Fairphone – the new alternative

fairphone-540x304 Fairphone is an alternative campaign to create a mobile phone with a fair share of payments to everyone involved in the project. It begins with the lowest process, with mineral digging workers in People’s republic of Congo and Zambia, where Fairphone will pay them 6 usd/day, which is more than 3 times the amount that other companies pay them. The minerals that are digged from mines are used in creating phone batteries. The tree of fair share then expands to all companies involved, each of them contributing some part of electronics to build up a complete mobile phone. Phone will use the Android 4.2 operating system and comes with the following specifications:

  • Chipset – MTK6589 (quad core) 1.2 Ghz
  • System memory – 16GB + 1GB (RAM)
  • Primary camera – 8 MPx, Secondary camera 1.3 MPx
  • Dual SIM card slots
  • GPS, WI-Fi, FM, G-sensor, Gyroscope, Flash light
  • Screen size 4.3″, 126 x 63.5 x 10 mm, 170 gramms

The pre-order price for this phone is 325 EUR and it’s only available inside European Union.

Utilite miniature embedded ARM computer

5477-2 I was in search for a replacement miniature embedded system to serve as my home router and XBMC video platform. Currently serving this purpose is the pico-ITX form factor Raspberry PI. While RPI still uses older ARM CPU v6, the Utilite in the pro-version uses quad core Freescale i.MX6 ARM v7 Cortex A9 CPU running at 4 x 1.2 Ghz. Looking at its embedded enclosure reveals that it has:

  • dual 1000 Base-T Ethernet ports
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, single antenna
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • S/PDIF 5.1 (electrical through 3.5mm jack)
    Stereo line-out, Stereo line-in
  • Four USB 2.0 standard A type connector – max current 1A per port
    USB OTG micro-USB connector
  • Two RS232 serial ports, ultra mini serial connector
  • HDMI 1.4 max resolution 1920 x 1200
  • DVI-D max resolution 1920 x 1200

Considering it’s small size factor of only 135mm x 100mm x 21mm and power consumption between 4-8 Watt makes it a perfect router. It can run various GNU/Linux distributions. I hope that it will successfully run with Debian, sadly there is no free software distribution currently ready which would support the ARM port.

The pre-order price from several distributors vary, the one from Tiny Green PC happens to be 285 EUR after VAT and shipping.

Donate to Replicant and support free software on mobile devices

replicant_logoThe Replicant project is a fully free Android (replacement) distribution running on several mobile and tablet devices. It is sponsored from the Free Software Foundation which currently runs a fundraiser campaign to support this project. Donations to the fundraiser will enable developers to obtain new devices. Replicant is also looking for new developers to get involved with the project. On July 22, 2013 Replicant project announced new flashable images and added support for more platforms including the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 , Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and Samsung Galaxy S3 (GT-I9300).