Bye bye, FreeRunner

I finally sold my OpenMoko FreeRunner smartphone.

Don't panic - it's only SHR...

I was mostly satisfied with my FreeRunner but I have found that smartphones in general probably are not what I need. It had some advantages over other smartphones (for example it’s openness have allowed to easily port interesting Linux software and it has been well customizable) but it also have had some disadvantages. The disadvantages have been mostly related to FreeRunner’s aged hardware design: not so easy to use touchscreen, GUI performance, strange 2.5″ audio connector and so on.

Microdef on Neo Freerunner

One of its main disadvantages has been the battery life. But it is not special problem of the FreeRunner. It’s battery life has been less or more comparable with other smartphones. And it recently have become a problem for me. I used FreeRunner’s capabilities (GPS, WiFi, special and custom applications,…) only few times during year. But it was necessary to recharge it every two or three days. I usually carried who pocket machines with me: the FreeRunner and the Ben NanoNote. I have found that the Ben is more practical for my needs: mainly because it has real hardware keyboard and it can easily run not also command-line applications. In my opinion use of mature command-line or text-oriented application (like Remind, Mutt or HNB) is more practical than use of new or half-baked graphical tool which is usually slower or functionally limited (due limits of touchscreen input possibilities).

So I decided to replace my smartphone with a dumb phone (with this one). It is not that exciting nor interesting, it may be not so user friendly like the FreeRunner was but is surely has incomparably longer battery life and it is little more durable (it is also much lighter). It si good for SMSs and for phone call and it is that I’m expecting from phone. Computing tasks (including notetaking and time management) should be done by a computer.

Ben NanoNote micronotebook

Bye bye, FreeRunner

Ben NanoNote and EDUROAM

If you work in academia you probably have heard about the EDUROAM service. It’s a nice way to connect to univerisities WiFi networks across the Europe.

The nice thing is that if you already have working EDUROAM setup you will (well, at least in theory) be able to connect to you home network from nearly anywhere.

The not so good thing is that EDUROAM setup it not so easy for most of people. And if one uses something more exotic then it can be even more tricky. Fortunately, there are numerous HOWTOs and tutorial on the Web.

I have tried to make my Ben NanoNote work with EDUROAM and … it works! So my wpa_supplicant.conf file is here (I use wpa_supplicant software and the SpecTec microSD card):

ap_scan=2
network={
		priority=5
		ssid="eduroam"
		proto=WPA
		key_mgmt=WPA-EAP
		pairwise=TKIP
		group=TKIP WEP104 WEP40
		eap=PEAP
		identity="MYLOGINMAIL@vsb.cz"
		password="FUNNYPASSWORD"
		altsubject_match="DNS:radius.vsb.cz"
		ca_cert="/data/cert/cert.pem"
		phase1="peaplabel=0"
		phase2="auth=MSCHAPV2"
}

You will probably need a certificate from you university or your nationaly certificate authority(I got mine from the CESNET and have saved it under /data/cert/cert.pem). You will also need to change the login name, the password and the address of your university RADIUS server.

To connect via WiFi I use this command:

wpa_supplicant -ieth0 -Dwext  -c./wpa_supplicant.conf 

After it is done you will probably need to run DHCP client manually to
get IP adress and other setup data (preferably from another virtual console):

udhpcd eth0

So you need to enter these two commands to connect to the Internet. It’s probably not the best possible solution but it seamlesly works (at least for me).

Ben NanoNote and EDUROAM