vokaria (vokaria) wrote in debian,

Debian on M1400 Motion Computing tablet

Lately Motion computing M1400 tablets on ebay became so dirt cheap, that i could not avoid getting a couple, first as a book reader (they are light enough, although the battery life is a question of luck), and then as an all around kicking gadget. The information on installing linux distributions on M1400 (or M1600 and such, very similar idea) is here and there, but still i had to figure out some things, to make it work reasonably well. Here i want to put it all together, in case someone looks for the same solutions.
I installed Debian Lenny (5.0), as i find it easier and more reliable to do, then keep on running into unexpected changes and omissions in Ubuntu.

The first question i ran into, was actually getting the image onto the hard drive. While i am a proud owner of an USB DVD drive, the M1400 flatly refused to boot from it. It looks like there are some issues with this: http://www.technologyquestions.com/technology/windows-xp-tablet-pc-newsgroup/4500-m1400-usb-cdrom-boot-how.html
(It also refused to boot from the USB stick, so i did not waste any more time on resolving this.)
Well, using a screwdriver is always easier then buying a proprietary piece of hardware, so i just pulled out the M1400's hard drive, and inserted it into a really old Toshiba laptop. There, i installed just the basic image (without X and such) from a NetInstall Cd. Of course it still looked up the networking and set up the APT, but other hardware issues i was not worried about, knowing that HAL will do it all over the next time.
When ready, i pulled the hard drive out of toshiba and put it back into the tablet. It just booted up fine, complained about chips being different and such, and ended up at the login. There, obviously i logged in the Root (using a USB keyboard) and proceeded with the actual install.

Firstly, i had to get the networking going again, which meant to remove the persistent-net.rules. " cd /etc/udev/rules.d " " rm 70-persistent-net.rules " (sometimes it is 75-persistent, or such, remove whatever is persistent-net.rules). Either ifconfig or reboot will do the trick, and i had the networking (wired so far, so don't forget to have a working connection plugged in).

Then " apt-get update ", now that the networking is, well, networking.

Some people suggest to install the wacom-tools right away, but on doing a couple installs, i realized that doing so somehow prevents the buttons working. You still get the stylus working, but no buttons, if the wacom-tools is installed right away ( http://www.tabletpcbuzz.com/showthread.php?t=36838 ). And i wanted my buttons, first of all for scrolling (the large one Up Down Left Right Enter), and then having a couple of them for shortcuts is not bad either. Also, on installing the wacom-tools first, i just could not get my USB keyboard to work in X, and it can be handy sometimes.
So, for this reason, i installed the X first " apt-get install xserver-xorg ", and let it notice all the buttons. The USB keyboard worked fine as well. Then i installed everything i needed, starting with the:
wireless " apt-get install firmware-ipw2x00 wireless-tools " (of course you have to make sure in /etc/apt/sources.list that the nonfree repository is included). The wireless comes up as eth1 , configure in your favorite way ( iwconfig , /etc/network/interfaces and such ).

I installed the xfce4, as obviously, with the stylus in hand it is easier to poke into icons then anything else, plus xfce4 is quite good on resources.

Only after installing everything i thought i might need (certainly the " apt-get install cellwriter ", as it is needed to actually use the stylus), i did install the wacom-tools " apt-get install wacom-tools xserver-xorg-input-wacom ", and edited xorg.conf .


I left the already existing sections there ( "Generic Keyboard" "Configured Mouse" "Configured Video Device" "Configured Monitor" "Default Screen" ) and added the following:

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "cursor"
Driver "wacom"
Option "Device" "/dev/ttyS0"
Option "Type" "cursor"
Option "ForceDevice" "ISDV4"
Option "Mode" "Absolute"

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "stylus"
Driver "wacom"
Option "Device" "/dev/ttyS0"
Option "Type" "stylus"
Option "ForceDevice" "ISDV4"
Option "Button2" "3"

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "eraser"
Driver "wacom"
Option "Device" "/dev/ttyS0"
Option "ForceDevice" "ISDV4"

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "Default Layout"
Screen "Default Screen"
InputDevice "Generic Keyboard"
InputDevice "Configured Mouse"
InputDevice "cursor" "SendCoreEvents"
InputDevice "stylus" "SendCoreEvents"
InputDevice "eraser" "SendCoreEvents"

Section "ServerFlags"
Option "AutoAddDevices" "false"

At this point everything worked fine, i logged in, installed kdm , set up automatic login, not to have to plug in an USB keyboard for login (the cellwriter can also be put into the xdm init, to have it onscreen for login. I did not have a good results with onscreen keyboard with kdm or gdm ).

The only issues left where : screen rotation : i followed pretty much this: http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Wacom_Serial_Tablet_PC_Stylus

, created xmodmaps for different screen orientations (for the buttons to point the right way).

The sound: i installed alsa, then " amixer set 'External Amplifier' off " " amixer set 'LineIn Jack' 'Mixer Output' " - this makes the speakers work (the headphones work right away).

I never worried about the screen brightness, as use the M1400 mostly with external power.

ACPI works fine s2ram -f suspends to ram and everything wakes up just fine.

With the stylus and buttons working, turned out to be quite convenient little gadget. I use cellwriter as the keyboard, but it seems to offer pretty good hand recognition, too.
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