FreeCalypso update

Rafael Diniz rafael at
Fri Nov 13 11:19:28 UTC 2020

Hi Mychaela,

> 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.

Right, I knew the history about OM, but not about its firmware liberation.

>> 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.

So, for now I just use it for debugging network side stuff. But
certainly when I have time I'll dive in the code and be able to help
with the handset. Also your code in the tools directory is very useful
to me, for example, the linux serial setup code. Thanks a lot.


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