[ubuntu-uk] New FreeRunner

Tim Dobson personalwebsite at army.com
Tue Aug 5 13:56:32 BST 2008

James Tait wrote:
> Tim Dobson wrote:
>> I have a freerunner which I bought from www.truebox.co.uk
> So what are your impressions?  I certainly take Popey's point about a
> phone that "works and works well", but just how much work/grief can one
> expect with the Freerunner?  The two biggest drawbacks for me are the
> lack of a built-in camera and the massive start-up time, though I have
> to admit I don't expect to have to cold boot it that often.  I've read
> numerous reviews, tech articles and so on and I'm still not really sure
> how close to "end-user ready" it is -- I've read some somewhat worrying
> stuff.

I quite like it.
It's an awesome piece of kit.
The hardware is really god in my opinion though I take your point in 
reference to camera.
The startup time shouldn't affect you really.

It depends what you are wanting to use it for...

if you want to use it as a phone(!) everything works fine. Rumours about 
stuff crashing on incoming calls etc seem to be a thing of the past, no 
more command line calls(!), the gui works fine and seems stable.

Regarding SMS they are easy to send recieve.. no stability problems etc.
Contacts and are automatically imported from your SIM if you have them 
there and more contacts can be imported in vcard format.

I was extremely surprised at how polished the GPS stuff was
Tango gps - http://www.tangogps.org is an awesome program a *bit* like 
the google maps bit of the iphone (i think).
Anyway it does stuff like overlays your position on maps and allows you 
to record your track and stuff.

The wifi stack is stable and functional, currently two beta GUIs exist 
for it, but development is so fast that 5 days ago, neither existed in 
their current form. By the time anything has been shipped to you, you 
will be wondering why i am mentioning anything there.

GPRS is a bit ugly at the moment (functional but impractical) but I'm 
going to investigate that in more detail in the next few days with a 
view to making it awesome.

There are 2 webrowsers, (the minifirefox one is best imho) an image 
gallery and file manager, pidgin IM client, and a media player.

I would really recommend it, in places it is rough around the edges, but 
i can not give comparison at the speed development is going - if you 
think how the gnu/linux desktop changes in a year then you will probably 
be able to imagine how much the gnu/linux phone changes in a month...

I intend to get round to in depth blog post at some point. I'll remember 
drop a link to here when i do.


If each of us have one object, and we exchange them, then each of us
still has one object.
If each of us have one idea, and we exchange them, then each of us now
has two ideas.   -  George Bernard Shaw

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