Sunday, November 12, 2017

Of Mountains, Tablets, and fishes - A story of porting SFOS to Teclast x89 tablet

In Raethoromanian(Ladin)/Dolomites mythology, mountains have always played a big role.

A legend tells the story of a girl from the (Dolomites) mountains, accidently noticed by a Prince hunting in the area, and of the two subsequently falling deeply in love with each other.
Soon realizing the fact, and realizing her son is reluctant to back out of the relationship, the Queen forces him to move the girl into their home, the castle of the Realm, so that they could get properly married, and live together.
It so happens that the people from the castle did not approve of the relationship, and foremost did not accept the girl, even before her entrance  to the castle; they envy her, hate her, and shame her on her first public appearance, at which, out of shame and shyness, she turns into a small mountain furret (montagnóla).
The guests appear shocked, and consider killing the animal, but suddently the unexpected : a fire-like halo shines in strongly from the windows.
The guests, scared by the unusual event, curiously glare outside, wondering if the town is on fire; only to notice a once-gray mountain turned glooming fire-red! The ground creepily starts shaking, the castle slowly collapsing on itself, into the ground. The girl and Prince barely escape to safety; they are destined to become King and Queen of what is the biggest Ladin myth of the Dolomites, the Reign of the Fanís.
The mountain has been fire-red ever since, as of to reminding humans to their humbleness, and can be admired even today, in the Dolomites area of Sennes.

What does this have to do with tablets, and more to with fishes?
Quite few, if nothing at all, of course!
Or, perhaps the effort required to seize the top of a mountain, is comparable to the amount of work required to port SF OS to a new tablet HW?

In the spirit of "if the mountain does not come to I, I will go to the mountain" (see, mountains again!); if Jolla did not (manage to) make a tablet for me, well I'll be damned if I can't make one for me. It's a challenge to myself.

This series of posts are supposed to give an insight in the deep works of kernel porting, modules compiling, booting, involved when porting SFOS to new Hardware. I hope people will find it inspiring, and start experimenting on their own. Sailfish is a great OS, and most of all, a great idea (even tho still lacking in terms of full freedom). This, coupled with the amount of things I will (need to) learn on the way to it, is reason enough for me to try. And most importantly, I want to have FUN doing it.

The chosen hardware for this effort, is the Teclast x89, featuring a cheap Intel Bay Bridge SoC, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of flash, sd-card slot, dual boot Android / Windows 10 out of the box, and (luckily) unlocked bootload.
All in all, a decent Hardware replacement for the official Jolla tablet.

But first, some considerations:
DISCLAIMER : ANY OUTCOME OF THESE ACTIONS ARE THE RESULT OF YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY; I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGED HARDWARE / SERVICES / EQUIPMENTS. This is advanced hard work; if you are not ready to risk your hardware, or do not have a ginuea-pig hw, DO NOT START.

Still interested? Stay tuned for the next posts!

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