Pong -- Yes I Am Still Alive

Wow, almost five months passed without a blog entry. But don’t worry I am still alive, although life currently sucks big time!

Problem is that I currently don’t have enough time to do fun stuff, because of school related things and work where I waste my time on boring things like online shops. For me it’s still unclear why exactly the company I work for ended up doing web development based on the .NET platform – company strategy I guess. Use the right tool for the right job doesn’t seem to be popular these days. Anyway management decided to buy a “ready made” shop solution and customize it to connect to our ERP system, so I have to deal with a code base which seems to consist of WTFs. And don’t get me started on things like our in house source control management system (VisualSource Safe) it’s crap, I have now installed msysgit for my personal use. Once you are familiar with your *nix development tools, going back to Windows hurts extremely. I mean such useful little tools like diff/patch/sed/awk etc are not there by default. Enough ranting for now.

OpenMoko Community Event in Bern

After quite some delay my Freerunner finally arrived a few months ago. Since I am busy with pointless things (see above) I couldn’t really contribute anything. I have so far only been playing around with it a bit. However one thing I managed to do was attending an OpenMoko Community Event in Bern. This was really interesting, I learned that Swisscom (the biggest telecommunication enterprise here in Switzerland) is evaluating the Freerunner as a possible platform for future products.

They are paying Raster to do a widget toolkit called Elementary which is suitable for mobile devices. The cool thing is that it’s all based on relative coordinates and contains a clever layout algorithm which places the various gui elements as needed and makes the whole thing resolution independent.

They also funded some bug fixing work of Harald Welte. This resulted in massive power savings and performance improvements.

It was really interesting to talk with one of the Swisscom guys about their ideas. One thing they are concerned about is the usage of python in the framework. They worry about the performance and since everything is run in one process (the python interpreter) prioritizing via scheduler settings is not possible.

Anyway it was great fun to meet with other OpenMoko user and developers. Looking forward to future meetings.