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The Open Source Handheld OS powered by PicoGUI and Linux

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January 12, 2002 (micah)

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Lately carpman has been adding lots of fun goodies to the Pico/Linux distrobution, including: pgl-launcher, pgl-toolbar, and the new tpcal touchscreen calibrator. We will be uploading a new ROM soon with the new features.
(more screenshots)

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Pico/Linux News

August 26, 2002 (indigo)

Hej all, you probally don't know me, but I know most of you *grin*. Perhaps you know me as "daboy" from a past life, or by my real name "Phil Frost Tate". In any case, I just got a Helio and I intend to update PicoLinux with a recent PicoGui and Linux and all that good stuff. I'm a bit busy with some other projects atm (and work too...) but be assured someone is around again who is working on PicoLinux.

June 8, 2002 (joshnet)

Keep on trucking all PicoLinux users!

Unfortunately there has not been many updates to the images, source etc or even site for some time so don't expect much. If your interested in helping out however, feel free to drop me an e-mail at joshnet@staticky.com and I will put you into contact with the right people.

As always I wish you best of luck with your coding or Linux usage. Thanks for checking us out!

April 11, 2002 (micah)

There was an article published on LinuxDevices by Jay Staton recently that may be a good introduction to PicoLinux:

February 26, 2002 (joshnet)

It is my unfortunate responsibility to announce to you all that the main person who did kernel hacking for the PicoLinux kernel recently had a hardrive crash, thus losing 4 years worth of projects including his PicoLinux work.

Further...badness...He has decided to take a 2 month break from the internet so as of now the kernel hacking has been cut in half. kiatoa is basically the only person currently working on it, I myself do not have enough experience in the field nor a local Linux box. (If you have donations such as hardrives just drop me a line at joshnet@staticky.com.) I know you have all wanted a big release and it may still come, but do not expect it to be as big or to come soon. We currently have bugs in the current romdisk and kernel that have to be squashed but do not fear we will try our best!

If your interested in becoming a new kernel hacker or project admin please send your information to the mailing list and we'll get back to you A.S.A.P!

I wish you all luck with your Helio's and remember - another day brings another chance of hope for PicoLinux.

February 20, 2002 (kiatoa)

I have put several items at http://mainland.essentialgoods.com/matt/vtech/linux/rom-build/new-kernel that may be of interest to some helio owners.

There is a scheme interpreter tinyscheme (http://tinyscheme.sourceforge.net/) and a 2.3.99 kernel with serial that works well (its been reliable for me at up to 57600 bps. The picolinux-helio-scheme.bin has the scheme interpreter in /bin.

This might be useful for people who want to experiment with the helio since it is practical to upload files to the helio for testing.

January 24, 2002 (micah)

You'll see a new "Tools" sidebar to the left where I've mirrored the DT tools for linux and windows, and a small text file explaining how to enter the Helio bootloader.

A few of you might be wondering about the status of the Pico/Linux project... The releases so far have been few and far between, but the PicoGUI project itself is still proceeding quickly and there's an effort underway to port the 2.4.17 linux-vr kernel to the Helio. We have a good launcher, and the PIM and web browser are on their way. If you'd like to help with the development, or just keep tabs on its progress, there are a few things you can do:

  • Join the pgui-devel mailing list. It's true that Pico/Linux has its own mailing list, but since the Pico/Linux project is just a small offshoot from the PicoGUI project it's reasonable to discuss Helio-related matters on its much more active mailing list.
  • Stop by the #picogui channel on irc.openprojects.net. Sometimes you may catch us actually doing work on there ;)
  • Write code! Though it's nice to know who's doing what, so hopefully you'll do one or two of the above items first.
  • Also, if you know of any places you can still get Helios, let us know (on the mailing list preferably). I've heard that Staples still has them, but their online store is out and some of us don't live near one. If you find a good supply, you might even consider buying some and reselling if there's any interest.
  • We could always use ports of PicoGUI to other platforms. There's a (kind of incomplete) list of platforms PicoGUI runs on, and hopefully we can add to that. Right now all the platforms except the Helio have their own distrobution, but my vision for Pico/Linux is to be a cross-platform PDA linux distro based on PicoGUI. Theoretically PicoGUI should even be able to run on Palm or Handspring products.
Pico/Linux is not dead! Now that PicoGUI itself has made so much progress, we should soon have a usable Linux environment for the Helio.

December 30, 2001 (micah)

In case you're looking for the "dt" tool used to flash ROM images to your Helio, it looks like the VTech site's copy of it is down. The vhl-tools project has a mirror that at least has the linux version of dt.

October 10, 2001 (micah)

Released a binary build today from this morning's CVS. Download it here. It is a self-contained Flash image (no separate ramdisk) that you can load with 'dt'. The major enhancement in this image is a working terminal emulator. Note: due to a bug in the init scripts, the helio may get 'stuck' at a mostly black screen with no flashing cursor. If this happens, enter the bootloader (the one you use with 'dt') and hit the reset button.

September 29, 2001 (tasnim)

Added my collection of helio hacks to this site
You can get the files here: picolinux files

linux guys the goal is to get the whole directory structure under /mnt
the steps I followed (but I loaded them gradually as I discovered/compiled them) :

1. gzip the file
2. if still greater than 40KB, split them to 35~40KB pieces
3. run minicom at 9600 bps ( you may change speed by issuing stty 115200, but transfer errors increase to useless level, also change speed of minicom)
4. run rz on helio's shell and use minicom to send file via zmodem
5. use cat >> to assemble the split
6. gunzip it
7. run it, or whatever

the RAMDisk has lot of stuff that you can explore, any queries are welcome.


May 6, 2001 (micah)

Today I started the Pico/Linux project as an entity separate from (but still closely linked to) PicoGUI. I'm in the process of moving the code from the Pico/Linux on Helio tarballs at the PicoGUI site into a new build system in CVS. Parts of the web site may come and go, as it is under construction. (well, more than usual :)

For now, you can find information on the April 17 Pico/Linux Helio release here.