I recently posted a project proposal on the Nairobi GNU/Linux Users Group mailing list. The idea is that I’d like to promote understanding of embedded Linux/Android devices, collaborative development processes/tools, and hacker culture in young Kenyan developers. It’s called Project Mjanja (“hustler” in Swahili).
To paraphrase my post on the mailing list, the gist of the proposal was:
- we buy Huawei U8185 phones (Safaricom has a great deal on them)
- we explore Linux kernel compilation
- we explore Android porting processes, like ClockworkMod Recovery, CyanogenMod, etc
- we document along the way (code, blogs, forums), so future aspiring hackers have something to go on
Ironically, I set about this very same goal exactly one year ago, but it was based on the Huawei U8150, a vastly inferior device. Compared to the U8150, the U8185 is looking pretty good:
- ARMv7 instruction set, whereas the U8150 is ARMv6. This means we have additional CPU instructions to play with, like NEON (tasks like MP3/ GSM AMR decoding, single-precision floating point math, etc handled in CPU hardware, rather than software).
- Adreno 200 GPU, whereas the U8150 rendered everything in software. This means Ice Cream Sandwich (and beyond) should be much more attainable/bearable.
- 800 MHz processor, whereas the U8150 is 528 MHz.
- 45 nm die size, whereas the U8150 is 65 nm. Smaller die size means less heat, which means better battery life, etc.
- Gingerbread, whereas the U8150 is Froyo.
I learned a lot developing on the U8150, but I did it largely alone. Now that we have a maturing group of users (Nairobi LUG!) who love open-source software, community, and spirit, I think the time is right to attack this as a group.
Stay tuned for more…
Back to lulz!
6 thoughts on “Proposal: Project Mjanja”
Finally got the hardware, on it.
Ah, I was wondering if you bought this thing yet… I saw you posting on Google Plus when I had mentioned something about CyanogenMod… I was really confused. 🙂
i really like this ,, #kenyans on the move .. too bad am workining on Samsung thunderbird chipset 🙁
one more thing ,, try porting ROMS from IDEOS U8150 ,, developers really worked it upro Adroid 4.0.4 plus its a low end device and the ROM size will b sweet and leave the user more user free mem .and look into odexing apps, zip aligningl, JIT and just in time dalvik recompiler to clear Ram when really needed . the the adrenon 200 GPU can be maxed out using chainfire 3D then when u get the armv7 temple run n t will work ^_^ .. i was part of the movement b4 i moved to the Samsung movement cz of the video core iv GPU that decodes HD videos 🙂
Ps: i love armv6 . i helped mod ARMv6 SuperCharger. got the litter bugger to OC to 1.2GHZ on Samsung galaxy S5360 which is a 832 mhz device 🙂
bought the Huawei u8185, so is there a way one can upgrade it from 2.3.6 ginjerbread to a higher version or even install windows in it?
No, there is no way. I have ported Android 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2 to it, but they are not production ready. Sorry.
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