Proposal: Project Mjanja

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

    1. 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. 🙂

  1. i really like this ,, #kenyans on the move .. too bad am workining on Samsung thunderbird chipset 🙁

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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?

    1. 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.

Comments are closed.