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custom roms for 900c!

Moderators: Rich Hawley

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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-03-05 12:18 AM
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i had a thread about that subject which was sadly lost in the crash along with the thread about the newest firmware

it was about creating custom roms for the 900c (maybe hpc2000 900 too). it would be based on the latest revision, OS firmware version 2.02, would include fixes, needed dll's, useful registry hacks, useless stuff like the citrix install cab would be removed, and so on... i would like to hear what additions/hacks you think would be most useful.

so far i made two custom roms (and experimented a lot a few weeks ago... this will be resumed soon!), one has a modified explorer.exe (i know it can be done with mui's too), to make the low backup battery warning disappear for ever (i had a funny story about that but i know that's been lost too). this one isn't really interesting, but the other one sure looks cool with a replaced gwes.exe and commctrl.dll, giving the 900c the "xp look" that some other cenet devices have by default (such as the sig3). i know it sounds funny but i like my 900c a lot better since then

let me show a photo below...

other plans also include working out how to replace a module (not file) in rom, and to fully delete files. the best would be if we could replace coredll.dll too..with a better version. that'll be a very hard task...
but i have even crazier ideas too (but no word on those yet )



(900cxprom.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 900cxprom.jpg (43KB - 105 downloads)
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CAuser Page Icon Posted 2007-03-05 1:36 AM
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Cmonex, you have done fantastic work! With the ROM you created, MP900C looks really like xp machine. I like it. I just wish such a ROM could include Intersil's reference driver for PRISM-based WiFi cards.
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Bensawsome Page Icon Posted 2007-03-06 12:22 PM
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Maybe have a Vista theme built in including office 2007 icons for the viewers and editors.dKid of like Gearde2003

Edited by Bensawsome 2007-03-06 12:29 PM
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Geared2003 Page Icon Posted 2007-03-06 1:51 PM
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I am glad to see that Cmonex is back... with an interesting new project...!!!

Actually, I don't have a NEC900c, but I am interested in a method to implement the XP-style skin on my CE.net device ( Mio 268+. What did you do to accomplish this ? I assume that you used custom files from PB 4.2 (gwes.exe and commctrl.dll) - did you do anything else (registry entries...) ? Gwes.exe is device specific, right ? that means that you cannot use a generic executable to replace the original gwes.exe ? So, did you modify the original gwes.exe (extracted from ROM) ? and, last but not least, would a RAM based solution work, or is it necessary to replace the ROM ?
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theoak Page Icon Posted 2007-03-06 9:33 PM
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OK. I know that I'll feel like an idiot for asking, once my question is answered, but I'll ask anyway.
What's PB 4.2? (Packard Bell comes to mind, but that can't be right.)
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-03-06 9:48 PM
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thanks for the ideas! i'd like to hear more

CAuser, that should be easily possible.

Geared2003: hey.
(actually the project isn't new but the thread was lost in the crash - anyway this is why i came back.. until i find a better idea.)
yes i used those files from PB. i didn't do anything else.. i still didn't try editing the registry in a rom image, but that's the next step
gwes isn't device specific at all but you can use MUI's as well if you don't like the idea of replacing the whole gwes. probably i'll do that later (that will need new registry entries too). oh and yes a ram based solution works too ... it is never essential to have a rom edited but it is more fun / makes life easier.
btw, TFGBD is working on a vista theme for cenet devices, based on your files. you two could join and do even greater stuff.
(what about visiting us at efnet!)

theoak: PB 4.2 means platform builder 4.2 (eval version is downloadable from microsoft.com and will function for 120 days)

Edited by cmonex 2007-03-06 9:49 PM
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2007-03-07 3:14 AM
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theoak - 2007-03-06 6:33 PM

OK. I know that I'll feel like an idiot for asking, once my question is answered, but I'll ask anyway.
What's PB 4.2? (Packard Bell comes to mind, but that can't be right.)


I'll join the idiot club then - before I figured it out, the first thing that PB brought to my mind was peanut butter.
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Geared2003 Page Icon Posted 2007-03-07 11:58 AM
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cmonex - 2007-03-06 3:48 AM


yes i used those files from PB. i didn't do anything else.. i still didn't try editing the registry in a rom image, but that's the next step
gwes isn't device specific at all but you can use MUI's as well if you don't like the idea of replacing the whole gwes. probably i'll do that later (that will need new registry entries too). oh and yes a ram based solution works too ... it is never essential to have a rom edited but it is more fun / makes life easier.
btw, TFGBD is working on a vista theme for cenet devices, based on your files. you two could join and do even greater stuff.
(what about visiting us at efnet!)


Interesting... I'll try to experiment with my Mio268+.
I have already made a customized icon theme for Ce.net 4.2 but I didn't use vista style icons, because I can't get used to it (dull and boring graphics in my opinion). And I don't like Vista, because it is not HPC-friendly ! My new icon set is included in my latest project, but this is slightly "off topic" because it is not for HVGA HPCs like the NEC 900c. My goal is to implement a better UI for 320x240 (landscape) screens like those used in most GPS PNAs, based on some modified japanese applications. Any interest ?

Edited by Geared2003 2007-03-07 11:59 AM
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-03-07 12:30 PM
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Geared2003: ok, vista was just an example you can create any cool theme, everyone is going to like them
i think the qvga theme will be cool too, i can test it on a dotel dot 340 core cenet device
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theoak Page Icon Posted 2007-03-07 2:32 PM
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As I thought, I feel like an idiot!
Now I remember seeing posts about Platform Builder before.
Still anxiously awaiting my 900c.
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-03-08 8:31 PM
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ok, no more ideas on what should be included in the custom rom ?
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tomboyed Page Icon Posted 2007-03-08 11:06 PM
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Hi Cmonex!

I am glad to see that you are back to hpcfactor.com. Even though we have not meet each other, but here I would like to say thank you very much for your past contributions that have directly and indirectly solved many of my handheld pc problems.

Best regards,

Tom
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Rich Hawley Page Icon Posted 2007-03-09 6:38 AM
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Cmonex, I understand that the platform builder compiles or builds the standard EXEs and that it has other tools that read configuration files (called "BIB files"
*.BIB) which specify the address in ROM where the bits start for the program. I even then understand that PB then rewrites the EXE header to something non-standard that kind of makes the EXE work like the old COM files for lack of a better description. No relocation exists, because CE is literally treating the ROM as if it were RAM. (That's one of the reasons stuff that is IN ROM likely runs slower than a RAM-based version of the same app), but my question is, where do the BIB files come from? Aren't they machine specific? Anyone?

Rich

Edited by Rich Hawley 2007-03-09 6:38 AM
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-03-09 8:24 AM
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Rich, you understand that very well.. except that exe's never had relocations, they simply don't need it and a dumped exe will always work. but what you write is true of dll's in the modules section at least. the addresses etc are probably machine specific yes, so that makes it harder to properly replace a module dll. the files section isn't machine specific at all and dlls can easily be changed or dumped/reused from there.. they will still have relocs. most programs will be happy with the files section. (heck, you can even copy those files out of the rom with totalcommander on the hpc ) but i'd like to fiddle a little with the modules too
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theoak Page Icon Posted 2007-03-15 9:19 PM
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cmonex - 2007-03-08 8:31 PM

ok, no more ideas on what should be included in the custom rom ?


How about the daylightsaving time patch?
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