How to buy Neo1973 phone

During last months most popular search which made people visit my page was like “neo1973 buy” (which is nothing strange as my website is on first page for that query). Also from time to time someone asks me on IRC about it.

So how to buy Neo1973 phone? This is good question but it is hard to give proper answer. Basically few hundreds of them are already built and occupy space somewhere in China or Taiwan. Currently OpenMoko company works on making a way to sell them to developers (at least I think that this blocks selling). When phones will be ready to order proper information will be sent to announce mailing list. Until then there is no way to buy Neo1973.

I hope that this will give answer to some people — but keep in mind that I am not a part of OpenMoko team so nothing in that post is official.

UPDATE: Sean wrote on announce ML that phones will be on sale starting from 9th July 2007. Two configurations on sale:

Neo Base — everything the mobile application developer needs to enjoy the benefits of the first freed phone, the Neo 1973:

  • Neo 1973 (GTA01B_v4)
  • Battery
  • Stylus
  • Headset
  • AC Charger
  • Phone Pouch
  • Lanyard
  • SanDisk 512MB MicroSD Card
  • Mini USB Connectivity Cable

Neo Advanced — everything the mobile device hacker wants to get down and dirty with the first freed phone, the Neo 1973:

  • Neo 1973 (GTA01B_v4)
  • Battery (2x)
  • Stylus
  • Headset
  • AC Charger
  • Phone Pouch
  • Lanyard
  • SanDisk 512MB MicroSD Card (2x)
  • Mini USB Connectivity Cable (2x)
  • USB Host Mode Cable
  • Debug Flex Cable
  • Debug Board v2 (JTAG and serial console)
  • Ruggedized Toolbox with shoulder strap
  • Guitar Pick (for opening case)
  • Torx T6 screwdriver

Wedding organizing continues

14th August 2007 will be important day for me — I will marry Ania at 16:30 in Szczecin, Poland.

It took many days (usually weekends) to organize whole stuff — find restaurant/hotel for wedding party, choose music band, photographer, camera man… Invitations was another thing to select from many different templates but we found nice one and it was even not so expensive (included personalization).

Still need to buy suit and wedding rings and probably lot of other stuff but I feel that it is nearly done as most of things to do can be done in Poznań.

And I still have to finish webpage about our wedding (Polish only)…

Extracting diffs from vendor kernels

From time to time there is situation when you need to use kernel sent to you by vendor which you support (or use device which they made). The problem is that often all you can get is one big tarball with “our current code” which means Linux upstream + extra patch(es). How to get something usable from it?

First step is checking version of vendor kernel (if unknown). If you are lucky then main Makefile contain informations such as “2.6.19-rc3” which is a sign what to get as clean base.

Then clean sources — simple make mrproper will remove all results of compilation so diff will have less work to do.

Third phase is taking first diff:

diff -Naurpw linux-original/ linux-vendor/ >vendor.diff

Result will be probably very big but often can be made slower by looking inside of it. Check for backup files, extra log files etc crap — here I usually use Midnight Commander due to it’s “patchfs” which allow to go inside of patch and work on “per-file” changes.

Next step can contain searching for popular kernel patchsets which can be in vendor kernel. This is hardest part as there are many of them and often only parts of them are applied.

Same rules apply to other code from vendors — toolchains, libraries and other forks.

Forcing own MAC address under OpenWrt ‘WhiteRussian’

Today I had to remove my favourite network card to fit other PCI card (microATX board has only 2 PCI slots). And then I got my old problem — desktop card MAC was same as router one so wrt54gs refused to work with it.

I tried to set wan_hwaddr, def_hwaddr NVRAM entries to other MAC but it was ignored each reboot (even after nvram save). Finally I found a way to resolve/workaround it.

As OpenWrt use simple init from BusyBox I added one script into /etc/init.d/ directory — S07-hrw-set-nvram:

nvram set wan_hwaddr=C0:FF:EE:C0:FF:EE
nvram set def_hwaddr=C0:FF:EE:C0:FF:EE
nvram set il0macaddr=C0:FF:EE:C0:FF:EE

So as result MAC of router card is set to my value and do not conflict with my desktop network card.

The Star Wars marathon

I just came back home from the Star Wars marathon. We started at 12 and decided to end after 5th episode (we became too tired).

Did you know that cutting hands using light sabers was quite popular? Each episode results in few hands cut and Anakin Skywalker/Lord Vader had worst luck — right hand cut twice (episode II during fight with Count Douku and episode VI during fight with Luke Skywalker), left hand cut in episode III (by Obi-Wan this time).

Such long marathon is exhausting but also fun — lot of discussions during some scenes, between movies etc. And it is important to have big screen — we were using video projector so the picture was big enough to watch. 5.1 sound would be also nice to have but stereo sound (like we had) can be also good.

Small does not mean powerless

Koen’s post about AVR32 Network Gateway and few posts on usenet reminded me that many people still think that small devices are crap and lack power to do anything.

Do they? I think that not. Here I use two small embedded devices:

  • Linksys NSLU2 as NFS server (plans are to add TFTP, Samba, CUPS and Bluetooth AP)
  • Linksys WRT54GS as router/firewall

Both do their work without any problems, both runs Linux and opensource distributions (OpenSlug and OpenWRT).

Soon will add something based on one of AT91 devboards but more to experiment with software then normal usage. And as I have 20 pin header soldered to OpenMoko debug board it can even be bricked (JTAG port was already tested with other device then Neo1973).

Great thing is that systems like AT91SAM9263EK, Gateway or STK1000 (another AVR32 devboard from Atmel) can be used to produce many different devices — I remember talk with one guy who shown his developer board (about A4 size) and final device (small rugged mobile device with barcode scanner) and told that this devboard was used to create about 10 misc models.

My friend made a project of own device based on AT91 ARM cpu with few peripherials. Total cost was less then 100 EUR and it can be used to different tasks and also give possibility to learn how to write kernel code (to handle all addons).

As Cliff Brake wrote: you cannot afford to not use Linux in your own projects. There are too many drivers and ready to use code to not make use of them. You can even get nice modules for less then 100 dollars (ARM, AVR32, x86 based) if you do not want to design own one. Then next step is OpenEmbedded and you have problem which software to choose as there is too much to choose 🙂

Goodbye handhelds.org

I read thread about opie trademark on opie@handhelds.org ML, read posts about GPE situation months ago and now and decided that handhelds.org is not my community.

OPIE was my favorite environment since I bought Zaurus SL-5500 over 3 years ago. I was one of persons which added OPIE recipes into OpenEmbedded and spent lot of time to get it working properly. When I got Zaurus C760 I concentrated on fixing OPIE for working better with hires displays (most of them are landed in 1.2.2 release).

After those three years (2 as official developer with r/w access to CVS) I decided that it is time to say goodbye. None of my devices run OPIE and no plans that they will ever run it — time pass and show that most of software for it is not maintained and I lost faith in new OPIE/Qtopia 2.x applications over year ago. It does not even allow to connect my PDAs to my home network…

So goodbye and thanks — it was good time.