February 18, 2004

Making the ViewSonic Tablet PC Run Linux

A few months ago, I was talking to the owner of a locally run ISP, Mutual Data Services, and he mentioned he had purchased a ViewSonic Tablet PC some
months before. He planned to use it at his various wireless access points to do maintenance on his equipment. It came with Windows 98, and he was not
impressed. As he puts it:
Imagine our frustration that the tablet we paid big bucks for crashed as a daily occurrence. The manufacturer refused to allow us to return it,
saying the operating system is the problem. We would do a restore, and it would run for a day and then crash again. We gave up on using it as
designed and thought maybe Linux would work and save the tablet from the junk box.

I offered to take the system and put Linux on it. The first thing I did was Google to see if I could find any information on installing Linux on this
hardware, but I found nothing. So I thought it might be useful to other owners of this model to write this article. If others ran into the same
situation that Mutual Data Services did, several of these systems may be lying around and gathering dust.

I start by explaining what extra equipment I needed to acquire even to attempt the installation, what system settings had to be tweaked and which
features work on this hardware. Then, I discuss what software was installed to make this system useful for my friend's desired tasks.

Link: linuxjournal.com


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