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Ken-Young's Avatar
Posts: 338 | Thanked: 1,327 times | Joined on Feb 2010 @ Cambridge, MA, USA
#21
Originally Posted by marmistrz View Post
Hmm...
[...]
The dealbreaker are the drivers.
[...]
Yup. I believe we'll be living in a iOS/Android duopoly until the next big change in computing hardware. As impressive as the efforts to make really open hackable phones like the gta04 and neo900 are (God bless the souls of those who work on them!) I remain convinced that building a cell phone is not something a handful of people can do in their spare time, no matter how talented they are (projects like Pyra seem a bit more feasible since they don't have all the phone-related complications). iOS is a nonstarter for a host of obvious reasons. The best hope is to come up with a gnu/linux distribution that uses Android linux kernels and drivers, so that it can quickly be ported to new generations of Android phone hardware. I think that's what Ubuntu Touch is, but I'm defeated by its lack of X11 support.

Last edited by Ken-Young; 2016-01-01 at 23:10.
 

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#22
Originally Posted by Ken-Young View Post
But only a five hour battery life... too short for me, I fear.
5 hours would be more than enough if only they used batteries I could buy off the shelf at any supermarket, corner shop, petrol station or newspaper kiosk. Such as, for example, AA.
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#23
Originally Posted by endsormeans View Post
[...]
I'm not sure it's in the remotest possible..
perhaps it has already been posed somewhere here at tmo before...
perhaps there is just too much that bungs-up and it can't possibly work...
since I never tried it....
But has it been considered ...ever...
that we could try our own philo. in reverse...
and run maemo in a chroot on another phone's / tablet's / pc's operating system ...
instead?
Just throwin' it out there..
[...]
I think this would be great. Almost ideal, since we'd have real Adroid available along with our beloved Maemo, and if we got it to work once, it would probably be possible to port it fairly quickly to new Android devices. But how do we get X11 to work so that the Maemo UI will work?
 

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#24
Originally Posted by Ken-Young View Post
I remain convinced that building a cell phone is not something a handful of people can do in their spare time, no matter how talented they are (projects like Pyra seem a bit more feasible since they don't have all the phone-related complications).
This! I believe this is the key: the rise of the smartphone has led to the death of the handheld computer. These are two flavors that do NOT taste great together: a general-purpose computing device, allowing the user to perform whatever tasks they wish, and a telecommunications device, designed specifically for both high availability and to work within the constraints of cellular service providers and national communications laws.

In order to be available at any moment, a smartphone has to be small enough to comfortably fit in a pocket, pretty enough to not embarrass the user in public situations, and constantly spend power waiting for incoming calls. Modern devices have sacrificed flexibility and user freedom in order to achieve these goals. And they've succeeded.

So really, the key to getting back to portable computing is to just completely ignore the entire cellphone industry. Get a phone for phone calls, and get something else entirely for portable computing. A tablet, a hacked-together Raspberry Pi device, a Pyra, really anything that avoids the insanity of the cellphone industry...

Anyway, that's my opinion.
 

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#25
Originally Posted by marmistrz View Post
Hmm...

What I really hate about Android is
- the lack of mutlitasking - I freaking don't want anyone to close my apps. I am the one in control!
In practice, given a modern Android phone/tablet with 2GB+ RAM, this rarely happens. I've left SSH terminal sessions running for hours while using my tablet for other stuff. It's more reliable by far than my Jolla and none of the 10 minute task shuffling you have to do on iOS.

Originally Posted by marmistrz View Post
- the amount of malware - hell, you need an antivir on Android! It's becoming Windowsy even more
Maybe I'm lucky here but I've not come across any. On the other hand, if Maemo, Sailfish etc were more popular, maybe they'd have malware. On the face of it, the security model on both is a far cry from the sandboxing and other measures on the mainstream OS's.

Originally Posted by marmistrz View Post
- afaik you can't do package management on the command line (apt-get/zypper)
Not AFAIK.

Originally Posted by marmistrz View Post
Can one use the core Linux utils in the term (tar, find, grep, wget) on Android?
Not all of them are included but you can install them. Or install Busybox.

Originally Posted by marmistrz View Post
Is it possible to build any given C/C++ app (even the terminal one)? Assume I'd like to build Haskell/Brain****/Lisp for it.
On the device itself? Not sure why you wouldn't just use a computer, the Android ndk and a cross compiler.


Originally Posted by marmistrz View Post
As for what endsormeans says. The dealbreaker are the drivers. We have so many foss OSes. Ubuntu Touch, Plasma Mobile, FreeMantle (possibly), even Debiancould fit. But the first two work flawlessly on maybe 6 devices, none of them having a hw kbd. With the needed drivers and an unlocked bootloader we could have anything anywhere. So a device which supports the mainline kernel could fit.
Some of which already use libhybris to solve the driver problem.

I'm not intending to defend Android here but often in these discussions the problem seems to be ideological when pragmatically, Android usually isn't as restrictive as people think. And yes I'd love to see a "proper" Unix based pocket computer that works more like a desktop and less like an iPhone but so far that seems to be a very distant prospect.
 

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#26
I would imagine now that we don't have nokia breathing down our collars...
and ...
rather soon...
if we do not do something...
(although I do have high hopes for spin-off breakthroughs from freemantle )
then the problem will be on our doorstep...
(Our aging fleet of devices will eventually fail (the n900's seem more delicate than my n8x0's...so it is anyone's guess the n8x0's lifespan...but increasingly n900's are having failing I have noted in tmo posts here...more and more there are posts of people cannibalizing n900's for their parts...sooner or later people...) and at best we will have maemo in scratchbox to look at..as more and more members leave for inferior devices that simply work... a sad ...increasingly quiet end to us ...)
I don't ever want to see the above possible future unfold.
King was pretty much the only set of eyes puzzling over the issue.
More eyes may help.

Chrooting maemo onto debian pc (convertible tablet even...I know Martinez work plays nicely with them..touch is nice ...but ..) maybe?
hm...

I do believe we need to create... at the barest minimum... maemo-esque window managers for linux pc.
(since pretty much everything maemo program-wise that we have... IS after all...pretty much debian...)
so we have at the least...a temporary "home"...
a refuge...


In the words of the great architect...
https://youtu.be/XhRZ3JkTYd4
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Owner of : 1-n770 (in retirement),
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half a neo900 pre- "bought"....due for production any day now.


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Last edited by endsormeans; 2016-01-02 at 00:05.
 

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#27
Originally Posted by Ken-Young View Post
Actually, nothing. But the n900 is slow by today's standards (although I should keep reminding myself that I used to apply for grants to pay for CPU time on a VAX 11/780 !) and it's just too easy to exhaust the RAM on an N900 if you start doing anything serious. Once it starts swapping, you might as well give up on whatever you're trying to do.
So to summarize - you are looking for a pocketable device that doesn't necessarily has phone capabilities - good battery life and is faster than your N900 and available right now. You already mentioned liking the Pyra that is not available yet. In that case, you might like a Pandora too. Not a tremendous upgrade, but still it does qualify as an improvement imho. You can install native Debian or Slackware on it and there are a few decent up-to-date browsers.

There will be a couple of classic Pandora's available in the dragonbox shop soon - not now unfortunately. if you are seriously interested and they are available in the shop you need to be fast.. they sell like hotcakes.

https://www.dragonbox.de/en/27-consoles-
 

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#28
As to compiling on a smartphone:

Originally Posted by aegis View Post
On the device itself? Not sure why you wouldn't just use a computer, the Android ndk and a cross compiler.
RIGHT! This is the thing: it is intuitively obvious that one does not compile code on a smartphone. Why is this? Because a smartphone is not a computer.

It doesn't matter that we've now got devices as small or smaller than cell phones (such as the RPi) that are, in essence, just tiny desktop computers that run full-blown desktop operating systems. No, we've all been brainwashed that a smartphone can't do general-purpose computing, it's too tiny and too weak for that. Stick with the apps provided to you in the walled-garden ecosystem, and don't even try to do anything on your own without the supervision of your manufacturer or cell-service provider...
 

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#29
Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
So really, the key to getting back to portable computing is to just completely ignore the entire cellphone industry.
Haha - great idea and good luck trying to convince the rest of the world
 

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#30
Originally Posted by t-b View Post
[...]
There will be a couple of classic Pandora's available in the dragonbox shop soon - not now unfortunately. if you are seriously interested and they are available in the shop you need to be fast.. they sell like hotcakes.

https://www.dragonbox.de/en/27-consoles-
Yup, you're right. I should buy a classic Pandora, and then count myself lucky if I get to buy a Pyra later.
 

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