HP donates a hefty server to homebrew WebOS Internals Group | webOS Nation

HP donates a hefty server to homebrew WebOS Internals Group 131

by Dieter Bohn Thu, 10 Feb 2011 7:43 pm EST

There was a piece of news that didn't happen to get mentioned at last night's developer event. HP has made a donation to a charity on behalf of the WebOS Internals homebrew group that is valued at over $10,000.

A few weeks ago, it became clear that future growth in webOS would outpace the server infrastructure that WebOS Internals currently has in place. They were going to need some beefy hardware to keep up with the demands of acting as the a central repository for webOS homebrew apps, patches, and kernels.

So they asked HP's Phil McKinney, who has arranged to donate an HP Proliant DL385 2u server with 32 gigs of RAM and 8 terabytes of disk space. They made the decision a few weeks ago and the server is en route. Notably, this is a straight-up donation, no strings attached - so WebOS Internals will remain how they always have: completely independent from the company whose OS they hack on.

That's how you support a homebrew community, good on you HP.

Source: @webosinternals


Wow - very generous! Nice to see HP continuing to support homebrew efforts.

They need the community, we're the only ones that buy their phones :-D


Okay, it's a nice gesture by HP, but they also manufacture these things (and HP is not a small company), so it is not THAT big of a deal. But anyway nice.

Modifications contributet by the community (Preware, UberKernel, Save/Restore, UberCalendar, FreeTether, just to name a few) enhanced webOS in ways, that should have been adapted first by Palm and now HP (UberCalendar, for example). They should have donated 10.000$ cash, so WebOS Internals could have used it however they really needed it.


If they had given the 10k server, 10k cash...I'm sure you would have found something else to bitch about...
jeez...why can't people just say thank you and be done with...

Sorry it came out the wrong way.

I am truly happy for the guys over at WebOS Internals and I already stated, that it was a nice gesture. All I was saying was, that it wasn't THAT overwhelming.

And with 10k cash they would have been able to decide by themselves what to do with it.

Sounds to me like they got pretty much what they probably asked for... and a damn site more than Apple, Sony, or several others give to the people that hack on their OS. 3 cheers to HP!!

This is really above-and-beyond what was already an above-and-beyond commitment to homebrew on the part of HP. Incredible.

Off topic. Does anyone know why my rss feeds keep saying these old articles are new? All my other rss feeds don't show old ones as new, just Precentral.

This shows that HP is here for the community. Everyone that thinks they don't care, think again...think carfeully about what they let our homebrew community do and tat they support it/us.

Actually it does not show that they care, it shows that they think we're all idiots and easily bought off.

Two apt quotes for you.

"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do."
- Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
- Mark Twain

+1 For some reason I can't click on the box to make a +1...and nobody seems able or willing to tell me why not too...

Ok, let's let HP buy WebOS Internals, to keep doing what they're doing!!
Even better, why don't HP just hires them, to make things done properly?

Actually HP has been hiring from within the WebOS community. I forget which developers but they have mentioned a few here on PreCentral. Also, you don't really want to have HO control the homebrewers because they do things that are outside what a company like hp would do. Like for example overclocking.


Sorry ame but you are the only idiot here. How can they (hp) be idiots to do good that they don't really have to do if they want to? Can apple do such a thing? Never. So please apple ame just get rotten.

HP, that is so incredible of you and congrat to the WebOS Internals and keep doing the good job.


WOAH! Now that is awesome! Congrats to WebOS Internals! Now all donations can go to help paying the electricity and internet bills, instead of server space and parts. ^_^

Incredible, way to go HP. What's good for WebOS Internals Group is good for HPWebOS and they know it.

That is freakin' cool. Good Job HP.

renewed my faith, this has. Bravo HP & congrats to webOS Internals.

yay for @PhilMcKinney

I don't think they are going to need the beefy hardware that much. HP just drove away half the WebOS users yesterday.

But good on the homebrew folks. They've done an awesome job and are the reason the WebOS community has been so great.

No, it drove away a vocal, whiny few.

Or as my friend said today as he looked at his Pre, "Oh there's a new Pre coming?"

No, they drove away a lot of people and they failed to wow the public.

They are in the same position, if not worse, and will be lucky to maintain market share.

And one of the whiny few speaks. What happen, you miss the bus?

Do you think that name calling and being condescending validates your point?

Do you mean condescending like you were about HP? Does that validate your point. They didn't fail to wow the public, the just didn't impress 100% of the nerds. These phones (pre3 and veer) are gonna be more than enough for most people. Tech blog readers and posters are not the "general public."

Besides this nerd is happy and rates HP event a 9/10.


Your logic is flawed however. If Palm (HP) managed to hang onto 3.9% share of the smartphone market with "crappy" hardware and no new devices (prior to Pre2). Now that they have kick azz* devices you somehow think this will DE-CREASE??

*Yes, the Pre3 is kick ass with a SoC TWO generations forwards of current market.

IMHO...the Pre2 is already kickass...the Pre3 just will blow everything else out of the market...

Whining is when someone continuously does things for you, and you complain that it's never good enough. This is someone basically not doing anything and also lying about everything. So, here it's just reacting to the crap you have been fed for years. A little different.

ding ding.

webos needs the vocal,whiny few to grow. These are the same people that would spread webos to the masses.


This is TOTALLY awesome. I'm impressed. Seriously. I hope this calms any remaining fears of HP cutting off homebrew devs. Congrats to WebOSInternals!!!!! I was feeling sort of melancholy in the anti-climax of the Pre3 announcements but this has cheered me up some.

Isn't this kind of like donating 6 tons of food to a food bank, but everybody is already getting their food somewhere else, so it all rots???

No, it's like donating 6 tons of food to a food bank that's been working hard to dole out meals to the hungry for 20 months now. Good on HP for seeing the value WebOS Internals brings to their customers and their platform.

Man,it's amazing what you can buy for $10K these days! What would that have cost just 10 years ago? (Plus, you probably would have had to pry something like that off the deck of the Starship Enterprise.)

Phil McKinney is freaking awesome. nuff said.

The way things are looking right now. They may not need it.

oh man, that is so cold. Funny as hell, but cold!

Well, HP is making depressed monkeys out of their most loyal (and early adopter) customers, so it is good to know that at least they are trying to court the developer community.

Many of you whhiny folks just bleed like virgins riding a 12 inch!! Myy GOD. I have an origina l Sprint Pre and I'm not fucking depressed over having or not having th e latest gear. I've got kids to raise,bills to pay, work to do, my health to consider, and a whole host of things going on that are wayyyyyy more important than my Pre. Now, I want new hardware and never did I expect a 2.0 update knowing dam well that my Pre is already on fire trying to be overclocked and keep pace with 1.4.5. My point being, You all have options, you can keep webOS or you can go blackberry or IOs or whatevr....but pulleez SHUT UP! I am happy to wait on my Pre 3. I will never use all of it's functionality....its overkill! But, hey, HP brought us all the bells and whistles and I don't see how we can be behind when the phone comes out in the summer. We will be on par with all of the other OSs, excepting apps! If you can live with that then please SHUTUP!!

Really......?! What a disgusting way to begin your post. And by the time I got to your f-bomb, I just stopped reading. Any good points you might have made were completely ruined.

Eye of the storm?

I'm sorry but this is really not a good thing.
This is basically saying "we'll leave the patching to you guys" in other words "we don't want to focus on what you guys want so we will let you guys focus on it"

HP should be doing it themselves.

No one should have to install 200 + patches to bring their device on par with the other platforms.


Excellent point. When I had my Pre, i was constantly in search of patches to make my phone enjoyable. With my new Evo, it's all just in there. I haven't even touched custom roms or overclocking, because everything i desire is built in. That's how it should be... not relying on hackers to fix your $500 device.

If it was everything you needed it to be you wouldn't feel the need to come here. Both of you.

I like to revel in other's depression. Character flaw, maybe, but I love it.


Good job, trying to sound smart with a big word and then spelling it wrong.

Crap on everyone you duped for two years and then buy them off?

Thank you HP/palm and @PhilMcKinney, i would be staying with webOS its is the only OS i have enjoy and still do using.

what growth in webos install base can you posiblely be expecting? do you honestly think the pre3 6 months from now is going to win market share away from the ten or so high end android devices that will be out before then? or the next iphone? or that the touchpad will get any play over the 100 or so android tablets or the ipad2. palm has copied the strategy that failed with the original pre. the original pre failed on sprint that only had the hero as competition, the pre plus failed on vz, the pre2 was barely launched so that is a fail, hp's response .... the pre3. this time it will be different must be their thinking. a good deffinition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, well the leadership at palm/hp is insane.


so, what exactly will win marketshare hardware wise? A keyboardless Pre? That's even less differentiation than every other slab on the market.

The key to HP Palm is simply WebOS. It always has been. The problem is marketing. Palm couldn't do it. We're about to find out if HP can muster up something.

Yes, some different device options would be nice, but they don't need every power user out there. They need to market why webOS is what users want. Apple's success is they were able to tap into that w/o technical terms and used their design advantage to wipe the floor w/ the competition.

Now that all our phones are about apps apps apps... webOS needs to figure out a way to market how the OS is used and why it's better.

Will it work? I honestly think they'll have a damn hard time. Best guess is they'll stay mediocre and HP will leverage webOS in other things. Phones will not be top on the list like they should be right now.

"so, what exactly will win marketshare hardware wise?"

- how about a phone that will have a 4G radio???? Do you really think any smart phone manufacturers are still focusing solely on a CDMA radio to be released this summer?

You're not making sense.

Why wouldn't the Touchpad get any play? Seems like a great device. I'm a bit disappointed about the lack of gesture area - but it's not like the competition is doing better.

The IPad has serious limitations - by design. Those limitations might not bother you - but not everybody is happy with them.

The 100 or so android tablets - well most of them will not show up or fail to be successful (if you look at past CES announcements you will notice that many prototypes shown there never actually make it out to customers).
Perhaps 2-5 or so will be serious competition.

The Touchpad looks very promising. The sole advantage IPad will have is it's vast app library.

The Pre2 is a fixed Pre - but timing was off. Probably couldn't be helped given the circumstances.

But the Pre3 is only comparable by also being a portrait slider. Bigger screen, much higher resolution, autofocus camera, front-video, top-level CPU - in short everything people ever asked for.

HPalm needs to do some seriously good marketing campaign to get the buzz going - but the Pre3 (given good battery life) has a fair chance of success. App count will be an issue - but that has nothing to do with the hardware design.
And HP should also announce a 4" slab - if only to shut up those who want that.

I found yesterdays event quite underwhelming - and the non-update of our older phones is *very* disappointing.

But the 3 models they did announce - while not a big surprise - are top notch. If they can get the app count into 5 digits and get some more of the high demand apps ported they have a solid foundation for growth.

"The sole advantage IPad will have is it's vast app library."

you do realize the ipad2 is ready to be released and will be outperforming the touchpad, right?

Did you also realize the ipad3 is coming this fall? Just a few months after the pre3.

LOL that is truly hilarious. Apples "A5" will likely be 1.2ghz *maybe* dual core, SAME SCREEN REZ at 1024 (proven), 1MP front camera (proven) and will switch the design to the "flat" iP4 style with the aluminum around the outside.


come back when they release it and show how "smart" you are then.

and the iPad3 rumor, it's just that, a rumor. If Apple releases another model of iPad 3 months after releasing it's iPad 2, it will be more like an iPad 2.1 than an iPad 3 "hey guys we gave you 2% more battery by doing away with the 3.5 mm jack and making this cool magnetic connector thing." :D

when has apple EVER released two products that close together that were identical? Use your noggin man - the ipad 3 is likely a smaller tablet. Apple gets marketing and how to sell - they know releasing information about a newer tablet coming later in the year is going to sway people away from the ipad 2. The only other excuse it could be is on additional networks. They're not palm.

To be fair, this is a tax write off for HP.

Their markup on servers is pretty high also.

I built a dual Xeon with 48GB of ram and 12TB of hard disk space for just over $5000 via newegg.

Still, it's pretty great news for you guys and hopefully this good will remains as new devices come out.

But I'm sure that dual Xeon you hand-built does not come with HP support?

Then again, do donations include support? :/

That's a good question!

Their mark-up on support is even higher than hardware, so maybe they will give them free support too, and write that off for any amount they please.

But also, don't take it the wrong way, tax write-offs are great ways for big companies to support little guys :)

"the server is en route." I think you meant "in route".

en français.

En route is fine.

Nice. Thanks, HP.

bwhahah. "take this server and hush your twitter rants, rod." --phil mckinney

You failed to notice the decision was made on Jan 20th.

-- Rod

Wow, everyone complaining is so cynical. I hope that HP did scare you off yesterday, because I really don't want people who are this overly negative in a community that I am a part of. There is literally nothing bad about this announcement and you Negative Nancy's are going out of your way to crap on it. smh

awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, so sorry. They did it to themselves.

I dont' care if palm released stuff yesterday that wasn't that good. They are still the best because the support the community like this. Imagine Apple doing this with the jailbreakers :o

They don't support the jailbreakers, because they don't NEED the jailbreakers. They have actual developers that make actual apps.

then why do they just rip off what the jailbreak community does with almost every update, but call it "magical" and "revolutionary"?

Well done, HP! Congrats to webOS Internals for their superb work, this was well deserved. (Please see the comments on the OTA non-update issue for my OTHER opinions.)

Good for HP.

Stop being so cynical guys. Something can be advantageous for a gift giver and still be a nice thing to do.

yes, exactly. It's called enlightened self-interest. It's actually one of the best motivations that humans can muster (in my opinion).

If I could, I would give a huge high-5 to Mr. HP and Phil. But I can't, so if you are a Palm, HP, or anyone who works for the HPs... VIRTUAL HIGH-5!!!!!!!!!

I think that this is actually quite insightful of HP. So many companies believe that they know what customers want or need and what is best for customers (Ahem, Apple) that they limit or thry to control what people can do with the product THEY HAVE PURCHASED!!! Imagine, you go and buy an automobile, spending lots of your hard earned cash. But you want to customize it: new speakers, paint job, make it a comnvertible or add a bio-diesel engine. However, the car manufacturer says, "Whoa, you can't do that. We can't let everyone do what the like to property they own." That is Apple, they prevent you from using stuff you bought and own they way you want unless they approve.

HP, instead has demonstrated that, in additionto being able to make a great OS, they also understand that they can not have thought of every possible way a customer may want to use a Pre3 or TouchPad so their going to let other brilliant and creative minds expand on their awesome WebOS. That is truly insightful and enlightened. GO HP!

Bravo, HP! Best news of the day. now, back to your regularly scheduled depression.

Awesome Awesome Awesome! HP +1 Homebrew +1

I'd like to know how the WebOS Internals Group feels about recent Palm/HP announcements.

This just seems like a cheap (for them) way to try to buy some goodwill that they threw away.

You should review the @webosinternals twitter stream from the past 36 hours ...

-- Rod

I'll +1 for what rwhitby said!!

WebOS Internals has been posting and tweeting and questioning and commenting since before the press event ended.

This changed nothing about that, we've known that the server was coming since Jan 20th.

i like this

Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in

I see what you did there. :)

Is this server located in Australia? Cos HP in Aus don't seem to know much about WebOS, or seem to be pushing to get it? I'd love to see their server records, see how many iPhones log on and off :-)

The server will be located at the Oregon State University Open Source Labs (OSUOSL) in the US.

-- Rod

Are you guys getting support as well as the hardware?

1 server means no cluster and I'd hate for those hard drives to fail without replacement.

We already have three servers, two at Oregon State University Open Source Lab, and another at the University of Hawaii. This will be the fourth. And yes, the ones we have at OSU OSL are just pretty much maxed out now.

And with HP telling us that they're putting a webOS client on two laptops a second this summer, I figure that we'll max this one out soon enough.

bribery to shut us up....

The donation was confirmed Jan 20th.

So, no.

"By ame on Thu, 10 Feb 2011 07:40:56 EST
Actually it does not show that they care, it shows that they think we're all idiots and easily bought off."

Completely agree!

See previous rock. No.

Sweet! Love those servers, we have racks of them! Way to go HP!

hey can the pre3 make phone calls??? If it can, I'll get it!!! Everything else is a bonus right? RIGHT??? Sorry complainers...

That's great HP. Now rectify your broken promises.

And to the whiners. HP is not going to change their business plan on the basis of your opinion, so save your breath. If you don't like where the bus is going, step off.

PS. I've expressed my own disapppontment, but not over and over and over again.

Awesome news, past discretions aside. Always good when a big company steps up and recognizes the community that supports it.

Let's hope they keep it up.

Best news to come out of the "BIG" Feb 9th day

considering hp's size & strength, that's kinda like a power company giving you a lightbulb - or a bank giving a toaster for opening an account. gee, you guys are cheap, & easy! how much do they pay to hijack your great ideas that "HP is smart enough to rely on their users for input" - & take the credit for? no doubt you will be the one's to inherit the earth! *see, no whining - just pity that you folks are smart enough to do anything but remove the collar from your neck*

WebOS Internals code is intentionally licensed with an MIT license so that ANYONE ANYWHERE including we hope, HP can take it and use it.

That's what we WANT to have happen. Well, that and us continue to support what has quickly become the most loyal and amazing OS community anywhwere.

If the light bulb or toaster is worth ten grand then I want one.

Now THAT'S throwing a bone!!

The following quote is in far better context regarding overall HP actions in contradiction to those summoned by Twain & Franklin in foolish support of HP.

"You can't fool all of the people, all of the time."
- Abraham Lincoln

All I have to say is that hopefully you won't have to rely on HP if your server requires an update. It may take a year or so...or you may not get it at all.

If the DL380's we have at work are any indication that will be a really nice piece of hardware.

Regardless of what it did or didn't cost them to donate it, they are giving back to the community that has provided free development for their platform -- it's a great gesture on HP's part.

Great job HP!

perspective I guess - I feed my dog to safeguard my house. while many will surely be pleased, & it is nice to be appreciated, i don't see where hp is doing anything different from what i'm doing. if I owned hp & knew i could insure free access to genius by merely throwing a bone in the yard - it would be a no brainer.

I think the fact that HP is giving the server is worth much more than that. They want the guys hacking, because they are improving on a good product. HP needs these guys for their input into the OS. They have awsome patches that test the waters of end user demand. Thanks webos internals.

This is a very nice gesture from HP and people should accept it at face value. Regardless of the webos 2.x issue, HP has been nothing short of amazing when it comes to supporting our homebrew community. Thank you HP.

HP deserves the criticism it is getting, but not here. Only one response is necessary and appropriate for this news:


That's it. Go whine somewhere else. There are plenty of threads in the forums for that.

+1 for HP, well I'll give them a +2, one for the donation, one for support of open hacking on their OS and devices (hell I'll be honest, +3)...

I'll leave off the last rounds negative points for now, lets just say their even.

Props for supporting homebrew, lets hope you support the user base as well.

If this donation was confirmed Jan 20th then this annoucement is just a lame attempt to offset some of the damage they did with their 'No OTA for older devices' fiasco.

I'm not sure how them donating servers to Webos internals will help me being stuck with a Palm Pixi Plus until May 2012 with no updates. I'm not being cynical, I'm genuinely asking...will WebOS internals getting this 'gift' from HP help out customers like me in any way? Or am I right and its just a bad attempt by HP to fluff themselves?

The only way I would see this situation as remedied is by being allowed to upgrade early to a Veer for free. Other than that, HP will forever suck the big one IMO. I'm not laying out a penny on a new phone because they're too cheap to look after their older customer base. If I have to pay out any money, it'll be for an Iphone off craigslist.


The way it helps you is, WebOS-Internals develops the Meta-Doctor, which will, doubtless, in the near future, allow you to download a 2.x doctor and install it on your pixi...

I'm not saying it will happen tomorrow, nor am I absolutely PROMISING that, but if it can be legally done, then the wOS-I team will see to it that it happens.

For now, calm down.

It seems clear that there are two reasons contributing to the lack of over-the-air updates to 2.x for older phones.

1) Updating to 2.x was not approved by the various carriers. It's a big download and it would reduce the turnover of phones. Why would carriers approve it?

2) The process of updating to 2.x requires a wipe of the phone. Doing that to people's phones over-the-air would be ---rude---.

Doing the update WITHOUT a wipe means that you have to re-size partitions on the fly on a running device. This is hard and dangerous and a huge percentage will fail. And then, on a non-overclocked phone, 2.x is no great thing, since it's heavier than 1.x

All in all, it's a lose-lose to do ota for the older phones. This way, the carriers get phone turnover, even if it's not PALM phones, they don't care, and HP can quietly release doctors which can be used to built meta-doctors for the older phones for people who want to upgrade them.

Have fun with your iphone, and please remember that an older iphone can't be updated to current ios for similar reasons.

Or, you can get an android. Oh yeah, those don't get OTA version upgrades either.

WebOS Internals is dedicated to free-open-portable devices. Stick with us, the future looks REALLY NEATO

Damage control.

Thanks for the response, you've actually made me feel a bit better about the whole situation. I'd be happy to and much prefer to install updates via USB and the computer anyway. If Webos Internals getting this server from HP signifies a handing over of the reins for the development and distribution of updates for Pre's and Pixi's, then fair play. HP made a good decision. Hand it over to people who care about the Webos community, whilst freeing up resources to develop new phones and software.

I guess I was just feeling abandoned. I've only had this phone 4 months and suddenly I find out its obsolete. Things that are already duff on it like the PDF viewer will never get fixed etc. It just annoyed the living p*ss out of me.

Thanks for giving me a reason to stick around. To be honest, I HATE iPhones with a passion :)

Thought OTA updates came from Palm, I believe that it's been the Homebrew community/Web OS internals group that's been really giving Web OS the support it needs to be fit to survive in this highly competitive smartphone world. They'd [homebrew/internals group] be here patching our phones with or without HP's gift and while I believe HP deserves thanks, I don't believe that they deserve praise. Official support from the Web OS mothership seems to have ended, luckily for us we still have our Community.

Thanks Home6rew for continuing to stay the course.. We need you'll.. And thank you SOOOO MUCH hp... I love my We6 OS.. I am soo happy to hear this.. I was startin to think twice a6out 6uyin the PrE 3.. Without Home6rew what would we6 os 6e..

Boy that's a wise investment, HP.

I hope that new Pre3's 'B' key works 6etter for ya!

Is that 6buy or 6ust? {like the notion of a Meta Dr.~even if it comes late}

Well, so much for that. WebosInternals and the 3rd party apps was the highlight of Palm's OpenSource programming. Way to **** that one up Hewlett Packard.

HP = Half Palm. One dumb **** decision deserves another, so go ahead. change your name to something more appropriate as recommended above.

Keep up the good work bro.Your article is really great and I truly enjoyed reading it.Waiting for some more great articles like this from you in the coming days. Online Hacking

This reminds me of John Studzinski. It is a great gesture to make a donation.