Usefulness of the Calypso (was Re: seL4 is open source now)

Michael Spacefalcon msokolov at ivan.Harhan.ORG
Tue Aug 5 18:44:49 UTC 2014


Someone (not clear who) said:

> > [...] The calypso is just to outdated to be interesting
> > for anything 'useable' beyond pure hacking-fun.

I violently disagree with that statement.  I personally carry a
cellphone for one and only one purpose: so I can call my significant
other (soon to be wife) and she can cell me at any time.  A handset
based on the Calypso chipset does this job wonderfully, and is IMO
the optimal tool for the job.

But the problem is that at the present time there does not exist any
cellphone at all, of any kind (dumb, smart, old, new, whatever) that
can make and receive cellular phone calls using only Free Software, as
defined by the Free Software Foundation, i.e., providing the user with
the most essential Four Freedoms:

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

Hence I am currently forced to use a cellphone that runs proprietary
firmware, such that I lack the ability to fix any of the UI design
flaws that constantly drive me nuts.  This situation causes me severe
distress, hence I have committed my hobby time and cash budget to a
multi-year project to solve this pressing (for me) problem.

OsmocomBB is not a solution: it works wonders for "hacking-fun" (the
wording in the comment I'm responding to), but is utterly useless for
a practical phone which one can carry around in a pocket or purse: my
back just isn't strong enough to carry a supersized backpack containing
a full PC for running the L23 stack plus a bank of lead-acid batteries.
Hence I need a totally different Free Software GSM handset
implementation, one that actually runs on the phone itself with proper
power management exactly like the original proprietary firmware.  And
because no one else is working on such a thing, I started my own, and
made quite a bit of progress:

https://bitbucket.org/falconian/freecalypso-sw

But I am using the same Calypso GSM chipset for my project as OsmocomBB
uses, simply because it is IMO the optimal tool for the job at hand:
allowing a person to communicate with his or her significant other by
way of cellular phone calls.  The word "outdated" does not exist in my
vocabulary; I evaluate a tool based on how well it does the job, rather
than some arbitrary irrelevant criteria like manufacture date stamps
or whatever.

Viva la Revolucion,
SF




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