OpenMoko FreeRunner: *sigh*

I must admit, the OpenMoko phone does intrigue me as I’m a closet gadget geek. I’m constantly put off by two things. The hardware is crap. The software is crap . Don’t believe me? OpenMoko Train Wreck from Dave Fayram on Vimeo. More OpenMoko Train Wrecking (Now with Qt!) from Dave Fayram on Vimeo. This … Continue reading “OpenMoko FreeRunner: *sigh*”

I must admit, the OpenMoko phone does intrigue me as I’m a closet gadget geek. I’m constantly put off by two things.

  1. The hardware is crap.
  2. The software is crap
  3. .

Don’t believe me?

OpenMoko Train Wreck from Dave Fayram on Vimeo.

More OpenMoko Train Wrecking (Now with Qt!) from Dave Fayram on Vimeo.

This is the same FreeRunner which the FSF were claiming was a ‘better’ phone than the iPhone (refuted recently here).

It remains to be seen how this criticism will be taken. It really is constructive (after a fashion) as it highlights the areas that really need some focus. But imagine if the people behind this train-wreck decided to back Android instead?

[UPDATE: The Videos are gone now but Dave says he only put them up in response to the FSF’s opinion that people should hold off the iPhone and buy an OpenMoko. He adds they need probably 18 months of active development to make something consumer friendly]

0 thoughts on “OpenMoko FreeRunner: *sigh*”

  1. What a wonderful phone!!! I finally can do with the hardware and software what I like. I can run my beloved python programs and hook everything into the graphical environment.

    Admitted, I would not recommend the phone for anyone not interested in software/hardware hacking/development … yet. However, I do not doubt that much of the software issues will be remedied (by myself?) pretty fast, and, due to the openness, pretty much beyond that.

    See, commercial interest based product development stops at the best estimated balance point where added functionality does no longer increase profit, whereas open development stops where no single person can think of any more functionality to add or optimize further.

    The hardware flaws, I do agree, are too bad. Hope that enough geeks will buy this phone that a follow up with better hardware is encouraged.

  2. I think it’s great that all these Linux fans have so much disposable cash that they can just iterate through hardware versions all the while telling us how ‘free’ they are. Whatever happened to the UNIX way of using the best tool for the job. Now it’s just the ‘one with the politics I like’

    Reminds me of a conference I went to here I demo’ed some neat Bluetooth software for the Mac (Romeo). Most people went – COOL. The Linux guys went “I think I can code that together”. Later they bought a Mac….

    The phone is crap, the software more so. Good luck with it.

  3. I do hope I have not become fanatic about free software. But ever since I got my first “advanced” phone beyond the ubiquitous Nokia 3210, I wondered what I could do if I had any kind of access to this little handheld computer.

    Though I am sincerely afraid that the phone will end up in a drawer, neither usable as a phone nor as a testing platform, the Freerunner seems to be the phone where my wondering stops and my actions can commence 🙂

    I would hate to waste the $400 by that scenario, but I also believe that you were incredibly harsh in your conviction of the phone. I haven’t read any reviews along the same lines, at least not that bad.

    Cheers to free beer, though you sometimes have to pay for them …

  4. Dave Fayram has zero journalistic integrity and his opinions should not be taken into consideration. He stumbles through both those “reviews” with obvious bias and pre-conception, which in all fairness is about all you can expect from your stereotypical Apple user reviewing anything that isn’t Apple.

    Many of the points made are valid but way out of context, and the manner in which they are delivered reeks of pure contempt. People like this are better off being told what to use and how to use it so that they don’t get too confused and throw a tantrum.

  5. Aaron/oj, what has ‘journalistic integrity’ to do with it. We could see with our own eyes what a travesty the UI was. Are you denying the keyboard was as tiny as we saw? Or the UI as sluggish? Or the phone as thick and clumsy looking? Or that there really was a place to store the entirely necessary stylus?

    Journalistic integrity has nothing to do with it. We saw what was going on. And your ad hominem attack just highlights the delusions shared by the FSF.

    See – this is typical of Freetards. We don’t agree with your messianic views so therefore we must be biased? It’s not Apple fanbois running around telling everyone the iPhone will kill Android or FreeRunner. It’s quite the opposite.

    Dave (who I don’t know from Adam) demoed a phone which the Free Software Foundation says is “better” than the iPhone. This must be for a new and previously unrealised definition of “better”.

    Your comment makes YOU look bad, Aaron. It makes you look like an ignorant, bigoted Freetard. It makes me associate you with unwashed fatbeards with dried noodles on their T-shirts (a lasting memory of one particularly disturbing visit to the local Linux User Group). Funnily enough it was the constant anti-Apple rhetoric from the LUG that made me just give up there. The worst bigots are those with a crusade.

    I’ve said it before. My experience is that OS bigots want you to use their stuff. Whether that’s Windows or Linux. Most Mac users I know just want to be permitted to use Macs for themselves.

  6. “Most Mac users I know just want to be permitted to use Macs for themselves.”

    That seems to fit pretty well with the oppressed-minority vibe I get off a lot of Mac users, yeah.

  7. It’s accurate. I’ve lost count of the number of organisations who demand who use a PC even though a Mac is perfectly capable (and in many cases, more capable).

    Linux bigots whine incessantly about whether the software is FREE enough, as if they owned the word and the definition.
    Windows bigots constantly complain about anything that isn’t Microsoft, unless everything alreadyis Microsoft, when they complain about it anyway.

    For my part, I love Free software – real Free, BSD.

  8. I hope… no, prey that this webpage with videos stays up as long as OpenMoko is still around (there should probably be a day counter). Everytime I run into one of those Linux nerds that claim this is going to be better than my HTC TouchPro or the soon to be released HTC Dream running Android, I point them to this first. Not even EDGE speeds? WTF?!

    Also, any demo video that has the phrase “What the hell?” gets my support.

    Oh yah, I forgot to mention that I have used the OpenMoko Neo1973 as well as the Freerunner and it is every bit of awful and painful as the videos show. My experience with it made me want to chuck it into a lake where it can lie on the bottom with the rest of the dead carcasses.


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