Upgrading The Tablet
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A Word of Caution

Because performing updates like this are potentially EXTREMELY DANGEROUS, I strongly urge you to not perform any of these activities unless you are ready to lose your AquaPad. I can't be held accountable if following these instructions fries your motherboard, nukes your BIOS, or does any other negative thing. I have tried these things myself, so I know they worked for me, but they may not work for you.

That said, let's go make our AquaPads into the machines they want to be!

How to Upgrade the BIOS under only Linux

  1. Obtain a new BIOS image. Check ftp://ftp.fica.com/Notebooks_Tablets/AQUA/ under the bios directory, and then the OS you intend to run. (Midori Linux, of course!)
  2. Make a CompactFlash card bootable (see these instructions).
  3. Copy over the files required for the BIOS update. This will run and finish by itself when you turn on the Aquapad. Just make sure that your tablet will boot to the proper drive and that the BIOS (1) identifies your CF card and (2) is set to boot from it.
Disk /dev/sda: 1024 MB, 1024450560 bytes
16 heads, 63 sectors/track, 1985 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 1008 * 512 = 516096 bytes
 
   Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *         1         8      4000+   e  Win95 FAT16 (LBA)

fdisk -l /dev/sda shows me the output in the box.

How to Upgrade the Memory and Processor

The AquaPad comes with 128 Mb of marvelous memory. The device is said to support 256 Mb of memory. It uses standard SO-DIMM SDRAM, 144 pin, non-ECC, PC133. However, just plugging in the memory won't work. Apparently the CPU needs to be code morphed to handle the additional memory. Looks like we are all stuck with 128 Mb until someone figures out how to do this "morphing" of their processor.

The Crusoe processor can not be upgraded either -- it is soldered directly on the board. So, you are stuck with the 500 mhz CPU.

Upgrade from a Windows version (or one without an OS) to Midori Linux

  1. Upgrade the BIOS (see above). Making a bootable Compact Flash card might be as easy as format d: /S, or maybe not.
  2. Download Midori from somewhere
  3. Install. :-)
  4. Once you get Midori tweaked the way you want on the external Compact Flash card, you should be able to rebuild it for /dev/hda and away you go.

Obtaining an Image of the Compact Flash Card

This section is moved to be with the other portions dealing with hard drive images.

Upgrade the Operating System and Other Software

So far, I have not heard of anyone successfully compiling Midori to run flawlessly on the AquaPad. However, you can go ahead and patch your Compact Flash image to have additional applications, upgraded software, etc. Again, I have Pavel Tkatchouk to thank for a great starting point.

  1. Get the images from your Compact Flash card, as described above.
  2. Somehow get cramfsck and mkcramfs on your system. Under Debian, just install the cramfsprogs package.
  3. You can get packcramfs from the AquaPad image itself, or you can build it from Midori. There are two methods that you can use, extraction and mounting. To extract it from the AquaPad image itself, you just need to use cramfsck, which can make a directory and expand an image. Keep or toss the expanded directory after you have packcramfs. Also, you may wish to copy it to your path or somewhere else. The packcramfs from the AquaPad doesn't have usage instructions built into it, so I extracted them for you from the source.
    cramfsck -x sda1_expanded sda1
    cp sda1_expanded/sbin/packcramfs .
  4. Alternately, instead of expanding the image, you could maybe just mount it and copy it out. Please note that you can not change anything if the filesystem is mounted like this. You can only change expanded images.
    mkdir extract
    mount sda1 extract -o loop -t cramfs
    cp extract/sbin/packcramfs .
    umount extract
    rmdir extract
  5. See the next two sections for information about changing the different partitions.

Changing a Root Partition (sda1, sda2)

Keep in mind that the first two partitions should be identical.

  1. Copy the image from the partition if you have not done so already. (See above, "Obtaining an Image")
  2. You made a backup of the original image, right?
  3. If you didn't do this already, extract the image.
    cramfsck -x sda1_expanded sda1
  4. Alter the image by copying in programs, editing files, deleting files, etc.
  5. Create a new image file.
    mkcramfs sda1_expanded sda1
  6. Copy the image back to the partition. You can use dd or cp for this.
    dd if=sda1 of=/dev/sda1

Changing a Multi-Compressed Partition (sda3, sda4)

  1. Copy the image from the partition if you have not done so already. (See above, "Obtaining an Image")
  2. You made a backup of the original image, right?
  3. List the available partitions.
    packcramfs -p sda4
  4. Find the lines at the end that list the active partitions. Determine which one you want to expand. I'll assume that you want to see the one that is marked something like [02]: * usr/X11R6.
  5. Pull the cramfs image out.
    packcramfs -x sda4 02 sda4_p02
  6. Extract the image
    cramfsck -x sda4_p02_expanded sda4_p02
  7. Alter the image by copying in programs, editing files, deleting files, etc.
  8. Create a new image file.
    mkcramfs sda4_p02_expanded sda4_p02
  9. Create a new multiple image file. See either packcramfs --help, or check out the usage information that I extracted from the source.
  10. Copy the new multiple cramfs image back to the partition. You can use dd or cp for this.
    dd if=sda1 of=/dev/sda1

Related Links

Booting from external CF

Upgrading 2000 to Midori here -- don't forget to flash the BIOS

You burn 84 Joules (20 calories) an hour chewing gum. Tyler Akins <>
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