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> Htc Universal, ... running Debian EABI
datathief
post Apr 3 2008, 03:03 PM
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I've been using an HTC Universal for a month now, and I've all but forgotten about my poor Zaurus. ohmy.gif

Pros:
  • Runs Debian EABI, including X.
  • About the same size as a clamshell Zaurus.
  • 640x480 screen.
  • I get about 9 hours life with the extended battery.
  • Was sold in Europe, and it's still easy to get accessories.
  • No touchscreen jitter.
  • Backlit keyboard.
  • Built-in Wifi, Bluetooth and GPRS/UMTS for internet access almost anywhere.
Cons:
  • Stuck at 2.6.21 (not a major problem).
  • Wifi driver is unstable.
  • Running from an SD card is slow.
  • No USB Host, CF or SD (SD socket is occupied because you can't install on the internal flash).
  • Takes some hacking to get everything working.
Does anyone else here have one of these? Would there be any interest in creating a Debian "distro" for it?

Update: See here for progress so far.

Update 2: I've uploaded a Debian package to install the keymap, power management, sound and phone functions here.
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ZDevil
post Apr 3 2008, 03:38 PM
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Wow. That's sounds really cool. Any pointer to setting it up?
Can you get phone functionality when running Debian?
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datathief
post Apr 4 2008, 02:53 AM
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QUOTE(ZDevil @ Apr 3 2008, 11:38 PM) *
Wow. That's sounds really cool. Any pointer to setting it up?
Can you get phone functionality when running Debian?


For a basic install:
  • Get a kernel and modules here (untar the rootfs, look in /boot for the kernel and /lib/modules for the modules).
  • Format an SD card (I think the above kernel supports ext2 and ext3) and put the Debian rootfs on it (I used debootstrap from my Zaurus), and copy in the modules.
  • Get a copy of HaRET.
  • Put HaRET (haret.exe), the kernel (zImage), and a config file (default.txt; see below) on the Universal. Insert the SD card, and run haret.exe.

The HaRET config file, default.txt:
CODE
set kernel "zImage"
set mtype "855"
set cmdline "root=/dev/mmcblk0p1 rw console=tty0 rootdelay=5 fbcon=rotate:1"
boot2


This was enough to get Debian to boot. USB networking works. Wifi works best if you set the speed to 1Mbps using iwconfig (I have to do this after associating with the AP). The keyboard goes a bit weird after suspending (there's a fix here).

The modem accepts AT commands over one serial port and exchanges data with pppd over a different serial port, so GPRS is tricky. I've written a daemon to handle this. In theory, it should be easy to add the ability to make and receive voice calls and SMS, but the interface needs some thought. Probably best to keep it simple - a command-line tool to dial, pick up, hang up and send SMS, and an interface like /etc/apm/ to handle events (incoming call, SMS). That should be enough for me to use it as my only phone.
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ShiroiKuma
post Apr 10 2008, 12:24 PM
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QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 4 2008, 12:53 PM) *
The modem accepts AT commands over one serial port and exchanges data with pppd over a different serial port, so GPRS is tricky. I've written a daemon to handle this. In theory, it should be easy to add the ability to make and receive voice calls and SMS, but the interface needs some thought. Probably best to keep it simple - a command-line tool to dial, pick up, hang up and send SMS, and an interface like /etc/apm/ to handle events (incoming call, SMS). That should be enough for me to use it as my only phone.

So, if I understand it correctly, you cannot use it currently as a normal phone? I.e. accept and make calls and send/receive SMS/MMS?

BTW the Universal has UMTS, as you mention in your fist post?

Can you workingly use GPRS, i.e. connect to the web easily?
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speculatrix
post Apr 10 2008, 01:02 PM
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very interesting to hear of progress on the HTC uni. it seemed so promising when started, shame it's only reached ?90%?

maybe with google android coming out on HTC devices, it will be possible that HTC will provide linux drivers for their hardware?
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ArchiMark
post Apr 10 2008, 06:03 PM
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Sounds interesting, datathief.....

How is the keyboard and display?

Also, is there handwriting recognition app available if you run linux?

Keep us posted....

smile.gif
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scheck.r
post Apr 11 2008, 01:53 AM
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QUOTE(ArchiMark @ Apr 11 2008, 04:03 AM) *
Sounds interesting, datathief.....

How is the keyboard and display?

Also, is there handwriting recognition app available if you run linux?

Keep us posted....

smile.gif

Yes , there is cellwriter
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datathief
post Apr 14 2008, 06:09 AM
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QUOTE(ArchiMark @ Apr 11 2008, 02:03 AM) *
How is the keyboard and display?

The keyboard is slightly noisy ("clicky"), but perfectly usable. The screen isn't quite as bright as my Zaurus, but is otherwise very similar (same size, resolution, etc.). I'm running screen, mutt and finch, but X works fine. I haven't tried cellwriter for handwriting recognition, but it's in the Debian repos.
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datathief
post Apr 14 2008, 06:15 AM
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QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 10 2008, 08:24 PM) *
So, if I understand it correctly, you cannot use it currently as a normal phone? I.e. accept and make calls and send/receive SMS/MMS?

Not yet. I almost have basic SMS send/receive working. Once I can make and receive calls too, the Universal will be my primary phone.

QUOTE
BTW the Universal has UMTS, as you mention in your fist post?

Yes. I'm getting 384kbit/s in good conditions.

QUOTE
Can you workingly use GPRS, i.e. connect to the web easily?

Yes. I'll publish my daemon that handles this soon.
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ShiroiKuma
post Apr 14 2008, 01:34 PM
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Wow, I think I'm gonna go buy this phone...

Do you have any sources of info, or is your main one http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread...178#post1680178

QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 14 2008, 04:15 PM) *
QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 10 2008, 08:24 PM) *
So, if I understand it correctly, you cannot use it currently as a normal phone? I.e. accept and make calls and send/receive SMS/MMS?

Not yet. I almost have basic SMS send/receive working. Once I can make and receive calls too, the Universal will be my primary phone.


Checking at http://www.handhelds.org/moin/moin.cgi/UniversalStatus specifically with GPE/x11 it says phone calls are working. Yet it says SMS isn't. Can you give any pointers on what you've done to get SMS functionality, and what "almost" means in terms of SMS functionality?

QUOTE
QUOTE
Can you workingly use GPRS, i.e. connect to the web easily?

Yes. I'll publish my daemon that handles this soon.

Great, how soon do you expect to be able to publish this?
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datathief
post Apr 14 2008, 03:18 PM
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QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 14 2008, 09:34 PM) *
Checking at http://www.handhelds.org/moin/moin.cgi/UniversalStatus specifically with GPE/x11 it says phone calls are working. Yet it says SMS isn't. Can you give any pointers on what you've done to get SMS functionality, and what "almost" means in terms of SMS functionality?

I've successfully sent and received SMS messages, and made and received calls, using standard AT commands. It all works, it's just not integrated with GPE etc.

I'm not interested in GPE, QTopia or OpenMoko, so I'm writing a daemon and command-line tools to handle GPRS, calls and SMS (GPRS and incoming SMS are working already). I should have something usable in the next few days, though it will probably still be buggy.
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ShiroiKuma
post Apr 15 2008, 12:55 AM
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QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 15 2008, 01:18 AM) *
I'm not interested in GPE, QTopia or OpenMoko, so I'm writing a daemon and command-line tools to handle GPRS, calls and SMS (GPRS and incoming SMS are working already). I should have something usable in the next few days, though it will probably still be buggy.

OK, how are you gonna integrate it into the phone interface? Hardware keys? Or do you assume, you'll accept calls etc via shell scripts? Or do you have a simple graphical frontend?

Referring further to your first post, I sorta assumed you were using GPE or sorts... How did you install debian, is there a rootfs tarball somewhere, or how did you proceed?

Which WM are you using, since you are not inclined the GPE way? IceWM?

Here's a thought, if you'd go the hardware keys phone functionality integration, how about ratpoison? Is this too radical for a phone?
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datathief
post Apr 15 2008, 03:07 AM
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QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 15 2008, 08:55 AM) *
OK, how are you gonna integrate it into the phone interface? Hardware keys? Or do you assume, you'll accept calls etc via shell scripts? Or do you have a simple graphical frontend?

In X, I can imagine using zenity or similar. Use xmodmap to map the hardware keys to Enter and Escape. Pop up a dialog (while vibrating and/or playing a ringtone) for an incoming call. Enter accepts the call, Escape rejects it.

I don't intend to focus on the user interface. All I need is a "backend" that I can integrate into my own environment, however I want.

QUOTE
How did you install debian, is there a rootfs tarball somewhere, or how did you proceed?

See my second post in this thread.

QUOTE
Which WM are you using, since you are not inclined the GPE way? IceWM?

I'm not using X at all.
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ShiroiKuma
post Apr 15 2008, 04:59 AM
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QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 15 2008, 01:07 PM) *
I don't intend to focus on the user interface. All I need is a "backend" that I can integrate into my own environment, however I want.

Sounds reasonable.
QUOTE
QUOTE
How did you install debian, is there a rootfs tarball somewhere, or how did you proceed?

See my second post in this thread.

Doh... ohmy.gif)

Is there a difference between using the Opie exe or the cabs from other directories, i.e. PhoneGPE, whatever that is, etc.?

QUOTE
I'm not using X at all.

Why do you not use X at all? Are you using Opie, or plain console? For performance reasons, or what are the considerations?
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ShiroiKuma
post Apr 15 2008, 11:48 PM
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QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 14 2008, 04:15 PM) *
QUOTE
Can you workingly use GPRS, i.e. connect to the web easily?

Yes. I'll publish my daemon that handles this soon.

I'm getting the phone today. Can you publish even a work in progress of this daemon - so that one may get started utilizing the GPRS in debian? Also maybe the WIP of the call/sms daemon?
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