Friday, May 14, 2010

Status update

I know the binaries for the iPhone 3G are taking a while. Everything is basically done and all the code I have is in the source repositories so people are free to build it for themselves. However, I wanted to improve the packaging slightly to ease installation (no longer requiring people to modify ext2 partitions). The release of the binaries (and a how-to) will be sometime within the next week.

The binaries will have more features than the iPhone 3G demo showed: It will have full calling and sound support. The code for that (and everything else) is already finished and is in my github if you would like to check it out.

Meanwhile, I am working on some stuff that is slightly more fun. Last night, I brought openiboot for the first-generation iPod touch up to scratch so that it supports all the features the other ports of openiboot support: sound, multitouch and SDIO (for WLAN) are the notable things I had to fix. Earlier today, I figured out how to drive the piezoelectric tweeter on the iPod touch.

Hopefully, we'll be able to roll out the iPod touch binaries with the 3G binaries and get on with the real work: power management and the little details that will make Android a truly viable alternative on our three early ports.

In the meantime, I hope to find some time to play with the piezoelectric buzzer on the iPod. Two neat projects I think I or some other enterprising person should do with it:

The first one is implementing an interface for it that is compatible with QBASIC's PLAY statement. QBASIC was my first experience with computer programming. In fact, I learned the language exactly concurrently with English.

The second is taking the considerable body of knowledge people have about programming PC Speakers and getting them to output PCM sounds from them and adapting them to the iPhone. It would be an awesome hack to get the iPod touch speaker playing some real music! I am reading this page for some hints, but I would love suggestions or help from people who may have had more experience.

One of the things I have always really wanted to do is to create a demoscene-style demo on the iPhone. I've always admired the demoscene and I want to be cool like them but I don't have the right skillset to do the "graphix" and music. It would be cool if we can get a group together (if any of my readers are demosceners!) and create the first iPhone demo to run on bare metal.

P.S. I switched over to IntenseDebate for the comments. One of the reasons is that blogger lets a lot of spam comments through, forcing me to do moderation on older posts (I only filter comments that are clearly spam: I let anything else through, including flames, trolling, etc.). I would rather not have to perform moderation so I'm hoping IntenseDebate will do a better job. Also, some of these posts get a huge volume of comments and I think IntenseDebate would do a better job organizing the comments.