[sf-lug] [OpenMoko] Qtopia on FreeRunner *works*, and gets great battery life

Asheesh Laroia asheesh at asheesh.org
Tue Sep 23 12:57:54 PDT 2008

This is just a quick note to those of us who have the OpenMoko FreeRunner 
phone (and an update for anyone else who cares).

I've been running Qtopia on my GTA02 ("OpenMoko FreeRunner", aka Neo) as 
downloaded from Trolltech itself.  I hadn't charged it since Saturday or 
Sunday, I think.  After bragging about the battery life to #openmoko, I 
thought I should hit the power button to make sure it would still wake up. 
Indeed, it woke up fine and reminded me I have some SMSs from Monday to 
reply to.  I decided I might as well charge it; who knows when I'll next 
remember to?

This is the official Trolltech.com Qtopia image.  There are a lot of other 
sotware setups one can put on it, and there are a lot of good reasons to 
run other distributions: Mostly, there's much more software available for 
systems that run an X11 windowing server, and it's also easier to develop 
for some of the other distributions than Qtopia.  (Yes, I'm dramatically 
over-simplifying.)  I'm using the 2008/9/2 download from 
http://www.qtopia.net/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=6 ; it includes 
a kernel and flash filesystem that you can flash on using dfu-util.  You 
could argue this is just another episode in the fight between 
"correctly-functioning things made through central development" (like 
how solely Trolltech manages this Qtopia image) and "experimental, 
exiting community-based development" (like Debian and the OpenMoko images 
for the FreeRunner) but I believe that would be missing the big difference 
between Qtopia and the other systems: Qtopia is *way* older.

I have it set to suspend afer about 40 seconds of inactivity; it's so easy 
to wake it up (just tap power) that I don't mind it going to sleep soon to 
conserve power.

I do have some issues I'd put at the top of a "usability complaints" list: 
The sound quality is marred by a "GSM buzz" that's much-discussed across 
the OpenMoko project; I believe a fix is on the way, so that doesn't 
bother me much.  Also, the volume of people talking to me was quite low 
despite Qtopia claiming the call volume was set to max.

The last issue was easily fixed: I SSH'd in and used alsamixer to pump up 
"Speaker" from about 77% to 100%.  I also saved that to Qtopia's 
default sound configuration file using:

  alsactl -f /usr/share/openmoko/scenarios/gsmhandset.state store

All in all: success, and sane battery life.  I'm rockin' the Free World. 
Some of you have probably already tried Qtopia and discovered that it 
really works; others (like me) could use some refreshingly good news to 
boost our faith.

(I'll be cross-posting this to asheesh.org eventually but thought I'd 
update us SF OMers first.)

-- Asheesh.

Don't worry so loud, your roommate can't think.

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