Warner Losh wrote:
> In message <35D31E6B.735B84@ivs.com> James Douma writes:
> : The HPC's and Palm PC's being made today have CE in ROM. Thats ROM, not
> : PROM. You can't remove it without a soldering iron, and it can't be
> : modified or updated.
> It was myunderstanding that these were FLASH, at the very least. At
> least from the one CE box I've seen disassembled I saw it had FLASH
> chips. Granted, it wasn't the MIPS based box that I want... If one
> can run in kernel mode, then one can reprogram that FLASH memory. The
> data sheets for the Vr4111 are detailed on exactly how to do this, how
> to do one bank, while the other acts as your backup, etc.
It is entirely possible that a particular manufacturer would decide to
use Flash rather than ROM to store the OS for their HPC. It is even
conceivable that they would provide a low level method for changing the
OS (something that MS specifically does NOT want people to do with CE)
as a bug-fix feature. There are good reasons for this:
Faster time to market, flexibility in dealing with problems on the
production line, the ability to use 'excess' memory (between 'size of OS
binary' and 'top of memory') for non-volatile storage, fewer components
(use 2 flash parts instead of 2 flash + 2 rom)...
> It may be that WinCE gives the user no supported way to do the
> upgrades, and that there is no interface for it. The bare silicon
> should support this, however....
Yes, CE has NO support for this, but I agree that the hardware might
possibly support this. OTOH - boot block flash is commonly used in this
situation, and the hardware rarely supports overwriting the boot block
portions of the flash memory.
> Onsale has Velo 500's (I think, it is MIPS based) 12M for $199. I
> think for that price, it would be worth the risk of getting one,
> popping it open and seeing for myself. I'll have to checkout the
> philips datasheet pointer posted earlier to see if that core has flash
> functions or not...
Cool - let me know what you find out.
James Douma -- Manager, Hardware Development
Interactive Voice Systems Inc
email: firstname.lastname@example.org pager: 818.297.3058
Phone: 626.256.3123 Fax: 626.256.3197