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A First Tussle With Linux's iPhone Killer: The OpenMoko Neo1973

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The Neo1973 is the first physical manifestation of a grand idea -- a new breed of wireless handheld built for the open-source age.

It is the first release from the OpenMoko project, a group working to create a fully open source software platform for smartphones, a community-driven alternative to, say, the iPhone. Using Linux as a starting point, the OpenMoko developers have built a system which, although not everyday-usable yet, can be successfully installed and run on a variety of ordinary smartphone hardware: Treos, Motorolas, JasJars and so forth.

But it's not just the software that's malleable. The phone's components are openly documented, making it easy for tinkerers to pull it apart and modify the hardware to run any number of tasks. The phone even ships with a Torx screwdriver, so they can get right down to business.

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