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Topics - ZDevil

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For Sale / Wanted / Fs: Mda Pro (= Htc Universal)
« on: April 17, 2008, 11:29:37 am »
For a funny reason (and in fact it's a miscommunication with a seller whose English is next to incomprehensible ...) it so happened that I bidded two (oops!) used MDA pro separately on ebay.  
So I will keep one for myself and (re)sell the extra one right away.
I offer it for 170 euros (final price) -- a very competitive offer.
It is practically still second hand, because I won't be using it at all but resell it again.

The original accessories (battery, holder, wall charger, software cd, memory, stock case) are all in place, plus an extra 4GB SD card.
The device is fully functional. NOT sim locked.
Some tiny minor marks of use, which are expected.

I am planning to install Debian on this by now low-priced device. (See If interested I can also set it up for you.

Brief specs:
Processor: Intel Bulverde 520 MHz
Connectivity: Tri-Band GSM (900/1800/1900), GPRS (Class 10), WCDMA/UMTS/3G, WiFi 802.11b (WEP & WPA compatible), Bluetooth 1.2, USB, Infrared
Display: 3.7" 64k-color 640x480(VGA) Transflective TFT touchscreen, with swivel to convert into landscape and portrait modes (almost the same as the Zaurus C-series)
Memory: 128 MB internal flash storage, 64MB RAM, SD (with SDIO)
Input: Stylus, Keyboard (62-key QWERTY)
Cameras: 1.3MP CMOS Camera with a strong LED flash light + QVGA (320x240) CMOS
Battery: 1620mAh Lithium Ion Polymer (now a lot of inexpensive extended batteries are available, up tp 4800mAh and even 5200mAh)
Dimensions & Weight: very similar to the Zaurus C-series
Operating System: WM6 (now it can run Angstrom, Poky and Debian EABI!), see and

More details can be seen here:  and
Major community site:

PM me if interested. The price is final. Will ship worldwide. Shipment options are up to the buyer.

I will wait here for a week before ebaying it.

Thank you!  

Off Topic forum / A Nano Wtf Moment
« on: April 16, 2008, 06:14:48 pm »

Now the story goes...
"Two experts said they had developed a molecule-sized switch which...
could see [size=]500,000 gigabytes[/size] squeezed into a microchip no bigger than a two pence piece...."

Everything will just get crazy then ...  

Site Suggestions, Requests, and Updates / Attachment Function Again
« on: April 16, 2008, 05:11:07 am »
It's amazing that I didn't realize this until now: the forum doesn't allow me to upload .bz2 tarballs!    
It would be great if this is enabled. It's a most common linux file format and is a better spacesaver than .tgz.
Thanks in advance.

Debian / Mod Libdirectfb & Libts Packages
« on: April 13, 2008, 05:08:32 am »
Those who are using my rootfs tarball, which contains lots of goodies made by 2or0, may encounter errors while doing apt-get dist-upgrade because of some differences in the dependencies in 2or0's repackaged Angstrom .debs and the packages from the Debian repos, which causes conflicts and subsequently failure in the upgrading process.

I've repackaged the .debs from the Debian feeds, basically just changing the versions in the Depends line and the package versions.
Using these will prevent such error from showing up.  Have tested in on two rootfs and the trick works.  

Super easy. Just install these two packages BEFORE apt-get dist-upgrade:

Debian / Matchbox Applets On Fbpanel/rox-panel
« on: April 06, 2008, 07:10:43 am »
I've been looking for a way to use the matchbox panel applets on fbpanel and rox-panel, but no luck. So far I can only found one hit in Google which is a thread here:

But still it remains obscure to me as to how to add these applets to the panels and get them to work.  

The documentation of fbpanel is too filmsy up to now...

Has anyone succeeded in doing this? A howto will be super nice. Thanks in advance.

Asus Eee PC / How Much Ram Is In Your Eee Pc?
« on: April 03, 2008, 03:49:53 pm »
I wonder how much RAM the fellow Eee PC folks here are using in their buddies.

Today I put off the temptation of adding more memory by buying a cheap 2GB RAM.
And wow... it does make quite a difference in actual speed. Just run Synaptics and I can really tell by my eyes how faster this clumsy app runs now.

How about yours? Does it make a difference too, and how?

Debian / New Icewm Desktop And Menu Solutions
« on: March 29, 2008, 03:29:54 am »
AmigaFalcon has asked some good questions about the desktop icon and program menu settings in IceWM which is the default WM in my rootfs tarball. I reposted here for easy reference.

Q1: A few applications, such as XMMS and Dillio, etc are nowhere to be seen in the program launcher/taskbar. I have to execute these apps from the command line instead. Infact, very few apps (system file browsers, word processors, etc) are visible from the application launch menu - which is surprising considering how large the Rootfs is. I guess they are all hidden somewhere on the drive? Again, is this standard for this distro?

A1: There are several solutions:
Solution 1: Edit "~/.icewm/menu" and add whatever you want there. A tedious way.
Solution 2: Install a program call "menu" and run "update-menus". But the result is less than satifactory as there are too many trivial folders and categories and duplicated entries.
Solution 3: Add "icewm-menu-gnome2" in ~/.icewm/menu . See for instructions.  But again I find the menu generated not so optimal.
Solution 4: Use this "icewm_meuntools" scriptpack which is a slightly modified and enhanced version of Meanie's tools in pdaXii. Extract the tarball somewhere, then enter the extracted "icewm_menutools_0.1a" directory, and run "./" there. A few seconds later you'll see a new IceWM menu with program icons sorted, plus a few goodies. smile.gif  

Q2 There are no app links setup on the desktop, no access to any GUI Filebrowser on desktop (or even in the app launcher) , etc unlike distros such as PdaXRom where everything is immediately accessible...

A2: Again there are several solutions.
Solution 1: Use Rox desktop, just like in pdaXrom. See here for how to install it:
Solution 2: Use idesk, and it requires manual editing of the config file. Just "apt-get install idesk". See for how to set up the menu file.
Solution 3: Use pcmanfm. Go to "Preferences > Desktop", then check "Show file icons on desktop". You can also set desktop wallpaper there (but I find it slower than using icewmbg directly). Also add "pcmanfm &" in .xinitrc, above the line "icewm-session".

Debian / Crosscompiling Eabi
« on: March 27, 2008, 05:40:48 am »
Has anyone here done crosscompiling?
How to set up the environment in a regular linux box?
Which toolchain to use?
Any howto/tutorial/demo?


OpenBSD / Does Sd Write Support Happen In 4.2?
« on: March 25, 2008, 05:00:05 am »
I am checking with the official info:;arch=zaurus

But still is not sure about the current status of SD write support. Is it already working? Thanks.

Debian / Aptitude
« on: March 23, 2008, 04:18:43 pm »
Just trying aptitude. It works way better and smoother than synaptic and far more powerful than apt-get. The text interface is neat and navigate fast as well.
Ready to dump synaptic...

General Discussion / Linux On Laptops
« on: March 09, 2008, 05:10:08 pm »
I guess many linux gurus may be very familiar with this site. I didn't know its existence until today! Maybe it doesn't really fit here. But the lines between subnotebooks, ultraportables (or the UMPCs for that matter) and handhelds are becoming blurred, not just in terms of size but also the hardware and functionalities and even compatibility with different (full-blown) OSs. It is fun to see how all these different machines running Linux:

Does the Zaurus count here?  

Asus Eee PC / Ultra-low-priced Notebook Fest < Cebit08
« on: March 06, 2008, 03:42:05 pm »


I wish I was in Hannover now ...

A long shot in the wild. What counts here will be:

-- Screen resolution: the current 800x480 display on Eee PC will be the Achilles' heel for this line of product
-- Battery: 3 hours is the minimum
-- Price: US$500 or 550 at most
-- Wireless solutions: builtin bluetooth is a must, WiMax crowns the winner
-- No exotic design, PLEASE!

Other things like RAM, appearance, OS, USB ports, card readers are not as important, even though presumably they must be reasonable enough.

Android / What Are The Needed Modules For Android?
« on: March 06, 2008, 04:13:06 am »
I was going through the exciting material about Android, and somewhere I read that the binderdev cannot be built under kernel 2.6.24.
My 3200 is now running kernel-2.6.24-yonggun.
What can we do to make this working? Where can I get the source and how to proceed (just like compiling a kernel module or what)?
I haven't found relevant information yet. Pointers are greatly appreciated.

Debian / Wireless Interface: Wlan0 Vs Ethx?
« on: March 06, 2008, 01:52:49 am »
I was playing with upgrading the prism firmware on my Ambicom WL-1000C, which runs with the hostap driver, instead of orinoco.
After unsuccessful experiments, my card stopped to connect again. And I got a strange error which I remembered i had run into before:
eth3: invalid skb->cb magic (0x00000000, expected 0xf08a36a2)
But eth3 was always working before that.
It shouldn't be a consequence of unsuccessful firmware upgrading (dmesg showed that the firmware didn't (fail to) change), but should be a problem of loading the drivers.
There has been a kinda strange behavior of the system to rename the wireless interface. Originally the wifi0 interface cannot be used and is mapped to wlan0. (dmesg shows this.) But it will be renamed to ethX again when actually connected.

Finally I saw why the interface got changed to ethX.
I noticed that udev actually did that (looking at the booting messages in dmesg).
So, opening up /etc/udev/rules.d/z25_persistent-net.rules, I saw this:
# This file was automatically generated by the /lib/udev/write_net_rules
# program, probably run by the persistent-net-generator.rules rules file.
# You can modify it, as long as you keep each rule on a single line.
# MAC addresses must be written in lowercase.

SUBSYSTEM=="net", DRIVERS=="?*", ATTRS{address}=="00:0e:0c:DD:EE:FF", NAME="eth0"

SUBSYSTEM=="net", DRIVERS=="?*", ATTRS{address}=="00:0e:0c:DD:EE:FF", NAME="eth1"

# Unknown net device (/class/net/eth0) (spectrum_cs)
SUBSYSTEM=="net", DRIVERS=="?*", ATTRS{address}=="00:a0:f8:AA:BB:CC", NAME="eth2"

# Unknown net device (/class/net/eth0) (orinoco_cs)
#SUBSYSTEM=="net", DRIVERS=="?*", ATTR{address}=="00:10:7a:XX:YY:ZZ", NAME="eth3"

# Unknown net device (/class/net/wlan0) (hostap_cs)
SUBSYSTEM=="net", DRIVERS=="?*", ATTR{address}=="00:10:7a:XX:YY:ZZ", ATTR{type}=="1", NAME="wlan0"

The device for hostap seems always to be either eth2 or eth3. I had eth3 because eth2 was already taken by the spectrum driver for the Symbol Spectrum 24 wifi card.
So it seemed two drivers were competing for the same device (same MAC address), and orinoco won over hostap here.

After commenting out the orinoco line, and then in /etc/network/interface changing from eth3 (back) to wlan0, i got my wireless connection again.

Note that simply blacklisting orinoco in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist did NOT work.

I don't actually know why this happened. Perhaps the veterans can enlighten me here?  

Sharp ROMs / Hdd-free Patch For Cacko Rom!
« on: March 05, 2008, 04:29:07 am »
SOLVED: for details see post #15 below.


I am stilling thinking of setting up dualbooting Cacko and Debian/EABI using the sharp bootloader and kexec as described here:

Even though dualbooting Debian and PdaXii works fine, I feel like having the NAND run Cacko so that there are more varieties.

The question is: the internal disk is already partitioned with one big giant partition filled by the Debian rootfs.
The fact is Cacko/Sharp rom require the internal disk to be partitioned in exactly three parts with exact sizes/sectors.
I cannot do this with GParted in Debian because the program can only resize in terms of MBs, not sectors.
fdisk doesn't work here because repartitioning with fdisk will wipe the disk content clean.

Of course there is a straightforward way: just tar up/create a back up image of the Debian rootfs, then use fdisk to repartition the disk, then put the Debian rootfs back in HDD1, and finally install Cacko and set up dualbooting using the method in that thread. Actually this is also what I may do.

But many Debian Z users have already got the whole system working. This method, however simple, is clumsy and not without risks.

So would it be feasible to do it the other way round: tweak Cacko/Sharp rom in such a way that it simply ignores the HDDs part. In principle it seems workable to me, because the files living in the three hdax do not seem to be critical for the system to operate. Everything important is all in the NAND flash.
I have tried to play with /root/etc/rc.d/rc.rofilesys in Cacko by taking away all the instructions to mount the HDDs. But Cacko fails to boot because of something missing in the process (let me skip the details here).

Has someone ever tried to do a similar thing? I would great appreciate if you could share your insights here. Thanks!

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