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Debian for WM8505 Netbooks (like that Sylvania one)

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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2022-03-21 11:09 PM
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Although I don't own this model, some info here on booting Linux:

https://github.com/lrussell887/Debian-for-WM8505-Netbooks

from Using the build:
"In order to get a build running, you will need an 8 GB SD card (recommended, it can be smaller) and a Linux machine with GParted. On the card, first create a 16 MB FAT16 partition, followed by an EXT4 partition that fills the rest of the card. You will then want to extract the boot.zip file to the FAT16 partition, and rootfs.tar.gz file to the EXT4 partition. Once that is completed, insert the card into your netbook and boot into your new Debian system!"

Not sure where to get the battery for this, maybe somebody else knows.

-stingraze

Edited by stingraze 2022-03-21 11:09 PM
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Jornada+Linux Page Icon Posted 2022-03-22 9:51 AM
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@stingraze: thanks for the info! So it looks like this netbook is factory-configured to boot from an SD card... Fascinating.

Now for that battery... The netbook won't even start with a power supply attached now that the battery is dead.
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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2022-03-22 8:41 PM
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You're welcome!

I guess the option for the battery is find a broken screen (etc.) WM8505 Netbook and transfer the battery from there, or recell the battery.

Edited by stingraze 2022-03-22 8:42 PM
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Laci Page Icon Posted 2022-05-28 2:22 AM
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I bought a Jay-Tech branded one some months ago. Windows CE works differently than on the usual devices, it runs entirely from flash memory and everything you do is permanently saved even if you shut it down completely. Which you will do a lot since these laptops don't support standby at all. The display is unusually nice for such a cheap netbook. My unit is a German language one and came with a password set, reinstalling WinCE from SD card removed that. Interestingly the manufacturer of this particular model included Softmaker office to make it a bit useful.

A few days ago I installed Debian on it. The first SD card I tried had 8GB but somehow corrupted the system after an update. A 128GB Samsung card on the other hand works well. What doesn't work at all is the touchpad. There are some internal differences between these wondermedia laptops. Haven't tried messing with wifi yet. Audio also doesn't work but it's not a big loss since this netbook has one of the worst DACs I've ever heard.

I immediately upgraded to Debian 11 using "apt-get dist-upgrade". After that things worked normally. I managed to compile CDE on it, it took more than a day. But it's an interesting machine for sure. What kills it is the slow performance.
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2022-12-01 5:56 PM
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Quote
Jornada+Linux - 2022-03-18 6:07 AM

Sorry for the necro bump.

I still have one of these devices. Was about to throw it away because the battery is dead (started to bulge). Does anybody know if I can buy another on Aliexpress? I think the battery is a pretty standard LiPo with a JST (Japan Solderless Terminal) connector.

Anyway, how do you start Linux on this thing from an SD card? Mine has Android on it...



I know you posted your question quite a while ago.....

You may have figured this out by now, but your best bet is to re-cell the batteries. There are posts on this forum about how to do this.

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stingraze Page Icon Posted 2022-12-02 12:55 AM
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Post from 2013 about WM8505 and Debian Linux I found:

https://cae2100.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/sylvania-netbook-debian-lin...

Edited by stingraze 2022-12-02 1:05 AM
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torch Page Icon Posted 2022-12-02 2:32 AM
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I actually am ashamed I got rid of my Sylvania and my first 790.
The sylvania would have made a great Debian machine !!
Libreoffice would be great.
Plus software support pretty good since it’s arm32bit like the pi
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2022-12-02 2:43 AM
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As Laci noted in post up above, Debian performance on these netbooks was very slow and various people reported issues with wifi and other things.

So, I wouldn't lose much sleep over not having it.

Just my 2¢.....

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torch Page Icon Posted 2022-12-02 3:51 AM
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hahah!
I remember owning the Sylvania one first, then found a $40 deal for the 790 a few months later and I didn't have a car, so I rode my bike to meet the guy...
The 790 was a completely different experience, much better than the Sylvania honestly.

And I forgot how pathetic the RAM is on the Sylvania - Debian would be slow. Even my Pi1 has more ram!!

I just wish I valued vintage stuff better like I do now. I wish I still had my older H/PCs.
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2022-12-02 4:04 AM
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I can understand missing the 790 and other HPCs.....

I wish I had several of the ones I parted with some years ago....
along with some other laptops...

Oh well....



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torch Page Icon Posted 2022-12-02 4:10 AM
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Ha! All good. I actually re bought a 790 a few months ago! Still my favorite H/PC. It even seems faster than my MobilePro 900!


Anyway about the battery replacement for the CE netbook . I didn’t find a battery itself but I found another CE netbook on eBay ? I wonder if you could ask the seller if the battery works ?



Edit: obviously a re-cell as others mentioned is probably a better bet if you have the knowledge to do so. but maybe that eBay listing is another idea ?

Edited by torch 2022-12-02 4:19 AM
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ArchiMark Page Icon Posted 2022-12-02 5:33 AM
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Are you sure this is same battery design as your netbook?

I sent question to seller about condition of battery.

Buying another working battery is easier than re-celling a battery yourself. However, with re-celling, you can put in 'new' battery cells, while getting a used battery is taking some risk in how good it really is.
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torch Page Icon Posted 2022-12-02 5:37 AM
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Oh ! aha sorry
I meant the second part of the message for Jornada+Linux.
I have no desire to actually buy another CE netbook lolll

But they are hard to find these days.

I didn't know about how re-celling works, thank you for the info. I'm honestly risk averse to trying something like that - I wish my tech nerd friend lived in the same state as me so I could have him do this stuff for me

Edited by torch 2022-12-02 5:45 AM
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