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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:11 am 
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Updated 12/28/10

DISCLAIMER:: You are on your own if you run these images. Things are no where near complete. Please do not use this software without prior knowledge of RKandroid. This is discussed elsewhere in the forums.

The current Gingerbread AOSP image is Alpha2 -- http://www.mediafire.com/?8sb623jv0sdea2y

When this thread was started, there were no A7HT ports beyond Cupcake (1.5). After I wrote up a Wiki on how to accomplish porting to Donut (1.6) and releasing a proof of concept image, other people got involved. Theplague came along and fixed the missing pieces I left undone for a Froyo (2.2) port. Recently Gingerbread has been ported successfully. These three "images" are all from the AOSP source code, with the original kernel and some binaries from the most recent manufacturer stock image. Finally, there is a non-AOSP project going on, led by SpecialB and lefeudedieu (Apad development) for a Eclair (2.1) port.

All of the images are limited to the available 128MB ram, so performance is an issue all around. Further there is not any DSP or video acceleration.

The AOSP images mentioned in this thread, and corresponding responses, are mostly developmental and mostly for curiosity sake. Things known not to work in Gingerbread:

* SLOW. There's no hardware acceleration, and the Archos 7 HT heavily swaps heavily under Android 2.X.
* Video, multimedia codecs. See above.
* Home page of web browser crashes. Suggested workaround is to search for a page in the widget and change your home page in the options.
* Wifi is flaky, and known to stop associating with the available connection when the tablet is on for an extended period of time.
* SD Card internal can be iffy. It works most of the time, but on my device and some others it had issues being consistent.
* USB Notifications/External mounting (both SD card and internal space).
* Market requires the tablet workaround (not exclusive to this image).
* Gallery app and video app will remove the status bar.
Probably more....

The image is 'rooted' so use with caution. Also, it includes bash, modules contributed for cifs etc, adb is enabled by default.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cyanogen 7 image posted on page 14 of thread (2/7/11)


Last edited by kornyone on Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:54 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:25 am 
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(Original thread):

Has anyone given this an effort? I have some time on it myself and I have some very interesting results.

I compiled the AOSP for Donut, Eclar, and Froyo. I then included it with the a slightly modified boot.img (init.rk28board.rc), added rest of the original images (including the original kernel), and tested things out. This involved converting the default AOSP system.img (yaffs) to cramfs, adding busybox back in (it's referred to in the init script).

There are some very positive results from this testing -- the old kernel, which does contain some proprietary drivers (the source code is in the archos gpl release, if I am not mistaken) seems to actually work somewhat with the newer AOSPs. Namely the framebuffer (display) and touchscreen input work right out of the box. Not knowing enough about AOSP sound/wifi (wpa) configuration, I did not test these out.

1.6 Donut -- It loads up the UI and touchscreen works. It does not crash while idling, and adb seems to log only a minimal amount of issues with default configuration. Reboots work just fine. In general, it looks like it could be stable.
2.0/2.1 Eclar -- Plain does not not load. adb logcat shows it stops when loading the framebuffer driver
2.2 Froyo -- It loads approximately 2% of the time, and only remains up for about 30 seconds. After the one off occurrence when the UI does load up, additional restarts after it crashes will not bring the UI back. It has to be reflashed. I believe some sort of initialization process is failing the first load impacting subsequent attempts.

It's hard to test anything without a hardware button on these devices. As soon as you load an application, that's where you will be until you reboot -- you cannot go back.

I got mixed results with each, but it leads me to be optimistic that some people with right the right knowledge working on this could potentially get Froyo to work.

If others are interested, I am happy to expand on steps I took, and possibly include the update.img files I have been testing. I will still be working on this on my own.. but it would rock for the community to get Froyo working on this worthy device!


Last edited by kornyone on Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:04 am 
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Very cool. Are you compiling on a linux machine or in Windows? I just got a little time to play with the A7HT, but I have been unable to get ADB working under Windows 7 x64.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:12 am 
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Wow, I'm impressed... seeing that 1.6 boots and is stable, and that 2.2 has the potential to boot seems just incredible :)

Rogerbraun at the Slatedroid forums has been working on a 1.6 port for the aPad, and a short while ago a user called fkcoder got 2.2 to boot (without touchscreen), he posted it on page 5 of the link I am providing.

The aPad shares most of the hardware with the Archos, so you could try to get in touch with them

http://www.slatedroid.com/apad-rogerbra ... pdate.html


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:28 am 
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I actually saw those post and it inspired me on this two day project :) I got a particular modification needed for the UI to load from fkcoder. We have talked some on ICQ.

So far with the apad, he cannot get the touchscreen to work in Froyo, but the UI is available. He does not have to hack init.rk28board.rc to enable adbd at boot.

With the Archos, touchscreen seems to be right on without calibration.

I have logcat output from where Froyo does load and crashes (the once in a while situation where it's UI shows up), and I have logcat output from the every other boot load where the UI fails to load. It would be great for someone to analyze these who can help, but so far I am not sure where to go for that. I attempted to post to the google porting groups, but the moderators did not allow my post through.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:36 am 
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This might be helpful. Its a guide from Cyanogen that as far as I know the guys porting Froyo to the A5IT are using:

http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/index.php?t ... rom_source

*** EDIT *** what I meant is that they are using a Cyanogen repo as their main source to build an img for the 5IT


Another thing I read somewhere is that for stability, you should comment out all the sensor sections in the kernel, which wouldnt affect us as we dont have any hehe

I am no expert, but shouldn't be there in the kernel sources a modification with the soft buttons? If someone could point it out, we could add it to the base 1.6 builds which are stable.

Here is another good guide I've read a while ago
http://lukasz.szmit.eu/2009/12/making-y ... d-rom.html


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:58 am 
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I edited my post, obviously you don't need guides to compile Android, and that's not what I tried to say, my bad english and the hour betrayed me :)

What I meant is that the guys porting Froyo to the 5IT are using a Cyanogen repo as their main source to build an img for the tablet.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:08 am 
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lakehousetech: I compiled the AOSP with Gentoo, though it can be done just as easily, probably more so, in Ubuntu. A lot of the utilities for this process (AFPTool, rkcrc, rkandroid) require windows, but the file system work and AOSP work is all linux based.

pmarin: I would prefer to port cyanogenmod, but a generic build from their froyo branch of git always fails to compile, and the cyanogen guys don't seem to know what it is, and I am not a full time programmer. The other URL is specific to HTC devices, which have significant differences.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:38 am 
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If
kornyone wrote:
1.6 Donut -- It loads up the UI and touchscreen works. It does not crash while idling, and adb seems to log only a minimal amount of issues with default configuration. Reboots work just fine. In general, it looks like it could be stable.


This would be my first port of call to get the A7HT finally working properly. 2.2 is the dream but is the device really capable of handling it?

anyhow really exciting news!

Congrats

Chris

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:56 pm 
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I am not sure how far we could get into Froyo with this device, but this is what I would like to find out (by hacking it as much as possible). Granted I am not a programmer, more of a linux hacker, so I will not be able to do it all -- like creating soft buttons in the UI like we have now in the Archos Stock Firmware. The fact Froyo does load the framebuffer and touchscreen drivers is a lot more success than similar tablet have seen.

I think one of the first steps would be to make a Froyo supported kernel, which could require some rewrite to the source code from Archos. However, this endeavor is not worth taking on until it is known how to recreate a working kernel.img file. To the best of my knowledge, we only know how to edit update.img, system.img, boot.img, and recovery.img.

I have posted to a somewhat older thread http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=34307&start=60 for help with the kernel.img. I would like to get the ball rolling on kernel work.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:12 pm 
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Hi All,

I don't know if this will help but I can host the files on www.a7ht.co.cc and possibly create some form of online notes system so co-operative work can be done. It would be best if it's some form of user access system, not because I think what your doing should be secret but rather to protect someone (like myself) bricking their A7HT.

Uploading the files will be possible by any admin user.

The notes system is not a forum replacement (discussion i.e. this thread) but rather a changelog (documentation).

What do you think? will that help?

Chris

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:52 pm 
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Sounds like a Wiki, Chris.

Allen

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:00 am 
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Hi Allen,

When working on a website co-operatively, I often use project management tools, to document what we have done.
The difficulty here is that we end up in a Linux issue - i.e. many different flavours of one OS.

The best solution (however very impractical) is where REGISTERED users checkout the copy to experiment and document any changes they have made with the results documented, which then can be applied by the project team to the base copy.

If this can be covered by the existing wiki that's less work for me - I hate reinventing the wheel.

My only thought was based on this quote:
kornyone wrote:
I got mixed results with each, but it leads me to be optimistic that some people with right the right knowledge working on this could potentially get Froyo to work.

That setting up a framework for co-operative work could be of benefit to anyone working on this. And while I am not really versed in either Linux or Android OS tweaking I can provide support in other forms.

The current site for hosting firmware is on Joomla which makes it perfect for adding in new levels of interactivity. I was thinking of adding something like Projectfork - http://www.projectfork.net/ which should mean that the developers can work on the firmware together knowing what others have achieved.

Thoughts, comments...

Nice to see your still with us,
Cheers,

Chris

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:17 am 
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Hi Chris,

Here's the scoop with Wikis: Not RCS or CVS and no forking. The ArchosFans Wiki is MediaWiki based. Only AF Wiki members can create and edit Wiki pages. Each Wiki page has a Talk (or Discussion) section and a History section.

You can't host files (xxxxxx.img) in our Wiki, but you can link to other sections on the Wiki page and to other Wiki pages, or to external files and sites.

I an adamantly opposed to setting up sites other than ArchosFans to document topics in ArchosFans forums. Since ArchosFans doesn't host file downloads I have no problem with other sites hosting files. I host some files for download on my own sites.

A PM like ProjectFork is another area completely. And it makes sense for Code Development - - If you have enough folks working on the code and some one to manage the whole process. I don't think we have enough developers and a manager to make a PM a worthwhile effort.

A member of the 5IT forum tried a separate site for tracking Bugs and it didn't work - not enough participation.

But, you can always prove me wrong by getting a viable PM going with enough participants to sustain it. Realize, of course, in two years how many are going to care about an "ancient" 7HT?

Developing code - can't do it here in the AF forums. But you can discuss it here and document it in our Wiki.

Allen

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:04 pm 
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Ok Allen that makes sense...

AllenPapapetrou wrote:
The ArchosFans Wiki is MediaWiki based. Only AF Wiki members can create and edit Wiki pages. Each Wiki page has a Talk (or Discussion) section and a History section.


The only shame is that looking through the A7HT wiki it's full of stuff that refers to the A5IT. Which is a shame, I realise that Charbax has done what time allows but as a community we should be beginning to tidy it up a bit - I will take a look at what's needed.

AllenPapapetrou wrote:
Realize, of course, in two years how many are going to care about an "ancient" 7HT?


I also agree that the A7HT could well have all interest die off, however there have been over 1722 visits in 15 days to my little firmware site meaning there is quite a lot of interest in updated firmware for the A7HT. While Knightsdominon led the charge the majority of work done on the updated firmwares have been done by "Archos novices". Downloads of the firmware which can now be tracked (for only the 3 days) have been nearly 100, mostly the new SamJr YAR.

While the A5 is held up as a very good device the A7HT is clearly a flawed product which also means that there is lots of room for improvement. The core problem for users up to now has been sharing update images. But if the developers take this to the next level and work co-operatively this will require some form of discussion of code. Whether its for 5 days or five years it's still worth supporting - however if this can be done successfully through the wiki that's great, but looking at the current wiki involvement level I have my doubts.

If I was interested in making a cent from an Archos project - I would be worried about longevity. All I can do is make the offer and let others let me know if they require it.

Cheers,

Chris

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:39 pm 
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Go ahead!, if you have some 2semi"-stable build i can test on my device.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:15 am 
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Quick update here -- I managed to get all the hardware to work in Donut, I believe (sound, wifi, sdcard, sensors). I had to spend a chunk of time finding which Android OS proprietary libraries had to be extracted, which ended up being about a dozen in a few folders. Sound was by far the most difficult to isolate. Some stuff still doesn't work though -- such as the /flash partition. Donut has a problem with the fat partition check at load for some reason. Also, the task bar is not stretched properly when pulled down, which is probably something I can isolate in the source of Donut and fix.

Still, the lack of hardware buttons makes the installation somewhat useless; you are still stuck within a single application once you have loaded it, unless using a task bar task manager or gesture management tool or something like that.

Froyo will probably never work, but not because the hardware is not capable (that's probably too early to say, I have barely tested Donut's speed). Unfortunately, the binary libraries required from the original firmware/install simply do not work. The same method I used to set up Donut should (or has to) work, and does not -- It fails loading the binary audio, wifi, etc.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:54 am 
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kornyone wrote:
Quick update here -- I managed to get all the hardware to work in Donut, I believe (sound, wifi, sdcard, sensors). I had to spend a chunk of time finding which Android OS proprietary libraries had to be extracted, which ended up being about a dozen in a few folders. Sound was by far the most difficult to isolate. Some stuff still doesn't work though -- such as the /flash partition. Donut has a problem with the fat partition check at load for some reason. Also, the task bar is not stretched properly when pulled down, which is probably something I can isolate in the source of Donut and fix.

Still, the lack of hardware buttons makes the installation somewhat useless; you are still stuck within a single application once you have loaded it, unless using a task bar task manager or gesture management tool or something like that.

Froyo will probably never work, but not because the hardware is not capable (that's probably too early to say, I have barely tested Donut's speed). Unfortunately, the binary libraries required from the original firmware/install simply do not work. The same method I used to set up Donut should (or has to) work, and does not -- It fails loading the binary audio, wifi, etc.


Great news kornyone! If Archos would help us a little bit how different this whole thing would be... here is a crazy idea for them: community friday. Let your most skilled programmer work with the community in these kind of proyects one day of the week :)

Kornyone, here is one question/idea, if you disable all the sensors and audio and wifi in the Froyo build, would it boot? Maybe starting with a basic (just touchscreen) version would be the best way to get some attention from folks with enough knowledge to help you (I just wished I was one of them...).


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:04 am 
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kornyone wrote:
Quick update here -- I managed to get all the hardware to work in Donut, I believe (sound, wifi, sdcard, sensors). I had to spend a chunk of time finding which Android OS proprietary libraries had to be extracted, which ended up being about a dozen in a few folders. Sound was by far the most difficult to isolate. Some stuff still doesn't work though -- such as the /flash partition. Donut has a problem with the fat partition check at load for some reason. Also, the task bar is not stretched properly when pulled down, which is probably something I can isolate in the source of Donut and fix.

Still, the lack of hardware buttons makes the installation somewhat useless; you are still stuck within a single application once you have loaded it, unless using a task bar task manager or gesture management tool or something like that.

Froyo will probably never work, but not because the hardware is not capable (that's probably too early to say, I have barely tested Donut's speed). Unfortunately, the binary libraries required from the original firmware/install simply do not work. The same method I used to set up Donut should (or has to) work, and does not -- It fails loading the binary audio, wifi, etc.


Looks like you've been busy! Glad to hear that you've made progress with 1.6, but what is stopping you from using the custom Archos software menu buttons [Menu, Back, V+ V-] ? Would the module require a rebuild for compatibility with 1.6?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:05 am 
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Hi kornyone,

kornyone wrote:
I have posted to a somewhat older thread viewtopic.php?f=59&t=34307&start=60 for help with the kernel.img. I would like to get the ball rolling on kernel
work.


kornyone wrote:
Sound was by far the most difficult to isolate. Some stuff still doesn't work though -- such as the /flash partition. Donut has a problem with the fat partition check at load for some reason


Just a thought have you PM'ed Himself, knightsdominon and Vdelf about this thread? They would be the obvious developers on this forum to ask as they have the most experience in producing updated firmwares. PLUS Allen please could this be a pinned thread? It's the closest we have got to 1.6 to date, which makes this important.

Plus as Pmarin mentioned :
pmarin wrote:
If Archos would help us a little bit how different this whole thing would be... here is a crazy idea for them: community friday. Let your most skilled programmer work with the community in these kind of proyects one day of the week


While I think the idea of Archos having a "community friday" won't happen (archos be a sport and prove me wrong) it's in Archos best interest to get this working, as it would go long way to showing that they are a company that supports there users. I believe most of us would be happy if the A7HT got on to 1.6. However it might not be Archos that can help you with this but rather it might require Rockchip's involvement.
map002 wrote:
Yes, the A7 HT is not an Archos design (except for the case). Chinese designed and manufactured HW, Chinese developed FW. And the folks in China who wrote the FW are the ones that must write any FW updates. It is an entirely outsourced re-branded Chinese tablet.


If you want to put up your work in progress firmware so others can take a look PM me and I will give you FTP details and I will add it to my server for download.

Cheers,

Chris

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