This Old iPAQ rx3115 (Other Oldtimers Welcome)

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RumoredNow

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Feb 28, 2011
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Springfield Missouri
LMAO - No need to say it. I know my iPAQ rx3115 is a dinosaur, but so am I. :p

However, the damn thing refuses to die and has been a good, faithful workhorse for a loooong time. To me, that speaks to the quality of the hardware. The rx3115 just seems to be built solidly. Sad to say the PocketPC Pro 2003 (SE) operating system is at the bottom rung of the support ladder from M$ and we all know that means it will be phased out soon...

I just can't give up on my trusty rx3115. Hell, even the original battery is still holding a charge really well. :D And believe me, it hasn't spent a lot of time forgotten and idle despite the constant rotation of new toys that might pass through my hands. It's been used a lot and just keeps on ticking.

So, even though it continues running just fine, I'm now willing to experiment and try to make it more up-to date. Why not tinker with it since all support is fading fast? LOL if I break it now it hardly matters after all these years and I have plenty of other devices to rely on.

So yeah, I'm a bit of a noob (despite being a dinosaur :rolleyes:) who is willing to learn...

First step was to search the Google-sphere. Seems there are a lot more questions than answers out there for rx3115. How to upgrade the OS to WM5 or even WM6.1 Classic? I saw that asked over and over, but very few answers. Most who did reply said, "Try Universal Bootloader and a ROM image for another device..." OK, so that seemed the way to go, but is it?

There are a LOT of dead links for a Universal iPAQ Bootloader out there. I did manage to find a copy @ http://sourceforge.net/projects/ubl/files/ubl/Binaries/ where I selected the GUI version which came as an executable. Double clicking it creates a folder which UBL runs out of.

Caution: My system flagged it as having a Worm in the Vista Driver folders (2... Vista and Vista x64) and the Vista Drivers.exe application. :eek:

Who wants Wormy drivers? For that matter, who wants Vista? :confused:

I'm not qualified to judge if it is a false positive to some of the developers legitimate code. Maybe someone more savvy might want to take a look at it and make a ruling...

So I sanitized UBL by quarantining and deleting the offenders. Next, I asked Windows 7 to run it under compatibility mode for XP service pack 2. (It looks like it was always an XP box utility anyway.)

Here's a sanitized version of UBL for download. http://www.mediafire.com/file/7anraar1tkc3lz1/BootLoader.rar This is a rar of the extracted file folder (minus the Wormy bits). Just expand it and run "Bootloader.exe" right inside the folder. Maybe someone else will have more luck playing with it than I did.

I could in no way make it communicate with my rx3115 under Windows 7. Mtty always fails to open the port. I tried following the advice of UBL's readme and making a settings.ini file to direct mtty to the right port, but with no luck. IDK - I never wrote an .ini file before. Maybe I messed it up. I tried a few variations (settings/bootloader settings/mtty settings for file names) all with no success.

Then I used a friend's XP system and got closer... UBL gets past the mtty stage and opens the com with my rx3115, but then the ROM flash just hangs at 0%. I tried several times with no further success. And without the ROM being cooked for my specific device, flashing from the SD card is out.

I was hoping to force flash the Kitchen WM6.1 Classic ROM for rx1950 I got from this xda thread by Victory144 and Guifort: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=510764 The ROM size is perfect for rx3115!!!

Heck, I even tried looking at the RUU's from valid rx3115 and rx1950 ROM updates and seeing if I could puzzle out how to cobble something with a Hex Editor. But I'm not really qualified for that.

It's been a lot of years and no one has cooked an upgrade ROM for rx3115 yet. At least as far as I can tell. But even recently I've seen rx3115 owners posting to forums and asking for an upgrade. I know I'm not alone in this desire and that's why I started this thread. Maybe some other rx3115 owners will join this discussion. We might just figure something out. :)

Something else I've begun looking into is installing Linux on my rx3115. It seems possible and there are a few reports of it being done, but little in the way of tutorials for the challenged. :p More on that later...

Or... maybe I'm crazy... Doesn't the Samsung s3c2440 CPU meet the minimum system requirements (@ 300mhz) for XP Tablet? CPU's can be overclocked anyway and the s3c2440 should be capable of sustained 400mhz efforts. It is set at that speed in some other PDAs The RAM is right at the bottom edge of requirements as well, IF all 64mb can be freed up for the user. Is there a way to boot XP Tablet off an SD card? Could the RAM/ROM chipsets be instructed to act as two RAM slots for that purpose creating 96mb RAM? Am I just a fool?

I welcome any advice, questions, derisive laughter... whatever...

I'll be checking the thread and updating the reports of my efforts.

Thanx for stopping in.
 

RumoredNow

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2011
305
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Springfield Missouri
Maybe I'm missing a step...

If I press Mobile Media (button 1) + iTask (button 4) + Power + Reset

I get a blank white screen with the HP logo in the center and the revision #'s on the top...

From here (Bootloader screen - right???) rx3115 will try to flash ROM from an SD card if one is inserted that has a ROM image. Unfortunately I don't have a valid image except the 1.01.11 ROM of WM 2003 that I want to upgrade away from.

However - and this may be where I'm missing a step - without an SD card inserted I can't get bootloader to show USB connection. I've tried every button and combo of buttons I can to try and get USB to show up on the bootloader screen.

I feel like I'm missing something and that next step will allow Universal Bootloader to force flash a WM6.1 ROM under XP.

Any help? Anyone? How to get USB connection for bootloader with rx3115?
 

RumoredNow

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2011
305
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Springfield Missouri
Handhelds.org continues to be down for maintenance. They are the distribution and support site for Familiar Linux, an alternative iPAQ OS. They were supposed to be reopened last week... :(

Angstrom Linux has shown itself capable of running on iPAQ and I found a very in depth tutorial - LOL - but it's in Spanish. I'm sorry to say me Spanish es no bueno. There's even a video on YouTube of Angstrom on an iPAQ rx3115 - so I know it can be done. Again though, it's in Spanish.

Today I'm checking out a "Live RAMdisk" version of Angstrom. It's like a LiveBoot CD Linux. You can boot and run Linux from storage (SD card) without installing. Instead of "try before you buy," it allows you to test before you install. At least I will get a chance to see how the Angstrom OS handles without having to flash my ROM and then reflash if I want to revert to WM 2003.

They have LiveRAMdisk and install versions supported for iPAQ h2200, h3900, h4000 and hx4700. The h5000 series is still in testing. More information is @ angstrom-distribution.org/taxonomy/term/6

I'm going to try the LiveRAMdisk version for the h2200 series as it's closest to rx3115. Same RAM and ROM, but the h2200 uses an Intel Xscale CPU rather than the Samsung... Still, it's the closest hardware match to the rx3115 out of all the supported models.

I'll post back about how AngPAQ handles. :)
 

RumoredNow

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2011
305
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Springfield Missouri
HandHelds.org is still down. :( A shame since my research indicates Familiar Linux associates closely with PDAs...

Seems Ubuntu had a project they've abandoned or moved beyond (depending on your perspective), but the hardware requirements are way beyond iPAQ. They do have some stables for anyone interested. Google Ubuntu Mobile or Ubuntu MDI. Might be a nice alternative for some earlier tablet users...


Like they say..... BACKUP your data before any major changes!!!

I did try the LiveRAMdisk version of Angstrom Linux for h2200...

The LiveRAMdisk is a 23mb self executing file that you open from the root of your SD card. It was a non-starter. After booting from my SD card the iPAQ froze. I did a hard reset and freed up as much memory as I could from WM 2003 before trying again. Same result.

No worries, restored from backup and all is OK with my rx3115.

Just to be sure I tried with another method called a Loopback Image. I downloaded an Angstrom/Opie (full PDA style GUI) image and a bootloader from the Angstrom repository as another method of running Angstrom from my SD card. You use 7zip to extract the downloaded .bz2 and it inflates into a robust sized image (96mb in the case of h2200). Add the image and the bootloader to the same location on your SD card (preferably root). Execute the bootloader and run Angstrom off of your SD card. This too failed to run after several attempts...

LOL - another hard reset and restore from back up after each try.


I'm convinced it's a hardware incompatibility due to the difference in processors between h2200 and rx3115. But, darn it, if you look at development boards you find that they use Angstrom on boards with the same Samsung s3c2440 CPU that rx3115 has.

Next step is to try and find some of the Angstrom versions used on those development boards... And hope I get more than a bare-bones, command line only GUI.


If you have one of the supported iPAQs (h2200, h3900, h4000, h5000 or hx4700) it may well be worth your while to try running a Loopback Image from your SD or CF card. A full Linux emvironment when you want and you can always hard reset and restore to get back to Windows Mobile. More information can be found @:
(www) linuxtogo.org/gowiki/WinCeQuickInstall
 

RumoredNow

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2011
305
121
Springfield Missouri
Well, the Angstrom online builder won't give me Opie in a build for a mini2440 board. :(

I did find a .tar.bz2 that someone built up from Angstrom and marked as "Angstrom-opie-image-glibc-test-20070620-rx3000.rootfs.tar.bz2" (Thanx whynot). If I can convert the extracted .tar to .img I could try a Loopback Image with it from my SD card... Meanwhile, I suppose I have to start learning how to build up the bootloader myself. *sigh* Did I mention that I'm more of a hardware guy?

Handhelds.org still down. :(

Despite all the Linux talk I'm still trying to get a higher version of WinCE to install on rx3115... Options are good if you can manage to have them.


Ongoing Questions/Help Sought:

1) Anyone have a cooked ROM (or want to cook one) for iPAQ rx3115 that would flash WM5 or WM6.1 Classic to the rx3115?

2) Any help or suggestions with UBL (Universal BootLoader)?
a) Is the UBL I found @ sourceforge really infected with a worm?
(Note that it is marked as uploaded by the original UBL developer chrismrulz)
b) Am I better off leaving out the suspect Vista Drivers and just using an XP box to run UBL anyway?​

3) Why can't I get rx3115 to acknowledge USB under the iPAQ bootloader screen?

4) Could someone go over to HandHelds.org to knock on their door and tell them to get their site back up already? :D

5) Anyone know how to. or can suggest software to, Convert .tar to .img?

6) Any other Linux Distros I should be looking at as suitable for iPAQ rx3115?

7) Will anyone else post to this thread or am I just Blogging here? :p
a) Am I boring all the fine xda members? :eek:
b) Or are my bungling attempts at least providing a good laugh? :D
 

RumoredNow

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2011
305
121
Springfield Missouri
Yesterday I checked out NetBSD (Unix). They have prepared distributions for a wide array of PCs and Devices... I took a chance and tried one for Strong ARM iPAQs (even though rx3115 is Friendly ARM). Another no go... But I will say that they have the nicest bootloader of all the options I've worked with so far.


Now that I have my minimum posts in, thanx to Blogging in this thread and trying to help some seemingly lost first time posters, I can finally post outside links to the forum. HUZZAH!!!!

There are a few things I've got for download by anyone interested.


Here's the Universal BootLoader with GUI for iPAQ from chrismrulz, without the suspect Vista Drivers. So (I believe) it only works on XP boxes.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/7anraar1tkc3lz1/BootLoader.rar


I had tried a few overclock programs recently... ClockWizard, Pocket Hack Master and XCPUscalar.

ClockWizard is freeware and worth exactly that IMHO. I found it buggy to run...

Pocket Hack Master supports a lot of processors including the s3c2440. I got a version from somewhere with a working serial#. Again, I didn't care for it despite rave reviews elsewhere for other devices.

XCPUscalar worked the best for me, even though there is no official support for Friendly ARM. I found a version which is a free install cab of this $ware. There are a few tricks for some to get the scaling feature to work and that helped me get her configured... I included a .txt of the advice.

All 3 overclocks in one .rar file are here:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/636a5cl8ofzaa2z/OverClock.rar

As a "best of" I broke out XCPUscalar separately.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/z593cqhbnvegpg9/XCPUScalar.arm.CAB
Along with the advice .txt.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/igoragriu8lc2ha/XCPU tricks.txt


Here's the LiveRAMdisk of Angstrom Linux for iPAQ h2200.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/i61956852696grp/Angstrom-x11-image-liveramdisk-2007.12-h2200.exe
Just load it on your SD card and execute it from there to boot into Angstrom. Check out their guide to installing Angstrom under WindowsCE.
http://www.linuxtogo.org/gowiki/WinCeQuickInstall
Of the two methods (LiveRAMdisc or Loopback Image), I think Loopback Image seems more promising...
Check their Repository to see which machines are supported by stable releases.
http://www.angstrom-distribution.org/releases/2007.12/images/
Or visit http://www.angstrom-distribution.org/ for more information. They are heavily into embedded.


Here's the NetBSD files I grabbed all in one .rar file. This executable will boot NetBSD for the following devices: IPAQ h3100, h3600, h3660, h3900, Jornado 720(US/Many Europe/Japan) & Jornado 820(US/Japan).
http://www.mediafire.com/file/ync2ltv3l7oo4si/NetBSD.rar
Inside the folder are the 3 files you need to boot NetBSD under WindowsCE (hpcboot.exe, netbsd-IPAQ.gz and netbsd-IPAQ.symbols.gz) Put all three files on the root of your memory card and execute bootloader to boot into NetBSD.
Also in the .rar is a list of the md5 checksums for each file.
NetBSD has a lot of support for older hardware. Look them up: http://netbsd.org/
Or check out their long list of supported machines.
http://netbsd.org/ports/


If anyone needs a widget for verifying md5 checksums under Windows OS, here's an outstanding one from Jem Berkes. I've used this freeware many times (On XP and Win7). A nice, small footprint program that just works great.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/bhebw4ozo6dz767/md5sum checker.rar
 

RumoredNow

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2011
305
121
Springfield Missouri
Thanks for the reply, kati. Now I don't feel so lonely. ;)

And I added a Thanks to your meter for your post in this thread:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=472643
It seems like your post there got a cook interested in our device. :D I posted some links and PMed him some info. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Maybe he can port over the WM 6.1 Classic ROM that was among the links I sent him. (Thanks tomcug)


Meanwhile...

Handhelds.org is still down. :p

Angstrom has added a new release (2011.03), but the online builder still won't include Opie in the .tar for mini2440 boards (my best hope for a working Angstrom straight from the source). :(

I'm still holding out hope for the "Angstrom-opie-image-glibc-test-20070620-rx3000.rootfs.tar.bz2" that I found.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/f2fsd...age-glibc-test-20070620-rx3000.rootfs.tar.bz2
I just need to find the right kernel and HaRet bootloader for it to run from SD card...

I'm basing that work on this document for installing a Loopback Image which I got translated from Portuguese (Thanx Rubberman).
http://www.mediafire.com/file/ci92vshhpojbyb8/AngPAQ rx3115.pdf
And I'm following the progress of whynot on another board where he documents his efforts to port Angstrom onto rx3115.


Here's a couple more things available for download...

The last official WM 2003 update (1.01.11) with installer
http://www.mediafire.com/file/i6k0935chhkgzlh/iPAQ rx3115 ROM 1_01_11.exe

The cooked ROM of WM 6.1 Classic designed for the rx1950. (.nbf file only)
http://www.mediafire.com/file/iu9p815w3yjpy6h/CEOS.nbf
In case any other cooks want to look at it. At 27.82mb it would just fit on rx3115 and may benefit from being trimmed down. Or someone might have more luck flashing it with the UBL mentioned above.
Here's the whole kitchen package from Victory144 and Guifort
http://www.mediafire.com/file/nna2yo92q2beiik/Flasher_Hp_Ipaq_rx1950_ENG_WM6.1.rar
It includes the installer and the .cab for the appropriate version of Mobile Office.
And just the Office cab for any WM 6.x users who may need it
http://www.mediafire.com/file/nmz3sbyuxan7c4e/office_wpc_WM6.CAB

LOL it seems rx3115s are popping up out of retirement (at least from what I see in the Googlesphere). In case any resurrected machines need it, here's the Daylight Savings Time patch for the new DST schedule.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/i51hkr3c8ep8t5e/Daylight Savings Fix.exe


Stay tuned... I'm still working on Linux booting from an SD card. :)
 
Last edited:

RumoredNow

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2011
305
121
Springfield Missouri

RumoredNow

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2011
305
121
Springfield Missouri
A couple more things I uploaded to help others...

Uedit32 Hex Editor:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/6r8ffn1fq3bh9mu/uedit32.exe

mtty11a a command console for sending commands to iPAQ.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/7srppxvnr728ime/mtty11a.exe

A tutorial on How to install a different language ROM in your PDA I grabbed from another site and turned into a PDF:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/5e48n571jg1adqb/How to install a different language ROM in you PDA.pdf

LOL helping him has helped me... I hope. I may have a better idea of how to use a Hex Editor to change the WM 6.1 ROM and make it installable for rx3115.

I've also learned how to use mtty to make a backup of the ROM image on iPAQ to an SD card. :) I'll post details here later IF anyone posts that they are interested. I'd rather get back to work on my projects than spend time blogging right now. ;)
 

RumoredNow

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2011
305
121
Springfield Missouri
LMAO - Handhelds.org is still down. They are one month overdue for coming back online. :p

I tried a few new ways to get the Kitchen ROM for rx1950 to flash to rx3115. No luck again. :eek:

tomcug has apparently given up on cooking a WM6.1 ROM for rx3115... :confused:

whynot finally replied to my query with a few tips and hints... I'll be making another run at getting Angstrom Linux to boot from SD card soon...
 
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coder12

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Dec 20, 2009
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LMAO - Handhelds.org is still down. They are one month overdue for coming back online. :p

I tried a few new ways to get the Kitchen ROM for rx1950 to flash to rx3115. No luck again. :eek:

tomcug has apparently given up on cooking a WM6.1 ROM for rx3115... :confused:

whynot finally replied to my query with a few tips and hints... I'll be making another run at getting Angstrom Linux to boot from SD card soon...

I'm still following ya :) I may not have an rx1950 but I think it's cool to see what other people on here can do. I'm rooting for you!
 
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Markedwsan

New member
Apr 6, 2011
2
1
Great thread! I just recently started searching for Linux options for the two H3835's I have gathering dust. I retired them long ago for more modern hardware.

Now my kids (8 and 6) have taken over my (and my wife's), Android phones to play games on every time we get in the car. So I thought I'd see what I could do with the old iPaqs to make gaming devices for the kids. But before I can try to get any games running, I have to get an OS on them.

Anybody out there having any luck with the H3835? It appears from the Angstrom Forums that the "lightning fast" 206mhz StrongArm processor isn't up to the task of running Angstrom.

Handhelds.org is still down, so I can't try Familiar yet. I read somewhere else that the delay in bringing the site back up is due to the developers & site admins being adversely impacted by Nokia's recent decision to cease development on Maemo/Meego in favor of Windows Mobile 7. If that's the case, maybe it will be down permanently?

Sadly, I'm a compulsive tinkerer with old hardware and I may not be able to rest until I get it working or brick the silly things.
 
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RumoredNow

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Feb 28, 2011
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Thanks for joining my thread Markedswan. :)

Yeah, Handhelds.org is still down... Interesting rumor - I think I read on a wiki page that there is a split among the developers over some code. The server owner may have frozen access pending legal clarifications. LMAO - It's supposed to be Open Source.

I too am a relentless tinkerer. I understand the upgrade or brick it mentality. :D

First thing I did was look up the h3835 specs on www.pdadb.net That Intel StrongARM SA-1110 CPU looked familiar from my research so I double checked...

NetBSD (Unix) supports lots of old hardware. Your CPU is in their Tier I support group (the highest level of support). http://netbsd.org/ports/#ports-tier1 (The hpcarm listing.) Clicking that link shows that your processor is supported. http://netbsd.org/ports/hpcarm/#processors

h3835 is not listed specifically, but your system architecture is the same as the h3600 series. The only difference is you have twice the ROM. The NetBSD package that I tried should boot on h3835 from the SD card.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/ync2ltv3l7oo4si/NetBSD.rar
or if you prefer to get it from the source
http://ftp.netbsd.org/pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-5.1/hpcarm/

Don't forget the MD5sum checker if you need it. A list of the MD5 sums for each file is in the NetBSD folder.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/bhebw4ozo6dz767/md5sum checker.rar

Good luck and be sure to go to http://netbsd.org/ for documentation and support help.
 

RumoredNow

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2011
305
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Springfield Missouri
Hmmm... That's a thought. I'll definitely look into it. I'm still trying to block out some time to get Angstrom to boot up. I finally got a working (or so my source says) HaRet. I just need the right Linux image.

But I'll give Android 0.8 a try for sure.
 

Markedwsan

New member
Apr 6, 2011
2
1
I've read that Android was too much for these devices. Memory on Android devices is in the Gigibytes (my phone has 10 GB on board I believe) while the iPaqs have less than 100mb typically (mine has 96mb between the RAM and ROM). I have no idea if that is truly the case though. Maybe with a decent size CF or SD card on board?

Rumorednow: NetBSD looks promising from what I've read on the website. Do you know off hand what window manager options will work with the handhelds? I wasn't seeing anything in the packages specifically for handhelds, maybe I missed something. I'll dig deeper, but thought I'd ask in case you knew.

I have the Compact Flash jacket for my 3835, so was thinking about trying Debian (which I'm more comfortable with) & can boot off a 1 GB Compact Flash card. Debian's site says the ARM version was designed with XScale processors and some of the custom router processors in mind, but the instruction set is specficially called out as being V4 for maximum compatability (the StrongARM in my iPaq uses the V4 instruction set) rather than the V5 native to the XScale series which came after StrongARM was introduced. So maybe it will work? I believe OPIE works with Debian as a window manager and that seems pretty slick and well supported.

I'll be living out of a suitcase for work pretty much all of May, so I'll have some time to tinker on this more in the evenings then. But, maybe someone will have it all figured out by then though? :D
 

emo-dudes

Member
Dec 4, 2009
24
1
I've read that Android was too much for these devices. Memory on Android devices is in the Gigibytes (my phone has 10 GB on board I believe) while the iPaqs have less than 100mb typically (mine has 96mb between the RAM and ROM). I have no idea if that is truly the case though. Maybe with a decent size CF or SD card on board?

Rumorednow: NetBSD looks promising from what I've read on the website. Do you know off hand what window manager options will work with the handhelds? I wasn't seeing anything in the packages specifically for handhelds, maybe I missed something. I'll dig deeper, but thought I'd ask in case you knew.

I have the Compact Flash jacket for my 3835, so was thinking about trying Debian (which I'm more comfortable with) & can boot off a 1 GB Compact Flash card. Debian's site says the ARM version was designed with XScale processors and some of the custom router processors in mind, but the instruction set is specficially called out as being V4 for maximum compatability (the StrongARM in my iPaq uses the V4 instruction set) rather than the V5 native to the XScale series which came after StrongARM was introduced. So maybe it will work? I believe OPIE works with Debian as a window manager and that seems pretty slick and well supported.

I'll be living out of a suitcase for work pretty much all of May, so I'll have some time to tinker on this more in the evenings then. But, maybe someone will have it all figured out by then though? :D

The packed android kernel is only 30 or 40 mb if i'm not mistaken. You would have the whole thing from there. ;)
 

sfoxworth89

New member
Apr 15, 2011
2
0
Hi I'm new and registered specifically because of this thread:). I gotta agree with you, waaay too little support for the rx3115. I love this iPaq, have 2 of them and I use them for everything (especially with the nifty universal remote feature, I run around and turn things on and off and annoy my girlfriend a lot). As great as I think it is, it really needs some updating in any way possible really.

Great job on pushing forward with all the different options. Anything you need a second tester on just give me a shout, my 2nd one can be used as a guinea pig;)
 

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