Friday, November 6, 2009

Start the engines!

JetDroid projectBack in the 1990s when PC's were all gray boxes full of Microsoft DOS or Windows it was a unique pleasure to bring Linux to these poor machines. Compiling kernels with modified device drivers was mostly unavoidable and I enjoyed beeing among these brave people setting their foot onto new operating system grounds.

What has changed since then? The PC's are more colourful now but they are still dominated by operating systems from Redmont. Compiling kernels is no longer necessary if you want ro run Linux on a PC. Installing a modern distribution is now a matter of a few keypresses and just a couple of minutes.

So, where has the fun and the kernel compiling gone? Has it disappeared? I beleive it has not. It has just moved to smaller devices. Mobile phones are now as powerfull computers as the gray box PC's were in the 1990's. And now, as Linux starts to spread on these mobile platforms it is about time to heat up your compilers again and to boldly go where no man has gone before ...

Having said this, it is time for you to enjoy the JetDroid project! It attempts to bring Google Android to the Samsung Jét (S8000) phone and is a small 90's linux revival project. Have Fun!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A closer look at an OLED display

The revolutionary Amoled Display was one of the reasons why I bought a Samsung Jét phone. My first impression (after beeing stunned by the bright, coloful and crisp image) was: Wow do they get this many pixels on such a small area? Are there really 480x800 dots on a 3.1 inch display? My second observation was that sometimes black text on a white background looked blurry on the edges. It actually looked like a badly adjusted convergence setting in the old days of CRT displays.

All these oberavations called of a closer look at the display. This was easily done by peeking at the phone with a microscope. The result was interesting and suprising to me.

First of all there are really 480x800 pixels in this display. At least when it comes to green pixels. As the picture reveals the number of red and blue dots is just halve the number of green ones. This pattern gives a good explanation why some sharp-contrast edges may look blue- or redish. And as I understand the human eyes are more sensitive to green information. A higher number of green pixels makes sure that our eyes see a sharp image.

Although I personally don't like the idea of being cheap on pixels it seem to be very common for OLED displays. Honestly even after knowing this I am still impressed by this high resultion and ther color quality of this display. So, this time the pixel-saving is okay for me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fasten your seatbelts!

Welcome to the Jét Propulsion Lab blog. Firstly it should be mentioned that this blog is not in any way related to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. They are the real rocket scientists, here is the right place for some work on a smaller (Jét)engine.

Samsung is not shy about it's new GT-S8000 phone. They market it as "smarter than smartphone". This however was not the reason why I could not get past this phone. Mainly I was very convinced by the dimensions, by some features and by the undoubtedly brilliant Amoled Display.

Just after using this masterpiece of Korean engineering for some days it becomes clear that there is a reason why Samsung did not stick the label smartphone on this one. Shortcomings like a limit of 15 characters for the title of a calendar entry made me wish I would have made my choice for some less smart phone.

The conclusion would have been easy: Get rid of this crap and by something else ... If there was not my passion for this hardware that made my choice in the first place. So, why not keep the phone and just get rid of the software. Alternative phone operating systems like Android are available. Sounds like fun to me. Let's start to work on the engine to make the Jét fly ...