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...
just a humble programmer
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