New FreeCalypso Tourmaline firmware

Mychaela Falconia mychaela.falconia at
Mon Oct 19 08:20:55 UTC 2020

Hi David!

> Is a sort of halfway house a possibility -  a new FC board to replace the
> guts of a pirelli or C139? Come to that, the case does not need to be that of
> a model which originally used the calypso chip, any model commonly available
> second hand with fairly decent plastic ware.

Oh believe me I have thought such ideas a lot over the years!  However,
here is the reason why it ultimately doesn't make sense: contrary to
conventional belief, the plastic case is *not* the most difficult or
most expensive or most time-consuming part of creating my dream FC
handset.  If we had our own FC handset motherboard and firmware in
usable shape, making a 3D-printed case around it would not be a big

And now the kicker: right now even the electronic hardware (FC handset
motherboard) is not the main difficulty, instead the main issue is the
massive work that is needed to whip our TI-based UI fw into shape.
With FC Luna development platform and Tourmaline firmware tree, we
finally just now have the necessary tools and foundation to *begin*
this UI whipping-into-shape work, tools and foundation which we didn't
have prior to this year - but the needed work is still massive.

As far as FC handset hardware goes, if we had good firmware for it, I
could do the motherboard design right now and get it done in a few
months, and then hire someone to design and produce 3D-printed
plastics - but if we were to make this venture right now, the only
thing we would get would be a very expensive paperweight, which is
what hw without fw is.  Hence the only sensible approach is to work on
the firmware first, using FC Luna hardware for development - and I
need to repeat that any interested person can easily get this hardware
from me.  (I would ask you to pay the regular $220+shipping price for
the main Caramel2 kit, but then the Luna LCD and keypad add-ons would
be on me.)  Whip the firmware into shape, use Luna hw to verify that
every step works right in both bigcolor and smallbw configs, and get
absolutely minimal phone functionality working on C139 hw - only then
it will make sense to think about any kind of new hardware.

What we really need is to get more people on board who have the
necessary combination of:

1) interest in this project,
2) good C programming skills,
3) willingness to look past unpleasant aspects like Wine toolchain etc.

Right now I am the only person with this combination, and considering
how much I have on my plate (not just other FreeCalypso business like
Tango modules and C2 boards, but also other life commitments not
related to FC), I fear that my lifetime may not be enough.

Caramel2 boards are expected to become available in December - is there
anyone here who (1) would be willing to buy one of these kits and (2)
has the necessary skillset to where they would have a realistic chance
of actually using it to contribute to our UI fw development?

Hasta la Victoria, Siempre,
Mychaela aka The Mother

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