Phase 0 software build

Whenever you think something is bad, it will come worse. We've had another hardware outage of one of our buildhosts during the creation of the images that were to be prepared for the "Phase 0" devices. Luckily, the build system is easy to set up on various machines, and we actually now have the build system on four hosts :)

It was a lot of stress to resolve the most important issues just before flashing those 50 phones. All kinds of last-minute problems showed up, such as a certain kernel module missing in the rootfs, etc.

Anyway, we managed to finalize it early Friday morning, and Friday + Saturday engineers in Taiwan used Werners fabulous devirginator to install u-boot, environment, splash screen, kernel and rootfs.

Unfortunately, due to all the delays we have been suffering, all those initial recipients will receive is a very basic Linux distribution:
We have hardware support for all the components in the boot loader and kernel. The device now has a boot menu that allows you to switch to serial or USB=tty console. It will happily boot into Linux, where it starts the X11 (kdrive) server and starts matchbox and looks like a pretty standard GPE desktop.

Suspend/Resume is now working from the software side, i.e. you can suspend the Linus system into RAM and get back from it, all drivers are coming back into operation nicely. You can access back light brightness, battery charger state, Bluetooth, etc. The easiest way to work on the device is currently by using USB Ethernet emulation and then ssh'ing into dropbear that gets started during bootup.

So you might think ok, I'll get a fully open source Linux PDA with super-bright display. But I wanted a phone!
We still have lots of stability issues with our native OpenMoko applications currently, so there will not be a working/stable "dialer" application yet. Instead, if you really want to try it, you can either manually use GSM, or use to

So yes, we are delayed. Still, we have decided to ship those units to allow more people to hack on it as early as possible. The foundation is there, and it so far appears to be quite stable, too.

Also, software can always be updated, especially now that we have USB DFU support.

And now, finally, after a long time, I am looking forward to touch the GSM code again. Let's hope there are not too many urgent issues interrupting me next week. After all, we want SMS and GPRS support rather sooner than later :)