Benjamin Schieder


2009 July 31

So I've got a Neo FreeRunner for one week now. Here's a short summary of my experience.

The OpenMoko Website is horribly outdated, as is the SHR Website (SHR seems to be the suggested and from my point of view most advanced distribution).
I have tried the OM 2008.12 distribution first and - surprisingly - most features that I expected worked just fine. What didn't work was enabling caller ID, which - frankly - sucks. OM 2009 can do that, but seems otherwise incomplete.

All following information regards SHR 20090721 and represents personal opinion unless otherwise noted!
I decided to stick with SHR. After a week of trying to get some stuff done (with much appreciated help from the IRC channels) I managed to get GPS working (ie: leaving the steel-enhanced and WiFi polluted house) and found out that most of the Tweaks from the SHR-Wiki are a) outdated and/or b) dangerous to do. Some of the comments have unanswered questions from more than 6 months ago.
SHR does not yet have a complete PIM-suite. That means you can at the moment only use contacts and short messages stored on the SIM card with all the pain that comes with it.

Voice quality seems to lack, though calls are possible in general.

Some things I suggest doing when you get a FreeRunner and install SHR:
- forget the Tweaks page (well, most of it anyway, the rest is common sense if you've ever used a Linux system before)
- append loglevel=1 to your kernel commandline. Ever used a SUN workstations console? Remember the scrolling speed? Yes, it's that slow. Suspend/resume will take an additional 2 seconds if you don't.
- get a data plan with your provider. Better yet, get a second SIM with a data plan, then continue to use your old phone for calling people. That's what I'll do.

As a final note: I love the FreeRunner! I would buy it again if mine should break (I don't think it will even if I drop it from a skyscraper, it looks and feels very solid). I also love that it's running a Linux OS so I can just go and compile my favorite apps and/or write a few I need, which is a feature I looked for ever since my Palm V broke down.

But to completely replace my old phone the call quality on the far end (not the FreeRunner but the person you're talking to) is perceived just too bad right now. Might just be some mixer settings, though...


Category: blog

Tags: FreeRunner SHR