OpenMoko first impressions

The physical design is excellent. The screen quality is awesome.

I started by flashing pre-built images to get something working. I flashed a new kernel and rootfs. The basic functionality is there, but things tend to crash a lot.

Building the software locally took quite some time, maybe close to a day on my laptop. The build tree is 11GB large. That is huge. Updating the software to the latest version and re-building it is pretty fast though; around a few minutes.

With todays’ build, I was finally able to make a voice call. The openmoko-dialer seems quite solid. What is missing is the audio settings. I’m now using alsactl -f /etc/alsa/gsmhandset.state restore to put the audio in the right state. There was a lot of echo and noise during the call.

Playing MP3 works fine. I was worried about performance problems, but the GUI is still responsive, even while copying a ~50MB file onto the 512MB mini-SD card. I discovered that the external audio connector isn’t a standard audio contact, it is smaller. I need to go out and buy a converter to be able to plug the neo into my stereo. It would have been nice if this cable had been included.

I briefly tried bluetooth, and at least the low-level stuff seems to be present and working. There is no GUI to power up the bluetooth chip though.

OpenMoko Neo1973 order confirmed


This message has been automatically generated with regard to the progress of your order at the OpenMoko online store (

Your credit card has now been charged by the following amount:

Subtotal: $450 USD
Shipping: $88.98 USD
Total: $538.98 USD

Please note that this amount might be less than what was originally mentioned in the webshop, since we meanwhile got better shipping rates!

This means that we will now send out your order ASAP.

You will receive another status update once the order has been sent out.

Neo1973 / OpenMoko ordered

Only a few hours after the Neo1973 was launched, I placed my order for a Neo advanced. Even before it hit slashdot.

They still haven’t charged my credit card. They confirmed my order though, and also asked me whether I wanted a black/silver or white/orange.

I’ll blog about my progress with the device under the new tag ‘openmoko’.