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Old 11-06-2005, 07:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question RIM BlackBerry Linux USB Driver Support Petition

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rejhon
Editor's note: The partial solution, so far, is SyncML.
To: RIM BlackBerry & Linux Users
Petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/bb1d1234/petition.html

BlackBerry Wireless Handheld devices developed by Research In Motion. Ltd. do not have Linux USB drivers. The specification for said drivers is also not available.

This functionality may not seem important to corporate BlackBerry users who have BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), because they receive their calendar, contacts, and task synchronization Over-the-air (OTA). However, because there is no BlackBerry USB serial driver, it is impossible to even recharge the device over USB except from Windows (where a USB driver exists). Further, you can not take advantage of GPRS functionality from Linux which would otherwise be supported. And unfortunately, the Bluetooth implementation on the devices does not support the standard for Dial-Up Networking (DUN) features.

This petition has been created to show Research In Motion that a large number of Linux users, who prefer BlackBerry devicesm, would like Research In Motion to either make the specification public so that the Open Source community can develop appropriate drivers that enable the Linux community, or develop and release said USB device drivers.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

Last edited by Mark Rejhon : 11-19-2005 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 11-06-2005, 09:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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About a snowballs chance...but I signed it anyway.
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Old 11-06-2005, 11:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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never gonna happen, but who know what they are thinking in the future. Mac users have somewhat similar funtionality like windows
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (your electric?: BlackBerry7520/4.0.2 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 UP.Browser/5.0.3.3 UP.Link/5.1.2.16)

What has there got to be... 4 linux users, LMAO!!! The GSM devices can get a modem to work, however doing this over BT doesn't matter what OS you run it is not possible across the board.

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Old 11-07-2005, 06:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I signed it. I'm not optimistic.
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Old 11-07-2005, 06:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I won't sign it... next thing you know, they want open source OS on the handheld... bah. It works, for 99.9% of the users... that's all that matters.

The *only* time I ever plug mine in to a PC is for charging via USB... but even that is rare... Car charger to and from work... it's simple... keeps me powered.

Linux is never going to play a significant role as a desktop OS, so why should RIM bother with it? Desktop Manager/Redir is only supported under Windows, so what good is a linux driver? You need the DM to use it as an IP modem.

cd.
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Old 11-07-2005, 07:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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RIM has a comments and suggestions emailbox just for inquiries like that. I would think if enough people sent in emails, you might get your driver. I think that would be way more effective than you little petition. At least as far as I understand the company. I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corey@12mile
I won't sign it... next thing you know, they want open source OS on the handheld... bah. It works, for 99.9% of the users... that's all that matters.

The *only* time I ever plug mine in to a PC is for charging via USB... but even that is rare... Car charger to and from work... it's simple... keeps me powered.

Linux is never going to play a significant role as a desktop OS, so why should RIM bother with it? Desktop Manager/Redir is only supported under Windows, so what good is a linux driver? You need the DM to use it as an IP modem.

cd.
I would have no hesitation in predicting a mobile open source communications device in the very near future. I think the days of "phones" are nearing an end.

As for Linux...it may be a moot point. We're going to go back to the days of "Thin Clients" and the "Network is the Computer". It's cyclic. You heard it here first.
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 11-18-2005, 10:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I had a dialogue with a RIM support person about this back in September. They have no intention of supporting platforms other than Windows. They claim it's a lack of resources that's keeping them away from supporting other platforms, but this is an unlikely story. If you ask any other high-tech company in Waterloo (where RIM does all their software development), RIM buys all available office space in the city, and fills it with programmers. They have a lot of resources; they just don't want to apply them to cross-platform usability.

Now, to all of you naysayers above, please consider this: If you'd like to see a lot more high-quality, fun, useful, and most of all--FREE--software for your BlackBerry, you want a big crowd of Linux (and BSD and even Mac OS X) people using BlackBerries and developing sotfware for them. Unlike the Windows culture, which is centred around shareware, payware, crippleware, and spyware, Linux/BSD/Mac people have a culture of providing similar (actually, better) software for free, and they'll give you the source code too. Compare the amount of good free software for Palm or even Psion to what's available on BlackBerry. Palm and Psion development is possible with Linux and Mac, but BlackBerry has always been windows-only.

That's an excellent, albeit selfish, reason why all of you windows weenies out there should be doing everything you can to get more non-windows users on the BlackBerry bandwagon.
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Old 11-18-2005, 10:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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It ain't gonna happen. Enjoy your Linux. Nothing to see here.
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Old 11-18-2005, 10:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfuerth
I had a dialogue with a RIM support person about this back in September. They have no intention of supporting platforms other than Windows. They claim it's a lack of resources that's keeping them away from supporting other platforms, but this is an unlikely story. If you ask any other high-tech company in Waterloo (where RIM does all their software development), RIM buys all available office space in the city, and fills it with programmers. They have a lot of resources; they just don't want to apply them to cross-platform usability.

Now, to all of you naysayers above, please consider this: If you'd like to see a lot more high-quality, fun, useful, and most of all--FREE--software for your BlackBerry, you want a big crowd of Linux (and BSD and even Mac OS X) people using BlackBerries and developing sotfware for them. Unlike the Windows culture, which is centred around shareware, payware, crippleware, and spyware, Linux/BSD/Mac people have a culture of providing similar (actually, better) software for free, and they'll give you the source code too. Compare the amount of good free software for Palm or even Psion to what's available on BlackBerry. Palm and Psion development is possible with Linux and Mac, but BlackBerry has always been windows-only.

That's an excellent, albeit selfish, reason why all of you windows weenies out there should be doing everything you can to get more non-windows users on the BlackBerry bandwagon.
Oh Please... Do you not think every major company has done feasability studies on Linux/FOSS? Why has Linux been around for 15 years and still has not gotten things right to make it a viable desktop OS for people in general?

FOSS is not ready for the enterprise. There is no change control whatsoever with FOSS software, as everything gets fork'd left, right and centre.

Blackberry is a niche market, and with every niche market there are a few outside that market who think that the product should be changed for the masses. RIM likes where they are, they have made a such a good product, that people outside of their niche are wanting to use it, and now they are wanting to change it. If RIM had the intention of truely going after the consumer/prosumer market, they might develop another line, or they might add some of the features that a select few are asking for.

I think all in all, RIM is well positioned with their product, they know what their bread and butter is and they are happy with the success they have had in their niche market. As well, I don't know if you understand just how things work when it comes to security on these things... the US Gov't has 2 things to be happy about with the blackberry... security through encryption and security through obscurity. The encryption part is obvious, but that fact that *everything* else is closed source as far as talking to the handheld itself, is the obscurity part.

I am sure if you talk to the people who make the decisions for RIM's biggest clients, you will find that the less software there is out there for connecting to the blackberry, the happier they will be.

I can understand people wanting to use the blackberry in every which way, but these people are a huge minority when it comes to the customer base for RIM. I seriously doubt that anyone can gather enough people to force RIM's hand for a decision to add/change/remove a feature. This whole linux driver thing really is a waste of time... I can see about 10 people signing up for this one... won't even get a moment of thought.

Either way... FOSS is not viable as a true production environment, Mac people are homo's for the most part, and us Windows people are the ones who live in the real world and make things work.

cd.
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Old 11-18-2005, 10:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Oh... and just to add to this... RIM does not do all their software development in Waterloo... you weenie. Most of the critical stuff gets done in Mississauga.
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Old 11-18-2005, 11:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corey@12mile
Oh Please... Do you not think every major company has done feasability studies on Linux/FOSS? Why has Linux been around for 15 years and still has not gotten things right to make it a viable desktop OS for people in general?
I didn't say you have to use linux on your desktop. But if linux weenies and mac homos (to quote you) had the chance, they just might develop some games and productivity tools that you find useful. As a nice bonus, they won't even ask you to pay for using those apps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corey@12mile
FOSS is not ready for the enterprise. There is no change control whatsoever with FOSS software, as everything gets fork'd left, right and centre.
This is off-topic for a BlackBerry forum, but that statement simply isn't true. For example, every project on SourceForge has full public CVS access. You can download and build any previously-released version, and see *exactly* what has changed between the version you're using now, and all prior and subsequent releases.

Forks do occasionally happen, but they are not the norm, and nothing forces you to follow one fork or another when it does happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corey@12mile
If RIM had the intention of truely going after the consumer/prosumer market, they might develop another line, or they might add some of the features that a select few are asking for.
If they are only interested in corporate users and closed-source custom corporate apps, can you explain:
  • The "we're hunting wild game" campaign at http://www.blackberry.com/developers/
  • Why RIM started including the brick breaker game as a base application
  • Mass-media advertising of blackberries being good for IM
  • Why RIM supports open-source J2ME APIs and over-the-air application deployment
  • Why RIM is adding bluetooth GPS support and a public API for using it

Quote:
Originally Posted by corey@12mile
As well, I don't know if you understand just how things work when it comes to security on these things... the US Gov't has 2 things to be happy about with the blackberry... security through encryption and security through obscurity. The encryption part is obvious, but that fact that *everything* else is closed source as far as talking to the handheld itself, is the obscurity part.

I am sure if you talk to the people who make the decisions for RIM's biggest clients, you will find that the less software there is out there for connecting to the blackberry, the happier they will be.
Who at the US Government told you that? If they really understand security, they probably realise that knowing the apploader protocol won't help you to load malware onto someone else's blackberry, for several reasons. First, apps that use sensitive APIs have to be cryptographically signed by RIM; second, if you did manage to write some malware that exploited a bug in the security model on the handheld, you could simply install it from a Windows machine using the Desktop Manager!

In any case, understanding the application loader's USB protocol won't help you break into someone's BlackBerry unless you get get at it physically and plug a USB cable into it. And once you get that far, you could do pretty much anything to your victim, such as quickly swapping their unit with an identical model with all your nasty spyware on it. Your average user could go days or weeks before noticing their PIN changed. And the bad guys didn't need Linux to do that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by corey@12mile
This whole linux driver thing really is a waste of time... I can see about 10 people signing up for this one... won't even get a moment of thought.
I agree. I already talked to them, and they already told me it's not going to happen. That doesn't mean I think it's a good decision, but I've accepted the reality of the situation. As someone who believes having a lot more software developers working on BlackBerry apps is a bad thing, you have absolutely nothing to worry about: It's going to be status quo for the forseeable future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corey@12mile
Either way... FOSS is not viable as a true production environment, Mac people are homo's for the most part, and us Windows people are the ones who live in the real world and make things work.
Someone should tell the White House to stop using Apache.

http://toolbar.netcraft.com/site_rep...whitehouse.gov
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Old 11-18-2005, 11:33 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corey@12mile
Oh... and just to add to this... RIM does not do all their software development in Waterloo [...]. Most of the critical stuff gets done in Mississauga.
That just reinforces my previous conjecture: They have plenty of resources, they just aren't interested in cross-platform user support.
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Old 11-19-2005, 07:17 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
They have plenty of resources, they just aren't interested in cross-platform user support.
Nothing wrong with that.
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Old 11-19-2005, 07:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The only way this is going to happen is if one of the usual linux weenies writes a driver. I mean if they can get a freaking ipod to boot linux, they can certainly figure out how to get simple data to and from the bb.

Apparently not only is RIM not all that interested in providing a driver for linux, none of the linux programmer types are interested in spending any time to play around with a blackberry.

Besides, this whole blackberry thing is a fad anyway. Give it a year or two to burn out
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Old 11-19-2005, 07:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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One of my home servers is a Linux system, so you can call me a "linux weenie".

SyncML for BlackBerry, an open source project, which should make Linux synchronization possible for BlackBerry:
  1. SyncML for BlackBerry
You open source developers. This is probably your codebase for any Linux sync effort - at least wireless OTA sync. Personally, I'm a BES user, but I wouldn't mind a wider sync infrastructure.

The politics I'll leave to others to debate.
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Old 11-19-2005, 07:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Related post, Vodafone(UK)/BWC/Cross Platform (+Linux!) Wireless Sync.. - scheduleworld.com
Quote:
Originally Posted by tk.barbarian
Hi All,

I'm sure this is common knowledge already but I haven't stumbled upon it in my trawls through the forums. I'm posting this to make any linux/non-windows/wandering BWC users aware of a way to wirelessly sync.

I use linux/BSD for servers/workstations/laptops and have a BWC-7230 on Vodafone UK. I would like to do wireless sync (this involves getting tcp/internet working which is another story) but once that is sorted an excellent resource seems to be:

www.scheduleworld.com

From the site: " ScheduleWorld is both a secure Internet calendaring and scheduling client application and a server service that enables users to schedule events or appointments with other ScheduleWorld users and/or users of other calendaring and scheduling products."

Its based around SyncML and Sync4j on the server and a Sync4j java client for blackberry. Scheduleworld seems to provide a secure public resource for those who can't run their own Sync4j servers and provides a nice desktop PIM application.

So my questions are: Has anybody here been using this? Success stories? Comments? Most relevant to me are success stories of Vodafone UK BWC users!

Many thanks,
tk
Basically, you install the SyncML BlackBerry client (It exists...) and configure the TCP Settings. Then you install a SyncML server for Linux (It exists...). Try to make the two sync. It might even already work. If it does, the petition may actually end up being a little less necessary since RIM is not going to support it.

References.
1. Download BlackBerry SyncML Client 1.1.5
2. Be aware of BlackBerry Specific Issues
3. Find some Linux SyncML server (not many). Test it. If it does not work, simply program it to extend its TCP/IP support to sync to the BlackBerry SyncML standard (SyncML is an open standard!) using open standards-compliant SyncML synchronization wirelessly Over-The-Air using TCP/IP. No need to reverse engineer. Problem solved.

I'd think SyncML is the saviour for Linux users. It won't let you install applications, but at least it should easily allow synchronization between Linux and BlackBerry (once fine-tuned by a developer).
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Last edited by Mark Rejhon : 11-19-2005 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 11-21-2005, 08:49 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Mac people are homo's for the most part

Corey, can you explain this in a little more detail?
I'd like to know how you arrived at this riveting conclusion.
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