iPAQ on Linux
I knew something was wrong when the brightly back-lit screen of my iPAQ went dark. It was a curse: something, somewhere, wanted me to run Windows CE on my little handheld and was punishing me for trying to get a penguin to appear at startup, instead of a gloating little window. By installing a version of the PocketLinux operating system by Transvirtual, I had erased the boot loader in the computer’s memory, thereby reducing my iPAQ to a lifeless brick.
I searched the message boards for the latest information on Linux distributions for my machine. I found posts by users who were working happily with their installations, but there were a few cries in the dark by those whose handhelds, like mine, were dead. The experts at Compaq’s Research Laboratory (CRL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts were ready. They recommended that crashed users send their handheld to them for reFlashing, effectively giving them a second chance by clearing the memory and reinstalling the boot loader and kernel. I decided I had to go see these wizards at work, so I boarded the train at Grand Central Station in New York and came out at a Boston T Stop near MIT, ready to rescue my iPAQ from oblivion.