If someone has a business location they can operate/flash from then sure that would be ideal, otherwise you could always meet at a local coffee shop or wherever with a laptop to flash for them on the spot. The end user would probably be more comfortable at a public place than going to someone’s home.
I have to disagree. It is my first experience with flashing roms and so on, and I am not familiar at all with such stuff, I followed the guide about sony xperia XA2 and I am stuck. Therefore, I regret to say that it is not so simple as “read a guide and do it”. It is a pity, because it is not for a standard basic user
I think while in general its a good idea, people would not like to give a private individual their 300+ euro device to flash it. I can only really see this making an impact if it is something that can be provided in a physical shop.
That being said, I think its not something that should siphon money off the /e/ development, especially not until v1 is released. Any solution that enables the volunteer to be held accountable (in case of theft or damage) without slowing the official /e/ team might be a good way of spreading the OS and building a stronger community, but without accountability, it could backfire and lead to some bad press
Flashing yourself is not that complicated but I am aware that most people I now would never ever do that. They’d rather pay money for getting it done - ideally in physical shops.
There are social enterprises and other businesses specialised in refurbishing phones. They have most likely the knowledge in flashing software on phones.
Those organisations could be partners and take over at least the official flashing part and ideally donate a small percentage of the generated income to /e/.
For those from BE, DE or FR: I was thinking about petitsriens.be (Belgium), http://emmaus-france.org (mainly France), AfB Social & Green IT (www.afb-group.de, Germany and other countries), Oxfam Shops (various countries). For sure similar actors in other countries could be identified. They all have several shops across the mentioned counties and like this make sure that /e/ comes physically a bit closer to potential customers - at least in some countries.
On a parallel thread we are working on an Easy-Installer which would be a command line tool.
This would help users flash the /e/ build a lot more easily than at present. The tool is still under development and do not have any ETA’s. We would be announcing and releasing the tool on the forum when it is done.
I’m thinking that in most locales, the demand for /e/ is not high enough for it to be worth offering as a “walk-in” service for either a business or a volunteer.
A better format may be flashing parties, where a group of volunteer hosts meet up at specific/regular times and invite those needing help to come and get their devices flashed. They could specify which devices they can flash, and which devices they may be able to help the owner flash. This would have the added benefit of getting existing /e/ users (presumably the hosts) in touch with one another in different locales (like is currently being done in Munchen).
Another possibility for getting /e/ out there on refurbished phones would be for /e/ to farm out it’s pre-installed phone service on devices other than the few Samsung devices it is offering. People who have successfully installed /e/ on their phone could volunteer to install it on additional devices that /e/ foundation could then sell through their site (reimbursement for costs could be arranged ahead of time). This idea seems a bit more far-fetched, though and may not be worth the trouble of managing it. Just a thought, regardless…
Hi all !
A short intro
The deep and serious discussion about the subject “Flashing /e/ service” looks topologically similar to the problem, inside the TDF (The DocumentFoundation,) about who may be “officially” entitled to conduce LibreOffice migration projects at enterprise/corporate levels.
The solution, which gave good results, was and is that of a Certification Process; a study-path was stated, study materials was prepared, people did study and get prepared to examination and eventually got certified. Responsability of organization was just to state (no warranty!) the person XY got certified through a transparent and published path. The next step: person will be get payed or not from a “customer” for handling a migration process is out of TDF scope. Even at that point, behind a “certified migrator” stay a solid community as a form of backup.
Certification is not a new idea, but the way by which was done in TDF, with a wide and transparent participation, is quite new. The full process is well explained in https://www.documentfoundation.org/certification/program/ .
In /e/ case, flashing process takes the place of migration process. Dimension of problem is of course quite different, but the complexity of it is not (in my opinion).
I suggest to consider the direction of a “/e/ flash certified professional”, as part of spreading such cultural aspect of “open hardware/firmware/OS”. Such a person may than act on a full volunteer base or get payed for his/her support.
Of course such path does not come alone, a good amount of organization work is involved. On the other side, such work does not quite involve developers, as it is mainly “organization”. But will become part of a “foundation” on bottom of /e/-project.
Wait to hear from you
While I agree with you in principle, @DiegoM, I am worried that at this stage of the game, a formal certification might slow things down considerably in terms of spreading the technology. It’s a classic tradeoff, That’s why I proposed volunteer /e/ flashers be those who had flashed a device, preferably one that is their primary phone device (as mine is).
Longer term, as a potential volunteer /e/ flasher, I would not object to certification that was transparent and published, as you suggest, as long as it didn’t require inordinate amounts of study (ie., < 12 hours). However, as you mentioned, the creation of such certification is a job itself, and one I’m not qualified to do, so I leave that to others.
My biggest concern in helping someone else flash their phone is in either breaking their hardware, or unintentionally creating a software vulnerability. I actually found the instructions for installing /e/ on my device quite comprehensive at avoiding both these things. Thus, I would see the role of an /e/ flasher initially as more of a facilitator for people with less experience/understanding of phones in general, and less of a gatekeeper and/or quality control role.
Ultimately, we all take a risk when we take action to alter our phones to our benefit, but given the alternatives, it’s a risk I will always take. In a larger, philosophical sense, the unwillingness to take this risk is what got us into problems like we are in now. When we are too willing to allow others to design/manage our tools for the sake of convenience, we should not be surprised when they are designed and managed as much (if not more) for the benefit of the Apples/Googles of the world as they are for us.
Greetings, my first post on the forum, merely to add my name to those who would support and use a flashing store. As mentioned in an email to /e/ I am in the USA and frankly do not have the tech savvy to flash my phone. That said, I am willing to ship my devices to /e/ in order to have the service performed. Considering the cost of having my and my family’s data used by unscrupulous companies, investing in shipping to and from Europe is a worthwhile investment. Of course a “store” in the USA would be better, but it’s more important to me to have my data secure. Cheers!
Our association is organizing install parties and sometimes installing /e/ or lineageOS. We are interested in the flashing station. We are also linked to Yunohost, the internet cube, FFDN and CHATONS. We would like to be able to install /e/ with services hosted on our chaton sans-nuage.fr or self-hosted with yunohost (What about Yunohost?, Yunohost and /e/)
Other associations from the federation FFDN probably do the same in France. You could get in touch with FFDN, our associations could be partners for flashing /e/, especially with the 0-profile, FLOSS profile, “007” profile that you are planing!
Yes, all well and good. But commitment needs enthusiasm and time.
So far, I switched the StockROM to /e/ OS for a handful of new /e/ users for free. The user only has to pay the costs for sending and returning shipment.
But time expenditure should not be underestimated. PM / E-mail correspondence, /e/ OS flashing, packing & sending the device and everything else that goes with it.
I’ll do it again in the future from case to case. My focus is on Samsung and LG G3 & G5 devices. However, the future /e/ user should make a donation of any amount for the /e/ Build Team or donating to the /e/ project as a kind of nominal fee.
A sort of “Earned …” may also be added
Why “Earned”, @DiegoM?
The potential /e/ user doesn’t donate to me but directly to the build maintainer / developers or e.foundation.
In your opinion, does the /e/ team not deserve recognition?
for “Earned” I means those “Badges” that a /e/ community member collect by some action.
Shure that /e/ teams have to eat every day! Work done must be payed; that should be part of /e/ organization, based on collected donation. Full /e/ balance should be published, transparency is part of FOSS.
@DiegoM, I enjoy the free Internet in my country. But that doesn’t mean that everything has to be free.
@archje As I wrote and: as allready expressed from Gael times ago: developers eat every day, as any other normal beeing, their work must get paid.
As a small active supporter of /e/ project I think that the usage of collected money is part of the project, including paying developers who almost esclusively works for the project, still accepting volunteers.
I also sponsor the LineageOS LLC Project and a few maintainers whose LOS builds I use. For me, true gratitude has three component: feeling, thinking and acting. The sponsoring amount merely serves as a sign of gratitude.
Shipping within the European Union (EU) requires significantly less administrative effort than shipping to non-EU regions.
When shipping to the United States of America, Canda and New Zealand, the legal import regulations of the respective country must be observed and customs documents must be completed. The pure shipping costs are not insignificant.
If /e/ does not offer this service, I will activate as a private person at least Smartphone Flashing service via mail at least for Samsung devices and LG G3 d855 and LG G5 h850.
A post was split to a new topic: Want to sell phones
Following the Fairphone approach of promoting regulars’ tables and relying on the community sounds better to me than setting up stores.