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Habitat is the "guy from NY" listed below. TimRiker used to work for Caldera with MarkOberg. Mark got in touch with Habitat Communications who was looking for someone to port Linux to the phones. They were not able to cause this to come to pass.

Mark started getting involved reselling the phones. The target price at the time was $450 USD. Tim found out about it while working at Lineo and thought about purchasing a phone.

Habitat became more interested in unloading all of the phones rather than renew the lease on the facility where they were housed.

Tim offered to house them and work on the Linux port as well as promoting the Linux port in the community if Habitat would agree to a lower selling price. They did, so he did. ;-)

They were built in 1998 and originally sold for $650 USD


TimRiker got this from an interview with J. Scott Allen who used to be involved in the Shannon project:

Q: How many where made?

A: 4000 built - 2000 were used for R&D

Q: Why did they never sell them to the public?

A: Project was cancelled due to dissolving of the lucent/ philips joint venture.

Q: Why is page 81 missing from the manual?

A: to resell - the copyright info had to be removed.

Q: Have you successfully used the PCMCIA slots and the serial port?

A: To load software only.

Q: The calendar is off by one day on my phones, are yours off also?

A: Yes

The hardware engineers loaded the units software using a PCMCIA card. In order to do this we used the serial port to import a "setup program" which allowed the PCMCIA to be read from and written to.

Also, just FYI - in order to do this the "Flash memories sectors need to be unlocked. If you remove the Memory Module (bottom)(careful not to break the slot clips) you will see electrical contacts that 12 Volts DC & ground need to be applied in order to unlock the sectors. ( The Schematics will explain better) When 12 VDC is present the sectors are unlocked. Removing the 12 Locks them.

During development, costs got "out of control" The short cord was always a joke indicating where We "drew the line on cost" by not springing for the long cord. The "cost of parts" alone in 1998 was $304.00 per phone. (pretty crazy huh?)

We built 10 then 20 then 120 in Eatontown, NJ. Then 5 trips to Guadalajara, Mexico to "Ramp up" production. We had to do 5 production proto runs before we were confident they would function after being built in high volume. 18 hour days in the factory. It was Hell.

Finally we built 1000 then 1000 then 1500 or so. There was a total of 4000 or so built. You can tell what # yours are by the bottom bar code (between 100 & 4000) About 400 were used for R&D. They sold 1200 for $650.00 each to 2 different Companies. After the Consumer Products Division (including Cellular.) Lost $550.00 Million. Shannon was 30 Million alone.

At this point there were major cutbacks. Nobody felt they could push these for 650.00 each since at the time it was the first Web phone (sw web browser) to hit the market. PCC (Philips Consumer Communications) felt they had no Avenues of Distribution and limited resources (after losing 550 Mil).

There were 1400 sold as scrap to a fellow in NY. He got a great deal. These 1400, he had to pay the shipping costs from Mexico to NY. About $6000.00, still not bad.

I managed to buy the inventory that was left in Eatontown. There are still about 100 in Mexico. At least there was. Probably some Mexicans got some great deals too.

All units after the first few hundred are the same. HW & SW & color. There was a Revision A, B, C, D, & E also F

A & B were prototypes. ( I have a working rev E in clear prototype plastic ) Looks like an original proto only, I used the best boards - Rev E

Rev C had a hardware problem preventing them for booting 75% of the time. If they did boot they crashed soon after.

Rev D worked ok - Rev E made assembly easier.

Shannon is simply what "someone named the project" - Irony is we had a HW fellow named Shannon on the project. No connection. (Everyone though it was named after him.) I told him I will never forget his name.

Earlier plastic did not say anything. I have Black plastic (only 1) I have not assembled yet. a black Shannon, Cool !

I may have some extra LCD's (the were bought by us for 140.00 each) I'll send them if I have them. They have a Short lead so - you would need to attach wires to the main circuit board so it will reach. ( early design flaw)

The Rev C HW problem was a Trace on the circuit board that a CAD program automatically rerouted so it was very long. This allowed Noise to be introduced on the clock signal - caused "major Shannon troubles "

Rev F never really made it anywhere. It was a European tele interface for an International Shannon.

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