[E3-hacking] Newbie E3 owner

David Given dg at cowlark.com
Wed Jul 4 23:36:21 BST 2007

Hash: SHA1

lists at mice-software.com wrote:
> Anyway, has anyone tried any of these? I've had a look round the wiki  
> and the past e-mails here but it's not really clear what the present  
> state of drivers/etc. are - I don't mind working on drivers either  
> (although my experience with drivers is primarily on OSX and a small  
> amount on Windows)

As far as the kernel goes, pretty much everything works, mostly. There's a
nice user-friendly OpenEmbedded distro that works if you want to try it ---
but you'll still need a level converter cable to reflash the thing, of course.

I've had Debian running quite successfully on mine, using a USB1 hard drive
and wireless ethernet. It's slow but not as much so as you might think;
recompiling the kernel takes a few hours. The slow hard drive means that
anything data-centric is unpleasant, and the low amount of memory means that
anything memory-centric is even more unpleasant because it involves swapping,
which involves that USB1 bus... but it's perfectly usable as a testbed system.

If you want to do anything involving audio encoding/decoding or video
encoding/decoding you'll probably need to work the DSP; the ARM is low-powered
to begin with, and has no FPU. There are some open-source DSP tools, but there
may not be an open source OMAP compiler (I haven't found one).

I haven't done anything with mine for ages because I breadboard-based
converter cable failed (all the wires pulled out!) and while I have a cheapo
USB phone cable that will work, I still need to put a plug on it.
Unfortunately, most embedded Linux toolchains these days want a bit more
memory than the E3's 32MB. It'd be nice to use something like Maemo, but I
doubt that would be at all feasible... I did nearly get GPE running on it
once, but it chronically ran out of memory; someone else on the list had more
luck with QTopia (check the list archives).

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