Category Archives: Devices

Installing Android x86 4.0 in Vmware Player

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This is what I did to get Android 4.0 (x86 version) to work in my Vmware Player.

First, download and install Vmware Player.
Then, download the installation image (cd-image) of Android from Google: http://code.google.com/p/android-x86/downloads/list (I tried android-x86-4.0-RC1-eeepc.iso in this example).

Creat a new virtual machine to run the installation:



Point the “Installed disc image” to the android-x86-4.0-RC1-eeepc.iso file you downloaded:



Choose a install directory, where you’ll keep the virtual machine folder.



Make a small drive. 1 gig is enough.



Customize hardware:

and increase the memory to 512 megabyte. (or more)



Select INSTALL. You can also run the live CD. But I prefer to install the OS. If you choose live cd, you don’t need to do anything after this step, except enjoy your android.



Then: Create/Modify partitions <-- Press enter. Choose [ New ] <-- Press enter. then [ Primary ] <-- Press enter. Size (in MB): 1069.29 <-- Press enter. Then: Choose [ Bootable ] <-- Press enter. Choose [ Write ] <-- Press enter. type yes <-- Press enter.

Now the disc is being prepared:



Choose [ Quit ] <-- Press enter.

Now select sda as the install partition:



Choose a file-system. I tried ext2 and ext3. Take whatever you like.


Install the GRUB bootloader.



File-system writable? If you want a writable file-system, choose yes.


You are done. Choose Run Android-x86.






Note: This version has NO ethernet support. You can find a version that supports sound and ethernet here: http://www.buildroid.org/Download/android-x86-vm-20120307.iso.gz (thanks to source: http://www.android-dev.ro/2012/03/17/android-x86-4-0-rc1-for-virtualbox-is-released/ )


More info can be found on http://www.android-x86.org/

Converting AVI video for Archos Vision 43 MP4 player

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Some tips on how to successfully convert any video-file to AVI compatible with the Archos Vision 43.

In short:

    The Archos Vision 43 …

  • … plays AVI MPEG-4 (divx/xvid) ONLY
  • … can’t play B-frames
  • … can’t play mp4 or mkv
  • … can’t play h.264

Tools to use converting:
EASY: PocketDivXEncoder
NOT SO EASY: Mencoder

You can go about this the easy way by using “PocketDivxEncoder”, but it’s rather limited when it comes to making custom configurations. It works however and if that makes you happy, why apply for a headache doing it the hard way. But for those who like to experiment: read on.

Mencoder is “sometimes” part of the Mplayer suite (but is hard to come-by). You’ll find it at Gianluigi Tiesi’s page. Current build is r34118, and you may choose a version for AMD (athlon), Intel Pentium3 (p3), Intel Pentium 4 or better (p4) or Generic 486 (rtm). I chose rtm. Extract the download in a folder on your computer. There is no installation, because it’s a command-line tool. To make it work, I use it in BATCH files.

The package consists of two main EXE files, mencoder and mplayer. A detailed manual with all the command-line options can be found in mplayer.html, also included in the package.

The simplest way to use mencoder is like this:

This will encode input-file into a MPEG4 file with a variable video bitrate of 750kb/s and a constant MP3 audio bitrate of 128kb/s. The container is AVI. The name is output-file.

For the Archos, we want to add some extra options:

This will encode a MPEG4 AVI, allowing 4 motion vectors per macroblock (slightly better quality), shape adaptive (fast) diamond with size 3 (fast encoding) and a variable bitrate of 750kb/s. We also scale/zoom the video so it fits the Archos 480×272 screen nicely. Aspect ratio is preserved by omitting the height.

You can find many more settings to tweak with by reading the mplayer.html. If you find any improvements, please post them in the comments. I’ll gladly test them out.

Now.. let’s automate.

I have a folder on my PC called “to convert”, and I’ve made a sub-folder called mplayer, where the above downloaded package is extracted. The structure looks as such:

Inside the “to convert” folder, I’ve some batch files: doall_mpg.bat and doone.bat.

doall_mpg.bat

doone.bat

What is does is simple. When I put some (*not more than 4) mpeg files (.mpg) in the “to convert” folder, together with the batch files AND I then run the doall_mpg.bat batch-file, the PC starts encoding ALL the mpeg files at once. (*) I use “start” to launch multiple jobs at once, because mencoder uses only ONE thread (core). To fully use the potential of a quad-core, you may launch at least 4 jobs in parallel without suffering a decrease in encoding speed. Mind that mencoder CAN use multiple threads, but the speed-increase is not that spectacular. AND I noticed that using threads=2 (or more) produced a lot of artifacts when playing the encoded file back on the Archos, thus we can’t use that option.

To convert other files, like AVI’s, MP4’s , etc.. just change the (*.mpg) to (*.avi),(*.mp4),..respectively. ( I know this isn’t ideal, but I’m to lazy to change it now). 🙂 If you know about batch processing and for, you’ll know what to do when you want to change it. 😉

A FEW NOTES:

  • Depending on how fast and how big the SD cards is you’re using, video playback from that SD card may be choppy and out of sync. I found that the 16 Gbyte Sandisk SD-HC did not work for me. For smooth video playback, copy the video’s to the internal memory.
  • You can use -vf crop=700:396,scale=480:272 to crop letterbox video’s. You may have to tweak the. All is explained in mplayer.html

Have fun.

epad tabled hibernation with Tipster’s images

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A small addendum to the post Modding & rooting the QMedia Tablet PC Qpc617 firmware.

When using GS_WMT216_V5.0_ACADEV_BLACK_EDITION, you’ll notice that the “hibernation” function is missing and that the device must be “shut down” or else it would drain the battery until it’s empty. Using this little trick, you can activate the “hibernate” option while shutting down:

– First, go to the market and download a shell app, I used “ConnectBot”.
– Once in the shell, type SU to become root
– Once root (the $ changes in #), type setenv hibernation_ui yes
– Then type reboot

Now your tabled will offer you to hibernate when shutting down (pressing the power button).
hibernate

Modding & rooting the QMedia Tablet PC Qpc617 firmware

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This is a list of modded android images I have tested on the €99 tablet PC from QMedia, currently for sale in Carrefour Belgium ( and elsewhere ).

Note: I will update this list as I test more firmwares.

Note2: BE CAREFULL upgrading the tablet. You MAY brick it. I will take NO RESPONSIBILITY for your actions, when you damage or brick your tablet. I only provide this information as is.

I could not find the original firmware for the QPC617 from QMedia and I don’t know how to make a backup, so I took a leap of faith experimenting with this device.

WMT2.1.2_105_M3CSL_V1.0
This was the first firmware I tested. It works perfectly, but is not rooted. It has the market installed. Processor runs at 174 Mhz. Good performance.

WMT2.1.6_LF-X_V1.0B6
This firmware runs perfect. It is rooted too and has the market installed. Better performance.

PanImage_SGS_ACADEV_2.22.11_Full (link)
This firmware installs ok. HoneyComb (fake) interface. Performance is slow.
PanImage_SGS_ACADEV_2.22.11_Full_1

PanImage_SGS_ACADEV_2.22.11_Full_2

GS_WMT216_V5.0_ACADEV_BLACK_EDITION (link)
Installs fine. Nice interface. Rooted and Market. Performance is good.

LIST of NOT WORKING firmwares:
WMT2.50_RSX_TS_A_SPEC_V2

PS: None of the images/firmwares are overclocked. The two most popular overclock apps (OC Widget & SetCPU ) won’t work. Maybe in future versions.

Tips:
– When booting after a flash update, the animate boot-logo ( ANDROID ) may look like it is locked in a loop. Just be patient (maybe 2 , 3 minutes). All following boots will not suffer from this delay.

More info on modded tablet firmwares:
http://androidtabletzone.the-talk.net/f135-honeycomb-for-wm8505-wmt8505-rooted-rom-mod-firmware-development (updated link 2 nov. 2011)