Linux on Cell Phones?

I can only dream at this point for the most part. But wouldn’t it be cool if my PDA/cell phone/media player all-in-one device ran Linux? I could hack it to my heart’s content. I could install my own digital decoder instead of having to live with the MP3 format. I could write & run small shell script apps on the PDA-part of the device to dictate how *I* interact with *my* data. And of course, I could totally customize the cell phone component to work the way I want. I know; I’m still dreaming. However, it turns out that the OSDL (Open Source Development Labs) is launching an initiative to push Linux onto cell phones. Thank you OSDL. I hope you’re incredibly successful.

I still can’t imagine that cell phone and cell provider vendors would particularly want to let this happen. Why would a cell phone provider want to let you hack your own phone? You could be a nightmare customer for them. You could also install something like Skype or the Gizmo Project‘s software and just use your data minutes to make phone calls instead of regular talk minutes. I’m not sure that’s actually financially beneficial to a customer, but it’s a possiblity. And who knows – what if the OS is locked down and I can’t easily hack it? It would be a wash for me, although I might enjoy having Linux on my phone just for the geek-status. 😉

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