Warning: This place might become droidy..

Though there is no way to root the german G1s / HTC Dreams yet, I decided to get one. This can mean that this place will become pretty androided soon, I am thinking of software reviews and such.

But for those that already start crying for the good old times: After having seen Debian for the rooted US/UK-G1s I had to think about something like that for the good old A910s. No more news about that, and until the last week of february I will have absolutely _NO_ time to work on that front. So just keep cool and watch out.

Plans for my last igeekmod release

Well, as I don’t look at my statistics, I don’t know how many people are reading this blog. I know that it isn’t that hard to find it using popular search engines, but that’s all. Years ago, I cared about all this SEO stuff, which I am just bored of today – when I comment on engadget I don’t link my blog, and so I do in many forums.

This means, that sometimes the posts I write are mostly memorandums to myself.
But this one isn’t, it is some kind of announcement. I feel ready with my feature list and this means, that i’ll submit it here.

First of all, thanks to our chinese friends, we have EDGE on igeekmod R2 – and of course, I will keep this feature. Ok, sorry. I should talk of the NEW stuff. Well, some additional librarys and programs: I am about to integrate less languages and therefore librarys like ncurses, I will try to integrate elinks, moon-buggy and maybe (not sure yet) irssi. The main problem about additional software is, that I am unable to modify ezxterm to a more comfortable environment with a char-chooser (or call it keycode chooser) to get rid of the need to have an ascii code table in your pocket (or brain) and to be able to easily enter keycodes like F1-F12, as some programs require such input.
Very recently, I had another idea: Changing the browsers identification. I put that on my list, being unsure wether it can be done, because I thought of changing it to androids string might change the look of some mobile services (especially those by Google, if you’ve tried the Android emulator, you might know that there is a difference). And even if the included Opera 8.5 isn’t the best mobile browser on earth, it is not the worst either, I wouldn’t even say it is one of the bad ones.
My list has to more points: VPNC (for my university, i will have to remember to remove my connection settings… ;) ) and little optimizations regarding presets (connections, email-accounts, SIP). That’s it.

And please don’t ask for a day it will be ready: It’s done, when it’s done.* ;)

* But I hope to have it done before OpenEZX/FSO/QT Extended is ready for A910.

Cancelled, released and whatever else

No, i don´t have great news, but I just thought that a little write up of news of the mobile devices world might be nice.

First of all, in case the Motorola fanboys belonging to my readers didn´t notice: Some pictures of the cancelled RAZR3 “Ruby” appeared recently – it wasn´t running Linux, but UIQ (as Motorola did apparently never manage to make MotoMAGX 3G capable), so this news won´t kill anybody interested in linux on mobile devices.

Nokia has launched its real answer to iPhone (i guess the well informed reader already heard about iPhone Linux) just yesterday. No, it doesn´t run Maemo/QT Extended (there might be products doing so in the future), but S60 5th
Edition (keep in mind that Nokia has plans to opensource Symbian) doesn´t seem to be a bad deal, anyway (at least it isn´t Windows Mobile). I have to admit that I like this N97, not a big surprise as I like the Nokia 5800 as well.

Android for the OpenMoko FreeRunner is about to be usable in short term, there´ll be images containing a softkeyboard soon – i believe that this makes the FreeRunner more interesting for Android hype followers (like me^^) and might help its sales.

At least these news make the FreeRunner sound more interesting, it is anyway as there are lots of distributions out in the wild made for it.

But I suppose I´ll wait for GTA03 ;) which is about to feature a new EDGE-capable modem chip (Cinterion mc75) according to Michael Lauer, who has described the difficulties in making ogsmd supporting different modems – Freescale Neptune, used in Motorolas´ EZX phones appears to be a pretty bad one. But read his blogpost yourselves.

Concerning EZX: I think I´ll publish another igeekmod R2 build and then I´ll stop creating builds (at least if I really manage to run moon-buggy in my A910s terminal), at least for some time – there are chinese guys creating one build after the next one, i don´t think i have to keep up with that – when there´ll be great improvements, like multikeypress support and a taskmanager, I will “igeekmodify” that firmware – but that´s it. I am looking forward to focus on 2.6 – keep in mind that i am no hacker, please – to try things, weird stuff and so on, on A910 and E680i.

BTW: If I were a hacker, I would try to port linux to my Samsung SGH-i780, a device I really like – but Windows Mobile is, at least from time to time, a pain in the ass.

News, again: Android, OpenEZX, Motorola…

Android has been opensourced a some time ago, just in time with the release of the T-Mobile G1, and it has been adopted by the community for several devices as it seems, including OpenMoko´s Neo1973 and its younger and superior brother, the FreeRunner – certainly this is making the FreeRunner more attractive for “normal people” – the problem is that ANDROID needs a hardware keyboard ATM to be usable – and as everybody who knows the current OpenMoko Devices, knows: It should be pretty unusable.

Anyway, there have been some news regarding other devices, too (Well, there have to be, as i haven´t published a single line in october (shame on me ;) )). OpenEZX support for A910 and of course for the other devices, too – has improved, A910 is the first OpenEZX device with camera support, just to name an example. You might say “Well, who cares about this bad camera?” and you are right, but nontheless this is great news.
I haven´t done much mobile device related in the last month, i didn´t even create another Motorola-mod, but some (?) chinese guys did. It is a great mod, though I think that some of the features they implemented are.. well.. not that necessary – but they did great work that would have taken much time for me to do. One example: EDGE support – even if i don´t think that Motorola disabled EDGE for no reason. Another one? USBNET works like a charm, as it does with the unbranded firmware. I don´t know, if SIP is working, too – but anyway: this is great work, I am pretty sure that I could have done it, but: It would have taken ages for me to figure out how to get this USBNET menu option. I tried to do so, several times, in english E2 forums – but nobody wanted to tell me.
This firmware inspires me, I think you can feel that by the way I write, and I will take it as a base for another igeekmod release – hoping to have time for that on sunday. Let´s hope that no friends will think of disturbing me ;). I will basically remove some things I dislike and add a freakbox again, try to translate some chinese tools and there will be some more languages than english and chinese (at least german and french).

Finally, there are some news regarding my long time favourite cellphone builder, Motorola: They won´t go on with MotoMAGX (ok, the recently leaked and released VE66 still runs it, in a new iteration, btw), they won´t go on with UIQ (last UIQ devices were 3.5G enabled Z8 and Z10, UIQ is dead, anyway) – they will use ANDROID instead and will go on creating and producing Windows Mobile and P2K phones. I think that this is not the worst decision: they have to cut their costs – and if they had kept MotoMAGX they would have had to put much development effort into it, which would have been expensive. And ANDROID is there and quite attractive (for developers and users) thanks to its “ANDROID market” – MotoMAGX would have had no real chance against it, and “QT Software” is a part of NOKIA…
And there is even more news, which I would call “bad news”: Motorola is about to (at least that´s what they are planning to do currently) leave the european market to focus on asia and the americas. Looking at sales figures, this is easy to understand, but(!): You can´t just look at sales figures, you have to think of what you offered in europe as well, Motorola! Asia got all these nice EZX devices, and Europe? And in the US there are all these non-GSM handsets, that weren´t that bad…
It is sad. European marketing department sucks, and after that poor europeans … Well, I will stop crying. It´s not too sad. Maybe my i780 won´t stay my only Samsung, as i780 is a nice and pretty device, even though it runs Windows Mobile 6 (still no official update!) which is definitely an ugly OS – but as Samsung is looking forward to create ANDROID devices (I know that this link is old and outdated… but it shows something I dream of ;) )

ANDROID, igeekmod R2 status and new plans

This blog was really quiet lately, i have to apologize for that. I am still not at home (and without unlimited broadband internet access, which is the reason why I am writing this unsing my HTC Universal (WinMob6.1, Opera 9.5 Beta)).

Android is getting ready and the first Android device, the T-Nobile G1 (aka HTC Dream) will be on sale in the US on tuesday (if I am wrong, sorry, I can’ t do extensive (and expensive) MultiTabbing on this device) for 199$ and a two year contract. unforunately it will take some time until the device will appear on the european markets: They say it is due to translation is needed, but the fact that T-Mobile is exclusively selling the iPhone (3G) here in Germany, they don’ t have this huge need for an internet device.. ;)
Today the Open Handset Alliance released the ANDROID 1.0 SDK (unfortunately i won’t be able to test it right now and they say that ANDROID will be opensourced later this year.„

Considering the T-Mobile G1, I have to say that I am not too impressed – HTC has better hardware in its product portfolio (e.g. the Touch Pro). The G1 is marketed (and it’s no problem to discover that) an iPhone concurrent – it has similar specs; but a keyboard (I love Qwertz/qwerty keyboards on small devices) and no 3,5mm headphone jack – which is not too bad – but it is always nicer to have one, exspecially if your phone has a music store on it .

These are my first thoughts regarding the G1, if you wnat to know more about ANDROID, get yourself the SDK and read some reviews – I am pretty sure that there will be tons of reviews soon. And if you’ve got a Motorola EZX cellphone or an other phone on which you can try out ANDROID (I am pretty sure that there some people working on inofficial ANDROID builds for several phones right know).

EZX is the keyword to start talking about A910 igeekmod R2 status: No news at all. I didn’t find the time to work on it yet – and it is not too probable, that i’ll find much time to do so, soon.
But I promise to create one more release, with igeekmod R1’s speed (the unbranded R58 is dead slow), easy to set up VoIP (might be an ugly hack) and newer SHOWQ binarys – I can’t promise more, as every additional feature will take nore and more time.

As I won’t have that much time the next time, I won’t blog that much – and I’ll need a good PIM solution – that just works. I don’t like Windows Mobile – but seems to be a stable and easy to use platform (though it’s interface contains huge usability flaws and is inconsistant). But as the Universal has a good size for couchpotato surfing, but not to carry it in trousers pockets, I might need a new piece of hardware – I had a look at QWERTY-Smartphones and PocketPCs, and the one I actually liked best (beside HTCs Touch Pro, which is way to expensive for me) is the Sansung SGH-i780, which isn’t too small but pretty thin and features good performance and battery life. Some of you may say: uarghs, Windows Mobile (and I can understand that), but I don’t like Symbian, Palm OS/Garnet is nice but somewhat outdated, Openmoko/QTopia aren’t ready (and Neo Freerunner has no hardware keyboard) yet (and aren’t that extensible Windows Mobile is. Maybe there will be a Linux for this Samsung one day, e.g. ANDROID.

That’s it for now …

Still one A910.

I bought another one, as you know, and it arrived in a good (but not perfect..) constituition. But I was stupid enough to kill my old one, to prove that you shouldn’t flash R58(A910i) firmwares to R57 (A910) devices. (If anyone wants to donate something for my igeekmod work, why not donate an A910 ;))

But as I posted on Motorolafans already, i “finished” two working flashfiles for A910 yesterday. And igeekmod R2 will take its time to make it really that good I want it to be. I hope that I can improve the phones speed, though I have no idea on how to do so (anybody?), as it is to slow as it is.

That was the reason for posting all these ANDROID videos, btw. Let’s hope that WyrM and ao2 will be successfully spending their time on their A910s – ANDROID would be really attractive on A910, as it seems to run really fast – even on relatively underpowered phones.

A910 section at MotorolaFans.com

I didn’t write here for quite a long time – I didn’t feel like writing about Linux on mobile devices – and: When there are no real news, why should I write something? Ok, my VIA-based Mini Note / Netbook is there and it is nice, though I wasn’t able to add the touchscreen to it yet, as the onboard-usb has weird color codings and I don’t want to brake it.

Since some hours there is finally a A910 section on Motorolafans – that’s great. But as there was an enourmous (in relation to before) amount of A910s being sold at ebay.co.uk the last week, I believe that it is a good idea to open a new section for a relatively old device.
And I just got my self a third one, so that I will have two A910s – one to use and one to “mod”.

This means: I’ll go on with firmware modding, and I hope to release a new version of my modified A910 firmware in about two to four weeks. If you want to help me with this – please contact me – I would like to have somebody, who is able to work on shell scripts (not to complicated, but as i have no experience you could save me a lot of time.
Additionally I have been thinking of creating a wiki which documents Motorolas (A910 or EZX) firmwares lately, lists known bytes of ezx_flexbit.cfg and so on. If anybody has the time (and webspace) to do so, I would be very grateful, as I believe that such a wiki could become quite useful.

And if anybody has got ideas how to get this Motorola firmware to run faster (without overclocking, I tried some APMDs for RoKR E2 and they drained the battery in no time (and the phone was way too hot)), please, again: Contact me, please!

A910 and other native software which is gone

Some days ago, I had to learn, that all these old news posts, which say that Motorola releases A910 as a smartphone aren´t wrong.
According to my source Motorola was developing some interesting applications for it, like Skype and a file-sharing tool (which made its way into RAZR² V8 according to my source). Unfortunately, all these apps (and firmwares, we´d really need an *.SHX flash, to repair all these broken A910s out there) seem to be gone.

But it is funny to see, that there weren´t only plans. The plans were executed and after they had developed all this stuff, they decided that it was no more fitting there product strategy. This might be due to Motorolas multiplatform strategy (Linux/Java (EZX/JUIX/MotoMAGX), Symbian, Windows Mobile, Symphony/P2K), or just to the fact, that A910 didn´t meet there quality requirements for a business phone (I could understand that, as there are phones that carry better materials than A910 does).

These all are guesses, but if there is one thing we don´t have to guess: A lot things at Motorola went wrong these days.

[added 7/8/2008]
Of course there was additional software planned and developed, e.g. a instant messanger (just extract iconres.ezx and you´ll find lots of icons related to that), which might be excluded (as the upper softwares) due to that guys which we call operators – somehow operators are users enemy in additional communications software (which they can´t charge that much for as for SMS).

If there is anybody out there reading this, owning a sweet Martinique (A910) or E2 which has any of this software (if you know somebody who has that it´d be great, too) please be so kind and extract the relevant software codegroups using this tool (this backup doesn´t include any personal data). Or just contact me by writing a little comment. Thanks!

As time goes by

I have to admit that I haven’t made any progress on A910s firmware in this month, which is worth mentioning. That makes me kind of sad, but as there was plenty of other (somehow more important) stuff to so, it is ok. And there are still some problems.
My HTC Universal is still on Debian/Titchy Linux sometimes, but there is an issue with it: It becomes slower and slower, as time goes on, and I can’t really tell you why. Of course I use apt-get sometimes, but is that the reason for everything becoming a lot slower?
Would be sad, if it was like that.
Anyway, I’d prefer an OpenEmbedded/Ångstrøm based distribution for the HTC, as these are more optimzed size regarding architecture and size – but it’d be great if this could use Titchys daemon, which do a good job.
BTW: Android is said to be delayed. Or not?
And my E2831 lies in its box and I don’t know whether I should sell it (if you are interested, just leave a comment) or not…

That’s it for now.

Thoughts on A910

I really like my A910, I use it everyday and I believe it is a great phone – especially for it’s low price (used devices, but hey, that does not really matter).
Since the wifi is working, it’s even better.

After having stopped to work on A910s firmware around a month ago, I will now go on with that again, as there are still some things to do.

Some fixes will be just done to improve the phone a little bit, e.g. I will clean up some path related things and use a newer version of busybox – there are some other actualizations on my imaginary list. Additionally, i think of other thinks like flexbit editing. I will try whether it’s possible to use the writable memory as a place for ezx_flexbit.cfg – would be great to be able to edit it without reflashing all the time, to figure out which byte does what.

For further development there are plans like comiling a new kernel (based on the published kernel sources) with additional modules and I still dream of a real taskmanager on A910.

But one thing is for sure: As far as there is a way to run the phone with a 2.6.* kernel with working phone etc. (does not matter whether Openmoko, QTopia or Android), i will immediately quit any development on the good old Motorola Software ;)