torstai 16. kesäkuuta 2011

Better solution for mouse freeze

It's really a good idea to follow other blogs. And once more, it was the same blog that has already helped me so many times previously. This time, the Wetabz blog has a piece about installing Ubuntu 11.04. Turns out the real culprit wasn't the xorg evdev driver after all, but a multitouch gesture interpreter process called "GINN". So, the only thing needed to solve the mouze freeze was to disable that process from startup applications. My workflow was
  1. Go to System Settings -> Startup Applications and uncheck GINN
  2. Logout, login.
  3. sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get upgrade
After that, the xorg-input-evdev package was the latest version again and mouse pointer did not freeze anymore. Yay! Now I can continue with my actual goal, which is to install Maliit here.

tiistai 7. kesäkuuta 2011

Freezing solved (kind of)

Today I tried the thing that's suggested in the previously mentioned bug page: downgrading the package "xserver-xorg-input-evdev" to version 1:2.6.0-1ubuntu6. First I tried with apt-get:

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-evdev =1:2.6.0-1ubuntu6

That failed, because apt was unable to find the package version. Next, I downloaded the package manually from here and tried installing it with

sudo dpkg -i xserver-xorg-input-evdev_2.6.0-1ubuntu6_i386.deb

This failed too. This time because of a dependency to xorg-input-abi-12.1. I looked around and found out there's no such package, it's just a feature that was once provided by xserver-xorg-core. The current version of that package provides xorg-input-abi-12 (no .1 there), but I figured it was worth a try to use some force:

sudo dpkg -i --force-depends xserver-xorg-input-evdev_2.6.0-1ubuntu6_i386.deb

That did the trick and installed the package. The downside: the package is now marked as broken and apt keeps on trying to upgrade it to a newer version. I locked the package version with Synaptic, let's see if that's enough.

At least, after a reboot I was able to use the tablet for quite a long time without freezes. Maybe I'll settle with this for now.

maanantai 6. kesäkuuta 2011

Freezing mouse pointer

After my last weeks tries, the tablet developed an acute case of mouse freeze. I was not able to use the Ubuntu side at all during the weekend, because without a proper keyboard I couldn't type anything with the on-screen one -- the mouse pointer always froze after less than a minute's use.

I did google a lot, though, and even found one Ubuntu bug that sounded similar to my symptoms. No direct solutions, though. Something about evdev version specific problems.

Today I tried again to replace the original hid_egalax module with a multitouch one, i.e. repeated the following steps:

  1. Insert USB keyboard, Ctrl-Alt-F1 to virtual console
  2. Add "blacklist hid_egalax" to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-local.conf
  3. sudo rmmod hid_egalax usbhid
  4. Disconnect keyboard and connect it again
  5. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:utouch-team/utouch
  6. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:utouch-team/unstable
  7. sudo apt-get update
  8. sudo apt-get install hid-multitouch-dkms
  9. Unplug keyboard, reboot.

The result: not good. I was able to log on, but in a few seconds after that the whole system froze. I tried to plug in the USB keyboard but Ctrl-Alt-F1 didn't work. Rebooted by holding down the power button and checked /val/log/Xorg.0.log.old, found lots of lines like

[    73.104] (EE) eGalax Inc. USB TouchController: Tried to post event for non-e
xistent touch 0
[ 73.110] (EE) eGalax Inc. USB TouchController: Tried to post event for non-e
xistent touch 0

So, it really is flaky. I guess I'll keep on googling.

perjantai 3. kesäkuuta 2011

More setting up

Today's progress: updating the touchscreen firmware. This had to be done in the WeOS side. Instructions came again from wetabz blog. Here's how to do it:

  1. Connect USB keyboard and mouse
  2. Boot to WeOS
  3. Open terminal
  4. Type the following commands:
    • cd Downloads
    • wget
    • unzip
    • sudo mv YoungFast_11p6_24x43_72A1v1006h_f04_dsab_ASG.EGXP /usr/share/tiitoo/firmware
    • sudo eUpgrade -f /usr/share/tiitoo/firmware/YoungFast_11p6_24x43_72A1v1006h_f04_dsab_ASG.EGXP

That's it. You might have to run the last command again if it fails in the first try.

Then, I tried to install a proper multi-touch driver to Ubuntu. Instructions came from the same blog, but don't work quite the same in Ubuntu 11.04. Here's my variant of the procedure:

  1. Boot to Ubuntu
  2. Go to text console by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1
  3. Log in
  4. Give the following commands:
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:utouch-team/utouch
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:utouch-team/unstable
    • sudo apt-get update
    • sudo apt-get upgrade
    • sudo apt-get install hid-multitouch-dkms

However, after that the touch driver froze constantly, so in the end I decided to "sudo apt-get remove --purge hid-multitouch-dkms".

torstai 2. kesäkuuta 2011

Plop, goes progress

Today I tried again. This time with the Plop boot manager doing the hard work of booting USB. This made all the difference, and now I'm waiting for the Ubuntu installation to complete. Here's what I did:

First, since I needed to modify system files in WeTab, I needed to get root access. It was pleasantly simple: just launch WeTab Market and install the RootShell package. This creates a launcher on the WeTab desktop; clicking on the launcher opens good old terminal (at this point life becomes a lot easier if you plug in a USB keyboard). In the terminal you can use the familiar "sudo" tool to execute commands as root.

Second, I needed to add Plop to the WeTab boot menu. For this, I first downloaded the bootmanager from here, choosing the file From the package I extracted the file "plpt.bin" and copied it to /boot/extlinux directory. Next, I added a boot entry to the /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf file. The entry contains these lines:

label plop
menu label ^plpbt
linux plpbt.bin
menu default

After that, insert Ubuntu USB stick, reboot keeping the quicktouch button down, and there was the extlinux menu. From there, I selected "plp" and got another menu, the Plop one. It showed the option to boot from USB, which I did.

Ubuntu booted, and recognized the touch screen, although as a single-touch device only. Also WiFi was recognized right away. I chose "test ubuntu without installing" and played around for a while. Then I launched Gparted and shrank the big ext3 partition on the device. My WeTab has 32 GB flash, so I gather I can use 16 GB for Ubuntu. Even that leaves 12+ GB for WeTab, and I reckon it should be plenty.

Now, after making space for Ubuntu, I finally launched the Ubuntu installer, answered to couple of questions and started waiting. Let's see what happens.

First impressions

Couple of days ago I got my hands on a WeTab tablet computer. It's an Atom based, 3G and WiFi enabled machine with 11.6 inch multitouch display, and -- most importantly -- open OS. It ships with MeeGo based thing called "WeTab OS", but at least in principle it should be possible to replace that one with something more pleasing to the eye.

Granted, the built-in OS is already pretty nice: boots up quickly, connecting to WiFi is simple, supports Flash, PDF, OGG, etc. out of the box, and so on. The only thing is the user interface. It's not really very polished. For example, the main desktop view seems to be designed only for the landscape mode use. And the virtual keyboard just is not as good as it could. So, maybe this thing would look better with Gnome 3 and the Maliit keyboard? I know jonnor has done it, so why not try myself? And while at it, why not document what I do, so others could avoid all the mistakes I'm bound to make? So, on to it.

Step 1: Google for instructions. I want to install Ubuntu to this baby, so let's see if I can find something with "wetab ubuntu". Sure enough, there's already a blog about Ubuntu installation to WeTab. This was easy. Now I just need to follow those instructions.

  1. Download Ubuntu. I don't want to use the 10.10 though, since I want to have Gnome 3. So I got the latest one (11.04, 32-bit). Check.
  2. Download the universal Ubuntu installer. What's that? I guess this means the installation ISO image. But I just did that. Hmm.. maybe this isn't going to be all that simple. Time to think.
The Ubuntu download page has instructions on how to make a bootable USB stick. Since I already have access to a working Ubuntu installation, this is actually really simple: download the ISO image, insert a USB stick, launch "Startup Disk Creator" from the system administration menu, choose the downloaded ISO file and the inserted USB disk partition, then just push a button and let the program do its thing. Even I can do that.

So, now I had managed to create the bootable stick. Next step: boot from it and try running Ubuntu from there, just to make sure all the hardware is properly recognized. The blog I found had good instructions on how to boot from USB stick. Basically the procedure is:
  1. Power of the tablet
  2. Insert the stick to an available USB socket
  3. Power on the tablet
  4. Immediately when the blue led turns on, push power button and quicktouch button together for one second, no more! (The quicktouch button is the ring in the touch screen's top left corner)
The only problem is that it didn't work for me. Maybe the USB stick is too slow to wake up and is just not recognized during that short period of time the tablet looks for it, or maybe something else is wrong. No matter how I tried, I never managed to get the thing to boot from the USB.

So, a little more googling, and I found a Meego wiki page describing how to install the MeeGo handset image to WeTab. That page suggests installing a whole new boot manager to the WeTab and then using that one to boot from the USB. I guess I'll try that next.