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Silver Spring, MD, USA
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software, electronics, carpentry
Joined: 30-January 04
Profile Views: 483*
Last Seen: 9th December 2006 - 01:46 PM
Local Time: Apr 24 2018, 01:01 AM
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My Content
28 Sep 2006
I've been off trying to learn how to use a package system, one named ptxdist. I've been playing with it a while now, and find I can really use it to build (cross compile) everything I want to for the Zaurus, including a nice kernel system, but now I need to learn what I'll need to actually install the kernel I;ve buit. I know what things like bzImages are, in general, but honestly, I don't know if there are certain kernels I should use on the zaurus, or what kind of boot loader is commonly used. I guess I'm pretty ignorant about this ... if anyone knows more, could you drop me some notes about mking and loading kernels on the Zaurus?

I can happily trade info, if any of you are uncertain about how to use the ptxdist stuff. I have that working really well now, and could very likely answer most questions you might have about it. The pointer for the ptxdist stuff is from:


They've got hundreds of packages, all available from subversion, and it compiles as easily as, say, Fink packages.

18 Jun 2006
I have gotten a miracle to pass: the US PO actually delivered something on a Saturday! I got, Special Delivery, the package from China bearing my new drive. My problem is, I can't get it to format. I stuck it into my SL-C3000's external CF slot to format. I'd previously noted that the Zaurus referred to this as /dev/hda1, so I tried to do fdisk /dev/hda, but it responded with a "Unable to open /dev/hda". At the sdame time, /proc/partitions was reporting a 7.8 Gb partitin on /dev/hda, and dmesg was reporting a huge host of /dev/hda based errors.

So, zi decided to use my zMac to partition the Seagate, which it worked (via the flash memory write device) just fine. I made Unix filesystems, which I know won;'t be Zaurus compatible (but the formatting, it ought to be compatible, I think) but the same errors were obtained from the Zaurus. Will that external CF interface work with the Seagate drive? Is there any other thing I'm overlooking?

17 Jun 2006
Well, in the last couple years, i looked at many projects that are available for the Zaurus, but none of them really were just "rigth on the money" for me. I won't even try to make this list complete, but here are some of my complaints:

OZ, GPE, Opie: All seemed to be based upon impenetrable Python scripts. Last time I looked (and it might have changed, I admit) they were very, very unstable; what built right now might be broken in 5 more minutes. The size of the tools were so huge, my chances of actually getting my head completely around it were slim.

pdaXrom: I like it was based upon GNU Make macros (I could understand these, and repair them myself), but when I tried to contribute, the guy who ran it, Sashz, wouldn't accept any software; it was a case of "say yes, but do no". I tried complaining to oesf members, but got no response, when I offered to shoftware host an archive for our own development. OK, they're out ...

OpenBSD: probably the single most stable, but the problem is, their compatibility level, software-wise, to the GNU tools, is very shakey, and since the QT and GNU tools are important to my end goals, unfortunately, this is also out. Too bad, they were otherwise the best.

There is a development tool that it seems everyone is ignoring, but which seems to be really, really interesting: it's the Pengutronix folks from Germany. This is the stuff that's at the center of the pdaXrom development. in fact, it seems to be more than 85% of what pdaXrom entirely is. this means, if I can get a system based upon ptxdist (Pengutronix's tool) to work, I will be able to re-gnerate the largest piece of what Sashz has been blocking me out of all these many months.

OK, so maybe I have a possible goal. I have already used the crosstools to make myself a arm/softfloat compiler, but I thin I will try to fall back on the one provided by ptxdist. If anyone wants to join me in this, it's still quite early, but send me mail, I will freeze no one out, I ask for no money at all. Tell me please, right up front, if you want me to let yo contribute directly, and (if so) how much you know about ssh and cvs, and whether you would like me to coach you on this. I will do it as fast as I can, and as fast as events allow.

Well, to goals. I am wiling to listen here, so I'm putting out my own goals, because THOSE I know. I want to have two parallel graphics, both available at the same time, and switchable via hotkeys. One of the graphics to be X11: not sure about the GUI: coiuld be GPE, could be KDE, or even something like WindowMaker. The other to be baed upon QTopia, the frame buffer, so as to allow all the stuff originally delivered with the Zaurus.

I have ptxdist happily building, but it's huge, needs some chanes, and I'm not reallyy ready to even commit very much, but if I get some folks together, then, yes, I will commit to an svn archive, and start things off. I only want to get some folks to come along. I won't even freeze Sashz out, if he wants in, but if he tries to strangle development, well, I will keep him out of it then. No one here can talk me out of that, And I'm really disappointed that folks here allow this to go on. I'm going to be ready to begin commit within a week maximum, even if I get no offers of help. Maybe less. I have a lot more questions to get answered.

Why do another dev system? Because this one is very simple to modify, so we can all make our own contributions, without having to die over it. On top of that, I have been a little miffed at some folks who are a lilttle too impressed with themselves, and i will try to keep this as open as possible, consistent with good quality control (I used to be a release engineer).
29 May 2006
After I had all the fun of figuring out the insides of my SL-C3000, I feel ready to replace the hard disk when it comes in the mail later this week ... I bought a Seagate ST68022CF, and figure I will take the prently installed 4Gb Hitachi Microdrive and stick it in the external slot .... but that's not the reason for this mail, it's because I was wondering, if I unlimbered my trustry Dremel tool, and when to the trouble of constructing a CF extender header (about a bit less than I cm. length, I figure) then wouldn't it be possible to turn that internal CF slot into an external slot? Now that I'm so good at opening up my Spitz, it's a bit less worth it, but still, opening it up really is a bit risky, a bunch of different things could go wrong, and having it available as an external would be really nice.

Would even make a very nice project to disseminate here, wouldn't it? What do you think, those of you who've opened yours up, it would work, wouldn't it?
25 May 2006
Well, after a bunch of research, I finally kknow all I need to know about swapping out a hard dirve (hardware-wise), and I'm finally ready to use the charge card, but when I hauled out the link to pricewatch, no one I could find actually had one in stock! I did see the Amazon posst, but I felt that hugely inflated price was too insulting to be borne, I can't go that way. I'm really hoping that someone here knows of a source ... and I would even consider used, although for used, I'd want to be able to put off paying for it until I could see that the drive actually worked.

BTW, yes, i did look at the Seagate 12Bg, the ST612712. From what I could see, it's not the same size as the ST68022, but it's so close, it might probably work, but it's not available from anyone either, and not slated out until 3q'06, and I don't want to wait 3 months. Of course, I would LOVE to be proven wrong! G'wan, show me up!
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