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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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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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Posts in this topic
datathief   Htc Universal   Apr 3 2008, 03:03 PM
ZDevil   Wow. That's sounds really cool. Any pointer to...   Apr 3 2008, 03:38 PM
datathief   QUOTE(ZDevil @ Apr 3 2008, 11:38 PM) Wow....   Apr 4 2008, 02:53 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 4 2008, 12:53 PM) T...   Apr 10 2008, 12:24 PM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 10 2008, 08:24 PM)...   Apr 14 2008, 06:15 AM
ShiroiKuma   Wow, I think I'm gonna go buy this phone... D...   Apr 14 2008, 01:34 PM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 14 2008, 09:34 PM)...   Apr 14 2008, 03:18 PM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 15 2008, 01:18 AM) ...   Apr 15 2008, 12:55 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 15 2008, 08:55 AM)...   Apr 15 2008, 03:07 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 15 2008, 01:07 PM) ...   Apr 15 2008, 04:59 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 14 2008, 04:15 PM) ...   Apr 15 2008, 11:48 PM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 16 2008, 07:48 AM)...   Apr 16 2008, 01:26 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 16 2008, 11:26 AM) ...   Apr 16 2008, 03:39 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 16 2008, 11:39 AM)...   Apr 16 2008, 03:50 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 16 2008, 01:50 PM) ...   Apr 16 2008, 05:05 AM
speculatrix   very interesting to hear of progress on the HTC un...   Apr 10 2008, 01:02 PM
ArchiMark   Sounds interesting, datathief..... How is the key...   Apr 10 2008, 06:03 PM
scheck.r   QUOTE(ArchiMark @ Apr 11 2008, 04:03 AM) ...   Apr 11 2008, 01:53 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ArchiMark @ Apr 11 2008, 02:03 AM) ...   Apr 14 2008, 06:09 AM
ArchiMark   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 14 2008, 07:09 AM) ...   Apr 16 2008, 10:08 AM
ZDevil   Cool! I am also going to receive it from ebay ...   Apr 16 2008, 12:06 AM
ShiroiKuma   You're not mad man, it's the way to go. I...   Apr 16 2008, 01:05 AM
ZDevil   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 16 2008, 11:05 AM)...   Apr 16 2008, 02:03 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(ZDevil @ Apr 16 2008, 12:03 PM) I t...   Apr 16 2008, 02:42 AM
ZDevil   If there is enough interest, we can ask for a new ...   Apr 16 2008, 01:08 AM
ZDevil   Just curious: How long does the battery last when ...   Apr 16 2008, 01:33 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ZDevil @ Apr 16 2008, 09:33 AM) Jus...   Apr 16 2008, 02:12 AM
ZDevil   That's impressive ... Now i am thinking of buy...   Apr 16 2008, 02:33 AM
ZDevil   Oops. Stupid me. I am confusing things here. True...   Apr 16 2008, 02:59 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(ZDevil @ Apr 16 2008, 12:59 PM) Oop...   Apr 16 2008, 03:33 AM
ZDevil   Two pointers: http://forum.xda-developers.com/ind...   Apr 16 2008, 03:19 AM
ZDevil   Great page. Thanks again, Mr. Titchy.   Apr 16 2008, 04:40 AM
ZDevil   Hoho ... I am reading the chapter in the Service M...   Apr 16 2008, 09:20 AM
ZDevil   In terms of specs the Z and the HTC Universal have...   Apr 16 2008, 11:02 AM
ArchiMark   QUOTE(ZDevil @ Apr 16 2008, 12:02 PM) In ...   Apr 16 2008, 12:35 PM
datathief   Some notes on Linux support for the HTC Universal:...   Apr 16 2008, 01:13 PM
desertrat   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 16 2008, 09:13 PM) ...   Apr 17 2008, 06:44 AM
garmiste   The Universal looks more and more tempting. I have...   Apr 16 2008, 01:15 PM
ZDevil   @datathief: Thanks for the update again. I saw you...   Apr 16 2008, 01:20 PM
datathief   QUOTE(ZDevil @ Apr 16 2008, 09:20 PM) @da...   Apr 16 2008, 02:04 PM
ZDevil   Okay. For clearer comparison here are the results ...   Apr 16 2008, 02:06 PM
datathief   QUOTE(ZDevil @ Apr 16 2008, 10:06 PM) My ...   Apr 16 2008, 02:48 PM
ShiroiKuma   All right, I just bought the phone, gettimg ready ...   Apr 16 2008, 04:14 PM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 17 2008, 12:14 AM)...   Apr 17 2008, 01:23 AM
ShiroiKuma   OK, intermediate report, going quite well... I...   Apr 17 2008, 02:54 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 17 2008, 10:54 AM)...   Apr 17 2008, 03:25 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 17 2008, 12:25 PM) ...   Apr 17 2008, 04:03 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 17 2008, 12:03 PM)...   Apr 17 2008, 05:11 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 17 2008, 12:25 PM) ...   Apr 17 2008, 04:40 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 17 2008, 12:40 PM)...   Apr 17 2008, 05:14 AM
datathief   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 17 2008, 01:14 PM) ...   Apr 17 2008, 05:25 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 17 2008, 02:25 PM) ...   Apr 17 2008, 07:04 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 17 2008, 03:04 PM)...   Apr 17 2008, 08:06 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 17 2008, 05:06 PM) ...   Apr 17 2008, 12:17 PM
datathief   FYI, I've fixed a bug in htcunid (it crashed i...   Apr 17 2008, 08:21 AM
ZDevil   Digging out this pretty old review (30 months ago)...   Apr 16 2008, 02:50 PM
ZDevil   Just chrooted into the rootfs on my SD and checked...   Apr 16 2008, 04:30 PM
ShiroiKuma   Update, this doesn't solve it, so it's (pr...   Apr 17 2008, 03:08 AM
ZDevil   So ShiroiKuma did you manage to get X running as r...   Apr 18 2008, 12:03 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(ZDevil @ Apr 18 2008, 09:03 AM) So ...   Apr 18 2008, 02:32 AM
ZDevil   @ShiroiKuma Try this: http://www.oesf.org/forum/i...   Apr 18 2008, 02:43 AM
ShiroiKuma   OK, I seem to have a clearer understanding from re...   Apr 18 2008, 02:45 AM
ShiroiKuma   OK, this is clear, I'll get on with install an...   Apr 18 2008, 03:25 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 18 2008, 11:25 AM)...   Apr 18 2008, 05:30 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 18 2008, 02:30 PM) ...   Apr 18 2008, 06:03 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 18 2008, 02:03 PM)...   Apr 18 2008, 06:26 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 18 2008, 03:26 PM) ...   Apr 18 2008, 06:53 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 18 2008, 02:53 PM)...   Apr 18 2008, 07:01 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 18 2008, 04:01 PM) ...   Apr 18 2008, 07:45 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 18 2008, 03:45 PM)...   Apr 18 2008, 07:59 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 18 2008, 05:01 PM) ...   Apr 18 2008, 12:05 PM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 18 2008, 08:05 PM)...   Apr 18 2008, 01:09 PM
ShiroiKuma   OK, will try the above. My comments so far: SMS ...   Apr 18 2008, 03:36 PM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 18 2008, 11:36 PM)...   Apr 19 2008, 02:16 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 19 2008, 12:16 PM) ...   Apr 19 2008, 06:19 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 19 2008, 02:19 PM)...   Apr 19 2008, 07:50 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 19 2008, 05:50 PM) ...   Apr 19 2008, 11:03 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 19 2008, 07:03 PM)...   Apr 19 2008, 11:52 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 19 2008, 07:03 PM)...   Apr 19 2008, 05:58 PM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 20 2008, 03:58 AM) ...   Apr 20 2008, 03:33 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 20 2008, 11:33 AM)...   Apr 20 2008, 05:52 AM
ShiroiKuma   Will test soon. BTW, I've changed your wiki e...   Apr 20 2008, 09:28 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 20 2008, 03:52 PM) ...   Apr 20 2008, 01:40 PM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 20 2008, 09:40 PM)...   Apr 20 2008, 11:54 PM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 20 2008, 11:33 AM)...   Apr 22 2008, 01:29 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 22 2008, 11:29 AM) ...   Apr 22 2008, 01:39 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 22 2008, 09:39 AM)...   Apr 22 2008, 02:09 AM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 22 2008, 12:09 PM) ...   Apr 22 2008, 07:34 AM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 22 2008, 03:34 PM)...   Apr 22 2008, 01:58 PM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 19 2008, 04:19 PM)...   Apr 19 2008, 10:48 AM
ZDevil   Perhaps it's not such a bad idea to set up and...   Apr 18 2008, 10:03 AM
danboid   Oh Wow! Big congrats datathief on some legend...   Apr 19 2008, 08:32 AM
datathief   QUOTE(danboid @ Apr 19 2008, 04:32 PM) Oh...   Apr 19 2008, 08:59 AM
ShiroiKuma   Additional issues with X I've installed X acco...   Apr 20 2008, 09:42 PM
ArchiMark   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 20 2008, 10:42 PM)...   Apr 21 2008, 06:56 AM
ShiroiKuma   Yeah, something weird is happening, it seems xdm, ...   Apr 21 2008, 07:39 AM
ShiroiKuma   Accessing other SD partitions Is anyone successful...   Apr 20 2008, 09:46 PM
datathief   QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 21 2008, 05:46 AM)...   Apr 20 2008, 11:56 PM
ShiroiKuma   QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 21 2008, 09:56 AM) ...   Apr 21 2008, 01:37 AM
ArchiMark   Well...received my Universal today.... Just tried...   Apr 22 2008, 08:30 PM
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