FreeCalypso update

Mychaela Falconia mychaela.falconia at
Fri Nov 13 01:52:01 UTC 2020

Hi Rafael,

> I really appreciate the recent FreeCalypso developments, and I'm really
> looking forward for the first free/libre mobile phone on Earth!

One important correction: the phone which I seek to build won't be the
first libre mobile phone on Earth, instead it will be the second - the
first was Openmoko.  But the problem with OM is that the GSM part of
those phones got liberated only in September-October of 2013, which
was very late in OM's history, 4 y after they officially closed the
shop and ended production.  Being a Linux smartphone, OM's Neo
FreeRunner contains vastly more hw and sw complexity compared to a
traditional dumbphone of the kind I seek to build, and even if the
extra AP (application processor) hw works perfectly with all issues
ironed out (a question to which I never got a clear answer), someone
still has to maintain all of the extra sw complexity.  OM once had a
team of paid full-time engineers whose job was to maintain all of that
stuff, but when OM ran out of money and stopped funding that work in
2009 (while still refusing to release their Calypso secrets!), the
project essentially died.

The GSM part of OM devices was liberated in 2013, 4 y after OM's
founder abandoned his baby, but by that point it was too late.  So if
you have one of the few remaining OM devices that haven't been
scrapped or otherwise lost or destroyed, you have a smartphone that is
technically 100% free/libre, but is practically unusable because there
is no one left in the world who can maintain the vast sw complexity on
the Linux AP side of the device.

> Of course the new Caramel2 board is
> amazing, but I already have a fully working fcdev board.

How much progress have you made with your FCDEV3B?  Have you studied
your way around FC firmware code base?  Have you made any firmware
additions or customizations of your own?  Tango modules and dev boards
like Caramel2+Luna built around them do have one additional hw
capability over FCDEV3B, namely the ability to connect an LCD and a
keypad directly to the Calypso and thus the ability to run both modem
and handset fw configurations, as opposed to just the modem config -
but these additional capabilities only matter for those who can find
their way through our code base - FC firmware is the whole point, hw
merely facilitates running it - which is why I was asking how much
progress you've made with fw code base learning.


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