The Amstrad E3 was launched in the United Kingdom as the E2’s £100 successor. After Christmas 2004 the price was dropped to £60, at least by Carphone Warehouse; they've now settled at £70 as their sale has ended. It's reported that The Link are selling the E3 in-store for £50, although they're keeping the online price at £100. It seems it may soon be launched in North America with Bico Inc. as one distributor; see Amstrad or Emailers in the news.

Its improvements over the E2 include a colour screen and camera allowing it to be marketed as a videophone. Again, Amstrad charge for use of some of the features after sale, e.g. it charges you 50p if you press the ‘Video’ button which switches from a normal voice call between the two E3s to a VoIP call using their modems.

Amstrad announced the E3 has a Texas Instruments OMAP5910 ARM9TDMI+DSP processor and they later announced their use of MontaVista’s Linux. Amstrad’s use of Linux means they have obligations under Linux’s license, the GNU GPL. That's the subject of the E3 GNU GPL compliance page and it would be nice if you have a skim it and see if you can help provide any of the information requested.

If the `Setup' key on the pull-out keyboard is pressed on an E3 that hasn't registered itself with Amstrad yet, the screen displays version information. Here's two examples.

If yours displays anything different please let me know as it will be interesting to see how they differ over time. Does the E2 do anything similar?

Jon Masters has published photographs of an E3 under-going disassembly. Unfortunately, the close-ups of the main PCBs are a bit too blurred to read IC details from. Jonathan McDowell also has a small album of E3 internals, plus a larger one of the main PCB, 343 KiB. If anyone has the PCBs to hand, I've found in the past a flat-bed scanner a convenient way of getting close-ups of PCBs, although high-profile capacitors can be a hindrance.

One of the CDs that Amstrad has sent for a payment of £25 has the characteristics shown below. If you've also got a CD can you let me know its characteristics. In particular, is the ISO image the same? If it isn't, then please go on to generate MD5 digests for all the files and then diff against amstrad-e3.md5tree.bz2 (206 KiB).

$ ls -l amstrad-e3.iso
-r--r--r--    1 ralph    ralph    140738560 Nov 15 19:01 amstrad-e3.iso
$ md5sum amstrad-e3.iso
88b1085737e464689cd3a91e4bf9cd30  amstrad-e3.iso
$ sha1sum amstrad-e3.iso
eda40b8bdd544ef1fdd070e938f47bb31868e98d  amstrad-e3.iso
$ # Debian Woody doesn't have sha1sum but does have gpg.
$ gpg --print-md SHA1 amstrad-e3.iso
amstrad-e3.iso: EDA4 0B8B DD54 4EF1 FDD0  70E9 38F4 7BB3 1868 E98D
$ cd amstrad-e3.mnt
$ find . -type f -print |
> LC_ALL=C sort |
> xargs md5sum |
> bzip2 -9 >../amstrad-e3.md5tree.bz2
$ cd ..
$ bzip2 -dc amstrad-e3.md5tree.bz2 | sed 5q
1046075b3dafde938d62c1f980c123a2  ./.project
c28b60865e8fc875d3919606176ac0b9  ./README.E3
b76fbe882657ebb21915df0b11100322  ./ams-delta.cfg
38f866064ac272a3a5259e5c87d4e85e  ./kernel/.config
ee539ad4b8e32648d02ccb3f2d20b377  ./kernel/.hhl_cross_compile

Jonathan McDowell has a page of software and hardware information on the E3. It includes the contents of the £25 CD he received from Amstrad, linux-2.4.18-mv30-E3.tar.bz2, 23MiB, MD5 digest b20be2284f25c007cad1c9cb1e10036c. Be careful, it unpacks into the current directory, not a directory called `linux-2.4.18-mv30-E3'. If that's too large a download for you, ask me about posting you a copy of the CD. The contents of linux-2.4.18-mv30-E3.tar.bz2 match the amstrad-e3.iso shown above.

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