donderdag 15 september 2011

Activity roundup: Hack in da B0X!

Last week I've had a lot of fun "Hackin' in da B0X" whether it was my dead cheap Chinese Bart Smit TomTec WM8650 (Android 2.2 "Froyo") 7" Tablet or any of my other computers.

TomTec WM8650 Tablet.

Upgraded my baby with the latest (stable) Universal Uberoid WM8650 1.5.2 HoneyCombMOD v8 custom ROM.

Lots of great stuff provided by this update, including more support fort HUAWEI USB MODEM dongles.

There fore I've been researching how to unlock my own USB dongle, which is a HUAWEI e180. I unlocked it successfully (tested on laptop), yet it's unfortunately NOT supported by Uberoid (yet).

However, getting the fscking thing unlocked, was quite satisfying. I can help other people with it from now on for free (gratis)  :-)

Since the HUAWEI e180 didn't work on my tablet, I tried to figure out, how to eventually get a Bluetooth USB dongle to work on the Tablet. What I need is a module (.ko) and the sources of the 2.6.32-9 kernel. Unfortunately kernel.org was compromised lately and thus the provided links don't work ATM. Beside that I need Bluez to get it working.

I put the Bluetooth project on hold, until kernel.org is back up again.

Emulators.

In case you've missed it: I am a fanatical Emulation and Virtualisation enthusiast, so I tried to get a couple of emulators on my Bart Smit TomTec WM8650 (Android 2.2 "Froyo") 7" Tablet to work.

I've got the Android ports of Vice (CBM 8-bit series), UAE (Classic Commodore-Amiga series) and fMSX (MSX series) emulators to work flawlessly.

The only emulator which doesn't work is aDOSbox. If I fire it up, the screen goes black for a couple of seconds and then returns to the "Home screen". IOW: it crashes and does nothing else left.

Microsoft Windows 7.

While not all of the past week's challenges where entirely successfully. I had the desire to install Microsoft Windows 7 on my AMD Athlon XP 2000+ 1 GiB RAM desktop, for quite some time.

Microsoft enthusiast are claiming that Windows 7 is much less resource hogging then Vista and that it should work on my Athlon XP. Thus I jumped on the Windows 7 bandwagon once again to compare with desktop Linux.

Not your average Joe Windows 7 installation.

A small complication is that the DVD-writer on that machine reads CD's but for some mysterious reason lacks to read DVD's for quite some time now. Thus I was not able to install Windows 7 from a DVD.
I have a ISO image of the Windows 7 DVD-ROM and a unpacked version (in a subdirectory) on my Samsung 1.5 TiB USB HDD, which I use to boot Kubuntu 11.04 on my Acer Aspire 7220 laptop, which I currently use as a "Pseudo Desktop". I have a external wireless keyboard and mouse connected to it and it is connected to my Samsung (Linux powered) 32" LED TV. The partitions on that HDD are ext4fs, which MS Windows can't read out of the box.

Thus to be able to install Windows 7 I booted the machine from the System Rescue CD and create two NTFS partition on the 250 GiB HDD of that machine. The first partition as the target partition and the second partition to copy the the unpacked DVD-ROM (to be used as a install partition).
Installed Windows XP temporary on the target partition and installed Windows 7 finally from within Windows XP.

Comparing with Desktop Linux.

There was a time that Linux was a geek OS, but that is a long time ago. Most of us got a bit tired of the main press "Year of the Linux Desktop" stories. If we are honest we can conclude that Microsoft Windows is the underdog by now. In contrast to Linux, Windows is almost ready for the desktop.

Microsoft enthusiasts have been claiming that Windows 7 doesn't require the much criticized reboots. I have no idea where they got this "knowledge" but it simply isn't true. I don't know how many times I had to reboot Windows 7, anyway it was many times. Also the update mechanism in contrast to your typical Desktop Linux distro is quite user hostile and time consuming. Plus the lack of a package manager makes Microsoft Windows a user hostile environment and to be fair, after a couple of updates and installing some software, it became dog slow (within 24 hours).

Conclusion.

I've had a interesting and fun week and I'm rather disappointed by Windows 7. It's not worth the afford wasting money on it. I will replace it with Gentoo Linux within 30 days.

1 opmerking:

  1. Totally agree on the Windoze part. I tried it for the same reasons (and the need to flash my Android phone.. Damn you Samsung!!!) and had a lot of trouble keeping it up for 7 days. I couldn't get KVM to work, Putty was rather annoying and I went trough a lot of trail and error to get my daily apps installed. I can imagine now why FOSS isn't all that popular under the Windows crowd.

    One nice fun fact is that I managed to compile a Funtoo ("Gentoo next generation") system with all my daily apps and openbox desktop in 20 minutes less than it took me installing the basic win7 OEM install. That's a difference of several hours if you include removing all unwanted software, all removable Windows services and installing my basic apps in Windows!!!

    So sorry Windows supporters, you don't have me convinced.... I'll just stick to Funtoo or Aptosid if I like to install a basic desktop system in less that 3 minutes (from USB) and have it fully functional within 30 mins running nothing but Free Open Source Software.

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