Installing Debian on Agestar without serial port

I have prepared a firmware and tutorial to Install Debian here, this time without the need for serial port. I have tested this, and it seems that everything works. But of course I will not be responsible if anything happens. If you think there are some missing, unclear or inaccurate steps, or if you doubt about something, then don’t install it. If you have anything to ask just email to yohanes [at], or just post your questions as comments.

NOTE: the web update method only works on agestar ncb3ast, other models can work by using serial port and latest patch for kernel source (2.6.29 or later).

New Firmware Progress

My wife agrees that I can buy another Agestar to hack and use the other one for our network storage. With this new Agestar I can continue my hacks. Currently I am working on building a firmware that can be used to install Debian without serial port. On the first stage, I will build a generic firmware without automatic installer, so the user still needs to do some manual steps to install Debian. So it is something like the manual Debian install on NSLU2 (  Actually because this is generic command line, you would be able to install Gentoo or something else. The next step would be to make an automatic installer like in NSLU2(

The main reason why I started with manual installer is because I am not yet familiar with the Debian installer. Currently the manual installer is almost complete, I just need to test it thoroughly to make sure that this will really works without serial port. I hope I can release this in the next few days (or this weekend at the latest).

Fixing Space key on EEE PC

CIMG4171 I bought the  Eee PC 4G last week, but I haven’t used it optimally. Today when trying to write a new blog post using Eee PC, I felt that the space key is very difficult to press. After searching around, I found out that many people experience the same problem. Surprisingly it is very easy to take of the Eee PC keyboard. Just press on the three dots on top of the keyboard using screw driver, and it will pop out.

Fixing it quite easy, I used a tape to make the space key thicker and easier to press, and I put a tape also in the keyboard to keep the rubber part from moving.

You can see more pictures on my photo gallery.

Reverse Engineering Linux Kernel Image and Modules

I have switched my mind from doing the kernel porting to some other activities, which is reverse engineering ARM binaries for Symbian platform. When just starting, I thought to my self: why don’t I try to reverse engineer the original Agestar firmware, and may be I can complete some drivers for STAR STR9100. So I did, and I can get the watchdog function to work (at least I think it works).

zImage and bootpImage are compressed kernel image, this is compressed by using GZip method 8. The easiest way to decompress it is to give it to gunzip. I just searched the kernel image for the sequence 1f 8b 08, and cut it using khexedit. You don’t have to find where the compressed data ends, gunzip will ignore trailing garbage.

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