Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Giving Back to the OSS Community

Before I go into the topic of my post, lemme start with some background.

In the beginning, I was randomly searching the interwebs to try and find a source for a Linux kernel that would boot on my Wing. After a long while, I stumbled across the Linwizard project, whose kernel release booted without modification on my phone. Yay! Being the hacker that I am, I decided to grab the code to their kernel and see what things I could get it to do for me.

Two or three months later, I notice a thread on the XDA Developers forum about porting Google's Android to the Wing. Thus, the Wing Linux project was started.

Fast forward about 6 months from that, and we have Android running on our phones, with all kinds of peripheral goodies working for us -- touchscreen, keyboard, buttons, GSM. All through our own custom modifications of the kernel originally taken from Linwizard.

Being that we're an open-source project, I'd always had the intention of contributing our changes back to the Linwizard project, which brings me to our topic. Today marks the completion of the two or three-day process of merging our changes back into their project. With this merge, both projects benefit -- they benefit by having fixes we made added to their work, allowing the HTC Wizard to more fully function in Linux. They also have a much easier path to running Android on the Wizard. We benefit by having access to the very latest changes their project has introduced -- among them, GSM with sound and soon, full audio support.

In addition to all this, our patches, combined with their work, are being sent upstream to the main Linux kernel for inclusion in future released kernels. This means some day it will be possible to pull a kernel off of and build it for the Wing/Herald, Wizard, etc. instead of having to go scouring the internet trying to find a project working on it.

So all in all, this is a huge win for everyone, and I'd like to thank all that were involved in making this happen. Without you, we wouldn't be where we are today.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Greetings, from the Depths of Open Source-dom!

Hello and welcome to our humble blog! I'd like to take this time to introduce myself. I am Cory. Or, as I'm known on the interwebs, darkstar62. I'm one of the developers on this project of ours, and I'd like to tell you a bit about what's been going on lately.

We've been working like crazy to get our next release out, version 0.4. It's gonna be pretty sweet -- Angstrom Linux 2007.12, Android Cupcake 1.5r2, along with a lot of goodies. We've recently gotten GSM and GPRS support working, along with bluetooth support in Angstrom. And, we've got this really cool kernel module that uses compressed main memory as a swap partition. Pretty sweet, considering our poor little devices only have 64mb of SDRAM (for those that aren't familiar with it, Android runs best on 128mb of SDRAM). Cool!

We're also getting some preliminary support for the HTC Gene, another similar OMAP850-based smartphone, thanks to the contributions of kshaurya. (Yes, we're geeks. It's ok, We Know What We're DoingTM)

So, if this stuff interests you, check our our wiki -- we've got lots of stuff to play with. And the best part is, no flashing necessary! That's right, you don't have to worry about bricking your phone -- we use a Windows Mobile based boot loading app called HaRET to boot into Linux, all installed from an easy-to-use CAB file. So give it a try, let us know what you think! Oh, and grab the 0.4pre2 release we just put out today! It's a killer!

Thanks go out to UNFORGiVEN512 for setting all this up!

Oh, and I almost forgot...VIDEOS! (Thanks to kshaurya for this one!)

Who are we?

We are a group of people aimed at bringing Linux and Google's Android operating systems to the T-Mobile Wing and HTC Herald / Atlas platforms, and possibly more in the future.

You may ask: "Why would you want to do that?"

These devices typically run an operating system known as Windows Mobile. Windows Mobile is a closed OS. By bringing an open platform to our devices, we are unlocking the true potential of what they can do. Also, we're just having fun and learning new things along the way, so hey, why not?