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Old 26th March 2010
guitarscn guitarscn is offline
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Default What phone should I get?

First time purchasing a cell phone here. That's right, I'm moving into the modern world with the rest of everyone else for the first time...

Anyway, I have no idea what cell phones are like, so I'm wondering if it's possible to install BSD on any of them. Otherwise I'd like one where I can install ircII or something on it so that I can chat on IRC and stuff.
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Old 26th March 2010
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Don't get any cell phone. Just my opinion...
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Old 26th March 2010
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Android and Palm webOS based phones, and the iPhone will likely be the most readily available ones to look at, at least in the US market; I'm not familiar with others. To my knowledge you can get a shell running on Android, so perhaps there is someway to get ircII.


I would suggest making a list of your must haves and shopping around.
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Old 26th March 2010
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I have a Samsung B2700. It's not a fancy smartphone with touchscreen and whatnot, it's just a reliable phone that works.
IMO the LED flashlight on this phone is more useful than all iPhone apps combined.

Here's a nice review:
http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_b2700-review-279.php

Take a look at the video's on page 6 to see why I chose this phone in particular (I would like to add that the screen does scratch though).
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Old 26th March 2010
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Whats the use of having BSD on your phone other than for novelty?

(BTW, the b2700 looks good, I will have to inquire if it's available in my place. :-))
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Old 26th March 2010
guitarscn guitarscn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
I have a Samsung B2700. It's not a fancy smartphone with touchscreen and whatnot, it's just a reliable phone that works.
IMO the LED flashlight on this phone is more useful than all iPhone apps combined.

Here's a nice review:
http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_b2700-review-279.php

Take a look at the video's on page 6 to see why I chose this phone in particular (I would like to add that the screen does scratch though).
Oh my goodness...do you expect to soak your phone in water and run over it with cars very often?!
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Old 26th March 2010
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haha, no, I just wanted a phone with good build quality that would last a while (at least 5 years, preferably 10). After all, who of us hasn't dropped their phone accidentally at least once? (I know I have).
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Old 26th March 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ephemera View Post
Whats the use of having BSD on your phone other than for novelty?

(BTW, the b2700 looks good, I will have to inquire if it's available in my place. :-))
I'm just so used to it. If I buy a car I will ask them if I can install BSD on it
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Old 26th March 2010
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The possibility of getting one of the free BSD's on your phone is slim, but several phones exist running Linux..

Apple's Iphone runs a modified version of their own OS X, which is a derivative of BSD, but you must "jailbreak" it as officially Apple doesn't allow people to run their own software on the phone.

Nokia's n900 (..related to the n770/n800 mobile devices) runs Linux.. and it's fairly strait forward to get a root terminal directly on it.

OpenMoko has a product which has some preliminary support by OpenBSD, but it's not at a point where you can make telephone calls.. it's also more of a "developer" device so you're unlikely to find one that's reliable.

Google "Android" phones do technically run a Linux kernel, but the majority of the higher layers are written by Google in Java, and native code execution is tricky.. and like the Iphone you need to essentially "jailbreak it".

There are a few other options for someone wanting a small Unix-like environment on their phone, and you can surely find a few products by searching on a few search engines.. but ultimately it's going to be difficult, and they're not overly cheap.

Good luck.
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Old 26th March 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarscn View Post
...I'm wondering if it's possible to install BSD on any of them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BSDfan666 View Post
The possibility of getting one of the free BSD's on your phone is slim, but several phones exist running Linux..
Given the nature of the OP's questions, I'm taking this comment one step further.

While a number of cell phone vendors may be able to make the claim that their devices run Linux, it is not stock off-the-shelf Linux (nor even a stock Linux kernel...) just as the hardware is not identical to off-the-shelf computers. In other words, the operating system used within cell phones is highly stripped & tweaked to the specific needs of the hardware found the device.

Yes, a *BSD can be installed (Danger is built on top of a NetBSD core...), but it will take an experienced embedded programmer significant time to do the customization (After all, it is custom hardware...), & the result will not be identical to what can be found on a commodity desktop.

The goal of using a known kernel such as Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, etc. as the basis of specialized embedded devices is to take advantage of a vetted code base to provide basic resource management -- memory management, multiple processes, interprocess communication, providing a working network stack in a minimal environment -- code that doesn't need to be reinvented. Expecting common userland roadmarks such as X (which is a resource pig...) may be too much in some instances. Constraining costs & physical space requirements are much more important in the embedded world than providing a lush GNOME-friendly interface.

To get a feel for the added constraints embedded developers must consider, read Dale Rahn's (one of OpenBSD's developers...) interview on tweaking OpenBSD for ARM processors:

http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1393496

Note that the article references Symbian as being a major player in the embedded market. Wind Rivers (who for a short time provided funding for the NetBSD Project...) is another who provided the base platform for NASA's Mars rovers.
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Old 26th March 2010
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Can the iPhone, Android, and N900 all run ssh to and fro remotely? So that I can log in and at home from work and go on IRC through the terminal on the phone.
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Old 26th March 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarscn View Post
Can the iPhone, Android, and N900 all run ssh to and fro remotely?
http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=ssh+iphone+android+n900
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Old 13th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarscn View Post
I'm just so used to it. If I buy a car I will ask them if I can install BSD on it


I have a nine years old Nokia; you can make phone calls with it and even SMS (which they say will be the next hot thing, so I thought I'd buy that to be prepared for the future ).
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Old 13th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat View Post
Constraining costs & physical space requirements are much more important in the embedded world than providing a lush GNOME-friendly interface.
There are better devices for BSDs than phones, from that perspective. While it will likely never match NetBSD for portability, here are some cute photos of different OpenBSD platforms, from the project's web pages:

A Zaurus:



A landisk:



A socppc:



The new Longsoon Lemote:



A VAX:

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Old 13th April 2010
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The Zaurus hasn't been made for a few years and are very difficult to come by, the Longsoon is too big to be really portable, but too small to be really useful, and the landisk and socppc are not mobile devices.
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Old 13th April 2010
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You're raining on my parade, Carpetsmoker.

I carry an Asus eeePC 1005HAB -- its fits in a small Taurus netbook travel case, the travel case fits in the glove compartment of my MINI Cooper. That's small enough for me. For now.

My phone is a Motorola V195, because my customer does not allow cameras on cell phones carried by visitors/consultants. Nor on their netbooks. I don't bring the netbook in to work, it has a built-in webcam.
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Old 13th April 2010
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Just so it's clear; the VAX in the above picture is a vacuum.. and no.. it doesn't really run OpenBSD, a case of ironic brand naming.

With the size of x86 systems shrinking, you can actually find x86 based phones.. typically made overseas, and running Windows.

One product I'm aware of is ITG's "xpPhone", other similar products exist.. and it should theoretically be possible to boot BSD (..granted some hardware might be unsupported).
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Old 14th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSDfan666 View Post
Just so it's clear; the VAX in the above picture is a vacuum.. and no.. it doesn't really run OpenBSD, a case of ironic brand naming.
Well, that sucks.
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Old 14th April 2010
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It also blows.

(Though it really is the photo used in www.openbsd.org/vax.html)
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Old 14th April 2010
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You also forgot to mention that the Zaurus isn't a phone lol.
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