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Change Japanese Cassiopeia E750 ROM
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Jappy Jay
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 2:56 pm    Post subject: Change Japanese Cassiopeia E750 ROM Reply with quote

Hi. I bought a Japanes Cassiopeia E750
when I was in Japan. It seams to me that
apart from the 200MHz, it's exactly the same as my E125. Could I switch the ROM units and make it work? And if it does... it will also change the device language, won't it? Please help this MIPS die-hard out.
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Gerard
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps my memory's faulty here, but as I recall only one person in the forums has ever reported making an E-750 go from Japanese to English. I think it was pixelator, who's a member on Brighthand's forums for one. He may have sold that unit last year sometime, again according to my faulty memory. Have a look for him, maybe he can help you not waste too much time. I think it was a matter of some surgery, replacing the ROM chip with one from another unit. Most MIPS devices cannot have the ROM flashed, so don't waste your time looking for OS downloads. Only the Casio BE-300 with a MIPS processor can be flashed, and it's a sort of funky little 'business manager' device, a sort of halfway-PPC. Lots has been done for that device by hackers, but it's still very limited. The E-750 is a better device, but I'd recommend you not worry about the OS language. Programs you install should all display in English anyway, unless they are Japanese releases like GSPlayer and such.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gerard, in the meantime I found my answer at:
http://www.pocketpcpassion.com/forum/showthread.php?s=1c127de4ff39bd36d6f3da727576ac4a&threadid=3990&highlight=Japanese+E750

But off course I thank you for your reply.
By the way... Is there a place on this site that is especially preserved for keeping classic P/PC's alive? A sort of P/PC Classics
Community? If not, I'd like to start one...
Have you any suggestions how?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, good searching there to find that old post. I'm a bit startled to see something from 2001 survived the PocketPCPassion hard drive crash of 2002. Perhaps Dale was able to recover more data than I'd heard about. Well, perhaps you can find an E-125 chip to use somewhere.

I am not aware of any special place for keeping outdated PPCs current. There must be something, but it's just not caught my notice. PPCSG might have something, or perhaps one of the other Asian sites. I still have an old EG-800, but the CF slot died a year ago so it's rather limited in usefulness. My step-daughter uses it every day, gave it to her last summer. Her work in Pocket Artist and Photogenics is pretty impressive, and that killer Casio screen is very encouraging for this 10-year-old artist. If I could ever get the CF slot working again she'd be very happy, as for now she can't use it for music or anything else needing a lot of memory. And even just running regular backups to a CF card would be nice, since Activesync Backup has never worked on my PC. If you do hear of any place where users help eachother out with such things, please do spread the word!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I changed the ROM... I't works fine!
Now my E750 is an English one. Great!
Indeed, my English software worked
well on the device. But now I can
also read all the Windows CE functions
without having to depend on my...
faulty memory Wink.

By the way, I'm allready familiar
with the fact that only the BE300
and the (Japanese) BE500 work with
flashable ROMs... But do you know
where I could find some "hack"
(not crack) software to flash a
BE-x00? And what sort of OS could
I place on the device, then?
Probably only Windows CE 3.0,
am I right? Well, that's allready
quite a progress, off course.

I hope you can show me the way,
even if it will be just a
little bit.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you open up the EG800 and take a look?
Maybe only something's loose. Maybe something which could easily be soldered? To
me it sounds that way... I can imagine the
ruggidized brick falling accidentally on the
floor, while some CFlash component with an
external part (like for example the JK710-DC
camera card or a GPS card) was inside. And
then the connectors with which partly the
(internal!) CFlash-sleeve is attached on the
printing plate taking all the forces of the
impact... Resulting in one or more connector
pins coming loose. I don't want to seem a
smart-ass and apart from the faulty memory
Smile you seem to be bright yourself, too. But
did you think about that possibility?

If you don't but have the right skills
yourself and you're living not to far out of
my neighbourhood, I'm willing to check it
out and maybe fix it for you... For free
that is. It's my hobby so I already like
doing it and then it's also nice that making
somebody his steph-daughter happy comes
along with it. So in which country do you live?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well now, you're not only enthusiastic, but also somewhat magical. Do tell, how did you change the ROM chip in your device on the same day that you asked how? Did you happen to have an E-125 lying around, waiting to be cannibalised for parts?

Lots of other questions... let's see;

- No, the EG-800 never once got dropped onto any protruding CF accessory, though I did use the JK710-DC camera with it for a long while, and a Socket CF modem, and an adapter card running to an external 6GB Accurite hard drive. Nope, though it's a supposedly 'rugged' unit, I never treated it as such. The current one is #5. I killed 4, or rather they died spontaneously in various unamusing ways. Two disfunctional digitisers, one unit that auto-hard reset about 80 times in a week, and one which did the weirdest thing with the screen, showing me crazy patterns at random times, effectively making it useless - all this and a whole lot more have long since taught me that the Casio EG-800 is not a machine to be taken too seriously. If not for the extra speed and added 14.2MB of flash memory, I'd have happily gone back to using an E-115. Should have got an E-125, as most users seem to have been happier with those. Still, it was an adventure. There's still some archives on Brighthand where I tell the long and sorry tale, should you feel like reading such nonsense.

- I have had the EG-800 apart a couple of times. Nothing loose at all. The CF slot started dying once while I was on a trip, just as I tried to take a picture actually. The camera stopped being recognised, just a few seconds after starting up Pretec's software (by that time I'd sold my old Casio CF camera, another mistake). I'd soft reset, put the camera in again, start the software, try to focus and otherwise set up a picture... and the software would again revert to 'photo album' mode, indicating that the camera was not 'seen' again. This got worse, but not steadily. It took about 2 months before the slot died completely. Then a user on PocketPCPassion suggested I 'wash' the pins using an old CF card and some pure ethanol. Since I had some handy, always do for dissolving shellac, I gave this a shot using a broken Casio CF modem. It worked! But then after a short while the slot died again. So thinking it was contamination, I again disassembled the unit and inspected the pins carefully. No trace of residue, they looked very shiny and clean. After another couple of months or so, even the alcohol treatment no longer got function from the slot. It's dead. I have no idea why the alcohol worked. Perhaps another solvent might work better? I'm reluctant to start swabbing the thing out with things which might further harm the PPC, as the little one would be very disappointed to lose her machine to my experiments.

- I live in Vancouver, on the West coast of Canada. Anywhere near where you live? I won't be shipping it anywhere, for the above reason; she'd just have too hard a time forgiving me for the loss of her Casio.

- I'm afraid that I have no real knowledge of the BE-300. A friend had one for a while, but I only saw it a couple of times briefly. There are BE-300 forums, and a few sites somewhere with hack information. Searching for usernames including the word 'wolf' often end with BE-300 hacks... though notoriously ill-described and mysterious. There often seems a sort of petulant arrogance about many of the users who hack their machines, as though others failing to fall and worship at their exhalted accomplishments are being unfair. Well, that's my take on it. There certainly have been some impressive things done with BE-300 devices, considering the weak support offered by Casio, and the near-crippling of the device through their lack of awareness of consumer desires.

I did read a rumour somewhere of a Linux iteration being prepared for the BE, but this was just a rumour I think. Never saw a release.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the top of this page I wrote:

"I bought a Japanes Cassiopeia E-750
when I was in Japan. It seams to me that
apart from the 200MHz, it's exactly the same as my E-125."

So I DID allready own a E-125 which was the organ donor for my E-750 by delivering the ROM at the time I wrote it.

And after all those years I'm very familiar with the way that the E-1x5's are constructed, so that's why I was able to changed the ROMs so quickly. In fact, I changed the device housings, too. When I was back home after I went to Japan, the first think I did was exchanging my E-125
covers with the cooler designed ones of the brand new E-750. You should have seen the
pale color on the face of my father when he saw me whith the completely opened up E-750. Hahahaha.

You know, when I buy a new electronic gadget, often one of the first things that I do is opening it up and taking it a part, study the way that it was constructed and afterwards essamble it again. In my early days of exploring gadsgets internals and constructions I sometimes screwed something up. But nowadays it doesn't happen to me anymore and if I do I know a numner of tricks to repair wat I ruin.

By the way... to bad to read that appearantly the EG-800 wasn't such a durable device after all when it comes to the internal electronics. I haven't owned one myself, allthough I must admit that it was on my wishlist for a long long time. I always considered it to be an over-all superior version of the E-125.

I haven't opened up a EG-800 yet. I estimate that the printing plate is more or less the same as the one being used in the E-125 and maybe even excact the same. But it could also be possible that the EG-800 printing plate is smaller than the E1x5 printing plates, in order to make it fit into the smaller rugged covers. I mean, and correct me if I'm wrong, the EG-800 is slightly smaller'than the E-1x5 isn't it? I wonder all this because if an E-125 printing plate would fit into an EG-800 cover, a thing that you could do is buying some second hand E125 and build it into the EG-800. Just in the way that I built my E125 into the E-750 covers. In that way you could benifit from both the E-125 and EG-800 their qualities.

Unfortunately, I'm living in Europe and I am not planning on travelling to Canada soon. I do have some indirect Canadian connections, but that isn't enough off course. If you think that the EG-800/E-125 modification is a good idea, I could try and help finding some information on the printing plates.
I would like to know if it's possible myself, too.

I cannot figure out what things could cause all those problems that you've experienced with the EG-800. Perhaps you know somebody who is able to do the EG-800/E-125 modification or who is able to check the electronics with the right electronics analysing tools?

Another thing that I thought about is that maybe the rubberish ruggedizing cover isolates heat. And that, together with the fact of the smaller EG-800 printing plates (?) on which the electronic componets are sort of squeezed together in order to make the EG-800 as small as possible, that causes those malfunctions... What do you think about that?

Apart from this all, have you got any experience with flashing your ROM yourself? I also own a Siemens SX45 (the Cassiopeia E-125 based Pocket PC Phone) which also has the flashable ROM. If you have succeeded in doing some nice things with your own EG-800 ROM, maybe you would like to share it with me? The SX45 ROM contains some specific software in order to drive the built in GSM/GPRS mobile phone. Bu maybe I could somehow isolate or even rewrite that programs, to make it work together with, for example, another OS that I could maybe load onto the ROM(?) I'm also very curious at what the BE-300 hacks are comprising. Please inform me at this thread, if you find any info on flashing/hacking the MIPS P/PC's RAM and/or ROM. I promise that I'll do the same. And I'm allready building the fundament idea's on how to load Linux into ROM instead of RAM, making it function, etcetera etcetera. I will also inform I'm making progress.

Please keep in mind the fact that English isn't my native language and as a result of that, I probably make many spelling errors.

Hope to read a reply from you soon.

Greatings,
Jappy Jay
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

quote:
"I bought a Japanese Cassiopeia E-750
when I was in Japan. It seams to me that apart from the 200MHz, it's exactly the same as my E-125."

So I DID already own a E-125 which was the organ donor for my E-750 by delivering the ROM at the time I wrote it.


Oops, sorry for overlooking that. Sounds like you are of the same 'school' as I grew up in, taking apart every broken alarm clock or toaster or calculator to see what the guts looked like. I left a few things in pieces, but once I managed to get an old pocketwatch working I was hooked on fixing stuff. Now I mostly fix doublebasses, which provide an interesting blend of engineering and materials challenges.

quote:

By the way... to bad to read that appearantly the EG-800 wasn't such a durable device after all when it comes to the internal electronics.



Chris De Herrera has an EG-800, which he's always liked and has caused him no grief. There's a guy calling himself powder2000 who bought an EG-800 as-new for USD$250 about a year ago, and so far seems very happy with it. A firm in my area uses 6 of them, and because the 'seals' pop off they removed the AC/earphone seal permanently, and epoxied on the CF seal because they don't change CF accessories in their uses of the devices. I can't understand how the flexible seals can stay in working condition for any user, as mine have started jumping off the device within weeks of initial use in the 4 cases where I've had new units that long (one I had for only about 10 days before Casio sent me a replacement, due to the bad video component). Casio promised me a few times that Casio Japan was shipping newly designed seals, and on one occassion the number "10,000 sets" was mentioned very clearly. Either these all got sent out to corporate clients, whom Scott Nelson said were the main consumers of the EG-800, or the shipment never arrived. My continued requests for proper seals were ignored. I did once receive a replacement set, but they were identical to the originals, and soon distorted beyond usability. They apparently felt guilty about all this, and sent me an IrDA>USB cradle, cable, and extra battery sheet as compensation.


quote:

I haven't opened up a EG-800 yet. I estimate that the printing plate is more or less the same as the one being used in the E-125 and maybe even excact the same. But it could also be possible that the EG-800 printing plate is smaller than the E1x5 printing plates, in order to make it fit into the smaller rugged covers. I mean, and correct me if I'm wrong, the EG-800 is slightly smaller'than the E-1x5 isn't it?


Nope. I've seen images of the guts of the E-125, which isn't very different from the E-115. The EG-800 is profoundly different in layout. I paid a lot of attention to this when considering/investigating the overclocking thing, the little graphite bridge overclock. Once my warranty had expired an I had an iPAQ 3835, it seemed an acceptable risk to attempt running the unit a bit faster. I hoped that video performance when using the CF camera might improve. But as I could never find components anything close to the online images and instructions for overclocking an E-125, I had to give up. Just don't have the electronics background to pursue experiments like that on my own. Seems I've deleted my old images of the interior of the EG-800... perhaps I've left some on my server, let's see... Nope. Just one little sketch, which I made and uploaded to show someone trying to help me, as I didn't have any digital camera aside from the Casio CF camera and obviously could not use this with the EG-800 in pieces. Here's that:



quote:
If you think that the EG-800/E-125 modification is a good idea, I could try and help finding some information on the printing plates.
I would like to know if it's possible myself, too.


I'll pull the unit apart again sometime soon, and take some proper pictures using the new Dell and my Pretec CF camera, which can sometimes deliver quite decent closeups using the CECam software to run it. Email me if you'd like to correspond about this stuff. Without email notification being available here, I might miss a post of yours, though I do look at the forums several times most days.

Quote:
I cannot figure out what things could cause all those problems that you've experienced with the EG-800. Perhaps you know somebody who is able to do the EG-800/E-125 modification or who is able to check the electronics with the right electronics analysing tools?


There is a member of our local user group who has a Japanese ROM 'G-Fort' Casio, and we plan at some time to arrange a meeting with screwdrivers to take them apart side-by-side and compare the innards. He might be able to help with the CF slot problem.

Quote:
Another thing that I thought about is that maybe the rubberish ruggedizing cover isolates heat.

Not really an issue. The EG-800 is substantially larger than the rest of the E-series Casios. About 20-25% larger in volume than the E-125. I've made this one larger still, if only a little, by addind a flip-cover made of Lexan with a brass hinge:


(if you're curious for other views, that image is one of four, named eg-800_flipcover3.jpg - the others are numbered 1, 2, and 4)

Quote:
Apart from this all, have you got any experience with flashing your ROM yourself?


The only thing close to flashing the EG-800 ROM that I've done was just running the service pack 3, from Casio. It made some small adjustments/bugfixes in the filesystem, especially having to do with how Flash Disk and Flash Disk2 are used. These 'file stores' are really one component, and using either direct registry edits or using a small Casio utility called 'FlashDiskResize' one can modify the partition sizes relative to eachother. Exact HEX math must be applied either way, something about which I know nothing, so I've never attempted this. When I say the service pack flashed the ROM, this is because a small ROM-based component was added to Windows, and a new routine now appears whenever I hard reset the unit. The asks if I want to use the new settings, and through a series of pop-up messages and two soft resets I am finally allowed to proceed with setting up the device. It would seem from this evidence that th EG-800 is flashable, but to what degree and by what method I know not. If you downloaded the ZIP and extracted the CAB which does the job, then analyzed the code there, you might be able to come up with clues. This is here, unless Casio has shut down this download page.

Your English is very admirable. I only wish to be half so fluent in another language. Though my wife is Japanese, I know only a few words of that language, and it seems my mind blocks learning much more. Even my favourite foods of Japanese sorts I cannot recall from one meal to the next.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The XPod site seems possibly interesting in terms of modifying the BE-300. I am not concealing any secrets regarding ROM flashing, I just don't know anything really, as I've no interest in the unit and only passing exposure to it. Mostly I've read nonsense in the forums, often in threads which had to be closed by moderators. It seems a lot of BE-300 owners don't mind dabbling in warez, though of course a lot of others are honest folks.

Looking at my old links to BE-300 forums, it seems they have moved or shut down. That's fairly typical in my experience of BE-300 lore. The device just doesn't inspire or support a lot of stable online activity. Google might find you something, but I just tried and got tired of the snake-eating-it's-tail sort of feeling. Lots of promises of downloads, but no real destinations...



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Jappy Jay
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gerard,


I went on some sort of half-business half-private visit for a few days, so I didn't reply to your messages yet. I'm still studying them. In the mean time, if you like you could send me an Email. As you can see, I've registered myself. And could you please tell me to where I could send you my mail? I would be very much interested in discussing/sharing info about:

-keeping "old" Pocket PC models up-to-date
/alive
-MIPS-based Pocket PC's
-Linux or other alternative Pocket PC
operating systems
-customising Pocket PC's
-Pocket PC case modding
-all sorts of Pocket PC gadgets/innovations

Looking forwards to your mail and thank you in advance.


Greetings,
Jappy Jay

[This message has been edited by Jappy Jay (edited April 18, 2004).]

[This message has been edited by Jappy Jay (edited April 18, 2004).]
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops yet again. I thought my email address was posted in my profile, but it seems that neither of us has an email address there. So, mine's gerard at luthier.ca - something one can extrapolate from my personal domain address I suppose. I receive any and all email addressed to whatever at luthier.ca. I did ask Chris some months back not to have my email address on every page where I moderate, and he fixed that... perhaps that's when it vanished from my profile too? Anyway, send me a note and I can try to help.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wrote you an Email today, so please check your Email box.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've opened up my Siemens SX-45 today... And man... it's internals are so absolutely totally different from the Cassiopeia internals! The ROM is hidden behind some screwed and soldered on metal cap. I'm NOT going to remove that cap in the near future, I think. There are at least two printing plates inside, so that's what possibly makes the SX-45 into being an even bigger brick than the E1x5, BE-x00 and EG-800 (etcetera).

It would be virtually impossible to change my E-750 into a sort of 200+MHz super-SX45 by placing some SX-45 parts from my SX-45 onto it. Maybe in the future I'll be able to change their CPU's, but that will still be a very difficult if not impossible job.

Saturday I'll buy a 2nd hand Cassiopeia BE-300 to play with. I like the big community around that device. I wonder if that flashable ROM fits on my E-750, too. Then I'll be able to not only use an English OS, but also a newer one. For example eXpod 6.1. And even LinuxBE, the Linux version for the BE-300. Than I won't have to worry about having to sacrifice 4MB's of RAM, like with LinuxCE on a Cassiopeia E115. And I've even seen a sort of plug in for use under eXpod, to be able to use a mobile phone/GPRS card on a BE-300... I wonder if the internal phone/GPRS card of the SX45 is compatible with it. That's right, you can guess why I'm wondering about that. If not: a 200MHz Super-SX45 with eXpod and/or Linux on it!

Ooops... my cafe's ready. Need my shot. Bye.


Greetings,
Jappy Jay

[This message has been edited by Jappy Jay (edited April 19, 2004).]
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Gerard, just searching for the latest eg-800 discussions and came across this post. Well my cf slot seems to be going bad. I am coming to a different conclusion than you as to why though. I think the pins on this are either thin or the cf card contacts wear out do to excessive inserting of cf accessories. I am going to see if I can squeeze the slots of a card and see if this fixes the problem.
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