Gecko Edubook

How about this:

Pretty exciting hey! It is tempting me. Due out in June.

Posted on 27 May 2009, 16:32


Posted on 27 May 2009, 18:23 by 01micko
I'm in the market...
... for a netbook ATM. Uncle Kevin's bonus is a little late for me, but when it does come I'll be purchasing a netbook. It will certainly not have a MS OS loaded! This one comes into the frame. We'll see what Aus pricing is like.

Posted on 27 May 2009, 21:18 by DrOwl
Looks pritty cool, a more lowtec version of the eeePC.

I do have one of there MicroClient Jr. target=_blank>
, its very well built and even came with Puppy installed ( i note they are still offering Puppy), maybe you could get them to supply some of the "laptop / notebook" with puppy =)

Posted on 28 May 2009, 3:52 by Sage
What HW does it run on?
Many pundits now believe MIPS really will be the next BIG thing. Take a look in the Latest Linux Format for Android, too.

Posted on 28 May 2009, 5:24 by technosaurus
barbones $110 in qty

according to linuxdevices they may have barebones lots for $110 to $130 (bring your own puppy on sd)

Posted on 28 May 2009, 7:07 by davesurrey
puppy strategy
The Edubook is a nice example of designers thinking "out of the box" but if we want to think even further then x86 may not have such a secure future. With portability, low power consumption and a more efficient architecture giving, amongst other things, instant-on access, being key USP's, RISC technology for example makes x86 seem like the dodo.

So whilst that is happening it would be good to debate whether Puppy's prime objective is to salvage old x86 based systems from the knackers' yard or to embrace the future which includes netbooks and non-x86 platforms.

Posted on 2 Jun 2009, 14:04 by Raffy
What happened to the AMD Geode?
As far as I know, the AMD Geode like the LX800 performs well at low power in the x86 category.

Note that even the Lemote (Chinese) laptop has the CS5536 chipset that is known to go with the newer Geode.

Posted on 2 Jun 2009, 15:42 by Raffy
New SoC
More reading about the SoC that it uses:

Posted on 13 Jun 2009, 5:49 by 01micko
Emailed Norhtec
Hi Barry, and all interested.

I emailed Norhtec about price and availability of the Gecko Edubook last weekend. They responded promptly.

Here is part of their response:

"We have pre-production Gecko Edubooks available. These are not production units but they are very good to show potential dealers and partners. The production units will be available August. The preproduction units have the following issues:

1. runs hot
2. Will run Adobe Flash 9 but not 10
3. Will run Skype 3 but nor 4
4. Microphone can have feedback
5. Two soft spots on the case

We are sending out some preproduction units with battery,4GB SD loaded with XP Education or Ubuntu, 512 MB RAM Power cord but no WIFI for $150.00.

The final units will ship in August and you can place an order now. We suggest ordering the 512 MB version as this is the optimum configuration. The price is $199.95.

Shipping cost for 1 unit to Australia = $48.00"

These prices are US$. So, for a pre model we'd be looking at AU$250-300 depending on the exchange rate on the day. Over AU$300 for a production model available in August.

I did consider the idea, the fact that it is modular is appealing. ARM might one day be an option for the Edubook.

However, I decided against and purchased a brand new EEE701. AU$290 from a reputable dealer. Installed upup on to a usb key and it hums along nicely.

Maybe Barry, seeing as though Raffy did some great work "selling" them Puppy for the Norhtec micro box, they would give you a substantial discount, or even a freebie, or a "loaner".... worth a shot!


Posted on 13 Jun 2009, 9:10 by BarryK
Re: Norhtec
Thanks for that info. I didn't have all that pricing and info about pre-production models.

I have been in contact with the boss, Michael Barnes, and may decide on acquiring a production model ...perhaps, undecided as yet.

Interesting your comment about it running hot. That's what I thought when I saw the utube video, that it isn't designed properly for heat dissipation (I'm an ex electronic engineer, was into micro digital systems so I know about these things!)

Posted on 2 Jul 2009, 8:16 by Yogev (Green Gadgets)
Evaluation unit
I purchased 2 of those pre-production units from NorhTec for market potential study in Israel. They already have a working Puppy Linux 4.2.1 image for them, but unfortunately they are still not suitable for day-to-day usage. The pre-production CPUs suffer from overheating and as they don't have a fan (in production units it won't be needed and the case is identical to pre-production and production laptop), the system crashes every 15-30 minutes. When I placed the laptop on a horizontally laid 50cm room fan, it worked flawlessly for more than 24 hours without a crash.
I am waiting for the next revision of those laptops (or more precisely, the next CPU revision) that will not run hot so it will work good without any fan.

Posted on 20 Aug 2009, 11:31 by Raffy
Direct contact with DMP Guys
Michael Barnes dropped a message about the contact details of the guys in charge at DMP, the manufacturer. Will email it to you, Barry.

Posted on 2 Oct 2009, 6:58 by Anonymous Coward
Transparent Casing
Production models are ready now. Interestingly, they have a transparent case option, see

I asked Norhtec about it and they said:
"We can get the transparent case on special demand at quantity 50+.We do not have it as standard."

Posted on 11 Nov 2009, 20:24 by Kevin Bowers
Gecko on my desk
I finally got a Gecko Edubook. They seem to have cured the overheating by making the entire bottom of the case out of ribbed steel, thereby making it a heatsink, and putting a (presumably) heat-conductive pad between it and the processor. I'm not sure if it was an accident or not, but it came with XP installed on the optional hard drive. Good thing, too, as I've had no luck at all with various Linux distros. The WattOS it's supposed to ship with wouldn't boot at all. Ubuntu Netbook remix was what Norhtec originally advertised so I tried that; it works, but it's the slowest and clunkiest system I've ever used. Perhaps it's because it's running from the flash drive. No Linux system I've tried yet will make either the audio (Realtek HD) or the Wi-Fi (Ralink 2870 USB) work. Puppy, of course, is the obvious cure for the speed problem, and it works very well under XVesa at the native 1024x600 resolution, but still no sound or Wi-Fi. Anybody have any ideas? Please drop a line here or

Posted on 11 Dec 2009, 12:33 by pskin
Puppy 4.31 on Gecko
I have one of the gecko edubooks and have tested
Puppy 4.31 on it. I recompiled the kernel
with the patched sorce with the existing config after further patching
with a small patch supplied by norhtec (for sound)
and simply replaced the vmlinuz of my frugal
installation on a 1GB usb stick.
(I did not change the initrd.gz)
That got sound working. The wired network
was already working out of the box.
To get the USB wireless card (usbID 148f:3070) which came with the edubook to work, I downloaded the source for the rt3070sta module from Ralink, compiled and installed it.

Naturally, the compilations involved getting the and patched source sfs.

Anyway, I thought Kevin (whom I met
over on the wattOS board) and others might
be interested to hear that puppy 4.31 is now fully functional on my gecko edubook running of a usb stick, and very fast too (except it takes a while to save to the pupsave.2fs when shutting down, I think because of the write speed of the usb stick).

Also, based on quite a bit of compiling, I am very confident that there are no heat or stability issues in this production version.
The case bottom cover is aluminium and seems
to work as the heat sink in this fanless


Posted on 11 Dec 2009, 18:39 by X
Perhaps a gecko.iso? Sounds too complicated for a

Posted on 15 Dec 2009, 9:43 by pskin
puppy on Gecko
Here patch mentioned in my post. Please excuse me
if this is not the right place to post it.
I am a newbie.
Cheers, pskin

diff -urN linux-2.6.30.orig/drivers/ide/piix.c linux-2.6.30/drivers/ide/piix.c

--- linux-2.6.30.orig/drivers/ide/piix.c 2009-06-10 11:05:27.000000000 +0800
+++ linux-2.6.30/drivers/ide/piix.c 2009-07-07 14:10:14.000000000 +0800
@@ -442,6 +442,7 @@
{ 0, },
MODULE_DEVICE_TABLE(pci, piix_pci_tbl);
diff -urN linux-2.6.30.orig/include/linux/pci_ids.h linux-2.6.30/include/linux/pci_ids.h
--- linux-2.6.30.orig/include/linux/pci_ids.h 2009-06-10 11:05:27.000000000 +0800
+++ linux-2.6.30/include/linux/pci_ids.h 2009-07-07 14:10:14.000000000 +0800
@@ -2219,6 +2219,7 @@
#define PCI_DEVICE_ID_RDC_R6060 0x6060
#define PCI_DEVICE_ID_RDC_R6061 0x6061
#define PCI_DEVICE_ID_RDC_D1010 0x1010
+#define PCI_DEVICE_ID_RDC_D1011 0x1011

#define PCI_VENDOR_ID_LENOVO 0x17aa

diff -urN linux-2.6.30.orig/sound/pci/hda/hda_intel.c linux-2.6.30/sound/pci/hda/hda_intel.c
--- linux-2.6.30.orig/sound/pci/hda/hda_intel.c 2009-06-10 11:05:27.000000000 +0800
+++ linux-2.6.30/sound/pci/hda/hda_intel.c 2009-07-07 14:16:11.000000000 +0800
@@ -2519,6 +2519,7 @@
.class_mask = 0xffffff,
.driver_data = AZX_DRIVER_GENERIC },
+ { PCI_DEVICE(0x17f3, 0x3010), .driver_data = AZX_DRIVER_GENERIC },
{ 0, }
MODULE_DEVICE_TABLE(pci, azx_ids);

Posted on 15 Dec 2009, 20:47 by Kevin Bowers
pskin claims to be a newbie but is working way over my head. I'm a fool for such things, so I'll try to get this patch working on mine, but I suspect I'll get lost. I like X's suggestion of a Gecko .iso, how about it pskin?


Posted on 16 Dec 2009, 2:32 by pskin
where to upload?
I meant I'm new to puppy so I haven't yet learned
where I am supposed to upload things such as patches (or possibly an iso?). In some circles people are quite strict about such matters, but puppy folk seem more friendly and laid back, which is very nice.
Sorry if my description was too short.
Here is a step-by-step of what I did
(working from rough notes and memory) to
recompile for the sound.

I am assuming a puppy 4.3.1 frugal installation
with just the files vmlinuz, initrd.gz
pup-431.sfs in the top level.

1. download devx_431.sfs and
and put them in the same top-level
Put the patch there too for convenience.

2. Use the bootmanager to add these sfs. Reboot.

You should find a new directory /usr/src/linux-

cd /usr/src/linux-

Make a backup of .config (Don't use a name
for the backup which starts with .config
or it will be deleted by make mrproper)

cp .config config.puppy431

Copy the patch from the top-level
and apply it.

cp /mnt/home/patchfile .
patch -p1 <patchfile

Optional, to clean up the source directory

make mrproper
cp config.puppy .config

Now configure with the existing .config
and compile.

make oldconfig
make bzImage
make modules
make modules_install

The make bzImage takes a couple of hours on an
edubook and make modules even longer.
You could do it on a faster machine if you prefer.

Then save a copy of the old vmlinuz
and copy /usr/src/linux- to /mnt/home/vmlinuz.

After reboot (which may take a while), sound should work. Check volume with alsamixer.

Good luck!

Posted on 16 Dec 2009, 7:21 by BarryK
Size of pupsave
If your session is saved to the entire partition, then fine. However if you have a 'pupsave' file, then you have to be careful that it is big enough. I have only done the 'make bzImage' in this situation (I normally compile the kernel in a full hard drive installation, not frugal) and I had to make the pupsave file 1.5GB. If you are also going to compile the modules ...I don't know, a wild guess is the pupsave would have to be 3GB.

Posted on 16 Dec 2009, 7:53 by pskin
size of pupsave
Thanks for mentioning the pupsave file, I forgot
about that. The size of my pupsave file was
only 512 MB (on a USB stick) but everything seemed to work. I think I rebooted after make bzImage and then again after make modules.
Each time it took a very long time to save to the pupsave file (maybe over an hour), but
it did sucessfully reboot both times
and at the end I do have a perfectly working installation. As far as I could tell none of /lib/modules was missing. Do you have any suggestions about what I should check?

Barry, I'm glad to have the chance to thank
you for creating Puppy Linux. I like it very much.


Posted on 16 Dec 2009, 8:13 by pskin
one more detail
I did have about 500 MB of swap space on the internal hard disk, I don't understand things
well enough to know whether that is relevant.
The edubook has 512MB of memory.

Posted on 16 Dec 2009, 10:33 by Kevin Bowers
Possible upload site
Just a thought, pskin: since you've done his team's work for them, perhaps Norhtec's Michael Barnes would allow you to upload your install's image to the public section of their server? I've found them helpful and responsive. I'm sure I'm not the only Puppy fan with an Edubook!

BTW, Barry, echo pskin's thanks to you for Puppy. I've been using it as my primary OS since I bought version 1.0.3 directly from you!


Posted on 16 Dec 2009, 14:02 by X
upload gecko.iso
thanks for the more detailed explanation.
perhaps also an iso upload to host at as well as ask the gecko site.

Posted on 17 Dec 2009, 9:05 by pskin
gecko edubook iso
Hi everyone, I have an iso ready which makes
sound and wireless work on the edubook. I am looking at possible upload sites. (X, I couldn't see how to upload at the website you mentioned.)
I think the best thing is for me to make an announcement in the Linux Discussion Forum when I have uploaded.


Posted on 17 Dec 2009, 16:24 by rohtua
gecko host
some people have uploaded to

perhaps contact puppylinux forum member eric to use many other member have uploaded there.

Posted on 17 Dec 2009, 16:24 by rohtua
gecko host
some people have uploaded to

perhaps contact puppylinux forum member eric to use many other member have uploaded there.

Posted on 18 Dec 2009, 19:10 by rohtua
opera unite gecko share
if you had opera unite and lots of bandwidth you could try the file sharing option
maybe one of the current opera.pets has it bundled.

Posted on 18 Dec 2009, 19:11 by rohtua
opera unite gecko share
if you had opera unite and lots of bandwidth you could try the file sharing option
maybe one of the current opera.pets has it bundled.

Posted on 18 Dec 2009, 23:57 by pskin
Gecko Edubook iso
A delta is now uploaded:

Posted on 20 Dec 2009, 3:29 by Kevin Bowers
Thank you thank you!
Thanks pskin, Barry, and the whole Puppy team!

pskin's delta works quite well. Couple of points that might confuse us semi-literates:

Working in rxvt under Puppy 4.3.1, I couldn't do a cd to the directory where I had the iso and delta files, so I had to type in the full path, not just the filenames as in pskin's step-by.

Also, the delta file's extension as downloaded is .xd3, not .delta. So since I had the files in a USB card reader mounted on /mnt/sdb1, my command line looked like:
# xdelta3 -d -s /mnt/sdb1/pup-431.iso /mnt/sdb1/pup-431-edubook.xd3

xdelta3 did its job well and quickly, I burned the ISO and booted the Edubook to it and installed it to an internal SD card. Puppy woofed at me on first boot!

There is a glitch in the wireless driver somewhere, using auto-DHCP it winds up with the wrong IP address. So far I've just opened the wireless connection widget and clicked "connect" and it does. Small price...

Puppy plays mp3s flawlessly with Aqualung. (I shall have to play that particular song.) As I suspected, the "logey" response that Windows and even WattOS have is gone under Puppy, it feels light and quick. I was afraid I was going to have to scrap the Edubook investment, but once again Puppy has saved the day!

Again, thanks to all.


Posted on 20 Dec 2009, 8:28 by Kevin Bowers
Editing note
I just noticed that the word-wrap makes it look like there's a carriage return in the command line. There isn't, just a space, it's all one line.