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Mobilepro 900c and linux is possible?

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-=Quake Raven=-
-=Quake Raven=- Page Icon Posted 2007-03-16 5:20 AM
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Hi boys
Do I have from a little bought an used nec mobilepro 900c and thanks to cmonex I have also succeeded in adjourning the firmware to the last version, now however would I like to succeed in installing linux but the only information that I find they concern other models, someone can point out you me sites or faq where to retrieve at least the first necessary information to begin?
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-03-17 2:49 AM
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seems like other xscale cenet hpc's have linux booting:

http://www.angstrom-distribution.org/unstable/images/20070207/netbo...

nice site for various handhelds: handhelds.org
btw, lots of support for jornada 720 (but that's strongarm)

anyway, as a start, try some xscale linux boot loader. running off a CF card. then you can play. (ok most likely getting the display up and working will need some hacking ... let alone the ports)

just a note, now that so many 900c's are available so cheap, you might try and find others who also want to hack linux on it, and some of these people might be knowledgeable enough to get the kernel etc running..

i'm in as a beta tester.. also i'm trying to work out how to jtag these 900c's. i might have some results next week. then we wont have to worry about damaging the flash contents, also a linux bootloader can be flashed then.

Edited by cmonex 2007-03-17 2:53 AM
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deadexposure
deadexposure Page Icon Posted 2007-03-21 12:39 AM
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count me in on porting Linux to the MP900... I was just looking at debian. We need some sort of internal data sheet for the hardware inside of these things... anybody? ;p

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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-03-21 1:15 AM
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well i can provide you with some (not too high res ) photos of the 900c mb.

anyway what i know is the following (some of them was read off the mb):

xscale pxa255 + standard stuff. keyboard is hooked up to a non standard part
OS rom: intel strataflash (28f128j3c150)
userdisk: msystems DOC
video: epson (is this for vga out only?) epson s1d13806f00a1
pic: pic16lf877 (friend said he hated programming this particular one)
+some chip named c394 lcx3224 (audio? didnt look at that at all, sorry. i can next time)
lcd is physically compatible with nec 7xx .. dont know more..
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deadexposure
deadexposure Page Icon Posted 2007-03-21 1:41 AM
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cool; thanks for the info.. :-)
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snaglpus Page Icon Posted 2007-03-22 7:13 AM
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I would love to get LINUX up and running on my 900c. I have a 750c, 2 790s, and now one 900c. To me, I like the 790s the best due to their ease of just plain working when you connect or plug something into it! My 900c is another story. I want my 900c to operate like those HP 680s on JIME. My goal is to get LINUX running on it and then Skype. Count me in for getting LINUX on the 900s. Thanks!
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-03-22 6:55 PM
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hey, there, great do you have any experience with getting linux working on handhelds?

skype already works on the 900c afaik.
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mitlu Page Icon Posted 2007-03-28 2:31 AM
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Hi

I just ordered an 900C and would be happy to run Linux on it - because of the new perspectives it would open up to the HPC machines. Unfortunately, as a typical "power user" (Mac OS X & Windows) I am not into coding and not really technically well into Linux/BSD Stuff .

But anyway, if I can be of any help to you guys (maybe testing...) I would be glad to participate. If not, consider this an encouragement to the project.

good luck and keep up the good work!
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snaglpus Page Icon Posted 2007-03-28 9:58 AM
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Cmonex, I was successful getting NetBSD installed on my 790. I partitioned a 2gig CF card and the install wasn't that bad. However I had no problem with my 790 running HPC2000. Being a database guy I got it because it has Pocket Access. I got my 900c off ebay for 45 bucks late one night. The seller has several and I made him an offer and he took it. Everything works on it but it has no database! So I find myself using LINUX and my 790 mostly for everything.

I have an idea. I had Grey Cat Linux running on one of my laptops about 2 years ago and it did very well. I'm going to try and see if I can get it running on my 900c using a 5 gig PCMCIA card. You can run dos commands on a 900 and I'm sure I can get Grey Cat running. I will know this weekend! Wish me luck!
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-03-28 10:14 AM
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45$!%!!! thats the record :shocked:

even my faulty ones didnt cost that much (49$ and i've had them fixed for free)

grey cat: well i hope.. does it support xscale?
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snaglpus Page Icon Posted 2007-04-02 8:03 AM
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I'm not sure if it does or not. Right now I have another problem. The calibration is off bad on my j690. I was able to get it to calibrate but the device won't save my settings. So opening apps is a total total pain. I am about ready to drop kick this thing in the lake! I want to solve this problem before tackling my 900c. I was able to get JLime on it and boy is it sweet! But again calibration is off. I have to fix this issue first. I'll be back later after I try one more tip.
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bsaunder
bsaunder Page Icon Posted 2007-04-03 1:51 PM
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Cmonex,
Thanks for the info:

Processor: xscale pxa255 + standard stuff
Need more detail

Keyboard: keyboard is hooked up to a non standard part

ROM chip: OS ROM intel strataflash (28f128j3c150)
See: http://www.intel.com/design/flcomp/datashts/290667.htm
Listed as a 128Mb thats bit so this should be a 16 megabyte chip???
Doesnt make sense to me. How many are there? 1 or 2?

Userdisk: msystems DOC
Need more details
See: http://www.m-systems.com
This is the "disk on chip" flash memory emulating a ide drive?

Video controller: epson epson s1d13806f00a1
(VGA out only?)
Also used in the Pretec PocketPresenter CF VGA adapter
From Epson site: 13xxx Discontinued LCD Controllers » S1D13806 »
See: http://www.erd.epson.com/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&...
My guess is this chip is used for both VGA out and the internal LCD, but no proof.

Unknown pic: pic16lf877 (friend said he hated programming this particular one)
Need more detail. Probably have to follow traces to see where it goes.

Sound: c394 lcx3224 (audio? didnt look at that at all, sorry. i can next time)
No clue, more details.
Google turned up nothing that seemed to relate.

LCD: lcd is physically compatible with nec 7xx .. dont know more..
A lot of research was done on this to try to convert it to a TFT. I cant remember where I found the threads but
Someone found the part numbers/data sheet and a possible TFT replacement. My theory is that if we get linux
running on it, we have to directly control the LCD controller anyway so reprogramming it to support the TFT
replacement should not be that hard. Where as attempting to rewrite the NEC WinCE LCD controller rountines,
making a new ROM and flashing it, is impossible for my little brain to even consider though cmonex has probably
already done this.

Can you take detailed photo's next time you open one up. Simple hand magnifier and digital camera will provide loads of detail/information.

Legal disclaimer: I am not encouraging breaking the law, the following idea might be illegal to pursue in your country.
Also, IN THEORY, is it possible for you to use that rom disassembly util to look at the WinCE ROM and find the keyboard, sound, and video driver locations? (my copy of that dissasm tool was a demo and expired.) Dissasembly of these would probably produce great info for writing the linux drivers.

Bill
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-04-03 3:08 PM
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hey bsaunder

processor: get the intel pxa255 docs. details: standard serial for example.

keyboard: its in there instead of bluetooth on the pxa255.

rom: erm, i forget.. i'll post photos of the mb. need to get better ones though

DOC: yes.

epson: well i dont see in what way it improves the display performance

about TFT: that was to do with the jornada, sorry

LOL well i cant program lcd controllers but if no one else does it... what i certainly can do is analyse the bootloader/rom disassembly. i got the keyboard and serial from there for example. who cares if it is "breaking the law". it isn't really.
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-04-04 5:52 PM
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2007-04-04 5:53 PM
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blurry photos i made about the motherboard.

http://izemize.fw.hu/900cmb11.zip
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