Ice Cream Sandwich on Acer Iconia A500 / A501

I recently got the Samsung Galaxy Nexus mobile phone, and I am so impressed with it. It was an upgrade from the HTC Evo 3D that I only used for a couple of months. The difference between the two are staggering. Everything on the Nexus is fluid and smooth, and the new upgrades Google did to the UI are working fantastic.

I recently traded a notebook for an Acer Iconia A500 10.1″ tablet. So how are things looking for the Acer Iconia A500?

Downgrade and root

My unit was running Honeycomb 3.2, but a quick look-through at XDA Developers got the unit downgraded from 3.2 to 3.01 (see http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1276227). I used method 2 mentioned there, and that was easy. After running Iconiaroot 1.3 and upgrading recovery 1.3 to recovery 1.6 from within the recovery I was ready to rock.

Installing ICS

Currently development of an ICS port for the A500 is dead in the water at the XDA Developers forums, but a user called thor2002ro has a WIP ROM over at Tegraowners (http://forum.tegraowners.com/).

You need to register to get the links for the download, the thread is here: http://forum.tegraowners.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=106

The good news? Everything essential is WORKING. The camera is not working, and if you have the A501 the 3G modem is also not working. But for me the upgrade is really worth it. Thanks a lot for your effort thor2002ro!

Later it has dawned on me that the A500 developers are a fighting bunch, and lots of time is wasted on this on XDA Developers with locked threads and all. I hope this will change, as everyone loses and nobody wins in this situation.

 

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Recovering IOmega ix2-200 NAS after failed upgrade

The following was my solution to fixing a bad NAND flash, after an upgrade failed halfway through. YMMV but you could at least give it a try.

You’ll get access to the bootloader, and be able to upload a new image via TFTP …

Continue reading

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Recovering a bad flash for Linksys WAP 200

The following are my findings after spending half a day with THREE failed units out of the six I applied the upgrade from 1.0.22 to 2.0.4.0.

This should be a last ditch effort to get your WAP200 working again, after trying the 30/30/30 settings recovery method and whatever else you can find on the net. YMMV.

You can recover this failure, but it will take some expertise and knowledge.

The following is needed:

– RS232 to TLL level shifter 3.3V (I used a PL2303 based clone from Ebay costing about $5,- incl. shipping)
– Philips #2 screwdriver, hobby knife
– Soldering iron
– 2 x 4 PIN header 2.54mm spacing
– Computer with TFTP server installed, configured at 192.168.1.200
– Firmware from Linksys / Cisco – I used WAP200-FW-2.0.4.0-ETSI-K9.img

Procedure

  • Remove the four rubber feet from the unit, carefully peeling them off with the help of the hobby knife
  • Unscrew the four screws in the bottom
  • Remove the lid – take care of the four tabs (one on each side, slide something between lid and base, it will easily pop off)
  • Remove motherboard from base, take care not to yank the antenna cables
  • Solder the 2 x 4 PIN header to the J1 connector (pinout below)
  • Put the motherboard back in the base

This was the hardware modification phase, the rest is software:

  • Connect your RS232 level shifter to the J1 connector
  • Connect ethernet cable from your computer to the WAP200 unit
  • Fire up any terminal emulator you feel comfortable with, the settings are 38400/8N1, no handshaking
  • Power on the WAP200 and watch the bootloader text appearing

You can now confirm whether your problems are due to a bad flash or not. If it is due to a bad flash, you’ll see a message with “Checking CRC ….” and then a failure. If that is the case, proceed:

  • Power cycle the unit, and be ready to press any key when prompted, you have two seconds to stop the automatic boot process.
  • You should end up with an “STR9100>” prompt …

At the prompt issue the following commands

STR9100> tftpboot 100000 WAP200-FW-2.0.4.0-ETSI-K9.img

This loads the firmware file from your TFTP connected server from 192.168.1.200 to the units RAM 0x100000 (WAP200 has IP address 192.168.1.245)

STR9100> cp.b 100000 10040000 1FFFFF

This writes the downloaded image from memory location 0x100000 to the flash area 0x10040000

If the above worked as expected you can either power cycle the unit, or issue the command:

STR9100> go 10040020

When the WAP200 boots, you should end at a busybox shell. Your settings should be preserved from before the bad flash, but you can reset to factory settings by issuing:

# nvram erase
# reboot

You can finish by reassembling the WAP200 and patting yourself on the back.
Good luck.

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Renovating our living room

It’s a mess!

 

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Synaptics drivers with full multitouch

Having just spent a fortune on a Sony VAIO Z13 with all the bells and whistles, I’m horribly bothered by the Synaptics drivers not giving me the option to use two finger scrolling.

The system shipped with version 14.0.16.0 from Sony, this driver has a lot of multitouch functionality. Just not two finger scrolling, which I came to like after fiddling with a Macbook Air at a customers request.

My luck had it that Synaptics has just released their Scrybe software, which enables you to draw gestures on the pad after a three-finger click on the pad. The installation of this software automatically upgrades the drivers to verssion 15.1.22 which seem to be very new as of this writing.

But … still no two finger scrolling.

Unless …. you tinker a bit.

First, download the Scrybe application from http://www.uscrybe.com/. This will automatically doenload the latest drivers for your system – I got the version mentioned above.

If you do not get better drivers, you can try the Sony drivers I got directly. Download them from:

http://content.prod.uscrybe.com/1062_Sony/Synaptics_v15_1_22_NC_XP32_Vista32_Win7-32_XP64_Vista64_Win7-64_sony2006.exe
http://content.prod.uscrybe.com/1062_Sony/Synaptics_v15_1_22_NC_XP32_Vista32_Win7-32_XP64_Vista64_Win7-64_sony2006.exe

Install both items. Fire up RegEdit, and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Synaptics\SynTPCpl\Controls

Now search for “Visibility” within that subkey, and delete all found entries.

Now you have two finger scrolling, and everything else they hid away for some strange reason.

As always, take care when messing about with the registry!

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