No more moko for me

Well it’s been just over 2 years now since I picked up my Neo Freerunner and unfortunately I have nothing good to report back. When I first got my hands on the Freerunner I had great expectations as can be seen in my previous posts however it turns out I was little too optimistic.

My hope was to write about my experience developing applications for the device but it seems as though I was one of the unlucky users who suffered from the infamous buzz. And I don’t mean buzz in a good way :) Apparently this didn’t effect every user and was more prevalent when using certain GSM bands. However random it may have been for some users it was an absolute show stopper for me and rendered the device pretty much unusable as a phone. Anytime I placed a call, the person on the other end heard a horrible loud buzzing sound. After a while Openmoko finally tracked down the source of the buzzing to a hardware problem and published some instructions on how to mod the device (known as the big-C rework). Unfortunately it requires some fairly advanced SMD-soldering skills and is way out of my league. As far as I know, Openmoko never really offered much help in resolving the issue for people who had already purchased the device with the hardware flaw (rev A5/A6) and were unable to preform the necessary surgery.

Despite the lacking phone functionality the Freerunner itself is still pretty cool. I’m sure I’ll be able to think of some other fun projects to use it for especially since it runs Debian.