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Wanted - Kernel Development

Christopher Page Icon Posted 2010-03-10 10:36 PM
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I am very pleased with the physical size of the Jornada 728. You just can't beat it for portability. That said, I am trying to get the most mileage out of this machine, wanting to use it to its fullest capacity and potential, meeting my various needs.

As you may all know, the Jornada's native opertating system is Windows CE 3.0. One can also run Jlime/Mongo on it, as well as DOS emulators. All this now makes this one computer, basically like having three computers. (Again, a real plus considering the physical size of the Jornada 728).

While I have been successful in getting Jlime/Mongo to run DOSBOX, I am still looking for a way to speed this process up a bit and thus I asked Kristoffer for what suggestions he might have.

Here is Kristoffer's response:

The best approach would be to use Linux (jlime) as the foundation of the image and then just make all the graphical output go away (so it boots up with a nice logo and then seamlessly goes into dosbox).

You can basically turn off everything that you don’t need so they don’t steal memory or cpu time.

You can usually grab about 5-20% extra speed by fiddling with the compilation/memory stuff.

If you know how to compile a kernel then its easy. Just create the logo you want to use
convert it into the kernel logo format. Set the default booting parameter to redirect output to serial.

Then you will end up with a kernel that boots only showing logo. If you make the logo large enough it will cover everything until you reach the login page (which you sidestep by directly starting
dosbox).

Google for initparameters, and look into the kernel code (inside menuconfig) for
setting logos and default bootparameters.

Kristoffer's comments sound very promising and gives one hope for speed improvement, however I do not have the knowledge necessary in order to accomplish Kristoffer's suggestion.

So, I am posting this message out there to see if there are any Kernel programmers out there that might be able to pull this off.

I think this could be a benefit to others as well, because afterall, those of us that are still using our Jornada's are doing so because we love these machines - and we all want to get the most out of them.

So, if anyone is out there, who has the knowledge to pull this off, and who is up to this challenge, and perhaps has the time to do this, please let me hear from you.
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mscdex Page Icon Posted 2010-03-10 11:47 PM
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Well, you don't have to be a kernel programmer to do this, you just have to know how to modify kernel config options and then compile the kernel.

IMHO though, I'm not sure I see the real benefit of going through all this trouble to be restricted solely to a DOS environment. Additionally you'd still be running DOS software unoptimally, since they'd be executing through an emulation layer.
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Christopher Page Icon Posted 2010-03-11 2:53 AM
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mscdex:

You wrote: "you just have to know how to modify kernel config options and then compile the kernel."

So, do you know "how to modify kernel config options and then compile the kernel" that you could at least help me to walk through the steps myself, or can you point me to a place on the web that would explain how to do this?

I'd don't mind putting my own time into doing something like this, if I just knew where to look, to find some basic instructions on how to do this.
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mscdex Page Icon Posted 2010-03-11 6:55 AM
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Christopher - 2010-03-10 9:53 PM

mscdex:

You wrote: "you just have to know how to modify kernel config options and then compile the kernel."

So, do you know "how to modify kernel config options and then compile the kernel" that you could at least help me to walk through the steps myself, or can you point me to a place on the web that would explain how to do this?

I'd don't mind putting my own time into doing something like this, if I just knew where to look, to find some basic instructions on how to do this.





Edited by mscdex 2010-03-11 6:55 AM
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Hal Page Icon Posted 2010-03-11 6:32 PM
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MSCDEX: Do you know of the grub4dos bootloader? : http://grub4dos.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

It implies it can boot to DOS with perhaps less overhead and could the result be better performance???
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mscdex Page Icon Posted 2010-03-11 7:01 PM
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Hal - 2010-03-11 1:32 PM

MSCDEX: Do you know of the grub4dos bootloader? : http://grub4dos.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

It implies it can boot to DOS with perhaps less overhead and could the result be better performance???


grub4dos is just another bootloader than can boot operating systems. In other words, it's not of any use for what the OP is wanting to accomplish.

The main problem lies in building an ARM (or whatever embedded CPU)-based version of DOS and having it somehow work with embedded devices which use custom components and don't have a BIOS like consumer desktop and laptop computers. Then there's the problem of application compatibility: you'd essentially need to recompile (or otherwise convert using some other method) all of your favorite DOS programs to work with an ARM-based DOS.

This is why emulation is used (a la pocketdos, etc), to remove all of this extra work that would otherwise be needed.

Edited by mscdex 2010-03-11 7:03 PM
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Hal Page Icon Posted 2010-03-13 12:21 PM
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Thanks for the explanation, mscdex. Saves me a bunch of rooting around for naught.
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