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Neo FreeRunner

Definition

The Neo FreeRunner is an open-source smartphone developed by Openmoko. It operates on a Linux-based platform, enabling advanced customization and programming for tech-savvy users. The FreeRunner includes features like GPS, Wi-Fi, and a touch-screen interface.

Phonetic

The phonetics of the keyword “Neo FreeRunner” can be: Nee-oh Free-Ruh-nn-er.

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>Neo FreeRunner is an open-source mobile phone platform developed by Openmoko, which allows maximum user customization and application development.</li><li>It runs on GNU/Linux, making it highly flexible for various modifications and adaptability. The users are given complete freedom to modify the software as per their convenience.</li><li>The device has a VGA touch screen, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other features that make it technologically rich and support the user’s needs.</li></ol>

Importance

The technology term Neo FreeRunner is significant as it represents a milestone in the progression of open-source mobile technology. Developed by Openmoko, the Neo FreeRunner was a smartphone released in 2008 that was completely open-source, from its hardware to its software. This was pivotal because it enabled independent developers to customize the device’s software and even make hardware modifications if necessary. They were not restricted to proprietary applications or interfaces and could develop unique personalized mobile experiences. Neo FreeRunner’s open-source concept fostered innovation and collaboration, setting the groundwork for the diverse mobile app ecosystems we see today. It was a crucial step towards the democratization of mobile technology development.

Explanation

The Neo FreeRunner is a key technology product of the Openmoko project, a community-driven initiative aimed at creating open-source mobile phones. The main purpose of the Neo FreeRunner, which is the second version of Openmoko’s Linux-based mobile phone, is to provide a platform that is completely open and customizable, enabling developers and tech-savvy users to build and modify their own mobile applications and interfaces. It was designed to facilitate the creation of new applications and software for mobile devices, across different coding languages and frameworks, thus promoting innovation and diversity in the mobile software industry.The use of Neo FreeRunner extends beyond merely making calls and sending text messages. A significant amount of tinkering and customization goes into its use, essentially transforming it into a mini-computer. Developers can code applications, change the user interface, optimize the operating system, and even toy with the capability of using it as a network debugging tool. The implication is a fully personalized mobile device that serves not just as a communication device but further as a platform for the user’s unique software needs and projects. Since all changes and additions are open source, everything is available to the public and can be sequentially improved upon by the community.

Examples

1. Personal Communication: The Neo FreeRunner was primarily used as a smartphone. It provided reliable mobile communication through its 2.5G (second-and-a-half generation) GSM network. Users could make phone calls, send and receive messages, and use data services for activities like email and web browsing.2. Development and Research: The Neo FreeRunner served as a development platform for many technologists and researchers. Its open-source nature meant that users could freely modify and experiment with the device’s software and hardware. For example, an engineer might have used the Neo FreeRunner to test new mobile apps, or a researcher could use it to study the effects of various network conditions on smartphone performance.3. Education: Many institutions used the Neo FreeRunner as an instructional tool in IT and computer science courses. This device was perfect for teaching students about custom firmware development, mobile networking, and smartphone hardware. For instance, a professor could task their students with building a custom ROM for the Neo FreeRunner as a semester project, allowing them to gain fundamental hands-on experience.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q: What is Neo FreeRunner?**A: Neo FreeRunner is an open-source smartphone released by Open Moko in 2008. It offers mobile telephony and advanced computing functions.**Q: What is unique about the Neo FreeRunner?**A: The uniqueness of the Neo FreeRunner is its open-source nature. Unlike most smartphones, its software is fully open source, allowing developers the freedom to develop and modify the operating system and applications.**Q: What kind of software does the Neo FreeRunner use?**A: The Neo FreeRunner primarily uses the OpenMoko Linux software stack, though it also supports other Linux-based operating systems like Android, Debian, and more.**Q: Does the Neo FreeRunner have GPS capability?**A: Yes, the Neo FreeRunner comes with an integrated GPS receiver, which allows for location-based services.**Q: What type of interface does the Neo FreeRunner provide?**A: The Neo FreeRunner provides a touchscreen interface along with options for physical buttons. The touchscreen can be used with fingers or a stylus.**Q: Can I install applications on the Neo FreeRunner like any other smartphone?**A: Yes. However, you must be aware that the applications should be compatible with the Linux-based operating system it runs.**Q: Can I use Neo FreeRunner on any cellular network?**A: The Neo FreeRunner supports GSM 850/1800/1900 bands, which are the standard frequency bands used by many networks worldwide.**Q: What are the technical specifications of the Neo FreeRunner?**A: The Neo FreeRunner offers a 400 MHz processor, a 2.8-inch VGA touchscreen, 128 MB of RAM and 256 MB flash memory expandable through a microSD slot, among other features.**Q: How often is the software for the Neo FreeRunner updated?**A: The frequency of updates depends on the community of developers working on the open-source software. Because it is open source, there is no single “official release” schedule.**Q: Is the Neo FreeRunner still available for purchase?**A: The Neo FreeRunner was discontinued in 2009. However, it may still be available through online resellers or second-hand.

Related Tech Terms

  • Openmoko Linux Mobile System
  • Touchscreen Interface
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Open Source Smartphone
  • GTA02 Hardware Platform

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