Now that my C700 is back from Japan and working again, I can post my experiences with the Ratoc CFU1 USB host card.
I bought a generic USB hard disk enclosure and a 120 GB IDE hard disk for it. (The hard disk needs a separate power adapter, but I'm already carrying a 12 volt 18 amp-hour SLA brick and inverter in my backpack.)
1) After fdisk'ing you MUST reboot. mkfs.ext2 complained about being unable to determine the size of /dev/sda1 until after I rebooted.
2) Disk access is SLOW. It's apparently mounting the drive over loopback, and loopback filesystem accesses do something nasty to the system. (I think the whole system kinda pauses while disk accesses are running. Will a kernel upgrade fix this?)
mkfs.ext2 took a great deal of time (I think over 20 minutes) to create a filesystem on the whole drive.
I did a really crude benchmark, since it was so slow. From the root of that filesystem, I ran:
time dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/usbhd/testfile bs=1024 count=1000000
The total time came to around 29 1/2 minutes.
I did the same thing on a desktop-computer-type machine running Linux, and it completed the write in 30 seconds.
Both while creating the filesystem and while writing the test file, the Zaurus was unusably slow. It took nearly 5 seconds to respond to any keypress or pen click.
OK, so that's that.
Second, I tried hooking up a Creative Labs MuVo2 4 GB (via USB, nothing taken apart), which I haven't disassembled yet. (I'm waiting until I clean off a nice photo-friendly workspace before I take the MuVo2 apart and install the 4 GB drive in the C700. Once I do that, though, the world will gain a nice instructional video for the procedure
) The C700 recognizes it as a hard disk with 3 partitions, (strangely) /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, and /dev/sda4. fdisk can see the partition table, but believes the device is much bigger than it actually is, and complains about the physical and logical begin and end not being the same, and that the partition ends on other than a cylinder boundary. None of the partitions are mountable.
I think it's time someone put together a 'developers' romdisk -- no handholding, lots of documentation, and abundant storage *required*. I'd love to be able to compile my own kernel in-place and build my own tools. I want my C700 to be a *completely* self-sufficient Linux machine.
I plugged in a generic USB 802.11b adapter and it was recognized, but the syslog says no driver supports the device, or something similar.
Same messages from a USB webcam, scanner, and multi-format USB card reader (5-in-1).
A slightly larger camera ( http://externe.net/zaurus/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1123
) is Right Out.
Plugging the C700 into itself using the sync cable didn't yield any amusing results. The syslog said the USB client side stuff was timing out waiting for some kind of response, and the USB host side said it didn't recognize the device.
More information to come.