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Operating SystemsAndroidAndroid inching towards x86 devices

Android inching towards x86 devices

VentureBeat is reporting their success at getting Google’s Android OS to run on an ASUS Eee PC 1000H. If you own an Eee PC and are adventurous, you can find the steps to compile Android for it on the Android Porting Google Group. Geun Sik Lim has the details here for Fedora 9 and Ubuntu 8.10. If I read this correctly, the Samsung NC01 will work too, but I’m not sure. It appears that there are framebuffer-slash-display issues when building an image for a generic x86, though it appears that there are build switches for various display resolutions and the like. Google employee Dima Zavin and others seem to be doing a great job filling in details in the discussion.

One interesting thing I see from the discussion is that Android doesn’t support the mouse per se, although according to Dima if you plug a mouse in it should function like a G1’s trackball. He clarifies:

There is no support
for a maintaining a cursor’s position, or drawing a cursor on the screen.
Remember, we are running an environment that is currently only supported on
a touchscreen mobile handset. Hopefully, non-handset usage will improve as
people submit patches, work more on the mid profile, and generally drive the
platform on non-handsets forward.

Imagine that. Here’s a platform that works “better” with touch than a pointing device like a mouse. That hints at the value of building up and fresh from a new OS like Android for devices like small Tablet PCs, MIDs, and the like.

As with any tweaking project like this there are lots of little issues. The cursor is just one. But that doesn’t seem to be stopping people from experimenting. I imagine eventually we’ll see an image we can use on Eee PCs as well as other devices.

Maybe it’s the freshness of the new year still in my blood, but this kind of sounds like a fun. I’ve been doing so much C# development that a little gcc time sounds refreshing.

Loren
Lorenhttp://www.lorenheiny.com
Loren Heiny (1961 - 2010) was a software developer and author of several computer language textbooks. He graduated from Arizona State University in computer science. His first love was robotics.

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