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Derek Easte
Thu Aug 12 05:17:31 CEST 2004

I recently had an 820 given to me (presumably its owner had no real use for 
it), so after much browsing I discovered a bunch of Jornada owners are busy 
porting linux to this otherwise unimpressive beast, and forthwith downloaded 
many Mb, result - I have managed to get the smallish tarfile from "oleg" 
installed on a CF card and running. Generally the system now resembles an 
'80s pc running, say Xenix, with multi-consoles, command line, shell 
programming and so on.

I managed to get a swap partition up, which all seems to work fine. I tried 
out gpm on a console and that seems to work too, cutting and pasting like it 
should, selection can be a bit clumsy because the touchpad seems a bit 
oversensitive. I have run mc as well and found that setting TERM to "linux" 
gives a nice colour screen and all the function keys appear to work as 
documented, except for certain keyboard deficiences.

The only real "problem" I have noticed so far is the hardware clock appears 
to "work" differently in native (CE) mode, than linux. I have noticed that 
ignoring CE's pleas to set up the system, and leaving the date and time 
settings alone, appears to leave the linux system date intact, but trying to 
use the CE "Universal Date and Time" util results in an "out of memory" 
error. I can be more detailed with this particular issue if anyone else is 
interested, but for now if I just let linux take care of the settings, 
things are fine.

Ok, well I haven't so far spent a lot of time investigating the capabilities 
of the Debian linux distro, but I have managed to completely crash the 820 
several times, e.g. trying to start an X server, or dump kernel or memory 
pages, but I also realise that this is all still fairly experimental.
As to the hardware itself, after reading some of the mail archives it seems 
that there may well be insurmountable obstacles to ever getting all of the 
820's potential hardware "goodies" up and running a linux driver. I note the 
discussion about HP's design shortcuts, which apparently mean that unless 
these machines can be "re-engineered" (a fairly unlikely event, unless 
has access to an electronics manufacturing plant?) then we are stuck with 
its current design and its limitations.

The power drain when linux is running also appears to be an issue, the 
battery quickly runs down meaning that use of the ac adapter is a linux 
requirement, or expect an unwanted shutdown.

Nonetheless, many of the hardware issues appear to have been overcome 
through the efforts of a small bunch (who apparently seek no reward other 
than perhaps the satisfaction of seeing it work).
The Jornada 820 appears to be a bit of an outcast, in the sense that other 
Jornada models seem to have hardware designs that are better linux 
platforms, perhaps the 820 will remain forever a "bad"  linux system because 
of these design shortcuts. We shall see.

Perhaps I can offer some assistance. For now, I am just "trying out" the 
thing, seeing what works and what doesn't. I remember reading a news post 
somewhere about someone getting an X server running on an 820.. so far, I 
haven't been able to do this.

Sorry for the long ramble, this is my first post...

Derek Easte

just a humble programmer

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