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MaBo

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11 May 2020
So, it has been many years since I used my Sharp Zaurus. I had a 5500 (with German keyboard), and made the jump later (2005 or so) to an SL-C3100. It was always a pleasure using it with Cacko. When work ordered upgrade of the computers from WinXP, I could not synchronize anymore, and the agenda functionality was lost. That more or less rendered the Zaurus unusable for me.

I did keep an eye on this forum and when zubuntu was introduced I was tempted. But my linux was not that good at that point in time, and I never gave it a try. The Zaurus was catching dust for many years. Now in this corona time and me recovering from illness, I thought to give it a try. First tried zubuntu 2.0 as explained on the omegamoon blog. It works, but is sloooow.

Then the jaunty updates for zubuntu. It was quite easy to install:
extract zubuntu-desktop-jaunty-rootfs_feb.2009-rev-armel.tar.bz2 and Zubuntu/spitz-root-addition.tar.gz to an SD card.
Install kexecboot.
Had to struggle to avoid the fsck running at boot because of date problems (system date was in 1970). Disconnecting AC did the trick.
Set the date (format sensitive: YYYY.MM.DD-HH:mm:ss).
Update the sources.lists to http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu (leave out the dists/jaunty in the url).
Connect to the internet
et voila: a working mini-laptop.

Email works ok with claws-email (a bit slow, but doable). Any recommended alternatives?
I still am looking for a workable browser. In principle dillo looks good and loads ok, but it seems impossible to connect to modern websites with security implemented. Text-based browsers also fail to connect to most websites, probably because of outdated ssl implementation on the Zaurus. Any suggestions are really welcome.

ToDo:
  • Cacko is still in NAND, I would like to be able to boot to that too. It does start booting, but fails at a kernel panick.
  • try another ROM like pdaXrom but I have a hard time finding the proper files and instructions.
  • other stuff to come
Any input from you guys is more than welcome.

Kind regards,
MaBo
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