Ben's software: a user perspective

Fernando Carello fcarello at
Fri May 7 06:40:28 EDT 2010

Hello everyone,

I'd like to share with you my personal view on the Ben. I hope I'm not going to be flamed, anyway I have my flame suite on. :D

Let me start with a brief introduction.
I have the Ben and like it, it's really nice.
I like Linux, I work with it since 1992.
I like programming; I work with image recognition stuff and GPU computing.
But, I think (personal opinion...) that the Ben should be graced with a reasonable suite of user-friendly GUI utilities, properly integrated with gmenu2x. Like gmu, as an example.

I know, many of you think that command-line utilies like "gcal" and "bc" are great and all that's needed; I beg to disagree, because of Ben's limitations (keyboard and screen limitations, that is).

We already have:

- graphic launcher (gmenu2x). Could use some specific Ben tweaks (keyboard mapping, help file)
- PDF reader (nupdf)
- multimedia player (gmu)

I think that the Ben would shine with:

- a decent PIM suite with a nice GUI (QT-based, maybe): address book, clock/alarm, calendar, todo list, notes and the like 
- a simple, nice graphical calculator and unit conversion utility
- a basic spreadsheet (simpler and lighter than SIAG, if possible)

It's my opinion that, with such a software suite, Ben's adoption could spread beyond reasearches, uber-geeks and gadget freaks. This in turn could raise Ben's popularity, Sharism concepts and ultimately could help Sharism collecting resources (money, user base etc.) for future projects.

I think we also need to address some long standing bugs:

- fully working, flexible power saving mode (clock speed modulation, backlight levels, ...). Such a device really needs accurate power management in my humble opinion
- fast SD access (DMA)
- screen flickering. Mine flickers like crazy in graphic mode

Now, I can foresee the typical "Well, and so? Fix it by yourself, it's open source baby!", but really, do you think an individual with little spare time can reasonably "fix by himself" everything?

Maybe, if some of you share my point of view, we could try and organize a developing team.
In my opinion, this team should be actively driven by Sharism/QI staff people and work steadily (if slowly), by milestones, in order not to waste resources.

That said, all I can offer (besides this message :-) ) is a bit of my time as a C developer.
I don't know much about Linux kernel, but if properly instructed, I can work on whatever C project.



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