OsmocomBB Wiki update/upgrade

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Alvin Schurman alvin.schurman at gmail.com
Tue Jul 17 12:17:52 UTC 2012

Speaking as another interested observer, I wholeheartedly agree with what
you wrote.  I have been reading this list for years and actually own some
of the equipment but I've never loaded the phones or become involved
because the barrier to entry is a little high.  It's a pain to search the
list for info and I don't want to be seen asking what might appear to be
stupid questions to the list.

George, you might not want to hear this, but I think you would be a great
person to document what you've done.  You have good communication skills
and the experience of loading a phone and entering into the project is
fresh in your mind.  Do yoiu have any notes from your experience that the
gurus could add to the current wiki or use to construct a new one?

If someone else is willing to start some newbee documentation, I would
gladly add to the info by documenting my own entrance into the project.
I'm sure other lurkers here would feel the same.


On Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 7:04 AM, George Carpenter
<osmocarpenter at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hello. This is my first message to the mailing list and I would like to
> introduce myself.
> My name is George Tsnikosmaoglou (OsmoCarpenteR) and I live in Greece.  I
> am watching this project for some years now, but due to heavy work load,
> unfortunately I cannot dedicate a lot of time to contribute to this
> project. I must give my congratulations to the people that have dedicated
> their time and show their passion and intelligence through this project.
>  Even though I am watching this project for a lot of time, I consider
> myself a newbie, but I want to actively participate to the project and
> contribute to this effort as much as I can.
> I am already trying to inform as many people as possible, but as you know,
> you need a lot of effort to explain and convince one person at a time to
> devote some time to this project. I have met a lot of people that have
> either technical, or theoretical or both knowledge about GSM and general
> electronics. These people come with a high educational background, but due
> to the current working environment, they do not have time to spare to a
> free Software  Open Source GSM Baseband software implementation as
> OsmocomBB is. The bottom line is that they are interested, but they stop
> after a while because the first steps are always difficult. So here are my
> proposals.
> It would be nice to have a complete and easy to read wiki. I know that
> this project is created and maintained by people who have devoted a lot of
> time to this project, but the current status of wiki does not allow a
> newbie to gather all the information that are needed to start easy and get
> in the project as fast as possible. I remember my first attempts to load
> the firmware to the mobile phone and I remember this was somewhat
> difficult. Thanks to some help from the IRC people that hang out and some
> manuals that float on the net (see srlabs gsmmap and gprs sniffing
> tutorial),  I managed to get started. And never underestimate the
> frustration and the temper when you keep trying and trying to load your
> first firmware, or the excitement and awe when you see these sweet words
> (OsmocomBB) on the screen of the mobile phone. Personally, when I finally
> managed to load and run my first application (ccch_scan), something was
> created in my mind that this project really stands for something innovative
> and genius. But for most of my friends, this did not happen. Many of them
> stopped because they found this whole procedure frustrating and nerve
> breaking, so they either stopped or they left this aside.
> Also I see that although I am trying to devote sometime, there are always
> some expected problems. These problems are usually solved if you read the
> mailing list or ask help from IRC, but in many cases this takes a lot of
> effort and after some hours and painkillers, you cannot figure out  how
> to solve a problem. Just to mention the latest FULL LRAM compile problem
> that exists since the start of the year. Yesterday I was trying all day to
> find a solution, but there were a lot of candidate solutions and patches,
> but none was solving the actual problem. This would have saved me a lot of
> time if this was mentioned in the wiki and if someone had devoted some time
> to print 2 lines of comment or directions on how to solve or explain to
> many people that it is not solved.
> Because I see that no one from the persons that have real skills and
> knowledge of this project spares some time to update and evolve the
> OsmocomBB wiki, I propose to create some “booty”, so we get a proper wiki
> for this project and the person or persons that will create this will be
> “rewarded” for their time and effort. I know that knowledge has no price,
> but I propose to create a “booty” bank with either money or/and services
> or/and equipment. Anything that any individual can contribute.
> I think this will boost the quality of this project and will be something
> interesting for some newbie to get involved.
> Some things that I found that this project needs is a newbie/getting
> started wiki. Detailed and with information and explanation as you were
> talking to a 5 year old child. This should include detailed information on
> what equipment and first things to do before you even start your first
> attempt to load any code to the phone and then how to load the first
> firmware and load the first application. I really liked the srlabs
> instructions about gprs and gsmmap. It was a good way to start and it was a
> step by step manual and easy to understand.
> A full list of existing applications. This will include detailed
> explanation of each application and it’s capabilities. Also how to load
> them, all the application parameters and what you can do with them.
> A hints/tips list. This will be some useful information about the
> OsmocomBB project. What to do and not to do. For example if the loader
> shows always the FMTOOL message and what o do in similar situations. To
> take extra caution to the physical contact of the cable, etc. Issues that
> are encountered and are standard to the project.
> A current issues/proposed solutions to current problems. I cannot find a
> more proper example as the current FULL LRAM compile problem that we
> currently have. There can be a small description of the problem and
> candidate solutions till the problem is fully solved. This will spare a lot
> of time to persons that encounter problems and save a lot of traffic in the
> IRC and mailing list. It will also be a database of knowledge for genius
> solutions or efforts to solve an issue.
> A todo list. This refers to the masters of this project. That is because
> they usually show the direction of the project. They who have deep
> knowledge of this project can show where this project is heading for. So a
> todo list to get there will be nice. You never know, even a newbie may
> solve an issue that is it totally new to the project, just to evolve the
> whole project. Right now I do not find any reference or it is very
> difficult to know (even the masters of OsmocomBB) where this project is
> heading to.
> A full GSM documentation. This will include detailed documents and
> references on each and every aspect of GSM technology. I am talking for an
> encyclopedia of everything that is referred in GSM technology.  I think
> this is very important to have all the information that is needed all in
> one place and updated on any occasion. This is very important for someone
> who really want to get involved in the project. This can also include 3G
> and future communication technologies. I am talking for the bible of
> communications. Of course one step at a time. I know that all the
> information that we need is out there on the net, but all the information
> gathered in one place and shorted by an expert would be the ultimate tool.
> Of course everything that I mentioned does not have any meaning or purpose
> if the wiki is not updated frequently.
> Sorry for the big message.
> Thank you.
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