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jpsamaroo
19
Jul 28, 2016
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I've said it before, and I'll say it again: BUYER BEWARE. Seeed has a nasty habit of pushing "open source" products like these very hard, and then not publishing sufficient documentation and example code. For this specific device, I had bought 3 different kits from their Kickstarter campaign, under the assumption that I'd receive a product that I could really play around with. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
The RePhone core, a MediaTek MT2502A, looks amazing on paper, yet YOU don't get that performance or featureset. Instead, you're stuck with a closed source RTOS blob. No register-level documentation like you'd get with any other open source project. What you get is a Windows-only, Eclipse-only SDK which provides indirect access to some of the features on the chip. So if you wanted to, like me, code in Vim on Ubuntu, you're mostly screwed, or at least your normal workflow is broken.
Now I understand that there are some people who don't mind this, and are happy to put up with this. That's fine, but I'll just warn you that you might not find nearly as many examples as you're hoping for. If you really want to buy this thing, you should consider getting into Lua programming and looking up some of the non-Seeed examples on GitHub.
Maybe I'm whining and acting overly-entitled, but I don't think this deserves the privilege of being called "open source". That's just disingenuous and hurtful to those in the industry who really do create wonderful open source technologies.
Jul 28, 2016
killerstephen
41
Jul 29, 2016
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If you have used this particular product, is it at least usable in stock form? Im kind of interested in just making a cool phone toy out of an old Gameboy or some other odd case. Just something to play with, and show friends. Im not much of a programmer as of right now, so I don't expect to be pushing any boundaries, or reaching limitations, really just think its a cool idea, and seems simple enough to get basically operational right out of the box.
Jul 29, 2016
jpsamaroo
19
Jul 29, 2016
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If that's the case, I wouldn't be terribly worried. My comment was based on a matter of principle, and was not intended to imply that this product is entirely non-functional. For the project that you have in mind, it should be reasonably easy to suit the RePhone to your needs, although depending on the user interface you wish to use, you will probably have to do some real work. The UI that's included by default is...not excellent, to say the least (no ability to enter arbitrary phone numbers or texts, they must be pre-loaded), however people have managed to improve the UI on their own. A set of directed Google searches should lead you in a good direction. The forums are not terrible either, although I would not expect to receive a terribly useful response from the Seeed staff if you do post a technical question (although other people will probably try to help). Maybe you should check out this repo and see if it might suit your needs: https://github.com/loboris/RePhone_on_Linux. As always, I wish you the best of luck, and hope that you'll share a write-up if you do (or don't) manage to get it working!
Jul 29, 2016
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