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Smartbook G138 - Stable Rom (testing)

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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2008-10-26 9:34 PM
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looks like the smartbook's kernel has the compression module so it can use compressed files in rom.

more features can fit in the flashrom then.

no idea about the driver corruption - can be some buffer overflow in the worst case. if we put prismnds in rom i suggest we compress it
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mr-mac Page Icon Posted 2008-10-27 4:11 AM
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Nice one. Was just popping on to do a quick update but see you are already have.

The compressed program worked great and opened as snappily as any other app on the smartbook.

Look forward to seeing your kitchen as that will allow me to get my hands dirty and start on the custom rom.

At the moment I am just going to make a list of programs, drivers, registry changes etc. I would like to include in the rom and maybe files I would like to strip out. The wireless driver and config app for starters. Likely won't do everything in version 1 but will save some over to version 2 so I don't get totally lost trying to do this. From what I gather compressing files in rom means they stay compressed until they are wanted. This will mean the raw rom will not take up any more ram than the std one (you never know it may even be possible to make it take less).

So lets see;

So far -
better coredll, aygshell etc. any missing dll's etc. as per cmonex's 900c one;
Prismnds driver (maybe a wi-fi scanner),
iphone,
registry editor,
Flash plugin,
Java plugin,
Mute on systemtray,
Some sort of taskmanager,
.net cf,
zsirc,
Total commander (good for ftp),
I may include a graphics utilities (basic photo editor),
JSoverclock (clock cpu up to 233Mhz),
TCPMP,
GAPI,
pop3uk or qmail3 (with secure mail bits for google and yahoo mail),
Are there any free PIMs? (or abandonware? would be nice to include),


Also still to investigate is why smartbook doesn't wake up for alarms. Cmonex mentioned there was somthing in the kernell where a flag is set or somthing like that. So am affraid I will need to let cmonex come back to me on that one. Hopefully it is just the flag as it is a pain if you can't get reminders.

Hopefully rom kitched will be available soon, cmonex was saying it is a bit more work than she expected to include the features she wanted.

Can't wait to get going with this as it should make the smartbook very usefull indeed.

My list of programs is by no means complete so if anyone would like to add to it than please just copy and paste my list and add requests (maybe in bold) and I will try my best to please everyone. I know some people have made suggestions before but this will be the list I work from so feel free to add to it as well.

John


Edited by mr-mac 2008-10-27 4:17 AM
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mr-mac Page Icon Posted 2008-11-03 4:04 AM
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Another small smartbook update.

Got one of those Haicom 305-III CF gps recivers the other day. It arived on Friday so I have been testing over weekend.

Only one small issue is because card is designed for ppc with cf slot at top it tilts down and means the bottom of unit extends a little below bottom of smartbook. However I will likely be using in car so this probs won't be an issue.

Tried it with route66 Mobile 8 (windows mobile software) and it seems to work really well. So far has felt a little slow to pick up satellites but is great once running. Also the driver for the SD slot seems to be superb and the SD storage shows up as soon as the CF card is inserted.

Just a small update to keep people posted on another good use for the smartbook. Can't wait to do custom rom as that should make the SB very usefull. I have also been testing redgear not fully operational yet but should give us a route to getting opera 8.65 running).

Will update again soon.

John

Edited by mr-mac 2008-11-03 4:06 AM
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mr-mac Page Icon Posted 2008-11-14 6:31 AM
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New addition for the custom rom.

A big "Thanks" to chiark for passing on the source code and to isotherm for compiling it.

We now have the smartbook system tray app and I did some testing last night. It seems to work superbly. The little app has the following features;

- Changes the res of vga-out (800x480, 800x600, 1024x768 - soft re-set required to switch res (via msg-box) a soft re-set brings it back to normal) chairk mentioned this was to do with software re-set not working correctly or somthing. though it works very nicely as is.
- it has a quick toggle to quickly switch browser to identify as CE or NT
- a quick toggle to dissable window animation,
- A button to enable LAN (so no power cycle required if you plug in 10/100) very handy.

It also has a GPRS enable/dissable but that doesn't seem to work (from an earlier post i saw from chairk I had expected that though).

hmmmm may need to have a look at the source code and see exactly how it works (although I am not experienced in the language it is written in I can usually understand code and maybe I could look to add a few other handy bits - maybe a prism powersave enable and CF slot power on/off would be nice to have)

Anyway I am sure smartbook owners will find this app a usefull addition to the ROM project or as standalone .exe

Cheers

John
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mr-mac Page Icon Posted 2008-12-04 3:54 AM
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Well I attempted my first tentative steps last night.

A rom with flash.dll removed. Why flash.dll I hear you ask? Well it seems to interfere with opera 8.65 as the file flash.dll is hard coded into opera and even if I overwrite it with the macromedia one it still doesn't solve the issue.

So off I went, of course, help and advice from cmonex (thanks a lot). Unfortunatly it didn't work so will try again tonight.

Still at least it didn't goose the Smartbook (the bootloader still works).

Not sure why it didn't work. Followed all the steps closely.

John
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mr-mac Page Icon Posted 2008-12-05 3:54 AM
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So with a little more help, Cmonex spotted the software that created the NB0 was stripping out a little bit of data (now sorted).

My rom with flash.dll removed works perfectly. cmonex said she would show me how to compress files tonight so I am thinking about trying my first basic custom rom over the weekend.

Will likely just be a few basic changes (maybe strip out built in wi-fi driver and replace with prismnds, and a few other small changes).

I will keep everyone up to date with my progress but if my first basic rom works expect a more complete one to follow shortly.

Cheers

John
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mr-mac Page Icon Posted 2008-12-09 4:44 AM
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Well small update,

List night I got the rom extracted with XIPport and started deleting unrequired files. I managed to remove 974Kb worth of files (wi-fi driver, flash rom utility, bluetooth drivers and help files).

Cmonex is going to write a quick utility to allow me to compress files which on avg will reduce their size on rom by about 50% (so this should allow me to get about 30Mb worth of programs and drivers into the rom).

Also found a nice picture for the custom rom's desktop (and got permission to use it) so it should be looking nice as well.

I will work on the first version over next few days and with any luck maybe have it ready by the weekend. If it works I will then move on to the larger rom.

John

Edited by mr-mac 2008-12-09 4:45 AM
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Bruni Page Icon Posted 2008-12-09 7:58 AM
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It's good to hear that you're making such great use of that Smartbook I sold you all those months ago. You're getting much more out of it than I ever managed. I'll be very interested to see what you come up with. Good luck with the testing and keep us posted.
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mr-mac Page Icon Posted 2008-12-09 8:22 AM
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Bruni - 2008-12-09 12:58 PM

It's good to hear that you're making such great use of that Smartbook I sold you all those months ago. You're getting much more out of it than I ever managed. I'll be very interested to see what you come up with. Good luck with the testing and keep us posted.


Hi, Nice to hear from you.

The big improvement for me was getting the stable rom. Without that it was crashing every 3 days or so where only a hard re-set would get it back running.

The custom rom will hopefully make it a seriously usefull tool.

John
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mr-mac Page Icon Posted 2009-02-09 4:32 AM
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Well,

Nice shiney black Smartbook arived at my house on Friday. I am really pleased with the colour (kind of like a very dark grey finish which I think looks more expensive than the silver one).

Aparently it was one of the last to leave the factory. Not sure if it is just becuase it is unused, if they changed somthing or if it is just because it is brand new but keyboard seems to feel nicer and has not missed a single keystroke and touch screen seems a little more sensetive and accurate.

even more keen to get custom rom finished so fingers crossed cmonex has a little spare time soon.

John



Edited by mr-mac 2009-02-09 4:50 AM
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2009-03-08 7:37 PM
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black smartbook... *envy*

we need to talk on irc
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clintonfitchdotcom Page Icon Posted 2009-03-08 8:20 PM
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I've read through the post - well skimmed some of it - and wanted to see how the ROM is coming along. Do you need another tester?
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2009-03-08 8:40 PM
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clintonfitchdotcom - 2009-03-09 2:20 AM

I've read through the post - well skimmed some of it - and wanted to see how the ROM is coming along. Do you need another tester?


oh, you also got a smartbook? didn't know that!
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clintonfitchdotcom Page Icon Posted 2009-03-08 8:44 PM
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Yep, sure do have one. Love the device... Between it and my HTC Advantage, I'm set for life
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mr-mac Page Icon Posted 2009-03-09 4:03 AM
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clintonfitchdotcom - 2009-03-09 1:44 AM

Yep, sure do have one. Love the device... Between it and my HTC Advantage, I'm set for life


Yeah they are great aren't they...

Well so far I have gathered together all files and programs I want to use in the first build...

Extracted all the original files from the rom.

At the moment I am waiting for cmonex to get a few min spare to help me compress the files and we should almost be ready to rumble, at least for a version 1.

Any apps you would be particularly keen to see?

John

Edited by mr-mac 2009-03-09 4:17 AM
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