aka. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, v1.0 :)

This Instructable will set out how to construct what I believe to be a unique implementation of Wikipedia in an offline, portable device. It involves installing a stripped-down distribution of Linux on a Psion 5mx handheld, and installing a static HTML version of Wikipedia for use with one of two browsers. Most importantly, you do not have to be a Linux wizard to achieve this. I will assume a basic familiarity with computers, but you do not need experience with the intricacies of filing systems, compiling source code and the stuff that traditionally puts people off using Linux. Following the steps in this Instructable should let you create your own HHGTTG- I will explain what I am doing but also try to give as explicit instructions as possible.

(For this reason, seasoned linux hackers can take the "skip this step" instructions provided at the top of the steps involving partitioning the CF card and unpacking archives to it)

Also, I apologise deeply for how dry this Instructable is. I have tried hard to make the bulk of it readable without skimping on detail or being overly prolix, but explaining how to partition a removable volume and unpack .tgz archives to it is difficult to make amusing. Sorry.

Lastly, but by no means least, I could not have done this without the efforts of:
My hack pales into insignificance compared to any of these achievements. (This lengthy grovel is mostly lest anyone accuse me of taking credit for the work of others. I emailed Adrian on the 22-04-2008 to ask if he objected to me reproducing his works here, but had no response)

Step 1: Required materials

The major sticking point for this Instructable is that you require a working Psion 5mx. These are comparatively rare, but by no means unobtainable- a quick ebay search revealed 16 on the first page of a search for "psion 5mx". They are not cheap, usually running to around £70, but you may well find one for less, or even free if a friend has one they no longer use.
The other parts can be easily obtained more cheaply- I spent about £15 for all the parts except for the Psion, which was a gift.

You will need: (with approximate cost)

- A working Psion 5mx PDA. Around £70 (ebay), or possibly free if you search enough attics.
- A Compactflash card of at least 1GB- I recommend a 4GB card. £11 (ebay)
- A Compactflash card adapter for your PC, either USB or PCMCIA. £4 (ebay)
- A PC running Linux. If you don't have it installed, I would suggest burning a live CD or making a bootable USB drive for a distribution such as Puppy.
- The archives with which to install Kludged Linux on your Psion. These may be found at Adrian's site here, at the bottom of the page under "download". If his site should disappear, let me know and I will provide my copies for download
- Static HTML dump of Wikipedia.
Text-only dump from 2003 (large file download)
CD distribution of 4,500 good articles with thumbnail images (warning, 750MB file download)
There is a static dump of the entire English language Wikipedia as of June 2008 here: http://static.wikipedia.org/downloads/2008-06/en/
- A flask of weak lemon drink
<p>Hey! I don't suppose there's any way for this to work on windows? To be specific I'm looking for a way to have wikipedia, wikitravel, and an offline version of Google maps. Do you know of any way to do that?</p>
Can I use a old windows ce palmtop instead?
Yep, as long as it has some form of web browser and sufficient storage for the ridiculously big HTML (several gigabytes, you'll need a big flash card), any portable computing device should work.
Why is the Z and the Y switched on that device? Just wondering
Well spotted- the photo for step 11 was &quot;borrowed&quot; from WIkipedia and it's actually a German Psion, in Germany they use the QWERTZ keyboard. I guess Z is a much more common letter in German so they moved it more to the middle of the keyboard.
wow this is like a mini laptop i want one<br>
About the umm uh oh yeah!<br> false pixelated metaphysical computer plane and cannot be touched and tasted and felt and smelt and seen<br><br>you can feel it... You just need to hook up the data output to a high voltage source and touch the high voltage data<br><br>LOL<br><br>
Quite a cool instructable for its time. Too bad modern smart phones have killed it. Sadness.
&nbsp;do you know of any devices with color or touch screens that can do this?
perhaps a palm pilot? i havent googled or anything but it may be possible
&nbsp;You know what would be cool...write and iPad app that has this format...
as cool as that would be, dont remind me of the ipad. ipods are okay,&nbsp;but since i am a mac hater (no offense to those who like macs) i say down with the giant ipod. aka the ipad. but i think the ipad uses some new sort of code only apple knows... thatd be something to google
no i don't like macs either but its a cool concept
An apple product being useful? Such a thing is impossible.<br />
Really? The ipad is useful for a pianist who has sheet music on their ipad And for cats to play with virtual fish...
a cat playing with a ipad... can anyone else see the problem?
Yeah but the pianist who has sheet music on their ipad?
I'm sure there are lots of other uses as well... potential uses anyway.
yeah, like a shiny paperweight
A&nbsp;very shiny, very <em>expensive, worthless,</em> paperweight.&nbsp;
finally! someone else who sees the ipad as the worthless piece of s*** it really is!
It is just advertised as a better tool than it really is, but is is a good portable computer in some terms
some terms? the only good thing about it is that you can listen to music on it. otherwise, (no mean to offend anyone) its a overrated, overpriced, shiny reflective paperweight.
I'm pretty sure that there would be a way to install linux on it, then it would be a very functional paper weight.
but a peperweight nonetheless
OK, I think we've had enough discussion on the relative merits of the iPad for now. If you want to continue this discussion I'm sure you can start a forum thread for it.
ok then... i will
i was thinking more along the lines of using it to store and view documents, and things like that, but i suppose if you wanted a really over priced paperweight, that's fine too...
Yeah I now have a black berry pearl paperweight once a friend sat on it...
I HATE Macs, but the only reason I'd get an ipad is because of the constellation thing. I'm an astronamy nut, but my hate for Apple outweighs my love for astronomy.
Wow! A working psion :) ! I remember when I was just a kid and dreamed about having one (no idea what for... but they were just wonderful theese days), nice project, congrats! <br>PD: Sorry for my english
any idea how to do this to a Palm Tungsten E?(by the way been designing ideas for a hitchhiker's guide, and ive got an idea but idon't think it'll work). <br>
could this work on something other than a psion? I looked on ebay, and the cheapest one was 120 bucks.
I've just bought a Psion 5mx Pro and I'm going to try it. The touchscreen doesn't work, and everything is in German, but I've found an English ROM and as soon as I can get my hands on a CF card thats bigger than the included 15MB I'll try it!
Is there something other than the Psion 5mx that I can do this with?&nbsp; Perferably somthing that doesn't cost a hundred USD?
As soon as I build this, I'm going to look up 42 on Wikipedia.<br> I did that one day on my computer, and somehow I got from 42 to Stargate Atlantis.&nbsp; So weird.
Awsome project, i am going to make one using well, more modern tech. is there a way i can build a search function into the program? not very linux-y<br />
A search function could be difficult.&nbsp; I suspect Wikipedia indexes their pages to make fast search possible, and they are operating on the article database- this stores the actual HTML.&nbsp; You could do a text search over the HTML, but that would be non-contextual and take <em>forever</em> on the Psion's processor.&nbsp; I have no idea how long (because I broke my Psion :$) but consider there are gigabytes of HTML in thousands of files- that would take an appreciable time on a desktop PC, never mind a decade-old palmtop.&nbsp; There might be a way to index the pages and search against that, but if there is I'm not familiar with it.<br /><br />Alternatively, you could buy <a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/13/wikireader/">one of these</a>, which my boss emailed me this morning under the heading &quot;Contact your lawyer&quot; :)<br />
no, it stores the wikicode, which is parsed on demand by mediawiki
Thanks for the help, an indexer would be the way to go, &quot;contact your lawyer&quot; haha, although i am much more of the - why buy it... when you can make it - type.<br />
hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy roooocks !!! 'read all 6 books in 2 months.
Can this be done with the cd3wd stuff to?
Sound like a new toy... Wikipedia in my pocket...
do this with instructables and I would totally go for it because I use Instructables way more than wikipedia
Interesting... I think someone copied you! <a href="http://thewikireader.com/index.html" rel="nofollow">WikiReader</a><br />
I was goimg to say &quot;the concept is obvious, they didn't really steal that from me&quot;... but then I saw the tagline right at the top of the website:<br /> <div id="meet"><a href="http://thewikireader.com/index.html" rel="nofollow"><span class="hide"><br /> </span></a></div> <em><span id="tagline_title">Wikipedia In Your Pocket</span></em><br /> <br /> :\<br /> <br /> Oh well- I'm not going to bother suing them, and I have this in the 'Ibles database to demonstrate I was there first :)<br />
Yeah and this cost more less ($99 for that thing)<br> And you have the right to sue them because they didnt even say anything about you in their website<br>
Is it possible to do this if you know absolutely NOTHING about Linux? Also, I once heard about a phone (the XPphone) that is actually a pocket PC (but I haven't found a place to buy one yet...) Could I use that?
<br /> Erm.. yes, if you followed the &quot;type this here&quot; instructions to the letter, if you're at least capable of booting Linux on your PC, but the tiniest difference would probably break the process. A little linux know-how is quite useful in case, for instance, your drive letters end up different. It should be easy to do with a phone running Windows XP Embedded.<br /> <br /> As I've tried to make clear in the instructions, the Psion makes it difficult- all you really need is a device with lots of flash storage and a browser. Any smartphone could do it with a large enough flash card.<br /> <br /> Incidentally, it could be because the website is badly written but the XPphone doesn't look very convincing to me. If you are going to buy a smartphone I'd recommend you have a play with as many different models as you can, and preferably try several of the major OSes- iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Nokia are all worth consideration.

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