[E3-hacking] Making life easy for you

Jonathan McDowell noodles at earth.li
Thu Jun 16 12:26:57 BST 2005

On Wed, Jun 15, 2005 at 06:14:09PM +0100, Cliff wrote:
> I've been extremely entertained by the traffic on this list (in fact
> we're desparate for software engineers and the work some of you have
> achieved would definitely qualify you for a top spot on our
> consideration list!).

Heh. I'd noticed Amstrad had been looking at the list and wondered if we
were ever going to hear anything from them. :)

> Anyway, what we're thinking of doing is selling an "open" Linux
> development board based on the E3.
> As in-house experiments we've even got things like QT/E, Opera and
> Skelmir JVM ported to it and have worked on stuff like 802.11g too so
> it's very easy to run a whole host of apps on the thing (nothing
> necessarily to do with telephony - could be anything "Linux" really).
> It'd come pre-loaded with the Montavista 2.4.18 kernel, busybox, etc
> and it's quite a simple process to use a USB-ethernet adaptor on it
> and NFS mount to a Redhat (or similar) server. You can also log on via
> a serial terminal or telnet into it. It makes for a very neat little
> Linux development environment.  Naturally, if we did this, we WOULD
> give you access to the source for things like the 2.4.18 kernel and
> our Nand, LCD, keyboard driving stuff.  We probably couldn't offer
> much in the way of support though.

That would be nice; with access to the NAND code it should hopefully be
possible to use something like JFFS2 instead, giving a writable file
system. Plus it would help with getting the kernel updated to 2.6 - I
know Vince Sanders has been talking about trying to get better OMAP
support in the mainline kernel.

> However, the one thing we couldn't do would be to sell it for -L-49
> because the phone is sold at a loss that we only recover through
> ongoing usage. However we'd hope that we might be able to do this for
> around the original E3 price.

That's £100, isn't it? Or was it originally sold for more than that?

> At the moment this is just an idea and whether we put the effort into
> doing it is really based on developer feedback as to whether you'd be
> interested? Please contact me and let me know what you think.

Do I think you'd sell these for £100? Certainly, especially if it was
packaged nicely. I bought an E3 for the purposes of hacking on partly
due to the fact that the idea of decent SIP/IAX phone appealed. You'd
probably find others who felt the same way and who would buy something
in the style of the E3 but without the Amstrad proprietary software but
a development environment instead.

Personally, it's unlikely I'd buy a developer model at the start - not
because I don't want one, just that it's hard to justify even more toys
at present. :)


101 things you can't have too much of : 33 - Jokes.

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