I thought that I’d just complete my recent series of talking about (possible) upcoming Rockbox ports, even though the guys working on this already have been in progress for a while.
This target is quite different than the (already supported) Gigabeat F and X series, and is in fact more like a Zune (claimed to be based on this hardware).
Anyway, Gigabeat S has a 530MHz CPU with FPU, 2.4″ 320×240 LCD, 30 or 60GB disk and it runs a Windows(!) edition.
As all Gigabeat players, this is notoriously hard to get your hands on, especially in Europe.
A couple of Rockbox devs now work on getting a port up and running on the Olympus m:robe 500 player.
This beast has 640×480 resolution, touch screen and a camera! It is powered by the dreaded TI DM320 chipset, has 64 MB ram, 8MB flash and 20GB hard drive.
Anyway, the first code snippets have been committed to SVN so if you own one of these toys, now is the time to join in and make things happen!
Gathered hardware info, Cowon A2 and Neuros OSD both run Linux on basically the same main microcontroller.
Since Rockbox runs fine on the SanDisk Sansa C200 there are now C200 builds provided for download since a few minutes back. This being early C200 days, please have patience and don’t feel shy to step forward and help us smooth out the remaining quirks…
Sansapatcher is being remade to be able to install the bootloader on either e200 or c200 models, so until there’s an updated one available you’ll of course have a slightly harder time to actually install this on your c200.
The friendly guys at marc.info now host alternative archives of the Rockbox mailing lists:
The users list and the dev list have been populated with existing mails, while the other two are being built starting now.
I fetched all Sansa c200 and e200 firmwares I could find and wrote a script that scanned all of them for new mi4 keys, and it only lead me to a single new key (for the Sansa C200 A1.00.03 firmware version).
Another key added, and mi4code 1.0.2 is up on the mi4code page.
This was easily done thanks to Zefies’s firmware collection!
phoronix.com featured a nice first collected comments on the data sheets that AMD has released to the public covering some of the ATI graphic chips, and I especially liked this quote: “in less than ten hours of the specifications being available, GPU specifications were downloaded from the X.Org server over 70,000 times and ate up more than 1.3 terabytes of bandwidth!”
The data sheets are here: www.x.org/wiki/DataSheets
Ok, it seems the pricing for the entire conference (7-8 dec 2007) is going to be:
Student: 60 euro
Private: 120 euro
Company: 240 euro
The blurb for my particular talk (that is going to be held in English, mind you) that is scheduled for 13.00 on dec 8 is drafted like below:
curl and libcurl is a free software project for data transfers with well known Internet protocols. It’s about to turn 10 years, is downloaded more than 1 million times per year and is the answer to all questions and problems
Daniel Stenberg is the founder and leader of the curl project and will talk about exactly everything that curl is good for, what it does for you, who uses it, who should use it and something about the background, the license, people, development and the culture within the project. Some words about the future and who’s paying for the development will also be dealt with.
And no, the official site still hasn’t gone live so this is still not possible to read elsewhere!
Let me be perfectly clear on this:
Nobody has done any sufficient research or investigation on the iPod Classics for anyone to tell how feasable a Rockbox port is or not. But, based on the assumption that the firmware and design choices are similar to that of the Nano 2nd generation, it offers great challenges to any hacker wanting to go down this road.
Many many people confuse this matter with the recently discussed Apple adding a new checksum to the itunes database, and then the subsequent “crack” of that system. This will only allow Linux-users to use these ipods. It certainly does not in any way make it easier to run alternative firmwares on them.
I would rather say that you should all take this as an indication that Apple really doesn’t care one bit about Linux users. In fact, they only care for those who buy their whole package and that package is Windows with itunes or MacOS with itunes. If you’re not buying that concept, you should avoid Apple. Yes I really mean that.
To get Rockbox running on these models or any of the other newer ipod versions, we need fearless and skilled people to get players, rip them apart and do some actual hard-core research on how their internals work and how the firmware is stored and how firmware upgrades are made etc. The same old new-rockbox port drill.
There might be “an opening” to this device using the DFU mode.
Update: during July 2009 some people in the #linux4nano-dev channel managed to run code on the nano 2g (thanks to an exploit of an buffer overflow) and since then there have been fierce activity and custom code seem to run on the iPod Classics too. Still a lot of work and problems to overcome for a Rockbox port to become reality.
So I found theregister.com‘s new podcast Open Season the other day and I listened through the first two episodes the last few days (I spend some time commuting back and forth to work every day), and I must say they do offer a fresh new angle on open source and technology in general.
I’m actually thrilled to have found a new stream of interesting goodies to listen to and I hope they manage to keep the quality and keep delivering in a timely fashion – far too many podcasts stop getting produced after a while or the inter-episode intervals just increase until they’re months apart.
Someone should just tell them that they need to provide a nice RSS feed for it so that we can find new episodes easier etc. Ooops. They do have a feed, even though it gets polluted by other stuff too and not just espisodes…
An example from the wild about how hard it can be to satisfy everyone when you’re writing and offering a library to the world: with the recent libcurl release suddenly open office doesn’t link fine with it.
It turns out these guys have enabled our help-define (CURL_NO_OLDIES) always. The define disables all our backwards compatibility defines/fix and let you check that your application still builds with the latest and doesn’t rely on anything that might be removed in the future.
CURL_NO_OLDIES is a convenient define that really suits a purpose. But not really well suited to unconditionally define for all builds since then you of course get these problems when we (in libcurl) rearrange our defines. This problem came to no surprise to us, since we did quite a large rearrangement before this particular release, and I actually expect that these support-defines will be present for a long time ahead.
So not only did they file a Debian bug report on open office, but also on libcurl.
The conclusion: use CURL_NO_OLDIES when you test-build your application against libcurl. Don’t leave it in the Makefile unconditionally for future builds.