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dcherryholmes
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:14 pm    Post subject: NEC MobilePro 780 Reply with quote

I'm thinking about picking one of these up, and I was wondering if it was possible to install gentoo on one? The best I could find was some reference on a Debian list to the effect that it might be possible. Any better info to be had?
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Deathwing00
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from Installing Gentoo to Gentoo on Alternative Architectures.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well... without knowing...
1. the architecture of CPU in it... and...
2. chipsets being used internally

...forget it. At minimum, you need to know these things before you can even bother thinking about porting Linux to such a device.

If you can provide the link to this reference, then sure, I'll see what I can find out. A stab in the dark suggests it would either be MIPS or ARM based... but as I say, that isn't enough to get Linux working on the unit.
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hardave
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I just happened to pick one of these up the other week. For others just fyi, this is a mips based embedded "palmtop" device with a 168Mhz VR41xx CPU and 32MB of ram.

I haven't been able to boot linux on this yet, because I haven't been able to get a kernel to compile yet. The baseline linux-mips.org kernel is a little stale when it comes to support for this cpu, so it isn't just a matter of emerge mips-sources, and boot. If I can get something to work I'll be sure to publish my patchset and include it in mips-sources so others can play with it if they want.

I have however been able to boot a netbsd kernel on it, so that's a good sign, it means linux should run on it if someone puts the work into it. :)
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Lacutis
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So have you gotten it working? I have a mobilepro 880 I've been looking at getting linux on for a while.
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shickapooka800
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so how did you go about loading the netbsd kernel? did you use a loader from inside windows ce (i cant describe this very well-- like how you boot mklinux on an old mac), or did you format the mem and start over?

I must confese, i am no linux noob, but if it isn't your typical HD, cd floppy nfs type affair, i am lost. Complete noob to embedded type stuff.

if i could just get pointed in the right direction, i will too try my hands at a mips linux kernel, and i might be of some help in getting gentoo on a mobilepro (i have a 790, but its basically the same, just more memory i think).
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GNUtoo
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm also thinking of picking a similar device with:
-an integrated keyboard
-a compaq flash port in order to be able to run gentoo(require a lot of space) instead of a mobile distribution(opie...) with an 1GB card(more space is too expensive)
-a pcmcia port in order to use my pcmcia card(USB2,ethernet 1000,scsi)
-there are alco serials ports wow

there is the jornada 728 with:
-an Intel StrongArm 206Mhz processor
-64MB RAM/ 32MB ROM
- 640 x 240; 65536 coulors
-smard card reader(suported in the kernel???)
-the modem that is not yet usabble under linux

-Is the Nec MobilePro790 beter???
(it has a different processor,less ram,a vga port and a type 2 compact flash port)
-are the microdrives reliable

theses devices have normaly the same or an aproximative price on ebay or shops
so why not getting the best for the same price?
aproximately 70/150 Euros
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shickapooka800
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

from what i have researched the mobilepro 790 (which I have recently purchased) has a mips-based 168MHZ proc. (don't know model number at moment), 32mb of RAM, 16mb of ROM, and 16mb of built in flash. It has the same cf card slot and pcmcia slot, and the software driven modem.
edit:: oh ya and the ram is upgradable appearently
The biggest difference with the 790 and the 780, is that the 780 runs Windows CE 2.11 and the 790 runs H/PC 200 (or from what I read : WinCE 3.0)
This is the main reason I went for the 790, as I wouln't get linux on it for a while, so I wanted the best winCE OS offered. It also came with a supported wifi card.

The jornada was very tempting as it technically had better specs (numbers wise), but the larger keyboard and screen of the mobilepro sold me. Plus I have always wanted a MIPS machine, and I can't afford an SGI origin right now. If I wanted an ARM based bachine (or like it) I would have gotten a nintendo ds.
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GNUtoo
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

but why mips undstead of arm is it faster???
ps:in the jornada there is opie working(all is working but not the sofware modem)

there is also the psp with a locked processor but...i don't understand where they are in porting linux

the ds is great but theses devices have some avantages over the ds:
-the keyboard(ds have a slower,on-screen keyboard)
-the pcmcia(you can have usb2,etc...)
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the old Linux-VR site, there was talk of a bootloader called "cyace" for Windows CE... but I don't know where you'd get it.

I'd suggest keeping a close eye on the Linux/MIPS site for updates. If support for these devices gets updated, then chances are, you'll see news of it there.
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shickapooka800
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

its a matter of curiosity, not speed. If i wanted the fastest machine -- i sure wouldn't be buying a handheld pc, I am just very interested in MIPS processors.

the DS i mentioned out of absurdity. I wouldn't buy one of those even If I wanted to play mediocre, lack-luster games.

Basically it came down to me wanting a project. I could either go for a PSP (so I can play Lumines!) or try the handheld thing that caught my eye. Since I already have a supreme interest in MIPS, the NEC looked good to me. That and I got a prety good deal (came with lots of stuff). The handheld ended up beaing WAY cheaper than a PSP (even used!). especially when you think that with a PSP comes the want for games (like lumines)


by the way, is there an open source game out there that is alot like lumines? (don't say tetris, if you do i will lose it).

Would it be possible to configure a bootloader to boot the entire linux filesystem and kernel from a CF card? (so that I can essentially dual-boot), and if i did this would it put alot of stress on the CF card (all those reads and writes).
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shickapooka800
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.hacksrus.com/~mike/lince/bootloader.htm


that link looks like a good read, it talks about (and i think has) the cyace bootloader... will give a try in future (i posted the link mainly for my reference as i am on a campus computer at school).
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shickapooka800
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so does anyone know of a windows CE 802.1x client? i am using an orinoco based card made by cable tron, i know the card is capable and i would like to athenticate with my schools .1x environment.


does anybody read this section? there are more posts on my friends 15 member forum than in the alternate arch's forum?!
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diego_82
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll subscribe this discussion. I've got a mobilepro 780 too and I'm interested in runnig gentoo oh this.
Diego.
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shickapooka800
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well i have been trying for a while to boot anything, with no success. The biggest problem I see in my unit (mobilepro 790) is that it runs winCE 3.00 not 2.11. Everyi havent gotten the netbsd bootloader to work at all.

I have abandoned putting linux on this thing for now, but i still am in need of some apps. I am looking for an ssh client for winCE 3.00, but compiled for a MIPS vr4121 proc. all the ssh clients i find are, i think, for ARM based machines, and they don't work on my unit.

anybody have any tips on porting openssh myself to WinCE/MIPS? i have never ported anything before, but i am sure i could learn.
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GNUtoo
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow so you've got one
i'd like to know where you've got it
this kind of unit is quite difficult to find
(still searching a jornada 728 in italy,france or belgium)

-you need to find ported linux distib to it
-mabe you'll need to find the jtag pins to be able to re-program the boot memory
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shickapooka800
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

there all over ebay (mobilepro 780's especially), thats where i got mine.

i dont plan on installing linux on the actual ROM as I dont have any means to burn it, so I was planning on using the netbsd style bootloader program that runs in WinCE (or the ellusive CyaCE that I can't find which is a linux version of the netbsd bootloader).

the only problem with the mobilepro's is that it seem smost programs i find (especially if they dont specify the arch) are meant for ARM processors like in the jornada. I still really enjoy my mobilepro -- and it works great right out of the box, i even have a working 802.11b card that i am using (if i could only find a .1x client...).

if you search for mobilepros on google, you should find a site that is of a company specialized in re-selling palmtops. I forget the name of the site -- it was a wierd one though. They have 'refurbished' NEC's and Jornadas for not too bad prices.

in other words I had no trouble finding palmtops (early ones that where in my price range). try ebay and google, they can find anything.
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GNUtoo
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's a little bit different for me
i plan running linux even if i need to solder on the jtag pins that have been discovered
it's target is a notebook remplaccement but with 1GB compact flash and it will be great for websurfing(640x240!!!)

why the 728 and not another one:
*standard processor so gentoo could run on it
*64 MB of ram (i want to be capabel to run standart applications(bit with the tinty version of X))


on ebay i have difficulties to find the 728(64MB ram)

-I don't trust online transactions so i prefer human ones (so i need to contact ebay sellers in my country)
-I was wondering if the state of the batteries(the 720 is old...)

actualy there is only one beeing selled
*304E(too expensive)
*England
*unusefull accesories(10/100 i have already one ,wifi(do not have one but i have to choose the good one,compatible with a lot of programs))
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