[maemo-users] Freeing up N800 memory

From: Gary D Walborn gwalborn at gmail.com
Date: Thu Jan 24 18:41:02 EET 2008
On Thu, 2008-01-24 at 18:04 +0200, Eero Tamminen wrote:
> Hi,
> ext Gary D Walborn wrote:
> > 	You should be getting the "drift" of this by now.  MANY things
> > can be easily and safely moved to the memory card and linked in.  I have
> > linked many of the binaries in /usr/bin to the memory card.  For example,
> > I made a /media/mmc2/usr/bin directory, moved FBReader to it and linked
> > to the binary from /usr/bin with no problem.  The app still loads from the
> > menu and launches just fine.
> > 
> > 	To sum up (sorry for the long post), I have reduced the usage on
> > my flash to 61% (down from 90+%) and still have over 3GB available on my
> > 4GB card!  Just be careful to test everything when you move it.  Generally
> > if it causes any problems, it it not TOO difficult to move it back.  Be
> > careful about moving anything that MIGHT be used during the boot process as
> > you could leave the N800 unable to boot.
> That can happen pretty easily if one starts moving libraries.
> Better to take backups before this, document what's been moved
> and prepare for reflash.
> Personally I wouldn't move any executable code (binaries or libs)
> on MMC as its contents can corrupt when their file systems get uncleanly
> umounted (if you remove the MMC when it's written, disconnect USB
> cable without synching the MMC file system or device HW watchdog reboots
> the device when there's some unwritten MMC data).
> With data files, such as ones in MyDocs or /usr/share/osso-help/
> this is a bit more safe.
> 	- Eero


	I agree completely and did point out that this is not without risk. I
have been pretty careful about what I've moved and I am backed-up so
that I can re-flash and restore quickly, if necessary.
Even so, I am treating the internal card as if it were flash.  I am NOT
writing to it via USB, I don't even POWER UP the N800 if the card is not
in the slot, and I am removing the card periodically with the N800
powered down and backing it up on my PC w/ the write-protect tab set to
prevent accidental alterations.

	I've been using the card in this configuration for about a week now and
have had NO problems.  It seems that most of the OS and apps will follow
the links to the card just fine.  Also, I really don't keep anything
CRUCIAL on the N800 at all, and I feel the ability to store more apps
justifies the risk.

	Also, remember that flash memory has a finite lifetime (in write
cycles), so you don't want to link libraries with a lot of write
activity (cache files, logs, etc.) to the SD card.  If anyone wants,
they can check back with me in the future and I'll let you know how this
is working out long-term.  I'd also appreciate feedback from users that
identify items which break the N800 when moved.  Perhaps together we can
come up with a protocol and list of apps that minimizes any risk.
Perhaps we could put things in one of three categories:

	3) RELATIVELY SAFE TO MOVE (nothing is perfectly safe on SD)

Of course, even the flash in the unit can fail, so nothing is
perfect! :-)

	All and all, I'm LOVING my N800.  I upgraded from an N770 and was a
little hesitant to get the N800.  While I liked the N770, it came up
just enough short in several areas to make it an interesting toy that
did not quite meet my needs (mostly due to lack of codecs, flash 9, and
extra storage slots).  The N800, on the other hand, has done everything
I expected, and MORE.  I'm very pleased.

	Eero, thank you for your comments, I think it's important for people to
be aware of any risks they are taking.

Gary Walborn
gwalborn at gmail.com

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