Augen E-Go booting Linux

The Augen E-Go is billed as a Netbook that ships with Windows CE. [Moogle] got it to boot the Linux kernel after a bit of hardware snooping. He found a UART connector on the main board and discovered that if you tie the enable pin to ground you can send an ARM bootloader to the device during boot up. His past experience hacking the Didj and the Explorer helped him recognize the processor used in the Augen. This lead to using a zimage from the Didj to boot the Linux kernel. So far the process halts at a kernel panic, but that’s because he hasn’t built the image with a file system for the device yet.

If the E-Go ends up playing nicely with Linux, [Moogle] may have found a suitable replacement for the Zipit.

Update: Looks like we’ve got the wrong version of the E-Go pictured above (and linked below). Check out [Moogle's] comment for model numbers.

[Augen photo credit: Newegg.com]

Comments

  1. Decius says:

    What are the specs of this Device?

  2. The Moogle says:

    The link to newegg.com is to the wrong laptop!
    That one is AKARM ARM926-AK7802 based, less information is known about that processor and it is not pollux compatible.
    What you want is one of the fallowing. the only difference I know of is the color
    Augen E-Go OE-A730 <- Blue
    Augen E-Go OE-A731 <- Black
    Augen E-Go OE-A732 <- Silver
    Augen E-Go OE-A733 <- Red

  3. Decius says:

    Specs:
    CPU: Arm AK 7802Q216 248Mhz
    7″ High Res TFT LCD(digital/800×480)
    64MB DDR main Memory Ram
    2GB Nand flash on board
    80keys Keyboard with touch pad
    Built-in 10/100 Lan
    Built-in Wifi (unknown chipset)
    Windows CE 5.0
    Rechargeable Li-ion batter (1500mAH)

    interfaces:
    1- USB 2.0 (aid external memory)
    2- USB 1.1 ( keyboard & Mouse)
    1- Headphone Output
    1- Microphone input
    1- Lan rj45
    1- DC in9V
    1- Battery
    1- SD Card reader

  4. nirvous says:

    Important note: The image and photo-credit link in the picture included in the original HaD post is *not* the Augen eGo device that Moogle has been working on.

    The correct eGo devices are the ones based on the MagicEyes Pollux 3520F processor; specifically, the Augen eGo OE-A730, OE-A731, OE-A732 and OE-A733.

    (The Pollux CPU is the same processor found in the Leapfrog Didj, Leapster Explorer, GPH Wiz, GPH Caanoo, NC600 thin client and other devices)

    nirvous

  5. Decius says:

    It’s only 248 Mhz, The PSP has more power than this [and ram], if this is what is suitable as a linux portable why not try and get Linux to run on the PSP? Especially with tons of info about the hardware and price.

    It just seems pointless because of limited ram this thing has.

  6. The Moogle says:

    @ Decius that is still the wrong laptop

    # MagicEyes POLLUX 3520F 533 MHz processor (ARM 926EJ)
    # 128 MB DDR RAM

  7. polossatik says:

    not sure what the hack is, this “E-Go” looks just another re-brand of all the ones listed on http://www.littlelinuxlaptop.com/

  8. Arc says:

    ^ My bad to many windows open, wrong topic =P

  9. st2000 says:

    Hey guys…

    I did a little reading on Amazon. First warning: Multiple brandings? Is this Augen also sold as an EPC also sold as a SilverStar also…? Second warning: Low (as in very low) customer feed back. One said the smoke came out, literally. We all know what that means.

    So, is it worth hacking?

    -thanks

  10. The Moogle says:

    There seems to be quite an interest in hacking this system so I went forward and set up a new forum section in my forums http://jertechonline.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=29

  11. WickedShell says:

    If you look in the bottom right corner of this picture (from moogle’s site) it says 533 Mhz… I art confused

  12. Reggie says:

    @wickedshell, thats because the links in the post on hackaday to newegg are wrong. Its not even the right picture. The Augen e-go that moogle hacked is silver and runs at 533Mhz. read back through the comments and it will become clearer.

  13. The Moogle says:

    Because I was asked so much, I took the screen apart
    Here is what is inside

    http://wtfmoogle.com/?p=1723

  14. WickedSHell says:

    Oh good, it’s not just the voices in my head. Thx for confirming that Reggie

  15. Ken says:

    I question whether or not its worth the bother to mess with this thing. Even if you got it working, you have just have a poorly built and woefully underpowered computer.

  16. strider_mt2k says:

    I was unfortunate enough to have a go with a low-priced “Windows CE” netbook.
    Not only was the hardware incredibly cheap, but the Windows CE was a hacked version that would support almost no WinCE apps at all.
    I ended up destroying it inadvertently when I attempted to upgrade the sound system to make a passable internet radio out of it.

    There are LOTS of these cheapie POS netbooks (and now tablets mein gott) around the net nowadays.

    I can understand how there is confusion.

    Anyhoo, THIS is pretty cool to see, and a good read too.

  17. piechipsandpeas says:

    I know someone who saw my Aspire One and thought a £99 CNmBook (another badging) would be just like it… three weeks later it went back to the shop – so slow as to be unusable, nonexistent wireless etc. etc.

    That’s not to knock the hack, I just posted this as a response to the people who were asking if these machines were any use.

  18. Reggie says:

    @ ken, the point of hacking it was, if you read the other comments, to get rid of the rubbish winCE image and put something on there that is infinitely more usable, like linux.

    We’ve got all manner of drivers for the cpu in that Augen, its not just an arm926 chip, its got usb client/host onboard, sd/mmc, 2 RGB, 1 video and 1 openGL layer on the graphics, 4 uarts, touchscreen.

    we don’t have X or anything like that on it but we do have framebuffer driver and SDL support.

  19. miknix says:

    @Reggie With a framebuffer, you can run DirectFB. Glib can then be compiled with direftfb support which allows gtk+ to run without X.

    Not sure which Linux distribution you run but I maintain GPE (gpe.handhelds.org) in the Gentoo distribution.

    I run GPE in my 200Mhz ARM926 PDA (HTC Wizard) and it is blazing fast, faster than stock windows mobile. GPE in this 500Mhz CPU sounds like a perfect candidate.

  20. JustMe says:

    Man, this is cool. I have been looking at the same mini netbook just to try to put linux on it. But I have not got the chance to buy one. I read some forums here and there. But has far as I know you are among the first to do it. Can you please later on create a How to instructions for the less experience. Thanks and proms

  21. Reggie says:

    @miknix, w’re using the linux that was distributed with the device, 2.6.20 for the didj and 2.6.31 for the explorer, neither of these are augen products but the didj, explorer and augen share the same arm926 based SoC.

    the framebuffer was hacked together by an industrious from partially written code left in the sources, it isn’t really ready for directFB etc. YET :)

    do you have any weblinks to GPE? I tried http://gpe.handhelds.org/ but it doesn’t appear to be there

  22. sd says:

    @Reggie

    I noticed the same, then Google introduced me to http://dev.gentoo.org/~miknix/gpe-config.html which led to http://gpe.linuxtogo.org/

  23. Adenosine says:
  24. tech-no-pest says:

    this device+hack sounds like a excellent standalone terminal for a cnc machine or avr/pic programmer or any other hackindustry device…

  25. aliosa27 says:

    The kmart versions running android run debian as well…I was able to get it up on both the little one and the 10 inch one

  26. Decius says:

    My bad this thing may have more CPU power, in that case I find this of some use like others have suggested.

    If you happen to have one of these I think this hack is great, but personally I won’t be picking one of these up unless of course they are low in price lol. It helps the fact that I know they have more use thanks to this.

  27. kk says:

    Where can I download the OS for the Augen oe-a731?

  28. JEDITALIAN says:

    Augen Genbook74. less crappy specs, while being still crappy, IMO. what are you going to do with a 400mhz processor nowadays?
    then there’s this: http://www.mwd.com/2010/07/augen-gentouch-78-video-and-specs/
    800mhz and 256mb ram, 2mb rom and a 7″ screen.. better specs than my phone. thinking about it even though it has a few shortcomings.. like it should have a 3.5mm jack but i think it would make a decent android e-reader and web browser with Opera Mini. After you root it, of course and get rid of whatever crap version of android comes on it.

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