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Old 04-17-2007, 05:32 AM   #1
smoogle
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Just got my iLiad

Hello Everyone;

Been reading posts here for a while, was a strong factor in deciding to buy one of these things- i'm an avid programmer and have some experience with linux programming and embedded systems.

Why am I saying this?

Because i'm very interested in the iLiad as a hardware platform. And want to help Adam B/whomever in the development of new software/customisation for the iLiad.

My main concern is of course, bricking the thing- partly because I don't like spending that much money on a new one, secondly living in Australia means the round-trip mail time is rather long. (This becomes irrelevant as soon as an unbrickable variant is produced.)

But, I had some questions; so if you know something i'd be glad to hear it!

1) Other than the 'obvious' rm -f in inappropriate places, renaming/moving critical files, HOW can you brick an iLiad? For those of you that have done so, and it wasn't by something 'silly', how'd you manage it?

2) Does e-ink displays, specifically that in the iLiad have some form of wear? I,e. constantly refreshing applications are a no-no (ignoring the speed they'd work at)

3) Why does the entire screen refresh at times when only small icons in the bottom change, I forget exactly when I saw this - but is it a requirement? How fine-grained is the display control at the software level?

4) How long should I be waiting to get the shell script enabling thingy on iDS? It's been a week since I filled in the form and hit go - not an illiad question i know but it just occurred to me.

5) What is the status of porting interpreted languages such as Python/Java?

6) The bottom display (buttons for searching files/etc whilst exploring folders), at what level is this implemented in the software? I.e. is there an iLiad 'window manager' or are these buttons at a kernel level.

7) What is known about the boot procedure of the iLiad? One of the most useful features i'd have imagined is to eliminate the boot splash screen and instead have the console output - or alternatively pipe it across the network. Should be useful in diagnosing bricked iliads.

8) I remember some threads concerned with supporting booting off the CF card, was either that or SD/MMC or USB booting ever successful? I'd always imagined the 'easy' way to reflash an illiad would be a USB image we would plug in, boot up and click 'yes' to restore the memory.

9) Can a bricked iLiad still act as a USB storage device when plugged into the computer? This is somewhat related to #8

10) Final thing I can think of today; is there any strong reason file management such as folder creation and moving files (esp. from USB/CF to main memory) has not been implemented? Or is it simply not yet high enough on the todo list.
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Old 04-17-2007, 06:13 AM   #2
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That´s good news, the more skilfull people trying to do things the better.
I just can tell you my experience in point 4). I requested for shell access and after two weeks i sent an email to teachsupport (they said they will forward my message to the right people) and after three days i received a message telling me that it was ready to download.

Thanks for your willing to cooperate.
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:02 AM   #3
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Hi smoogle!
You're wellcome to this list and your help and/or contributions will be very appreciated.

About 4) I was like templario, next to two weeks after I sent my request, I recived the confirmation mail to download the shell package.

5) See this thread on iRex forum: http://forum.irexnet.com/viewtopic.php?t=1130

The other questions I'm afraid I'm not sure to answer you most of them. I'm still a newbie with iliad so wait for more experienced users.
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoogle
6) The bottom display (buttons for searching files/etc whilst exploring folders), at what level is this implemented in the software? I.e. is there an iLiad 'window manager' or are these buttons at a kernel level.
iLiad uses [found in /home/root/start.sh]:
Code:
/usr/bin/matchbox-window-manager -use_titlebar no -use_cursor no &
/usr/bin/pageBar&
/usr/bin/matchbox-panel --size 39 --no-menu --bgcolor White --no-session --default-apps mb-applet-icon-container &
If you "killall pageBar" iRex's pdf viewer doesn't start, so src needs a tweak to work without it, e.g. Adam B.'s fbreader does work w/o pageBar.

Last edited by yokos; 04-17-2007 at 10:00 AM. Reason: added [found in /home/root/start.sh]
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:10 AM   #5
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1) you have say it, but remember that in the iliad we have more "critical" files because if you can't start the xsession or the contentlistener you get a brick

2) ?¿?¿ can you explain better this question...¿?¿ some aplications put a image and the e-inks waits but when it's a change in the image you have the e-ink refreshed two ways (partially or full) try the command line and you will see.

3) i only see when you put the keyboard because it's a big change in the e-ink, if you only press the "locked" (candado in spanish) icon only change this icon, nothing more

4)if i remember well now this is a manual process...

5) for java the iliad when the put the mobilepocket support, we will get a jvm machine not complete, but well, (you can search for more details)

6) i don't know i suppose that is something "at the same level" of the content listener

7) i suppose we will get more news in the 2.9.5
8) irex have said that in the 2.9.5 we will can boot a kernel via the CF, (they haven't say anything about USB or SD)

9)i don't know i don't have a bricked iliad

10) i think that are in todo list, but i recommend you to get a card-reader for the pc for transfer things.

Last edited by kapoira; 04-17-2007 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:35 AM   #6
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Brick is a rather loose term. 2 Files to watch out for are /mnt/settings/er_registry.txt and /home/root/start.sh. er_registry controls the contentlister. and start.sh has some startup actions in there. Both if incorrectly formatted or removed, could render your iLiad useless. However, if you install the "unbrickable iLiad" script, you shouldn't have to worry to much about it.
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:35 AM   #7
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Thanks for your answers! Following up on kapoira's reply;

1) *** EDIT Thanks Adam B for answering whilst I wrote this first version!

2) The question about e-ink was concerned with the technology itself; for flash memory devices (USB keys) for instance, they have a limited number of write cycles; is there some similar limitation of e-ink?

3) The keyboard is a good example, it is a large change, but surely only the section of the screen that is covered by the keyboard needs changing?

4) - Thanks for your replies with this, sounds like i'll just wait a week more then send in an email!

5) the Java support looks more than sufficient for most purposes! thanks for your quick answer

6) Thankyou, makes sense and thanks yokos for the reply concerning the window manager processes.

7-9) Sounds like just a waiting game for the next version methinks.

10) Oh I understood I should get a card reader (avid photo taker, so have one lying about anyway). What I was suggesting is booting off the PC-accessible flash memory would make it very easy to experiment with the kernel if it could be accessed when 'dead'
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:50 AM   #8
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New replys ;-)

2) in theory the e-ink don't have the problem of the flash unless you have a broken e-ink if you search in the forum. you will get 2 persons that the iliad in 3 months have gone darker the e-ink and they have contacted for a remplacement.

3) i explain a little of how works the e-ink, when you put a image and don't change the image in3 minutes you can see that the white have loss a little of contrast (you can see it putting a page "lock" the keys and after 3 minutes "unlock" it and see the white near the "lock" (candado), you can program to change only a little part of the image or the full image but:

2 things if you change a part (fast) the white you get is "less" white that the surroundings, if you change all the e-ink ("slow") you get all the image well

(you can try this and know you start to see why some changes are doit in this way)
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:48 PM   #9
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Regarding Java:

iRex will release a Java VM as part of the Mobipocket support "soon". Soon from iRex means somewhere between 2 weeks and a year, but in this case I'd guess 2-4 weeks. This will not be a complete JVM however, it will be a limited version (CDC / Personal Basic Profile).

Scotty compiled another Java VM called wonka and got it working, search the forums here for download.
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Old 04-18-2007, 01:45 AM   #10
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Thought about another useful question;

What timezone are most of you people in; for instance Adam B, kapoia, yokos? For instance the time on this post for me is in the afternoon
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Old 04-18-2007, 02:38 AM   #11
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i'm in the timezone of Spain i think it's GMT or GMT +1 (not very sure about this) that i'm in spain i'm SURE
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Old 04-18-2007, 04:06 AM   #12
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In Spain me too.
Yes kapoira, we are UTC+1 (GMT+1), GMT on the Islas Canarias.
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Old 04-18-2007, 06:18 AM   #13
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GMT -5 Here.

This is the first forum I've visited with a large amount of international people. It's odd seeing posts made at 1am from people.
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Old 04-18-2007, 06:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tororebelde
In Spain me too.
Yes kapoira, we are UTC+1 (GMT+1), GMT on the Islas Canarias.
Me, too. Central Europe has got GMT+1.
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Old 04-18-2007, 06:31 AM   #15
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...counting in DST we actually have GMT+2 in Germany.

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