Everything started with a package from japan. I bought an OQO Model 01+ on ebay, a small UMPC – The disc was wiped, but the recovery cd was available. Hey, that’s the perfect geek toy! As I opened the box, I discovered, that the power cord was missing.
If this is the worst thing happening, I’m happy – so I went out for buying a power cord, plugged it into the charger and so on. The battery of the OQO started blinking. We’re charging.
Euphoria is a bitch, guys – because I couldn’t wait to get the device booted. As the UMPC here is a low power pc, the USB ports don’t have enough power to feed a simple USB mouse. I guess I don’t need to explain that there’s no way to use external drives without external power.
As I’m a geek, I know to solve that problem: I dig out an old power unit serving 5V which I used for powering my external USB Harddisk. Et voilà – we’re running on external power and as a bonus, the OQO now recognizes the disc. As the hdd isn’t empty, I moved the data to a temporary storage and copied the recovery-cd. For backup reasons, I also saved an ISO. You never know if you need it.
I connected the harddisk to the oqo and tried to boot – but this was a failure. No joy. My next idea was using the GRUB bootloader for being able to check if it would boot. It worked for grub.
I had to use my Plan B: There are small programs being able to boot from ISO files if they were run by a bootloader. So I just copied the ISO file to the external harddisk and checked if my laptop would boot it. Success.
What about the UMPC device? That brick refused to boot – as usual. So I got me a compatible dvd-rw drive on eBay, impatiently waiting until it arrives. But for some reason the OQO device killed its charging unit’s 230V part as I tried to connect boot from the dvd-rw drive. That’s evil. A new charging unit would cost me 200 USD, which I just don’t want to spend. But luckily the charger got another input section for car/flight usage which was not broken at all: 12V
So I got me a 12V power unit for powering the charger unit for the OQO. This might look strange to you, but due to the complicated charger serving 12V and 5V at a time I didn’t want to break my device.
The installation process now started normally and went quite well. But knowing murphy’s law, I got the feeling that I might have overlooked something. But nevertheless I partitioned the disc and went on with the setup procedure until I checked the battery status: not charging anymore. I guess I have shouted out something equivalent to the word ‘fuck’. But I could finish the basic installation and shut the device down in time, just before the battery had no more power.
I went on with charging the battery again while downloading the required patches for the UMPC to be able to use the battery time best. But now the big bummer: Bios updates and Windows XP Service Pack 3 do require external power for the device. Damn.
But if you think that I’m giving up now, you’re definitively wrong. I went out to my car for testing the charger there and it worked. The car was able to deliver enough power for the charger for the updates to install. But as I didn’t want to kill my car, I had to drive around. I started the bios update and went to the highway. But just before arriving the highway, I stopped at some lot for peeking at the screen. The bios update went ok and a reboot was required. So I did and continued by starting the setup of Service Pack 3 which took about 25km to complete.
Back home I checked the whole OQO device and powered it off. 50% of the installation are completed. The next adventure will be gentoo linux…