User:Cyberman tM/ImcoV6L

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ImcoV6L

Here I will add in notes and fragments about that eReader that are (IMO) very interesting and noteworthy, but not necessarily something that should appear in the main Wiki page to the reader. Spamming the talk page or the forum isn't really that good either.


Navigation in input fields

I just realized you can use the paging-buttons to go characterwise in input fields - very handy, if your fingers are too big to move the cursor back a single character.

Touch screen unsresponsive when using while charging?

This may be related to having Boinc run on the device, but I noticed that sometimes the touch screen stops responding when I use it while it's still charging. Disconnecting the charger and then using the device is no problem.

WARNING

These are NOT instructions on what you SHOULD do, these are "instructions" on what you COULD do - do so at your own risk! Overheating the CPU might damage it or nearby components (battery, display, etc...). While I do not think the risk is great, I do not take responsibility for any device that breaks because you repeated what I did. Read what I did, then decide if you want to take the risk.

In the same vein, dabbling around in the operating system could actually brick the device - if the system is damaged too seriously, you might not be able to unbrick it without sending it in. Again: read, then decide if you want to try it.

I'm not listing stuff that I think is dangerous or harmful to your device, but I cannot and will not guarantee anything. Be careful, decide for yourself if you want to take whatever risk there is.

Factory reset

According to mail conversation, there is no built-in factory reset (unlike the Kobo, for example). You can delete all userdata (somewhere in the settings, I believe) and install an update from ImcoSys, which will apparently overwrite the whole system.

This probably means that you should try not to brick it, as you need a somewhat working OS to reset everything. Be careful.

Android

The ImcoV6L features an open, rooted, android system (Gingerbread), which gives a lot of options - simply installing apps is one of them.

Installing Apps, APK files

There is no Google Play, so you have to get the actual APK file to install it. There are websites that can download the APK file if you tell them the Google Play URL. Use at own risk. Once you have the file the installation itself is simple - copy it to the device and run it (via explorer).

Dabbling in the System, Android Debug Bridge

Interestingly, "USB Debugging" seems to be always on - which means that as soon as you connect the device via USB to your computer, it can be accessed at root level. (Download ADB, and run "ADB SHELL" in the command line).

Apart from being a potential security risk (ANYONE can access the device that way! If you're paranoid, you might want to carry a special USB cable that can only transmit power when charging from unknown power sources.), this mainly is a good way to brick your device by fumbling in the innards without knowing what you're doing. (Believe me, I've done so more than once, though not with this device.)

Shutdown background/Standby Pictures

About the only useful thing I've found regarding the ADB so far. The default pictures (ImcoSys name and coffee cup) are quite boring. By accessing the system via ADB you can change them. Basically, the pictures reside in /system/logo and are named shutdown.png and standby.png .

However, since the "system" partition is read only, you cannot simply upload a file. You have to remount the partition to be write-enabled first. This is rather easy, but you might want to double-check everything before hitting enter - do something wrong here and it might end badly.

(Those who know Linux can skip this part - you know what to do already. If not, read on.)

  • ) prepare two pictures. PNG, 8Bit, size should be smaller or exactly 1024x758. I have used the old pictures from my Kobo which are 800x600. I recommend first pulling the original pictures as template - so you know how to rotate them.


  • ) open a command line on your system (in windows: Win-R CMD
  • ) navigate to the folder containing ADB


  • ) Optional: pull the original pictures to your local drive C
  • ) Optional: type in your systems command line adb pull /system/logo/standby.png c:\ and adb pull /system/logo/shutdown.png c:\ . You can replace c:\ with another folder.
  • ) Optional: You now have copies of the original files - open them in a picture program and modify or replace them. Make sure to keep the correct rotation, otherwise the pictures get stretched.
  • ) Info: Space on the system partition is limited. Try to keep the files small - around 80k per picture should be possible. You don't need color, so switch to grayscale and try to reduce colors to 32 or perhaps even 16.


  • ) make sure you are the folder containing ADB and run ADB SHELL
  • ) check that you're on the system (the prompt changes, ADB will probably have written about a daemon not running and so - if you see "device not found", then check the USB connection)
  • ) you are now on the Android System, command line. You are root. Contemplate about the fact that with a few keystrokes you could brick the device.
  • ) type mount and hit enter. (No parameters, this just displays the list of currently mounted devices
  • ) look for something like /dev/block/mtdblock8 /system RO lots of numbers
  • ) (The first part is the physical location, then somewhere later comes the directory that has been assigned to this location. RO tells us it's Read Only)
  • ) now carefully type mount -o remount /dev/block/mtdblock8,rw /system (<- If the previous mount command gave a different path, you must use that one of course)
  • ) (This means: mount device mtdblock8 again, to directory /system, but this time allow me to write on it
  • ) Careful now: directory /system (which is important as you may guess) is now writeable. Do not touch the reader, do not run any commands you're not sure of.


  • ) exit the ADB shell by typing exit once. Do NOT leave the command line of your operating system.
  • ) assuming the pictures are on c:\ , type the following: adb push c:\standby.png /system/logo/ and adb push c:\shutdown.png /system/logo/
  • ) Possible Problem: If your pictures are too large (space of /system is limited and cannot be expanded) you may get a warning from ADB. In that case, the pictures will not have been transferred and the original should still be there. Continue with the rest and try again with a smaller picture.
  • ) close the command line


  • ) shut down your reader (not just sleep, really shut down) and restart it.
  • ) The pictures should be changed. The system directory will again be write protected.

[BOINC]

Boinc is a client for distributed computing, where various projects exists for almost any cause. Recently they expanded to Android, which means it can also be run on the ImcoV6L (which uses Android Gingerbread).

Display unresponsive

I'm not entirely sure what causes this, but sometimes when I had BOINC running the display becomes unresponsive - I have the device on a charger, and standby. I come back, unplug it - and the display doesn't react anymore. Everything else does,though. Naturally I can't restart the device anymore, so I have to reset it. Which apparently only works by first poking the reset button, then connecting the reader to the charger. Maybe the daemon that checks for input gets confused? I'll look into this. Maybe it's a hardware defect, I still have a suspicion that the display isn't 100% working right.

Projects

Because of poor resources (mainly the memory) not every project will run - [WCG] for example does not, as it needs more memory than is available. [SIMAP] on the other hand WILL run. Quite fast even, a single WU took only a few hours.

Processor heat/usage

Naturally, having the processor run at full capacity for a long time will cause serious heat issues. Currently I have told Boinc to use the processor for about 70% of its time, which seems to work quite well - the lower section of the device (I assume the CPU is there, or the battery) gets a bit warm to the touch, but it doesn't feel hot (in any case, eInk should be able to withstand about 50°C).

Battery

Needless to say, this will take a lot of battery power, so I'd not recommend running Boinc when the device is not fully charged and able to draw the required energy without having to use the battery. (I.e. only when on the charger, and only when full.)

SIMAP, Power consumption

A SIMAP WU will take only about 3 hours, when CPU usage is set to 70%. It will deplete the battery faster, but if you charge at the same time the battery won't be used. A mere 500mA wall charger was enough to both fill up the battery AND let the WU run. This is probably because SIMAP calculations are rather simple, they don't need Neon or anything advanced.

Since the client unfortunately only downloads a single WU, the device will stop calculating after a few hours, which gives it time to cool down. On the other hand, it seems to be wasted time, if it's plugged in all night anyway, it should do something usefulll. Maybe I'll reduce CPU usage, so it doesn't warm up at all?

Other Boinc projects

I only tried WCG and WUProp@Home - both required more memory. I assume that some of the mathematical projects might work, but I haven't tried them as I prefer the medical scientific projects.

Updates, old version

I didn't like update 1.15, so I asked if older versions are available - I've been told that the previous version can be found here:

http://www.imcosys.com/downloadold/update.zip

V1.15

In case you're wondering why I dislike 1.15 - it removes the status bar, eliminating clock and power status. Since I often had the problem of power running out with the Kobo (no permanent display either), I was VERY annoyed about this change. Their reasoning (I've asked) is that they drain power and are not essential, so they removed it. (IMO, this explanation doesn't wash, but I don't know the internals. Also, the mail seemed to hint that other customers considered these features to be a useless power drain - in that case I can't really blame them for doing what other customers want. I do expect the same, after all...)

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