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Open-source phone getting WiFi sign-on port

Aug 19, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Hacker Holden Karau is porting the Devicescape Connect WiFi sign-on client to the Linux-based, open-source OpenMoko Neo Freerunner phone. The port, which uses the FreeRunner's new Qtopia-flavored stack, could turn out to be the first commercial application ported to the FreeRunner,… says Karau.

(Click for larger view of OpenMoko Neo FreeRunner)

In his Holden's Blog entry, entitled, “I'm super excited to begin work on this project [porting DeviceScape to the OpenMoko],” Karau shows the same enthusiasm for all things OpenMoko as he did when he wrote about being one of the first customers to unpack the new Neo FreeRunner phone last month. The OpenMoko Neo FreeRunner is billed as a completely open source, hackable hardware platform based on Linux.

Devicescape enabled
Slacker Portable

(Click for details)

The Devicescape Connect firmware enables preconfigured connections to “hundreds of thousands of WiFi hotspots” without forcing users to remember numerous passwords or work through log-in scripts, says Devicescape. Recently ported to the Slacker Portable, a Linux-based personal music player (PMP), the firmware works on more than 100 different devices running on 10 different operating systems (OSes), and supports over 1000 public networks, says the company.

Karau was attracted to the project after using Devicescape on Windows Mobile-based phones. “Since I'm too cheap to have a big (or really any) data-plan this is how I plan to be getting my e-mail and pretty much everything on my OpenMoko.”

Karau chose the new Qtopia ASU stack, now referred to as the OM2008 image, “since it seems to provide the right mixture of bleeding edge while still being functional,” he writes. OM2008 is one of three potential stacks that OpenMoko developers can choose from, including the mature Gnome Mobile & Embedded Initiative (GMAE)-based stack, which ships with the FreeRunner and includes GTK+ (GIMP Toolkit), as well as the next-generation FSO stack, which is based on (FSO) APIs.

With the help of OM2008, Karau envisions Devicescape applications that might perform automated, agent-like data retrieval via the FreeRunner's WiFi connection. “To the best of my knowledge this is the first (or one of the first) non-FIC [the manufacturer of the Neo FreeRunner] commercial applications being ported/developed for the OpenMoko/FreeRunner stack,” he writes.

The Holden's Blog entry on the Devicescape port should be available here.

Thank you to “Albert” for bringing this project to our attention.

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