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Handhelds Portables Linux

Archos Releases Dev Edition Firmware For Tablets 63

Posted by Soulskill
from the knock-yourselves-out dept.
Charbax writes "While Archos' current 'Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android' is a 4.8" WVGA tablet that runs Android 1.5 (and perhaps 2.0 soon with the full Google Marketplace Experience), users of last year's 4.8" and 7" Archos Linux tablets have been complaining that Archos' firmware updates to its proprietary, embedded Linux OS were too infrequent, and added too little of the requested functionality. Under pressure from hackers demonstrating jailbreak methods, Archos has just now officially released (PDF) the open-source Special Developer Edition firmware based on Angstrom Linux, generated from a customized, open embedded build for last year's Archos 5 and 7 Internet Media tablets. If many talented developers join the community of Archos hackers to make software for this new Archos SDE firmware, then Android, Angstrom Linux, Maemo Mer, Qt and Ubuntu Linux could be expected to run smoothly on it soon. That could make it the ultimate pocket Linux Internet tablet for Linux hackers. Installing Archos' new SDE firmware permanently disables DRM playback and voids the warranty."
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Archos Releases Dev Edition Firmware For Tablets

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  • Archos 5 page (Score:4, Informative)

    by SEWilco (27983) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @01:43PM (#30262912) Journal
    For those unfamiliar with it, here is the Archos 5 home page [archos.com], and the Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org]. Hmm.. what's this about Amazon stopping sales?
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Buzz_Light (1017486) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @01:54PM (#30262978) Homepage

    If you read about the details of the SDE firmware update, it flash-locks the boot0 and boot1 (bootstrap stages) sections of flash, as well as a recovery kernel. So you there is nothing you can do while running the SDE firmware that will permanently brick your Archos device.

    Removing the DRM makes sense, and good riddance, says I! But saying it voids your warranty seems like a cop-out to me, especially since this generation has had a pretty high failure rate.

  • by Buzz_Light (1017486) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @02:01PM (#30263036) Homepage

    It's important to point out that there is a difference between the Archos 5 Internet Tablet (IT) and the Archos 5 Internet Media Tablet (IMT). The Archos 5 IT is the seventh generation and is the device that runs Android natively. This SDE firmware has not been released for that generation. This Special Developers Firmware was only released for the sixth generation, their older hardware.

    Somebody in Archos marketing should definitely be fired.

  • Re:Tablet? (Score:3, Informative)

    by IANAAC (692242) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @02:58PM (#30263380)

    they are tiny palm sized devices, i think someone has redefined 'tablet'.

    Nokia "redefined" tablet in 2006 with its N770 Internet Tablet, then N800, then N810.

    It's not a new concept.

  • by the_womble (580291) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @03:40PM (#30263602) Homepage Journal

    Your right, I love easy app installs. The app stores I use are called "Synaptc" and "RPMDrake".

    It actually takes me three clicks, rather than one, but maybe that's why Linux is regarded as geeky.

    More seriously, app stores are a problem if they are the only way to install software. I would like something like these Archaos tablets, but with an OS that allowed me to install the same hardware as on the desktop.

  • by mrmeval (662166) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [lavemrm]> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:24PM (#30265596) Journal

    Why should I buy crap like this? It's obvious they're hostile to the OS they're using and to the Linux community in general. Why did they disable functionality?

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <[ten.frow] [ta] [todhsals]> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:56PM (#30266734)

    The problem has always seen to be that Archos is great at designing hardware, and terrible at writing software. That's why this move (for the most part) is being hailed as a step forward. This gives the community the possibility to make great software for these devices.

    True, the Archos software stinks. But their hardware is more a spec-sheet marketing list than anything impressive. It's got great specs, but Archos then uses piss-poor low-quality components.

    You interact with the screen, which on the spec sheet is nice (800x480), but I've had to take my Archos back 3-4 times each because they had dead pixels until I got a good one. Make sure you buy from B&M store because you'll have to spend to send it back. Archos won't RMA it unless there's like 5 dead pixels on the screen, so you'll have to have store that does no-question returns. Otherwise all the videos you'll look at have bright spots from all the stuck pixels. And nevermind that one of my replacements came out of the brand-new box, and the hard drive died 2 days later. Powered it up and it was loud and clunking as it booted up the first time.

    That, and Archos started locking out hard drives so you can't even replace the hard drive - the firmware won't boot from unauthorized hard drives.

    Because of this, I avoided buying the new models (which I heard are even worse - imagine buying a new device and every time you tap/click, you get an ad wanting you to buy some new accessory now). But maybe now I'll go get one, change it 3-4 times (probably empty the store of 'em, at Christmas nonetheless) to get a good one, and then hack it. I wonder if this will also allow hard drive upgrades, as well. A way to get rid of the ads, put on VLC or something on it...

  • by thatkid_2002 (1529917) on Monday November 30, 2009 @12:32AM (#30266992)
    The new SmartQ tablets are much cheaper and they allow you to do pretty much whatever you want. You can see them at http://www.dealextreme.com/search.dx/search.SmartQ [dealextreme.com] and those prices include free postage. The new v7 7" (and v5 5", which I haven't seen on anywhere yet but they have made them) even have HDMI and 1080p playback. By default they triple boot WinCE, Ubuntu (you can install Mer) and Android. If you decide to not wait a month or two and yet an older version make sure you upgrade the firmware as the media performance of the 1.0 firmware sucks. The SmartQ tablets don't come with a massive amount of storage space but just add your own, its much cheaper.

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