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> Htc Universal, ... running Debian EABI
ShiroiKuma
post Apr 16 2008, 05:05 AM
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QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 16 2008, 01:50 PM) *
Let me know how it goes. The code may be a bit untidy still, but it should be quite hackable if you need to.

Yep, I'll report back on the process...
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ZDevil
post Apr 16 2008, 09:20 AM
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Hoho ... I am reading the chapter in the Service Manual (CONFIDENTIAL) on how to dismantle the device. It's so well-written and idiot-proof!
I've got a very cheap new replacement black case and keyboard (around ~EUR 15), together with a beefy batter, for my arriving 2nd MDA Pro. So it will look brand new and cool again. biggrin.gif
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ArchiMark
post Apr 16 2008, 10:08 AM
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QUOTE(datathief @ Apr 14 2008, 07:09 AM) *
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.


Thanks for the input, datathief....

So, main reason I assume that main reasons for using HTC Universal over Z is that it has built-in WiFi/BT and phone functions, right?

If I don't need phone function, then given that I use WiFi card or ethernet card with my 3200/Debian EABI, is there much reason to consider getting the HTC Universal?

Isn't performance better running Debian EABI on my 3200 on internal HD vs running it on a SD card on the HTC?

Thanks,

Mark
Somewhat tempted to get HTC Universal..... wink.gif
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ZDevil
post Apr 16 2008, 11:02 AM
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In terms of specs the Z and the HTC Universal have edges over each other:

Pros for the Z: CF slot, internal disk space, better quality screen.

Pros for the Universal: a full range of connectivity options, SDIO (and higher SD interface?), keyboard w/ backlight, faster processor (PXA270@520MHz), dual-camera, microphone, Transflective TFT, more power options (up to 4800 or even 5200 mAh!)

Otherwise, their weight, form factor, dimensions, pocketability and now compatibility with linux are very similar.
Then again, personally the Universal has more cool factors and feels more geeky. The Z just seems to be getting older and older now...
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ArchiMark
post Apr 16 2008, 12:35 PM
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QUOTE(ZDevil @ Apr 16 2008, 12:02 PM) *
In terms of specs the Z and the HTC Universal have edges over each other:

Pros for the Z: CF slot, internal disk space, better quality screen.

Pros for the Universal: a full range of connectivity options, SDIO (and higher SD interface?), keyboard w/ backlight, faster processor (PXA270@520MHz), dual-camera, microphone, Transflective TFT, more power options (up to 4800 or even 5200 mAh!)

Otherwise, their weight, form factor, dimensions, pocketability and now compatibility with linux are very similar.
Then again, personally the Universal has more cool factors and feels more geeky. The Z just seems to be getting older and older now...


Thanks for all that feedback, ZDevil!

So, Universal is sounding more and more tempting.....

Hmmm........


wink.gif
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datathief
post Apr 16 2008, 01:13 PM
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Some notes on Linux support for the HTC Universal:

QUOTE(ZDevil @ Apr 16 2008, 07:02 PM) *
a full range of connectivity options

I haven't tried bluetooth yet. Wifi works, but the driver is flaky (can be worked around). GPRS/UMTS works nicely.

QUOTE
SDIO (and higher SD interface?)

The SD card slot is occupied when running Linux (there's no way to install to the internal flash yet).

QUOTE
keyboard w/ backlight

One of my favourite features. smile.gif

QUOTE
faster processor (PXA270@520MHz)

cpufreq works, too.

QUOTE
dual-camera

No camera drivers yet. Apparently a Motorola phone uses the same camera, and there's a driver for that somewhere. My next project, I think...

QUOTE
microphone

Works under ALSA.

QUOTE
Transflective TFT

I'll see how this works out when summer comes...

QUOTE
more power options (up to 4800 or even 5200 mAh!)

I had some apm problems when I installed a 3800mAh battery, but once I charged and discharged it completely (to re-calibrate the charging controller) it works fine.
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garmiste
post Apr 16 2008, 01:15 PM
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The Universal looks more and more tempting. I have been getting tired hauling around a PDA AND a phone. The geek factor gets really high when I carry a PDA, cell phone, and a ham radio on my belt. Now this has me thinking... if I could run packet radio with a Universal and my radio, do APRS from the car with a built-in GPS... hmmmm.
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ZDevil
post Apr 16 2008, 01:20 PM
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@datathief:
Thanks for the update again.
I saw you mentioning that running the roofts off SD is a bit slow. Can you give us more specific info? In fact I find the speed running Debian EABI off SD on the Z is still quite acceptable. It seems unlikely that the speed of the SD interface on the Universal is lower than the Z's. If speed is acceptable then running X shouldn't be a big deal.
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datathief
post Apr 16 2008, 02:04 PM
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QUOTE(ZDevil @ Apr 16 2008, 09:20 PM) *
@datathief:
Thanks for the update again.
I saw you mentioning that running the roofts off SD is a bit slow. Can you give us more specific info? In fact I find the speed running Debian EABI off SD on the Z is still quite acceptable. It seems unlikely that the speed of the SD interface on the Universal is lower than the Z's. If speed is acceptable then running X shouldn't be a big deal.

It feels noticeably slower to load apps than my Zaurus - but not unacceptably so.

CODE
root@universal:~# hdparm -Tt /dev/mmcblk0

/dev/mmcblk0:
Timing cached reads:    30 MB in  2.01 seconds =  14.93 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads:    4 MB in  3.32 seconds =   1.20 MB/sec
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ZDevil
post Apr 16 2008, 02:06 PM
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Okay. For clearer comparison here are the results of the same test I ran earlier on and posted in another thread:

#1 Hitachi microdrive 6gb
CODE
/dev/hdc1:
Timing cached reads:   168 MB in  2.02 seconds =  83.17 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads:    6 MB in  3.26 seconds =   1.84 MB/sec


#2 Sandisk Extreme III CF 16gb
CODE
/dev/hda1:
Timing cached reads:   164 MB in  2.01 seconds =  81.59 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads:    8 MB in  3.26 seconds =   2.45 MB/sec


My question: Does the speed of the SD matter on the Universal, as it doesn't on the Z?
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datathief
post Apr 16 2008, 02:48 PM
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QUOTE(ZDevil @ Apr 16 2008, 10:06 PM) *
My question: Does the speed of the SD matter on the Universal, as it doesn't on the Z?

Here's the result for the same card in the Zaurus:
CODE
/dev/mmcblk0
Timing cached reads:    70 MB in  2.01 seconds =  33.85 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads:    6 MB in  3.52 seconds =   1.70 MB/sec

It looks like the card is capable of higher speeds, so I would guess that the card is not the limiting factor.
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ZDevil
post Apr 16 2008, 02:50 PM
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Digging out this pretty old review (30 months ago), but still a very nice one:

http://www.pdagold.com/articles/detail.asp?a=257

Remember it's three years back -- during the time when the Cxk series was launched ...
The design and features of the Universal are definitely superior than the Zs ...
... if you can forget about how much it was priced then: "The one I have reviewed was bought abroad for an unbelievable $1200 USD excluding VAT." blink.gif

What a quirky sense of fun: my future dream gadget would turn out to be such a (chronologically) backward machine ... laugh.gif
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ShiroiKuma
post Apr 16 2008, 04:14 PM
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All right, I just bought the phone, gettimg ready to hack.

Question, does anyone have an eabi rootfs tarball with python-serial, pppd, and socat installed already? Or can anyone confirm if they're present in the rootfs packages mentioned in the previous threads?

The reason being, so that I can start htcunid off of it right away, and connect to the web as explained in datathief's guide and then apt- upgrade and installing needed stuff would be easy...
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ZDevil
post Apr 16 2008, 04:30 PM
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Just chrooted into the rootfs on my SD and checked:
(alas,) none of these packages are installed yet...

A quick and dirty solution is to download and extract these packages to the rootfs. (ar -x PACKAGE && tar -xzf data.tar.gz)
It seems you can simply try these three packages: python-serial, ppp (including pppd) and socat, plus libpcap0.8 as a dependency.

Or to play safe you can first boot it up off the SD on the Z (flashing or simply kexecing the debian kernel), then apt-get install them, then run it on the Universal.
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datathief
post Apr 17 2008, 01:23 AM
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QUOTE(ShiroiKuma @ Apr 17 2008, 12:14 AM) *
All right, I just bought the phone, gettimg ready to hack.

Question, does anyone have an eabi rootfs tarball with python-serial, pppd, and socat installed already? Or can anyone confirm if they're present in the rootfs packages mentioned in the previous threads?

You should be able to get USB networking or wifi working without much trouble Load the htcuniversal-acx and acx modules for wifi. To prevent the wifi driver falling over, use iwconfig wlan0 rate 1M.

On a related note, there's another hack missing from my instructions. The wifi chipset is powered up by default, and it drains the battery rapidly. At boot time, I load htcuniversal-acx and acx, then rmmod acx. Don't rmmod htcuniversal-acx - it crashes if you try...
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