Re: [Gta04-owner] Status GTA04 GroupTour

2011-12-30 Thread Timo Jyrinki
2011/12/29 Neal H. Walfield n...@walfield.org:
 First, if someone orders a GTA04, that person doesn't get all the
 hardware--that person needs to have a GTA01 or GTA02 and do some
 non-trivial assembly.  I realize that you have some cases that you are
 selling, which is the route that I went, but I think these are limited
 and independent of the group tour.  If this option hadn't been
 available, I would not have signed up for a GTA04.

In my opinion the GTA02 requirement is the unfortunate limiting factor
(in additition to lack of publicity, but it perhaps wouldn't help to
enough extent with the GTA02 requirement). That, and the fact that
many GTA02 buyers are not _that_ interested in GTA04 as they could and
should be.

This is just speculation, but I believe that since FreeRunner was well
advertised, too well from some perspectives, it was bought by many
people expecting a working phone out-of-the-box, freedom issues
important but secondary. They got disappointed over a long period of
problems, and possibly lost their hope for similar free phone
efforts since Om Inc also stopped phone business and years passed.

Another big part of the FreeRunner owners are people interested in
general in cool hackable devices, and in 2008 FreeRunner was IMHO
easily the coolest hackable and own OS installable mobile computer
device in existence. The freedomness was a plus but not necessarily
the driving factor for the big mass of FreeRunner buyers. Now there is
a multitude of cool hackable devices - Pandaboard, Raspberry Pi and
many others, in addition to mainstream phone devices like at least
Nokia N9 which also can be run with alternative OS like
Mer/Nemo(/SHR/Debian), while the default OS is very hackable Debianish
GNU/Linux as well. They are free enough for many of the original
FreeRunner buyers, I'd believe.

Both of these groups, I think, have the majority of currently
available GTA02:s ie. the target group for GTA04 buyers, but the
devices are possibly sleeping in the drawers while a lot of other cool
hacker devices are out there. GTA04 is just one another option, and it
has the minus side of not being the coolest gadget of 2012, unless you
are interested in precisely 100% free software phone, while the GTA02
interest group who also ended up buying GTA02 was larger. The GTA02
case was also kind of cool or at least ok in 2008, but nowadays to
make similar wow effect you'd need GTA04 to be not just an expensive
motherboard upgrade to an used and old pretty bulky external case from
2008.

And as mentioned, still a few people also have FreeRunner as a
functional, primary phone, and they can't risk it. I have two
FreeRunners and also N9 so I could risk mine and ordered a piece of
GTA04 group order of course. Also notable is that I didn't even
consider doing the motherboard upgrade myself, but ordered the service
from Golden Delicious.

The various marketing ideas seem great, since GTA04 is a _really_ cool
device for many user/hacker groups. I just fear the GTA02 requirement
problem doesn't go away since it's very hard to reach current GTA02
owners so that they could eg. pass their GTA02 on if they're not
interested themselves of buying GTA04.

-Timo

(btw: I can let go of my other FreeRunner, GTA02a5, for just postage
costs + eg. 10/15€ extra if it helps to get another GTA04 buyer. It
has a slight screen related problem which shouldn't cause too much
grief though: it requires a small plastic piece to be in place between
screen and case that adds a bit of pressure so that touch works
fluently - but it has been working nicely for over a year after I
discovered the workaround. you can also of course just order a new
screen together with GTA04)

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Re: [Gta04-owner] Status GTA04 GroupTour

2011-12-30 Thread Martin Jansa
On Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 12:18:05PM +0100, Neal H. Walfield wrote:
 Hi,
 
 It seems to me that there are two problems.
 
 First, if someone orders a GTA04, that person doesn't get all the
 hardware--that person needs to have a GTA01 or GTA02 and do some
 non-trivial assembly.  I realize that you have some cases that you are
 selling, which is the route that I went, but I think these are limited
 and independent of the group tour.  If this option hadn't been
 available, I would not have signed up for a GTA04.
 
 Second, I think you are lacking publicity.  I haven't seen an article
 about this on the news sites that I follow, such as lwn.net (did I
 miss it?).
 
 Given these two problems, I'd try to solve the first one before the
 second one (one only gets so many chances with the media...).
 
 I suspect that people who are buying a GTA04 at this stage are not
 looking to use it as a phone immediately--they probably want to hack
 on it.  These people don't need a phone case.  But, they do need an
 LCD to get the experience.  My proposal would be to create a hackers
 package: a GTA04 board, LCD and a big bulky case that could be placed
 next to a workstation.  Even better would be if there is a commitment
 to provide a case once it is ready (do you have a time frame for
 this?).

I really like this idea. As someone who is using smartphone mostly only
to open terminal and connect to home computer I would really prefer
something with hw qwerty keyboard (like n900).

So for me the biggest disadvantage of GTA02 was it's bigger case with
high edge of display (harder to use touchscreen neer the edge) and
lack of keyboard.

Now I would have to sacrifice old GTA02 for GTA04 so I can get much better
hw but still in not so great case (at least for me) and instead of 2
platforms to hack on I will have just 1 again.

Would be great to have some plans for new case (I know that qwerty is
much more difficult to manufacture and that you're already working on 
something). And if there is new case, will it use the same LCD from
GTA02 (it there enough modules?) or will it use something else?

In other words I would advertise GTA04 board more like base of 
completely new phone not as board upgrade for old one (GTA02).

I know you can use GTA04 without LCD and case already, but for people
who don't have GTA02 or don't want to sacrifice it yet, it's not an
option to keep it that way forever, they want some vision of new phone.

If there is LCD which will for sure fit in future case and if there is
some promise that there will be new case (maybe even with qwerty kbd) I
think that more people will buy board+LCD now to start playing with it 
and then complete their new phone with case after maybe 6 months, while 
still keeping their GTA02.

Regards,
-- 
Martin 'JaMa' Jansa jabber: martin.ja...@gmail.com


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Re: [Gta04-owner] Status GTA04 GroupTour

2011-12-30 Thread Flemming Richter Mikkelsen
I just got an idea.  Maybe it is not very good, but I will mention it anyway.

Imagine if the GTA04 board could be available for different cases,
so that people owning a HTC could free their devices


Maybe this is not feasible, but could increase the marked if done right.

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Re: [Gta04-owner] Status GTA04 GroupTour

2011-12-30 Thread Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller
Hi Martin,

Am 30.12.2011 um 20:01 schrieb Martin Jansa:

 On Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 12:18:05PM +0100, Neal H. Walfield wrote:
 Hi,
 
 It seems to me that there are two problems.
 
 First, if someone orders a GTA04, that person doesn't get all the
 hardware--that person needs to have a GTA01 or GTA02 and do some
 non-trivial assembly.  I realize that you have some cases that you are
 selling, which is the route that I went, but I think these are limited
 and independent of the group tour.  If this option hadn't been
 available, I would not have signed up for a GTA04.
 
 Second, I think you are lacking publicity.  I haven't seen an article
 about this on the news sites that I follow, such as lwn.net (did I
 miss it?).
 
 Given these two problems, I'd try to solve the first one before the
 second one (one only gets so many chances with the media...).
 
 I suspect that people who are buying a GTA04 at this stage are not
 looking to use it as a phone immediately--they probably want to hack
 on it.  These people don't need a phone case.  But, they do need an
 LCD to get the experience.  My proposal would be to create a hackers
 package: a GTA04 board, LCD and a big bulky case that could be placed
 next to a workstation.  Even better would be if there is a commitment
 to provide a case once it is ready (do you have a time frame for
 this?).
 
 I really like this idea. As someone who is using smartphone mostly only
 to open terminal and connect to home computer I would really prefer
 something with hw qwerty keyboard (like n900).
 
 So for me the biggest disadvantage of GTA02 was it's bigger case with
 high edge of display (harder to use touchscreen neer the edge) and
 lack of keyboard.
 
 Now I would have to sacrifice old GTA02 for GTA04 so I can get much better
 hw but still in not so great case (at least for me) and instead of 2
 platforms to hack on I will have just 1 again.

If you ever have tried to hack on a GTA04 you will love it as your single 
platform :)

 Would be great to have some plans for new case (I know that qwerty is
 much more difficult to manufacture and that you're already working on 
 something). And if there is new case, will it use the same LCD from

Well, there are external bluetooth keyboards for 39 EUR of approx. the same
size as the GTA... This makes it quite impossible to develop a keyboard
at comparable price.

 GTA02 (it there enough modules?) or will it use something else?

Yes, the idea is to make a replacement case around the existing display
and PCB.

 In other words I would advertise GTA04 board more like base of 
 completely new phone not as board upgrade for old one (GTA02).

That is not the idea behind the GTA04. It is designed as a motherboard
upgrade and if we want to completely design a new phone it would be
quite different. We simply have quite complex technical limitations.

 I know you can use GTA04 without LCD and case already, but for people
 who don't have GTA02 or don't want to sacrifice it yet, it's not an
 option to keep it that way forever, they want some vision of new phone.

Currently we can't give that because we don't see how we can make
a completely new device cheaper than one that reuses some parts.

 If there is LCD which will for sure fit in future case and if there is
 some promise that there will be new case (maybe even with qwerty kbd) I
 think that more people will buy board+LCD now to start playing with it 
 and then complete their new phone with case after maybe 6 months, while 
 still keeping their GTA02.

That is what I don't understand - why would someone want to keep the
GTA02 in operation...

Either the GTA04 is so good that you don't need the GTA02 any more
or you would not need a new GTA04 :) Well, we don't have enough
devices out there to prove it, so I can understand that one hesitates
to believe it. This is why we plan to demonstrate the GTA04 at FOSDEM
(if we get a stand).

Nikolaus


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Re: [Gta04-owner] Status GTA04 GroupTour

2011-12-30 Thread Martin Jansa
On Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 10:02:44PM +0100, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
 Hi Martin,

Hi Nikolaus,
 
 Am 30.12.2011 um 20:01 schrieb Martin Jansa:
 
  On Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 12:18:05PM +0100, Neal H. Walfield wrote:
  Hi,
  
  It seems to me that there are two problems.
  
  First, if someone orders a GTA04, that person doesn't get all the
  hardware--that person needs to have a GTA01 or GTA02 and do some
  non-trivial assembly.  I realize that you have some cases that you are
  selling, which is the route that I went, but I think these are limited
  and independent of the group tour.  If this option hadn't been
  available, I would not have signed up for a GTA04.
  
  Second, I think you are lacking publicity.  I haven't seen an article
  about this on the news sites that I follow, such as lwn.net (did I
  miss it?).
  
  Given these two problems, I'd try to solve the first one before the
  second one (one only gets so many chances with the media...).
  
  I suspect that people who are buying a GTA04 at this stage are not
  looking to use it as a phone immediately--they probably want to hack
  on it.  These people don't need a phone case.  But, they do need an
  LCD to get the experience.  My proposal would be to create a hackers
  package: a GTA04 board, LCD and a big bulky case that could be placed
  next to a workstation.  Even better would be if there is a commitment
  to provide a case once it is ready (do you have a time frame for
  this?).
  
  I really like this idea. As someone who is using smartphone mostly only
  to open terminal and connect to home computer I would really prefer
  something with hw qwerty keyboard (like n900).
  
  So for me the biggest disadvantage of GTA02 was it's bigger case with
  high edge of display (harder to use touchscreen neer the edge) and
  lack of keyboard.
  
  Now I would have to sacrifice old GTA02 for GTA04 so I can get much better
  hw but still in not so great case (at least for me) and instead of 2
  platforms to hack on I will have just 1 again.
 
 If you ever have tried to hack on a GTA04 you will love it as your single 
 platform :)

I hope I will, but old GTA02 board still has some value, similar 
my old Sharp Spitz which is still running and used from time to time.

  Would be great to have some plans for new case (I know that qwerty is
  much more difficult to manufacture and that you're already working on 
  something). And if there is new case, will it use the same LCD from
 
 Well, there are external bluetooth keyboards for 39 EUR of approx. the same
 size as the GTA... This makes it quite impossible to develop a keyboard
 at comparable price.

Yes I have one of these, but try to use it in a train for longer
time, usually you have to hold keyboard with both hands to type with
thumbs and then phone screen is too far in your lap or you try to hold
phone closer to eyes while typing one hand with keyboard balancing in
your lap - not so good for longer texts with lots of special characters
:).

  GTA02 (it there enough modules?) or will it use something else?
 
 Yes, the idea is to make a replacement case around the existing display
 and PCB.
 
  In other words I would advertise GTA04 board more like base of 
  completely new phone not as board upgrade for old one (GTA02).
 
 That is not the idea behind the GTA04. It is designed as a motherboard
 upgrade and if we want to completely design a new phone it would be
 quite different. We simply have quite complex technical limitations.

Being able to reuse as much components from GTA02 is definitely big plus
and works great for people who like GTA02 case. I'm just saying that
maybe there is a lot of potentional customers which would be even more
interested in GTA04 if they can expect to use it in different case later 
(even if the case is then for another 250e).
 
  I know you can use GTA04 without LCD and case already, but for people
  who don't have GTA02 or don't want to sacrifice it yet, it's not an
  option to keep it that way forever, they want some vision of new phone.
 
 Currently we can't give that because we don't see how we can make
 a completely new device cheaper than one that reuses some parts.
 
  If there is LCD which will for sure fit in future case and if there is
  some promise that there will be new case (maybe even with qwerty kbd) I
  think that more people will buy board+LCD now to start playing with it 
  and then complete their new phone with case after maybe 6 months, while 
  still keeping their GTA02.
 
 That is what I don't understand - why would someone want to keep the
 GTA02 in operation...

For me it was mostly to keep GTA02 supported by SHR, but as I said
before I still keep Spitz in operation even with more powerfull devices
available to me e.g. N900 (maybe because of 3 extra rows of keys and all 
special characters on hw keyboard :))

 Either the GTA04 is so good that you don't need the GTA02 any more
 or you would not need a new GTA04 :) Well, we don't have enough
 

Re: [Gta04-owner] Status GTA04 GroupTour

2011-12-29 Thread Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller
Hi Neal,

Am 29.12.2011 um 12:18 schrieb Neal H. Walfield:

 Hi,
 
 It seems to me that there are two problems.
 
 First, if someone orders a GTA04, that person doesn't get all the
 hardware--that person needs to have a GTA01 or GTA02 and do some
 non-trivial assembly.  I realize that you have some cases that you are
 selling, which is the route that I went, but I think these are limited
 and independent of the group tour.  If this option hadn't been
 available, I would not have signed up for a GTA04.

I understand.

 Second, I think you are lacking publicity.  I haven't seen an article
 about this on the news sites that I follow, such as lwn.net (did I
 miss it?).

Well, we are not enough people in the core team to write and submit
articles to all the important magazines. And, we are not good
at writing...

There have been attempts to do that, but it appears that the
magazines are simply ignoring the GTA04 project. In Germany,
neither Heise.de nor Golem.de did take the story although they
got some tips.

There has been some minor coverage, e.g. 

http://www.google.de/search?tbm=nwsbtnmeta_news_search=1q=openmoko

And, I tried to submit a hot tip to http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/s/News/
but their contactus link is severely broken.

This is IMHO an area where the community could easily help!

 Given these two problems, I'd try to solve the first one before the
 second one (one only gets so many chances with the media...).
 
 I suspect that people who are buying a GTA04 at this stage are not
 looking to use it as a phone immediately--they probably want to hack
 on it.  These people don't need a phone case.  But, they do need an
 LCD to get the experience.  My proposal would be to create a hackers
 package: a GTA04 board, LCD and a big bulky case that could be placed
 next to a workstation.  Even better would be if there is a commitment

While a GTA04 can even work without LCD or case (just bend a staple
to hold the battery and power through USB), such a kit with case is of
course much better.

 to provide a case once it is ready (do you have a time frame for
 this?).

I have a new idea and have planned to do some first evaluation next week.

It may become a real community solution where everyone could become
able to order an existing case or even a modified one (source code will
be provided).

We need of course provide the missing pieces like UMTS/GPS antenna,
speakers, vibracall motor.

BR,
NIkolaus


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Re: [Gta04-owner] Status GTA04 GroupTour

2011-12-29 Thread Neal H. Walfield
Hi,

It seems to me that there are two problems.

First, if someone orders a GTA04, that person doesn't get all the
hardware--that person needs to have a GTA01 or GTA02 and do some
non-trivial assembly.  I realize that you have some cases that you are
selling, which is the route that I went, but I think these are limited
and independent of the group tour.  If this option hadn't been
available, I would not have signed up for a GTA04.

Second, I think you are lacking publicity.  I haven't seen an article
about this on the news sites that I follow, such as lwn.net (did I
miss it?).

Given these two problems, I'd try to solve the first one before the
second one (one only gets so many chances with the media...).

I suspect that people who are buying a GTA04 at this stage are not
looking to use it as a phone immediately--they probably want to hack
on it.  These people don't need a phone case.  But, they do need an
LCD to get the experience.  My proposal would be to create a hackers
package: a GTA04 board, LCD and a big bulky case that could be placed
next to a workstation.  Even better would be if there is a commitment
to provide a case once it is ready (do you have a time frame for
this?).

Thanks,

Neal

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Re: [Gta04-owner] Status GTA04 GroupTour

2011-12-29 Thread NeilBrown
On Thu, 29 Dec 2011 11:50:40 +0100 Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller
h...@goldelico.com wrote:

 Curious about your ideas,

If I were thinking about joining the group tour, I'd be waiting for
confirmation from the early adopters that the device really worked as a phone.
The freerunner was plagued with little hardware bugs which meant various bits
didn't quite work perfectly.  I wouldn't want to repeat that.

Clearly most of the hardware does work and calls can be made but as a
potential purchaser I would want to be hearing things like:

 - I used my gta04 to call my girl friend and she didn't complain about the
   sound quality.
 - I can browse the web over UMTS and it is quite usable
 - I only need to charge the battery every other day.


That last one is the biggest hole in our story currently.  We have no
evidence that we can achieve appropriate power saving.  I suspect we can but
as yet we cannot demonstrate it.  If I were buying I'd wait until it
could be demonstrated.

Others probably think very differently to me, but that I what I would be
thinking.

NeilBrown


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