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!
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.
Ok, since we have Rockbox on Sansa e200 and e200R working and the support for the c200 series in the pipe, I feel it is about time to make a statement about the possibilities to get Rockbox for the new Sansa View player: it is (most probably) a totally different beast hardware-wise, so it will require a new port with all the associated hard work.
And no, SanDisk has not been in touch with us any further, so I would say it is highly unlikely they will donate any players or similar to us this time.
Once we get to see a detailed dissection with nice hires pictures we can tell for sure, but their talk about 30fps H.264 video in 320×240 resolution implies a major change.
As a summary, the View is indeed SanDisk’s iPod Nano killer with double the flash size for the same amount of money, with a microsdhc-port, claimed longer battery life and only slightly thicker.
A funny detail: SanDisk previously did another player called Sansa View that they put on hold just before the summer!
iFixit ripped apart an iPod touch.
Unfortunately these guys continue to just publish lores camera images instead of hires scans, but this pic shows the (Samsung) chip with the Apple logo on it.
Apparently this has a Wolfson codec while the new iPod Classics use a Cirrus chip!
The touch and the iphone seems to have a lot in common internally. Not too surprising really…
The touch is a whopping 120 grams beast, while I thought the SanDisk Sansa e200 players were heavy with their 75 grams…
Rockbox was a participating mentor organization of Google’s Summer of Code 2007, and I was the organization administrator in our end. It turned out to be a rather easy job and in the end I didn’t end up mentoring anyone.
Now they’re arranging a Summit in Mountain View, California in the beginning of October (like they obviously did last year) and Rockbox as organization is invited to send three representatives. They are even graciously funding people to go there, and they pay for a night at a hotel and food. Very grand indeed.
If my life had been different at this point I would’ve been thrilled to go there. Now, with two small kids it’s just not practically possible. I’ve already stretched my “allowance” from my family by the upcoming week-long trip to China in mid-October. So while it wouldn’t cost me personally much money-wise, it unfortunately doesn’t fit right now.
I find it very amusing that Windows users all so often refer to the command line as DOS, and I’ve tried to figure out how we still today frequently get to read users refer to the ancient operating system.
It was in fact still called “MS-DOS prompt” back in windows 98, as shown in this little picture:
I found that even Microsoft themselves refer to the commands you use on the command line as “MS-DOS commands“, so perhaps this is a primary reason? Even the producers of Windows confuse and mix the terms “command line” and “MS-DOS”…
When they launched Windows XP they no longer called it MS-DOS Prompt, it was then plain and simple “Command Prompt”:
We’ve also seen end users in the Rockbox project refer to the interface as DOS or DOS-style, and there is really nothing what so ever in common with MS-DOS in Rockbox. It is just (by default) a basic text-style interface. It is clear that to many people, a text-based interface be it a music player or a command line window, means DOS.
People are weird.
Obviously the CHDK guys have working code for Canon‘s (and other’s) Digic II powered cameras, and reading their wiki they use plain arm-elf for the job and… yeah so does Rockbox and… yeah, well it certainly at least opens a possibility for a Rockbox branch for these toys!
Of course there would be porting involved and I don’t know how these cameras have on the audio front, but those are all just details…