18. Kernel Development

The following items are desired for kernel development or compilation. Some are easy, some are hard. Since most people have not set up a cross-compilation environment, the idea is for kernel binaries to be provided with these features for posting. The kernel patches also have to be posted.

18.1. Wish List

  1. Keyboard: There is one more key that needs defining: the latch to close the netBook - that should give a keystroke that might eventually be used to power down or up the netBook when it is closed or opened. And I need not say that the power-up or down keys still need to be implemented.

  2. Power control: power off after inactivity, screen lighten/darken, powerdown on shutdown, etc.

  3. Compactflash support: Could still probably use development to maturity.

  4. PCMCIA support: Although wireless networking works, PCMCIA support is still quite crude. PCMCIA would let us use things like ethernet cards, modem cards, wireless ethernet, and second compactflash cards. At boot up, a 2nd compactflash card presently causes the first compactflash to be non-funtional, although later on the 2nd compactflash card can be inserted without a problem.

  5. Sound support - at least for system beeps! This is also under development; some initial patches exist, but not to a functioning sound system yet. The netBook's sound is 12 bit, which is not supported by linux. So we will have an 8 bit sound system.

18.2. Kernel Development Needs

Peter wrote the following concerning information etc needed for kernel development. Peter has had some success in getting a kernel booting on the Series 7.

Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 17:58:14 +0000
From: Peter van Sebille <peter@yipton.net>
To: Marco Carando <marco.carando@psion.com>
Cc: linux-7110-psion@lists.sourceforge.net, jim.george@blueyonder.co.uk, 
nsc@qsf.demon.co.uk, wookey@aleph1.co.uk
Subject: Re: [Linux-7110-psion] Linux on Psion netpad & netbook

Hi Marco,

I'm sorry for the late response, but I have overlooked your mail on the
linux-7110-psion mailing list.

I'd still be interested in continuing my efforts in porting Linux to the
Series 7 and the Psion netbook. As you can see on http://www.yipton.net,
I managed to get Linux up and running (to some degree) on the Psion
Series 7.

The bits that work are essentially the standard SA-1100 hardware
features which are documented in StrongArm's datasheet. In order to get
a fully functional port of Linux on the Series 7 & Netbook, we need more
hardware info. The latter includes the following:
* List of hardware configurations of the different Series 7 / Netbook
   models (physical memory layout etc).
* Info describing register layout of hardware features not present/used
   in the SA-1100 (things like touchscreen, compact flash etc)
* For the Netbook it would be great to get the info on how the "boot from
   compact flash card" solution works. This allows Linux to be booted on
   startup without the help of EPOC.

Thing that would be helpful as well:
* Access to the Series 7 / Netbook ER5 sw drivers and or kernel source.
   No matter how well the hardware is described, being able to look at
   production quality drivers is a *huge* benefit.
* Maybe we could also get email support from a Psion hw/sw engineer.
   I don't think you have to be afraid for lots of mail discussions,
   but I think it would be helpful if we have a channel to ask very specific
   technical questions.
* When things are moving forward, maybe Psion could donate/lend a couple
   of S7 and Netbook machines for people to test and verify.

In the past, Psion has allowed us to distribute information on the Psion
5mx ASIC under the conditions stipulated below (with the one difference
that we were allowed to replace "LINUX" by "OpenSource"). I've acted as an
intermediate in distributing these documents. People could mail me asking
for them; I would then send them a mail Psion's conditions asking them
whether they agree. If yes, I'd mail them the document.
If Psion prefers this method over distributing information on the Series
7 / Netbook themselves, I'm more than willing to do this again for the
Series 7 / Netbook stuff.

I'm looking forward to your reply on getting some new momentum in the Linux
on the Psion Series 7 & Netbook project!


***** Original Psion condition for Psion Series 5mx hardware info ********

1) Any information I give you is for your own personal use or for use by the
genuine LINUX community.
2) You will not give this information to your employer or deliberately allow
it to be used for any commercial enterprise.
3) You will not publicly distribute this information. This includes but is
not limited to posting it to a web site.
4) You will only share this information with genuine LINUX developers who
also agree to abide by these rules.
5) You are a genuine LINUX developer.
6) You fully understand that any information I send to you is the
confidential property of Psion Computers PLC and we reserve the right to
limit it's use.

Marco Carando wrote:
> Hi all
> there is someone interested to port Linux on netpad and netbook?
> if you are interested please contact us by mail or phone , we are really
>  interested  to analyse a proposal
> best regards
> Marco Carando