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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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  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 29, 2009 @02:37PM (#30262880)

    Imagine you work at Archos:

    =============

    Archos Tech Support, Monday, November 30th

    ATS: Hello, this is Archos Tech support, how can I assist you today?
    Customer: Uh, hi. I need to have my Archos tablet RMA'd. It's not working.
    ATS: We can help you with that. Can you describe the nature of the failure?
    Customer: Yeah, I was fiddling around with this kool software package, I mean my friend was messing with this software for my tablet. and I, er... he did something and now it doesn't work! The screen isn't showing up! I demand a replacement

    =============

    It makes sense.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @03:04PM (#30263054)

    No it doesn't, and this is the dumbing down of the consumer electronic industry. Letting companies get away with denying warranty service because of software changes is absurd. There are ways to ensure the device isn't totally screwed just because the software got tampered with, and many other modern devices support restoring software independent of its current state.

    So in reality, the exchange should go like this:

    "My device doesn't work"

    "Did you tamper with it? Can you restore the original software with the tools we provided? Do that and call us back. If it still doesn't work we'll replace or service it."

  • by TejWC (758299) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @03:32PM (#30263226)

    I had an Achros 605 and a Nokia N810. I would say that as an end user, the N810 was much better.

    First of all Archos mislead me into thinking all I had to do for my 605 was just download a plugin to play h.264 movies. However, it turned out, you had to actually pay for that plug-in (yeah, I should have done the research, but I didn't think they would charge me so much). Also, I managed to crash the 605 easily by skipping through songs "too many times". It really sucks to have your whole MP3/MP4 device reboot on you just because you wanted to skip to the good part of a song. I know this article is about the Archos 5 and 7, but my experience with the 605 is bad enough that I am right now recommending people to not trust Archos.

    The N810 is so far much better. I can still find a few bugs here and there but nothing so far that can completely crash the whole system (even when using "unsupported applications"). The fact that they encouraged open development on day 1 has allowed a huge 3rd party library of applications since the day I got my N810. On top of that, they give me a simple terminal shell so I can run console applications without have to do crazy GTK or Qt porting.

    tl;dr: The N810 is a better system for end users anyway.

  • by Buzz_Light (1017486) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @03:42PM (#30263284) Homepage

    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.

    While your on the subject of the 605 though, that hardware is two generations old. They have completely abandoned software updates for it. Why doesn't Archos produce a similar developer firmware for that generation? With their recent history, they could use all the good-will they can get.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @04:05PM (#30263432) Homepage Journal

    No, i'm sick of 'marketing'. Its everywhere, and i'm tired of it being shoved in my face 24/7.

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"

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