the order of discovery/liberation.  The real
thanks go to those who have brought all of these leaks out into the
public - as Comrade Stalin said, the country needs to know its heroes.

But in the case of TIFFS specifically, I didn't have a source for this
fw component until the MV100-0.1.rar find, and believe it or not, I
actually reverse-engineered that FFS format on my own (by staring at
hex dumps of flash read out of my GTA02 and Pirelli phones and
reasoning how one would implement a writable FFS given the physical
constraints of NOR flash) just a few days before I found that MV100
source leak!

Matthias Apitz <g...@unixarea.de> wrote:

> I use my GTA02 FR as my daily phone, running a SHR from 2012. I have no
> other cellphone [...]
> i.e. I _highly_ depend on working phone features (call, SMS).
> And IMHO this should be our primary focus for an OpenSource cellphone,

Just in case I haven't already made it fully clear, that is exactly
the focus of my work.  The IMEI change kit was/is merely a byproduct
made by stringing together the tools which were written and are needed
for main GSM fw development.

> because my FR sometimes fails in accepting calls, often fails in
> receiving SMS, not always works up from suspend, the people I call are
> blaming me for my poor voice, etc.

With the current leo2moko firmware, I am quite confident that the GSM
modem in the FR works the way it should, no major flaws.  The fw in
question does have a bunch of binary blobs in it, making it very hard
to modify some things until we deblob it, but even these blobs are in
the form of COFF objects with full symbolic information, parsable with
the objdump utility from GNU Binutils built with the needed patch, so
while having very limited ability to modify them at the present
moment, we can still examine these blobs with a high level of
transparency.  And as you can probably guess, I have already examined
these blobs quite extensively, and hence have a high level of
confidence in the quality of the fw.

So with the modem no longer being the black box which automatically
takes the blame for any and all problems with phone functionality, the
finger of suspicion now points at the Linux application processor
software on the FR.

In my opinion, the problems which reduce the usability of the FR as an
everyday cellphone stem from the unnecessary complexity of the Linux
AP.  If all I want is a cellphone for making and receiving phone calls
(plus SMS), why in the heck should I have to deal with the enormous
extra complexity of a Linux computer built into that phone?

As some may remember, which I first joined this mailing list in the
fall of 2011, just before I got sidetracked for 2y to deal with the
"Closedmoko" muck, my intent was to write a Linux-from-scratch/Buildroot
environment for the GTA02 AP that would turn the FR into a functional
equivalent of a dumbphone.  But during the 2y I spent fighting the
other battle, my technical views changed - and my current belief is
that the technically-best way to have a Totally Free Phone for everyday
cellphone use is to build a Free Dumb Phone with no Linux at all.
Use the Calypso as the phone's main and sole processor, rather than a
2nd-class modem, and connect the phone's UI hardware elements (LCD,
traditional numeric dial keypad, ringtone generator and vibrator)
directly to this Calypso main processor running totally free firmware,
with the liberated GSM stack and phone UI functions compiled and
linked into a single image, based on TI's rich RTOS foundation already
mentioned earlier.

If I am not mistaken, it is my desire to build a Free Dumb Phone
instead of a smartphone that drew the negative comment from Christoph
Pulster some 6 months ago, quoted above.

> Maybe others have other focus, because they use whatever iPhone or
> Android for phone features

Whaat?  No, not me.  I currently use this phone:

http://bb.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/PirelliDPL10

Exactly the same Calypso chipset as in the FR (same Calypso version
even), but no Linux AP standing in the way.

The only problem with these Pirelli phones is that they are now
unobtainium, i.e., the surplus market supply appears to have been
exhausted.  With the help of an *East* German comrade I have recently
succeeded in acquiring 10 of these phones, should be enough for me to
issue to my family members etc when I get FreeCalypso fw working
usably on this hw - but still too few to offer for sale to the general
public via whatever Tor free marketplace sites are currently taking
the place of the original Silk Road.

Hence the solution is to build a new Free Dumb Phone that will be a
semi-clone of this Pirelli DP-L10, with some additional freedom
enhancements thrown in.  I already have 100 Calypso chipsets secured,
and when I'm done composing this post, I'm heading to my mailbox
service to pick up the package that just came from Taiwan; inside that
package should be some more components for my Free Dumb Phone: one
particular type of antenna switch that will make the Calypso quad-band
instead of Om/Pirelli tri-band, and a ringtone generator chip just
like Pirelli's, but a little better (W56964 instead of W56940).

Viva la Revolucion,
SF

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