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Topics - walkman

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Ubuntu / Compiling For Zubuntu
« on: March 06, 2009, 04:58:54 am »
first of all, thanks a lot for the great Zubuntu distro. What I need just works™ ;-).

This is the first time I am trying to compile something on my Zaurus, which I actually acquired some time ago mainly in order to port my own software to ARM based platform and to play with it. I have a rather small project written in C++ heavily using Boost libraries and packaged with autotools chain. No problem under Zubuntu, configure worked perfectly, even a devel distro build (after I downloaded and compiled libtool2 which went as a breeze - well, pure C). Now the poor gadget is fighting with my code already since 3 hours and still it did not finish crunching the first(!) cpp file. When I check it with g++ -E ..., I can see that the piece after expanding all the macros has 60k+ lines in C++. Well, there are bigger still to come...

What can I do to speed up the compilation process? How do you guys compile large C++ codebases?  Overclocking doesn't seem to be an option, so with this speed of progress, if I am lucky, I will probably wait about a week until my smallish program (it has about 5k physical source lines of code) compiles and links.

Is there perhaps some quick and dirty manual for cross-compiling for ARM (in particular Zubuntu 1.0)?

Thanks for any advice,


Ubuntu / Ubuntu Mid Edition
« on: June 26, 2008, 01:56:03 am »
Hello Cortez,
will we see this: running on Zaurus? As I understand it, the core technology is done. What is left to do so that we can see some of those nice screenshots in real? I am definitely interested in that GUI they have. It seems to be the step in the right direction as I think the GUI is the essence of PDA...

Thanks for an update,


General Discussion / Olpc Sugar On Z?
« on: November 09, 2007, 04:24:28 am »
On my search for improvements of GUI experience on Zaurus, I recently got interested in Sugar interface of OLPC: It's build around OpenHand matchbox we know from Angstrom, or pdaXrom. I would like to hear if anybody tried to play with it extensively. As far as the user interface is concerned, in the end what is good for kids should be good for adults as well ;-). And an intuitive and practical interface is what a small PDA/laptop like device definitely needs. Would it be difficult to compile it for Z?

Zaurus - pdaXrom / Pdaxii13v2 Packages
« on: October 30, 2007, 04:57:26 pm »
I wanted to install pdaxii13v2 and Meanie's page links to . But this link is broken. However instead version 4.4.0, the version 5.5.0 from But on Akita it leaves only 15MB on NAND free...

Angstrom & OpenZaurus / Orinoco Vs. Hostap Clash On Angstrom
« on: October 19, 2007, 11:05:08 am »
On my way through different distros I try to experiment with Angstrom. But once again, I bumped into the Orinoco vs. Hostap drivers issue. Does anyone have a clue about how to solve it on Angstrom?

Obvious attempt to get rid of orinoco drivers completely, I tried "ikpkg remove kernel-modules-orinoco". It fails with an error that kernel-modules depends on this one, and I do not have guts to remove such a package

I also found several remarks about which files to edit and where, but such files do not exist at all, or the config in FAQ is obviously broken:
  • manual says I should edit wpa_config and put there "/etc/pcmcia/rf010804.hex" entry, but such a file does not exist in the newest test build
  • /etc/pcmcia nor other obvious /etc/ directories include seemingly useful config files...
I am stuck...

My card is D-Link DCF 660W.

Thanks for any comment.

As I read on this forum that Angstrom developers are quite sensitive on where users ask for help I feel a need to apologize in advance so that I do not get some flame :
1.- Sorry for posting to probably a wrong thread.
2.- Sorry for not posting this to angstrom-users list, but I searched it and found nothing useful. Just an entry in a bug tracker, but no advice on how to get around it...

Zaurus - pdaXrom / Sound Quality On R198
« on: October 16, 2007, 04:12:28 pm »
I am trying to use the pdaXrom r198 release for listening to music, but I find it extremely crappy. I hear buzz as if the bass spectrum was overamplified. And it is not because of the headphones. Those are innocent in this...

Is it only my experience, or is it a general problem? I did not find anything serious on forum... Is there any way to improve it?

Zaurus - pdaXrom / R198 First Touches And Experiences
« on: October 10, 2007, 06:43:10 pm »
after quite a bit of positive responses from the thread about my experiences with pdaXii13v2, I gave a try to r198 once again. I will try to document my experiences again, together with my solutions. I am not sure whether I should put all this to a bug tracking system (is there one? it seems so, but I probably have to register at, do I?).

[size=]First touches - U-boot and install[/size]
- the step-by-step guide does not seem to be up-to-date, therefore I followed the quick install guide at
- BTW on my C1000 the system menu (the one with 4 options in Japanese, or U-boot loader) appears only when 1) unplug all the power, 2) press the reset button after 5 sec., 3) hold OK button, 4) at the same time plug-in the power cord (still hold OK), 5) press the power up button while still holding OK. And 6) then be patient, because the screen will show something after some 3-5 seconds. If impatient, you can press power button again what will cause a preliminary shut-down again...
- after successful install of the U-Boot loader there's a kind of bug in the system. Trying to run
[div class=\'codetop\']CODE[/div][div class=\'codemain\' style=\'height:200px;white-space:pre;overflow:auto\']$ ls /mnt/cf[/div] reliably crashes the system. What works (after a restart) is [div class=\'codetop\']CODE[/div][div class=\'codemain\' style=\'height:200px;white-space:pre;overflow:auto\']$ cd /mnt/cf
$ ./ .[/div] i.e. first "cd" and only then you can do "ls". Otherwise it crashes...

[size=]First boot[/size]
- after the first boot, pdaXrom install asks whether to add a new user. Of course I did that! It finally asks for a login/passwd. I provided the new user credentials and then (after being greeted by a warning screen about my rights  ) ran "startx". Something strange appeared. It seems to be window maker, or that kind of thing. 2 cyan windows with some english interleaved with unknown characters. And of course uncalibrated stylus! No way to make this work... So a reboot was needed...
- after reboot, I logged as root and ran "startx". I got the calibration screen and everything worked well...

Of course the first thing to do is to configure the network connection...
- first thing is the orinoco vs. hostap confusion. My D-Link DCF 660W cannot be activated. [div class=\'codetop\']CODE[/div][div class=\'codemain\' style=\'height:200px;white-space:pre;overflow:auto\']$ ifconfig wlan0 up[/div] yields nothing.
- knowing what to do, I immediatelly uninstalled the orinoco driver: [div class=\'codetop\']CODE[/div][div class=\'codemain\' style=\'height:200px;white-space:pre;overflow:auto\']$ ipkg remove orinoco[/div]
- then reinsert the card (or re-activate using card applet) and [div class=\'codetop\']CODE[/div][div class=\'codemain\' style=\'height:200px;white-space:pre;overflow:auto\']$ ifconfig wlan0 up[/div] starts the card well.
- bug?: trying to configure the card and immediately a problem! wpa_supplicant is not installed by default!!! That's bad... fortunately at least "dhcpd" is there...
- take the CF card to my laptop and download wpa_supplicant from the r198 feed to it
- insert the CF card into the Z and see whether it mounts automagicaly... Somehow no... Why? [div class=\'codetop\']CODE[/div][div class=\'codemain\' style=\'height:200px;white-space:pre;overflow:auto\']$ ls /mnt/cf[/div] yields nothing. Maybe it's normal. I do not complain... But the card is identified by the card applet (Toshiba THNCF256MPG - actually, it's Hama 256MB, but that's alright, probably Hama uses Toshiba chips). So [div class=\'codetop\']CODE[/div][div class=\'codemain\' style=\'height:200px;white-space:pre;overflow:auto\']$ mount /mnt/cf[/div] solves the problem.
- so running [div class=\'codetop\']CODE[/div][div class=\'codemain\' style=\'height:200px;white-space:pre;overflow:auto\']$ ipkg install wpa-supplicant...ipk[/div], everything seems to be OK.
- bug?:let's edit the /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf config file by [div class=\'codetop\']CODE[/div][div class=\'codemain\' style=\'height:200px;white-space:pre;overflow:auto\']$ vim /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf[/div], and there we are. vim is not installed! OK, not everybody is into vim. So what is there? nano, pico, joe, emacs, jed... Nothing... Is there any suitable editor pre-installed??? Leafpad... At least...
- although actually I do not need it, right? This [div class=\'codetop\']CODE[/div][div class=\'codemain\' style=\'height:200px;white-space:pre;overflow:auto\']$ wpa_passphrase ESSID PASSWD > /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf[/div] should make it right away...
- then [div class=\'codetop\']CODE[/div][div class=\'codemain\' style=\'height:200px;white-space:pre;overflow:auto\']$ ifconfig wlan0 up ; wpa_supplicant -Dhostap -iwlan0 -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -B ; sleep 5 ; dhcpcd -t 30 -h HOSTNAME wlan0 ; ping[/div] makes it as a fresh breeze. Done and network is up...

- open Package Manager and see what goes on... Nothing... The only pre-configured feed is cacko-unstable and even that one does not work... Nada, zero, nic...
- so let's try to upgrade to SP8. Download to SD card, then install... Done.
- Package manager now correctly lists some feeds. Great...
- bug?: what is not nice, is in the package manager that the top-right listbox ("Install on ...") somehow goes out of the window... In the normal mode, as well as in the maximized window.
- what is nice, I obviously have 70MB free on my NAND root partition. With pdaXii13v2 it was about 30. Possibly I had a lot of pre-installed software which now I will put mostly to the SD card...
- feature request: unclutter could be in the pre-installed package, couldn't it? In the end, this is a touch-screen, so no need for the cursor anyway (most of the time)...

- checking menu and icons... Icon set is beautiful, I like it very much...
- config bug?: menu is somehow weird. Settings goes below the screen edge! The same for Applications, which on the first place contains "Exit". Hmmm... Does it belong there at all?
- when I press the power button the screen shows some white stripes on shut-down as well as on power-up. It was not present in pdaXii13v2. I mean, I do not mind, but somehow it is not very aesthetic...

- When I turned the display, I noticed there's an almost invisibly small text written on the background in OpenBox. Nice one ... But I suspect a typo in there: ---pdaXrom - the rom with at twist --- ---. I guess, that "at" is a typo, isn't it?

- all in all, this r198 seems to be pretty usable version already... I am going to give it a try... Could somebody tell me where can I report such issues/testing results like I list here? Is this a stuff for bugtracker?

General Discussion / Zaurus Rom Zoo, But Where's A Vision?
« on: October 05, 2007, 09:16:37 am »
Hi again,
as a newbie and yet somebody who recently fell for Sharp Zaurus devices (I still have this euphoria when I look at the device), I was of course looking at various OS distributions for my Z gadget. I think I got a slight clue what is this all about, yet I do not feel that embedded in the Z community's box of thinking (at least not yet) so I can afford a bit detached perspective. I came to some thoughts which I would like to share with this community and get feedback on (as there are also practical aspects of and questions stemming from what you will read below).

I perceive Zaurus as a PDA in the first place. On the second, it is a full-featured handheld computer. I think it was also meant that way by Sharp, and designed with this goal in mind (small screen, tiny keyboard, turnable clamshell design). Sharp also designed their original OS for Z in this vein.

In the course of my explorations, I found numerous *nix-based distributions for this device and of course got immediately lost as many others as well. The I started to get a bigger picture and I found that there's a ZOO of ROMs around, a lively community trying to help each other and obviously a huge mess in available applications for Z (different distros, different kernels, libraries, GUIs, WMs, etc.). That's all nice. But a persisting question in the back of my brain is still: What are the aims of these distros? Where do they go? I am asking such questions, because I would like to use my Zaurus in the first place. It was built to be used, wasn't it? I am prepared to spend some time configuring it, but in the end it is a consumer device supposed for a casual use by power users.

Let me now briefly make an overview of what do various Zaurus distributions/ROMs claim in their own descriptions:

... is a cross-platform Linux distribution with own build system. Its targets are PDA and embedded systems. pdaXrom uses X11 for GUI applications, hence greater versatility, improved portability and better performance.

OK. I see... So pdaXrom is focused on having ist own build system and integrated X11.

Ångström was started by a small group of people who worked on the OpenEmbedded, OpenZaurus and OpenSimpad projects to unify their effort to make a stable and userfriendly distribution for embedded devices like handhelds,set top boxes and network-attached storage devices and more.

Nice. Angstrom want's to speak to me - an average user. I am still to see more of this system as it was not released yet as I can guess from their web-site.

Actually the website is nice and teasing. But I have some doubts about a product marketed by a statement "...was started by a small group of people...". Actually I have no clue about what it is. No screenshots, better description, simply close to zero, nada. Well except for the wiki, where I can read a lot of technical stuff but can't find what this Angstrom is and when will I get it (if ever).

[size=]Cacko ROM[/size]
Cacko ROM is a localized English ROM based on Sharp Japanese ROM for Sharp Zaurus C7x0/C860/C1000/C3100/C3200 devices.

Clear, crisp and simple. Read: this is just localized and improved original image. And I know what that is quite well. Sharp told me.

OpenBSD/zaurus is an effort to make OpenBSD run on several PDAs of the Sharp Zaurus family.
Alright. So for a description what this is, I'd better go to OpenBSD which says about itself the following:
The OpenBSD project produces a FREE, multi-platform 4.4BSD-based UNIX-like operating system.

I see now. So this is all about a UNIX system on the Zaurus device.

Titchy Linux[/size]
Titchy is a complete, fully-native Debian GNU/Linux distribution for the Sharp Zaurus...
Again, read: check Debian for what this is. And there we go:
Debian is a free operating system (OS) for your computer.

So this is a free operating system for my Zaurus.

Finally let me mention this one
[size=]Poky Linux[/size]
Poky is an embedded Linux build system, distribution and developer environment.

Hmmm, so no real OS for my gadget... But let's not give up that soon. Let's give it a one more try on Opened Hand who seem to be associated with it:
OpenedHand Limited creates, adapts and improves Unix and Linux based Open Source software for consumer facing mobile and embedded devices.

Ahaaa. So finally somebody who again cares about me, simple average user. I have still to check this system which looks very appealing to a PDA-experience seeking user.

Now what I wanted to highlight by this is that except for Angstrom and Poky, which, judging by their websites, are still nowhere close to a end-user release, and Cacko ROM which goes in the direction sketched by Sharp, no(!) other distribution devotes itself to end-users! And even those which do, claim some abstract and unclear goals for their projects. At least it is not easily readable for me.

I would like to close my eyes and look 2-3 years into an ideal future where all the Z developers of this world have infinite amounts of time to spend on their hobbies. What I would like to see there is for each distribution a shiny picture showing its great features, its typical use-case and a well-specified group of happy users which share interests fully approached by the particular distribution.

But when I close my eyes now, with all my lame perception of this community, what I see is that I will be able to run driver allowing me to connect the keys of my Ferrari to my Zaurus and read all the data from it, I see that I will be able to run complete MacOS X in an emulator on my Zaurus and enjoy all its emulated beauties and eye candy. I see that Zaurus will allow me to connect directly to and remotely steer both my private jet and yacht and probably I would be able to use it as an advanced 3D scanner or as a smartphone. However the dialer application will be only command line. And if not all that, I am already able to run an Apache web-server with MySQL database underneath, on my Zaurus. That's certainly a practical combo, isn't it   ...

It seems to me that even though this community makes some confused steps towards making "something" out of Zaurus, it actually has only a little clue what that  "something" means and how to get to it. I see this forum, on one side full of developers making leaps with the technical evolution of a whatever Z system w.r.t. HW and connectivity, and on the other filled with confused and frustrated users. And because of a lack of information, I do not see an end to it. From a purely lame point of view, I would immediately fall for Poky, just because it seems to go in the right direction and seems to have the nicest screen-shots .

The screen of Zaurus is probably way too small to run Firefox, or KOrganizer (anyway, I will give it a try). The keyboard is useful and handy, but the main input devices remain the touch screen and the stylus. Porting yet another application from the big desktop does not make a lot of sense. Actually except for HW compatibility (which seems to be achieved quite well in 2.4 already) and speed (there seem to be mixed reports about this) I see only a little sense in having a bleeding edge OS kernel + clumsy applications ported from desktop and designed for a 19" screen sporting 3+key-shortcuts.

So can you guys tell me where is this all stuff, with mainly pdaXrom in mind, lead? I understand Titchy and OpenBSD to be technical platforms without a big drive towards Z (except for the ability to be installed and run). Angstrom is not out yet, so it's early to judge and I myself did not try it yet (and there's a lack of info on their web-site/wiki). Poky and all the stuff around Open-hand seems to produce one day something REALLY USEFUL. Cacko seems to be inactive for now. Obviously Meanie did a huge effort to push pdaXrom towards an end-user. But as I see, pdaXii13/v2 is merely an off-shoot of pdaXrom than the main line of development, isn't that right?

What I see is that the original Sharp distro went in a right direction. But it is technologically obsolete and lacks modern applications ported from the desktop Linux environments and one can't see any big movements on that front. On the other side I see a bunch of technologically great projects with a plethora of ported apps many of which make a great sense on Zaurus, but which unfortunately miserably fail on the end-user level (see e.g. my post from yesterday). And maybe one, or two which seem to go in a right direction, but are nowhere close to a usable release, not speaking about all the applications needed for them.

It seems to me that this Zaurus community needs guys with a mindset of people like Mark Shuttleworth to finally manage to get somewhere... And this O-Hand seems very promissing in this respect.

And now fry me!!!  .

Zaurus - pdaXrom / Pdaxii13v2: First Collection Of Experiences
« on: October 04, 2007, 12:32:33 pm »
I do not want to start a blog somewhere just because of summarizing my Z experience, so I decided to start this thread to which I will probably contribute to in the future myself.

Before I forget I would like to summarize here my experiences, hurdles, issues, contributions and feature requests collected in the course of last week when I went from the first touch with Zaurus SL-C1000 to now, when I am trying to set it up as a blend between a ultra-mobile laptop and PDA. Maybe some of the solutions posted here will help others as well, and maybe I get feedback on some of the issues itching me.

Installation of pdaXii13 was smooth. Right after that I tried to install some applications. That's where issues started.

No space left on the device.
The Zaurus was set to use 64MB NAND space, pdaXii13 installed without a problem but no space was left on /. After installing few apps it started to complain about lack of space and only re-install helps. And of course during re-installation, it is necessary to change the size allocated for / to 121MB.
Suggestion: Maybe the installer could detect that automagically and at least complain to the user.

Instaling apps on vanilla pdaXii13
Package manager is configured to read also pdaxiiv2 feed at Of course this causes problems on plain pdaXii13. And as there's no way to see to each package from which repository it comes, the only solution is to remove that feed (after already trying to install something what failed then). The other solution is to upgrade to pdaXii13v2.

Upgrade to pdaXii13v2
I simply ran
$ ipkg install

Worked quite well, although I was afraid it will consume again the whole space on /. It did not.

Request: Why is this package not in a feed? Would make sense to install it directly from package manager.
Request: It would be nice if the package manager held the default install location. I am installing all the apps by default to the SD card as my C1000 has no enough space on the NAND any more. When I accidentally do not switch it for some package, I am always sweating whether it won't consume my whole rest of NAND / space. For this also showing the package size in the package view would help...
Request: When package manager does not succeed with some package it does not complain. Only in the log tab. Would be nice if it said something.

I tried to download some complete feeds to the USB stick and install it from there. However, in order to install anything in a reasonable fashion, the network should work, right? Setting up the WLAN is obviously not easy. Here my experience:

Orinoco vs. HostAP clash
Old problem, but for a newbie to figure it out is a hell. So if your WLAN card uses Prism 2 chipset (or higher) and does not work out of the box, check the output of "lsmod". If you see orinoco and hostap loaded at the same time there you are (this issue was also on r198). My solution was simply to uninstall orinoco driver using package manager.

Most people here around (central EU) have WLAN DSL boxes at home which are configured to use a static WEP key. For that you need to configure your card to work with that.
First the low-level solution:
1.- open System Tools/Lan & Wifi
2.- create and save a profile for your WLAN network and fill everything to your best knowledge
3.- edit /etc/pcmcia/network.opts and add WPA="y" to the entry corresponding to your network
4.- run "$ wpa_passphrase SSID WEP >> /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf", replacing the SSID and WEP with SSID of your network and the key to be used.
5.- edit /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf and add all the other configuration to the entry of your access point created by wpa_passphrase command. Most probably you do not have to modify it at all.
6.- execute this sequence of commands"
$ ifconfig wlan0 down
$ iwconfig wlan0 essid YOUR_SSID
$ iwconfig wlan0 mode Managed
$ iwconfig wlan0 enc off
$ ifconfig wlan0 up
It sets some basic WLAN info to the card and brings up the network interface.
6.- Then run "$ wpa_supplicant -iwlan0 -Dhostap -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -d". Now the supplicant is running in the foreground and you can read all the debug info. If you are successful to connect to your network, you can probably read it from the debug msgs. Try to fiddle with this until you make it. Most problems I had came from not having the device up. That can be seen running ifconfig and iwconfig. First should show an entry wlan0 and the second should show correct settings on it.
7.- Once you are connected you want to get IP address if your WLAN is configured to DHCP. Run
$ dhcpcd -t 30 -h HOSTNAME wlan0, where HOSTNAME is what is written in your /etc/HOSTNAME
8.- Normally, you should run wpa_supplicant with "-B" option instead of "-d" option. It will put it into background and in a good case, it won't issue any debug log.

If that succeeds, you are a happy WLAN user and you can proceed to installation of packages from network.

The same can be achieved by using wifi-radar. However, few things have to be configured in it first.
1.- Preferences:
     - set autodetect to false
     - set the device to wlan0
     - switch on commit required and ifup required options. It seemed to turned out to help stability of the application, even though I do not understand them fully.
2.- Add a profile for your network (after it is detected in the list)
     - WiFi options - set mode to managed
     - WPA - set the driver to hostap
     - connection commands - set before to "ifconfig wlan0 up"
3.- Anyway, you have to add your WEP key to the /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf as described above.
4.- Now you can hopefully connect with the wifi-radar. However you won't get a lot of debug info out of it. It will tell you that it got no IP address, even though it is obvious it didn't manage to get through the AP association phase.

Request: Why is wifi-radar sorted under menu item Internet? It is more a system tool, isn't it?

Wifi-radar erases the config!!!: I have no clue why, but after some use, wifi-radar always manages to loose the content of /etc/wifi-radar.conf. Then it does not start anymore. It crashes with an error on line 1580: "Attribute error: 'list' object has no attribute split". Removing that file makes wifi-radar to start again, even though preferences can be edited only after trying to add a new configuration.

Wifi-radar does not connect properly: even though I am able to connect manually with the procedure described above, wifi-radar sometimes is unable to connect. Most of the time, after such a case wlan0 device is down. Also when it connects, after a while (10seconds) it shuts down wlan0 device for some reason.

Wifi-radar hangs: Sometimes Wifi-radar hangs forever when trying to get the IP address. Even sometimes when it gets it (it says so), it stays hanging forever. In the meantime it shuts the wlan0 device down .

Actually wifi-radar seems to be a tool on a right track, even though it is buggy and has problems. Unfortunately I do not speak python, so I am not able to help with it right away :|.
Also taking a look at the network-cfg tool is worth, although I did not manage to make it work correctly. It seems that I will end up with scripts automatizing the connection process and pinning them to the desktop. That seems to be the best solution, because WLAN is difficult to configure anyway... And I am connecting to a network with 802.1x + EAP-TTLS & PAP authentication (for any of you in EU universities, if your Uni uses the eduroam network -, this is it - I know there are some people who asked here on the forum few years ago about exactly this network and did not succeed - it seems to use some Radius auth, or that kind of stuff). That is hard to configure with any of those tools anyway...

[size=]Desktop environment[/size]
I very much like how the system looks out of the box. Those icons are nice and usage is also quite nice. I tried to install ROX to see what that actually is.

Desktop applications
1.- some packages do not appear in the menu and the corresponding folder. For example links.
2.- When wifi-radar is launched from app launcher menu/ or from the folder Internet. it works properly. The same when launched mnually from the command line. However, when I add a launcher forit to the menu, it hangs.
3. Cellwriter app launcher has no icon and thus cannot be added to the taskbar.

All the above have comments from Meanie here

FireFox and Swapfile
Seems to work, but crashes. I found that using a swapfile is worth and makes FF more stable.

After X restart it replaces my background image. Obviously more than a file manager comes with it. But how can I put it into a plain file manager mode and keep the standard openbox desktop? I'll have to work on this in the close future.

BUG: After first attemtp to launch rox-filer it opened however without few icons. It displayed some question marks instead. When started from command line, it spit out this:
** (ROX-Filer:1760): WARNING **: Couldn't recognize the image file format for file ...
I googled around and found the problem described here. However running "$ gdk-pixbuf-query-loaders > /etc/gtk-2.0/gdk-pixbuf.loaders" did not help!!! Later I found the problem was with how libpng is installed. Some applications (apart from Rox) do not find the libpng library. Solution was to simply provide a correct symbolic link /usr/lib/ to the correct .so file. This seems to be a distribution issue.

[size=]IrDA keyboard[/size]
To my old Handspring Visor Edge I own also an IrDA keyboard. As typing on the Z keyboard is a bit tiring, I was looking how to connect that keyboard to it. I found zkbdd by kopsis of this board. I tried to use my irda keyboard with it but did not succeed. Obviously I had no correct driver for it. I found that my X-Tensions XP-950 Universal PDA Keyboard is probably compatible with SnapNType T806. At least they use the same driver on Palm OS. So I tried to reverse engineer my keyboard and produced a Lua plug-in for the zbkdd keyboard driver for it. It is attached to this post below.

Problems: I always have to create the /dev/misc/uinput node and manually load uinput module before running the zkbdd driver - which anyway has to be launched manually (for details see here). Wouldn't it be possible to include this into the pdaXii13 config application?

Request: I tried to contact kopsis, but got no response yet. Anyway, it might be useful if (after zbkdd package maintainer agrees) my driver plug-in was packaged to the zkbdd IPK package.

[size=]Migration from Palm OS[/size]
I want to migrate from Handspring Visor to Zaurus. First problem was which PIM to use. I finally found that I probably want to end up with KO/Pi and KA/Pi because of the ease of sync with the desktop PC apps. Now the problem was how to migrate the databases as I keep my whole life-journal in there. I found that it is possible to beam contacts and todos. That turned out to be the first problem.

IrDA vs. Palm
It seems that many people were trying to make it work, but I did not find any solution on the Net. Finally I managed to find out how to do it. Corresponding post is here.

After beaming my contacts and todos I still did not have a clue how to convert the datebook. KOrganizer reads vcal and ical files, but none of Palm Desktop and Agendus which I am using does not export such formats. I found two solutions for this:
1.- Free+limited: use an on-line calendar like Yahoo! Calendar, or Google calendar to upload the Palm database and then export it to iCalendar format. I found that the best one would be AirSet. However after giving it a try, it handles only the last 12 months . I have about 6 years of my life in there. So no good solution...
2.- I finally purchased the DIMEX by LinkeSoft . The demo worked well, so I hope the full version will be worth the 19 bucks. BTW, why they charge 19.- EUR as well as 19.- U$D? With todays exchange rate I shouldn't pay that much in EUR!!!

As is probably obvious from above, I am seeking a PDA experience with my Zaurus (with a possibility to use it as a mini laptop). So I will to my best to configure it so, that I can use it well in the PDA mode. Some apps are obviously not built for such a use. E.g. KO/Pi lacks some points. E.g. font size is always an issue and too rich GUI. In PDA mode I want to switch off everything and have only the basic usage at hand. Palm got it perfectly right in those old days when they were flying high on usability and community support. I have to make my way with cellwriter and desktop customization... I will try to post my solutions to some problems I encounter and goodies I develop in this thread in the future.

overclocking the CPU causes screen flickering
I was frustrated by 20 sec. start-up time of KO/Pi so I tried to overclock the CPU. The screen started to flicker. There obviously are some posts about this (here and here): I have to check the solution.

BUG: vim complains about missing /usr/share/vim/syntax/syntax.vim on startup. This is obviously a distribution problem.

Complaint: Even though this is a forum for Z users, it is not very Z friendly. For example the upload thingy is Java-script based (or that kind of thing) and so does not work in Dillo, nor in Links. And Firefox reliably crashes on clicking "Manage current attachments" combo box. Not nice .

[size=]Future outlooks[/size]
As I am a scientific writer, I rely on LaTeX and LyX. In the next few weeks (when some deadlines are over) I hope to install the newest versions of these two guys. I am sure it won't be straightforward. BTW, why none of these found its place in the official feeds?

I do keep my $HOME directory + all the private data in a subversion repository to be able to share configs between several Win32 and Linux boxes I have. Ultimately this is not a huge issue for me as far as I have enough SD/disk space and a network connection.

If you have any comments or suggestions to issues I have, I would be happy to hear about that.

Finally I want to raise one positive point (as I am a notorious complainer): I am very pleased by this community. You guys seem to be very helpful and quite patient with newbiees. Thanks for help till now...

Oh, I forgot. I am seeking any advice/comments on how to configure my Z as a PDA. What I am interested in currently is how to configure the WM to behave well. I very much like how those openbox things in pdaxrom work. It does not have to be openbox. Actually I do not care what it is as far as it has that nice behaviour of the default pdaxrom system. That is really nice. I would like to keep that behaviour in the future.

Please if you have any comments to the following in particular, you will make me happier Z user:
1.- I would like to pin some new icons to the desktop (does not seem to be straightforward with openbox),
2.- have the taskbar/panel autohiding if possible (with a small token to open it somewhere),
3.- have the panel available in all the desktops,
4.- be able to switch desktops without using the keyboard in some unobtrusive way (so no hanging windows on the desktop - rather an applet in the tray/panel),
5.- have some file manager similar to rox. However I do not like that rox screws up that nice icon navigation I like so much,
6.- improve my WLAN connecting/disconnecting experience
7.- comments on PIM apps?


C1000/3x00 Hardware / Irda: Beaming Palm Os Data To Z
« on: October 02, 2007, 08:10:00 pm »
I am trying to sync my Handspring Visor Edge running Palm OS 3.5 with Z C1000 (running pdaXii13v2). After some study I came to conclusion that this is what I should do:

$ /etc/rc.d/init.d/irda start
$ irattach /dev/ircomm
$ ircp -r

However it does not work. ircp hangs with "Waiting for incoming signal" message. The Palm device says that it did not find any receiving device.

I also tried to use xircp. It obviously starts the daemon silently itself. Trying to send a small file file, the Palm device detected a communication attempt, which finally did not succeed. Palm device timeouts and xircp says "Connecting...failed" immediately after the press of the Send button.  An attempt to pres the Receive button in xircp, it does not receive anything and hangs. It can be only killed.

From these experiments, I guess the IrDA port is correctly associated. Maybe it's the port baud rate which is wrong, no clue. I did not find any place where to correctly configure it .

I would really appreciate if somebody who already went this road would give me an advice on this.

Thanks a lot.

Zaurus - pdaXrom / Pdaxii13v2 Gui Config
« on: September 29, 2007, 06:54:48 pm »
after upgrade from PdaXii13 Akita Sally to PdaXiiv2 I encountered some issues with matchbox GUI config:

1.- some packages do not appear in the menu and the corresponding folder. For example links. It seems as if the way of configuring this changed (I see that there some unused entries in /usr/apps/Internet/links/ however /usr/share/applications/links.desktop does not exist)

2.- Some applets are installed/ but cannot be activated. e.g. powercontrol. I guess/ the problem is similar as with links package (*.desktop file missing)...

3.- When wifi-radar is launched from app launcher menu/ or from the folder Internet. it works properly. The same when launched mnually from the command line. However, when I add a launcher forit to the menu, it hangs.

4. Cellwriter app launcher has no icon and thus cannot be added to the taskbar.

Finally, I tried to fix the problem myself by editing the *.desktop files, but I did not succeed. Well, I added links.desktop which launches the program, but 1) it has no proper icon (where to get it?), and 2) even though links appears in the correct folder, it doesn't in the app launcher menu .

Any comments, hints? I am willing to fix the stuff myself, but I need a bit of support. E.g. how do I package such a fix (e.g. few *.desktop files).

Zaurus - pdaXrom / How To Maintain Pdaxii13 Akita?
« on: September 28, 2007, 10:20:21 am »
so I managed to install the pdaXii13 and I found it to be pretty comfortable system. However, there are few issues I have which obviously have to do with me using the device in a wrong way:
- after fresh install df -h shows zero free space on /. However it is possible to move around and edit data in e.g. /etc/. The problem is, that I do not really know how much space I still have free.
- after a while (e.g. I am not installing things wildely!) I managed to finish the device already 3 times. It always ends up with "Unable to ... no space left on device". And that's it then. Nothing can be deleted with rm, nor can I mount devices (during reboot something fails and all mounts are over) to possibly fix stuff (copy a fresh new image from USB stick to SD card). Only a fresh reinstall helps.

Now all this points to some misunderstanding on my side. Questions/Issues:
1.- I have system installed in NAND (where else, right? I have C1000...). But I shouldn't fiddle too much with / partition. So what should I do instead? How much can I put additionally to / so that I won't brake it? Again, df shows complete non-sense.
2.- Probably I should install all the apps to SD card. On Meanie's pages I read that I should have then the SD card formatted in some strange way (two partitions etc.) It is not clear to me how to go on from this point. How will I ensure that nothing goes wrong on the main partition while using the device? If I install something to /mnt/card will it really end up there, or will some packages mess with /?
3.- Anything else what I should know about?

It boils down to a simple question: HOW TO USE pdaXii13 ON AKITA MACHINE? WHAT IS THE STANDARD MODUS OPERANDI?

Thanks for comments.

Finally a small bug report to Meanie:
- wifi-radar in the Sally distro does not work out of the box because of missing python-threading package. It would be nice if that one was included directly in the image... BTW, it is also missing in your custom feed, si had to download it from elsewhere and manually add to the already downloaded feed you provide.

Zaurus - pdaXrom / Newbie Question: Which Rom?
« on: September 26, 2007, 01:55:57 pm »
I am very sorry for this question. I am sure I am going to get a lot of RTFM replies. Anyway...

Today I received my new C1000 Akita. In the last weeks I already tried to study as much as I could about software and variety of ROMs for Zaurus. Unfortunately, I have to admit, that I got completely lost in the ZOO of all the distros, their pro's and con's etc. I am completely confused. Please let me briefly state 2) what I want from my Zaurus in the close future 1) what I already know about different distros, and 3) please tell me what's wrong with my expectations and what I am actually missing. In the end, I would like to find out which distro do I want.

* Expectations:
1.- I want a standard PDA user experience. Under standard I mean, that I am migrating from Palm OS (>7 years and I like the interface very much: quick and easy to handle) and in the past I had a lot of experience with Windows CE devices (network drivers development - yet I do not learn to like these gadgets).
2.- I want a semi-standard Linux user experience (I am Ubuntu user what should say what kind of guy I am), i.e. in the end I want to *use* applications, not spending years only configuring my computer. Reasonable time (few days, or a week or so) spent on configuring and tuning the computer is alright.
3.- Applications I want (MUST have!) and I know it is possible to get them on Zaurus: TeX, LyX, *good* PIM (KO/PI?), vim/gvim, ssh, xterm+UTF8 support, xpdf, ruby interpreter, Guile, Subversion + otherwise all the standard command line stuff. If possible a reasonable browser (currently I am using Firefox, but I am not sure if that's a good option on a small device - however syncing bookmarks/RSS feeds might be a nice option to have) and OpenOffice would be nice, although I do not care that much for this.
4.- I want a durable solution. Reinstalling image once a year is acceptable if I will trade a great enhancement for it in the future. I.e. I want a distro which is still developed and for which there are packages being ported (if I will learn how to cross-compile, I might contribute as well one day).

* What I know (this is a confused one):
1.- Seems like I have basically 2 choices to go for: Cacko+some machinery to run X apps (X/Qt?) vs. PdaXRom (do I actually want PdaXii13?).
2.- It seems that having Cacko, I will be able to run most (?) X-applications using X/Qt. I am not sure about this.
3.- It also seems that having PdaXRom I loose possibility to run the Qtopia apps from the original Sharp ROM.
4.- Obviously some flavour of PdaXRom would fill my needs (I found this:
5.- It does not seem to be probable that running Cacko I will be able to run what I want (Tex+Lyx).
6.- On the other hand, Cacko is built from the original Sharp ROM, so I would expect it to work in the Zaurus a little bit better than anything else.
7.- No clue in which stage Angstrom is. They have LyX package, but there's a complete lack of information on the status of Angstrom and how it supports the Akita HW.
8.- There seems to be this Titchy Debian distro. It does not seem to run on Akita, but if it is as good as you guys seems to suggest on these pages, then I guess it won't take too long till it matures.
9.- I read most of the Hd Luc's pages on Zaurus (, I think I got the message, however I would like to know some recommendations. This is what I did not get from those pages.

* Questions:
1.- Why is there such a flood of IPKG feeds? Aren't the binaries not cross-distribution compatible? And if not (as I suspect) what is the main problem? I am completely lost in this realm.
2.- Why are there so many flavours of PdaXRom and how to choose from them (PdaXQtRom, *beta-xyz)?
3.- Are there any benefit to run Debian on Zaurus vs. Cacko, or PdaXRom? Or is it only a techie joy to have it?
4.- Which are indispensable applications on Sharp ROM which can turn me to go for Cacko? Are there any (I did not try yet, but allegedly PIM is no good in comparison with e.g. advanced Palm tools (like e.g. Agendus SW) on standard Sharp ROM)? And similarly about PdaXRom?
4.- What else do I need to know?

Thank you very much for useful hints and *constructive* comments.

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