Switching Phones without wanting to

On December 21st, 2020, my Google Pixel XL, which I had used with LineageOS and microG and loved for its great camera, just plainly died. During a phone call. The screen turned black, and never lit up since. When connected to a computer, it turned out it is stuck in something that is called “HS-USB QDloader 9008 mode”.1 And, if all resources I have found yet are to be believed, without specific files that would have to published (or leaked) by the device manufacturer, there is no way to get this fine hardware back into a usable state.2

Continue reading “Switching Phones without wanting to”
  1. For reference, have a look at this discussion on xda-developers. []
  2. Actually, I think that there ought to be regulation to make this category of problems user repairable (#righttorepair) or to force the manufacturer to offer fairly priced (compared to used-market device prices) repair options. []

linmob weeky roundup (6 / week 12): few news, but at least some

Another week has passed by and it is time for another round up of what happened.

Besides Android smartphone speculations and rumors (e.g. there will be a Samsung branded Android running smartphone as soon as Q3, but it will be just a Samsung branded HTC Sapphire / Magic device.. and Samsung Omnia HD might run Android, as well), there was really great news this week.

The OpenSource BlackBerry is great news, don’t you thengadget’s mobile OS shootout.ink so?

Ok, might be that interesting for everybody. iPhone OS 3.0 isn’t really Linux related, but as it is a competitor, it has to be mentionned. You should read engadget’s mobile OS shootout.

What are further findings of this week?

Well, you should definitely read Andreas Costantinous opinion about the LiMo platform. I believe that LiMo’s idea wasn’t the worst we’ve ever seen (damn it, I still have to write that article about LiMo…), but now that we have several Linux based platforms like Android, Palm’s WebOS and good old Maemo, that don’t use the benefits of the LiMo platform, and as LiMo-based ALP and Azingo missed their timelines, they should definitely re-think their approach. The market doesn’t wait.

Additionally I would like to link the Openmoko Community Update, but it isn’t ready yet…
Check out the latest OM Community Updates!

[UPDATE 03/22/2009]

I was a little bit lazy yesterday, so enjoy two mobile internet experience related things that might interest you:

Fennec 1.0 Beta
is out, and there is a webpage with two nice videos of the soon to come mobile firefox.

A french video (of the SFR HTC Magic) shows that there will be a new zooming mechanism on Android 1.5, circular zooming (via Android Smartphone).

One more thing: Koolu has some more, newer Android beta images, featuring a new installation process and faster boot-up. But as they aren’t officially announced (at least I couldn’t find an announcement on koolu.com), I would just recommend you to find them yourselves.. ;)

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.

[non-Linux, but UNIX] iPhone 3G

Apple is a company I like more than other companies. I like the design of their computers and operating systems – which was almost always ahead of (affordable) PC design.

I have never bought an Apple product up to now, my parents bought one years ago, it was the first computer in our house and the first I used. No games besides a puzzle, System 7 and (after I found the solution for the puzzle due to being bored by having a look at all these configuration options the system crashed, we got a ram upgrade (12MB, huge!) and System) 7.6.1.

I don´t think that there are much people in these world which are interested in mobile phones and who don´t know the “iPhone”, which is the third business of Apple Inc. next to “Macs” and “Music”.
While the first iPhone already was a breakthrough, featuring some new and “different” features – mainly the multitouch touchscreen and the acceleration sensors, Apple didn´t change that much with the iPhone 3G. Due to more competition, they made it more affordable, they added 3G (many people (most of them, I suppose, never really used mobile internet) complained about the lack of that feature before) and GPS for location enabled services. I think that GPS is the more “interesting” feature, as there seem to be many ideas of what to do with that.
3G only means a faster “everywhere” internet connection (but remember: go to the countryside, and … probably there is no 3G), Apple didn´t include this nasty video telephony feature – I don´t know anybody who uses this and I read somewhere that people don´t use due to looking ugly on the camera as it has a “wrong” angle (internet video telephony hasn´t) and often bad colours – besides that it is still expensive. But I am pretty sure there will be many guys which are dissapointed by the lack of this feature – all these “feature list” readers, which just compare the features – “Well, I don´t use it, but I might someday…”
iPhone 3G has the same camera. I am pretty sure we will (or do we yet) a lots of complaints about that: “SonyErricson, Samsung, LG, Nokia, HTC, Motorola (soon..) they all have better cameras. 5 megapixel is state of art, why doesn´t Apple include a better camera?
Back when iPhone (2.5G) was introduced, I had a look at pictures at flickr – a comparison of Nokia N95s´camera to the one build into the iPhone. I have to say that they where equal, sometimes I would have prefered the iPhones “photos” if I had to choose.
Besides: If you wan´t to take real pictures you should (still) get a real camera. Those guys who just have a look at the feature list, not at the results won´t buy an iPhone (and it´s OK like that ;) ).

This was all about the somehow less important part – the hardware. The main improvements – at least I think so – are on the software side. iPhone 2.0 software (which can run on both variants of the iPhone – something that sounds not that special to us opensource-people, but hey, it is, have a look at the Symbian or Windows Mobile world, where (official) upgrades to the next version of the smartphones OS are relatively rare) has some features for businessmen (e.g. support for CISCO-secured networks (great for me as well —> university)) and a SDK which seems to work pretty well and which reminds me lot of the SDK demoed in this NeXTSTEP video. And apparently, there will be no charge for “freeware” developers to use the Apple AppStore – which is good news as well, I suppose it is possible to create free software for the iPhone (read this article which says it is not, but distributing source code is never impossible, legal issues are ugly), which uses free software – webkit and (correct me if I am wrong) SQLite.
Unfortunately (I think it is like that) there is no free software SDK – development on Mac only using Xcode (like QuantumSTEP development).

So, what do I dislike about the iPhone?
Well, it isn´t that open as I would like it to be. It has crippled bluetooth (at least I believe it as there where no announcements), no support for bluetooth HID or things like A2DP, PAN. No official “free as freedom” SDK. The way it is marketed seems to change, if there will be legal unlocked iPhones available without contract, this is no more point to complain about – but as we don´t know this yet I have to list that point.

By the way: Since wine is close to 1.0, it would be nice to see some more efforts on projects like GNUstep, it would be “huge” (as “his Steveness” always says) to be able to develop for Apple´s Mac (natively) and free software as well, i would highly appreciate a better integration of GNUstep-software into the standard DEs, or the ability to run “Mac” software (not only free software) on free software.