HOWTO: put linux on a ZipIt handheld

Linux ZipIt

AiboHack of all places has come up with quite an interesting hack. Turns out someone actually can make good use of the $100 ZipIt Instant Messaging device. The ZipIt (in case you didn’t know) has built-in 802.11b WiFi, a really cheap 320×240 LCD screen, and the ability to IM with MSN, Yahoo!, and AOL Instant Messenger. Groovy, but what good is this to us if we don’t have a WiFi spot to use? Not much. So with a little tweaking and some re-flashing, you’ll be running a sub-2mb version of Linux in no time. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A Zipit device you are willing to screw up

  • A Windows PC (Windows XP recommended)

  • A WiFi card, or WiFi access point, attached to the Windows PC

  • Optional: Linux PC or cygwin running on Windows PC (for compiling your own Linux ARM apps)

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