ZipIt Hacking

The K-Byte ZipIt Wireless Messenger is a cool little embedded device that lets you send MSN, AIM, and Yahoo! instant messages through wireless 802.11b/g networks.

Sure, $150 $110 CAD for a PDA with a wifi chip, that's pretty cool - but it gets better:
It's got a 320x240 4-bit screen, lithium polymer battery, stereo DAC with headphone jack and internal speaker, AND.... it runs Linux.

If you'd like to learn more about the ZipIt as well as the ZipIt hacking scene in general, check out:
The ZipIt Wireless Yahoo! Group - A great place to ask questions or check up on the latest developments.
The ZipIt Wiki - The best place for solid ZipIt information. (This'll save you digging through the Yahoo! Group archives for old posts, plus the information here is easier to understand.)
Stephanie's ZipIt Web Server - A website being hosted off a ZipIt with a hacked-in MMC/SD card slot. (Very cool...)


zipitgfx is a small library I wrote to do some rudimentary drawing to a ZipIt's framebuffer. It comes with a sample application, zipitgfx_sample, which demonstrates most of the functionality of the library (and also serves as a good template for a graphical ZipIt application).
Features include:
- Text drawing
- Line drawing
- Bitmap drawing
It's been released under the GPL as well. For more information, consult the REAME included in the archive below.
Download: zipitgfx-0.0.1.tar.gz

Precompiled Apps

A fairly big challenge (or fun time-waster) is trying to get Linux applications to cross-compile to ARM for use on the ZipIt (running one of the Linux builds out there.)

Here are some binaries for apps I've managed to cross-compile for OpenZipIt:

sed-4.1.2 - the usual UNIX stream editor (notably missing from OpenZipIt)
minised-1.5 - a smaller implementation of sed. I couldn't get one little thing to work with it (I'm pretty sed illiterate), so I ended up using sed above. (website)
ipdump2-pre1 - a simple packet sniffer that was really easy to compile, no crazy dependencies. (website)
wget-1.9.1 - also missing from OpenZipIt, might be useful in some bash scripts.
wavemon-0.4.0b-ZipIt - a neat utility to provide some realtime wireless statistics. Updated: Cynfab/Ken McGuire has patched wavemon to work better on the ZipIt, the updated binary has been posted at the link above.
ivorbisfile_example - using the Tremor library, this supplied sample application plays Ogg Vorbis files. (Use with: ./ivorbisfile_example < file.ogg > /dev/zipaudio)
Also, make sure you load the sound drivers first... (run "go2" on OpenZipIt)

These were all built with some daily snapshot of Buildroot, and are statically linked against uClibc 0.9.27.