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Ragnorok
post Dec 6 2006, 06:41 PM
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- I think software will be a real issue for this platform. It's one thing to hack up a bootable command line, it's another entirely to write suites of apps from PIM to wardriving, not to mention just getting X to run stably.
- I've been tossing about the idea of giving the OS a go myself, but therre are numerous impediments:

1. I just bought a house, and have a monstrous list of things to do for it. I probably have over 500 man-hours to do. The joys of home ownership.

2. At least through the end of Feb I'm already overcommitted.

3. While I've done software for 20 years and done some fairly complex low-level coding in both C and C++, I've never ported an operating system.

4. The box I'd use for this effort isn't even plugged in yet ... see 1 above.

- For these reasons and others I'm sure I've missed, I haven't mentioned coding.

Oops!
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stampsm
post Dec 6 2006, 11:37 PM
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QUOTE(Ragnorok @ Dec 6 2006, 06:41 PM)
- I think software will be a real issue for this platform.  It's one thing to hack up a bootable command line, it's another entirely to write suites of apps from PIM to wardriving, not to mention just getting X to run stably.
- I've been tossing about the idea of giving the OS a go myself, but therre are numerous impediments:

1. I just bought a house, and have a monstrous list of things to do for it.  I probably have over 500 man-hours to do.  The joys of home ownership.

2. At least through the end of Feb I'm already overcommitted.

3. While I've done software for 20 years and done some fairly complex low-level coding in both C and C++, I've never ported an operating system.

4. The box I'd use for this effort isn't even plugged in yet ... see 1 above.

- For these reasons and others I'm sure I've missed, I haven't mentioned coding.

Oops!
*



well the good news is there is not alot of stuff to port since most of it is pretty much standard. you can just take an existing rom like pdaxrom and do a few tweeks and add missing drivers and you are ready to go. we may have to roll a few custom apps for different things but that is not big deal.

the boot loader will have to be custom made if we want to add advanced features that the processor has such as signed kernels support based on a unique serial number for each processor. if some one steals your pda/phone you can have it password protected to the point that only the password will allow it to turn it on and no amount of hacking/flashing would be able to get around it(except replacing the BGA processor with a new one) unless the manufacture uses a master unlock(possibly unique to each pda's serial number).

manual on security features
http://www.freescale.com/files/32bit/doc/w...1SECURITYWP.pdf

i have not problem locking down a phone/pda i have like this so that if some F*** tard steals it that it is only a paper weight to them no matter what they do.(you can make this so that the only way around this is with the master password for the Secure JTAG Controller)

of couse these features can be used to DRM a system all to hell, but if we are running linux we got open source software for basically everything, so who cares if some idiot programmer decides to lock down his media player software (for example). and trust me there is nothing i enjoy more in this world then finding flaws in security systems. you batter be a damn good programmer cause if there is a will there is a way.

you can also roll another version without all the security features so that you have a completely open system. all you would do different if initially program the system with the unlocked version of the software.

with this processor you can lock down a system so much you make m$ proud(re: their paranoia with thier gaming system lines) or make it a hackers heaven, its all your choice.
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Da_Blitz
post Dec 7 2006, 01:49 AM
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ive been lookinng at it and i was going to use uboot to boootstrap the kexec'ing linux kernel that then boots thhe kernel/OS of your choice. cuts down the dev time and pumps up the feature set and allows you to do the entire "signed kernel" and trusted boot thing (which i aam a fann off scince i have all the keys to my device just likee you will have the keys to yoour device

i will go on record as saying that i think trusted computing is a good idea, BUT i fear that its the implemntation we have to fear and how its used. i do not belive that microsoft will lock down the machines so that you cant instaall another OS as it would be suicide. think about it microsofts poligy about getting hit by a virus is a clean install of the OS. if you restricted the bootloader in that way then it would make it very hard to reinstall the OS OR microsooft would have to find a work around which could be uused to install linux aanyway

anyway back OT, the lockdown is actually on pourpse, if a comercial entity wants to produce a loked down version then fine with me, i gave them the ability to do so and if they want it modified then who better to ask than the community. then we get a cheap source of units

its most likly that we wont be able to flash these units however there may be a work around. and at any rate i wouldd state that the price of me helping them would be accsess to the keys (which i would keep in escrow for any user who wants me too) so that i could "reset" devices. this would mean that thier keys are not publically relased but we can get cheap uniits

tthe ide is that if you haave the unlock key then you have accsess to the internal (to the chip) lash that holds the keys, you then erase the Manufacturers key and reboot, leeaving an unlocked device which you canthenfollow the normall flashing procedure

and last of all, i have no problem with DRM, its the manufacturers giving you a locked bok and the keys to open the box and saying "only open the box to listen to the music". once ou have the keys there is nothing stopping you from doing what you want hence the aurgument that at a funemental level the concept of DRM is flawed

this explains microsofts trusted boot, they dont want data "leakege" to untrusted modules. good for them, i cant wait to see the day microsoft pulls off a 100% bulletproof solution (no saracsm here) and same goess for linux. not everything works as expected, make sure you plan around it wink.gif

and while im at it i might mention that if i can i will try and make sure developers get free units, if i ma sponsered this will happen, if im not then patrtially subcidies will be more likly. ii have plans and everything is slowly falling into place
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Ragnorok
post Jan 26 2007, 08:02 PM
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- House ... interference ... bktzzkt ... Norwegian. Come March I'll have nothing but time, and debt. (owlish stare) More reading on this business then. I have to say I've never even looked at boot loader code, much less written one, but what the heck? There are certainly plenty of examples floating around.
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Da_Blitz
post Jan 27 2007, 06:13 AM
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its funny i was looking into "bios" and what it means to people

basically on the x86 we call it a "bios" on everything else its "firmware". except on everything else its expected that the firmware is the final program that will be running and that it knows about the hardware

on the x86 however it also provides basic drivers and bootstrapping code to launch the next stage

so on this thing why not use linux as a bootloader to boot the next stage

nice and simple.

one of the funny things about the tpm is that its really designed to make up for the deficincies of a broken and untrusted OS. if the OS is in flash and its the only thing that boots then you dont need a tpm chip nearly as much.

from a security standpoint it does help and is a good idea however i have never understood why they dont use a sim crad instead as then you gain the benifit of it bieng removable and if the hardware needs to be upgraded your drm C$#@ dosent go out with it.

anyway back on topic (my mind drifts often) bootloader code isnt that hard at all, you just have to know the hardware and how to initilise it. (not always easy but not nearly as hard as one would think, the hard part is working inside of 1K of sram trying to start up the ram controller before you can bootstrap into that nice 32MB+ of ram in the system)
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speculatrix
post Mar 22 2007, 10:20 AM
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Ok, I know we all read linuxdevices regularly, and there have been a number of almost-rans, but here's one that really does seem to fit the bill as being a suitable motherboard for the PP:
QUOTE
http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS5355237317.html
# Processor -- Freescale i.MX31, clocked at 532 MHz
# Memory:

    * 32, 64, or 128 MB SDRAM
    * up to 8 MB NOR flash for bootloader
    * 32 MB to 1 GB NAND flash

# Graphics:

    * up to 1024 x 1024 at 16-bit color
    * supports STN, color STN, and "all TFT" LCDs
    * 3D accelerator, MPEG4 encoder, camera interface

# Other I/O ports:

    * 10/100 Ethernet
    * 3 USB 2.0 ports -- 1 high speed (480 Mb/s); 1 OTG high speed (480 Mb/s); 1 full speed (12 Mb/s)
    * 5 serial ports -- up to 115 kbaud; two shared with camera and USB
    * 10-bit A-to-D converter for touchscreen controller
    * AC97 audio -- line in/out, mic out, headphone/speaker out
    * 8 GPIO lines shared with peripheral functions

# Expansion:

    * PCMCIA V2.1 card
    * 4-bit MMC/SDIO card

# Dimensions -- 2.1 x 3.4 inches (54 x 86 mm)
# Power -- 3.3 VDC at 270 mA typical


although only one MMC/SDIO slot, it does have pcmcia interface, and if fitted with 1G of flash the SD slot wouldn't be needed all the time anyway!

price doesn't look too bad, even their eval kit is not outrageously priced; just need a nice display, case and battery smile.gif
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Da_Blitz
post Mar 22 2007, 06:03 PM
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smile.gif i was waiting for someone to mention that

i thought it would be a great board to experimint with in the mean time, sort of a dev tool before the hardware came out
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stampsm
post Mar 22 2007, 06:39 PM
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here is the manufacture's web page for the board

http://www.garz-fricke.de/render.php?sess_pid=357

the price is a good price and it looks like a good basic board to start developing with. how all we need now are some scematics to see how it is all put together.
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adf
post Mar 22 2007, 06:57 PM
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that in something the size of the koshinja (sp) with a full sized laptop battery (lose pocketability, gain full keyboard better screen and many hours uptime?), touch screen and connectivity would be pretty compelling, too
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speculatrix
post Mar 23 2007, 01:50 AM
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my Deutsche is nich sehr gut but there's enough English terms to follow it... the 2nd page is mostly English.

http://www.garz-fricke.com/render.php?sess_pid=356

the Adelaide has a starter kit based on the Europa system, just with upgraded system board I think... shame the 5.7" display is only VGA.
http://www.garz-fricke.com/render.php?sess_pid=303
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Ragnorok
post Apr 5 2007, 02:00 PM
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- I like it, speculatrix! A little less memory than I prefer, but the dimensions are nice, and 1W sounds pretty low for power. Not I'm a guru at that or anything. It seems have enough I/O to be usable and it's small enough to made pocketable. It also may support the "many devices" idea ... make more than one case that this embeddable system plugs into. If someone wants a mini-laptop with longer battery life and a larger display they can have it. If someone wants pocket sized they can have it. Long as this doesn't hideously complicate drivers it should be doable, no?
- I particularly like how much it does out of the box...
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morrijr
post Apr 20 2007, 05:22 AM
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Another alternative...?

http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS4891477736.html

"Unicon Systems has started shipping its Linux-powered development kit based on "chip-on-film" technology similar to that used in Motorola's ultra-thin "Razr" phones. The "MKit" design includes an application-ready Linux OS and tools, and targets consumer devices such as portable media players, PDAs, and UMPCs (ultra-mobile PCs)."

"...is based on a Samsung S3C240A processor, an SoC (system-on-chip) based on an ARM9 core clocked at 266MHz. The board has 32MB each of SDRAM and flash, expandable via an optional SD card slot."

"I/O includes:

* 2 x USB 2.0 high speed ports
* 1 x USB OTG
* 1 x host USB 2.0 full speed
* 1 x device USB 2.0 full speed
* 802.11b WiFi
* IrDA
* 2 x RS232
* I2C
* SDIO
* JTAG
* Stereo audio I/O
* 2D motion sensor"
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speculatrix
post Apr 20 2007, 05:59 AM
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QUOTE(morrijr @ Apr 20 2007, 02:22 PM)
Another alternative...?
"...is based on a Samsung S3C240A processor, an SoC (system-on-chip) based on an ARM9 core clocked at 266MHz. The board has 32MB each of SDRAM and flash, expandable via an optional SD card slot."


the lack of RAM means it's no good, sorry. We can live without much/any flash if it can boot off SD or CF... but we need 128MB ram at the very minimum.
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Ragnorok
post May 19 2007, 08:24 AM
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QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Dec 7 2006, 09:49 AM)
ive been lookinng at it and i was going to use uboot to boootstrap the kexec'ing linux kernel that then boots thhe kernel/OS of your choice. cuts down the dev time and pumps up the feature set and allows you to do the entire "signed kernel" and trusted boot thing (which i aam a fann off scince  i have all the keys to my device just likee you will have the keys to yoour device.
...[snip]...
*


- I've finally gotten 'round to looking up uboot and kexec. So this thing would point to uboot in the "MBR" (or flash load addr equivalent), which would do all the setup work (including what a "bios" would do on a desktop), then it use kexec to load the kernel of chioce?
- I haven't gotten to the secure part of this yet, but I've only just started wading through uboot's documentation. I haven't found the docs for ARM yet, the ones I have are for PPC, but I'm sure a lot of the overall system is the same. (shrug) I'm not too worried about that at this early stage.
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Da_Blitz
post May 20 2007, 09:14 AM
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actually its alot easier if you drop the confusing "bios" term

the bios is 2 things in one, its a libary of code thats platform specfic and its the initilisation routines for the hardware

the bios is a flash chip at a specified place in mem, normally this overlaps with the reset vectors so that when the chip boots up and exectues a reset as its first instruction it jumps to the code pointed to by the reset vector in flash.

then it boots the hradware (uboot) and performs the process of bootstrapping the system, once the system is booted it hangs around and provides a libary of code for people to develop with

embedde systems are the same except they cut the cruft out of the x86 bootloader and start up the ram controller, flash, copys the Os from flash to ram and exectues its leaving teh OS to bring everything up, this is unlike the bios that does all the nice booting stuff for you, which moderen OS's throw away after booting from the MBR and start again

nowdays i belive the bios functions are only good for the MBR, ane even then there are some projets looking at rethinking the entire boot process

your on the right track there with kexec, howevr the security features are just there to make sure that the kernel is the one you want to boot and not a 3rd party one. the security feahures do a check sum and/or dencryption from mem before booting and check itaganst built in prom to make sure its ok

once the kernel is loaded we can use hmacs or whatever to ensure its all good (signed cheksums) and encryption
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