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(UPDATE) December 2020 Update

A project log for Open Source Minimalist Phone

A modern, minimalist device that doesn't break the bank.

Johnny SteneJohnny Stene 12/29/2020 at 14:400 Comments

First, I'd like to say sorry th

First, I'd like to say sorry that I didn't make my mid-December goal for releasing the OS's source code. I have been having trouble getting the screen driver to work, but I have decided to handle the screen a different way than I have been, so it needs at least a bit of a rewrite. The new method means that drivers will take much less time to write AND the phone will run faster! I will have a version of the OS without the broken screen driver up later today, but it is basically unusable in its current state which I will be working to fix once I've modified my prototype to work with the new screen control system.

When the OS is in a working state (and the parts I need have arrived) I will be making an easy to follow tutorial on how to build a devkit for arcticOS. It won't have cellular, flash storage, or a keypad, but can still be used for development and testing. Even if you can't code, you can still help with development - bug reports and suggestions are super appreciated!

I have opened the Hackaday page (https://hackaday.io/project/176575-open-source-minimalist-phone) and will be posting minor updates and technical information there. From there, you can find a link to the GitHub page for arcticOS. I'll be working on getting the proper development hardware ready to show off soon - it will have pretty close to the final featureset and will probably be the first thing I sell (I'll probably sell on Tindie, since it seems to have some sort of Hackaday integration)

Also, I said on a livestream with u/jbriones95 that I'd most likely have a modular modem/baseband so it could be upgraded later - sadly, I can't do this because it would make the phone too bulky to be comfortable in the pocket. Luckily, the phone will support 4G/VoLTE along with 3G and 2G so it should hopefully last a while. I have been writing the driver for a 3G only modem so far though, so that will need to be ported to the new modem - this is another thing that won't make it into the first alpha release but I'll have an (untested until I get the final dev hardware) driver for 4G up soon.

One last thing, thanks to the new method of communicating with the screen, I can now offer multiple screen options that can all be compatible with one motherboard! Right now, I am working on a TFT LCD option as well as an E-Ink option. The version with the LCD should still cost around $75 USD. The E-Ink one will be more expensive, but it offers better battery life, and a higher resolution than the LCD. You can always upgrade from the LCD down the line if you'd like, because the screen will be modular.

at I didn't make my mid-December goal for releasing the OS's source code. I have been having trouble getting the screen driver to work, but I have decided to handle the screen a different way than I have been, so it needs at least a bit of a rewrite. The new method means that drivers will take much less time to write AND the phone will run faster! I will have a version of the OS without the broken screen driver up later today, but it is basically unusable in its current state which I will be working to fix once I've modified my prototype to work with the new screen control system.

When the OS is in a working state (and the parts I need have arrived) I will be making an easy to follow tutorial on how to build a devkit for arcticOS. It won't have cellular, flash storage, or a keypad, but can still be used for development and testing. Even if you can't code, you can still help with development - bug reports and suggestions are super appreciated!

I have opened the Hackaday page (https://hackaday.io/project/176575-open-source-minimalist-phone) and will be posting minor updates and technical information there. From there, you can find a link to the GitHub page for arcticOS. I'll be working on getting the proper development hardware ready to show off soon - it will have pretty close to the final featureset and will probably be the first thing I sell (I'll probably sell on Tindie, since it seems to have some sort of Hackaday integration)

Also, I said on a livestream with u/jbriones95 that I'd most likely have a modular modem/baseband so it could be upgraded later - sadly, I can't do this because it would make the phone too bulky to be comfortable in the pocket. Luckily, the phone will support 4G/VoLTE along with 3G and 2G so it should hopefully last a while. I have been writing the driver for a 3G only modem so far though, so that will need to be ported to the new modem - this is another thing that won't make it into the first alpha release but I'll have an (untested until I get the final dev hardware) driver for 4G up soon.

One last thing, thanks to the new method of communicating with the screen, I can now offer multiple screen options that can all be compatible with one motherboard! Right now, I am working on a TFT LCD option as well as an E-Ink option. The version with the LCD should still cost around $75 USD. The E-Ink one will be more expensive, but it offers better battery life, and a higher resolution than the LCD. You can always upgrade from the LCD down the line if you'd like, because the screen will be modular.

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