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Old 03-18-2004, 12:02 PM   #1
Registered: Dec 2003
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
Posts: 309

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Crazy school project: Linux on a handphone!

So I needed to choose some topic: inspired by the flexibility of the Linux kernel, my group decided to adapt a kernel for the handphone, or run Linux (some form of posix emulation at least) or perhaps translate the kernel. The whole point was to provide open source customisability for the handphone, and Linux was a good choice.

It could be a suicidally impossible topic, or could get me a good grade , and as I am trying to procure information from handphone companies and service providers, naturally I resort back to the community. (one of the objectives was to prove the effectiveness of the community ) so I would like some help.

Basically who has experience with handphone architechture, programming the kernel, java, gprs?

Or perhaps has experience with assembly programming and could adapt to say the machine code of a handphone and help me a bit? I basically need any information or help one can contribute, and then combine it with any information coming from the interviews ahead.

My plan is now that I've disassembled and assembled the basic handphone parts together and still have it working, I plan to put a bit of research into various protocols to get the kernel up and running on it. Hopefully I won't have to create new custom chips (if I have to, then tell me how I might). I can probably try to transfer data from network GPRS, and learning about it, configure a kernel to use it or something. I also know infra red and bluetooth feed might work.

After that, I need some information on how to do system functions on a handphone, like perhaps (is there something like a standard BIOS on a handphone), or use Java to compile a kernel, or translate one, or use Java for the programming stages then produce some kind of translated standard C library for the handphone as best as possible so I can get a kernel up and running and get it to replace the operating system. I think its easily flashed or programmble, right? I mean, its not hard-built into the circuits or anything?

I also know there are physical limitations when comparing it with the x86's and stuff, but I plan to add flash chips and such, if possible. Or a very tiny IDE drive. I don't mind the end product being a bit bulky, as long as its still a sort of a portable, yet not a laptop handphone. After all it would still use GPRS and telephony protocols no?

Nokia information most appreciated, but perhaps other models too. I think since Java and GPRS works on there, I think they have some sort of standard architechture easily adapted for all models. I am willing to do a bit of trial and error, perhaps experiment on those flashy N-Gages.

Yes, my budget isn't too tight as I plan to use any results after the project as well for fun and give back to the community. Seeing how people can solder down stuff to modify Xbox's, why not legally, a handphone?

Any help and info appreciated!

The Suicidal Project Enbarker

Old 03-18-2004, 06:41 PM   #2
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Virginia, USA
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The version of Linux that runs on handphones is called embedded Linux. I believe that there are some commercial handphones in Asia that sell handphones which use embedded Linux.

Here is a site that lists embedded Linux documentation.

Here is an online magazine devoted to embedded Linux.

Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.

Steve Stites


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