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Old 06-13-2011, 03:31 PM   #1
Skaperen
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Asus Eee Pad - is it locked down or open?


Here's the news link about it:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...tibles-854485/

And wiki article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASUS_Eee_Pad_Transformer

I'm wondering if anyone has tried this, or not. My curiosity whether it is locked down, or if one can just boot another OS (or OS build) on here (provided it is a build for the Tegra 2's ARM Cortex-A9 and the surrounding devices), such as a vanilla Linux, or a rebuilt Android.

Having worked with ARM processors before (did OS work on IXP4xx series) and noticed how little power they use (not too hot to hold fingers on the CPU even without a heatsink), I'm really interested in this to do other OS/distro port/build on.
 
Old 06-13-2011, 04:17 PM   #2
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I'd be willing to gamble it is open. They have no reason to lock it down. It would be to their benefit to open it like any of their other products.

http://soltesza.wordpress.com/2010/0...-ubuntu-linux/

http://developer.nvidia.com/tegra/fo...upported-tegra


I was thinking of buying one. They had an ad at Tigerdirect for pre-order.

It is never easy on such a new product. Apps and drivers will be slow to appear if ever. It may take a very long time to dethrone the x86.
 
Old 06-13-2011, 05:23 PM   #3
Skaperen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
I'd be willing to gamble it is open. They have no reason to lock it down. It would be to their benefit to open it like any of their other products.

http://soltesza.wordpress.com/2010/0...-ubuntu-linux/

http://developer.nvidia.com/tegra/fo...upported-tegra


I was thinking of buying one. They had an ad at Tigerdirect for pre-order.

It is never easy on such a new product. Apps and drivers will be slow to appear if ever. It may take a very long time to dethrone the x86.
Newegg claims to have them in stock. B&H is taking pre-orders but apparently is getting them in, just not fast enough yet to eliminate the queue. Amazon (via a partner) has them in at a higher price. My timing will depend on finding out for sure if they are open.

ARM is, I think, a winner in the new mobility market. I'm hoping it extends back upward to legacy markets, too, so netbooks (if they stay around), and laptops, end up running them. But this is also hampered by ARM's lack of 64-bit so far.
 
Old 06-13-2011, 11:10 PM   #4
jefro
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It is not so much being open as to other support. I doubt you could just install apps without re-compiling at the very least.

Since it is a pad you have to be careful of the apps being pad aware too. Even now the complaints from the Android on it have lack of pad support.

I'd consider it a gizmo with no other use than to add to your collection right now. It may end up being fun but trying to get a distro on such an odd product would be quite a task.
 
Old 06-14-2011, 10:11 AM   #5
Skaperen
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I would not think of it as an odd product. Touch screen control is a big part of the future of mobile devices, as well as other devices. Possible targets for this include being wall panel control devices for a variety of purposes. The OS for such a dedicated purpose could well be a small one, e.g. of the embedded variety. And yes, the app software would have be touch screen input aware.

I hope to see devices like this come in a variety of sizes as well as mechanical form factors (e.g. all same electronics, but in a case intended for embedded wall mount or surface wall mount).
 
Old 06-14-2011, 04:48 PM   #6
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I am sure it would bring hours of fun but trying to be useful is another thing. Look at how many people are working on Android 3 right now and you are considering a different distro. A tall order on an almost unknown target processor/system board. One arm to another is even a feat in some cases.

Gee, I hope you do get one and try it out. Might be better just to wait a bit. Dunno how many first things I bought. Almost spend a ton of money on an Alpha processor. Darn, what a great design only to be lost in the cracks of gizmo h e double hockeystick.


I have been waiting for some word on the boxee box. It doesn't seem to be cracked.
 
Old 06-15-2011, 10:53 AM   #7
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Look at how many people are working on Android 3 right now and you are considering a different distro.
I've been looking for good "tool platforms" for ages, and even before Android came around.

And besides, they haven't even got Android to correctly submit email to SMTP+STARTTLS (even though you can configure it as such, it still uses encapsulated SSL).

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A tall order on an almost unknown target processor/system board. One arm to another is even a feat in some cases.
ARM is hardly an unknown target. The mix of devices on these new tablets might be an issue.
 
Old 06-15-2011, 04:43 PM   #8
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I am not trying to discourage you at all, I know it sounds like it.

I think the problem is a tablet for any technical use. They are just difficult to play with if you don't have a real keyboard and mouse sometimes.

Looks like they have a lot of work to do on a Android 3.x tablet OS from what I read.


Let us know if you get it.
 
Old 06-16-2011, 08:29 AM   #9
Skaperen
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I am not trying to discourage you at all, I know it sounds like it.

I think the problem is a tablet for any technical use. They are just difficult to play with if you don't have a real keyboard and mouse sometimes.

Looks like they have a lot of work to do on a Android 3.x tablet OS from what I read.


Let us know if you get it.
Yeah, it seems Android still has a lot of maturing to do. I would leave my options open as to the OS. The lack of keyboard/mouse would be annoying for the place to actually do the developing. But it is just right for many utilitarian uses. Development would be done on another machine and the image migrated over in one of many possible ways, depending on what the target has. That's standard fare for embedded work.
 
Old 06-17-2011, 04:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
I think the problem is a tablet for any technical use. They are just difficult to play with if you don't have a real keyboard and mouse sometimes.
One of the biggest advantages of the Transformer is that it does have a keyboard and mouse. Getting the Transformer without the laptop mode dock would be crazy, it's the biggest selling point of the device (even with the cost of the dock factored in, it is still a better deal than it's only peer, the Motorola XOOM).

As for the software, there are already many builds/tweaks of Android 3.x available for the Transformer, though they are somewhat limited due to the fact that the Android 3.x source has not (and, according to Google, will not) be released. There has been some work on getting a full Linux distribution running on the Transformer, though I am not aware of anyone releasing a working build yet. There is technically no reason it couldn't be done, and plenty of people are working on it, so it shouldn't be too long now.

Last edited by MS3FGX; 06-17-2011 at 04:11 PM.
 
Old 06-17-2011, 04:58 PM   #11
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I think he wants really a dual use gizmo. One to code for embedded project and one to play with for fun.

The add on dock may be an issue. It doesn't seem to be simply a keyboard but a type of dock and it costs more than a laptop with it added on.

I am waiting to see how it will pan out.
 
Old 06-20-2011, 10:36 AM   #12
Skaperen
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I think he wants really a dual use gizmo. One to code for embedded project and one to play with for fun.
It's sort of like that. Actual development work at the app level I can do on a fully hosted system, then do cross compiles if it's in C, and put the app on the target gizmo. Of course there would also be some porting work to get Linux (or BSD) on there, or some cracking for Android.

I am generally looking for small low power (e.g. mostly ARM processors, but still open to others of the low power realm) devices of various kinds. Some would be nice with screens, and the tablet could serve that purpose for mid size uses (I'd also like smaller and larger things like this). Others would be nice without screens (like repurposing a wireless router). There are numerous things I'd like to do if I could find the right hardware. But too often hardware close enough to be usable are embedded eval boards that cost well north of a grand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
The add on dock may be an issue. It doesn't seem to be simply a keyboard but a type of dock and it costs more than a laptop with it added on.

I am waiting to see how it will pan out.
I don't know if the add on dock would be needed for porting a system and apps to it. The kinds of functions I envision for it would mostly not need the dock (but assumes I can use the touch screen input).
 
  


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