cae2100
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:35 am
Contact: Website

Raspberry Pi Netbook hack

Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:43 pm

hey, Ive been working on a project as of late and here's what Im doing. I recently acquired one of the little sylvania netbooks to play with, and looking at the hardware and everything, I discovered that the ARM processor in it, (wm8505) and the rpi is kinda close in architectures, arm5 vs arm6, so I started thinking. I found a debian kernel that runs on them, but no real good base system files, so just goofing around, I downloaded the soft-float version of debian off of the main raspberrypi.org website, and added that kernel in by just copy/pasting the folder and pasting it into the small FAT partition at the beginning of the SD card. Now, I can run debian/raspbian on my little netbook!

The reason I find this interesting is because while you have the rpi kernel stuff and the netbook kernel stuff on the sd card together (they use different layouts, aka wm8505 kernel uses script folder with kernel module inside) so you can use the same SD card, you can work on coding for a project or something, and if you need to leave, just shut down the rpi, remove the SD card, stick it in the netbook, and start up the netbook. The netbook will go right back to the rpi desktop and you have the whole OS, your programs, and everything right there with you on the go.

I find it to be really useful with projects, since I can develop all of my code and such on the rpi, and take the netbook with me to shows and run all of the code and such on the netbook, since all of the drivers for stuff like the arduino, usb-> serial adapters, and stuff like that works fine. So you can hook up your arduino projects, and you have a self powered system that runs everything the rpi does, and same software, and everything to power the arduino/everything, and you can just run your projects off of it just like you normally do. Also built in keyboard/mouse/screen is a major plus :P

Sound doesnt work atm, neither does battery display, but it just runs till it runs out of battery life. Mine usually runs for 5-6 hours, so it's not that bad. Wifi does work fine, but when starting up from cold boot, sometimes the thing becomes troublesome, which can be fixed by just doing a simple reboot, then you have working wifi built in. There's also a script that I have called fixwifi.sh, and if your interested, I can post the code here for it.

Here's what the netbook looks like:
http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Sylvania-7in-Wir ... ~60_57.JPG

I suspect that really all wm8505/vt8500 series netbooks may work.

Here's the kernel that works for this, just extract this to the 50MB SD card partition and your good to go.
http://code.google.com/p/yus-repo/downl ... art.tar.gz

I put up a full post/walkthrough to do all of this on my blog here:

http://cae2100.wordpress.com/2013/04/10 ... ian-linux/

Hope this interests someone because Ive seen a few of these cheap netbooks around for around 30-40 dollars. They're also known as the CVS Netbook.

Edit: before anyone asks the question, the thing wont play videos or 3d games due to 400Mhz, 128MB ram, and no dedicated graphics processor like the rpi, but it is good for code and electronics projects.
If it isnt smoking and blown into pieces, it's not pushed far enough yet. :P
http://cae2100.wordpress.com

User avatar
tzj
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:09 pm
Location: Barnsley, SY, UK

Re: Raspberry Pi Netbook hack

Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:05 am

Great find!

Not bad price either for what you get.
http://www.themagpi.com <---- Checkout the MagPi
(The MagPi - Co-Founder)

cae2100
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:35 am
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi Netbook hack

Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:51 am

yea, I kinda found mine in someone's trash, 3 buttons missing and a broken power connector. A few mins with a soldering iron and power connector was all good to go. :P

cant complain with free :P

ps windows ce still sucks...
If it isnt smoking and blown into pieces, it's not pushed far enough yet. :P
http://cae2100.wordpress.com

dan3008
Posts: 1172
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:05 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi Netbook hack

Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:12 am

Nice, and a lot easier/safer than trying to embed the pi into the netbook.
dan3008 wrote:Pays your money, takes your choice

cae2100
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:35 am
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi Netbook hack

Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:29 am

as I have discovered, the kernel I posted the link for has no real support for usb wifi dongles, bluetooth, or any type of sound at all, so Im workin on a new kernel myself to replace that one and if anyone is interested, I can upload the kernel files.

So far, Ive gotten this stuff working:
usb soundcards, bluetooth dongles, almost every wifi dongle that you would use for the raspberry pi, increased speed and smaller kernel, and support for a few more devices like simple webcams. (doubt it'll be of any real use tho due to speed/memory) Also updated the boot logo to show the raspberry pi logo instead of the penguin (using alot of the raspberry pi 3.6.y kernel).

only thing I havnt gotten working is just onboard sound, which Im very close to getting working, and I have a bit of an issue where it wont restart. it says "rebooting system" and just hangs there, but can be shut off by holding power button in. shutdown works fine which is the odd part.

if anyone knows what's causing the reboot issue, any input will be greatly appreciated.
If it isnt smoking and blown into pieces, it's not pushed far enough yet. :P
http://cae2100.wordpress.com

benitoskeeto
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:44 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi Netbook hack

Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:51 pm

Seems like a good idea. Although there is the no sound problem which a hacked Motorola matrix might be able to fix.

cae2100
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:35 am
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi Netbook hack

Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:01 pm

yea, I just used it with the arduino software to write code on, and it does good for that, It's a little slow, but when your just writing code and such, it works perfectly. I showed eben it in september and he was really interested in it. I dont use it much anymore due to having my main laptop fixed, so was thinking of contacting him to see if he still wanted it, and just giving it to him.
If it isnt smoking and blown into pieces, it's not pushed far enough yet. :P
http://cae2100.wordpress.com

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