Psion/Mako/Revo and Linux

[Mako running Linux]

Psion/Mako/Revo Information

The Sonicblue Diamond Mako is the US version of what's called the Psion Revo+ in Europe. These are still available for $100 (less than a Palm) if you shop around, have a qwerty keyboard (small, but much bigger than the thumbswitches on a Zaurus or Blackberry), and are very well made (nice "feel"). People outside the US can buy better Psions with external flash cards (the 5mx is popular with the linux crowd), but they aren't available here.

But the best part is that they just about run Linux now! Here's my Mako showing the console after booting. That's about all it can do now ... but just wait.

Psions come with an operating system called Epoch, which is tolerable but not very good at talking to other machines, and there aren't very many apps available for it compared to PalmOS.

Syncing to Epoch from Linux

The Linux howtos weren't much help, but I eventually did figure out how to get my Mako talking to Linux, and it was fairly easy (too bad they don't just tell you that straight out. :-)

  1. Dave (my husband)'s page on Communicating with a Mako/Revo on Linux
  2. Find and install plptools. Avoid version 0.10 -- it fails utterly for most people (ncpd dies if the Mako shuts off, often refuses to start, but running as root in debug mode crashed less often). Version 0.9 works fairly well.
  3. mkdir /mnt/psion
  4. Run ncpd.
  5. Run plpnfsd
  6. cd /mnt/psion and poke around -- the Mako's file systems are NFS mounted like magic!
  7. Psion Revo Archives Software for the Revo/Mako. Not Linux specific. Sort of a "Palmgear" site for Epoch.

Some links on communication between Epoch and Linux

Linux running ON Psions

The PsiLinux (Linux 7k) Project, porting Linux to Psions, got a burst of energy recently (due to a Newsforge story?) and is now quite active. There are several people with Makos or Revo Plusses, and there is a minimal distribution available. With any luck, more documentation and software will be available soon. There's an active mailing list.

My husband Dave has a page on Running Linux on the Psion Mako/Revo, which is very useful and I won't try to duplicate it here.

(We're still trying to figure out how to build a Mako distribution from scratch so that we can contribute to the project.)

My Linux links page
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