Dan Newcome on technology

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Palm Pre as an ARM development environment

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As I play around with my Raspberry PI, I keep having these flashbacks to the days when I first put my Palm Pre into developer mode. I logged into the phone as root and it was a Linux box!

That was a bit of a revelation to me then. I went ahead and installed GCC and friends and felt smug that I was walking around with a full ARM compiler toolchain in my pocket!

I never did much with that environment (besides use it as a phone of course) but along the way I saw some coding challenges that focused on using mobile devices as development platforms.

I dug my old Pre out of the drawer and plugged it in to pull it out of its deep sleep. I installed novacom and tried to remember the commands to get a terminal connected. My goal was to enable WiFi and just leave it plugged in and on my local network.

There are a few things needed to use the Pre as a general purpose ARM board.

Install Novacom to get a shell over USB:

c:\> novacom -t open tty://

Remount the file system read-write

mount -o rw,remount /

Install dropbear sshd. And enable WiFi on the phone. I just used the normal Palm UI for this part.

I already had the phone in developer mode and I already had the ipkg package manager installed. I won’t go into that here though, you’ll have to look around for information on getting up to the point where this post will help you.

Now, the Pre doesn’t have any GPIO ports or anything like that, so I’m not sure what to do with it besides maybe run a node.js service that I can ping from the Raspberry PI. Or maybe the Palm will work as a WiFi router attached to the PI’s USB port?

Written by newcome

January 2, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I almost never comment, but i did some searching and wound up here Palm Pre as an
    ARM development environment | Dan Newcome, blog.

    And I actually do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind. Could it be simply me or does it look like some of the comments come across like written by brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting at other sites, I’d like to follow everything new you have to post.
    Could you list of every one of all your communal sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or
    twitter feed?

    A blog site concerning technology: Abdul


    May 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

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