So I've had an old iPAQ 3835 for a long time that I've been wanting to
throw linux on, but have been too nervous about doing it for fear of
turning it into a brick...well tonight I overcame that, and got linux
successfully installed! It was actually really easy - much moreso than I
was expecting. The basic steps were thus:
- Dump BootBlaster onto the iPAQ via ActiveSync.
- Use BootBlaster to backup the current bootloader, trasfer that backup to my pc, then use it to re-program the bootloader sector with another custom bootloader.
- Reboot the iPAQ, which brings up the new bootloader, then connect to the iPAQ with a serial console.
- Update the flash partitions - the bootloader has a few special commands to do this.
- Transfer the root image to the iPAQ via an xmodem transfer. Man, it had been a long time since I've done that. Can you say throwback to BBS?
That was it! After doing those few steps, I had a fully-functional palm-sized linux system, complete with sshd. Unfortunately, I don't have a CF wlan card around, so I can't do anything real cool with it yet, but that'll come. I'm just glad I didn't brickify it :-)