OpenMoko flashing

Few days ago I decided to run ipkg update ; ipkg upgrade on my moko, and this didn't end up quite well. For a start, I managed to fill root filesystem, and while I tried to remove almost everything that I didn't use, I ended up with non-working unit.

Since I'm following qemu-neo1973 tree and testing images in emulator, I decided to re-flash with latest image. This proved to be very bad since latest image doesn't have gsm drivers, so moko dies on splash screen making device unusable (ssh isn't started at that point so I couldn't connect to it -- If I only had development board...)

Most interesting (and scary) thing were error messages from jffs2 which led me to beleve that my device has developed additional bad blocks. So, I started reading wiki and dumped my bad-blocks table (dump from u-boot prompt):

GTA01Bv4 # nand bad

Device 0 bad blocks:

Last four entries are bad-block table itself, but my device really has bad block. I wasn't able to access additional fields which would tell me if they are factory bad of developed in use...

Since I suspected that my device is completely broken (selecting factory default option in u-boot didn't help) I decided to try re-flash with different image. I went to wiki, selected another u-boot/boot/root images and flash them using following commands described in wiki:

dfu-util -a u-boot -R -D u-boot-gta01bv4-r12_0_2632_0.bin
dfu-util -a kernel -R -D uImage-
dfu-util -a rootfs -R -D OpenMoko-scaredycat-openmoko-devel-image-glibc-ipk-P1-Snapshot-20071118-fic-gta01.rootfs.jffs2

After a looong wait (it's a USB 1.1 device) I must report that I'm actually amazed by amount of progress. New home screen, working browser and media player!

openmoko-home.png openmoko-web.png openmoko-media.png

However, I still can't make any calls (this will take a bit more fiddling) and file dialogs are just unusable (too big and with too much options) and I still can't type on any screen orientation.

Google's announcement of Android platform provoked me to think about leaving OpenMoko on the shelf with other toys for which I don't have time any more, but when I saw new software upgrade I have to re-consider this.

  1. OpenMoko is here: I have the device, it exists in hardware
  2. qemu-neo1973 just got very good GSM emulator (you can select emulated GSM network, send messages and calls to emulated phone) which will probably bring GSM and SMS functionality to good shape real-soon-now(tm)

To replace my aging Nokia I need following:

  1. working phone (voice calls) - almost there, but not quite :-)
  2. SMS messaging - there is beginning of it in GUI, but no real functionality
  3. keyboard on which I can type with my big fingers

This brings me back to my plans: since I can't develop anything for GPS until there is binary (sigh!) driver available I would probably want to write almost full-screen 3*4 keyboard just like the one on regular cell phones. This would allow me to actually use device with my fingers.

I probably won't have time to scratch this itch in current year, so if there is anything similar (T9 implementation or even something similar to xstroke which worked well for me on Zaurus) I would love to hear about it.