Zaurus – English ROM

I bought a Sharp Zaurus 760 from Japan through one of my friends a couple of months back. This model is not sold in the US and I have been wanting to get my hands on it for a long time. I was well aware of the fact that the interface was all in Japanese, but since it runs Linux, I was confident of being able to hack it and change the locale settings. And there are a lot of enthusiast sites on the Internet which have information about this. Well, I got the PDA or rather Personal Mobile Tool (as Sharp likes to call it) and changed the locale settings by following the instructions in the following links
http://members.rogers.com/e46m3/zaurus/
http://downloads.conics.net/pda/zaurus-sl-c700/eng-inst/
http://www.zaurususergroup.com/index.php

Although I got most of the settings and menu options converted into English, I was still not satisfied. I wanted to modify the ROM to a complete english setting. Unfortunately, I am not such a Linux Guru (aspire to become one 🙂 ). Months passed by and as happens with such toys, it started piling dust until I came upon this site. They claimed to have a completely customized ROM with english. It was 11:00 PM in the night and the battery on the Zaurus was completely drained. Well, such goodies shouldn’t be kept waiting :). So I charged the batteries for ~ 15 minutes and got to work. Here is what I did

1) Download the ROM image from Cacko.biz.
2) Follow instructions found here.
3) Reboot the Zaurus and presto… you have an English ROM

Note: Apparently you cannot start up the Zaurus if your battery is completely dead although it is connected to an AC power source. You will have to wait at least 15-20 minutes for the batteries to charge up partially. Weird..

Here is a screenshot of the Zaurus running Netfront. It is connected to the Internet with a prism wireless card.
Zaurus :: Netfront :: BBC

That is the original screen size (640X480 pixels!!). Isn’t that impressive. I just cannot understand why Sharp doesn’t release these great PDAs in the US. They do have the Zaurus 5xxx series for sale over here.

Thanks to the Cacko Group, I now have an english version of the ROM. The same group has a X11 based distribution for the Zaurus. I will try that sometime next week. If you are having trouble getting to the main site (it is damn slow!!!), try this mirror site.

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