Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Was reading a news article on weatherization. It talks about how weatherproofing the houses could save a lot of energy costs and also create lot of jobs! I do agree on the part that it would create jobs and save energy, but I am confused on how it will save money.
Think about it, we go and fix our houses for weatherproofing by spending lot of money (finding charges, service charges and fixing charges!) and then how long will it stay 'weatherproofed'? For a day, a week, a month? The article says if you spend $4000 you could save up to $1000 a year on energy costs. It of course does not talk about the rate at which you might want to recheck/re-weatherproof!
I think, as an economics student, it really does not make economic sense to spend money for weatherproofing (- unless you have a very old house in the first place, in which case weatherproofing would actually be cheaper in a way).

BUT, it sure makes an environment sense!

PS: My personal view anyway :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I updated 2007.2 version of the openmoko software. But then, I started facing lot of issues with the phone, like:
1. Wasn't displaying incoming call (just rings and vibrates)
2. When it displays the incoming call window - pressing pick-up button would do nothing!
3. No proper suspend, etc...

I then gave FSO (and 2008.8) a try - it was cool to use, except that I still had the problem no. 2! So, I moved to qtopia...in one word, it is just awesome. Many applications in one single package and no problems as of now. I have used it for a couple of days now and it works just great! Media player works off the shelf and I have 3 games now :)

Every one having a Neo/Freerunner should give qtopia a try...you will sure love it!

Monday, August 25, 2008

WiFi issue when I updated OpenSuSE 10.3 to OpenSuSE 11:
The NetworkManager used to connect and immediately disconnect the network link, the solution (taken from one of the comments in other blogs) was to replace the dhclient.conf with the updated one (dhclient.conf.rpmnew)! How dumb!

1. MediaPlayer works fine now - doesn't get locked and the sound works even after standby.
The soultion:
2. New problem, since I had to move to the old version of the neod, neod is not working properly: doesn't allow me to pick up calls sometimes and I end up restarting X.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Neo Freerunner continued...

More experiments with the Neo.

Finally got to know how to increase the volume in the media player (the currently available theme).
The volume control is not-at-all intuitive. (For the benefit of people who don't know: Use you finger on/near the 'speaker' icon to move up(as in repeatedly) to increase and down to decrease). This could have been better if it was horizontal (because the icon looks that way - at least i could have found that out 'accidentally').

GPS is installed - but is still not working (see: http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/GPS_Problems). I need to experiment more on it.

The other problem is that the 'ring tone' vanishes when it goes into standy - so the phone just vibrates when there is a new call. To make it clearer: The first time the phone goes into standy - it turns off the ring tone and the screen click sound.

Installed the gallery (photo viewer) - the screen is just too good for a phone. I like it! *grin*

Next: Check if there is a good text editor or viewer. Since file-manager is good enough - why use a editor like 'vi' to view the text/code files? Some gui based text editor would be good to have!

College is going on smooth - with assignments and different kind of people to work with :)
Teachers are just marvelous. But I sure have lot of reading to do...lets see how it goes...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Openmoko Neo Freerunner review

I am reviewing the phone as a 'developer edition' phone rather than a 'mass market' phone.
28th July 2008: Received my Neo Freerunner

Awesome phone.

It had only the basic installations - phone, contacts and messenger. I luckily had OpenSuSE 10.3 on my hp tablet. Connected it to laptop and bang I had the usb-ethernet up and running. Hmm, the package didn't have any kind of manual! (Supposed to be a developer's edition - expects people to have an internet connection). But, since I joined TAPMI (MBA college) and I was just settling down, I had no internet connection.

I then somehow managed partial net connectivity (I could access net from the Labs at college) - but couldn't use the phone and internet together. I read through the Getting Started pages.

Connecting thru USB (in brief):
1. Connect the usb cable to the phone.
2. Change laptop (or host) ip to 192.168.0.x (where x not equal to 202 or 0 eg.
3. ssh to phone (IP of phone: ssh root@
4. Password: None (just press enter)
5. Done!

One of the first problems that I had: The phone moves to standby even when on call after about 5min! I haven't yet found a work around (except to remember to touch the screen every < 5min).
The next problem was to increase the volume of the mic - People complained about the volume when I called them.
Changing volume (in brief):
1. Edit the .state files in /usr/share/openmoko/scenarios/
2. Find Mic2 - change its volume level to 2 or 3 (I am using 3 - I don't have to struggle to speak :) )
3. Or run: alsamixer
3.1 Use left/right arrows to move to Mic2 and use up/down arrows to increase/decrease the volume.
3.2 (May have to re-set the volume levels every now and then, if used alsamixer) or I am doing something wrong!

I then download the packages from http://buildhost.automated.it/OM2007.2/packages/armv4t/
and started installing media player, gps, filemanager, calendar (dates), calculator, debug tool...
Some packages like gpe-icons, gpsd-conf are missing. I had to download those from the dailybuild directories (eg. http://buildhost.openmoko.org/daily-feed/om-gta02/ ).

Installing packages:
1. (host) scp *.ipk root@
Or to the card: root@
2. (phone) opkg install *.ipk
3. Any error: You may have to download more ipks :)

Problems - not yet solved:
1. Mediaplayer volume is too low.
2. GPS is still not up (gpds-conf - yet to be installed)
3. Phone goes into standby even while on call.

The phone on the whole is a very good development/experimental platform. Has u-boot to solve the messing up problems.

Hardware issues:
1. The touch screen is at a different level from that of the package - accessing corners are a problem.
2. The brightness of the screen might be lesser if used on a sunny day!

Overall rating: 4/5

....More to follow as I continue to experiment with the phone! Keep reading...