02-11-21 01:07 AM
26 12
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  1. passportowner's Avatar
    I just got my Frankenstein GCC8 built yesterday and decided to inform BB about it, so I wrote them an email.
    I got a kind and nice answer from one of their field engineer even!

    While he not allowed me to quote him at CB, he recommended me to share my experience about them with you here.

    So this can be interesting for you.
    Sorry for my language skill, I never used to learn English and my mother tongue doesn't related to the indo-european language family, so it is hard for me to formulate my words correctly.

    So let's begin!
    01-21-21 11:41 AM
  2. passportowner's Avatar
    To get my hands on a current QNX SDP I registered at the QNX webpage claiming I have commercial interest in their 30 days evaluation license.
    I was contacted by a field engineer who informed me they created a license for me and I can download the current SDP from their site.
    He also asked me what platform / cpu I am targeting, what kind of software I plan to run on QNX, and mentioned I can always count on them if I met with any problem with QNX. He also cc-d this email to the sales team and said they are more than happy to answer all my questions about licensing, price.

    So the first non-automated email from BB was nice and professional, just like I expected from BB.
    app_Developer and Jake2826 like this.
    01-21-21 11:49 AM
  3. conite's Avatar
    To get my hands on a current QNX SDP I registered at the QNX webpage claiming I have commercial interest in their 30 days evaluation license.
    I was contacted by a field engineer who informed me they created a license for me and I can download the current SDP from their site.
    He also asked me what platform / cpu I am targeting, what kind of software I plan to run on QNX, and mentioned I can always count on them if I met with any problem with QNX. He also cc-d this email to the sales team and said they are more than happy to answer all my questions about licensing, price.

    So the first non-automated email from BB was nice and professional, just like I expected from BB.
    So, what is the story here?

    Did it not unfold as you had expected it would?
    01-21-21 11:57 AM
  4. passportowner's Avatar
    After getting my hand on the SDP I quickly filtered out the important informations and in some hours I was able to get the first helloworld program built with GCC 8.3.0 running on the phone (C and C++).

    I was happy and a bit sad in the same time: I lied to somebody, that's bad for my karma, I should try to fix this up. So I decided to answer to that guy, here is my answer I sent to him:

    "Hi,


    thanks for your kind words, it is always a pleasure to work with people like you.

    I am targeting QNX 8.0.0 on MSM8974AA ES1.1 PVS13SB1 WINDERMEREEMEA Rev:05 armle. Basically BB10.

    If you happen to know what am i talking about maybe you are a bit surprised now.

    BB shipped the bbndk (it is the SDP made for the BB phones, freely available at the Blackberry page) with GCC 4.6.x and 4.9.x, which is pretty old now, so i decided to create a modern GCC toolchain to target this hardware.

    As you surely know the QNX SDP uses GCC, which is licensed under GPL, thus Blackberry have to release the changes they made in its source
    code. The complete source code is available freely at Foundry27, which is the QNX open source portal, owned by BB.

    Sadly i was unable to compile it, because I am not a program developer, just a mechanical engineer with good CS skills, so i don't really
    understand all the gcc configure options, but i had an idea: i just need a modern SDP to check what kind of configure options BB uses nowadays to build a toolchain!

    But how can i get a current SDP if BB explicitly told they don't have any hobbyst license?
    So i lied and shamelessly wasted your time. Sorry about that.

    I got the evaluation license, installed the SDP, then used the "gcc -v" command to find out which configure options were used, and with this info i tried to build a toolchain.

    I am pleased to report you: after some hours of tinkering i got a cross-compiler mostly working. Now i have a C/C++ compiler targeting my good old phone and allows me to build some programs for it. Nice!

    The dynamically linked C++ programs not working yet, probably i made a mistake somewhere, but statically built programs running just fine.

    I made you a screenshot about my progress so far. Hope you like it. Also please find the attached build script which allows you to build a GCC toolchain targeting the old Blackberry phones.

    Have to say i got some help at the #gcc IRC channel from a guy. Kudos to him.

    So sorry again for wasting your precious time, i don't wanted to make my karma bad with lying to you. Hope you can forgive me.

    If you are afraid:
    - NO, this is not a security breach
    - NO, this is not a data leak
    - NOTHING were hacked
    - NOTHING were stolen
    - NO, this won't have any negative aspect for BB / QNX
    - i just lied to you to get the SDP
    - i gathered some non-business-relevant info from the SDP, which is available for everybody who have access to the SDP. All the gathered info is in the attached build.sh script.
    - NO, i won't use this information commercially, i am a hobby user
    - NO, i did not installed QNX onto the phone
    - NO, sadly i have no other device to run QNX on it, just my rusty old phone

    I will continue to recommend QNX everytime if somebody asks me. Thank you for developing and maintaining one of the greatest operating system. And thank you for the BlackBerry phones, i am still sad BB10 wasn't a commercial success. Please keep up the good job!

    Also i would greatly appreciate if you could forward the following to the upper board: Thank you for QNX, for Neutrino and for the BB phones, you guys are rocks! BB10 EOL comes in 2022, please consider to open the BB10 OS sources and the bootloader. Thank you! Also please consider to create a hobbyst QNX version, possibly with this desktop:
    https://membarrier.wordpress.com/201...qnx-7-desktop/

    Best Regards"
    01-21-21 11:58 AM
  5. conite's Avatar
    BB10 EOL comes in 2022
    BB10 EOL was at the end of 2019.

    The backend services for BBOS and BB10, however, shut down at the end of 2021.
    01-21-21 12:06 PM
  6. passportowner's Avatar
    I had fear somehow they will consider my activity illegal or harmful for their business, but I also had hope there is still sane persons on this planet.

    So I did not expected any answer considering all that negativity I read about BB here, but also made sure I know where the phone number of my lawyer if things going wild.

    Some hours later my phone happily announced a new email arrived so I peeked in and it came from BB. Basically I was happy it came from the same guy not from a lawyer or something.

    As I told I ma not allowed to quote his words, but I can tell what was in the email, I think.
    He first expressed he is always happy to give QNX evaluation license to hobby users and to QNX fans. Then he told he is happy I had a good progress getting GCC working, and that he sad is that they don't advertise anymore free, personal, non-commercial seats for hobby users and enthusiastic.

    He then reminded me that they have academic al licenses for students which never expires.

    He also reminded me they have BSPS for RaspberryPI4 and for BeagleBoneBlack, which I can access from their software center with my eval license or with an academic license. He also given me the current SDP version numbers for those platforms (7.1.0 for RPI and 7.0.0 for BBB). He also wrote if I wish they can give me 7.0.0 eval license too (I got 7.1.0 originally) and that it is possible to extend the eval period.

    He closed his email with reminding me to publish my fun QNX projects at github for bigger exposure and wishing me fun with my project.

    This was of course a nicely and professionally formulated email, I am unable to reproduce with my language skills. Sorry!

    So while some folks at Crackberry thinks BB is not interested or open for hobbysts, my experience is completely different.
    01-21-21 12:21 PM
  7. passportowner's Avatar
    BB10 EOL was at the end of 2019.
    Thanks!
    01-21-21 12:22 PM
  8. passportowner's Avatar
    After reading the nice answer I got I wrote a reply:

    "Thank you, I frankly did not expected any answer from you, thanks for the information, I will consider it in the future.

    I am deeply involved in the Haiku OS project and I am not a student anymore, so I don't have that much time, but will definitely consider QNX for my next gig.

    A question: maybe you know about the crackberry forum, which is maybe the ‎last standing Blackberry phone related forum. (no, we still not got the firmware cracked, and there is no illegal ware on that forum).
    There is a still ongoing argumentation what did BB wrong and how to ‎save QNX from the (some thinks) certain death. Some people says BB should have a QNX hobbyst BSP for RPI at least to make the system available for hobby purposes, but many argues BB sees probably no ROI in doing that.

    Would you please allow me to quote your email on Crackberry to show BB is actually care about hobbysts?

    Thanks and I wish you a nice day!"
    01-21-21 12:26 PM
  9. FortressBB10's Avatar
    I had fear somehow they will consider my activity illegal or harmful for their business, but I also had hope there is still sane persons on this planet.

    So I did not expected any answer considering all that negativity I read about BB here, but also made sure I know where the phone number of my lawyer if things going wild.

    Some hours later my phone happily announced a new email arrived so I peeked in and it came from BB. Basically I was happy it came from the same guy not from a lawyer or something.

    As I told I ma not allowed to quote his words, but I can tell what was in the email, I think.
    He first expressed he is always happy to give QNX evaluation license to hobby users and to QNX fans. Then he told he is happy I had a good progress getting GCC working, and that he sad is that they don't advertise anymore free, personal, non-commercial seats for hobby users and enthusiastic.

    He then reminded me that they have academic al licenses for students which never expires.

    He also reminded me they have BSPS for RaspberryPI4 and for BeagleBoneBlack, which I can access from their software center with my eval license or with an academic license. He also given me the current SDP version numbers for those platforms (7.1.0 for RPI and 7.0.0 for BBB). He also wrote if I wish they can give me 7.0.0 eval license too (I got 7.1.0 originally) and that it is possible to extend the eval period.

    He closed his email with reminding me to publish my fun QNX projects at github for bigger exposure and wishing me fun with my project.

    This was of course a nicely and professionally formulated email, I am unable to reproduce with my language skills. Sorry!

    So while some folks at Crackberry thinks BB is not interested or open for hobbysts, my experience is completely different.
    In nontechnical terms, what are you trying to do with QNX? Will it possibly help BB10 users?

    You sound very skilled!

    Posted via CB10
    01-21-21 12:29 PM
  10. passportowner's Avatar
    In his answer the BB engineer explained he won't like the idea to get quoted anywhere but recommended me to share my experience about interacting with the QNX team. Your mileage may vary however.

    He also expressed: nobody have to lie, anybody who have interest in QNX or in microkernels should just contact them honestly, telling what they experimenting with or what they try to accomplishments. No promises from their side but they always happy if somebody interested in their product.

    He told he don't follow Crackberry, and about the certain death of QNX he said it is just nonsense.
    01-21-21 12:34 PM
  11. passportowner's Avatar
    In nontechnical terms, what are you trying to do with QNX? Will it possibly help BB10 users?
    Somebody wrote here "if we could have a modern compiler toolchain that would make possible to bring new software for the BB phones" or something along this line.

    Now you have to know there programming languages aren't backwards compatible, I mean a new software not necessarily compilable with and old toolchain, for example Qt needs C++11 I think, which is not available in the toolchain in the bbndk, because the compiler is just too old.

    So while I can't write programs for BB, I have some experience with porting software, so I just told myself: challenge accepted!

    That's it. What you guys doing with it that's your business. If nobody tries to use it then do not expect anything.
    I probably will try to port some small programs (probably just command line programs, momentics is alien for me, I never got it really working...)
    Junnun Karim likes this.
    01-21-21 12:43 PM
  12. conite's Avatar
    Somebody wrote here "if we could have a modern compiler toolchain that would make possible to bring new software for the BB phones" or something along this line.

    Now you have to know there programming languages aren't backwards compatible, I mean a new software not necessarily compilable with and old toolchain, for example Qt needs C++11 I think, which is not available in the toolchain in the bbndk, because the compiler is just too old.

    So while I can't write programs for BB, I have some experience with porting software, so I just told myself: challenge accepted!

    That's it. What you guys doing with it that's your business. If nobody tries to use it then do not expect anything.
    I probably will try to port some small programs (probably just command line programs, momentics is alien for me, I never got it really working...)
    I'm still trying to understand what you would want new to run on an EOL platform, on a 7 year old device, and on an 8 year old SoC.
    01-21-21 12:52 PM
  13. passportowner's Avatar
    I do it for fun, I don't really need any program, all my needs is fullfilled.

    It would be interesting to build dosbox for example, or qemu. Both of them can use SDL, but no idea if it is possible to spawn GUI from command line.

    Also would like to see ruby on the device to be able to update my blog on the road, also rsync would be useful (for me).
    Junnun Karim likes this.
    01-21-21 12:58 PM
  14. Zedevice's Avatar
    I'm still trying to understand what you would want new to run on an EOL platform, on a 7 year old device, and on an 8 year old SoC.
    New tyres plus a modern day multimedia system and more on an old or vintage vehicle, can be a fun start if so inclined.
    🛠 😀
    Flatman likes this.
    01-21-21 03:02 PM
  15. app_Developer's Avatar
    That's good that you contacted BB directly!

    It's cool that they support hobbyists. If I have time (after I finish my home networking project which is still about 50% there) I might ask them for a personal license so I can play with it on a Pi4
    01-21-21 03:17 PM
  16. Chuck Finley69's Avatar
    He told he don't follow Crackberry, and about the certain death of QNX he said it is just nonsense.
    Nobody has mentioned the certain death of QNX here. It’s the death of BBOS and BB10 which isn’t the same thing.
    01-21-21 06:08 PM
  17. howarmat's Avatar
    yeah QNX is doing fine and will certainly continue. No fear at all of that going away.
    01-21-21 06:17 PM
  18. app_Developer's Avatar
    That might have been me. I see QNX starting to decline in 5-10 years and be much less relevant 10+ years from now. But that's a very long term guess based on where I see the industry going and the emergence of AGL/related. My own personal opinion worth nothing more than that.

    Certainly nothing imminent.
    01-21-21 08:41 PM
  19. Chuck Finley69's Avatar
    That might have been me. I see QNX starting to decline in 5-10 years and be much less relevant 10+ years from now. But that's a very long term guess based on where I see the industry going and the emergence of AGL/related. My own personal opinion worth nothing more than that.

    Certainly nothing imminent.
    LOL - I took it as more of the QNX=BB10 and nothing you posted
    app_Developer likes this.
    01-21-21 08:58 PM
  20. m3ach's Avatar
    @DonHB this is your time!

    A thread for you finally!
    elfabio80 likes this.
    01-22-21 07:32 AM
  21. SteinwayTransitCorp's Avatar
    I'm sorry this is news...why?
    01-23-21 09:08 AM
  22. Leyra B10's Avatar
    It would be interesting to build dosbox for example, or qemu. Both of them can use SDL, but no idea if it is possible to spawn GUI from command line.
    I'm not sure either, but I came across this page in theirs docs.

    http://developer.blackberry.com/nati....html?f=window

    Posted via CB10
    Last edited by Leyra B10; 01-23-21 at 03:27 PM.
    01-23-21 10:05 AM
  23. FillypiMiranda's Avatar
    my dream of using all the functions of my BB 9900 (twitter, facebook, email) would be wonderful
    01-30-21 11:21 PM
  24. Onthelinit1979's Avatar
    I too received a nice and encouraging email from a sales manager involved in QNX sales and development. I simply wanted an eval copy to tinker with on personal projects and he offered without hesistation.

    It's unfortunately that many have become cynical as to other pursuits outside of the BB10/BB10Droid world- BB is dead as a phone platform. Nice to know some are moving on within the BB universe and supporting the BB of 2021 not 2006.

    Posted via CB10
    02-09-21 01:35 AM
  25. Junnun Karim's Avatar
    @passportowner Will you be publishing your gcc toolchain on github?
    02-09-21 11:40 AM
26 12

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