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]

28 thoughts on “Augen E-Go booting Linux

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. @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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. @ 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.

  11. @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.

  12. 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

  13. @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

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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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