Re: greetings from the freecalypso project

2015-11-16 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
Paul Wise  wrote:

> Are you planning to rewrite the proprietary source code from TI/etc so
> that freecalypso could be released under a Free Software license?

Absolutely not.  The 1000 person-years that would be required for such
a task should instead be spent doing something more productive, like
searching for a cancer cure.  Anyone who spends his or her time
reimplementing perfectly good existing code merely because of license-
worshipping concerns is guilty of contributing to human suffering, and
thus a disgrace in my eyes.

If you have voluntarily chosen to obey a law that deems the abandonware
in question to be proprietary rather than public domain, it is YOUR
problem and not ours.


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: Changing IMEI of Freerunner with Firmware Flash

2015-05-11 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
Rash wrote:

 is it possible for data protection reason to change the IMEI of the
 freerunner via firmware?

The instructions are right here:

Please also note that the FreeCalypso community now has its own
general info website ( and its own mailing list:

Viva la Revolucion,

Openmoko community mailing list

FreeCalypso got its own mailing list

2015-04-30 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
To those interested in modem firmware for the Freerunner that is
compiled from full source (no blobs) with gcc under GNU/Linux and is
therefore amenable to possible further improvements, as well as anyone
interested in any of the other libre phone goals listed in my State
of FreeCalypso post from 2015-04-18: the FreeCalypso community now
has its own mailing list:

To those who consider my personal flaws and weaknesses to be a more
interesting discussion subject than the technical content of my work:
don't bother joining, as you will be instantly moderated or banned.
All others are welcome to join, and I look forward to having great
technical discussions *without* every technical post or thread being
hijacked by some Ham and turned into a lengthy non-technical one.

Viva la Revolucion,

Openmoko community mailing list

Re: State of FreeCalypso

2015-04-22 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
Bob Ham wrote:

 I disagree.  The same pathological need still seems very much present.
 And the emphasis here is on the pathological.  In your emails to this
 list, there is still a very strong strain of psychological
 disequilibrium and this is a bad thing, for the list, the wider
 community and for you.

So what exactly do YOU seek to accomplish by deconstructing my
motivations for working on the FreeCalypso project?  Suppose you
succeeded in convincing me to either drop the project or take it
underground to where you'll never hear about it again - how would such
a change benefit you or the wider community?

 On the other hand, you're saying that the
 only reason you need a mobile phone is to contact your loved ones.  I
 don't understand why you can't use a land line with a firmware-less

I need *them* to be able to contact *me* freely while I roam around a
rather large geographical area.

 The fact that you're currently using a mobile phone with a
 proprietary firmware without threatening to murder people shows that
 there's some contradictions in what you're saying.

No act of murder would free my Pirelli DP-L10 from its proprietary fw,
so I don't see why I should be threatening to murder anyone.  The only
thing that would indeed free my phone from proprietary fw is technical
development work on my own FreeCalypso project, which I need to get
back to.


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: State of FreeCalypso

2015-04-22 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
Bob Ham wrote:

 As I said, perhaps I can help you to achieve some peace.

Your help in that department is unwelcome and unwanted.  I kindly
ask that you please stop your unwelcome intrusion into my personal

 However, an
 absence of your writings on this list would benefit me and the wider
 community in that in would elevate the environment to a more peaceful

There are Freerunner and other phone users here who do appreciate
hearing about progress made toward freedom-enabling phone firmware and
hardware.  So you'll just have to deal with it.

 Your emails are a mix of technical content and symptoms of your personal
 psychological problems.

I am interested ONLY in the former.  Since your thread is completely
devoid of technical content, I am not interested in continuing it.

 The latter has a negative impact on the
 community.  If your emails were technical content alone, there would be
 no problem.

They *are* technical content alone when read without trolling intent.
It is *your* choice to dig out a few occasional words which you don't
like and use them as a justification to hijack a technical post and
turn it into a lengthy non-technical noise thread.

 Unfortunately, free firmware in your phone won't actually bring you
 peace like you think it will.

Whether it does or not is *absolutely* *none* *of* *your* *business*.


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: State of FreeCalypso

2015-04-21 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
Bob Ham wrote:

 Why is your wellness dependant on a phone?

Because I use one to stay in touch with the people who matter in my
life, and I need this essential communication device to be free from
closed black-box firmware.

It is also a well-known fact that most free software developers derive
great personal satisfaction from doing something that benefits a
larger community, and my projects are no different in this regard.  I
consider it a very worthy use of my life to work on building a
freedom-enabling and freedom-respecting personal communication device
which many people will greatly appreciate having in their hands,
pockets and purses - even if you specifically are not one of those


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: State of FreeCalypso

2015-04-21 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
Joshua Judson Rosen wrote:


Unfortunately they seem to have absolutely no interest in producing a
phone (or firmware for a phone) which an end user could carry in her
purse.  Their software absolutely requires the phone to be tethered to
a PC at all times (instead of running the GSM protocol stack on the
baseband processor where it is supposed to run, they run it on the PC
instead), and if the phone gets unplugged for even a moment, it
immediately loses its ability to receive incoming calls and SMS.

Furthermore, the state of OsmocomBB today (for normal GSM usage, NOT
hacking) is exactly the same today as it was in late 2010 or early 2011:
zero progress made in 4 years.  It is very unfortunate indeed: the
people behind OsmocomBB know GSM far better than I do, and I am fairly
sure that they are very capable of making their GPLed GSM stack work
on a phone in a practically usable manner if they wanted to.  But
apparently they have no interest in such a project, and I don't have
any supernatural powers to make them work on something they are not
interested in.

Therefore, I am doing the only thing that *is* within my power and
which *will* result in a practically usable phone running source-
enabled firmware: working on my own alternative non-OsmocomBB
implementation, called FreeCalypso.

Bob Ham wrote:

 They didn't put you through torture, you put yourself through it.  You
 continue to do that now, in different ways.

Just out of curiosity, how do you think I am torturing myself now?

 The person who you most need to apologise to is yourself.

For what?  For wanting to have a phone that doesn't suck?  For wanting
to have a phone such that if something doesn't work because of a bug
in the firmware, I can fix it myself instead of throwing it out and
getting a new one in a vain hope that it will work better?  I don't
see any wrongdoing in having such a desire or in working toward its
satisfaction - hence I don't see what I should be apologizing to
myself for.

 I wish you healing and wellness.

Those will happen automatically as soon as I have a phone in my purse
that runs my own firmware.  I am actively working toward the latter,
and don't need anything from you.


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: State of FreeCalypso

2015-04-21 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
Bob Ham wrote:

  Because I use one to stay in touch with the people who matter in my

 What would be the consequences if you didn't have a mobile phone to do

I do have a mobile phone for communicating with my family and friends
etc, and have had one continuously since 2003.  However, all of these
phones I've been using run firmware for which I have no source (and
given their age and the ephemeral nature of proprietary sw, I consider
it highly likely that no one else in the entire world has it either,
i.e., it's lost, gone to the great bit bucket in the sky), and this
lack of firmware source code prevents me from being able to fix
functional bugs or modify the UI design to my own personal taste.

I consider this status quo to be a very poor state of affairs, and
because I just happen to have the right knowledge and skills (and
since the fall of 2013, the necessary starting materials) to improve
the situation, I choose to work on the latter.

 True.  However, there's a very big difference between deriving
 satisfaction from doing worthwhile work and being pathologically
 dependant on it.  I don't know any other free software developers who
 threaten to murder those who get in the way of their work.  It looks
 like for you, the work isn't done just for satisfaction, it looks like a

The need I had at that time has been satisfied, hence there is nothing
relevant to the present in need of discussion here.  Nothing to see
here, move along.


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: State of FreeCalypso

2015-04-21 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
Paul Wise wrote:

 In 2017, ATT will be shutting down their GSM network in the USA in
 favour of 3G/4G.

If ATT likes losing customers, it's their choice.  I use T-Mobile
(satisfied customer since 2003 with just one short break before I
entered the libre phone scene in 2011), and I saw somewhere that
although they are reducing GSM/2G capacity, they will leave a tiny
sliver around.  A tiny sliver is all I need.

 Macau is planning to shut down their GSM services in
 June 2015.

Yeah, I saw that news a while back and crossed Macau off the list of
places I would ever want to live or do business in.

 I would hazard a guess that GSM will be shut down worldwide
 at some point, probably sooner in the USA. So eventually GTA02 and
 Calypo will be less useful for communication as they would need an
 external device or some method of device-to-device communication like
 the Serval Mesh. What is your plan for the transition away from GSM?

The plan is simple: if GSM service in my current neck of the woods
gets shut down, move to some tiny island banana republic where getting
a spectrum license to operate my own GSM cell just for my family's
own use would be as simple and inexpensive as befriending/bribing the
local drug czar who is the de facto owner of the island.


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: State of FreeCalypso

2015-04-18 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw wrote:

 but I find it hard to forget the unacceptably violent threats that you've
 made in the past (on this list) towards particular people.

The people you are referring to tormented me in the most heinous
manner for a full 2 years (from the fall of 2011 till about the same
time in 2013), and the threats you are referring to were not so much
threats as tentative contingency plans.

*All* of the work that I've done on the FreeCalypso project so far has
been possible *only* because the playing field was finally leveled in
the fall of 2013 with the publishing of a source equivalent to the one
that was wrongfully denied to unprivileged persons like me in the
prior years: now everyone in the world, including nobodies like me,
has access to exactly the same set of starting point materials.

I would never had been able to work on a project like FreeCalypso -
neither technically nor emotionally - while there were persons in the
so-called community taunting me with we have this source which
would make a night-and-day difference for your project, but we'll
never let you have it - therefore, making plans of a life-for-a-life
exchange (giving up my own life after torturing and killing them) was
my only available option under those circumstances.

 I wonder if you might now consider retracting and apologising for those,

Retracting: sure, now that the playing field has been leveled and
everyone including me has access to the same set of starting point
materials, there is no longer any need for me to kidnap, torture or
kill anyone.

Apologising: hell no!  I do not owe any apology to a bunch of sadists
who got some kind of sexual gratification out of watching my life
wither away (for a full 2 years!) without access to the one and only
piece of pirate ware (TCS211 semi-src given by TI to a whole bunch of
phone and modem manufacturers in 2007) which I needed in order to have
a purposeful, meaningful and productive life.  And I *do* have that
purposeful, meaningful and productive life now, thanks to the Russian
comrade who helped me obtain (and publish to the rest of the world) a
copy of that TCS211 semi-src - but I don't owe any apologies to anyone.

 and undertake not to repeat similar in future?

Sure: the playing field is now level, I have all of the starting point
materials I need, and the rest of the world has them too through my
FTP site and physical DVD-R distributions, so there is no more need to
resort to life-sacrifice means.


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: State of FreeCalypso

2015-04-18 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
joerg Reisenweber wrote:

 Thanks for brining it up, Neil. Alas, you see, it's in vain. Despite al=
 l the=20
 good will from our side. [...]

I don't hold any grudges against you.  I don't consider you an enemy.
I don't have any ill will toward you or any of your former coworkers
who badly hurt me.  I got what I needed, and at least from my side,
all past is forgiven.

But I don't believe that I owe any apologies to anyone.  I am not
asking you to publicly apologize for the 2 years of mental TORTURE you
put me through - so why are people asking me to apologize for my
reaction to that torture?

 have access to them and to threaten *us* (OpenMoko) instead of maybe TI=
 assault and murder when we don't grant him access.

Maybe TI?  What makes you think that there *even one person* in the
present-day TI who even knows/remembers that they were once in that
business, let alone has a copy of any sources from those days?

As far as I know, all TI offices where that work was done were closed
and all associated employees were laid off.  I consider it very likely
that present-day TI as a company *does not have a copy* of any of
these sources, except for whatever they may have downloaded from my
FTP site or the like.

At the time of the painful 2 y long episode in question, I believed
(and had every good reason to believe) that you were holding the
world's last remaining copy.

I think it's time we put that past behind us and move on with our
lives and with whatever productive work we can do.


Openmoko community mailing list

State of FreeCalypso

2015-04-18 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
Hello community,

This periodic post is a summary of the goals of the FreeCalypso family
of projects and the high-level status toward their achievement.


The overall end goals of the project are, in no particular order:

1. Produce a standalone realization of Openmoko's modem.  I have had
   occasion to work with various GSM modems and phones acting as modems
   (presenting an AT command interface) since A.D. 2000, and the modem
   in the Freerunner is by far the nicest I've ever touched.  TI's
   implementation of the GSM specs is the richest in terms of
   functionality (contrast with the lack of CSD support in most 3G+
   USB stick modems), and thanks to the Leonardo semi-src find, we
   now have full visibility into its inner workings.

   But it's a shame that this awesome GSM+GPRS modem is currently
   tucked away in the guts of the Freerunner, inaccessible to anyone
   besides the tiny handful of active FR owners/users - and even when
   one does have a Freerunner, it is not possible to take the FR's AP
   subsystem out of the picture and use the modem directly from an
   external host; one has to go through the AP instead, severely
   limiting the ability to use this modem outside of the FR.

   Hence I would like to build a modem just like Om's, but brought out
   on a board by itself, with external connections for power and the
   two UARTs.  And throw in a quadband RFFE and a higher capacity
   flash+pSRAM chip while at it.

2. Produce a practically usable phone that runs practically free
   firmware, i.e., fw whose source every user is empowered to study
   and improve or otherwise modify.  Note the emphasis on practical
   usability.  I hear from FR owners that the practical usability of
   the FR as a phone is rather poor, and because there is absolutely
   nothing wrong with the modem (hw or fw), the defects in usability
   must be the result of some flaw(s) in the AP subsystem - a
   subsystem which from my PoV is nothing but unwanted complexity.
   And I would never be able to use my FR as a personal phone because
   it would require running something like QtMoko, and that stuff is
   far too complex for my old peasant mind.  Free software which is
   far too complex for me to understand and work with comfortably is
   little different from proprietary sw from the purely practical
   standpoint - it's a impenetrable black box in practical terms.

   Therefore, the only way for me to have a practically usable phone
   that runs practically free firmware is to produce a non-smart phone,
   a plain phone with no AP subsystem.  The long-term solution is to
   build my own handset hardware, but in the short term it would be OK
   to use not-quite-fitting but already existing hardware like Pirelli
   and Motorola phones.

3. Produce a FreeCalypso modem module that could be used in the place
   of off-the-shelf proprietary ones by free smartphone projects like
   Neo900.  I would like to buy a couple of Neo900 units for two of my
   family members, but cannot do so for as long as the product includes
   a modem module from an immoral vendor who withholds source code and
   documentation and imposes restricted boot barriers to alternative
   firmware implementations.

   To the person who emailed me off-list and asked if I could design
   my FreeCalypso modem in the form factor matching Gemalto's so it
   could be a drop-in replacement: yes, I still like that idea very
   much and would like to do it, but I'm unsure whether I can manage
   such a task by myself, so we may need to work on it together.  I
   also think that it would be easier if I prove my basic design first
   on a non-form-factor-constrained board, and then go through the
   form factor gymnastics as a second step.

So the above 3 are the overall goals of the FreeCalypso family of
projects.  Out of those, goal 2 (practically usable non-smart phone
running free fw) has been my main focus because it is the one that
would improve my own quality of life: I am sick and tired of dealing
with Pirelli's proprietary fw (I use a Pirelli DP-L10 as my personal
daily phone, running its original proprietary fw as nothing better
exists yet - better as in more free *and* practically usable), and I
really, really, really want to replace it with my own free firmware.

Firmware subproject

The firmware subproject of FreeCalypso is leading up toward an
intermediate goal which is not listed among the end goals above:
producing a firmware version that can run on the GTA01/02 modem and
function no worse than the Windows-built ones (either official mokoN
or my own leo2moko), but builds from full source (no blobs) with gcc
instead of TI's proprietary compiler, under Unix/Linux instead of
Windows/Wine.  This task involves an absolutely arduous amount of work

* There is no corresponding source for the GSM L1 and G23M protocol
  stack components which came as binary libs in the TCS211 version,
  hence these major 

Re: GTA02 PCB layout files found!

2015-04-11 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
Nick wrote:

 Where does that leave the indiegogo campaign? Is the money not 
 needed now?

It is indeed no longer needed for the original purpose for which the
campaign was started when the original PCB files were believed to have
been lost.  The campaign page has been updated to reflect this new
development.  However, if anyone would like to continue donating, the
money would help me and Shannon - see the update at the bottom of the
story page.

 Eventually you'll need more funds, presumably, for the 
 production parts of the project.

Yes, and I am not even considering production as in production for
sale at all at this point - way too premature to even think about it.
Instead, what the project may need money for in a few months will be
physical production of the first lab prototypes.

I am approaching this project in a very different way from how a
business person would do it.  Business people always talk about what
they call opportunity costs, and whenever they consider doing any
project or venture, they always consider the option of *not* doing it.
When they look at costs, they generally estimate the total cost upfront
(the total cost to get to the end result), and decide whether or not
to do the project based on that total cost among other factors.

But I work differently: I concentrate all of my effort, energy and
attention on whatever is the immediate next step at each given moment,
and deliberately abstain from thinking about what costs or challenges
lie ahead.  I deviate from the proper business way because in that
proper business way the purpose of realistically estimating the
total cost to the finish line is to decide whether or not to do the
project at all, and for me not doing my project is NOT an option: I
need this project in order to give my life purpose and meaning.
Therefore, I keep my attention focused on the immediate next step, and
simply hope for the best when it comes to future difficulties and/or
costs further down the road.

Right now the immediate next step is for me and my PCB layout partner
to produce our own layout for the first prototype we seek to build,
based on the just-recovered Openmoko one and other available references
like the Pirelli DP-L10.  This step is pure desk work, i.e., editing
design files on a computer with the appropriate software tools, so no
money is needed for the project itself at this point - although my
family could very much use any help given.

After this step is done, the results of it will be publicly released:
a PCB design file in a free EDA tool format and a set of gerbers which
one can send to a fab to produce a physical board.  (In fact, all work
is being done in a public source repository, so it's really in a state
of continuous release, no need to wait for completion.)  Only after
the design is complete and we have the gerbers for the first prototype
will I start looking into how much it would cost to physically produce
that first prototype board from those gerbers.  It will probably be
several months from now, so hopefully by then my personal/family
financial situation will improve (the current hardship is expected to
last about 4 months), and I may be able to afford that step on my own
- and if not, it'll be time for another crowdfunding campaign then.

 Speaking of which, are you planning 
 to sell the phones you produce yourself, eventually? Or outsource 

I do plan on offering finished products (initially standalone modems
for playful use with laptops etc, and later phones) up for retail sale
to end users, but whenever someone complains about my asking price
being too high, I'll point them to the freely released gerber, BOM etc
files and invite them to try producing it themselves for less.


Openmoko community mailing list

GTA02 PCB layout files found!

2015-04-10 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
Hello Om community,

I am overjoyed to announce that the original PCB layout files for
Openmoko GTA02 have been located and published.  I asked Sean M-P
about them in mid-February and he quickly replied that he had no
problem with releasing them, but actually *finding* a surviving copy
took a bit longer.  Finally, early this morning I received a big ZIP
from Sean, and the files are now on my GSM mini-Wikileaks central
FTP site:

The first is the original package from Sean (183 MiB, contains all
design files for GTA02 A1 through A6 plus BT and WLAN add-ons); the
2nd is a smaller package (11 MiB) containing just the GTA02-MB-A6 PCB
layout in original PADS, Gerber and PDF formats.

Hopefully Joerg or someone else with an account on
can mirror the files there as well.

This exciting development eliminates the need for the very expensive
reverse engineering option I've been considering for the past two
months.  I and my PCB layout partner will now start working on our own
standalone GSM modem module design based on Om's: most of the design
will stay the same, but Om-added 0R resistors at R1003 and R1004 will
be eliminated (I believe they were the real cause of the infamous bug
#1024), the triband RFFE will be replaced with a quadband one, I'll
use a higher capacity flash+pSRAM chip (fits the same footprint) and
the module will be standalone, powered by a lab bench power supply
emulating the battery, with both Calypso UARTs brought out on headers,
plus an on-board SIM socket and a female SMA for the antenna.

Viva la Revolucion,

Openmoko community mailing list

Crowdfunding campaign for cloning the GTA02

2015-04-05 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
Hello Openmoko community,

As many of you know, Openmoko GTA01 and GTA02 phones are/were the only
two smartphone models in all of history on which it is possible -
albeit unofficially - to run free firmware on the baseband processor.
In the case of this elderly TI Calypso baseband there is not just one,
but two free software projects working toward running fully free and
fully functional firmware on the baseband: OsmocomBB and my own
FreeCalypso.  But this total liberation of the phone including the
baseband is only possible with the elderly baseband chipsets from TI:
while the Calypso can make phone calls and send/receive SMS *today*
using only free software (either OsmocomBB or FreeCalypso), to the
best of my knowledge no one has been able to do anything comparable
using any of the newer modem chipsets or modules.

But we all know that Openmoko GTA01/02 phones are no longer made, and
the remaining surplus has been fully exhausted.  THAT is the problem
we need to solve, and I have just launched a crowdfunding campaign on
Indiegogo seeking to solve this very problem:

As you can read on the campaign page, I seek to build several different
kinds of cellular-interfaced devices using exactly the same Calypso
core modem design as found in the Neo Freerunner by Openmoko.  Or
closer to the immediate short term, produce a quadband Calypso
reference design and put it out free to the world so that anyone else
in the world can reuse it freely as they see fit - for example, the
Neo900 team will be able to offer a free-firmware modem option if they
so choose.

The vast majority of the work in the project does not need any money,
only my own labor - but there is one exception.  Before I can start
the PCB layout of my own quadband Calypso modem module, I need to see
Openmoko's original layout to use as a reference.  I have exchanged a
few emails with Sean Moss-Pultz and others, and the impression I got
is that the original layout files appear to have been irretrievably
lost - just like the case moulds, apparently.  One of the people I have
corresponded with told me that the files exist on a defect HDD -
unreadable, I assume.

With the original layout files not being obtainable, the only remaining
option is to recover the layout through reverse engineering.  There is
a company in Colorado who can do a superb job of imaging all 8 copper
layers (2 outer and 6 inner) of a sacrificial GTA02 PCB, but the
estimate I got is that it will cost about $6000.  That is a cost
beyond my immediately available personal budget, and I don't have a
projection as to when I might be able to afford it on my own - it may
be a year or two.

Therefore, I have started the crowdfunding campaign above specifically
to address this one particular need of the project.  It is now up to
you, the community at large, to decide whether or not an actively-
produced (as opposed to discontinued) GSM modem module that can run
fully free firmware is something worth building - and if you do agree
with me that such a gadget is worth building, now is the time to make
it happen through monetary contributions to the campaign.

Thanks for reading,

Openmoko community mailing list

Re: Free phone: smart or not?

2015-03-16 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
Matthias Apitz wrote:

 I do not exactly know what a 'smartphone' is.

Harald Welte gave a clear technical definition in one of his
presentations: a smartphone is a phone that has two separate
processors for the application and baseband functions.  It's a clear
technical definition independent of any marketing terms, and by this
definition all GTA0x devices are smartphones.

 I use the FR because it is a Linux 'server' in pocket size, I can do
 with it what I want and I can phone or send SMS with it. And I have
 OpenStreet maps on it, after some time the FR knows where I am with

OK, so you *are* using smartphone functions which are beyond the
capabilities of the much simpler dumbphone hardware/software
architecture and thus require the much more complex hw/sw architecture
of a smartphone.

 I accept that the FR is not fully 'free' due to some low level
 binary blobs,

If you flash the leo2moko GSM firmware I produced a year and a half
ago, your FR won't have any opaque blobs at all - at least as far as
GSM goes; I know nothing about GPS or WiFi or BT.  Well, OK, leo2moko
fw includes some binary libs in its build, but:

(1) These blobs are translucent in a way in that we can see exactly
what is in them, thanks to them being linkable objects with full
symbolic information, and

(2) We know there is another TI firmware source version which is full
source and which can be used to replace these binary parts - and a
port of that full-source version to the Freerunner's modem will
happen some day as a side fallout from my project seeking to run
the same on dumbphone hardware.

 I only see dying my FR: sometimes it does not receive SM, soemtimes it
 does not wakeup from suspend (both are SHR bugs, I think, but nobody
 fixes them);

The software architecture of a smartphone is much, much more complex
than that of a dumbphone.  If you want the additional capabilities
which a dumbphone can't have, you have to pay for the extra complexity
- and if you also want this much-more-complex device to be reliable
for everyday use as a phone, you have to pay even more...

 and someday something of the hardware will break for ever... and
 then, what I should do?

To all those for whom the FR hardware is the best thing there is and
the best there can ever be - how much money do you have, or how much
would extending the life of your FRs be worth to you?  It would
certainly be possible to restart production of new FRs that are
verbatim-identical to the Openmoko-made ones - but it would be very,
very expensive.

I was given an estimate of 16 kUSD to reverse-engineer a sacrificial
GTA02 PCB all the way to a set of gerber files that can then be used
to produce new PCBs that are identical in form, fit and function.  Or
a slightly lower price tag of 5.5 kUSD to get aligned, calibrated,
high-resolution images of all copper layers, both outer and inner.  I
plan on paying for the cheaper option some time in mid to late 2016,
unless we get lucky and someone manages to dig up a surviving copy of
Om's original PCB layout files.  (I was told the files exist on a
defect HDD - ouch.)

But the 5.5 kUSD option which I'm prepared to pay for will only be
sufficient for my needs in the FreeCalypso project, and not for making
new verbatim clones of the Freerunner.  If someone wants the latter,
we would need the 16 kUSD option - and I am *not* covering that one
with my own personal funds.

Then add the cost of procuring all of components used by Openmoko to
produce a new GTA02.  All chips and other components in the Calypso
modem block are no problem, I already got all of them - but I dunno
about all of the chips in the application processor subsystem.  If
someone wishes to build new GTA02s that are strictly identical to
Openmoko-made ones, so they can run all of the software without any
changes, the infamous Glamo would have to be a part of it too.  Anyone
feel like scavenging the surplus markets for those cursed Glamo chips
in order to build new FRs?

Then throw in the cost of hiring some LCD manufacturer to design and
build a new LCD module that matches Om's in form, fit and function - I
would expect a mid-6-digit USD amount at least.  And the cost of new
injection moulds for the plastics to make new cases identical to Om's,
and so on.

 I love my FR, even if it looks like a brick (which it is not) and I love
 this FR project for having something else in my hands, something which
 all the stupid folks do not have while they say about their phone
 it does not import me when it is spying me and phoning home

You are comparing the FR to the store-bought mainstream crap that
the masses use, and that is not an interesting comparison at all.  You
are NOT comparing the FR to the hypothetical Free Dumb Phone, which is
what I asked in my original post.

 ... stupid people will use smartphones, I will not

Well, whether you like it or not, you ARE using a smartphone, in the
strictest technical sense of that 

Free phone: smart or not?

2015-03-16 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw wrote:

 I'm using since 2008 the FR as my one and only cellphone. This is not
 lying, it is just a fact. And I do not know any other person from this
 list who is doing so.

Nick followed:

 I am too. The only thing that makes me tempted to switch phones is=20
 redphone or chatsecure, basically. The GTA02 sucks, in some ways,=20
 but I have no plans to buy a less free phone than it, so I'll stay=20
 where I am for now.

I am very glad to see a couple of people using their Freerunners and
not switching to anything less free.  But I just can't help but wonder:
are you using your FR because it's free or because it's a smartphone?
In other words, if there were a phone just as free as the FR, i.e.,
full source code for everything (including the GSM radio interface)
without any binary blobs, full hardware schematics, free bootloader
w/o any locks etc, but a dumbphone instead of a smartphone - a small,
non-touch-sensitive LCD, a traditional numeric button pad for dialing
and T9 texting, a processor with just enough horsepower to make/receive
calls and send/receive SMS and not one iota more, and an OS-less
firmware architecture optimized specifically for those functions -
would you wish to use such a phone?

What I find almost tragic about the history of this community is that
someone effectively jumped the gun on evolution: produced a free
smartphone (Openmoko) without producing a free dumbphone first.  Some
of us are life-long dumbphone users, but are very unhappy about the
fact that all existing dumbphones are 100% closed and proprietary,
with no ability for an end user to fix functional bugs herself or to
make her own changes to the user interface code in the firmware.

I currently use my Freerunner as a development platform and nothing
more: I use its modem block as a BUV (bring-up vehicle) to run my
experimental FreeCalypso firmware before porting the latter to
dumbphone hardware targets.  But I don't use it as my personal phone
with an end user hat on.  I don't do the latter because I have too
much intrinsic personal revulsion against the idea of using an entire
second processor running a full-blown GNU/Linux OS just to make a
phone call - when I know full well that this functionality has been
very successfully implemented on a tiny ARM7TDMI processor @ 52 MHz
with a total of 4 MiB of flash, 256 KiB of fast SRAM and 512 KiB of
slow SRAM (specific numbers from Mot C139) running a real-time
firmware environment without any full-blown OS.

So I wonder how other Freerunner users feel about this issue: do you
actually *like* the fact that it is a smartphone, or would you rather
use a dumbphone, but are using the FR and tolerating its smart aspects
because no free dumbphone currently exists?


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WTB GTA02 board w/o case or display

2015-01-30 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
Hello Om community,

I already have one complete GTA02, and I use it for development, but
now I have a need for one or more bare GTA02 boards - as in no case or
display.  (My single complete GTA02 is far too precious to mess with
it in that manner.)

Would anyone happen to have such a bare GTA02 board, with no case and
no display, which they would be willing to sell?  Oh, and it does not
have to be working - I will gladly buy a dead one too.  In fact,
ideally I would like to buy two boards, one working and one dead, but
I would be happy with just one of either kind to start with.

Why do I want a dead board?  I would like to recover the PCB layout of
the modem section (images of both outer and inner copper layers), like
someone else did with another phone:

But it's a destructive process, and my personal moral code prohibits
the destruction of a working GTA02 board, hence I need a dead one for
that purpose.

Any offers?


Openmoko community mailing list

Re: WTB GTA02 board w/o case or display

2015-01-30 Thread Spacefalcon the Outlaw
D. Shalnoff wrote:

 by the way, is there no finished gerbers in wiki or 
 repositories? Is anybody have a last version of GTA02 PCB files? 

To the best of my knowledge, they were never released publicly - which
is why I'm looking into the possibility of recovering that PCB layout
by reverse engineering.

But I just got an idea: unlike modem firmware and documentation etc,
the PCB layout must have been 100% Openmoko's own original work.
Including the modem section: at the schematic level it's an almost
verbatim copy of TI's Leonardo, but the layout is clearly Openmoko's
own, as the component placement is quite different between TI's and
Openmoko's versions.  Compare the pictures and judge for yourselves:


If the GTA02 PCB layout is indeed Openmoko's own and did not come from
any third party (along with NDAs etc), then in all practical terms that
intellectual property belongs personally to Sean Moss-Pultz - and if
he could be convinced to release it, he should be fully within his
right to do so, not constrained by any third-party agreements.

I'm going to compose the request to Sean M-P, and Cc it to the list as
an open letter.

To put the present quest into context, I am currently seeking to build
my own Calypso GSM modem hardware:


I seek to build a modem just like the one in the GTA02, but quadband
instead of triband.  The hw change from triband to quadband is very
simple: replace the discrete antenna switch and Rx SAW filter
components (see U401 through U404 on the publicly released component
placement drawing) with the quadband integrated RF FEM that was used
on the Leonardo.  (Part made by Epcos in the long-bygone days,
currently sourced on the Chinese surplus market along with all other
components of the Calypso chipset.)  Plus maybe some changes to the RF
impedance matching networks surronding that block.

I already got TI's reference schematics, the same ones that FIC must
have used as their starting point: found them on back in 2011.
Ditto for the BOM data.  If Sean is not willing to release the GTA02
PCB layout and reverse engineering proves to be too expensive, I will
bite the bullet and have my regular PCB layout partner create a new
layout from the schematics and the component placement chart.  But my
concern is that neither I nor my PCB layout partner are GHz RF experts,
so if we create our own layout, it may perform poorly and we might be
on a wild goose chase debugging it, respinning the board 3 or 5 times
trying to get it to work...  Thus having the GTA02 PCB layout as a
reference would be very helpful to our project.  (Other Calypso phones
like my beloved Pirelli would serve poorly as a layout reference: there
are no corresponding schematics, and the component placement is nowhere
close to what we would like to have in a reusable modem module.  But
the GTA02 modem fits in one nice rectangle, perfect for modularization.)

And to restate my original inquiry, I am still looking to buy one or
more GTA02 bare boards (no case or display), either working or dead.


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